What’s Your Problem?

In this book Schmidt discusses the real issues of teaching social studies and her writing is very relevant. Schmidt talked about how the social element has been stripped from many social studies programs and that is the main problem. So many students ask why they have to learn social studies. I see this in my practicum too often. When my cooperating teacher says we are going to learn about any new topic at least one student asks why. It is important for teachers to get the message across to their students that social studies is just as important as any other subject. “The goal is to teach them that our actions in the present are connected to actions in the past; that we struggle to solve the same problems as our ancestors; and that our choices and actions will influence the lives of the people who inherit the planet from us in generations to come.” I think this quote is the most important part of this chapter. I think it is very important as a teacher to emphasize to your students that the past is connected to their future.

I also liked how Schmidt talked about focusing on the four basic problems. I think as a teacher it would be beneficial to begin the year going over the four problems with your students. Setting the year up with this would be a good way to explain why social studies is important and why students should want to learn about the past. I can tell in my practicum that my students are only ever excited to learn about a topic if it can be related to their life. Telling students the four problems and giving them good reasons for learning social studies could make them more willing to learn.image003



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