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A National School District of Character
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Social Studies

 Philosophy Statement

In order for all Pennsbury students to become effective participants in our democratic society, social studies must be an integral part of the K-12 standards-based curriculum. Our 21st century world demands individual responsibility and cooperative problem solving to address complex social, economic, political, technological, and ethical issues. Using concepts from history and social sciences, the social studies curriculum will encourage students to become life-long learners who are contributing citizens of our local, state, national, and global community. 
 
General Goals 
 

The Social Studies Curriculum should enable students to foster: 

Civic responsibility and participation.

Perspectives on their life experiences so they see themselves as part of the global community in time and place.

A critical understanding of the history, geography, economic, political, and social institutions, traditions, and values of the United States and the world as expressed through their unity and diversity.

Attitudes and analytical thinking skills so that students can deal effectively with the social studies.

Active participation of the students by integrating the social studies across curricular areas.

Curriculum Offerings
Standards

Pennsylvania Enhanced Academic Standards

History

8.1 Historical Analysis and Skills Development

A. Continuity and Change over Time

B. Fact/Opinion and Points of View

C. Research 

8.2 Pennsylvania History

A. Contributions of Individuals and Groups

B. Historical Documents, Artifacts, and Historical Places

C. Impact of Continuity and Change on PA History

D. Conflict and Cooperation 

8.3 United States History

A. Contributions of Individuals and Groups

B. Historical Documents and Artifacts

C. Impact of Continuity and Change on U.S. History

D. Conflict and Cooperation

8.4 World History

A. Contributions of Individuals and Groups

B. Historical Documents, Artifacts, and Sites

C. Impact of Continuity and Change

D. Conflict and Cooperation

Assessment Overview

A wide variety of classroom-based assessments are used to determine a student’s level of proficiency of a particular standards, a child’s mastery of a concept or skill, and a student’s understanding of a significant body of knowledge. Teachers often use many indicators to obtain a broad view of a child’s progress over time. These indicators include, but are not limited to, the following.

Teacher-prepared tests, including multiple-choice and essay tests. These are the measures that teachers prepare based on lessons, units, topics, and questions addressed by teachers and students. They fall into the category of curriculum-based assessments because they are constructed to reflect what is learned in the instructional setting. 

Research projects. Here students become researchers of the content areas as well as of their own experiences and lives. Students and teachers together develop meaningful questions and topics for inquiry. The processes of learning involve reading, writing, computing, talking, listening, investigating, experimenting, analyzing, and creating new questions for study. 

Demonstrations of mastery. These include, but are not limited to, presentations to meaningful audiences, applications of learning to real-world situations, integration of learning across the curriculums, and performances and exhibitions of all kinds. 

Homework. This guided practice is designed to encourage independent learning and personal application of the daily lesson. Students are given opportunity to extend their knowledge and to explore and make connections. 

Participation in learning activities. Formal and informal observational and anecdotal records are maintained by teachers to underscore the valuable learning that takes place as students become actively engaged in their own learning. Participation includes the roles that students assume in cooperative learning groups, their involvement in class discussions, as well as their emergent leadership skills in a variety of learning settings. 

Individual and group projects. In keeping with the recursive nature of learning as students move from collaboration to independence, back to social learning activity and more isolated and individual practices, students have opportunity to both create and learn in groups and to demonstrate their unique understandings and acquired skills. 

Students’ self-assessment. Assessment is not relegated solely to the evaluation of another informed voice. Sometimes the best assessment is that which learners do themselves. Self-assessments include the personal reflections on process, the self-selection of best works with evidence to support choice, and a structured analysis of a project. 

Student portfolios. Unlike folders of all of students’ work, the portfolio is designed to be an evidence of the students’ select4ed work in the content area. Student portfolios act as a kind of narrative of a student’s growth, development, learning, understanding, insight, perception, and change. 

Journals, notebooks, reports. These variations on a theme encourage students to think critically through writing. The range of these records of thought and progress toward achievement of the standards spans free-writing activity, expressive writing, writing-to-learn structures, and the formal report-writing format. 

Results of independent study. Independent study opportunities are approved situations for students to investigate areas of personal academic pursuit. This involves an extensive plan and proposal prior to the research phase of inquiry. A record of progress and process, a monitoring phase, and an extensive final report and demonstration are part of the independent study experience. 

Conferences and feedback from teachers and peers. When teachers and students or small student conference groups meet around a specific topic of academic interest, the information the learner receives has significant impact for revision and enhanced learning. The writing conference, the reading summit meeting, and the guided peer conference provide students with immediate feedback about independent writing, reports, responses to literature, and other projects.


 
Pennsbury School District
134 Yardley Avenue, PO Box 338
Fallsington, PA 19058
Telephone: 215-428-4100
Mission Statement
Recognizing our proud traditions and diverse community,
the Pennsbury School District prepares all students to become creative,
ethical, and critical thinkers for lifelong success in a global society.
national district of character
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