Illinois Learning Standards

Stage J - Social Science



Descriptors



14A —

Students who meet the standard can understand and explain basic principles of the United States government.
  1. Describe how changing interpretations of the powers and limitations of our Constitution have affected rights and responsibilities of groups and individuals.
  2. Evaluate the relationship that can exist between local, state, and national governments concerning majority rule and minority rights.
  3. Describe contemporary controversies regarding the principle of federalism and states rights.
  4. Analyze the fundamental principles of our political system that often come into conflict (e.g., rule of law, liberty and equality, individual rights and the common good, separation of powers, majority rule and minority rights).
  5. Evaluate how fundamental political principles (e.g., separation of powers, checks and balances, individual rights, and federalism) led to the development of democratic government in the United States and Illinois.
  6. Evaluate the equity of forms of taxation.
  7. Analyze significant U.S. Supreme Court decisions that address equal protection and due process issues.

14B —

Students who meet the standard can understand the structures and functions of the political systems of Illinois, the United States, and other nations.
  1. Compare the government under the Articles of Confederation and contemporary confederated governments and organizations (e.g., the United Nations, Organization of American States, Organization of African States, and the European Union).
  2. Compare and contrast the constitutional democracy of the United States with those of similar governments (e.g., United Kingdom, Japan, Australia).
  3. Hypothesize about the changes that may occur within representative democracies in an increasingly diverse ethnic population.
  4. Critique how different forms of political systems throughout the world have tended to protect or violate basic human rights of people.
  5. Evaluate how cultural beliefs affect citizenship.

14C —

Students who meet the standard can understand election processes and responsibilities of citizens.
  1. Explain the voter registration process.
  2. Describe how the right to vote has changed for individuals and groups in the State of Illinois.
  3. Critique the advantages and disadvantages of maintaining the electoral college system for the election of the President of the United States.
  4. Analyze the political campaign commercials in terms of the tactics politicians, political parties, and political interest groups use to appeal to voters.
  5. Evaluate the consequences of participation and non-participation in the electoral process (e.g., women's suffrage, voter registration, effects of media).
  6. Evaluate the impact of propaganda on the role of decision-making within the political process.
  7. Predict how technology will impact our present electoral process (e.g., voting over the Internet to increase voter participation).
  8. Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the election process within a specific level of government, and suggest changes that will improve that system.

14D  —

Students who meet the standard can understand the roles and influences of individuals and interest groups in the political systems of Illinois, the United States, and other nations.
  1. Evaluate a public policy issue in terms of the costs and benefits from the perspective of different political and public interest groups.
  2. Critique the impact of changing technology (e.g., the Internet) on civic activity and the understanding of public policy issues.
  3. Evaluate the impact of individual and group lobbying upon legislative decision-making.
  4. Explain the impact of a third party candidate or issue that had the effect of reforming an existing major political party.
  5. Trace the historical evolution of an association or political party that was created to affect a local, state, or national issue (e.g., Populist Party, Sierra Club, a temperance society).
  6. Analyze the platform of a political candidate or party.
  7. Summarize how past and present American political parties have gained or lost influence on political decision-making and voting behavior.

14E —

Students who meet the standard can understand United States foreign policy as it relates to other nations and international issues.
  1. Analyze the effectiveness of U.S. foreign policy within an historical or contemporary context.
  2. Evaluate the actions of the United States government in the acquisition of territories and the growth of American influence over other nations.
  3. Evaluate the costs and benefits of the United States government in maintaining relationships with international organizations (e.g., the United Nations, NATO).
  4. Explain the influence of contemporary international organizations on world affairs.
  5. Compare how different political systems in other countries define and protect human rights.
  6. Analyze patterns of conflict and compromise related to international affairs (e.g., examples of nations that have fought wars or settled disagreements through treaties over such matters as disputed borders and the resources and land along such lines of conflict).

14F —

Students who meet the standard can understand the development of United States political ideas and traditions.
  1. Describe the ideological origins of representative democracy within the cultural traditions of ancient Greece and Rome.
  2. Analyze the historical evolution of a political tradition and how it was transformed by varying geographical, economic, technological, and social forces (e.g., political caucus, voting patterns for political parties within different regions of the United States).
  3. Assess the advantages and disadvantages of the establishment of a free press.
  4. Describe the impact of the Northwest Ordinance of 1787 on the political development of the United States, the Midwest, and specifically Illinois.
  5. Evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of negative rights (inherent rights that the government cannot take away) and positive rights (a right provided by the government) (e.g., Congress cannot make a law that denies freedom of religion; the right to vote extended to women).
  6. Analyze examples of the success or failure of individuals or groups to influence change or maintain continuity within a political party or government system.
  7. Evaluate how changing geographical, economic, technological, and social forces affect United States political ideas and traditions (e.g., freedom, equality and justice, individual rights).

