This chapter, written by the National Geographic Society, is excerpted from the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) bulletin "Teaching the C3 Framework: A Guide to Inquiry-Based Instruction in the Social Studies," published in Fall 2014.


The ideas presented in this chapter provide teachers with tools to support sound geographic education—encompassing students' understanding of the complex world and their roles in it. Through a scenario involving conflict over rights to river resources, students frame supporting questions from a teacher-generated compelling question. Then, they analyze the key issues and stakeholder perspectives impacting the critical decisions in a conflict and formulate conclusions that they share and evaluate with their peers. Finally, they identify a current issue related to a conflict over rivers and follow an inquiry path that culminates in students explaining the issue and presenting their conclusions.