Current Definitions Of Social Studies


Current Definitions Of Social Studies

INTRODUCTION are the integrated study of the social sciences and humanities to promote civic competence. Within the school program, social studies provide coordinated, systematic study drawing upon such disciplines as anthropology, archaeology, economics, geography, history, law, philosophy, political science, psychology, religion, and sociology, as well as appropriate content from the humanities, mathematics, and natural sciences.

The primary purpose of social studies is to help young people develop the ability to make informed and reasoned decisions for the public good as citizens of a diverse, democratic society in an interdependent world.

One meaning of the word social refers to humans interacting. By definition, then, social studies can be thought of as a study of humans interacting. Social studies is not simply a body of knowledge or a set of skills. Instead, social studies is the process of using knowledge and skills to study humans as they interact in local, national, and world communities.


Edinyang and Mezieobi (2013) defined social studies as an integrated field of study that probes man’s environmental relationships and imbues man with high-level intellectual skills, social skills and competencies germane to solving man’s environmental diverse problems for better and effective living.

According to Osakwe (2013), Social Studies is a course of study that studied human beings in the various capacity of their interaction with their fellow counterpart

According to Akpochato (2013) Social study is a subject that fosters a new and integrated approach aimed at resolving societal and environmental issues.

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Osakwe (2014) defines social studies education as “an integrated field of study that attempts to study man in-depth within the ramification of his dynamic environments as well as equipping him with positive knowledge, attitudes, values, and skills for purpose of producing competent, humane and effective citizenry who can contribute positively to the good of the society”.

Njok and Sunday(2014) posited that social studies is an interdisciplinary subject that enables learners to acquire a wide knowledge of the surrounding complex phenomena and forces that influence man in his society.

Social study is a program of study that a society uses to instill in students or learners the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and actions it considers important in the relationships human beings have with each other, their world, and themselves Mezieobi, Ossai, and Young (2013).

Ezegbe maintains that social studies education has a primary objective of helping to produce good citizens who are of great benefit to the Nigerian society.


However, Famwang (2013) defined Social Studies as a subject dealing with human groups – people and their environment – the world over. They stated that Social Studies covers the nature and functions of these human groups; through their structure, organization, and their interactions within the environment, though Social Studies derived its content from the Social Sciences and other related subjects, like anthropology, economics, sociology, social psychology, political science, geography and history among others, it’s not exactly these subject.

They further agreed that Social Studies, as a subject, goes beyond factual knowledge of these subjects. It is intended to present questions, concepts, Issues, generalizations, and problems that would be challenging not only to the students but to the entire citizenry.

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Danladi (2015), defined social studies as the parts of the school’s general education program which is concerned with the preparation of the citizens for participation in a democratic society.


Conclusion Social Studies is the study of man in his / her environment, how he/she interacts and influences the environment, and how the environment, in turn, influences him or her. In addition, Social studies develop the key values and attitudes, knowledge and understanding, and skills and processes necessary for students to become active and responsible citizens, engaged in the democratic process, and aware of their capacity to effect change in their communities, society, and world.


Akpochafo, W. P. (2013). Are best pedagogical practices in social studies really the best? A lead paper presented at the 29th National Conference of Social Studies Educators Association of Nigeria (SOSCEAN) at the Ignatius Ajuru University of Education, Rumuolumeni, Port Harcourt, 15th – 19th July, 2013.

Danladi, E. N. (ed.) (2015). Social studies perspectives in Nigeria 1 Nimo: Rex Charles and Patrick Limited.

Edinyang, C; and Mezieobi, T. (2013). Poor Rural Neighbourhoods and Early School Achievement. Journal of Poverty, 6.89-108

FAMWANG W.V Ph.D Uyo. (2013). Social Studies education and the Nigerian society. Institute of Education, University of Jos.

Mezieobi DI, Ogaugwu, L.N. Ossai, J.N. And Young S.C (2013). Agenda for A Transformation Implementation Of Social Studies Curriculum In Nigeria University. Development Country Student 3(12), 100-104

Njok, P.C. And Sunday D.E (2014), Socio-Cultural Factors Affecting The Teaching And Learning Of Social In Nigeria. Journal Of Education And Practice. 5 (24), ISSN 2222-1735.

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Obed D, (2019). Addressing Current Controversial Issues through the Social Studies Curriculum: Making Social Studies Come Alive. European Journal of Educational Studies 1(1), 25-34

Osakwe, E. (2014). Social Studies and Integrated National Development in Nigeria. Ibadan: Kraft Book Limited.

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10 definitions of social studies by different authors

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