9/11: a teachable moment?

| November 8, 2011 | 0 Comments

On the 10th anniversary of 9/11, American school districts reconsidered how to approach the teaching of the catastrophic event. The 15-year-olds in class this year were only in Grade 2 on the day that changed American history forever.

Although students are required to learn about the event, and although it’s covered in almost all American textbooks, few states have put together comprehensive curricula for teaching 9/11 – the majority citing a number of reasons like emotional difficulty. Additionally, said one school Principal, “9/11 is complex, and still unfolding. New perspectives and understanding are emerging constantly.”

This year, New York City – the largest school district in the country – rolled out a pioneering study programme, developed in conjunction with private corporations and civil society groups, that includes using interviews and video footage, interacting with Google Earth software to map global ‘terrorist’ activity, teaching psychological coping mechanisms, tracking the history of the construction of the 9/11 memorial, and discussing the art generated to commemorate 9/11.

Category: Summer 2011

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