Welcome to the Hobbs Municipal Schools Social Studies department. We are committed to Thomas Jefferson's ideal that the vitality of democracy depends upon the education and participation of its citizens. While such active participation includes becoming informed about issues and voting in elections, it can take many other diverse forms relating to the United States government, its history, its people and its neighbors around the world. For example:
- Fannie Lou Hamer was an active citizen when she organized voter registration for Mississippi's black citizens during the 1960's civil rights movement.
- Ken Burns was an active citizen when he created a PBS series on the Civil War to demonstrate the relevance of the period in U. S. History.
- High school students were active students when they convinced their school to switch from styrofoam to paper cups after conducting and environmental cost analysis.
- Senators and Representatives are active citizens every day as they participate in committee discussions, votes, speak to community and school groups, listen to constituents, and generally work within the political process to achieve goals for this country (adapted from NCSS bulletin).
All of these activities fulfill Jefferson's vision. But the United States and its democracy are ever changing and in continuous need of citizens who can adapt to its enduring traditions and values while meeting changing circumstances. Meeting this need is the mission of the social studies classroom.
Social studies is the integrated study of the social sciences and humanities to promote civic competence. Within the school program, social studies provides a coordinated, systemic study drawing upon such disciplines as economics, geography, history, law, philosophy, political science, psychology, and sociology, as well as appropriate content from humanities, mathematics and natural sciences. The primary purpose of social studies is to help young people develop the ability to make informed reasoned decisions for the public good as citizens of a diverse, democratic society.
In social studies, students develop a core of basic knowledge and ways of thinking drawn from many academic disciplines, learn how to analyze their own and others' opinions on important issues, and become motivated to participate in civic and community life as active and informed citizens.
The framework for teaching social studies consists of ten themes incorporating fields of study that correspond with one or more relevant disciplines. The ten themes are:
- Culture. Study of culture allows students to recognize common characteristics of different cultures. They learn to analyze believe systems, such as religion or political ideas and recognize how cultures adapt to accommodate these beliefs.
- Time, Continuity and Change. Humans seek to understand their historical roots and to locate themselves in time. Knowing how to read and reconstruct the past allows individuals to develop a historical perspective and discover who they are and how they may be connected to the past.
- People, Places and Environments. The study of people, places and human- environment interactions assists students as they create a spacial view and geographical perspective of the world beyond their personal location.
- Individual Development and Identity. Personal identity is shaped by one's culture, peer groups and institutional influence. Students should consider such questions as: How do people learn, perceive and grow? How do people meet their basic needs in a variety of contexts? How do individuals develop from youth to adulthood?
- Individuals, Groups and Institutions. Social institutions such as schools, churches, families, government agencies and the courts play an integral role in people's lives. It is important for students to know how these institutions are formed, what controls and influences them, how they influence individuals and culture, and how they are maintained or changed.
- Power, Authority and Governance. Understanding the historical development of structures of power, authority, and governance and their evolving functions in contemporary U. S. society and other parts of the world is essential for developing civic competence.
- Science, Technology and Society. Modern life as we know it would be impossible without technology and the science that supports it. This theme draws upon the natural and physical sciences, social sciences and the humanities.
- Global Connections. The realities of global interdependence require understanding the increasingly important and diverse global connections among world societies and the frequent tension between national interests and global priorities. Students will need to be able to address such international issues as health care, the environment, human rights, economic competition and interdependence, age-old ethnic enmities and political and military alliances.
- Civic ideals and practices. An understanding of civic ideals and practices of citizenship is critical to full participation in society and is central to the purpose of social studies.
The goal of Hobbs Municipal Schools social studies department is to present and apply these themes in the courses offered to our students through the use of a standards based curriculum.