Social Sciences: The Exigency of a Social World
Written by Rhianna Ghosh Dastidar
Illustrated by Anoushka Damani
Edited by Anvita Tripathi
All over the globe, schools and school-going students have fanned the fire by raising the age-old question: Should Social Sciences be a necessary part of the school curriculum? This argument has admittedly picked up speed, as international education takes a beating due to the COVID-19 crisis. However, what is it that these sciences offer? How essential are they to the life of any student? Should they really be necessary for each and every student to study? Here to take up her side of the debate is Perspectoverse's Rhianna Dastidar.
Society. Relationships. Interaction. These three concepts form the pillars of our involvement with the world around us and are integral to our success and our experiences throughout every minute of our lives.
In relation to that idea, social sciences deal with the human side of the world, as it is created by us, how we perceive it and how we choose to better it. History, Political Science, Anthropology, Psychology, Law, Economics, Geography, Linguistics and Sociology are all categorised under social sciences. They are human-centric as they deal with the stories, values and choices made by the human race. In simple words, they give us a blueprint to work with for every decision we make.
The first and foremost skill that social sciences teach to any student is to think critically and analyse. Technical knowledge is an important asset in our technology and fact-driven world, but as the Internet increases our accessibility to any knowledge that the world possesses, we, as students, need to have the skills to work and navigate through this overload of information. Without an understanding of how to break down a problem, go through it step by step, ask the correct questions and move towards a dynamic solution, no matter how much information is discovered, what to do with it will be nothing more than an unanswered question mark.
Social science also provides an understanding of all human institutions, their value, issues and how to make use out of them. For example, political science informs one about the importance of political decisions and the functioning of the government, law teaches the way laws are framed and how they can be interpreted and geography teaches us about both all our resources and how they can be used or assessed. For a person who becomes an adult shortly after graduating high school, social sciences are the best gateway to “adulting”. This skill is the reason why even students inclined towards careers in fields relating to STEM, need to have some form of social science education- as these skills help one navigate a workplace.
Thirdly, social science gives us an understanding of the cost versus benefit of every decision we take and how to manage time and interests. Any student at the school level is made to hone skills such as time management and prioritisation. Teaching social sciences is just another clever way to institutionalise these much needed virtues. The skills gained are especially necessary in our fast paced world and they are essential to a high school student hoping to build a future for themselves and is perhaps the most practical application of social science, regardless of individual interests or talents.
These sciences also promote empathy and understanding of all cultures and histories, including one's own. To be able to smoothly navigate social situations and build healthy relationships is once again a skill all adults need to contribute in the fullest sense to society. Knowing and understanding one’s own culture and history also provides a sense of belonging and identity to the average student, in a time where perceptions and ideals are the most fluid and the decisions of a lifetime can be shaped up by personality.
Social science is far from only theoretical, it is the most practical of all disciplines in the sense that the knowledge and understanding it provides is applicable to all phases of life.