History & Social Studies

The significance of Studying Social Studies

Social studies is the appreciation and critical analyses of global and local real-world issues.

Social Studies equips students with the ability to understand different perspectives, analyse, negotiate and manage complex situations as they evaluate information, consider different viewpoints and exercise discernment in reaching well-reasoned conclusions and making responsible decisions.

Social studies empowers students to acquire skills required to understand developments within their society and the larger  world as well as bettering their understanding of their roles in shaping the future of the nation.

Source based skills equips students with the ability to interpret and evaluate sources and given information distinguish between fact, opinion and judgement while detecting bias and eventually, draw conclusions based on reasoned consideration of evidence and arguments.

Structured Response skills reinforce student’s ability to analyse societal issues through different perspectives and construct reasoned arguments and make informed judgement and recommendations.

Students will explore contemporary and global issues:

Issue 1: Exploring Citizenship and Governance
  • Attributes shaping citizenship
    • legal status
    • a sense of identity
    • participation in public affairs
  • Competing needs and interests
    • managing trade-offs
  • Functions of government
    • rule making, rule execution and rule adjudication
  • Role of government in working for the good of society
    • maintaining internal order and external security
    • ensuring justice
    • providing goods and services for the public
    • safeguarding interests of citizens
  • Role of citizens in working for the good of society
    • avenues of citizen participation
      • channels of communication between citizens and government
      • individual participation
      • organised groups
    • outcomes of public participation
      • contributing to needs of society
      • influencing government decisions
      • strengthening citizens’ sense of belonging
Issue 2: Living in a Diverse Society
  • Different factors that shape identity and contribute to a diverse society
    • nationality
    • race and ethnicity
    • religion
    • socio-economic status
  • Reasons for movement of people to Singapore
    • immigration policy
    • economic opportunities
    • socio-cultural environment
  • Experiences and effects of living in a diverse society
    • socio-cultural diversity
      • cultural exchange and appreciation
      • prejudice and misconceptions
    • socio-economic diversity
      • exchange and appreciation of ideas, skills and experiences
      • competition for resources
  • Responses in a diverse society
    • management and impact of socio-cultural diversity
      • assimilation
      • integration
    • management and impact of socio-economic diversity
      • market-based approach
      • shared responsibility approach
      • government-financed approach
Issue 3: Being Part of a Globalised World
  • Driving forces of globalisation
    • developments in transportation
    • growth of Multinational Corporations (MNCs)
    • technological advancements
  • Economic impact on countries, companies and individuals
    • economic growth and downturn for countries
    • higher profits/ market share and lower profits / market share for companies
    • higher income/ greater employment opportunities and loss of income and employment for individuals
    • responses to economic impacts
      • cooperation and competition among countries
      • innovation and adaptation by companies
      • acquisition of knowledge and skills by individuals
  • Cultural impact on countries and individuals
    • homogenisation and hybridisation
    • different degrees of acceptance and rejectionbbbbbb
      • entertainment
      • Food
  • Security impact on countries and individuals
    • security and vulnerability
    • management of trade-offs
      • cyber security challenges
      • transnational terrorism


The significance of studying History

History is not the passive memorisation of dates, places, events and dead people. History serves as a bridge to appreciating the interconnectedness of the world we live in today.

The study of History helps students gain a deeper  understanding of the past events which come to shape the world today and the ability to critically examine how the past has shaped, and continues to shape, relationships between societies, nations and people.

History education in Singapore seeks to develop in students a critical appreciation of past human experiences and connections between the past and present.

Studying History acquaint students with an understanding of how the past has been interpreted, represented and accorded significance for different reasons and purposes while developing an inquisitive mind in students to probe and ask relevant questions about the past and examine a range of sources critically in their historical context to reach substantiated judgements about the past. Thus, sharpening students’ ability to hone the ability to construct their own interpretations of the past, and put forth cohesive and well-substantiated arguments based on evidence.

Students will explore contemporary and global issues:

Elective + core History
The World in Crisis

Enquiry Question: What forces and developments changed Europe and the Asia–Pacific in the first half of the 20th century?

●     Impact of World War I

○     Peace Settlement

■     Aims and the terms of the Treaty of Versailles and its immediate impact on Germany

○     Attempts at collective security by the League of Nations

■     Successes and failuresof the League of Nations in the 1920s and 1930s

●     Rise of authoritarian regimes and its impact in the interwar years

○     *Case study of Communist Russia

○     *Case study of Nazi Germany

●      World War II in Europe and the Asia–Pacific

○     Reasons for outbreak of WWII in Europe

○     Reasons for outbreak of WWII in the Asia–Pacific

○     Reasons for the defeat of Germany

○     Reasons for the defeat of Japan

Bi-Polarity and the Cold War

Enquiry Question: How did the Cold War impact the world order in the post-1945 years?

●     Cold War and the bi-polar world order

○     Reasons for the Cold War in Europe

●     Manifestation of the Cold War outside Europe

○     *Case study of Korean War, 1950–53

○     *Case study of Cuban Missile Crisis, 1962

●     Reasons for the end of the Cold War

Core History syllabus 2174
European Dominance and Expansion in the late 19th century

Enquiry Question: How were systems and societies transformed by colonialism?

●     Extension of colonial rule and its impact on Southeast Asia since 1870s

○     *Case study of Malaya, 1874–c.1900 Establishment of British colonial rule in Malaya

○      Case study of Vietnam, 1870s–c.1900 Establishment of French colonial rule in Vietnam

○     Case study of Indonesia, 1870s–c.1900 Establishment of Dutch colonial rule in Indonesia

Decolonisation and Emergence of Nation States

Enquiry Question: Was the attainment of independence in colonies shaped by the decline of Europe and Cold War politics?

●     Decolonisation and emergence of nation-states in Southeast Asia

○     Struggles for independence in Southeast Asian states in the post-World War II period

■     Impact of World War II on decolonisation

■     Impact of the Cold War on decolonisation

■     Responses of the locals

●     *Case study of Malaya

●     *Case study of Vietnam

●     *Case Study of Indonesia