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Social Studies and everyday life

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November 28, 2016

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Social Studies and everyday life

Social studies teaches students fundamental concepts of culture, economics and politics – skills to groom them into educated, productive citizens. Social studies centres around understanding how the world works on a social level.

Social studies are also important for teaching students basic values, such as justice and equality, which are the foundation of modern society. For every student, social studies are often based around being a good member of the community at the local level. For example, the early levels talk about neighbourhood relationships, social responsibility in terms of helping others, and then understanding how the individual affects the group. A good understanding of how history has influenced the modern world gives people knowledge that they can apply to other subjects and everyday life.

When we analyze social studies, we can identify some relations with personal life and its influence in daily life. Social studies help a person to improve his personal life. Following points may reveal the importance of social studies in daily life-

1. It describes the importance of cultural unity and diversity within and across groups.

2. It demonstrates an understanding that different people may describe the same event or situation in diverse ways, citing reasons for the differences in views.

3. It demonstrates an understanding that people in different times and places view the world differently.

4. It helps to use appropriate resources, data sources, and geographic tools such as atlases, databases, charts, graphs, and maps to generate, manipulate, and interpret information.

5. It helps to examine the interaction of human beings and their physical environment.

6. It helps to observe and speculate about social and economic effects of environmental changes.

7. It considers existing uses; and proposes and evaluates alternative uses of resources.

8. It helps to work independently and cooperatively to accomplish goals.

9. It is useful in identifying and describing examples of tension between an individual’s beliefs and government policies and laws.

10. It helps to examine the rights and responsibilities of the individual in relation to his/her social group such as family, peer group, school and class.

11. It is useful in identifying factors that contribute to cooperation and cause disputes within and among groups and nations.

12. It ascertains and describes examples in which science and technology have changed the lives of people such as in homemaking, child care, work, transportation and communication.

13. It examines the influence of public opinion on personal decision-making and government policy on public issues.

The aim of social studies is to promote civic competence or a practical understanding of how to effectively participate in public life, ultimately aiming at a comprehensive understanding of society. It is taught to young students as a preparation for their future life.

Shani K I, M Com & B Ed, is presently working as Academic Coordinator at the IDC English Higher Secondary School, Thrissur in Kerala. He has been an avid blogger and has also worked as a Special Educator at the Ideal Academy, Perinjanam. He believes ‘in lifelong learning and the constant need to upgrade ones skills to meet the needs of the ever challenging society. As an educator, each successful year I feel a strong sense of achievement and satisfaction which give me immense pleasure and motivation to set goals and strive hard to achieve them’.

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