James Madison Academic Campus Social Studies Department Definition of Rigorous Instruction:
Background Fluency: Students are expected to have speed and accuracy in acquiring basic social studies related terms studied throughout K-8. Additionally, students are expected to think in terms of “historic time” chronologically. Teachers will construct preparatory assignments, use class time for students to study key terms or periods of time through repetition, and read through key terms or vocabulary associated with the topic of study.
Deep Understanding: Students can thoroughly understand and easily operate within a social studies related concept before advancing on. Students will learn facts, why people make certain decision, and the factors contributing to those in power making decisions. Students are able to use previously learned information to draw conclusions using cause and effect in both their topic of study and throughout different social studies disciplines.
Evaluation and Construction: Students are expected to synthesize content knowledge and historical background information in order to analyze multiple perspectives, form cohesive opinions, and take well-constructed positions on historical, theoretical, and present-day topics. Students are able to compare and contract different views, explain why they support a position, and why someone else may support a different position. They will also be able to demonstrate the relevance of their position across various social studies disciplines and over time.