The Social Studies Department
In social studies classes students confront questions about the wonder and excitement of humankind in the world. How have humans defined themselves and made meaning of the world? How are we connected to and different from those who have come before us? What does all of humankind have in common? Who are we as a nation and what are our values and traditions? How did we get to be the way we are? How have we found unity in the midst of our diversity? Which individuals and groups contributed to our development? What are our great achievements as a nation? Where have we failed and what do we need to change? What are our responsibilities to ourselves and to society at large? What will we be like in the future? What is our place in the world? In short, social studies classes help students understand their roots, see their connections to the past, comprehend their context, recognize the commonality of people across time, appreciate the delicate balance of rights and responsibilities in an open society, and develop the habits of thoughtful analysis and reflective thinking.
In helping students answer these questions, social studies courses engage students in the study of history, geography, economics, government, and civics. Instruction draws on other disciplines such as anthropology, sociology, political science, psychology, religion, law, archaeology, philosophy, art, literature, other humanities subjects and the sciences.
Courses of study should give students the knowledge, intellectual skills, civic understandings, and dispositions toward democratic values that are necessary to function effectively in American society. Ultimately, social studies instruction should help students assume their role as responsible citizens in America’s constitutional democracy and as active contributors to a society that is increasingly diverse and interdependent with other nations of the world. For example, students should be able to use the knowledge and skills acquired through social studies courses to solve problems and make reasoned decisions in their daily lives. Social studies courses should provide students with the background to conduct research in order to cast informed votes, with the skills to place conflicting ideas in context, and with the wisdom to make good judgments in dealing with the tensions inherent in society such as the enduring struggle to find the proper balance between protecting the rights of the individual and promoting the common good.
(Source: Learning Standards for Social Studies, New York State Department of Education, 1996)
The Social Studies Department is on Twitter. Follow us @FASocialStudies
Click here to see the full range of courses offered by the department.
Clubs & Sports
Members of the department act as advisors and coaches for the following clubs and sports:
Click here to see a list of links to sites our department members think will be useful to students, parents, and other educators.