The customary Indian culture has been portrayed as a shut framework in view of the strength of position and religious components. The conjunction of these elements worked in the general public in a manner that a framework created which forced sentimental division of work, inflexible guidelines of progressively organized credited statuses, religious and urban disabilities and benefits, confinements on social cooperation, and on the decision of occupation.

Social Studies Requirements

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The Board of Education’s upcoming proposal to weaken social studies requirements for Hawaii’s high school students poses serious threats not only to students but to our society in Hawaii—and (since our national democracy works not only as individual states but also as a whole) to the country as well.

Hawai`ians decided some years ago that “Education must do no less than advance the endowment of human culture itself, so that each succeeding generation finds itself further along the road towards peace, social justice, and environmental sustainability in a society guided by creativity, compassion, and curiosity,” as stated in Act 51, SB3238, SD2, HD2, CD.

The current social studies requirements support this laudable, difficult, and complex goal with a mandatory course in “Participation in Democracy” (usually called “civics” by other states) and additional courses in other areas of social studies, including required national and state history, and electives in economics, psychology, ethics and other areas of philosophy, women’s studies, geography, psychology, etc.

Such courses teach more than their content information. They also teach skills that are crucial for successful functioning in the 21st century—critical thinking, empathy, how to become engaged with our/ their society. Teaching them in public high schools helps ensure that everyone benefits by living in a culture with an engaged citizenry.

Engagement with their society has been shown to help keep young people from drugs, from crime, from despair—all of which have catastrophic effects on them as individuals, on their families and friends, and on society as a whole.

It is hard to feel engaged when we don’t understand what we witness and experience. It is hard to feel engaged and optimistic when we don’t know how to effect change in our society through our government.

 

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