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Social Studies Education

Posted: Wed, 06/11/2014 - 2:26pm Updated: Thu, 07/09/2015 - 11:05am

"Too many people equate social studies to what they remember from their school days—no matter how long it has been since they were in school. We need to communicate that social studies is changing to meet the challenges of today’s world. It is not enough for students to memorize dates or locations on a map. Today’s social studies provides students with the knowledge, critical thinking skills and experiences that will allow them to grow into effective citizens." -National Council for the Social Studies

Indiana Academic Standards

What are standards?

Standards outline what students need to know, understand, and be able to do.

Academic standards are benchmark measures that define what students should know and be able to do at specified grade levels beginning in kindergarten and progressing through grade twelve. The standards are promulgated as state regulations. As such, they must be used as the basis for curriculum and instruction in Indiana's accredited schools. The academic standards are NOT a curriculum; therefore, identifying the sequence of instruction in each grade—what will be taught and how long—requires concerted effort and attention at the district/school level. Academic standards do not prescribe any particular curriculum. Curriculum tools are selected at the district/school level and adopted through the local school board.  No student, by virtue of poverty, age, race, gender, cultural or ethnic background, disabilities, or family situation will ultimately be exempt from learning the required academic standards, although it is acknowledged that individual students may learn in different ways and at different rates. Academic standards focus on what students will need to learn in order to be college and career ready and to be competitive in the job market.

Social Studies Educators on the Learning Connection

For more information and resources for teachers, please join the IDOE - Social Studies Collaborative on the Learning Connection.

Follow these steps to become a member of the Social Studies Collaborative Learning Connection community:

  • Log in to the Learning Connection
  • Click on REGISTER and follow the registration directions (you do not need a Registration Code or a School Personnel Number in order to register)
  • Log in to the Learning Connection
  • Click on Find a Community
  • Type in "IDOE – Social Studies Collaborative"
  • Click on Join Community
  • Click on Files and Bookmarks to find Social Studies resources

Professional Social Studies Organizations

Indiana Council for the Social Studies (ICSS)
ICSS is a voluntary, professional organization for teachers, supervisors, and administrators at the elementary, secondary, and collegiate levels that works for the improvements of the teaching of history, government, economics, sociology, geography, psychology, and problems courses. It is affiliated with the National Council for the Social Studies and with regional roundtables.

Geography Educators Network of Indiana (GENI)
GENI promotes the value and importance of geography in Indiana Schools and provides a forum and resources for teachers throughout Indiana. GENI sponsors workshops and summer institutes, holds conferences and meetings, and recognizes excellence in teaching by giving awards and grants.

Indiana Council for Economic Education (ICEE)
The ICEE is a comprehensive partnership of leaders from business, labor, agriculture, education, and government dedicated to increasing economic literacy in Indiana. Its mission is to prepare students to become active citizens and productive member of our economy by providing them with the ability to make sound economic decisions. The ICEE provides educator grants and awards, institutes and workshops, and educational material dealing with all aspects of economic literacy.

Indiana Council for History Education (ICHE)
The ICHE is a statewide organization working to strengthen history teaching and learning in Indiana.  Its mission is to provide services, meetings and other activities for Indiana’s educators; to present programs that emphasize the importance of history at all levels of education throughout Indiana; and to work with other history education organizations

National Organizations

National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS)
The mission of NCSS is to provide leadership, service, and support for all social studies educators. Founded in 1921, NCSS has grown to be the largest association in the country devoted solely to social studies education. NCSS engages and supports educators in strengthening and advocating social studies.

We the People: Project Citizen
We the People: Project Citizen promotes competent and responsible participation in state and local government. It actively engages students in learning how to monitor and influence public policy and encourages civic participation among students, their parents, and members of the community.

We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution
The primary goal of We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution is to promote civic competence and responsibility among the nation's elementary and secondary students. What makes the program so successful is the design of its instructional program, including its innovative culminating activity.  The instructional program enhances students understanding of the institutions of American constitutional democracy. At the same time, students discover the contemporary relevance of the Constitution and Bill of Rights.

Research on Content and Pedagogy