On Nonfiction and Primary School
Thanks Becky for your suggestions. What I see in all of your posts is that 1) through fourth grade kids are not getting enough content 2) some teachers themselves do not understand the content they are teaching 3) there is an emphasis on the local and personal that does not match well with some kids’ broader interests. Now obviously this is a tiny, self-selected survey. And please do continue to post to tell your story, to prove me wrong, to show what I am not seeing. But I wonder, how could this have happened? How could we so miss our obligation to kids, our interest in teaching science, social studies, world history? When did this shift happen?
Teachers, tell me — when you go to Ed School, where does your training direct you? Is all of the instruction on technique? If so, isn’t some part of that about how to teach primary school social studies? Instruct us — we only see the results in the classrooms, we don’t know the theory, the training behind it. I have to assume that teachers of education for the primary grades know that many young people are interested in Egypt, Dinosaurs, Vikings, Pirates, Alexander the Great, George Washington, William the Conqueror, famous cars, sports teams and stars, Pokemon cards (this list supplied by my 7 year old, who is sitting next to me). So what does Ed School tell you to do with that interest?
We are seeing from parents that they are puzzled and distressed; now, teachers and librarians: explain the situation to us. Help us to understand so that, instead of complaining, we can learn how to improve things. I want my sons to find school to be a place the rewards and stimulates their curiousity about the world. Don’t we all? How can we fix this? NCLB may be part of the problem, but it cannot be the whole story. Tell us more.