Social Studies K-12 Mission Statement

Know the past. Engage in the present. Impact the future.

Mission Statement
The interconnected nature and fragility of the world make in-depth, relevant social studies instruction essential. The mission of social studies in Portland Public Schools is to provide all students with academic and authentic learning opportunities that both ignite their passions for learning and also enhance their abilities and motivations to contribute as citizens in their communities—from the school community to the neighborhood, city, state, national, and global communities.

Beliefs About Social Studies Curriculum and Instruction
Grades K-12 social studies curriculum and instruction should be meaningful and all students should achieve high standards of success.

We believe social studies curriculum and instruction are most meaningful when:
  • Students recognize the relevance of their studies to their past, present and future
  • Students understand how history is constructed
  • Students understand how history and social studies strands are interwoven
  • Concepts are taught in depth
  • Essential questions frame and guide instruction
  • Students are taught to think critically
  • Concepts are integrated within and across the curricular areas
  • Curriculum is based on standards
  • Instruction meets the needs of all learners and is guided by best practices and credible research
  • Students feel part of a community of learners
We believe that all students can achieve high standards when:
  • Clear statements for student performance are present
  • Curriculum, instruction, and assessment practices align with standards
  • Essential questions guide curriculum, instruction, and assessment
  • Instructional practices and lesson design support the learning of all students
  • Professional development opportunities are provided to support the implementation of standards and curriculum alignment and the use of best practices and instructional strategies
  • Teacher leadership and initiative are encouraged, recognized, and supported in development and implementation of social studies curriculum and instruction
  • Parents and guardians are included and encouraged to be part of the classroom and school community of learners
  • The public is engaged in the district’s efforts to enhance student achievement
We believe that successful students:
  • Value the importance of being educated in a democratic society
  • Ask questions, seek and analyze information, and make informed decisions
  • Respect diverse views and ideas
  • Apply understanding of historical perspectives
  • Engage as informed and participatory citizenry