The study of history and social science is vital in promoting a civic-minded, democratic society. All students need to know and understand our national heritage in order to become informed participants in shaping our nation’s future. The History and Social Science Standards of Learning were developed with the assistance of educators, parents, business leaders, and others who have an interest in public education and a civil society.
The History and Social Science Standards of Learning are designed to:
• develop the knowledge and skills of history, geography, civics, and economics that enable students to place the people, ideas, and events that have shaped our state and our nation in perspective;
• instill in students a thoughtful pride in the history of America through an understanding that what “We the People of the United States” launched more than two centuries ago was not a perfect union, but a continual effort to build a “more perfect” union, one which has become the world’s most successful example of constitutional self-government;
• enable students to understand the basic values, principles, and operation of American constitutional democracy;
• prepare students for informed, responsible, and participatory citizenship;
• develop students’ skills in debate, discussion, and writing; and
• provide students with a framework for continuing education in history and the social sciences.
History and social science skills are a key component of understanding historical, geographic, political, and economic events or trends. They are the tools used to increase student understanding of the history and social science curriculum. The development of these skills is also important in order for students to become better-informed citizens. Note: The skills will not be assessed in isolation; rather, they will be assessed as part of the content in the History and Social Science Standards of Learning.