Politics lost in classrooms
It was the night of the first presidential debate and my twitter was blowing up with angry teenagers complaining that politics didn’t matter. The notion that it was dumb for anyone our age to care about politics because we can’t vote yet is ridiculous.
Someone needs to teach teenagers that everyone should care and be involved in politics. And who better to do it than teachers?
Because it is an election year, it is more important than ever that social studies classes address the importance of politics.
The United States is currently facing an epidemic where people care less and less about politics. Something drastic needs to be done to change this, especially among younger generations.
The younger children start to learn about politics the better. Eighteen year olds should not be thrust into voting without any real knowledge of political ideology. They need years of knowledge and schooling to properly form their opinions in an educated manner.
While government classes definitely discuss the elections, those should not be the only class that do. US History should talk about politics because this is history in the making. In fact, the debates this year are predicted to be the most watched since the Reagan/Carter debates.
Economics is another class that is obviously related to the election because whoever is elected president will radically affect the economy. Economics class could specifically talk about the different plans Obama and Romney have for the country, economically speaking.
Even European History, Western Civilization, Human Geography, and Psychology relate to politics. European history and western civilization should be discussing the elections because students need to be able to compare US government and elections to other nations’ governments and elections. Some conservatives today say the US is becoming a socialist government in some aspect. Look at the history of socialist countries and see if they match up with what conservatives are saying.
Human geography discusses important concepts that require new legislation to enact them. This election could affect that legislation. For example, the different contraception and abortion views held by the two presidential candidates are drastically different and could affect population control, an important concept in human geography. Bring that up in class.
As for psychology, there are so many different psychological aspects to campaigning and debating. Ask Dr. Lazor how politics pertains to the nature/nurture debate. Look at a political cartoon and discuss how the cartoon’s message could affect the American psyche towards voting. The possibility for political discussion in psychology class is endless.
So ask your social studies teacher about the election. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and broaden your political horizons. If they say it doesn’t pertain to their class, mention one of the reasons listed above. Even give them a specific suggestion on how to incorporate the topics. Politics and elections are a part of social studies and we need to make sure we are getting the full extent of our education.
Emily Clarke is the Print Chief of The Patriot and jcpatriot.com