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Social Studies

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The goal of Ancona’s social studies curriculum is to deepen and broaden students’ understandings of themselves, others, and human affairs through the study of human life in various social and historical contexts. Because of Ancona’s diversity and its historic commitment to strong multicultural education, rich, in-depth, integrated units of cultural studies based in anthropology, sociology and geography have long been a hallmark of an Ancona education. The curriculum nurtures the children’s own interest in social justice with considerations of freedom and unfreedom, human rights and access to and distribution of power and resources.

Our entire social studies curriculum is informed by the Multicultural Curriculum Strands that underlie curriculum construction at Ancona as well as our commitment to exposing students to the issues of social justice. The diverse and complex interactions among us provide rich material for learning to live in a democratic society. Social learning curricula designed to help children understand interpersonal relationships and grow into kind and thoughtful friends and classmates form another component of our social studies program. Peaceful conflict resolution skills are taught throughout the school. As we study people of other times and in other cultures, we encourage the students not only to take in new information, but also to look for similarities and differences among people. We present a multicultural perspective and emphasize that situations can be seen from many points of view all of which are valuable. We encourage students to understand the geographic, social, economic and political contexts in which people operate. Our focus is on the real stories of real people, listening to the authentic voices of people, past and present, whose life experiences are inevitably linked with our own.

From the pre-primary onwards, the social studies program is relevant to children’s experiences. Authentically communicating the stories and experiences of real people in their voices and focusing on the tangible manifestations of culture through multi-sensory experiences, the children develop rich understanding of history and culture. Authentic resources and primary sources are used throughout the grades. Field trips to the city’s diverse neighborhoods and rich cultural institutions make topics come alive. Teachers help students view history through multiple lenses, pulling out themes such as freedom, equality, leadership, class, and power. Students learn to critically examine materials, develop research skills, and consider events and situations from multiple perspectives.
Social studies is the living heart of Ancona School. We seek to create a community engaged in the celebration of the diversity of humankind and the rigorous removal of all barriers to the recognition of universal dignity.

Our Social Studies program explicitly reflects our mission to create a just and peaceful world, beginning first with ourselves.
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