Should We Teach Current Events?

By Hailey Jacobs

Some teachers at Byram Hills believe it is important to teach about current events in the school, while others do not. In fact, we even have an elective called Global Scholars that focuses on current events. However, many students do not watch the news daily or read the newspaper every week so they may not know what is going on in the world. This lack of knowledge can be combated by teaching current events in school. Studying current events in school can help one learn about the importance of issues brought up on the news.

It is very important to be up to date on current events, especially after high school, as students become much more independent. Learning these events in school may teach students to get into the habit of checking the news. Students will be entering the real world and will eventually have to get a job, which is highly competitive. It is increasingly vital to set yourself apart from your peers by displaying a broad understanding of current events. Additionally, gaining knowledge in world affairs and current events allows you to decide where you fall on key issues impacting your city, region, and country. Incorporating current events into lessons at school can provide a student with the opportunity to get a jump start on increasing their knowledge if they do not already keep up to date on world events.

Mrs. Malone is one of the few teachers at Byram Hills that incorporates current events into her lessons. Each Monday, a different student will stand in front of the class and present an article that he/she read about an event that happened in the past week. The class gets an opportunity to learn something about what is going on in the world that they may not have known before. Mrs. Malone believes “it is important for students to be aware of what is going on around the world, and reading different types of mediums is important.” She also said that “reading newspapers expands [students’] readership,” so it is beneficial for English class. English teacher, Mrs. Squadron also incorporates weekly current events into her class, similarly to Mrs. Malone. Junior Hayley Siegle states, “doing current events presentations in English class benefits myself and other students as it forces us to become more aware of the world around us, outside of our immediate community.”

Global Scholars is a new elective that students can take for all years of high school. It is a project-based class where teachers stress talking about events all over the world, and each student is encouraged to get involved in the class discussions. Major topics they have focused on this year have been global competency, poverty, and the environment. Junior Julia Weiler said that “learning about current events in the Global Scholars Program is something I really enjoy. I love getting a deeper understanding of what is currently taking place in our world and its impacts on society.” Global Scholars is also one of the classes in the school that gives students the opportunity to learn about what they are interested in since the class does not necessarily have to follow a curriculum. Julia also said, “It’s so nice to be able to discuss topics that genuinely fascinate me that I wouldn’t necessarily get the opportunity to talk about in a different class.”

Teaching current events in classes could be beneficial to all students for many reasons. Whether it is to improve one’s reading comprehension or just to give the students a chance to learn about something they are interested in, the students are able to learn and grow. Julia Weiler “would love more teachers to incorporate current events into their lessons because I think it would be really interesting to see the connection between what we are studying in class and an event that I have been hearing about in the news/media.” Possessing knowledge about current events is an important life-long skill and starting to develop this skill in class can help students become more informed and interested in what is occurring in the world around them.