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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)
Iowa Social Studies Standards
The State Board of Education adopted social studies standards on May 11, 2017. View the Iowa Social Studies Standards. Check out the following documents for more information on the implementation of the standards.
- Iowa Social Studies Standards Implementation Plan
- Iowa Social Studies Standards Frequently Asked Questions
- Statewide Social Studies Professional Development
- Additional Social Studies Resources
Laws and Regulations
281--Iowa Administrative Code 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-8 Psychology
- 5-12 American Government
- 5-12 American History
- 5-12 Anthropology
- 5-12 Economics
- 5-12 Geography
- 5-12 Psychology
- K-8 History
- K-8 Social Studies
- 5-12 Sociology
- 5-12 World History
- 5-8 Middle School Social Studies
- 5-12 All Social Sciences
Social Studies Update Newsletter
The Social Studies Update is a monthly newsletter for Social Studies educators.
- May 2020 Social Studies Update
- April 2020 Social Studies Update
- February/March 2020 "Social Studies Update Newsletter
- December 2019/January 2020 Social Studies Update Newsletter
- October/November 2019 Social Studies Update Newsletter
- August/September 2019 Social Studies Update Newsletter
- March/April 2019 Social Studies Update Newsletter
- January/February 2019 Social Studies Update Newsletter
- November/December 2018 Social Studies Update Newsletter
- September 2018 Social Studies Update Newsletter
- May 2018 Social Studies Update Newsletter
- April 2018 Social Studies Update Newsletter
- March 2018 Social Studies Update Newsletter
- February 2018-March 2018 Social Studies Update Newsletter
- December 2017-January 2018 Social Studies Update Newsletter
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:
- Iowa Constitution
- History of the Iowa Constitution
- Constitution Day Webinar from Iowa Bar Association
- Center for Civic Education
- National Archives
- National Endowment for the Humanities
- National Council for the Social Studies
- Library of Congress
- Annenberg Learner
- Bill of Rights Institute
- National Constitution Center
- View Iowa Supreme Court Oral Arguments Live
- Constitute Project
A program, sponsored by the William Randolph Hearst Foundation, designed to give young Americans a working knowledge of American political life.
Use the link above to fine social studies resources in the areas of instruction, assessment, and professional development.