The primary objective of the social studies program is to prepare students to become thoughtful individuals whose academicbackground and skills will enable them to function successfully in anincreasingly complex, multi-cultural, and changing world. The socialstudies program must provide students with an intellectual framework ofknowledge, the skills necessary to process information, and thecapacity to understand and appreciate people from backgrounds andcultures different from their own. Further, the program is intended todevelop an informed, discriminating citizenship essential to effectiveparticipation in the democratic processes of governance and thefulfillment of the nation's democratic ideals.
While history forms the foundation for social studies, itis understood that concepts from other social sciences, includinggeography, political science, economics, psychology, sociology, andanthropology, must be integrated through the department's courses toprovide students with a firm understanding of their principles andmethodologies. To assist students in understanding theinterrelationships among branches of knowledge, the interdisciplinaryinclusion of other subject matter with social studies is alsoencouraged. It is further understood that students can only learnhistory by "doing" history, that is to say, students must be activeparticipants in the educational process, examining primary andsecondary data, debating, role-playing, identifying and consideringcritical questions and drawing their own conclusions through a processof critical thought. The desired end: to draw our students out into theworld community, providing them with the capacity to live effectivepersonal and public lives.
Guided by the philosophy outlined above, the department has set the following objectives for all of its students.
Social Studies Knowledge:
- Studentswill explore the history and culture of societies throughout the world,gaining an understanding of the unity and diversity of world history,geography, institutions, traditions, and values.
- Students will gain a geographic andchronological knowledge to provide a sense of place and relationship intime for historical and current events.
- Students will study political traditions, institutions, ideals, and values.
- Students will consider domestic and international economic systems.
- Students will examine humane values andhuman achievements in a range of cultural endeavors, includingreligion, literature, the arts, philosophy and music.
Social Studies Skills:
- Studentswill acquire, evaluate, and assess information that will help themunderstand the forces that have shaped the modern world.
- Students will develop skills in the areas of reading comprehension, analysis, and interpretation.
- Students will develop writing and oral communications skills.
- Students will become both independent andcooperative learners, developing problem solving, decision-making, andconflict resolution skills.
- Students will conduct research usingprimary and secondary sources, incorporating technological as well asmore traditional resources, where appropriate.
- Students will develop the ability to think independently and critically.
- Students will develop greater self-respect and respect for others.
- Students will recognize and appreciate the basic values of our democratic, pluralistic society.
- Students will develop an understanding ofthe interdependent nature of the world and an appreciation of ways oflife different from their own.