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Facts about Tennessee’s Social Studies Standards

Yes, there’s another sideshow going on. We’ll talk more about the sideshow itself, but first let’s start with the basic facts that those trafficking in fear, hatred, and/or misinformation leave out.


Three Facts

1. The current middle school social studies standards have been the same since 2000. That means that more than three-quarters of a million Tennessee students have been through the social studies curriculum. By our count, over 30,000 WCS students have learned about the history of world religions, including Judaism, Christianity, Hinduism, and Islam under the same standards since 2000.

2. In 2013, the timing was changed for the 2014-15 school year. Instead of all the world history being covered in sixth grade, it was split into a two-year program with the first “half” (early civilizations through the fall of the Roman Empire) in sixth grade and the second half (fall of the Roman Empire to the Scientific Revolution) in seventh grade.

3. The state standards include learning about the beliefs of major world religions including the Ten Commandments in sixth grade and the Five Pillars of Islam in seventh grade.

6.41 Describe the monotheistic religion of the Israelites, including:

  1. the belief in one God (monotheism)

  2. the Ten Commandments

  3. the emphasis on individual worth and personal responsibility

  4. the belief that all people must adhere to the same moral obligations, whether ruler or ruled

  5. the Torah and the Hebrew Bible as part of the history of early Israel

6.68 Describe the origins and central features of Christianity.

  1. monotheism

  2. the belief in Jesus as the Messiah and God’s Son

  3. the concept of resurrection

  4. the concept of salvation

  5. belief in the Old and New Testaments

  6. the lives, teachings and contributions of Jesus and Paul

  7. the relationship of early Christians to officials of the Roman Empire

Islamic World, 400 A.D/C.E. – 1500s: Students analyze the geographic, political, economic, social, and religious structures of the civilizations.

7.5 Trace the origins of Islam and the life and teachings of Muhammad, including Islam’s historical connections to Judaism and Christianity.

7.6 Explain the significance of the Qur’an and the Sunnah as the primary sources of Islamic beliefs, practice, and law and their influence in Muslims’ daily life.

(Click on each quarter to see the standards matched with “I Can” statements.)

Williamson County Schools: School officials say teachers treat all religious traditions respectfully. They do not proselytize for any religion in their roles as educators.

The 5 Major Religions in World History – Curriculum (from Williamson County Schools)

ReligionGrade LevelAcademic Quarter



1Ancient IsraelHinduism


2Ancient IndiaBuddhism


2Ancient IndiaTaoism, Confucianism


3Ancient ChinaChristianity


4Ancient RomeIslam


1Islamic WorldShintoism


2JapanChristianity (Catholicism)


2 & 3Middle Ages & RenaissanceChristianity (Protestantism)



You can also review the References to Religion in WCS Curriculum/Scope and Sequence K-8 to see a more detailed list including elementary school.

Tennessee Social Studies Standards Review

Because of the recent brouhaha over Islamic indoctrination, the state will review the social studies standards beginning in January 2016 vs. the original 2018. The public will be invited to review the standards and provide feedback. The social studies textbook adoption cycle will move to a five-year cycle with new textbooks being adopted in 2018 for the 2019-20 school year.

Earlier this year we heard that teachers were “indoctrinating” children into leftist thinking. Now we have a campaign (with big money national groups and requests for contributions) saying that our social studies teachers are indoctrinating seventh graders into religious beliefs. Seriously? As we said, more on the sideshow to come, but the disrespect for teachers on this is unbelievable.

For more information about social studies standards and textbooks, see Textbooks, Part 2: Socialism, Islam, and Pornography.

For more information about the far-reaching public records request for every communication “concerning any world religion” including emails between parents and teachers, detailed lesson plans and all tests, quizzes and assignments from every teacher who touches upon “world religions” and the name of every single teacher who teaches the classes, see Fearmongering for Dollars.


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