Skip to main content
Official State of Iowa Website Here is how you know

Social Studies


On this page...

Social studies is the integrated study of the social sciences and humanities to promote civic competence. Within the school program, social studies provides coordinated, systematic study drawing upon such disciplines as anthropology, archaeology, economics, geography, history, law, philosophy, political science, psychology, religion, and sociology, as well as appropriate content from the humanities, mathematics, and natural sciences. The primary purpose of social studies is to help young people develop the ability to make informed and reasoned decisions for the public good as citizens of a culturally diverse, democratic society in an interdependent world.

Definition of Social Studies
National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS)

Laws and Regulations

Iowa Administrative Code 281-12.5(3) describes social studies instruction at grade levels 1–12.

Social Studies Teaching Endorsements

In Iowa, teacher licensure is handled by the Iowa Board of Educational Examiners. For the requirements for teaching endorsements in social studies, use the following links:

K-12 Social Studies Standards

View the statewide academic standards for Iowa K-12 students in social studies.

Social Studies Update

Social Studies Update is a monthly newsletter for social studies educators.

Sign Up
Receive Social Studies Update by entering your email address below.

Social Studies Resources

Resources in social studies instruction, assessment and professional development that support students in meeting Iowa academic standards.

Constitution Day

United States Constitution Day is September 17 of each year. Congress enacted legislation requiring all public schools to set aside one day during the week of September 17 to teach all students about the U.S. Constitution and about citizenship.

Consult these resources for ideas:

United States Senate Youth Program

A program, sponsored by the William Randolph Hearst Foundation, designed to give young Americans a working knowledge of American political life.