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Social Sciences Online. Ministry of Education

Effective teaching in social studies

In this section, find out more about key social studies teaching and learning approaches, including building conceptual understandings, and approaches to social inquiry. Follow links to the social sciences Best Evidence Synthesis, and discover a range of effective teaching strategies for the social sciences.

  • Building conceptual understandings

    Concepts are embedded in all the social studies achievement objectives across the four conceptual strands of The New Zealand Curriculum. They are an essential part of teaching and learning in social studies.

  • Social inquiry

    Through social inquiry, students ask questions, gather information, and examine the background to important societal ideas and events. They are able to explore and analyse values and perspectives relating to these ideas and events; and develop understandings about issues and the ways that people make decisions and participate in social action.

  • Using evidence

    Using evidence, such as the Ministry of Education's Best Evidence Synthesis (BES) programme, can be a catalyst for systemic improvement and sustainable development in education. The social sciences best evidence synthesis has a focus on quality teaching and learning for diverse learners in the social sciences.

  • Teaching strategies

    There are many useful teaching strategies to support effective teaching in social sciences. This section contains a variety of graphic organisers; cooperative learning ideas; tools and resources for writing and presenting information; and ideas for oral and visual activities.

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