The discipline of social sciences and humanities in the Ontario secondary school curriculum encompasses five subject areas: equity studies, family studies, general social sciences, philosophy, and world religions. Although these subject areas are very different from one another, they all systematically explore the ways in which individuals influence and are influenced by families, communities, cultures, institutions, and societies, and by ideas, norms, and values.
In social sciences and humanities, students are exposed to social theories, specialized concepts, and research findings, as well as a range of tools related to investigation and analysis, to help them understand themselves, their families, their communities, and society as they strive to find meaning in the world around them. Students in social sciences and humanities develop a critical lens through which they can build their awareness of and make decisions with respect to critical issues in our increasingly complex, multifaceted, and diverse society. Knowledge and understanding developed through the study of social sciences and humanities can help inform discussion on critical social, cultural, economic, technological, environmental, and wellness issues, and can provide a strong foundation for vibrant, healthy, and engaged citizenship.
Study in social sciences and humanities requires systematic inquiry: through sustained practice, students develop their planning, processing, problem-solving, and decision-making capabilities, often while exploring issues of deep personal relevance. Systematic inquiry in social sciences and humanities can help students analyze problems and determine appropriate actions that they can take as individuals, or that can be taken by families, diverse groups, and even societies in response to complex local or global challenges.
-The Ontario Curriculum, Social Sciences and Humanities