Secondary Social Studies

The social studies include history and the social sciences. Economics, political science, civics, law, anthropology, geography, psychology, and sociology comprise the social sciences. The social studies are a core component in students' education. At the elementary level, social studies is presented thematically (rather than as disciplines) with content selected to advance the student conceptually through so-called "expanding horizons" (self, family, community, state, nation, etc.). The secondary level curriculum is organized by disciplines, although recently adopted Idaho State Standards impose a paradigm in which cross-disciplinary strands are infused in all required coursework. Secondary students must complete seven semester credits of required social studies coursework for graduation. Additionally, social studies students may select from a broad range of electives, including the District's most numerous offerings in Advanced Placement courses. Several of our electives also satisfy the state's humanities requirement.

Whether mapping the Oregon Trail in the Fourth Grade or charting the new frontiers of economic theory in the Twelfth Grade, coursework and instruction in the social studies seek to enlarge students' cultural literacy while sustaining their curiosity and strengthening their capacity for independent thought. As key elements in students' liberal, civic education, these courses are designed to encourage students to:

  • think analytically and coherently

  • express themselves effectively, both orally and in writing

  • read with a critical eye

  • appreciate the elegance of a clear argument, or a well-turned phrase

  • explore, enjoy, and embrace aesthetic considerations

  • stand by conclusions that have been reached in a thoughtful way

  • see issues in their broader contexts

  • realize that a certain amount of ambiguity is inevitable in most things

  • apply their talents and education from an ethical base with courage, discipline, creativity, and enthusiasm

The social studies office promotes and supports programs sponsored by the Law Related Education Program of the Idaho Law Foundation, the Idaho Humanities Council, the Idaho Council on Economic Education, the Human Rights Education Center, the Idaho Council for History Education, the Idaho Human Rights Center, the Bown House Committee and many other community-based organizations whose missions are congruent with the goals of social studies education.



Junior High




Senior High



Educational Services

8169 W. Victory Road

Boise, Idaho 83709

PHONE ~ (208) 854-4106

FAX ~ (208) 854-4012

Supervisor: Chris Taylor


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