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Social studies is the integrated study of the social sciences and humanities to promote civic competence. Within the school program, social studies provides coordinated, systematic study drawing upon such disciplines as anthropology, archaeology, economics, geography, history, law, philosophy, political science, psychology, religion, and sociology, as well as appropriate content from the humanities, mathematics, and natural sciences. The primary purpose of social studies is to help young people develop the ability to make informed and reasoned decisions for the public good as citizens of a culturally diverse, democratic society in an interdependent world.

Definition of Social Studies
National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS)

What's New

The State Board of Education adopted new social studies standards on May 11, 2017.  View the new Iowa Social Studies Standards. Check out the following documents for more information on the implementation of the standards.

Laws and Regulations

281--Iowa Administrative Code 12.5(3) describes social studies instruction at grade levels 1-12.

Requirements for Teaching Endorsements in Social Studies

In Iowa teacher licensure is handled by the Iowa Board of Educational Examiners.

The Iowa Core in Social Studies

The Iowa Core provides local school districts and nonpublic schools a guide to delivering instruction based on consistent, challenging and meaningful content to students.

Statewide Social Studies Leadership Team

Constitution Day

United States Constitution Day is September 17 of each year. Congress enacted legislation requiring all public schools to set aside one day during the week of September 17 to teach all students about the U.S. Constitution and about citizenship.

Consult these resources for ideas:

United States Senate Youth Program

A program, sponsored by the William Randolph Hearst Foundation, designed to give young Americans a working knowledge of American political life.

Social Studies Update Newsletter

The Social Studies Update is a monthly newsletter for Social Studies educators.

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Other Social Studies Resources


Printed from the Iowa Department of Education website on March 23, 2018 at 9:55pm.