15A —

Students who meet the standard understand economic systems, with an emphasis on the United States.
  1. Identify the factors contributing to real economic growth in a nation (e.g., investments in human/physical capital, research and development, technological change).
  2. Identify the factors that limit a nation's potential level of GDP.
  3. Explain the costs and benefits to individuals and society of investments in physical and human capital.
  4. Analyze the benefits and costs of economic growth.
  5. Define each type of unemployment (frictional, structural, seasonal, and cyclical).
  6. Explain why structural and cyclical unemployment are more serious for the economy than seasonal or frictional unemployment.
  7. Formulate and defend public policy that might address structural or cyclical unemployment.
  8. Analyze the impact of unemployment on a given geographic region (e.g., state, county, city).
  9. Utilize the consumer price index (CPI) to identify periods of inflation and deflation over various periods of U.S. history.
  10. Evaluate economic policies by how successfully they curb unemployment, keep economic costs to a minimum, and keep prices stable.

15B —

Students who meet the standard understand that scarcity necessitates choices by consumers.
  1. Identify the non-price determinants of demand and predict the change in demand and market price for a product when any of those determinants change.
  2. Predict how a change in interest rates will affect an individual's decisions to borrow and/or save.
  3. Identify the current rates of interest on different kinds of savings instruments and explain why they vary.
  4. Identify complementary products and explain how a change in the price of one complement affects the demand for the other.
  5. Identify substitute products and explain how a change in the price of a substitute affects the demand for the other product.

15C —

Students who meet the standard understand that scarcity necessitates choices by producers.
  1. Describe the characteristics that distinguish perfect competition, monopolistic competition, oligopoly, and monopoly.
  2. Analyze the impact on consumers of reduced competition in an industry.
  3. Predict the change in supply of a product and the market price for the product when non-price determinants of supply change.
  4. Cite examples of government intervention in the marketplace and analyze the impact of that intervention on consumers and producers.
  5. Evaluate the importance of private ownership of productive resources in a market economy.
  6. Identify examples of negative and positive externalities that result from the production or consumption of a product.
  7. Analyze the effects of competition on the price, quality, and quantity produced of a good.

15D —

Students who meet the standard understand trade as an exchange of goods or services.
  1. Define transaction costs and provide examples.
  2. Explain why reducing transaction costs encourages exchange.
  3. Analyze the impact of United States imposed trade barriers on U.S. citizens and on the citizens of trading partners.
  4. Explain the impact on United States consumers and producers when imports are restricted by public policies such as quotas and tariffs.
  5. Assess how economic growth is a factor in alleviating poverty and raising standards of living.
  6. Analyze how technological advances allow societies to produce more goods and services with the resources available.
  7. Explain the relationship among higher productivity levels, new technologies, and the standard of living.

15E —

Students who meet the standard understand the impact of government policies and decisions on production and consumption in the economy.
  1. Identify government policies that are designed to directly redistribute income, and explain why such policies exist.
  2. Identify government policies that affect price or output levels for various goods and services, and explain how those policies might indirectly redistribute income.
  3. Evaluate which groups in the economy benefit from, and which groups bear the costs of, government policies that redistribute income.
  4. Analyze the impact of increasing or decreasing federal spending and/or reducing or increasing taxes on: employment, output, price level, and interest rates in the short run.
  5. Identify historical examples of fiscal policies, and analyze whether these policies were adopted to influence levels of output, employment, prices, or all three.
  6. Explain the causes of inflation.
  7. Explain how the tools of monetary policy work to impact money supply and/or interest rates.
  8. Analyze how changes in the money supply can influence overall levels of spending, employment, and prices in the economy.
  9. Analyze the impact on the availability and cost of consumer loans when monetary policy decisions either increase or decrease the money supply.

16A —

Students who meet the standard can apply the skills of historical analysis and interpretation.
  1. Identify any patterns or differences that emerge in political, economic, environmental, and social history after comparing the events and historical processes identified on the periodization charts of two civilizations.
  2. Identify any patterns or differences that emerge in political, economic, environmental, and social history after comparing the events and historical processes between one period and another in the same civilization.
  3. Assess the effects that unexpected events had on the long-term trends of a given period.
  4. Identify the characteristics of the Whig, Positivist, Marxist, and Post-colonial interpretations of history.

