Basic skills

The basic skills are integrated in the competence aims where they contribute to development of the competence in the subject, while also being part of this competence. In Social studies, basic skills are understood as follows:

Oral skills in Social science involve being able to understand, describe, compare and analyse sources and problems using facts, theories, definitions and technical terms through debates, presentations and in expressing one’s opinion. Oral skills also deal with listening to, evaluating, responding to, developing and communicating input from others. The development of oral skills in Social science begins with learning to listen and expressing one’s opinion in simple oral texts and gradually develops to expressing basic viewpoints and listening to others from a secure professional point of view. Oral skills in Social science are practiced within a process that starts with the ability to back up one’s remarks with references, often based on personal opinions, which develop into relevant themes and specific terminology and using reason with an increasing degree of argumentation, discussion and precise use of professional and academic terminology. An understanding of different viewpoints, the ability to put things in perspective and express disagreements in a reasonable manner while respecting the opinions of others is also a part of oral skills.

Being able to express oneself in writing in Social science involves being able to express oneself, assert one’s ideas and provide the grounds for one’s point of view, and to communicate and share this knowledge in written form. It also involves comparing, discussing and elaborating on causes, effects and interrelationships. Furthermore, it deals with being able to evaluate the value of sources, hypotheses and models and being able to present the result from investigations in social sciences in written form. The ability to evaluate and process own texts is also a part of such skills. Developing writing proficiency in Social science involves gradual training in building simple factual sentences and formulating specific questions, and the ability to repeat and summarise texts and be able to formulate problems and structure discursive text using source references. Practicing critical and varied use of sources to reach substantial conclusions with an increasingly more extensive vocabulary and increasing awareness of social science themes are central parts of the process.

Being able to read in Social studies means exploring, interpreting and reflecting over factual texts to understanding one’s own society and the societies of other peoples and other periods and places. It also involves being able to process and use information from images, films, drawings, diagrams, tables and charts, and searching for information in a purposeful manner using critical assessment, being aware of one’s choices and being able to select and eliminate sources of information. The development of reading proficiency in Social science involves gradually understanding text and visual presentations to interpreting, assessing and developing strategies for the critical acquisition of knowledge. Reading for the purpose of information retrieval and reading source text in a critical manner to find information from simple, suitable sources and to evaluate such information is a very useful skill. The next step is for pupils to train their ability to search for information independently, compare information from different sources and evaluate the information critically as to credibility and purpose.

Numeracy in Social science involves the ability to gather, work with and evaluate figures about topical themes and present these in tables, graphs, figures and diagrams. Numeracy in Social science also deals with the use, comparison, analysis and presentation of statistical figures that illustrate development and variation. The ability to carry out investigations with figures and use basic arithmetic based on social science databases and also interpret figures with a critical eye are central themes in the subject. It also involves using scales, rules, standards etc., reckoning in time and applying math to the use of money and manage personal economy. Mathematical skills will develop gradually so the pupil can learn to uncover and master strategies for counting, classifying, using and presenting data. Furthermore, the ability to summarise, compare and interpret statistical information will be developed along with the ability to analyse and assess data and use it critically. Working with data that illustrates development and variation with the goal of understanding statistical objectives is a central theme of the subject.

Digital skills in Social science involves the ability to use digital resources to explore websites, search for information, practice the use of source criticism and select relevant information about subjects related to the social sciences. These skills also cover the use of digital presentation and collaboration tools to prepare, present and publish multimedia products. Digital skills also involve being able to communicate and cooperate through digital channels about social science themes and comply with the rules and norms for web-based communication, including personal data protection and copyright law. The development of digital skills in the subject of Social science involves learning to use digital tools and digital media to acquire knowledge in the subject and demonstrate one’s competence and one’s ability to improve knowledge in the field. Digital skills in the subject of Social science are learned through a process that begins with the use of digital tools to find and communicate the content of one’s findings. The ability to use varied search strategies will develop further so pupils can make critical choices and express themselves in a professional manner and reflect over ones choices.

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