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Social Studies:
What and Why
TCH 347
Social Studies in the Elementary School
Department of Education
Shippensburg University
Han Liu, Ph. D.
What is Social Studies?
Social Sciences
 Humanity
 21st Century Skills
Social Sciences
 History
 Geography
 Civics/Government
 Economics
 Sociology
 Anthropology
 Logic
 Religion
 Visual & Performing Arts
 Literature
 Ethics
 Music
NCSS: 10 Themes
Time, Continuity, and Change
People, Places, and Environment
Individual Development and Identity
Individuals, Groups, and Institutions
Power, Authority, and Governance
Production, Distribution, and Consumption
Science, Technology, and Society
Global Connections
Civic Ideals and Practices
Social Studies Knowledge
Discipline, e.g. Economics
 Theme, e.g. Global Connections
 Topic, e.g. Industrial revolution
World religion
 US constitution
 Gender equality
 Civil rights
 Environment
 Global warming
Attitudes & Values
American values
 Universal values
Democratic participatory skills
 Thinking skills
 Study skills
 Intellectual skills
Why Do We Need to
Learn Social Studies?
To help students develop:
 Social Understanding: Knowledge
of human beings’ social worlds, and
 Civic Efficacy: the readiness and
willingness to assume citizenship
responsibilities and the belief that
one can make a difference