Social science is a field that deals with societal institutions, human interactions and relationships, resources and in general how society is structured. This discipline has diverse practical applications and influences the choices that we as humans make in day-to-day life. The main aim of teaching and learning social sciences is to enable young people to become better citizens of a world which is culturally, historically and politically diverse. It nurtures critical thinking among students and teaches them to contribute positively to society. No matter which career a student chooses for himself/herself, knowing social sciences is important to help him/her navigate through the real world.
The curriculum decided by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) for grade 6-8 includes geography, history, anthropology, political science, civics and economics. NCERT books which are the standard teaching material prescribed by CBSE are specially designed in a way that it includes a balanced amalgamation of all the above-mentioned topics. Since social science is a very theoretical and vast discipline, studying this subject for some students might feel daunting and challenging.
However, with little modifications in one’s approach towards the subject and in methods of learning it, social science can be transformed into a very interesting subject.
Here are a few such hacks explaining how to study social science effectively and easily.
Understanding the aim and purpose of studying social science
Any subject which is studied without a clear understanding of its aims and purpose can never be molded into life-long knowledge and wisdom. For each grade, the curriculum is finalised after in-depth research by the experts and all the subjects included carry a specific purpose. Social science has an aim to teach students how society functions and what role an individual can play in the betterment of it. At the beginning of the academic session itself, students should ask their teachers/mentors to explain the motives behind learning this subject. Even during the course of learning social science, they should regularly ask themselves why a particular topic is being studied and in what way it can shape their thought processes and worldview. These introspections will inspire them to take interest in the subject.
Include real-life examples while studying
As already mentioned above, social science is a discipline that is based on all sorts of interactions and happenings of the world we live in. Thus, there are ample real-life examples that can be included in understanding this subject. For example, while discussing different political philosophies, students can couple them with examples from around the world where they were implemented in the past or are being implemented at present. Similarly, while studying topics related to finance and economics, students can enhance their understanding by going through case studies and examples from real-world financial systems. This will not only make the subject much more interesting but will also help in retaining the information lifelong. In the context of this, NCERTs are especially helpful because they are designed exactly based on the model stated above. Though, in addition, students should make use of newspapers and periodical magazines to keep themselves updated regarding practical implementation of the subject.
Use online tools such as documentaries, podcasts, etc.
In this technology-driven era, the ways of gathering information and learning all sorts of things have truly revolutionised. The days of depending only on books and teachers for education are gone. This is the time to couple them with novel mediums of imparting education such as informational documentaries, video explainers, podcasts featuring debates and discussions, etc. Students must make use of such tools available online in addition to their classroom lectures and textbooks. They can take help from their teachers and parents to direct them regarding what all online sources they should refer to. Many schools and teachers also include the aforementioned mediums during lectures as part of the teaching-learning process. Even if this is not the case, students can help in incorporating these innovative methods in activities conducted by educational clubs of their respective schools. The imaginative audio-visual recreation of the subject in these online tools will interestingly present otherwise mundane topics. It is also scientifically proven that graphical representation of textbook information is more effective and long-lasting. Even the students with learning disabilities can show positive responses to these tools.
Incorporate flowcharts, timelines and tables in notes
Extensively using flowcharts, tables and timelines in this subject can help students summarise more information in lesser words, thereby eradicating the fear of a vast syllabus. Important historical dates and events, eminent personalities, core ideas of various theories, important places, etc. can be clubbed in easy-to-understand tables, timelines, etc. Doing a quick revision will also be easier this way. Even during exams, including such graphical representation of facts in answers will fetch better scores as they depict the clarity and organised structure of a student’s understanding of the subject.
Solve previous years’ papers and sample papers before the exam
The ultimate goal of learning a subject is to be able to accurately answer questions based on it. Attempting previous years’ papers and sample papers does exactly the same. It enables students to have a better understanding of what sort of questions can be formed from a given topic. It is only when a student faces questions based on a particular topic, he/she can actually understand their shortcomings and can improve them. From an exam-centric standpoint, it helps them to know what kind of questions to expect in the final exam and thereby, can study various topics accordingly. This exercise is crucially important not only to prepare a subject from an exam-centric perspective but also to improve scores significantly as it improves time management and efficiency in the exam. CBSE Sample Paper 1 for Class 6 Social Science can be accessed easily from the internet.
To summarise, Social Science is a subject of widespread real-life applications. With good knowledge of the subject, one can make better decisions in day-to-day life situations. As a school curriculum subject, this discipline might feel demanding but with the help of some useful tips as mentioned above, it can become manageable and engaging.