Michigan's Content Expectations offer the following definition of Social Studies:
Social Studies is the integrated study of the social sciences to prepare young people to become responsible citizens. Responsible citizens display social understanding and civic efficacy. Social understanding includes knowledge of the human condition, how it has changed over time, the variations that occur in different physical environments and cultural settings, and the emerging trends that appear likely to shape the future in an interdependent world. Civic efficacy is the readiness and willingness to assume responsibilities of citizenship, knowing how, when, and where to make informed and reasoned decisions for the public good in a pluralistic, democratic society.
The curriculum units and lessons designed by the Michigan Citizenship Curriculum Collaborative effectively target essential learning and provide teachers with a roadmap to lead students into deep understanding of themselves, their world and their role as citizens.