Social studies cover multiple fields of education; the Athlos Academic curriculum focuses on not only helping young students learn in depth in a classroom setting, but also through hands-on experiences, local connections, and community support.
Why is Social Studies Important?
Skills like reading, writing, math and science are useful stepping stones that help students make future education and career decisions. Social studies education helps students understand the world they live in, so they can make informed decisions about issues affecting them, especially when they grow older.
Through social studies, students develop historical thinking and literacy as a way of navigating our world. Athlos Academies director of instruction and assessment, Stephanie Ndiaye, said, “A historically literate student can question and analyze historical sources, understand historical context, and investigate multiple accounts and perspectives that explain past changes.”
Social studies is not simply a discussion of history and literature, it seeks to integrate knowledge about the past into the context of society today
Connecting with Parents, Utilizing Local Resources and Community Support Is Key
Social studies standards depend on context; therefore, standards can vary from state to state. Athlos educators are provided more creative freedom than those in traditional public schools, and are encouraged to utilize their local connections and modify their lessons to fit their grade level, circumstances, and context.
“By using local connections, Athlos teachers can weave a rich, dynamic portrait of a historical period for their students,” said Ndiaye. “This also allows students to make a personal connection to the standards. Students can explore the local history of the community in which they live through written and spoken stories, through landmarks and parks, and through traditions such as food, festivals, and other events of the community or of individual families.”
Athlos schools also prioritize student access to knowledge. Our schools recognize that updated technologies, connecting with parents, utilizing local resources, and gaining community support is key to students learning social studies in context.
Depth Over Breadth
Social studies is notoriously vast and overwhelming, covering more topics than most students can possibly retain. Research has found teaching depth over breadth to be beneficial for improving student grades and preparing them for future education.
Athlos educators strive to teach key portions of topics by integrating content and literacy, letting student inquiry drive instruction, and providing hands-on learning experiences where possible.
At Athlos, we advocate for quality instruction over quantity of topics taught.
As students develop a deeper understanding of the various topics in social studies, they start to grow an appreciation for what makes up much of their culture and community. By inspiring students to explore social studies at a young age, Athlos strives to instill curiosity, personal growth, and a desire to learn beyond the textbooks.