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Family Studies Department 314
Family Studies Department
Ms. T. Haber 
Department Head




The Place of Social Sciences and the Humanities Curriculum   
The discipline of social sciences and humanities in the Ontario secondary school curriculum encompasses five subject areas: equity studies, family studies, general social sciences, philosophy, and world religions. Although these subject areas are very different from one another, they all systematically explore the ways in which individuals influence and are influenced by families, communities, cultures, institutions, and societies, and by ideas, norms, and values. The social sciences – represented in this curriculum by courses in equity studies, family studies, and general social sciences – explore individual and collective human behaviour and needs as well as patterns and trends in society. Courses in this area shed light on a variety of social structures, institutions, relationships, and power dynamics.
The humanities – represented in the curriculum by courses in philosophy and world religions explore fundamental questions and ideas about human nature and the human condition. In all five subject areas encompassed by the secondary program in social sciences and humanities, students are exposed to social theories, specialized concepts, and research findings, as well as a range of tools related to investigation and analysis, to help them understand themselves, their families, their communities, and society as they strive to find meaning in the world around them.
Students in social sciences and humanities develop a critical lens through which they can build their awareness of and make decisions with respect to critical issues in our increasingly complex, multifaceted, and diverse society. Study of this discipline helps to build understanding about individuals, families, and diverse groups – what people think, how they live, and how we all interact with one another and the world around us. Knowledge and understanding developed through the study of social sciences and humanities can help inform discussion on critical social, cultural, economic, technological, environmental, and wellness issues, and can provide a strong foundation for vibrant, healthy, and engaged citizenship.
Study in social sciences and humanities requires systematic inquiry: through sustained practice, students develop their planning, processing, problem-solving, and decision-making capabilities, often while exploring issues of deep personal relevance. The essential questions with which students engage in these courses are often thought provoking and open ended, and have no single correct answer. The questions stimulate inquiry, debate, and further questions, and can be re-examined over time. Systematic inquiry in social sciences and humanities can help students analyse problems and determine appropriate actions that they can take as individuals, or that can be taken by families, diverse groups, and even societies in response to complex local or global challenges.  
 Social sciences and humanities courses provide students with essential knowledge and transferable skills that are applicable in various areas of their lives – in their personal and family lives as well as in their postsecondary studies and in the workplace. Individual courses provide students with a foundation for a variety of possible postsecondary destinations: positions in the retail and service industries; college programs in community services (e.g., early childhood education, child and youth work, and developmental services work), creative endeavours (e.g., the fashion industry, fashion design, garment construction, and food preparation), or business (e.g., human resources); and university programs in fields such as anthropology, business studies, education, environmental studies, family and child studies, food and nutrition sciences, gender studies, health sciences, human resources, philosophy, psychology, religious studies, social work, and sociology.
The discipline of social sciences and humanities, and its related knowledge and skills, has connections with many other disciplines taught in secondary school. Through their studies in social sciences and humanities courses, students are able to bring a broader perspective, integrate useful knowledge, and apply critical-thinking skills when studying other subjects such as history, geography, arts, and English.

                                                    Taken from the
Revised 2013  Ontario Ministry of Education Curriculum 9 - 12


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