Social Studies Paper

Student’s Name:

Name of Course:

Institutional Affiliation:

Date Submitted:

The term ‘social studies’ is defined by the National Council for Social studies as the study of social sciences and all humanities in order to promote civic competence. Social studies continue to be recognized as the name of one of the courses or set of courses that are taught in both primary and secondary, or in elementary, middle and high school. However, social studies may also refer to the study of certain aspects of human society at particular tertiary institutions all over the world.


The national social studies standards are organized in accordance to the traditional principles of ten social studies themes, including culture; people places, places, and environment; time, continuity and change; individual development and identity; and power, authority, and governance. Other themes include individuals, groups, and institutions; production, distribution, and consumption; and international connections. These standards also involve the themes of civic ideals and practices; as well as science, technology, and society.

The standards provide prompts for lesson planning. Teachers are stimulated to think about how perspectives about the past always differ, and the extent to which these differences inform the contemporary actions and ideas. Students, on the other hand, are stimulated to formulate research questions for investigating social science questions, identify possible answers, and make use of literacy skills and social-scientific methods of inquiry. Learners are also encouraged to demonstrate their understanding of social science concepts through writing a position paper in which they consider different perspectives on issues that interest them.

In the national social studies standards, the teacher is able to see the snapshots of operation for different themes, for example, the aspect of time, continuity, and change in the course of the American Civil War. The teacher can give students a social science topic where he wants to highlight specific themes by first testing the extent to which learners understand them.

The national social studies standards are always directed towards creating meaningful units and highly engaging lessons. They are designed in a way that sets guiding questions as well as providing strategies and snapshots of practice that are useful for the combination of extensive use of class content with various suggestions for activities. These activities are aimed at making young people become critical thinkers and participants in their societies. They are designed in such a way that they can be supplemented with state standards in order to enrich the level of understanding of social science concepts by learners.

On the other hand, the social studies standards for Illinois are molded around six themes: applications of learning, solving problems, communicating, using technology, working in teams, and making connections. The standards were developed on the basis of many bodies, including the 1985 Illinois State goals for Social Science, the National Standards for United States History, the National Standards for Civics and Government, and the National Standards for World History. Team members also contributed to the creation of standards, mainly through reference to local standards, as well as various state and national standards.

The main aim of the standards is to promote civic competence. Social science is viewed as a multi-disciplinary subject that brings together many disciplines, such as economics, anthropology, history, political science, law, geography, and sociology. Appropriate material from natural sciences and mathematics is also considered a part of social sciences. The standards are also aimed at helping learners grasp the way in which various social science concepts relate to one another as well as to the real world, thus making it easy for human actions to be interpreted during careers and lifelong learning efforts.

In these standards, it is appreciated that although each of the disciplines is taught independently of each other, they owe a lot to one another. Students who meet the social science standards for Illinois are always expected to have a broad understanding of the political and economic systems of the state as well as the entire nation.

Through applications for learning, students are expected to demonstrate and deepen their grasp of basic knowledge and skills. The applied learning skills are those that cross all academic disciplines as well as reinforce the importance of a holistic approach to learning. In the theme of solving problems, students are required to recognize, investigate and deal with problems. They are expected to be able to formulate and propose solutions that are supported by evidence and reason.

In the theme of communicating, the idea is to make students express and interpret their information and ideas. They need to be able to gather a wide range of opinions and chart the best course of action, an undertaking that requires students to gather and synthesize information. As part of excellence in communication, students need to study and draw conclusions relating to conclusions on issues of social science, whereby reading and interpreting visual and textual information, and to listen carefully to everyone is a core aspect of this undertaking.

Both the National Social Science standards and the Social Science Standards for Illinois contain clear indications that social science is multidisciplinary in nature. Social science encompasses disciplines, including sociology, political science, law, anthropology, among others, which, though taught independently of each other, share many things in common. The disciplines also handle related issues, only that different perspectives are adopted.

The main difference in the two sets of standards is that the national standards take a general perspective while the standards for Illinois highlight specific issues that need to be accorded attention, for instance, using technology. Whereas the national standards emphasize on such general social science themes such as culture, civics, time, continuity, and change, the standards for Illinois focus on more specific aspects such as making connections, working on teams, solving problems, and communicating.

The multidisciplinary nature of social science is clear in the fact that this subject is mainly about making connections (Sullivan, 1998). Connections among people are appreciated by dedicating research on how they can be understood better and reinforcement for the betterment of entire communities. In this regard, social science is regarded as a set of disciplines that are integrated. For instance, for one to know more about economics he has to know mathematics; the understanding of geography requires knowledge of earth science concepts (Ritchie, 2009).


In other words, students have to grasp the existing connections between various parts of social science, as well as their relations to all other academic areas. This understanding is crucial to the appreciation of the way in which people interact (Scott-Little, 2003). Students in a social science class need to know about how data is collected, analyzed and interpreted. These procedures are closely related to all social sciences. Furthermore, the library and field research activities are similar for all social studies. Likewise, the discussion and decision-making activities that go on dwell on related issues, all of which are key elements to career success.

Social studies ought to be a reflection of the way in which people interact in the real world (Braun, 2009). The contributions of people who have studied social studies are an indication of the actual extent to which the subject is multidisciplinary in nature. The issues addressed in the subject, which are cross the borders of a single social science discipline include the attitudes, opportunities, and knowledge aspects that arise in efforts to deal with problems such as poverty, epidemics, environmental degradation, and economic recession. The actions adopted to indicate the interdependence of many social disciplines in policymakers’ thoughts and courses of actions, whether at the household, individual, or community level.

The themes that are addressed by the national social studies standards are an indicator of the interdisciplinary nature of social studies. For instance, the theme of culture is addressed within anthropology, while that of power, authority, and governance is addressed through political science. On the other hand, the theme of production, distribution, consumption, and global connections is best addressed in economics. Similarly, concepts of civic ideals and practices fall within the discipline of public administration.

In summary, both the national social studies standards and the social studies standards for Illinois are useful for a social studies teacher. Although there are some differences between them, they highlight crucial multidisciplinary issues that enable students to become better citizens. The main benefit of the multidisciplinary approach is that academics from different disciplines contribute their different approaches as well as conceptual innovations, thereby making significant contributions to social studies research. Likewise, scholars from slightly varying academic backgrounds are able to come together and share opinions on the best way to teach social studies, in compliance with the themes that have been set out in the social studies standards of Illinois as well as the national social studies standards.

Web graphic organizer


Braun, T. (2009) The growth of research on inter-and multidisciplinarity in science and social science papers, 1975–2006, Scientometrics, 73(3), 345-351.

Ritchie, J. (2009) Qualitative research practice: a guide for social science students and researchers, London: Penguin Books.

Scott-Little, C. (2003) Creating the Conditions for Success with Early Learning Standards: Results from a National Study of State-Level Standards for Children’s Learning Prior to Kindergarten, Early Childhood Research & Practice, 5, 109-196.

Sullivan, L. (1998) Surveying State Standards: National History Education Network’s 1997 Report on State Social Studies Standards, The History Teacher, 31(2), 221-234.

Get a 15 % discount on an order above $ 15
Use the following coupon code :
Our Services:
  • Essay
  • Custom Essays
  • Homework Help
  • Research Papers
  • Argumentative Essay
  • Assignment
  • College Papers
  • Powerpoint Presentation
  • Dissertation
  • Thesis Paper
  • Dissertation
  • Editing Services
  • Review Writing
  • Lab Report
  • Book Report
  • Article Critique
  • Case Study
  • Coursework
  • Term Paper
  • Personal Statement
Order a customized paper today!