According to national social studies standards, culture, global connections, time continuity, and change are considered as major themes. Other major themes include individual development and identity, people, places and environments, individuals, groups and institutions and science, technology and society. Finally, civic ideals and practices, production, distribution and consumption, as well as power, authority, and governance contribute to the list of major themes in social studies.
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Time, continuity, and change, as well as people, places, and environments can be aligned with the national council for the social studies standards.
Time, continuity, and change: The first standard in the above theme is for students to learn their historical past, especially human history over time. The second standard is students in early grades learning to understand themselves about the current time and space.
People, places, and environments: The first standard in the above theme is learning the relationship between human and their immediate environments. Another standard for the above theme is that geography and studies of world cultures are to be included in the school curriculum.
Importance of themes
Time, continuity, and change: This theme is integral for students to learn their history as habitats of the world. In this regard, students relate their current socio-economic and political environment, events and experiences with history. Moreover, students relate the past and current development of events through formal historical students. Research on historical inquiries is integral in developing a student’s critical analysis on matters related to research methodologies.
People, places, and environments: Students need to learn human connectivity with other external aspects such as the environment. Moreover, students must be aware of the environment beyond their immediate locality. Changes in social, economical and political aspects require a wide range of perspectives and information. Also, students gather the knowledge and skills required in making critical decisions essential for human survival.
Students understand their history both as people and society through social studies. From this perspective, students can analyze how societies function. In this regard, students can contribute towards the development of society, as well as evoke personal growth. Social studies are important in helping students aspire to become good citizens. Characteristics of good citizenship require an obedient student, a good listener, a peacemaker and an active member of society’s functions. Eventually, social studies are integral in developing students as an element of effective democracy in society.
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From social studies, students are often inspired to become people of good character. This can be edified from historical studies on great individuals like Mohandas Gandhi and Nelson Mandela. It is important to note that students garner essential learning skills through social studies. For example, students become ardent readers, thinkers, as well as writers. Social studies instill critical thinking skills in students who engage in social study lessons.
Reading skills acquired by students involved in social studies range from evaluation, synthesis, analytical and interpretive reading skills. Finally, social studies learn issues affecting their lives and society from historical events to present times. In this regard, students analyze changes that have occurred over time and synthesize on ways to improve the immediate situations. From this perspective, students can contribute and offer solutions to the world’s major problems.