After reading the position statement of National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS), I was reminded of the importance of social studies in our lives. The article points out, “This content engages students in a comprehensive process of confronting multiple dilemmas, and encourages students to speculate, think critically, and make personal and civic decisions based on information from multiple perspectives” (page 2). I completely agree with this statement because I believe social studies, in all of its fields, does a good job educating students about their surrounding. It is a field that can be applied to our everyday circumstances on day-to-day basis.
I coincide with NCSS belief in that in social studies, learning is powerful when it is active. The article emphasizes that students not only need to be active when learning (“hands-on”), they also need to be conscious of their learning (“minds-on”). This statement stood out to me because I can identify with this scenario. In my K-12 social studies experience, most of the teachers I had taught lessons that were hands on but they failed to pay attention to how many students were engaged in the process (“minds on”). The idea that teachers need to make sure that students are not only engaging themselves by doing these “hands-on” activities but are learning something in the process made complete sense to me.
As a future educator, I can see how the NCSS position statement aligns with competency 1.F.2.A, “The need to make choices among wants and needs and evaluate the outcomes of those choices, as embodied in concepts such as scarcity, decision-making, opportunity costs, factors, productive resource, values and beliefs.” In this competency, students are educated for the purpose of their success in the society. It favors students who are well informed about their world and can make a decision according to that knowledge. NCSS position statement also aligns with competency 1.F.5.A, “Demonstrate the skills to analyze social studies concepts for the development level of elementary students (e.g. making abstract concepts concrete, examples, use of students funds of knowledge).” This competency also allows students to think social studies outside of the classroom. It gives the students the skills necessary to think of their own knowledge and relate it to knowledge gained through social studies.