Teaching September 11th
In the Valley Breeze today, I was happy to read that the Lincoln Middle and High Schools will be teaching the events of September 11, 2001 to the students. The part that disappointed me a bit was that they will be talking about it with the students, for the first time.
“[LHS Principal Kevin] McNamara said that LHS has not done anything like this in the past, but he decided to for this milestone year.
“With the 10-year anniversary, it has refocused everyone on the importance of memorializing the event,” McNamara said.”
I remember after it happening, wondering how schools were going to teach this. When I was in school, we learned about D-Day, we learned about Pearl Harbor, we also talked about the Vietnam conflict. So how would schools teach about what happened on that perfectly clear Tuesday morning ten years ago now. Apparently, the answer is they don’t. They don’t want to talk about the gruesomeness of it, they don’t want to talk about the fear of flying a commercial airplane or being in a tall building and wondering if anything will happen to it. They don’t want to scare the children.
I did some more searching on how the subject is taught in schools and why it isn’t taught in many places and found this one explanation:
“With no standard curriculum in place, teachers across the country have been forced to develop their own methods to talk about the traumatic events of the past decade in the classroom. Many have turned to privately created lesson plans”
“forced to develop their own methods”? Isn’t that what they do? Teachers are professionals and in their training, they learn how to develop a lesson plan in their subject area. I’m not sure why teachers can develop a plan for how to teach this part of history in the same ways that they develop lessons to teach algebra, diagramming sentences or the FDR presidency. When these things aren’t taught, a very important part of our history is lost on the students, even to the point where people from their mid-twenties on up might want to bang their head in frustration.
Back in May, the Yahoo search blog wrote:
However, it seems teens ages 13-17 were seeking more information as they made up 66% of searches for “who is osama bin laden?”
That just shouldn’t even be possible. Our schools should be spending more than a day or two on the subject. This is a topic that could go for an entire semester or even an entire year, so to talk about it in the schools for just a day or two around the anniversary of the attacks doesn’t do the history justice. The Middle East and the US’ involvement is something that will probably be a topic of discussion for the entire lives of today’s students. To not even talk about it in schools is irresponsible.