Grade 8 Social Studies
In 2018, the Massachusetts Department of Education issued a new set of frameworks and standards for Social Science and History. For 5 th grade, the standards provide a stronger foundation in history and government, adding standards that address the Civil War, Reconstruction, and the 20th century Civil Rights movement to existing standards on the American Revolution and early Republic. For grades 6 and 7, archival and archaeological research has shed new light on interconnections among civilizations in Africa, Asia, and Europe before the period of European world exploration. For 8 th grade, a new civics course was created to ensure that all students will have background knowledge of principles and structures of United States government and individuals’ rights and responsibilities, and serves as an introduction to the study of history and social science in high school.
The primary purpose of a history and social science education is to prepare students to have the knowledge and skills to become thoughtful and active participants in a democratic society and a complex world. The future of democracy depends on our students’ development of knowledge, skills, and dispositions that will enable them to embrace democracy’s potential, while recognizing its challenges and inherent dilemmas. People who are prepared to continue the legacy of democracy in the United States:
- Know the fundamental ideas central to the vision of the 18th century founders, the vision that holds us together as one people of many diverse origins and cultures.
- Know how democratic ideas have been turned into institutions and practices, and the history of the origins, growth, and struggles of democratic societies on earth, past and present.
- Understand what economic, social, cultural, religious, and international conditions have helped to shape democratic practices.
- Understand the purposes, principles, and practices of the United States government as established by the Constitution, which includes their rights and responsibilities, and howto exercise them in local, state, and national government.
- Are knowledgeable about local, state, and national politics and policies, and understand the current condition of the world and how it got that way.
- Develop and practice habits of civic engagement and participation in democratic government