Last Updated 17 Feb 2021

Purpose of Social Studies in Schools

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Social studies is the integrated study of social sciences and humanities to promote civic competence. Social studies provides coordinated, systematic study drawn upon such disciplines as anthropology, archaeology, economics, geography, history, law, philosophy, political science, psychology, religion and sociology as well as a appropriate content from the humanities and natural sciences.

They are the standards or codes which direct our actions. Attitudes are directly derived from values. Our values determine how we behave, each person or society have different values. The teaching of positive values is important because it teaches children to value themselves and also their environment. Children copies values from the people around them mostly adults. Displaying good attitudes will teach children respect for truth, respect for truth, reasoning, enquire and freedom to make choices. Developing skills Developing skills helps individual to understanding the world around them and help them to cope with it. This skill helps individuals develop proper problem solving skills. It is important for citizens to have information or fact about where they live and the people in their environment. This will help them to understand major issues in their local, national and global communities. There are two types of skills to be developed, intellectual skills and social skills.

The skills of critical thought (intellectual skills) provides for: Grasping the meaning of a statement or action, Separating fact from fiction/opinion, Assessing the relevance of the facts, Assessing the reliability to the facts, Judging whether sufficient information is available, Finding out what factors influence the situation, Recognizing all possible actions that could be taken, Deducting the possible and Deciding which the best solution is. Social skills are human-relations skills which are needed for effective functioning of a group.

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They imply a concern for the feelings of others in the group and can be taught effectively by group work experiences which require participants: To cooperate with others to achieve common goals, To practice reaching consensus, To willingly explain and support their viewpoint, To express disagreement in a friendly way, to listen to and seriously consider the suggestions of others, to develop empathy with other people and to develop self-discipline and responsibility 3. Establishing knowledge and understanding

Every person living in a country need to have basic information or facts about the society they live in or in other words the world they live in. This is the background for understanding their own experiences. The learner will acquire strategies to analyze, interpret, create, and use resources and materials. Knowledge and understanding of the past enable us to analyze the causes and consequences of events and developments, and to place these in the context of the institutions, values and beliefs of the periods in which they took place.

Study of the past makes us aware of the ways in which human beings have viewed themselves, their societies and the wider world at different periods of time. There are a few objectives; Use map and globe reading skills, Interpret graphs and charts, Detect bias, Interpret social and political messages of cartoons and Interpret history through artifacts, arts, and media. 4. Promoting social participation Social studies are primarily concerned with preparing citizens who are equipped with the knowledge and possess the skills to participate in affairs of society.

In our Jamaican society we have a democratic system, it is important for every eligible citizen to participate in the election of our leader. The knowledge contained in social studies programmes provides pupils with information, develop the understanding they will need to play these roles a adults and to make reasoned and informed decisions. At the same time, the activities and experience provided in the programmes enable the development of a range of values attitudes and skills such as reading and study skills as well as intellectual and social skills.

Knowledge, values, attitudes and skills are necessary for active participation in civic affairs. These skills provide the link between knowledge and values and attitudes which make participatory action possible. Justify the place of social studies in the primary school curriculum. Personally I think social studies are out on the back burner too often; more emphasis should be place on this subject area. Social studies help children to develop their identity. The study of individual development and identity will help students to describe factors important to the development of personal identity.

They will explore the influence of peoples, places, and environments on personal development. Students will hone personal skills such as demonstrating self-direction when working towards and accomplishing personal goals, and making an effort to understand others and their beliefs, feelings, and convictions. I believe social studies should be part of the curriculum for the purpose of helping students understand human interactions that occurred in the past, and occurring now, and that are likely to occur in the future.

The reasons for these understandings is to help students develop and nurture values that will make it more likely that they will be able to determine for any situation what the right thing is and do it, especially when the right thing is hard to do. Since we live in a society, having a deep knowledge of society helps a person to be a better citizen to any country. For the younger generation to grow up to become humane, it is important that the generation is exposed to different societies.

It is necessary to show them differences in lifestyles that people around the world have. Learning how to apply civic ideals as part of citizen action is essential to the exercise of democratic freedoms and the pursuit of the common good. Through social studies programs, students acquire a historical and contemporary understanding of the basic freedoms and rights of citizens in a democracy, and learn about the institutions and practices that support and protect these freedoms and rights, as well as the important historical documents that articulate them.

Students also need to become familiar with civic ideals and practices in countries other than our democratic republic Children need to be exposed to various social aspects of mankind and made to understand the different aspects of social behavior. It is necessary to make children realize their duty towards society. Social studies are an important subject because of its main purpose, creating good citizen. It aims at creating educated individuals who can grow up to be responsible citizen of their nation.

The study of social studies intends to build creative, caring and courteous human beings out of children. Teaching our children social studies increase the possibility of their becoming knowledgeable individuals. Teaching them social studies increases chances that they will adhere to ethical and moral values in their life, for positively contributing members of their communities. We want children to gain the ability to become independent in every aspect. We most certainly want children to be knowledgeable about the world they live in.

This goal of developing “good citizen’’ is vast, but so is the impact we as teachers will have on children in adulthood. It is through the teaching of social studies that we can shape our students into citizens worthy of respect. The knowledge contained in social studies provides children with information, develop the understandings they will need to play these roles as adults and to make reasoned and informed decisions. It develops values, attitudes and skills such as reading and studying, as well as intellectual and social skills.

In the early grades, students are introduced to civic ideals and practices through activities such as helping to set classroom expectations, examining experiences in relation to ideals, participating in mock elections, and determining how to balance the needs of individuals and the group. During these years, children also experience views of citizenship in other times and places through stories and drama. By the middle grades, students expand their knowledge of democratic ideals and practices, along with their ability to analyze and evaluate the relationships between these ideals and practices.

They are able to see themselves taking civic roles in their communities. The study of people, places, and environments enables us to understand the relationship between human populations and the physical world. Students learn where people and places are located and why they are there. They examine the influence of physical systems, such as climate, weather and seasons, and natural resources, such as land and water, on human populations.

They study the causes, patterns and effects of human settlement and migration, learn of the roles of different kinds of population centers in a society, and investigate the impact of human activities on the environment. This enables them to acquire a useful basis of knowledge for informed decision-making on issues arising from human-environmental relationships. Another purpose of this subject is to help children deal with problems. Today’s children are faced with a lot of problems in schools and in their homes. Children are being abused and subjected to domestic violence.

Children are in gangs and on drugs. These are some of the challenges children have to deal with in their everyday lives. The ability of problem solving is probably the most important skill any person should have. Children will also be more capable of making wise decisions. Young learners begin by prioritizing their economic wants vs. needs. They explore economic decision-making as they compare their own economic experiences with those of others and consider the wider consequences of those decisions on groups, communities, the nation, and beyond.

In the middle grades, learners expand their knowledge of economic concepts and principles, and use economic reasoning processes in addressing issues related to fundamental economic questions. Most people think of history when they think of social studies. History plays a large role in social studies. History examines the forces of change and continuity. Its study enables us to understand the relationship between the present and the past and the mistakes and the triumphs that this world that this world has been through. Students are required to learn about the past in order to provide them with a context for today’s society and current events.

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