Today’s children face a world of diversity; their classrooms mirror the outside world with the diverse ethnic, religious and socioeconomic backgrounds. Social study standards are important as they help to ensure children understand the diversity they experience on a daily basis. Interacting with all the diversity without an understanding of it can bring conflict.
Social study standards incorporate political, economic, cultural and environmental studies of past, present and future societies. Social studies for kids help give them knowledge and understanding of the past cultures and societies, so that they can understand the present, and have greater control over the future.
Most educators agree that social studies for kids must not be haphazard or random facts; clear social study standards need to be set. One of the reasons for this is that children lack the conceptual base to integrate new knowledge into their belief system.
Social study standards require that children are taught, and regularly exposed to the ideas, problem solving skills, and perspectives that will help them to function as responsible adults. There are many competing forces at play in society, not the least of which being the critical balance between individual and community needs.
Social study standards are designed to impart to children the knowledge, skills and attitudes that prepare them for life, using the classroom and the school as a laboratory for honing their understanding and application.
Children come into classrooms from a wide variety of backgrounds and socioeconomic levels. In the classroom they learn to interact with all the diversity. Social studies for kids give them the tools, and everyday interaction gives them the practice; within the classroom a mini society is created where students learn not only academics, but also how to relate and interact with people.
Photo Credit: Bruce McKay