chapter  3
24 Pages

Kids before Content: The Social Studies/History Curriculum Conundrum

The concern too many teachers focus on, which invariably guarantees that all but the most motivated 10 percent will temporarily learn historical information, is on the amount of content and the lack of time to teach it-pure and simple coverage. This focus leads teachers to believe they cannot possibly take the time to learn about their students before diving into the rush of history. The result is disengaged, uninterested students who go through the motions of taking a social studies/history course and learn little. If you doubt this, give any group of students their social studies/history final exam one year later (as Grant Wiggins suggests) to see what they’ve “learned.” Aside from that top 10 percent, most will fail miserably or, at the very least, show such precipitous decline that we have to wonder what the 180 teaching days were for.