Why study Social Science?
The 1975 curriculum argued for “identifying essential units in each of the subjects and then unifying them into an integrated syllabus”, the social science was taught as separate subjects, the NCERT prepared three separate textbooks ( for history, geography and civics) for classes 6th to 10th (the curriculum for the ten-year school: A framework, 1975, p.20). However, for examination purpose, the three subjects were combined under one paper called Social Science.
Perception of Social Science
The popular perception of Social Science is that it is a non-utility subject. As a result, low self-esteem governs the classroom-transaction process, with both teachers and students feeling uninterested in comprehending it’s content. From the initial stages of schooling, it is often suggested to students that the natural sciences are superior to social science and are the domain of ‘bright students’. Therefore, there is a need to emphasize that the social sciences are essential to provide social, cultural and analytical skills required to adjust to an increasingly interdependent world, and to deal with political and economic realities.
It is important to reinstate the importance of the social sciences by not only highlighting their increasing relevance for jobs in the rapidly expanding service sector but also by pointing to their responsibility in laying the foundations of an analytical and creative mind.
The Social Sciences carry a normative responsibility to create and widen the popular base for human values, namely freedom, trust, mutual respect, and respect for diversity. Given this, Social Science teaching should aim at investing in children a critical moral and mental energy to make them alert to the social forces that threaten these values. Through the discussion of concerns such as threats to the environment, caste and class inequality, state repression, through an interdisciplinary approach, the textbook should stimulate the child’s thought process and creativity.
Teaching of Social Sciences
Studying Social Sciences is vital for many reasons. It enables children –
- To understand the society in which they live- to learn how society is structured, managed, and governed, & also about the forces seeking to transform and redirect society in various ways.
- To appreciate the values enshrined in the Indian Constitution such as justice, liberty, equality, and fraternity & the unity and integrity of the nation and the building of a socialist, secular, and democratic society.
- To grow up as active, responsible, and reflective members of society.
- To learn to respect differences of opinion, lifestyle and cultural practices.
- To question and examine received ideas, institutions, and practices.
- To acquire pleasure in reading, by providing them with enjoyable reading materials.
- To undertake activities that will help them develop social and life skills and make them understand that these skills are important for social interaction.
At the secondary stage, the social sciences comprise elements of history, geography, political science and economics.
Source Position Paper
Teaching of Social Sciences
Why a school student should study History?
1. What is History?
History is the study of the humans past as it is described in written documents left behind by humans.
“History is and should be a science… History is not the accumulation of events of every kind which happened in the past. It is the science of human societies.”
Numa Denis Fustel de Coulanges
“History is … a dialogue between the present and the past”.
Edward Hallett Carr
“History is nothing but a pack of tricks we play on the dead”.
Studying history is important because it allows us to understand our past, which allows us to understand our present. If we want to know about the present world, we need to look back into our history. History is the record of each and every event in this world. People often say “History repeats itself”, but it only happens when we unlearn our history that’s why it’s important to study history and make a good account of the success and failures. Must have a check to avoid repeating of failures.
“History is Identity” if we know our history we know our culture and traditions. Cultural and traditions are the backbone of any society without them a society can’t even stand. Thus, if we don’t want to suffer from identity crisis we need to study history.
History also develops critical thinking. History improves our observations of society. We are able to analyse, synthesize and even evaluate what we see in and around of our locality. These critical thinking skills are important for all areas in life, academic and otherwise that can be developed after a thorough study history.
“History is the alarm of the society”. Many historians said that Indians during the British Raj got the inspiration of freedom after reading the historical events of the French Revolution, the American Revolution and Russian Revolution and many others. In the 21st century, wherever we see the atrocities we related it to the past and with this relation, we warned the oppressors. The best example what we see often where we relate Dictatorial form of government with Hitler.
If we forget history then we will be more prone to repeating our mistakes that should be avoided if we have a proper understanding of History.
Thus, it is very important for students to study history. Position Paper on Teaching of Social Sciences says “In History, the contribution of various sections/regions to Indian’s freedom the struggle can be studied, as well as other aspects of recent history, in the context of development in the modern world”.
