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Social Sciences Online. Ministry of Education

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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.

  • Being Part of Global Communities

    This book discusses what it means to be part of global communities. It examines the social sciences concepts being part of global communities and globalisation. It considers why these concepts are important, explores ways to develop understandings about these concepts through teaching and learning in social studies, and includes three unit outlines that illustrate some contexts and activities you could use with your students to develop these understandings. This book provides examples of teaching and learning strategies and approaches, contexts, and activities, but these are not exhaustive.

  • Belonging and Participating in Society

    This book examines the social sciences concepts of belonging and participating in society. It considers why these concepts are important, explores ways to develop understandings about these concepts through teaching and learning in social studies, and includes three unit outlines that illustrate some contexts and activities you could use with your students to develop these understandings.

  • Approaches to Building Conceptual Understandings in the Social Sciences

    This book provides ideas and examples of how teachers can build learners’ understanding of key social sciences concepts at levels 1–5 of the curriculum. It examines what concepts and conceptual understandings are, why they are important, and how they can be developed in social studies. It provides some strategies and approaches for building conceptual understanding and considers the role of the social inquiry process in developing those understandings. Assessing conceptual understandings and conceptual progression is also discussed, using examples drawn from the social studies exemplars.

  • Taking Part in Economic Communities

    This book is about developing conceptual understandings in the social sciences and providing ways to develop students’ financial literacy in the context of a social sciences learning programme. The teaching and learning activities emphasise the values and perspectives that influence financial and economic decision-making. 

  • Thinking Globally 1

    This book was developed for teachers of students in years 1–8 and aims to foster an appreciation of New Zealand’s place in the economic world and its role as part of the global economy.

    A possible social inquiry model is outlined for the two units of work described.

  • Thinking Globally 2

    This book was developed for teachers of students in years 9-13 and aims to foster an appreciation of New Zealand’s place in the economic world and its role as part of the global economy.

    A possible social inquiry model is outlined for the two units of work described.

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