What Do Students Learn In Social Studies Class?

It is important for both parents and their children to ask what do students learn in social studies class? Many students may take their school curriculum for granted, but if they understood the basis and objectives for the subject matters that they take up in class, they might be able to better appreciate the facts and information, and study harder. They would be able to understand why they are studying such information, and therefore appreciate them better in the right context.

Social studies is defined by the American National Council for Social Studies as "the integrated study of the social sciences and humanities to promote civic competence." In other words, social studies basically seeks to arm American citizens with knowledge about the world, nation and society around them, through the help of other disciplines as well such as political science, history, economics, religion, geography, anthropology, as well as psychology. With such knowledge, children and young adults may better understand and make informed decisions about civic issues that affect them and their families as well, especially when they grow older. Such issues include health care, crime, migration, foreign policy, and the like.

Just recently, the American National Council for Social Studies published the National Curriculum Standards for Social Studies: A Framework for Teaching, Learning and Assessment. This seeks to update and revise the earlier curriculum published in 1994. Given the numerous events and changes not only in American history but in the whole world, it is but fitting to have updated the curriculum in order for children and young adults today to gain better, more accurate and more precise knowledge as a basis for their further learning. These updates form bulk of what do students learn in social studies class these days.

The National Curriculum Standards outlines an articulated social studies program for the federal K-12 schooling system, which serves as a framework for schools to integrate other national standards in social studies and its specific areas of study, such as US and world history, geography, economics, civics and government. Basically, the National Curriculum Standards ensures an approach that integrates social sciences, behavioral science, and humanities. These are expressed in ten themes or fields of studies contained in the framework:

- Culture
- Time, Continuity, and Change
- People, Places and Environments
- Individual Development and Identity
- Individuals, Groups, and Institutions
- Power, Authority, and Governance
- Production, Distribution, and Consumption
- Science, Technology, and Society
- Global Connections
- Civic Ideals and Practices

Thus, while most students would think of social studies as just a discussion of American history, for instance, or geography, the scope of information is even wider than that. Actually, more than the mere statement of facts and information, social studies seeks to integrate this knowledge in the context of the society that human beings exist in today.

Social studies tackles a great number of topics that are surely of interest especially to young minds. It is no surprise that social studies are one of the school subjects that many kids feel comfortable and naturally interested in. Of course, with the help of the right approach and teaching tools from the instructor, social studies is indeed one of the most enjoyable subjects that kids can learn from in school.

General History would give kids an idea and appreciation of how the country came to be the way it is today, along with topics on Government and Politics. The basic information studied here includes who the United States presidents were, as well as what the major wars and battles of the nation were fought. Geography and Culture is another topic that is very exciting to illustrate. These are answers to the question what do students learn in social studies class.

Websites For Learning All About Social Studies

Ancient Egypt Historic Battles/Wars
Ancient Rome Historical Documents
Antarctica Holocaust
Archaeology Japan
Canada Lesson Plans
China Maps
Colonial America Native Americans
Community Service Sites To Use With Students
Early Childhood Time Lines, Time Periods
Elections & Voting  
Explorers U.S. History

  1. Biography.com
  2. Choose Your Own Adventure Through History
  3. History Channel
  4. History Place
  5. Kids @ nationalgeographic.com
  6. The Whole World Was Watching