Why Current Events

Our school is up for accreditation and, since we’ve all been thrust into involvement in the accreditation process, I’ve been able to see what is and is not of vital importance to the education-insiders.  Turns out one of the things that has sparked their interest is the use of current events.

This really got me thinking.  As a History instructor the use of news articles came naturally to me.  So many times I’ve sat through students’ complaints about how, ‘This doesn’t have anything to do with…anything,’ and, ‘Why are we learning this?  These guys don’t matter to me…,’ and (my favorite), ‘Why do they keep telling us about 9/11? It was so long ago and on the other side of the country…

Working with budding genius like this has made me all the more excited to try and use contemporary news stories to show students how the current events can be traced along historical lines.

Unfortunately, many teachers get caught up in the zeal of sharing what may be important to the world as it is turning, but fail to link it to the curriculum.  Without the latter, the former is little more than preaching.

So here’s how I try and use current events in my classroom.  You’ll get a snapshot of what we’re talking about, or what we will be talking about.  And you’ll get to see the conversation that I will try and start.

I hope this helps!

Derrick Palmer

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