The area of social studies involves children’s ability to understand how they relate to their family and community, their understanding of social norms, and their ability to recognize and respect similarities and difference in people.
In addition to helping children develop an understanding of time (past, present, and future) and place (geography), these skills are important because they also help children place themselves within a broader context of the world around them and to think beyond the walls of their home and early childhood classroom. The components within this domain address children’s understanding of self, family, and community as well as basic geography and a sense of past, present, and future.
Children with disabilities may demonstrate alternate ways of meeting the goals of social studies development. In particular, children with a cognitive impairment may reach many of these same goals, but at a different pace, with a different degree of accomplishment, and in a different order than typically developing children. However, the goals for all children are the same, even though the path and the pace toward realizing the goals may be different. Principles of universal design for learning (UDL) offer the least restrictive and most inclusive approach to developing environments and curricula that best support the social studies development all children.
While this domain represents general expectations for social studies development, each child will reach the individual learning goals at his or her own pace and in his or her own way.