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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)
Iowa Department of Education Director Ryan Wise today released a draft of revised statewide standards for social studies and announced members of a new state team who will conduct a public review of the draft standards.
The draft standards, developed over the past year by an Iowa writing team, outlines what students should know and be able to do in social studies from kindergarten through 12th grade. The draft represents the first statewide effort to update Iowa’s social studies standards, which were adopted in 2008. A recent survey showed many Iowa teachers want clearer, more specific expectations than those outlined in the current social studies standards.
“Our social studies standards have room for improvement, and I appreciate the writing team’s hard work to develop new draft standards for Iowans to consider,” Wise said. “A new Social Studies Standards Review Team will now oversee the process of reviewing the draft standards. Our goal is to have clear, consistent standards that will help prepare Iowa students for success in school and beyond.”
According to their writers, the new draft social studies standards:
• Go beyond content that students should master, emphasizing the critical thinking and problem-solving skills that students need to be successful in postsecondary education and training and to compete for today’s most rewarding jobs.
• Weave in Iowa history and financial literacy, which are not reflected in the current social studies standards.
• Outline what students should know and be able to do at each grade level from kindergarten through eighth grade, rather than being organized by spans of grades. In grades 9 through 12, the draft standards are organized by content area within social studies.
• Embrace new research on best practices.
“We worked together with the goal of improving Iowa’s social studies standards in a way that challenges students to think critically, that connects learning to real-life situations, and that prepares students to be engaged citizens,” said Kim Heckart, a College Community School District teacher who participated on the writing team.
281--Iowa Administrative Code 12.5(3) describes social studies instruction at grade levels 1-12.
In Iowa teacher licensure is handled by the Iowa Board of Educational Examiners.
The Iowa Core provides local school districts and nonpublic schools a guide to delivering instruction based on consistent, challenging and meaningful content to students.
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:
- Iowa Constitution http://publications.iowa.gov/135/1/history/7-7.html
- History of the Iowa Constitution http://www.statelibraryofiowa.org/services/collections/law-library/iacon/prevcon
- Constitution Day Webinar from Iowa Bar Association: http://vimeo.com/75903601
- Center for Civic Education: http://new.civiced.org/resources/curriculum/constitution-day-and-citizenship-day
- National Archives: http://www.archives.gov/education/lessons/constitution-day/
- National Endowment for the Humanities http://edsitement.neh.gov/constitution-day
- National Council for the Social Studies: http://www.socialstudies.org/resources/constitution
- Library of Congress: http://www.loc.gov/teachers/constitutionday.html
- Annenberg Learner
- Bill of Rights Institute http://billofrightsinstitute.org/educate/educator-resources/constitution-day/
- National Constitution Center http://constitutioncenter.org/learn/civic-calendar/constitution-day-civic-holiday
Constitute Project https://www.constituteproject.org/
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.
- December 2016-January 2017 Social Studies Update Newsletter
- October-November 2016 Social Studies Update Newsletter
- September 2016 Social Studies Update Newsletter
- May-June 2016 Social Studies Update Newsletter
- March-April 2016 Social Studies Update Newsletter
- February 2016 - Social Studies Update Newsletter
- December 2015 - January 2016 Social Studies Update Newsletter
- September 2015 Social Studies Update Newsletter
- May 2015 Social Studies Update Newsletter
- March-April 2015 Social Studies Update Newsletter
- February 2015 Social Studies Update Newsletter
- January 2015 Social Studies Update Newsletter
- December 2014 Social Studies Update Newsletter
- November 2014 Social Studies Update Newsletter
- October 2014 Social Studies Update Newsletter
- September 2014 Social Studies Update Newsletter
- May 2014 Social Studies Update Newsletter
- April 2014 Social Studies Update Newsletter
- March 2014 Social Studies Update Newsletter
- February 2014 Social Studies Update Newsletter
- January 2014 Social Studies Update Newsletter
- December 2013 Social Studies Update Newsletter
- November 2013 Social Studies Update Newsletter
- October 2013 Social Studies Update Newsletter