Let’s take some of the examples from the History books of NCERT and see the relevance. After reading “nationalism in India’ students come to know about the hard-earned freedom. After this reading, we know how much precious our freedom is. “Making of Global World”, nowadays we all talk about Globalization and after reading this chapter, we will know how the fragmented world becomes united after industrial revolution. All the chapters in history books show their relevance. As a student reading history means in living present.
Why a school student should study Geography?
Geography is the study of places and the relationships between people and their environments. Geographers explore both the physical properties of Earth’s surface and the human societies spread across it. They all examine how human culture interacts with the natural environment and the way that locations and places can have an impact on people.
“The study of geography is about more than just memorizing places on a map. It’s about understanding the complexities of our world”.
“Without Geography, You’re nowhere”.
Students of Geography
“Geography is a branch of statistics, a knowledge of which is necessary to the well-understanding of the history of nations, as well as their situations relative to each other.”
Studying geography was the need of the hour in the past as well as in present. We can easily understand its relevancy in the future by just understanding that today we are running with the crisis of resources. Thus, Sustainable use of resources is only possible when we have adequate knowledge of geography. Students of the Geography always says “Without geography, we’re nowhere” so if we don’t have the knowledge of geography then the chances are very high that in future we have to face problems.
There are a few reasons why we should Study Geography
1. To understand the geography of past times and how geography has played important roles in the evolution of people, their ideas, places and environments.
2. To understand basic physical systems that affect everyday life (e.g. earth-sun relationships, water cycles, and wind and ocean currents).
3. To be able to make sensible judgements about matters involving relationships between the physical environment and society.
4. To appreciate Earth as the homeland of humankind and provide insight for wise management decisions about how the planet’s resources should be used.
5. To understand global interdependence and to become a better global citizen.
Position paper says “Aspects of Geography should be taught keeping in mind the need to inculcate in the child a critical appreciation for conservation and environmental concerns.
For students studying geography is very important. It gives them an understanding of the world in which they live. If history defined the past events of the place geography shows the position of the place”. Let’s take the example of NCERT Geography class 9th book first chapter “India-Size and Location”. This chapter forms an image of India. It’s size, latitudes, longitudes, coastal areas, deserts and everything which helps in understanding India in terms of cartography or geography. Another chapter is “Population” for a country like India where population explosion is a very big issue. The student must have a sound knowledge of population. Suppose if we don’t study Geography then it becomes quite difficult even to understand our own country. From the above two examples, we can understand the importance of Geography in our lives.
Why a School Student should study Political Science?
According to Britannica “Political science, a systematic study of governance by the application of empirical (concerned with observation or experience rather than theory or pure logic) and generally scientific methods of analysis. As traditionally defined and studied, political science examines the state and its organs and institutions. The contemporary discipline, however, is considerably broader than this, encompassing studies of all the societal, cultural, and psychological factors that mutually influence the operation of government and body politics.
“My father was a professor of political science and also a young politician fighting for democracy in Kenta”.
“The method of political science is the interpretation of life; its instrument is insight, a nice understanding of subtle, unformulated conditions”.
“It was my dream to come to Oxford and Study political science”.
Reasons why to study Political Science
1. Politics help us to know our rights.
Without rights we are nothing. We show our presence to the world because we have rights. Thus, the knowledge of political sciences is supreme in our lives.
2. Politics clarifies what you yourself believe
Every responsible person somewhat has its own ideology. Our identity helps in believing ourselves and to form an ideology that suits the society for this we need to study political science.
3. Politics is a living, Breathing subject
Each and everyday politics is changing and it is very dynamic in nature in comparison to geography and history. Thus, we must keep ourselves updated with political science.
4. Politics helps us to understand our national parties
In a democracy, we choose political parties. The winning parties take care of the country as per their agendas or manifestos. Thus, it becomes very important for each of us to understand political parties and their agendas. Then only our vote will be meaningful in democracy.
