History
Overview

Social Science department helps students to construct a knowledge base and attitudes drawn from academic disciplines as specialized ways of viewing reality. Each discipline begins from a specific perspective and applies unique “processes for knowing” the study of reality. History, for instance, uses the perspective of time to explore causes and effects of events in the past. Political science, on the other hand, uses the perspective of political institutions to explore structures and processes of governing. It is important for students in social studies department to begin to understand, appreciate, and apply knowledge, processes, and attitudes from academic disciplines. But even such discipline-based learning draws simultaneously from several disciplines in clarifying specific concepts. A study of the concept of “the common good,” for example, may draw upon some or all of the following: • the discipline of history, to determine the concept’s origin, study primary source documents that define and address the concept, and analyze the concept’s development over time; • the discipline of geography, to locate where the concept was first developed to map its movement from one continent or nation to another, and recognize the power of the diffusion of ideas as an example of global linkage; • the discipline of political science, to determine the developing meaning of the concept as it is promoted or limited through existing political institutions, to study examples of actual practice related to the common good, and to acknowledge the need for citizen involvement in closing the distance between the ideal and reality; • the discipline of sociology, to examine the role of individuals, groups, and institutions and their relationship and responsibility to the common good, and to develop an understanding of the complexities of those relationships resulting from the diversity of beliefs, values, and structures within and among them; and • communication abilities from language arts/English and the fine arts to enable students to express their understanding of the concept in a personally meaningful way. The example could be extended to other disciplines, but the point is that discipline-based knowledge, processes, and attitudes are fully utilized within social science department. Students in social studies programs must study the development of social phenomena and concepts over time; must have a sense of place and interrelationships among places across time and space; must understand institutions and processes that define our democratic republic; must draw from other disciplines appropriate to a more complete understanding of an idea or phenomenon; and must experience concepts reflectively and actively, through reading, thinking, discussing, and writing. Finally our department offers for thinking, writing reading and discussions to our students and teachers. It is a great motivation to our teachers and students for creativity. Thus we hope to sharp and enlighten the creative thinking in future.



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