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PHILOSOPHY OF THE SOCIAL STUDIES DEPARTMENT


The Social Studies Department recognizes the need in a democratic society for a well-informed and articulate citizenry. As Catholic educators involved in the education ministry of the Church at the high school level, the members of the department also recognize the need for a responsible and responsive Catholic laity who are able to contribute sound Christian leadership and values to the society in which they live.

The members of the department, following the guidelines provided in the school’s philosophy and objectives, seek to teach Christian Catholic values with goodness and love of the God manifested in each individual person as well as in the whole community.

The implications of this philosophical position pinpoint three areas of emphasis in the social studies curriculum:
1. Knowledge and Applications – A well-integrated sequence of courses aimed at developing in students an understanding of the political, economic, religious, social and cultural aspects of civilization.
2. Attitudes of Goodness – A positive approach to Social Studies as a useful discipline in creating in students a tolerance for the diversity of viewpoints encountered in a pluralistic world as well as a sense of personal responsibility in working for the common good.
3. Behavior as a civic virtue – Attention to developing the potential of each student so that he/she will see a way to play an active role in his/her community, state and nation.

The members of the department believe that Social Studies should be taught in a manner meaningful for the future citizens of a free society. A major thrust of the Social Studies curriculum should be the development within each student of a profound sense of the dignity of the human person, of the inviolability of human rights and of the fundamental need to safeguard human life and human freedom.

In seeking to implement these emphases, four implications for the instructional process receive special attention:
1. Instructional methodology must provide opportunity for individual initiative as well experienced in-group cooperation.
2. The instructional process must respect individual differences in academic abilities and needs.
3. The process of instruction must seek to motivate students to develop an appreciation for social studies as an enriching and challenging human experience.
4. Instruction must adhere to the prescribed curriculum for each course of study.