The Hinsdale Central Social Studies Department strives to be respected by all school constituencies for its ability to inspire and direct the personal, intellectual, and civic development of its students. The department emphasizes the process of learning, whereby students critically examine issues, evaluate multiple points-of-view, and synthesize perspectives from a variety of disciplines, resulting in the ability to solve problems and make informed decisions. The department seeks to promote an understanding of diverse cultures, values, and systems; from this, students will gain awareness of their own values, as well as those of others. The tolerance and diversity that result from this training are balanced by a commitment to exploring and building common values such as democratic participation and freedom of expression. It is a department that is self-directed, collegial, with high expectations of its students and of itself. The department seeks to foster a love of learning through enthusiasm for the social studies disciplines, use of a variety of instructional strategies, and the dynamic of individual personalities committed to a set of shared goals.