16B —

Students who meet the standard understand the development of significant political events.
  1. Assess the significance of a watershed event in United States political history. (US)
  2. Compare/contrast the initial philosophy of a political institution or group with its later and/or contemporary philosophy. (US)
  3. Describe examples of continuity and change in political institutions at the local, state, and national levels. (US)
  4. Analyze the changing roles of political offices and institutions in United States history. (US)
  5. Assess how political ideology influences the political perspective of contemporary politicians or groups. (US)
  6. Analyze how changes in the economy, environment, and social structure have influenced the current political structure of the United States. (US)
  7. Assess the significance of a watershed event in World political history. (W)
  8. Assess the contribution of a significant individual to worldwide political thought. (W)
  9. Compare/contrast episodes of cooperation and conflict among proponents of opposing political ideologies. (W)
  10. Explain the relationships among economic, social, and environmental factors and effects on a world political event. (W)
  11. Evaluate the impact of global interdependence in addressing a contemporary political issue (e.g., terrorism, human rights). (W)

16C —

Students who meet the standard understand the development of economic systems.
  1. Assess the significance of a watershed event in United States economic history (e.g., gold standard, minimum wage legislation, NAFTA). (US)
  2. Describe the trends in the history of United States "bellwether industries" (e.g., agriculture, steel, housing) using charts, graphs, and other sources. (US)
  3. Describe the development over time of the relationship between the national economy and the global economy since World War II. (US)
  4. Describe the influence of economic interest groups on the direction of the national economy since World War II. (US)
  5. Analyze how trends in the economic history of the United States have affected the country's political, social, and environmental history. (US)
  6. Assess the role of the Federal Government in shaping the United States economic system. (US)
  7. Assess the significance of a watershed event in World economic history. (W)
  8. Describe the growth and development of industrial capitalism as the dominant economic model of the world. (W)
  9. Trace the historical forces of continuity and change in the development of the contemporary global economic system. (W)
  10. Predict the consequences of economic interdependence in the world's economic system, using a contemporary example. (W)
  11. Evaluate the benefits and drawbacks of economic interdependence. (W)
  12. Analyze the impact of a contemporary world economic issue on the United States (e.g., its political, social, and environmental consequences). (W)

16D —

Students who meet the standard understand Illinois, United States, and world social history.
  1. Assess the significance of a watershed event in United States social history. (US)
  2. Identify the historical forces of continuity and change that affected the development of social institutions over time. (US)
  3. Assess the impact of social movements on the social, political, and economic institutions and cultures of the United States. (US)
  4. Analyze the origins and development of the social issues that affect United States citizens as members of a global society. (US)
  5. Evaluate recent government policies and social attitudes of interest groups affecting the further development of a pluralistic society in the United States since the 1960’s. (US)
  6. Assess the significance of a watershed event in World social history. (W)
  7. Assess the affects of changing technology since 1945 (e.g., atomic power, mass communications, means of production) on the course of world social history. (W)
  8. Evaluate the social consequences resulting from the expanding zone of human interaction over time. (W)
  9. Identify examples of cultural diffusion occurring within the societies around the world using a contemporary example. (W)

16E —

Students who meet the standard understand Illinois, United States, and world environmental history.
  1. Assess the significance of a watershed event in United States environmental history. (US)
  2. Evaluate the importance of an environmental issue on the conduct of political life in Illinois and in the United States. (US)
  3. Assess the progress made by national organizations in addressing environmental issues in the United States since 1945. (US)
  4. Predict the political, economic, and social consequences on the United States of a world environmental issue if it is not addressed. (US)
  5. Predict the potential of new technologies to reverse historic processes that have negatively impacted the United States environment. (US)
  6. Assess the significance of a watershed event in World environmental history. (W)
  7. Evaluate the importance of an environmental issue on the conduct of contemporary world affairs. (W)
  8. Explain how the control of technology has fostered independence, dependence, or interdependence between and among nations. (W)
  9. Explain how the control of a natural resource has fostered independence, dependence, or interdependence between and among nations. (W)
  10. Assess the progress made by global organizations in addressing environmental issues since 1945. (W)
  11. Predict the political, economic, and social consequences of a world environmental issue if it is not addressed. (W)
  12. Predict the potential of new technologies to reverse historic processes that have negatively impacted the global environment. (W)

