Is there anything students can learn that would help to make sense of our world? What should we be teaching in our schools? Reading, writing and arithmetic is what we heard for years growing up. But we also learned science, music, art, geography, history and current events. We all knew about the cold war from drills when we got under our desks and bomb shelters in our basements. We were told that our soldiers went to war to “make the world safe for democracy.”
What has happened to our world? Our own country is no longer safe. Lest we forget 911, the terror at the Boston Marathon is now a painful reminder.
In our schools today, with standards and testing, a need for more innovation and science and math, we have all but forgotten social studies. In Massachusetts, English language arts, mathematics and science tests are requirements for graduation, not social studies. We are allowing this generation of Americans to complete high school ignorant of the events in history and lacking an understanding of the impacts of individuals obsessed with power. Are we doomed to repeat the lessons of history?