Purpose of Social Studies in Schools

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What is social studies?
* 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.

The goals of social studies
1. Fostering attitudes and identifying values
Values are ends or ideas which are held by a person. 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. 2. 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. 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...
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