What passes for history
in public school
is "social studies," stuffed with opaque
discussion of concepts: students will ponder "the City" by hopping from ancient Athens
Bruges to nineteenth century New York. No wonder they come out dumb as posts. Everyone has a horror story; mine is the college student who had never heard of Lafayette
. In 1917
we went to war to let him know that we were here; now he has slipped into the great adolescent "whatever
- Richard Brookhiser
as an example of the above, an excerpt from a social studies teacher's website. I am still upset from my joke of a social studies class, which was taught by Geraldine Ferraro's doppelganger, and by public schools in general. What the hell is this guy going on about? He uses the word CONCEPTS five times. Sheesh.
Learning is comprised of facts, concepts, and generalizations. Facts together create concepts, and groups of concepts lead to generalizations. As a teacher, I believe I have the sole responsibility to equip students with the proper who, what, where, and when. These facts form concepts. Together, the students and I develop the concepts essential to begin critical thinking, the ultimate goal of social studies education. After these concepts have been solidified with evidence and through their own experiences, students alone make generalizations as to how their world works.