Lesson 3, Topic 1
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Scope | Dimensions of Social Studies

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Social Studies is a “Social Science” subject, which teaches the way of life of man in his physical and social environment. It also entails how man uses science and technology, to control and make his environment suitable to live in.

It cuts across many subjects or disciplines. There are elements of Geography, History, Government or Civic education, Sociology, Religion, Anthropology, Psychology, and others.

Social Studies has integrated various disciplines to study man, in his physical and social environments. It is regarded as an inter-disciplinary approach to knowledge.

Social Studies considers man in three dimensions namely:

1. Social Environment.

2. Physical Environment.

3. Scientific and Technological Environment.

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The “Dimensions of Social Studies” diagram above, shows that everything about Social Studies revolves around man.

1. Social Environment:

This refers to the daily relationships and interactions between individuals in an environment. These relationships influence their way of life, including the language they speak, their mode of dressing, the food they eat, etc. Social environment also includes the places individuals interact, like markets, churches, schools, clubs, etc.

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2. Physical Environment:

This includes all that man can feel and see in his environment, which includes mountains, grassland, valleys, rivers, land, cars, buildings, lakes, etc. The physical environment can be divided into Natural Environment and Artificial Environment.

A. Natural Environment: Natural environment means all living and non-living things occurring naturally, provided by God or nature. These include vegetation, microorganisms, forests, trees, plateaux, hills, deserts, soil, rocks, atmosphere, and natural events, that is, rainfall, snow, harmattan, etc.

Example of a Natural environment – Forest.

B. Man-made/Artificial Environment: These are things that have been modified by humans according to their needs. They include houses, roads, bridges, factories, hospitals, etc.

Example of a Man-made environment – Building.

3. Science and Technology:

Man applies science and technology in an attempt to control, modify and exploit his environment.

Science is all about finding out things through observation and experiment.

Technology is the application of scientific knowledge for practical purposes.

Through science and technology, man has created many great inventions like cars, ships, airplanes, the internet, mobile phones, and many more. Technology is used by man to cultivate land for food, tap into natural resources, communicate, and explore the natural environment.

JSCE 2018 Social Studies Past Question

JSCE 2017 Social Studies Past Question