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RULE §113.47Special Topics in Social Studies (One-Half Credit), Beginning with School Year 2011-2012

(a) General requirements. Students shall be awarded one-half unit of credit for successful completion of this course. Students may take this course with different course content for a maximum of two credits.

(b) Introduction.

  (1) In Special Topics in Social Studies, an elective course, students are provided the opportunity to develop a greater understanding of the historic, political, economic, geographic, multicultural, and social forces that have shaped their lives and the world in which they live. Students will use social science knowledge and skills to engage in rational and logical analysis of complex problems using a variety of approaches, while recognizing and appreciating diverse human perspectives.

  (2) Statements that contain the word "including" reference content that must be mastered, while those containing the phrase "such as" are intended as possible illustrative examples.

  (3) Students understand that a constitutional republic is a representative form of government whose representatives derive their authority from the consent of the governed, serve for an established tenure, and are sworn to uphold the constitution.

  (4) State and federal laws mandate a variety of celebrations and observances, including Celebrate Freedom Week.

    (A) Each social studies class shall include, during Celebrate Freedom Week as provided under the Texas Education Code, §29.907, or during another full school week as determined by the board of trustees of a school district, appropriate instruction concerning the intent, meaning, and importance of the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution, including the Bill of Rights, in their historical contexts. The study of the Declaration of Independence must include the study of the relationship of the ideas expressed in that document to subsequent American history, including the relationship of its ideas to the rich diversity of our people as a nation of immigrants, the American Revolution, the formulation of the U.S. Constitution, and the abolitionist movement, which led to the Emancipation Proclamation and the women's suffrage movement.

    (B) Each school district shall require that, during Celebrate Freedom Week or other week of instruction prescribed under subparagraph (A) of this paragraph, students in Grades 3-12 study and recite the following text: "We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness--That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed."

  (5) Students identify and discuss how the actions of U.S. citizens and the local, state, and federal governments have either met or failed to meet the ideals espoused in the founding documents.

(c) Knowledge and skills.

  (1) Social studies skills. The student uses problem-solving and decision-making skills, working independently and with others, in a variety of settings. The student is expected to:

    (A) apply social studies methodologies encompassing a variety of research and analytical tools to explore questions or issues thoroughly and fairly to include multiple perspectives;

    (B) evaluate effects of major political, economic, and social conditions on a selected social studies topic;

    (C) appraise a geographic perspective that considers physical and cultural processes as they affect the selected topic;

    (D) examine the role of diverse communities in the context of the selected topic;

    (E) analyze ethical issues raised by the selected topic in historic, cultural, and social contexts;

    (F) depending on the topic, use a problem-solving process to identify a problem, gather information, list and consider options, consider advantages and disadvantages, choose and implement a solution, and evaluate the effectiveness of the solution; and

    (G) depending on the topic, use a decision-making process to identify a situation that requires a decision, gather information, identify options, predict consequences, and take action to implement a decision.

  (2) Social studies skills. The student applies critical-thinking skills to organize and use information acquired from a variety of valid sources, including electronic technology. The student is expected to:

    (A) locate, analyze, organize, synthesize, evaluate, and apply information about the selected topic, identifying, describing, and evaluating multiple points of view;

    (B) differentiate between valid primary and secondary sources and use them appropriately to conduct research and construct arguments;

    (C) read narrative texts critically and identify points of view from the historical context surrounding an event and the frame of reference that influenced the participants;

    (D) analyze information by sequencing, categorizing, identifying cause-and-effect relationships, comparing, contrasting, finding the main idea, summarizing, making generalizations and predictions, and drawing inferences and conclusions;

    (E) collect visual images (photographs, paintings, political cartoons, and other media) to enhance understanding and appreciation of multiple perspectives in a social studies topic;

    (F) identify bias in written, oral, and visual material;

    (G) evaluate the validity of a source based on language, corroboration with other sources, and information about the author; and

    (H) use appropriate mathematical skills to interpret social studies information such as maps and graphs.

  (3) Social studies skills. The student creates written, oral, and visual presentations of social studies information. The student is expected to:

    (A) apply the conventions of usage and mechanics of written English;

    (B) use social studies terminology correctly;

    (C) use appropriate oral communication techniques;

    (D) construct a thesis that is supported by evidence;

    (E) recognize and evaluate counter arguments;

    (F) use visual images (photographs, paintings, and other media) to facilitate understanding and appreciation of multiple perspectives in a social studies topic;

    (G) develop a bibliography with ideas and information attributed to source materials and authors using accepted social science formats such as Modern Language Association Style Manual (MLA) and Chicago Manual of Style (CMS) to document sources and format written materials; and

    (H) use computer software to create written, graphic, or visual products from collected data.

Source Note: The provisions of this §113.47 adopted to be effective August 23, 2010, 35 TexReg 7232

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