Social Science Department
The aim of the Social Science Department is to provide a teaching and learning programme with the primary purpose to help young people develop the ability to make informed and reasoned decisions, develop knowledge, skills and attitudes about people in the wider democratic and multicultural society AND provide programmes to further educational opportunities to students as life long learners.
The Department aims to provide teaching and learning programmes that are based around teaching approaches that promote student learning and include the seven approaches outlined in the New Zealand Curriculum (pp 34-35). These approaches are:
- Creating a supportive learning environment
This will be facilitated by establishing caring, inclusive and non discriminatory environments that encourage positive relationships.
- Encouraging reflective thought and action
This will be facilitated by encouraging critical thinking about information and ideas through appropriate tasks and opportunities.
- Enhancing the relevance of new learning
This will be facilitated by requiring students to search for relevant information and ideas and to take greater ownership of their learning.
- Facilitating shared learning
This will be facilitated by engaging students in shared activities and cooperative learning.
- Making connections to prior learning and experience
This will be facilitated by enabling students to integrate new learning with what they already understand.
- Providing sufficient opportunities to learn
This will be facilitated by providing new learning a number of times and in a variety of tasks or contexts, e.g. through scaffolding.
This will be facilitated by focusing inquiry to determine what students have already learned and what they need to learn next, and learning inquiry by investigating the success of the teaching in terms of the outcome through a range of assessment approaches.
The teaching and learning programmes incorporate the key competencies outlined in the New Zealand Curriculum (pp 12-13). These competencies are:
- Managing self: Establishing goals and developing strategies to meet challenges, self assessment and being capable learners.
- Relating to others: Interacting effectively with a diverse range of people in a variety of contexts.
- Participating & contributing: Understanding rights, roles and responsibilities in society.
- Thinking: Develop understanding, decision making skills
- Using language, symbols & texts: Using ICT, language and interpret texts to access and communicate information.
Social Sciences Learning Area
There are four conceptual strands:
- Identity, Culture and Organisation
- Place and Environment
- Continuity and Change
- The Economic World
The Learning Area considerations for Levels 1-5 are:
- Students should explore contexts drawn from the past, present and future.
- Students should explore people, places, cultures, histories & the economic world, within and beyond NZ.
- Students must explore the bicultural nature of NZ society that derives from the Treaty.
- Students should develop understandings about societies & how they are shaped by perspectives, values, and view points.
- Social Inquiry is one approach to develop student understanding of the AOs.