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Thursday, July 21, 2016

Teachers Rely on Primary Resources, Not Textbooks, To Bring Black Lives Matter Into the Classroom - The Atlantic

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This is crucial. Students must learn current events and analyze them as they happen to they can develop the skills necessary to be able to predict how they will play out in the future. 

"If the Chicago social-studies teacher Gregory Michie waits for a textbook to teach his students about the Black Lives Matter movement, the first seventh-graders to hear the lesson won’t be born for another seven years.

 

Despite the historical implications of that movement, bureaucratic timelines all but quash any possibility that students might learn about today’s events from an actual history textbook in the near future. According to Anthony Pellegrino, an assistant professor of education at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, many school districts receive new books on a seven-year cycle. However, in some states, schools don’t receive new books for 10 to 12 years, and the most current material in those books could be a few years old. Certainly digital textbooks shorten this timeframe, but physical copies lag far behind: In some districts like Michie’s, students are reading textbooks that don’t even contain the name Barack Obama.

 

On top of that, the chapters on America’s most recent history often fall short. Because content on, say, the American Revolution, has been read and edited over the course of multiple book editions, more recent chapters often “feel like just add-ons.” Pellegrino said. “They're so afraid to tackle anything current because we don't have the perspective of history to be able to inform us more. As such, the sentences, the words, the paragraphs, are just really vapid.”

Teachers Rely on Primary Resources, Not Textbooks, To Bring Black Lives Matter Into the Classroom - The Atlantic: ""

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