Chapter 14 begins by defining the “what” and “why” of current events instruction in grades K-6. It explains that the purposes of social studies certainly include the development of citizens who are interested and active in the ongoing life of their communities and that current events instruction is one avenue toward achieving this goal.
After establishing this basic idea, the chapter turns to an examination of how current events can be implemented in the primary and upper elementary grades. Guidelines are offered to help the beginning teacher initiate a current events program that is safe and pedagogically sound. The benefits and drawbacks of three principal ways of implementing current events instruction are then considered.
The chapter then turns to a serious consideration of problem areas in current events instruction. Particular attention is given to the problems of censorship and sensationalism. A sample dialogue is used to illustrate how Terry Borton’s (1970) three-step model (what, so what, now what?) may be used to help students analyze current events reports.
Students are provided guidelines for using specialized news publications and holidays as current events. Special emphasis is placed on following copyright guidelines.
The chapter closes with a set of four discussion questions designed to help students process their thoughts regarding this area of social studies instruction.