As the name suggests, social studies has to do with people. In purely horizontal terms, social studies investigates human activity in relation to other people and in relation to the environment. We also recognize a vertical dimension to social studies, however. All human activity takes place under God Who by His providence moves all activity—past, present, and future—towards the fulfillment of His plan for this world in Jesus Christ. It is the vertical dimension revealed in God’s Word that gives purpose and direction to human activity. God’s Word is also the normative standard by which we can evaluate human activity as motivated by the commitment of the heart either to God and His glory or against Him in disobedience and rebellion.
Social studies by its very nature is interdisciplinary because it draws upon a number of closely related and overlapping disciplines. It has a historical as well as a geographic dimension; it also has sociological, economic, and political dimensions. Because it draws upon such a broad field of study, social studies is an ideal discipline for teaching the youth of the covenant about man’s task on this earth, about God’s hand in history, and about testing the spirits of the age by evaluating the human activity n the light of God’s Word. We recognize social studies as a discipline in its own right with a large body of knowledge and skills that are worth knowing and we place a high value on the historical component of social studies. We do not, therefore, integrate social studies with science. Current educational philosophy advocates the social sciences as a vehicle for promoting social change by instilling politically correct values in Canadian youth at the expense of important content and skills. We cannot with good conscience subscribe to this philosophy.
The Social Studies program we are using at John Calvin is as follows:
Grade K – Locally developed units: Transportation, Community Helpers