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Is this what Social Studies is all about?

The last week or so of posturing and blaming after the shooting in Arizona has been both encouraging and disturbing all at the same time. With the Tea Party Express using the shooting as an excuse to solicit donations and both sides of the aisle pointing fingers, it was nice to hear President Obama, Speaker John Boehner and Fox News President Roger Ailes pushing for a bit more effort for us all to just get along.

But there’s also been some interesting conversations this week with other social studies teachers. One topic among many has been the best way to respond – not just to the event itself but to the politics and partisan bickering.

So it was a bit of a surprise to find part of the answer over at the Indexed site. Indexed is a great place to blow a few minutes when you need a break from . . . well, just about anything. You’ll understand once you spend some time over there.

I like this. I like it a lot.

And I haven’t thought this through in a lot of detail but isn’t this at least one of the things we as Social Studies teachers should be teaching?

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3 Comments Post a comment
  1. Scott Krause #

    Communication is definitely something Social Studies teachers should be teaching. Communication skills will be useful long after students leave an educational setting. We want our citizens to be able to have certain skills and communication is a big one. Just think where would we be without communication or better yet where will we be in 50 years without the ability to communicate?

    January 22, 2011
    • glennw #


      I agree. “Soft skills” like communication and conflict resolution are a huge part of the 21st century skill set that the business community is clamoring for. The problem is that state assessments and NCLB encourage coverage of content rather than a more holistic approach to history and the social studies. It’s hard to find a good balance but without the ability to think critically and communicate those thoughts well, the next 50 years may be a bit bumpy!

      Thanks for the comment!


      January 22, 2011
      • Scott Krause #


        State assessments and NCLB is a problem with the content we are supposed to cover in a school year. The large amount of content and the time we are given to cover it really makes an educator’s job difficult. Hopefully some adjustments will be made in the near future, so we can concentrate on 21st century skills.

        Thank you,


        January 23, 2011

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