chapter  9
35 Pages

Social Studies

Defi ning social studies is more complex than defi ning any other curricular subject. At its core, the term social studies refers to the study of human beings in their societies, and this leads to any number of school subjects. Demonstrating the complexity of this group of academic subjects, the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) states that: “Social studies is the integrated study of the social sciences and humanities to promote civic competence. . . . The primary purpose of social studies is to help young people make informed and reasoned decisions for the public good as citizens of a culturally diverse, democratic society in an interdependent world” (National Council for the Social Studies, 2010, p. 9). The NCSS lists the following subjects that pertain: anthropology, archaeology, economics, geography, history, law, philosophy, political science, psychology, religion, and sociology. As appropriate, we might sometimes add aspects of the humanities and even mathematics and the natural sciences.