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Social Studies

Philosophy Statement

The Social Studies program reflects ISB’s mission and vision, enriched by being in China, and the diversity and experiences of our population as an international school.  Social Studies encompasses learning about the interconnectedness of multiple disciplines - history, geography, economics, and civics – providing students with a strong foundation in reading, writing, critical thinking and interpersonal skills. Courses are designed to foster open-mindedness, while exposing students to the tenets, skills and approaches of all disciplines in the social sciences.

The Social Studies program values:
  • creating knowledgeable, thinking and active citizens who are committed to making contributions to the world around them
  • the analysis of historical and current events from multiple perspectives
  • authentic, relevant and purposeful inquiry that enable students to communicate and act upon what they learn
  • being a part of a larger global community that understands and embraces a diversity of ideas, beliefs, and cultures
  • approaching complex issues through different disciplinary lenses in order to prepare for the challenges we face today and in the future
We believe that students learn Social Studies best when they:
  • access and evaluate information from multiple sources and perspectives to support reasoned judgments
  • embrace collaboration, dialogue, and debate in order to achieve a better understanding of themselves and the world around them
  • are active stakeholders in the learning experience and are given the opportunity to demonstrate their learning in multiple ways
  • make connections between the past and the present and learn from the successes and failures of individuals and societies that have preceded us
  • see themselves as responsible and engaged citizens who must consider their role in an increasingly interconnected world



When developing our Social Studies curriculum, standards are based on the College, Career, and Civic Life for Social Studies – C3 standards.

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