As you watch this film, ask yourself: what does this mean for me and my work with students? How can I break the mold of traditional schools?
As social studies teachers, Garth and myself are constantly debating the merit of history for the sake of history, creating connections with the past and present (enduring impacts) and instilling our students with a cultural identity AND MORE IMPORTANTLY, a sense of cultural empathy. Sir Ken is an advocate for the arts and creative thinking. I often refer to social studies as the "red-headed stepchild" of the academic world; we are not math or science, and we don't teach communication like language arts. I believe that social studies is actually just as important as math, especially if we are talking about preparing kids for their futures. Historians are the secretaries of the world. We record, analyze, judge, and put into context everything that happens. While social studies may not encourage as much analytical thought as math, the critical thinking and empathy skills that social studies does teach is invaluable.
I'm sitting at my laptop, wrapping up this blog that Garth started, wondering if I will be a teacher next year. The levy in our district failed and I'm caught at the bottom of the seniority list. I want to teach, I want to make a difference and I want my students to have the best possible education possible. Sir Ken talks about education and economics. While he focuses on the future economies of the world, I can't help but wonder about the current economy and where citizens and the government feel education belongs. "You get out what you put it", underfunding education and cutting the Arts will have a detrimental impact on the future of our economy. Believe in teachers. Believe in students. Believe that well-rounded education will create well-rounded people.