Social Studies Education

Welcome to the Social Studies Education program

Social studies is a capacious and interdisciplinary field focusing, at the broadest level, on the study of social relationships and society.  As a school subject, social studies is charged with developing an engaged and knowledgeable citizenry equipped to approach contemporary issues - from local to transnational - in a critically attuned, historically informed, justice-oriented, and compassionate manner. 

The program in Social Studies Education at Teachers College, Columbia University centers social studies as both scholarly inquiry and informed practice. The program prepares social studies educators and researchers with critical and interconnected understandings of the social world, who draw from multiple social science and humanities fields to inform their practice and inquiry. 

The program embraces the concept of “critical social studies,” with particular emphasis on grappling with questions of equity and social justice, and exploring the potential for resonance between this school subject and the lives of diverse young people. We ask questions about where knowledge comes from and how power shapes what knowledges about the social world are valued and made visible for inquiry.  We promote approaches to education that critically analyze existing power structures, inequities, and injustices.  This approach to social studies provides students with the knowledge and skills to act civically, to counter injustice, and take action towards a more equitable world.



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