The inclusion of Social Studies in early childhood environments is important in order to nurture children’s understanding of themselves and others. Social Studies includes basic skills and competencies that set the foundation for learning about concepts of social science.
At a young age, children begin to develop their social identity and think about their place in the social world. As children grow, they develop an increased awareness of their personal histories and heritage, and a sense of time and place. Through everyday interactions with children and adults, they develop an appreciation for rights and responsibility within a group, and how social rules help people in promoting safety and fairness. (Arizona Department of Education, Early Learning Standards, 4th ed., May 2018)
As you walk through Valley View classrooms, you will see some type of "Classroom Agreement" on the walls created and written by students. These agreements are classrooms norms that are agreed upon by the class with guidance from the teacher. This is the first step of learning about rights and responsibilities in preschool. Once the agreement has been made, children feel like they have ownership of the classroom and responsibility to the whole group. It also gives them freedom in knowing what is expected of them and what they can safely do in their classrooms. Children also are guided through a study about themselves with self-portraits and discussions and drawings about their families. All families are accepted and celebrated at Valley View. We believe that a family is a family whatever the circumstance. Outside of themselves, their families and their classrooms, children also study their community. Perhaps a question about a desert animal will surface or a discussion about fire trucks. When these topics arise, the teacher will take the opportunity to provide students with what they need to investigate their questions and their interests through materials, books and community experts.