The Social Studies faculty sees its work as central to North Shore Country Day School’s mission to develop self-confident, ethical citizens of the world who think critically, communicate effectively, and embody our motto, “Live and Serve.” Our disciplines—and the skills they call for—prepare students for the demands of the world in which they will live. Throughout a course of study emphasizing history, geography, economics, and contemporary social issues, we encourage our students to:
Develop self-reliance and set lofty goals. We expect our students to take ownership of their intellectual growth, to engage in honest reflection, and to seek to understand their own identities as well as the roles that cultural norms, historical events, and political realities have played in shaping them. It is by knowing themselves as learners that students can achieve the goals that they set. Fundamental to these aims is the cultivation of an environment where it is safe to take risks, an environment where the highest values are placed on kindness, resilience, and respect.
Think beyond themselves. Exposing students to a variety of historical, literary, and artistic voices fosters empathy and develops an appreciation for the unity and diversity of the human experience. As students begin to make connections between the social, political, economic, and cultural movements that have shaped the modern world, we challenge them to move beyond simply asking “What happened?” and instead pose questions that facilitate dialogue and discovery—questions like “Why,” “What evidence can I find to corroborate or refute my claims,” and “What do you think?” To do this effectively, they need to be able to view the world from many perspectives, listen deeply, and recognize point-of-view in the sources they seek out and the media they consume.
Become lifelong learners. As students move through the curriculum, we systematically build critical thinking, creative problem solving, and research skills to help them develop ideas and arguments as well as to write and speak clearly and concisely. For these skills to take root, learning must be exciting and immersive. Across the curriculum and in our co-curricular clubs, we incorporate simulations, collaborative projects, service learning and experiential opportunities that bring content to life in a way that not only broadens student understanding, but deepens it. In turn, our students develop a passion for the Social Studies that extends well beyond their years at North Shore.
Build strong and lasting relationships. At the core of all we do are the relationships forged between students and teachers, which allow for a genuine partnership in pursuit of the knowledge, skills, and understandings that will empower students to effect positive change in the world.