The digital age has transformed social studies education, allowing 21st-century learners to transcend the limits of time and place and experience historic events virtually. By expanding their learning networks through online collaboration with experts and other students from around the world, New Jersey social studies students develop an increased depth of understanding of our global society. At the same time, their understanding of the fundamental principles and values of American democracy and citizenship provides the conceptual framework that allows them to make informed decisions about local, national, and international issues and challenges.

Social studies education provides learners with the knowledge, skills, and perspectives needed to become active, informed citizens and contributing members of local, state, national, and global communities in the digital age.


  • Is civic minded, globally aware, and socially responsible.
  • Exemplifies fundamental values of American citizenship through active participation in local and global communities.
  • Makes informed decisions about local, state, national, and global events based on inquiry and analysis.
  • Considers multiple perspectives, values diversity, and promotes cultural understanding.
  • Recognizes the implications of an interconnected global economy.
  • Appreciates the global dynamics between people, places, and resources.
  • Utilizes emerging technologies to communicate and collaborate on career and personal matters with citizens of other world regions.

The challenges of the 21st century are complex, have global implications, and are connected to people, places, and events of the past. The study of social studies focuses on deep understanding of concepts that enable students to think critically and systematically about local, regional, national, and global issues.

Authentic learning experiences that enable students to apply content knowledge, develop citizenship skills, and collaborate with students from around the world prepare New Jersey students for the 21st-century workplace. The natural integration of technology in social studies education allows students to overcome geographic borders, apply scientific and mathematical analysis to historical questions and contemporary issues, appreciate cultural diversity, and experience events through the examination of primary sources.

Elementary Schools (K-4)


  • Currently there is no K Social Studies Curriculum as K was using Creative Curriculum in all content areas. Now that this has changed, a K SS Curriculum Guide will need to be written and new instructional materials will need to be selected and purchased.
  • Currently, Grades 1-4 each have 1 unit of study (8 weeks worth of content) in Social Studies because SS was only taught in MP 1 in these grade levels
  • The supervisor and curriculum writers may opt to either (1) add 3 units of study to each existing grade level unit or (2) completely rewrite these guides altogether.

Secondary Schools (5-12)

In Grades 5 - 12, each grade level Social Studies curriculum guide is divided into four chronologically-driven units of study that examine a particular time period in America and/or the World. The specific culture, history, geography, economics and government of the selected time period are carefully examined and analyzed. All of these courses integrate a variety of materials such as media, technology, role-playing, and meaningful literature, as well as a range of teaching methods. In addition, students will be exposed to a plethora of primary resources to develop their critical thinking skills. Differentiated instruction, technology driven lessons, and a combination of individual and group work will prepare students to become successful members of their ever-changing community and country. All of these comprehensive curriculum guides meet the requirements of the New Jersey Student Learning Standards for Social Studies, along with the NJDOE Career Ready Practice standards for 21st Century Life and Careers.