Future of Social Studies
- Author: Erica W., Teacher
- State: NY
- Test: Other
- Date: June 19 at 12:24 pm ET
A wise man named David Steiner, dean of Hunter College’s School of Education, once said, “Learning has to be about something particular, not nothing in general.” So let’s think about this for a minute—is our education system based on learning skills or is it about actually learning the content?
When I attended my first economics class in college, the first question our professor asked us was, “Who is Ben Bernanke?” The class was silent. When I began teaching a couple years later, I posed the same question to my high school economics class—yet again no one knew the answer. I thought to myself, what are we teaching students now-a-days? Are we really teaching them the content, the useful things they need to know, or are we teaching them skills to meet standards?
The debate over skills-based versus content based instruction is never ending, especially within the area of Social Studies. These teachers carry the heavy burden of making their students informed citizens who are ready for the real world of politics and economics. However, this comes at a cost—a cost of which our children cannot afford to lose.
As Common Core has taken over our classrooms in ELA and math, one must wonder what the future of the Social Studies classroom will look like. When the Common Core rolled out their new and improved Social Studies standards, there was an aura of hope that our classrooms would be directed back to the core content and away from skills-based curriculum just to pass a test.
Although the final verdict is still uncertain, I ask you to consider this: why are we denying our students the opportunity to learn the edifying history of our country and the world because our classrooms are run by a skill-based standard system?