Citizens are not born capable of ruling. They must be
educated to rule wisely and fairly. They must be drawn out of the egotism of childhood and the privacy of their homes into the public world of democratic reasoning, deliberation and consensus.
This requires not only civility, but knowledge and skill
Thomas Jefferson, President of Unites States of America
WHY SOCIAL STUDIES? WHY HISTORY?
Studying social studies in general and History in particular helps students figure out their role in society as well as their place in history. By studying the past, students learn how institutions, traditions and ideals change as society modernizes. They also learn how cause and effect influence relationships between individuals, groups and nations.
Solutions to social problems require the insights that emerge from diverse perspectives and experiences. Citizens learn the skills of democracy just as they learn to read or compute. They learn through experience, training and practice. Effective social studies classrooms teach students each of the following Essentials democratic skills:
When citizens of a democracy are deprived of an effective social studies education it places both the citizen and the democracy at risk. Democratic illiteracy is no less destructive than reading illiteracy. Studying History and Social Studies is Essential for Good Citizenship: the cornerstone of democracy is the informed citizen.
As students mature, the study of history gives students the chance to develop their research skills and the ability to think critically. In this way, studying History help us to develop essential thinking skills such as:
To summarize, Students learn how to assess the validity of evidence, evaluate conflicting points of view and apply facts to making decisions. These are the skills of the real world!