5. Political prepares us for Adult Life
From the above four points we can conclude the importance of political science in our lives. If we have a sound knowledge of political sciences then only we can understand our role in a democratic country.
Position papers says “In Political Sciences, the focus should be on discussing the philosophical foundations that underlie the value framework of the Indian Constitution, i.e., an in-depth discussion of equality, liberty, justice, fraternity and dignity, plurality, and freedom from exploitation.
The fifth reason also stated that politics prepare us for adult life then it becomes very important to read political sciences in our school days. Let’s take the example of class 10 Political Science Chapter “Democracy and Diversity”, India is democratic as well as diverse thus it becomes important for every student to respect the hard-earned democracy and its cultural power that is diversity. School Students are also supposed to read the Constitution in brief that enables them to become a responsible citizen of this country.
If we relate all the above two subjects of social sciences with political sciences then we will find that first, it’s important to know our an identity that comes from the history then we must understand the place in which we are living that comes from Geography. Political Science helps in establishing ourselves according to the current situation.
Why a school student should study Economics?
Economics is the study of how society uses its limited resources. Economics is a social science that deals with the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services. Economics focuses heavily on the four factors of production, which are land, labour, capital and enterprise. These are the four ingredients that make up economic activity in our world today.
“The purpose of studying economics is not to acquire a set of ready-made answers to economic questions, but to learn how to avoid being deceived by economists”.
“Economics is the area to meet unlimited needs with scarce resources”.
Laurence J. Peter
“Love towards economics is the root of all virtue”.
Reasons why we study Economics
1. We can always give advice.
In the 21st century, we all need development and economy is the wheel of development. Thus, if we have a good understanding of economics we can give advice to others.
2. Rational Behaviour
Economics is how we choose the best among many things. We choose the activity which optimises our utility. We all know economists are how much rational.
3. Economics gets us a high paid job.
Right now we are living in a globalized world where the economy becomes very dynamic. Thus, the world need economists who are work in adverse conditions and maintains the market of any country. In India, RBI and various institutions manage this.
4. We will know why someone is unemployed
If the economy runs smoothly unemployment will be low and if the economy goes down unemployment rate will rises. Apart from this, there are various reasons for unemployment. In NCERT textbook there is a chapter “Poverty as a challenge” talks about this and that we will deal in detail in coming points.
Position papers say “Economics is being introduced to the child at this level, and it is important that the topics discussed should be from the perspective of the masses. For example, the discussion of poverty and unemployment should no longer be undertaken in term of statistics, but instead should derive from an understanding of the elitist functioning of many economic institutions and the inequality sustained by economic relations”.
For the school students studying economics is very important. Countries like India are running a shortage of human resources and the importance of human resources can only be understood when we have knowledge of economics. In Economics, a book of standard 9, there is a chapter called “Poverty as a challenge” that talks about poverty and the reasons for poverty in urban as well as rural areas. Students are also consumer thus it becomes important for them to have a basic knowledge of consumer rights. So these are a few examples that can easily show us why we study Economics.
Describing the importance of Social Sciences in 2500 words is not justice with these subjects. But the main purpose of this piece is to make people especially students aware of its importance. Students must read Social Sciences just like they read Natural Sciences (Physics, Chemistry etc.). We need to understand that every subject has its own beauty and that beauty must be appreciated by us.
I will end this project by showing you all how History, Geography, Political Science and Economics are related to each other at the school level. By reading History we get the background knowledge about ourselves that gives us an identity. Then by reading Geography, we are able to relate ourselves with the environment or places in which are living right now. Political Science, when we have the knowledge about our past and the place then comes how we should live in this place. The rules from which we are guided by only comes after the knowledge of Political Science. Last, but very important is Economics; Motion in life is very important and that motion comes when we have the knowledge of Economy.
If we have the knowledge of anyone subject but not of others then our knowledge is considered incomplete. When we have the knowledge of all four subjects at least at our school level then our knowledge is complete.
“Be Gentle, Be Complete”.