Aim and Purpose of Social Studies

College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework for Social Studies State Standards

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What does 21st century Social Studies look like?

Social Studies connects student thinking with real world contexts from local to global scales. Social Studies education is essential in supporting students to interact with difference within communities.

According to the National Council for Social Studies (NCSS),

The primary purpose of social studies is to help young people make informed and reasoned decisions for the public good as citizens of a culturally diverse, democratic society in an interdependent world.

(Source: National Council for the Social Studies, Expectations of Excellence: Curriculum Standards for Social Studies (Washington, D.C.: NCSS, 1994): 3.)

​How do we create a sense of belonging for every child and many opportunities for civic action in our classrooms, schools, and communities? Sustained practice with social studies concepts, skills, and habits of mind will foster learning today and citizens tomorrow.

Why is social studies important for Minnesota students?

The National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) contends that student learning should involve civic competence as part of preparation for college, career, and civic life. See C3 Framework.

Minnesota’s social studies standards embrace this focus on civic life along with deep thinking about how people live together on earth.

Our state’s anchor standards compel students to:

  • understand the facts, concepts, principles, and perspectives that shape social studies
  • apply learning to complex situations and contexts
  • think critically about important issues and communicate their findings
  • engage in the processes of problem solving and discipline-based inquiry

(Taken from the Introduction to the 2011 Minnesota K-12 Academic Standards in Social Studies: 3.)