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Current Events’ Frame History for our Kids

What we once called “current events” in our classrooms has broadened into a vitally important component of our children’s and our students’ lives – an ongoing reality check.

The ten-minute discussions which teachers once took at the start of the day to review happenings in the headlines is gold today. Students of all ages need to hear differing views. They have heard one version of reality around the dinner table — they need alternatives. They need to hear a variety of perspectives on the narratives that feed into our collective history. We need “current events” discussions more than ever.

The recent onslaught of disinformation brings peril. Fake News prevents a rising generation of students from gaining a clear understanding of where they are now. Knowledge of how we arrived at the present day is the basis for our children’s success.

A teacher who lets his or her students talk about Aaron Judge’s current home run quest will quickly run into the story of Barry Bonds and his controversial home run record, and the larger topic of enhanced sports performance. This is a good thing — wherever the discussion leads.

Likewise, the new documentary by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick. “The U.S. and the Holocaust” takes a good look at how America responded to that fateful wave of immigration. The parallels and lessons for us today are invaluable.

The more we can discuss current events, and the histories behind them, the better for our kids.

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