Date: August 14, 2003Social Studies Standards Rationale
(Adopted by the Arizona State Board of Education on 3/27/00)
To maintain the Union that supports our freedoms, citizens must rely on the knowledge, skills, and character of its citizens and those they elect to public office. Critical to the preservation and improvement of America’s republican form of government is the study of America’s founding principles, namely the principles as detailed in the United States Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, and in The Federalist Papers. The standards include study of the rich and diverse contributions people of many backgrounds have made to American life and institutions, and at the same time, emphasize our shared heritage as citizens and residents of the United States. They require that students acquire both core knowledge and a firm grasp of reasoning and practice in inquiry and research...
The goal of the civics standards is to develop in all students the requisite knowledge and skills for informed, responsible participation in public life; to ensure, through instruction, that students understand the essentials, sources, and history of the constitutions of the United States and Arizona, American institutions and ideals (ARS 15-710). Through these standards, students will understand the foundations, principles, and institutional practices of the United States as a representative democracy and constitutional republic. They will be aware of their rights as citizens and residents of the United States. They will understand the importance of each person as an individual, the importance of respect for the human and civil rights of all people, and our shared heritage as citizens and residents of the United States. The civics standards also reflect the need to help students develop a basic understanding of politics and government and to practice the skills of good citizenship. Students should be able to obtain, understand, and evaluate information relating to the performance of public officials. Citizenship skills are also required for competent participation in the political process. These include the capacity to influence policies and decisions by working with others, clearly articulating interests and making them known to key decision and policy makers, building coalitions, negotiating, compromising, seeking consensus, and managing conflicts.
Complete text at: http://www.ade.state.az.us/standards/sstudies/rationale.asp