Originally published in The Pine Bluff Commercial – September 18, 2019
With so many forms of communication available to us today, one would think that we communicate in a more meaningful way. But in fact, it seems like the opposite is true. For example, some studies and experts suggest that social media “lessens the quality of (our) connection.”
So even though we have more ways to interact, could it be that we’re actually understanding less and less about one another? This question underscores why it’s more important than ever to strengthen social studies curriculums across the state of Arkansas.
Social studies classes offer an avenue for students to see life through the lens of someone else’s values and beliefs. Students will interact with people of various backgrounds and cultures throughout their entire lives. Social studies are important to this interaction because it allows them to shape and broaden their perspective of the world around them. This in turn strengthens their capacity to empathize and relate to others who are different from them. Social studies also helps students become better problem solvers and use evidence to make informed decisions.
As we now realize as adults, knowing the past helps us connect the dots between our present-day philosophies. We need to do more to ensure that our children have this perspective in their lives, too.
Blake Muncy, Conway
Teacher, Arkansas Virtual Academy.