Our Social Studies Mission Statement:
To actively foster within students a reflective, socially conscious perspective that is informed by historical, political, cultural, and geographic forces at work in collective community, state, national, and international environments.
In other words, our hope is to provide students the necessary skills to actively participate in our democratic society.
Here is why it is important to study history and civic education:
- To Help Us Develop Judgment in Worldly Affairs by Understanding the Past Behavior of People and Societies
History must serve as our laboratory, and the past must serve as our most vital evidence in the quest to figure out whypeople behave the way they do in societal settings. If decision makers do not consult history, they make decisions without all of the facts. As Mark Twain best put it, "History does not repeat itself, but it does rhyme." While events in history are unlikely to happen again, similar events are likely to occur if society chooses to ignore the past.
To Help Us Understand Change and How the Community, Nation and World We Live in Came to Be
Each person’s world view is shaped by individual experiences, as well as the experiences of the group to which he or she belongs. If we are ignorant of the contemporary and historical experiences of a variety of cultures, then we cannot hope to understand why people, communities or nations behave the way they do or make the decisions they make.
To Help Us Develop Essential Skills for Good CitizenshipCitizens are not born capable of ruling. They must be educated to rule wisely and fairly. The cornerstone of democracy is the informed citizen.
To Inspire Us
History teaches us that a single individual with great convictions or a committed group can change the world.
“It is from numberless acts of courage that human history is shaped. Each time a person stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the life of others, or strikes out against injustice, he or she sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.”
Robert F. Kennedy (adapted)
To Help Us Develop Essential Thinking Skills
Social Studies promotes:
Reading at the evaluation, synthesis, analysis and interpretation levels
Critical thinking skills through writing
It is in social studies that students learn skills ranging from reading a map to making an argument. Students learn how to assess the validity of evidence, evaluate conflicting points of view and apply facts to making decisions.
These are the skills of the real world!