Define ‘Social studies’. Exlain the significance of Social Studies n secondary School curriculum in India .
In 1992, the Board of Directors of National Council for the Social Studies, the primary membership organization for social studies educators, adopted the following definition:
Social studies are the integrated study of the social sciences and humanities to promote civic competence. Within the school program, social studies provides coordinated, systematic study drawing upon such disciplines as anthropology, archaeology, economics, geography, history, law, philosophy, political science, psychology, religion, and sociology, as well as appropriate content from the humanities, mathematics, and natural sciences. The primary purpose of social studies is to help young people develop the ability to make informed and reasoned decisions for the public good as citizens of a culturally diverse, democratic society in an interdependent world.
Social studies is taught in kindergarten through grade 12 in schools across the nation. As a field of study, social studies may be more difficult to define than is a single discipline such as history or geography, precisely because it is multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary and because it is sometimes taught in one class (perhaps called “social studies”) and sometimes in separate discipline-based classes within a department of social studies.
The significance of Social Studies and secondary School curriculum.
Social studies programs have as a major purpose the promotion of civic competence-which is the knowledge, skills, and attitudes required of students to be able to assume “the office of citizen” (as Thomas Jefferson called it) in our democratic republic. Although civic competence is not the only responsibility of social studies nor is it exclusive to the field, it is more central to social studies than any other subject area in the schools.
It is important for secondary students in social studies programs to begin to understand, appreciate, and apply knowledge, processes, and attitudes from academic disciplines. But even such discipline-based learning draws simultaneously from several disciplines in clarifying specific concepts. A study of the concept of “the common good,” for example, may draw upon some or all of the following:
* the discipline of history, to determine the concept’s origin, study primary source documents that define and address the concept, and analyze the concept’s development over time;
* the discipline of geography, to locate where the concept was first developed, map its movement from one continent or nation to another, and recognize the power of the diffusion of ideas as an example of global linkage;
* the discipline of _political science, _to determine the developing meaning of the concept as it is promoted or limited through existing political institutions, to study examples of actual practice related to the common good, and to acknowledge the need for citizen involvement in closing the distance between the ideal and reality;
* the discipline of sociology, to examine the role of individuals, groups, and institutions and their relationship and responsibility to the common good, and to develop an understanding of the complexities of those relationships resulting from the diversity of beliefs, values, and structures within and among them; and
* Communication abilities from language arts/English and the fine arts to enable students to express their understanding of the concept in a personally meaningful way.
* Social issues, such as poverty, crime, and public health, are increasingly understood to transcend the boundaries of disciplines, cultures, and nations. As these issues grow increasingly complex, the work to develop solutions demands an increasingly integrated view of scholarly domains and of the world itself.