Social Studies

Meaning and Objectives of Social Studies

Alfred Ajibola - Wed, 19th June, 2019 @ 10:10: AM

Topics in Social Studies

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Academic Questions in Social Studies

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Meaning of Social Studies:

Social studies is one of the core subjects taught at the primary and Junior Secondary School (JSS) levels of education. As a matter of fact, we cannot live in isolation (alone). We need to interact with other people because that’s simply how we have been designed by the CREATOR. We will also need to interact with our non-living environment in order to stay alive; for instance, we need oxygen to stay alive (oxygen is considered a non-living part of our environment).

By definition, Social Studies is an integrated study of the interaction of human beings with their physical and social environment..

Think of your environment as everything than surrounds you at any point in time; for instance, soil, air, roads, cloth, drugs, cars, shoes and everything surrounding you right now.

Physical environment describes every visible thing around you. It could be water, a book or the people around you.

Social environment on the other hand describes the various social roles or positions that influence an individual or a group. It is represented in our culture, norms, values, the people and various institutions with whom we interact with.

This subject also studies the relationship between Nations, Empires and Kingdoms; while proffering solutions to problems that may arise within the relationships.

As a matter of fact, it helps us to better understand our social, cultural, structural and political differences. This understanding makes our world a peaceful and organized place to live in. Take for instance, Nigeria is a multi ethnic society (of about 250 ethnic groups) and yet, it still exists as a single Nation; because of a sense of understanding amongst the groups.

Note: Subjects like Civic Education, History, Government, Geography, Commerce and Economics all have affiliations to Social Studies.


Objectives of Social Studies

The objectives social studies may also be considered as the goals or aims or outcomes of social studies for the students’ and society large. Below are some of the objectives of social studies:


  1. Social studies teaches us morals and values

Social studies as a subject teaches on the principle of what is right and wrong. It helps to inculcate the appropriate values, behavior and social habits into students. For instance, culture is taught in social studies with the aim of making students understand and appreciate their originality (way of life). Also, the students are made aware of the negative implications of bad activities and practices like drug trafficking, harmful traditional practices, factors that can lead to failed marriages and so on.

Read on drug trafficking

Read on harmful traditional practices

Read on factors that can lead to a failed marriage

In addition to teaching moral and social values, social studies also give the students a sense of responsibility in the society where they find themselves.


  1. Social studies aid us to better know and understand our environment

One of the main goals of social studies is to help us interact with the physical and social environments we live in. Through this subject, we can easily appreciate our interaction with other people and various social activities in our society.

Read on Environmental Problems, its Causes, Effects and Solutions


  1. Social studies creates national consciousness

Social studies teach patriotism to the students. In the course of learning social studies, the students are taught topics like National symbols and National heritage.  They are also reminded of the roles played by their national heroes and heroines towards to the development and fight for independence of their country.

Please read on the Nigerian National Symbols

Please read on Herbert Macaulay

Please read on Mary Slessor


  1. Social studies assist in producing useful citizens

Every country wants their citizens to be an asset within and beyond their country. One of the ways of achieving this is by teaching social studies in primary and secondary schools. Students will become useful and responsible citizen if they practiced what they have been taught. For instance, when drug trafficking is taught in class, the students are made aware of the dangers involved in drug trafficking, thus discouraging them from participating in such negative activity. Social studies therefore encourage students to play an appropriate role in their society.

You can read on Drug Trafficking, It's Consequences and Measures put in place to prevent it


  1. Social studies promote social development

The students are taught the importance of various positive attitudes like co-operation, togetherness and good neighborliness. They will also understand the importance of a healthy interaction with the other members of their society. Having a good understanding of social studies will help us relate positively to the present era of social media in our world.


  1. Social studies fosters the good use of resources

The various natural resources that are available in a nation are made known to the students through social studies, including their financial value to the nation. Apart from natural resources, the advantages of human resources are also taught to students; for instance, Nigerian as a country has over 200 million people as at 2019, which if well educated and oriented, will be of asset to the nation.  Nigeria is also blessed with a variety of natural resources including crude oil, coal, limestone, Rivers, wildlife and so on.

