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What Social Studies content does one need to know to achieve the

citizenship purpose?
How do you effectively create a citizen?
Trying to determine the true definition of citizenship is a bit tough, especially when it is supposed to be
continuously developed as an individual grows amongst society. According to The National Council for
Social Studies (2013),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. The way to become a citizen is through the material learned within the
schools. Citizen are not just created instantly, they are developed and grown over time through
experiences and knowledge. Allowing many opportunities for individuals to explore subjects such as
economics and government allow them to understand how this country operates. To understand how this
society is formed and continues to stay together (well sorta). Connection through school and real world
situations builds the idea of what we call civilized. To us, the U.S. society, are considered citizens if we
understand how society was created, how it continues to operate, and how it will progress as time goes
on.

How does Social Studies content develop into citizenship?


A citizen is not created instantly, they are slowly formed because of a mixture of exposed to Social
Studies and real world experiences. Stated in a study titled, Beyond Personally Responsible: A study of
teacher conceptualization of citizen education (2012), The civic mission of Social Studies is the
foundation for the state Social Studies, where Social Studies is designed to prepare students for their
roles as citizens and decision makers in a diverse democratic society. There is an epidemic in today's
society where the students in classroom do not understand the purpose of how important the Social
Studies is for their futures.Teachers have managed to drain this subject to the point where most students
hate it. However, without this subject, students would have no way to understand how our government
work or even came to be. They wouldnt appreciate how good our country was and should be because of
everything this country has went through. The Social Studies content is supposed to develop citizens but,
if students are seeing the point of retaining this information then we are in trouble. Social Studies allow
students to see the past while they are living in the now, so hopefully, the won't let the past repeat itself.
That is how Social Studies content is supposed to develop into citizenship.

My thoughts
Ive taken these two questions into consideration while I was at my field placement at Anthony Wayne Jr.
High School in an 8th grade Social Studies class. I am there for 3 periods, therefore, i am able to see
about 15-20 new students every time the classes switch. Although I have only attended field placement a
couple of times, each time, the students have been very involved. You can tell that they are grasping the
material very well and I know it is because how involved their teacher is. The students sit in groups of
about 4 or 5 and are able to discuss assignment and/or work together when completing assignments. The
topic they are working on while i've been there pertains to the elections because of how close they are.
The students learned about how the elections are created and background history of how they begin.
Then they learned about how a President is elected and everything that is required for the separate
parties. This teacher is teaching information that many Americans dont even understand, yet these 8th
graders can explain the entire process if needed. The students are in this development stage of becoming

citizens, because of the fact that they arent able to vote just yet, they understand the process and the
importance of looking to the candidates because placing a vote. This information wasnt taught outside,
well maybe, but it was mostly tough within that classroom because of the Social Studies content required
by the states. Once these students become of age (18) I have no doubt that they will be considered a true
citizen if they continue grasping material like they have thus far.

Sources
National Council for the Social Studies. (1994). What is Social Studies? Expectations of
Excellence:
Curriculum Standards for Social Studies. Washington, DC: NCSS, 1-3.

Patterson, N., Misco, T., & Doppen, F. (2012). Beyond personally responsible: A study of teacher
conceptualizations of citizenship education. Education, Citizenship, and Social Justice, 7(2),

191-206.