What do students want out of a Social Studies education? What are they expected to want? The perception of Social Studies in public schools is at a crossroads. On one hand, students feel as if any History or Geography course is a blow off class and a free credit, and on the other Social Studies teachers are struggling to teach students the necessary skills that make for a transformative citizen.
The goal of Social Studies in today’s education system is to provide students with a culturally and historically relevant educational foundation upon which students can build their understanding of what it is to be a global citizen. In the Spring of 2013, no more than 75% who took the STAAR EOC exams passed at any level (World Geography, World History, or U.S. History); and the minority students scored the lowest across the board. Social Studies teacher need to double their efforts and realize the impact their courses can have on the future of America. Students who graduate without a solid social understanding are destined to run this country into the ground.
Ultimately, Social Studies education is what builds positive and transformative future citizens; and that is what this country needs. Gone are the days when the average citizen is qualified to vote on political issues, or even hold informed political conversation. The future of this city, of this state, and indeed this country rests on the fact of whether or not our public schools can turn out knowledgeable citizens capable of participating in society. For further information regarding STAAR Test results, visit http://www.tea.state.tx.us/student.assessment/staar/rpt/sum/yr13/, where you can view STARR results by grade level and subject.