Note: Some countries actually bring in non-citizens (immigrants) so as to increase the human resources personnel within them.


  1. Social studies help to approve social values

The good values of various nations have been circulated throughout the world. For instance, Some Nigerians are encouraged to wear suit to their respective offices. The wearing of suit is a western culture that has found its way into Nigeria and other African countries. Social studies as a subject help us to relate with the trending social values around the world.

Please read on Values and Types of Values here


  1. Social studies creates awareness in students

Students are made equipped with social, cultural, political and economic awareness by teaching social studies in schools. As a result, they will become more effective in contributing to the growth and development of their country. Students can also read on various branches on social studies at the tertiary level of education. Examples of these branches are sociology, government, psychology, anthropology, international relations and philosophy.

Note: Subjects like government, history, civic education, geography and economics are all related to social studies. Please read on the branches of government here.


  1. Social studies can create a source of income

Presently, we live in a world where the internet and social media has become an influencing factor. People make a lot of money from social media through a variety of social activities. Having a good understanding of social studies can boost our chances of making some passive income via the various social media platforms.

Learn how to start a Home based Fish farming business here


  1. Social studies encourages students to appreciate the dignity of labour

Dignity of labour relates to the dedication and hardwork that is put into any chosen profession. For instance, a police officer portrays dignity of labour when he does his work diligently and selflessly without accepting any form of bribe. Social studies also promote the dedication of students to their studies.


  1. Social studies help to develop prudence in students

One is said to be prudent when they make careful and sensible decisions so as to avoid unnecessary risk. Since social studies help us to relate with our environment and other people, it will bring about prudence in students when interacting with others or their environment.


  1. Social studies assist in developing the personalities of student

Through certain topics taught in social studies, for instance culture, the students are thought to appreciate themselves for who they are and where they come from. The students are encouraged to display their beautiful culture everywhere they go.


  1. Social studies brings development to the Nation

A country with a healthy social relationship with other countries will have better chances of opening up opportunities for her citizens. An instance is the European Union which comprise of developed Nations.

Note: The countries making up the European Union include:

Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.


  1. Social studies improve the critical thinking skills of students

Students grow their critical thinking skills while learning social studies. This is true because the past decisions taken by world leaders are looked into and evaluated by students. With this knowledge, students become more knowledgeable and are able to think faster when it comes to decision making.


  1. Social studies improves the knowledge of students on world affairs

Children and teens are taught about global affiliations, global conflicts and even some history such that they are able to understand and learn from past events. Imagine this question below:

Do you know that the South African Hero, Nelson Mandela once stayed in Enugu State, Nigeria?

If Nigerians and South Africans are conversant with their rich historical backgrounds, I don't think we would have had these xenophobic catastrophes'.


Alfred Ajibola is a Medical Biochemist, a passionate Academician with over 7 years of experience, a Versatile Writer, a Web Developer, a Cisco Certified Network Associate and a Cisco CyberOps Associate.

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Amazing facts in Social Studies


English is not the official language in 🇺🇸 United States of America 🇺🇸.

USA does not actually have an official language

The people of Iceland are called Islanders or Islandic. They actually have got NO railway system in their country


The United Nations has six principal organs or arms. These are

  1. The General Assembly
  2. The Security Council
  3. The Economic and Social Council
  4. The Trusteeship
  5. The International Court of Justice
  6. The Secretariat

United Nations (UN) is the world body set up to promote peace and unity among the countries of the world. It officially came into existence on the 24th day of October, 1945 after it had been ratified by five permanent members of the Security Council and by the other 46 signatories. These permanent members are:

  1. United States of America
  2. United Kingdom
  3. Soviet Union
  4. Republic of China
  5. France

In total, the numerical strength of the United Nations at its inception was fifty one (51) States