The National Council for the Social Studies defines social studies as the integrated study of the social sciences and humanities to promote civic competence. Social studies as a discipline derives its content from various sources (Marlow 1996). These are: history, geography, civics, religious education, language, mathematics, natural sciences, music dance and drama, law, economics, psychology and philosophy.
The primary purpose of social studies is to help young people make informed and reasoned decisions for the public good as citizens of a culturally diverse, democratic society in an interdependent world. Social studies provide opportunities for the learner to develop an understanding of the environment and participate effectively in its activities. The learner gets the opportunity to appreciate the changing environment and gain a realization of his or her place, privileges, rights and responsibilities as a citizen.
The knowledge gained exposes the learner to a variety of opinions and lifestyles. The aim of social studies is also to provide the learner with sustainable skills and the ability to face challenges in life. Social studies are essential to understanding the complexity of the world.