What a bunch of bull…
Everyone’s gotta have their fingers in the pie. It seems like things are getting to the point where we can’t go forward with any decision because we are trying to please everyone. Here is a prime example from Texas over social studies.
Now, I won’t pretend I don’t have my own opinions on what should be included or emphasized but my point is that in the end it doesn’t matter.
Having been a Texas student all through grades K-7, I can tell you that I don’t remember diddly about what was or wasn’t included in our social studies curriculum or that it had any impact over how I turned out as a person. (Although I do remember having to lug around a huge tome just on Texas history, but aside from learning how to draw the shape of the state and develop strong biceps I can’t remember anything from it).
What did shape my social studies learning? My own life experiences, my family, my friends, my community and my library. If we are lucky, the school will spark an interest in an issue (any issue!) and the student will pursue more learning outside the classroom.
Why pretend that spending 20 minutes in the classroom talking about Chavez or Columbus or Mary Kay will impact a student meaningfully? Sadly, the real issue is that with today’s educational system focused only on testing, I don’t think it will make any difference.
A great teacher makes a difference. Someone who can teach students to evaluate where information comes from and what biases it may or may not have…teaching critical thinking. Clearly that matters, as this report indicates, Where We Read from Matters, but it seems hard to find.