Stamford American Elementary School Curriculum Guide - page 26

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Social Studies
Stamford’s Social Studies standards identify central ideas that we consider significant.
Social Studies provides opportunities for students to look at and think about human
behavior realistically, objectively and with sensitivity. It aims to guide students and
teachers towards a deeper understanding of themselves and others, and of their place in
an increasingly global society.
Our curriculum provides opportunities for students to:
• Learn how to ask compelling and relevant questions that can be researched
• Gain a secure understanding of their own identity and their place in the world
• Develop an understanding of other cultural groups and an appreciation of other ideas
and beliefs
• Gain knowledge that is of genuine importance in understanding the human condition,
through the exploration of themes that have significance for all students in all cultures
• Gain conceptual understanding through participating in learning experiences that
foster sensitivity, creativity and initiative, and lead to taking responsible action
• Gain a sense of time and place in relation to their own experience and the experience
of other people
• Gain an understanding of humankind’s role in, and dependence on, the natural world
and learn to apply this knowledge in responsible ways
Successful learning in Social Studies develops students who are able to select key ideas
and significant understanding from the data acquired for a unit of inquiry. Students are
able to frame genuine, open-ended questions worthy of sustained research.
As they conduct their inquiries, they are able to provide accurate information, valid
explanations and empathetic understandings. They are able to identify possible causes of
an issue, choose a solution and determine appropriate action to be taken. Through these
processes, they develop the habits and attitudes of successful lifelong learners.
The Arts
The Arts provide:
• A means of communication
• Opportunities for developing skills
• A means of expression of both emotional and intellectual perspectives
• Exposure to other cultures and other times
• A means of accessing other disciplines
• A vehicle for wondering, reflecting and consolidating
The Arts are important areas of learning through which students learn the discipline of
Visual Arts, Music and Drama, as well as learning about the Arts (artists, perspectives,
themes and ideas using the Arts). In all areas of learning, Stamford values imagination,
creativity and original thinking. The creative disciplines of Visual Arts, Music and Drama
are closely connected to each other, as well as having strong links to other disciplines. The
creative process is seen as a driving force in learning through inquiry.
The Arts are built into the curriculum as essential areas of learning, not added on as
optional extras. Students are exposed to all three Arts (Visual Arts, Music, Drama). Visual
Arts, Music and Drama are significant disciplines in their own right and are also important
sign systems for interpreting and understanding the world. Students are encouraged
to consider the Arts as a means of communication and as an expressive language.
Implementation of the Arts in the PYP involves full participation of all teachers in the
collaborative planning of units of inquiry.
Creativity is at the heart of the Arts. It allows for innovation, interpretation,
research, analysis and transfer. Learning through the Arts has a positive influence
on self-esteem and creative development, which carries over to all aspects of
learning. Valuing imagination and celebrating original thinking promotes initiative
and a lifelong love of learning.
Course Descriptions: Lower Elementary to Upper Elementary Program
- Kindergarten 2 to Grade 5 continued
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