Monday, January 09, 2012
THINKING SMART ABOUT CIVICS
Did you see this good story in The World-Herald on Sunday? Nice, balanced account of how the lefties want social studies class to focus on the warts in our society (racism, sexism, upism, downism), while the righties want the kiddies to be taught a little about the warts, but to mostly study the documentation of American exceptionalism:
Hopefully, we'll get good social studies standards. But there's a risk with all this standardization of education: this year, the standards might include the Federalist papers, the Constitution and all that good stuff that most citizens want the kids to learn. But in 10 years, or 20, there may be a complete shift in political thought, and the educrats might be able to expunge all that good stuff out of the standards, and put their pro-Whatever stuff in, heavy on the racism, sexism, upism, downism, and light on the stuff that made America's system so great.
To prevent that, it's really important to make the point, over and over and over, that kids really need the foundation of any discipline -- including civics -- before they can handle thinking about the warts that developed on the corpus. Learn the basics before you learn the problems. In med school, you don't start by studying the odd diseases that can occur -- you start by studying the human body. After you "get" the biology, you can "get" what can go wrong.
Hope that's how it plays out in the important arena of social studies, and creating citizens who will preserve, protect and defend our nation's future because they understand where it came from and how it works.
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