The purpose of the social studies subject is to help create understanding and belief in fundamental human rights, democratic values and equality, and to encourage the idea of active citizenship and democratic participation. The subject shall stimulate the development of knowledge on cultural diversity in the world in the past and the present, and an understanding of the relation between nature and man-made environments. The subject shall also help pupils to develop awareness that mankind is part of a historical context, and that a long chain of historical events has led us to become what we are today. This shall give the individual insight into on how society in general influences attitudes, knowledge and actions and how the individual can influence society and his or her own life situation.
The teaching in social studies shall focus on natural and man-made conditions on earth. Work in the subject shall stimulate discussions on the relation between production and consumption and evaluations of the consequences that resource use and living one's life have on the environment and sustainable development. The social studies subject shall develop knowledge on working life and economics. Knowledge on the situation for indigenous peoples, minority peoples in the world in general and the Sami people in particular, is also part of the subject. The social studies subject shall help pupils to understand the value of technology and entrepreneurship. The subject shall also give an insight into the political system in Norway and in the international community and make the individual aware that politics is a matter of conflict and collaboration.
People interact through language and forms of expression that are characteristic of the culture they are growing into. As a reflecting individual, each one of us can shape ourselves as a person. As a political individual, a person can influence his or her surroundings. As a moral individual, a person is responsible for the consequences of his or her actions.
The social studies subject shall thus provide deeper understanding of the relationship between social life and personal life, and stimulate recognition of the diversity in social forms and ways of living. Bearing this in mind, the subject shall provide pupils with a greater ability to think freely, from many perspectives, in a critical and tolerant way. By influencing the desire to seek knowledge about society and culture, the subject will also promote the ability to discuss, reason and solve social problems. By sparking the pupils' curiosity and stimulating their sense of wonder and their creative activities, the subject will also help them understand themselves better, master their own world and motivate them to seek new insights and pursue lifelong learning.
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