out more from the NZ Ministry of Education, expanding
and updating this November 2005 "essence statement" to
ensure that future focused themes, including social cohesion and
citizenship, are apparent throughout the curriculum.
An essence statement encapsulates the fundamental ideas of each
learning area. These will be one-page documents that clearly articulate
important learning outcomes for students.
The Social Sciences are about how people participate in society
and how society operates.
The Social Sciences have significance for people in
their every-day participation as citizens and members of communities.
Through the Social Sciences students engage critically with societal
issues. They gain knowledge, skills and experience to understand,
contribute to and participate in the communities in which they live
and work. Through a focus on Aotearoa New Zealand contexts, the
people, cultures, places, the economic world and histories students
are able to identify their own place and that of others in relation
to Maori and Pakeha heritages, and in relation to Aotearoa New Zealand’s
Students learn through social inquiry to develop understandings
of people’s roles and identities as citizens, of Aotearoa
New Zealand society, and societies in a range of contexts over time
and place. Students ask questions, gather information, examine issues
about society in context and in relation to values, perspectives,
current issues and social decision-making. They develop knowledge
about how societies work and how they can participate and take social
action as critical, active, informed and responsible citizens of
Aotearoa New Zealand and the world.
Four conceptual strands provide the framework of social
studies levels 1-5 and contribute to a range of social science disciplines
in the senior secondary school.
Identity, Culture and Organisation: Students develop
knowledge about society and communities, how they function and the
diverse cultures and identities of people within those communities
and the impact of these on the participation of groups and individuals.
Place and Environment: Students develop knowledge
about how people perceive, represent, interpret and interact with
places and environments to understand the relationships between
people and environment.
Continuity and Change: Students develop knowledge
about past events, experiences and actions, and their changing interpretation
over time to understand about the past, present and possible futures.
Economic World: Students develop knowledge about people’s
participation in economic activities and about production, distribution
and consumption to understand their place in the economic world.
At levels 6-8 schools provide opportunities for students
to specialise in a range of social science disciplines, in particular
senior social studies, economics, geography and history. Achievement
objectives for learning programmes in these four disciplines are
included on the
Updated 4 March 2006