National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) Civics & Government Standards


The National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) is a professional organization for educators of "history, civics, geography, economics, political science, sociology, psychology, anthropology, and law-related education." The civics and government standards are available at www.civiced.org and www.educationworld.com.

National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS)
Civics & Government Standards

NSS-C.K-4.1 What Is Government?

"What Is Government and What Should It Do?

What is government?
Where do people in government get the authority to make, apply, and enforce rules and laws to manage disputes about them?
Why is government necessary?
What are some of the most important things governments do?
What are the purposes of rules and laws?
How can you evaluate rules and laws?
What are the differences between limited and unlimited governments?
Why is it important to limit the power of government?"

NSS-C.K-4.2 Values and Principles of Democracy

"What Are the Basic Values and Principles of American Democracy?

What are the most important values and principles of American democracy?
What are some important beliefs Americans have about themselves and their government?
Why is it important for Americans to share certain values, principles, and beliefs?
What are the benefits of diversity in the United States?
How should conflicts about diversity be prevented or managed?
How can people work together to promote the values and principles of American democracy?"

NSS-C.K-4.3 Principles of Democracy

"How Does the Government Established by the Constitution Embody the Purposes, Values, and Principles of American Democracy?

What is the United States Constitution and why is it important?
What does the national government do and how does it protect individual rights and promote the common good?
What are the major responsibilities of state governments?
What are the major responsibilities of local governments?
Who represents you in the legislative and executive branches of your local, state, and national governments?"

NSS-C.K-4.4 Other Nations and World Affairs

"What Is the Relationship of the United States to Other Nations and to World Affairs?

How is the world divided into nations?
How do nations interact with one another?"

NSS-C.K-4.5 Roles of the Citizen

"What Are the Roles of the Citizen in the American Democracy?

What does it mean to be a citizen of the United States?
How does a person become a citizen?
What are the important rights in the United States?
What are important responsibilities of Americans?
What dispositions or traits of character are important to the preservation and improvement of American democracy?
How can Americans participate in their government?
What is the importance of political leadership and public service?
How should America select leaders?"

NSS-C.5-8.1 Civic Life, Politics and Government

"What Are Civic Life, Politics, and Government?

What is civic life? What is politics? What is government? Why are government and politics necessary? What purposes should government serve?
What are the essential characteristics of limited and unlimited government?
What are the nature and purposes of constitutions?
What are alternative ways of organizing constitutional governments?"

NSS-C.5-8.2 Foundations of the Political System

"What Are the Foundations of the American Political System?

What is the American idea of constitutional government?
What are the distinctive characteristics of American society?
What is American political culture?
What values and principles are basic to American constitutional democracy?"

NSS-C.5-8.3 Principles of Democracy

"How Does the Government Established by the Constitution Embody the Purposes, Values, and Principles of American Democracy?

How are power and responsibility distributed, shared, and limited in the government established by the United States Constitution?
What does the national government do?
How are state and local governments organized and what do they do?
Who represents you in local, state, and national governments?
What is the place of law in the American constitutional system?
How does the American political system provide for choice and opportunities for participation?"

NSS-C.5-8.4 Other Nations and World Affairs

"What Is the Relationship of the United States to Other Nations and to World Affairs?

How is the world organized politically?
How has the United States influenced other nations and how have other nations influences American politics and society?"

NSS-C.5-8.5 Roles of the Citizen

"What Are the Roles of the Citizen in American Democracy?

What is citizenship?
What are the rights of citizens?
What are the responsibilities of citizens?
What dispositions or traits of character are important to the preservation and improvement of American constitutional democracy?
How can citizens take part in civic life?"

NSS-C.9-12.1 Civic Life, Politics and Government

"What Are Civic Life, Politics, and Government?

What is civic life? What is politics? What is government? Why are government and politics necessary? What purposes should government serve?
What are the essential characteristics of limited and unlimited government?
What are the nature and purposes of constitutions?
What are alternative ways of organizing constitutional governments?"

NSS-C.9-12.2 Foundations of the Political System

"What Are the Foundations of the American Political System?

What is the American idea of constitutional government?
What are the distinctive characteristics of American society?
What is American political culture?
What values and principles are basic to American constitutional democracy?"

NSS-C.9-12.3 Principles of Democracy

"How Does the Government Established by the Constitution Embody the Purposes, Values, and Principles of American Democracy?

How are power and responsibility distributed, shared, and limited in the government established by the United States Constitution?
How is the national government organized and what does it do?
How are state and local governments organized and what do they do?
What is the place of law in the American constitutional system?
How does the American political system provide for choice and opportunities for participation?"

NSS-C.9-12.4 Other Nations and World Affairs

"What Is the Relationship of the United States to Other Nations and to World Affairs?

How is the world organized politically?
How do the domestic politics and constitutional principles of the United States affect its relations with the world?
How has the United States influenced other nations, and how have other nations influenced American politics and society?"

NSS-C.9-12.5 Roles of the Citizen

"What Are the Roles of the Citizen in American Democracy?

What is citizenship?
What are the rights of citizens?
What are the responsibilities of citizens?
What civic dispositions or traits of private and public character are important to the preservation and improvement of American constitutional democracy?
How can citizens take part in civic life?"




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