Thursday, July 12, 2018

SOCIAL STUDIES IN THE COMMON CORE ERA

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.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

In my school and among almost all ss teachers I know, ss classes are just another opportunity to cram sj/rj/sjw garbage down students' throats. Can't count how many Marx, Che and Mao posters I've seen over the years. Most teachers including ss teachers see their role as training the next generation of Antifa Red Guards.

James Eterno said...

I find that as obectionable as people who try go push their religious beliefs in class.If kids after three months are still wondering if I am Democrat or Republican then it is ok by me.

Anonymous said...

Every ATR I know is a former Social Studies teacher. Most of the kids I meet teaching SS don’t have an SS license and are teaching it under an English license.

Anonymous said...

Social studies was emphasized a bit more when the kids were tested in 5th and 8th grade. With those assessments gone, most social studies classes have become glorified extensions of ELA class.

James Eterno said...

Grieve it. Totally illegal.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps if everyone was as reasonable and professional as you were James we wouldn't have the political right trying to dismantle public education.

Anonymous said...

There are many teachers throughout the city teaching out of license, while ATRs with those licenses sub. I've been in English classes where the teachers mispronounce and misspell common words. Common slang, including the N word, is embraced and used by the teacher, instead of standard English. The teacher tries to be the students' friend and many schools require that the students call the teacher by his or her first name. It destroys all boundaries. I've seen many young teachers hit on by students and there's no way they will report it. Even if it's reported nothing is done. I've been in Math classes where mean, median and mode are mixed up and the teacher doesn't know the multiplication table. I've been in Social Studies classes where basic economic principles are totally misunderstood and entire World Wars are mixed up.. I try to intercede, but the teacher is apt to get angry and defensive. It's all due to Fair Student Funding.

Life in Limbo said...

I was in a 7th grade ELA class as a co teacher. The books were in baskets labeled, "Fantacy", "Misterys", "Bographies" and "Mazagines". And hanging prepositions... EVERYWHERE. Wrong usage of "there", "their" and "they're". And spelling errors all over the place. Words and grammar errors that an English teacher should NEVER make, and if you DO make a careless error on a classroom chart, label, or model, FIX IT!!

Anonymous said...

You guys are funny. Then when administrators go after these ineffective teachers, the UFT, including this website cries foul. I'm a SPED teacher and my Gen-ed teacher makes these same mistakes even during observations. When he is rated poorly he files APPRs and grievances against admin. The UFT defends him anyway. Im so disgusted because while he keeps his job its our kids that are suffering.

Anonymous said...

8:20:00 PM
You killed your argument by saying its instead of "it's our kids that are suffering." If you wanted to make a grammar argument, you would think you could model proper grammar. Im without an apostrophe also makes your points hard to believe too.