The purpose of the social studies curriculum is to prepare students to become participating citizens of a democratic society in an increasingly interdependent world. Through social studies education students should acquire a continuing interest in their society; develop a respect for the dignity and worth of all persons; and achieve the depth of understanding, the loyalty to democratic ideas and the skills necessary to accept responsibilities and rights of citizenship.
As part of the social studies program, students are provided with learning opportunities that enable them to grow in their ability to think clearly and to integrate significant facts, concepts and generalizations from history and the social sciences into their own experiences. Students should develop useful skills for obtaining knowledge, devising questions and engaging in problem-solving techniques through active involvement in the curriculum. Equally important, they should learn how to analyze issues from multiple perspectives and to test the validity of ideas apart from the sources of those ideas. They should also be encouraged to develop connections among ideas and events both past and present that will promote cooperative and constructive solutions to problems and issues.
The social studies curriculum is designed to increase student knowledge of the world and promote greater awareness of its diverse ethnic and cultural elements. It also reinforces the understanding of how a highly differentiated U.S. society maintains cohesion through adherence to the principles found in the Constitution and Bill of Rights. As members of that society, students are entitled to expect that their concerns and their social origins have a place in the social studies curriculum, and that they will acquire the skills, knowledge and perspectives necessary to achieve success in this global age.