Why Social Studies? | Social Studies | Studentoffortune.org

Why Social Studies?

Why social studies? This is a question almost every social studies teacher would have faced. Most teachers respond to this as, ‘you need to know about the world around you’ or ‘it is in your curriculum’… Well, I remember my teacher telling me, ‘it helps you to be a better citizen’. Is that it… being better citizens? Well then, how exactly do social studies help your students to become better citizens? How can reading a few textbooks or listening to a teacher inculcate in a student the qualities of a good citizen?

The answer lies in the way the subject is taught. Social studies, is not a subject like chemistry, biology, physics or mathematics where the syllabus demands the use of different media like the blackboard, calculators etc that will keep the students engaged. Neither is it like literature or poetry that can help your students slowly glide along with the characters.

Social studies deal with facts. It deals with incidents, dates, places; it is an interdisciplinary subject that has benefited from different other fields like psychology, sociology, civics etc. To be successful as a social studies teacher, you will need an entire gamut of skills and tools to bring in a mix of science and literature into the classroom.

Social studies when taught properly can help students understand the way society functioned in the past, is functioning now and is likely to function in the future. Contrary to the general notion, social studies, is not just about dates, places and people. Of course it deals with the American War of Independence, Civil War, Pearl Harbor and a lot more. But the real impact of the subject happens when students look beyond these places, dates and people. It happens when they think and understand the reasons behind these incidents, learn to identify the negatives and the positives in society and educate themselves to rise above us and our forefathers.

Every teacher would want his or her students to become responsible citizens capable of contributing positively towards the society. Knowledgeable, independent, informed and inquisitive students will obviously grow up to be good citizens. Social studies aim at inculcating these values and skills in students.

We are all familiar with issues like cultural bias that is common around us. Our children are also exposed to various types of abuses, crimes, drugs etc. Children need to learn to deal with these problems. They should know how the different systems like judiciary, politics etc function in our country. Social studies educate children regarding their society, the way it functions and the way it should be functioning. When taught in the correct manner, this subject can prepare our children for their future.

Social studies express the need for every individual to be a part of the political system in their country. By becoming responsible citizens with civic sense our children can lead a nation towards betterment and excellence in the future. The values this subject inculcates in students are something that no other subject can offer hence making social studies one of the very basic subjects to be included in our educational system.