I normally avoid Chalkbeat as an anti-public school charter promoting site but a friend sent me this piece on social studies education. Social studies, particularly in the early grades, has been relegated to a minor role in the Common Core age according to a report from the Hechinger Report.
As a teacher, I noticed the last few years that students came to high school less prepared to form well thought out reasoned arguments. Instead, many wanted to be told what to think which I personally hate. A good class to me means hearing or reading from opposite points of view if at all possible. That does not seem to be in style in our polarized political time.
The Chalkbeat article concludes with this:
Social studies remains a low priority in many school districts and will likely remain so until districts or states mandate daily or weekly social studies instructional time, similar to English and math instructional time requirements, said (Pal) Fitchettt of the University of North Carolina. That may be a tough sell he acknowledged.
"Social studies can tend to be a political hot potato, he said. "It can ruffle a lot of feathers in terms of how it's being used. But who doesn't want children to be part of the democratic process? Who doesn't want young people to be critical consumers of the world around them? Maybe I'm too optimistic here, but I think that -- across parties -- most people would want that."
I agree with Professor Fitchett. In my view, successful social studies teaching does not mean indoctrinating kids to try to mold them into junior versions of the teacher politically. We should attempt to expose students to as wide a range of opinions as possible, given limited time and resources, and let them reach their own conclusions.