"Be the change you wish to see in the world."
- Mahatma Gandhi
Social Studies classes cover a variety of topics from family and community in the primary grades to world and American history in the upper grades. Social studies is a subject where the content can change and be impacted by daily events. The teachers at Gurnee District #56 work to balance current events with the existing curriculum objectives. Understanding historical events and the long-term effects of these events provides a context for students to analyze current events and theorize what impact these events may have upon society and the world. The social studies program is critical to creating a foundation for D56 students to be prepared for the global economy in which they will be participating as adults.
All content based teachers, including social studies, are working collaboratively with their grade level and content area peers to identify strengths and weaknesses of individual students and sub groups of students. These teachers are then working to identify areas in the curriculum, units of instruction or particular instructional strategies that need to be modified in order to increase student success. Content area specialists, such as social studies teachers, work in an area that research has shown has a great impact on students achieving high levels of success in literacy, and that is non-fiction. Non-fiction reading and writing pushes students to think at higher levels such as analysis and synthesis. Use of Socratic Seminars in the upper grades is encouraged.