17A —

Students who meet the standard can locate, describe and explain places, regions and features on Earth.
  1. Illustrate the spatial dynamics of contemporary and historical events (e.g., drawing a sketch map of the spread of radiation from the Chernobyl nuclear accident or of the bubonic plague in fourteenth-century Europe, how physical features have deterred migrations and invasions).
  2. Explain the advantages for retailers to locate in malls rather than in dispersed locations (e.g., malls bring many large and small stores together in close proximity and take advantage of sharing costs for parking lots, lighting, and other utilities while providing convenience and time efficiency for customers).
  3. Determine potential spatial problems that may result in conflict (e.g., zoning changes, school district boundaries).
  4. Develop maps, tables, graphs, charts, and diagrams to depict the geographic implications of current world events (e.g., maps showing changing political boundaries, tables showing the distribution of refugees from areas affected by natural disaster).
  5. Evaluate specific technologies to determine their usefulness in analyzing selected geographic problems (e.g., aerial photographs, satellite-produced imagery, geographic information systems, and geographic positioning systems to determine the extent of water pollution in a harbor complex in South Africa or the range of deforestation in Madagascar).

17B —

Students who meet the standard can analyze and explain characteristics and interactions of Earth's physical systems.
  1. Analyze the global distribution of natural resources to determine the relationship of resource availability to international problems and issues.
  2. Explain how changes in the physical environment relate to both natural and human activity (e.g., earthquakes, forest fires, water and soil pollution).
  3. Evaluate global environmental changes to determine whether the changes are a result of human actions, natural causes, or a combination of both factors (e.g., increases in world temperatures attributable to major global environmental changes, results of the greenhouse effect attributable to human action, the link between changes in solar emissions and amounts of volcanic dust in the atmosphere attributable to natural causes).
  4. Evaluate the carrying capacity of selected world regions to predict the likely consequences of exceeding their environmental limits (e.g., the impact of the economic exploitation of Siberia's resources on a fragile sub-Arctic environment).

17C —

Students who meet the standard can understand relationships between geographic factors and society.
  1. Identify the characteristics of cities in developing countries and compare them to those of cities in developed countries in terms of physical features, site, situation, function, internal structure, and level of technology use.
  2. Evaluate the effects of human activity on similar environments under different resource management strategies (e.g., farming on the Great Plains as compared to the Ukraine).
  3. Explain how the uneven distribution of resources can result in global cooperation and conflict among nations in an increasingly interdependent world.
  4. Analyze the impact of major natural disasters and their connections to other areas of the world (e.g., drought, floods, hurricanes).
  5. Explain how people adapt to and modify their environment in ways that reveal their cultural values, economic/political systems, and technological levels.
  6. Analyze newspaper articles, magazines, and media reports to determine regional differences in environmental problems throughout the United States and the world.

17D —

Students who meet the standard can understand the historical significance of geography.
  1. Explain the reasons why people would choose to change from a dispersed rural to a concentrated urban form of settlement (e.g., the need for a marketplace, religious needs, military protection).
  2. Examine ways in which ecosystems have changed (e.g., as a result of different stages of human occupancy, shifting population densities, new levels of technology).
  3. Analyze major human conflicts to determine the role of physical and cultural geographic features in the causes, conflict, and outcomes.

18A —

Students who meet the standard can compare characteristics of culture as reflected in language, literature, the arts, traditions, and institutions.
  1. Distinguish between acculturation and assimilation.
  2. Explain how cultural characteristics are manifested in political and economic systems.
  3. Analyze advantages and disadvantages of living in a pluralistic society.
  4. Evaluate how changes in social institutions reflect political, environmental, economic, and technological changes in a culture.
  5. Evaluate how technology instills cultural values.
  6. Describe a folk or mythological interpretation of a social or physical phenomenon.

18B —

Students who meet the standard can understand the roles and interactions of individuals and groups in society.
  1. Analyze a local social issue by collecting and interpreting data.
  2. Distinguish between achieved status and ascribed status.
  3. Assess the effect of technology on the status and role of individuals.
  4. Describe how an individual can work with others to make a change in official social policy.
  5. Compare how a government agency and a private agency approach the resolution of a social problem.
  6. Explain a theory of a prominent sociologist or psychologist.

18C —

Students who meet the standard can understand how social systems form and develop over time.
  1. Analyze the positive and negative impact of modernization on cultural and physical environments.
  2. Analyze the impact of emerging sociological or psychological thought on various social institutions.
  3. Evaluate the effectiveness of sociological/psychological theory in explaining individual and group behavior (e.g., peer pressure, consumer behavior, “mob psychology”).

Return to Social Science Classroom Assessments and Performance Descriptors