The content-free social studies classroom: James Kendra at TEDxMuskegon

22 thoughts on “The content-free social studies classroom: James Kendra at TEDxMuskegon

  1. I only had Mr.Kendra for a semester and I can easily say he was one of my favorite all time teachers

  2. Its interesting how much easier it is to learn the subject when there is not the pressure of a deadline.

  3. I get the importance of applying social studies to life today, but can’t we have current events as part of the curriculum in a history class so we don’t skip the history? I think it is an extremely dangerous thing to simply say that our students do not need a foundation of knowledge, and we can simply look up stuff we don’t know to suffice for this gap. Having a foundation of knowledge is critical to interpret events and question things in life, isn’t it? I am very skeptical of this look it up world we live in. Some things are really complicated, like the Holy Roman Empire, communism, the Protestant Ref., etc. etc. and I think sometimes students need a push in the right direction to learn these things.

  4. The moment Kendra shows an article and a map, there is content. Facts and dates are far less important than critical thinking. However, every subject involves some context, content, and understanding. Same is true for the workplace.

  5. I love the discussion of interdisciplinary action and how it relates to social studies. I got a minor in math and enjoyed english in college but I want to teach social studies because I want to see my students actually apply those skills to question and understand the world around them today first and retrospectively learn history in the process. In that sense, math and language arts and science are like meta-subjects or prerequisites to the contemporary and local analysis that social studies must have as its foundation. It's an educational cycle that displays the complimentary nature of differing pedagogical fields and ultimately the importance of educators in all those fields! TEACHERS RULE!

  6. and the leftist brainwashing continues!
    The method "social studies" use to destroy United States is to relate US,
    not to it's own past, it's history, but to OTHER nations! That method comes from the school of anti-realism.
    This charlatan is replacing one relation for another: American for non-American!

  7. If kids learn that at an early age they are most like to be more involved in politics, in their communities, and practice their right to assemble.  I think the standardized testing limits teachers ability to do this sort of stuff. maybe im wrong, but i know kids don't want to learn about what happened 100 years ago since they dont deem it useful. I wish I was exposed to such things in my school years. You did a great job sir..

  8. I still remember a lot of what I learned in 8th grade social studies.  Let's base an experiment in education on your miserable experiences.  Perhaps a bad teacher.  If not 8th grade, then when will students learn US history?  There is plenty of time to learn social studies.  It's a bigger picture than your world view.

  9. I enjoy that teaching method where the students are involved through their personal devices. i remember being in class and texting most the time anyway. So by getting the students a reason to be on their devices is innovating.

  10. This is so good I want him as a teacher!!!! I hate social studies but I would love it if I had him as a teacher!!!!

  11. That's right. Keep the kids working so hard and focused on tests, so they can't learn about what is important.  Give them the tunnel vision they need to blind them.

  12. A decent historical analysis does analyze economics and civics. In fact the first lessons I planned were on the economics of Indian cultures. I couldn't graduate with my degree if I just regurgitated facts. I had to formulate arguments about cause and effect or content that displayed conditions of life that you couldn't just figure by reading.  You had to have analytical skills to assess things like that. I'm all for eliminating content requirements that restrict the use of these skills. But if you are really doing history, you would have to place events in the contexts of government and civics and economics. Maybe he's on to something about ordering events to showcase different concepts like economics.  He sounds like he might have been a political science major.

  13. History isn't about memorizing facts and dates…. The field has changed since the (?) 80s? when he went and got his bachelor's.  You want to talk about cutting content, then trim back on this amalgam of bunk fields that now comprise "social studies."  Social slush is more like it. Your view of economics seems to be more "consumer science." 

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