What is social studies? How is it connected to your everyday life and why does every person in the world need to know at least basic rules or facts social studies give us? Find out here!
Definition of social studies
You might have heard of this subject before, but what do you actually know about social studies meaning?
As you might have guessed, this term comes from the word “society” and and it is basically about people and the world. One of social studies definitions is that it is a general term for such politics, geography, psychology and sociology.
These fields were combined in one general name “social studies” as all of them are connected to human population, situations, psychological understanding and so on. Yes, each of them is studied separately and if you choose, for example, social studies as your main discipline in university, that won’t be all you have to do.
Scope of social studies
Nowadays, we are able to see how social studies affect our world even though we may not always understand that everything happening around us is exactly the result of these studies.
All the existing countries have close relations with each other. We have mutual trade, political relations, some countries share same territory and so on. That’s why a lot of organizations are created now to make all these relations easier, for example, WTO (World’s Trade Organization), EU (European Union) and many many others.
Let’s separate all the components of social studies:
- History. Have you ever heard such phrase as “history repeats itself”? It means that if we study all the success and failure situations from the past, we may be able clearly see the situation happening right now and try not to repeat those mistakes that were made decades or even centuries ago.
- Politics. While learning politics and all its possible versions and systems, we may understand how to make informed choices, or we may also know the role of the political “world” and how it works, why is that so.
- Economics. We all are connected to economics whether we want it or not. We all pay for different kinds of goods and services, we all get salaries, we all pay taxes. Understanding how all the processes connected to money work may really simplify our everyday life.
- Geography. Learning geography lets us have a better understanding of our society in general. Also, it is very interesting and useful to know the features of different cultures and traditions. As all the countries become reachable, your knowledge in this sphere can make you feel better and show yourself as educated person just in case you meet something out of your own “zone”.
Objectives of social studies
- Civic competence. Social studies educate people by providing them with the skills and attitudes that may help them to become responsible and competent citizens. As a result, people become thoughtful and it’s easier for them to participate in the life of their city or even country. It also gives better understanding of what the “rules” of being an informed citizen are and how you can use them.
- Critical thinking. It shows us how enduring ideas and events affect our lives. You may get a clear image on what part you take in your country’s life and how you can establish the foundation for the future of your country. It gives the basic knowledge of historical facts and importance of people’s voice. One of the benefits of getting critical thinking is the ability to think critically when it comes to social issues and understanding the social values.
- Social understanding. It includes not only world’s issues, but also relations among people themselves. This social study objective lets us understand the human condition, learn about diversity and interdependence of the world and how to deal with a huge amount of multiple cultures and ideologies in this world.
- Integrating ideas. This is the general objective that you may get from social studies. This one shows us how to use all the components like geography and politics, for example, in one complete opinion.
Importance of social studies
Even if you are “too far” from all those world’s problems and you may not be interested in this, there are still some social studies importance that learning them is simply for your good. As we know, these studies include psychology. And that does not mean that we learn people’s brain or character.
But simply, understanding your own behavior and the results this behavior may give you or other people around you, already makes this discipline seem even more important than mathematics, biology, chemistry or any other subject we know from school.
Social studies is very broad, and encompass lots of different spheres of knowledge. So if you want to get a better understanding of how the world works, you should definitely consider adding social studies to your curriculum.