Educator encouraging students to discuss current events

Published: Oct. 27, 2022 at 5:42 PM CDT
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WALNUT RIDGE, Ark. (KAIT) - Many historical events have occurred over the past two years between an unprecedented pandemic, and highly contested political races, among other things.

Some teachers are now incorporating these events into their classrooms.

Seventh and eighth-grade social studies teacher Grant Smith at Walnut Ridge Middle School said teaching without bias is crucial to education for kids.

Smith said using current events in his teachings today can help get his point across.

“Current events are very helpful because they help me tie in what I’m teaching to what is actually going on in the world today. Students, even middle school students, pay attention to those. They know what the big things happening are and what’s going on in the news, so anytime you can tie that into what you’re teaching, it really helps them connect and helps them learn even better.”

Getting the point across without picking a side can be a struggle, but Smith said he takes it as an opportunity to show both sides of the same story.

“The best way to not have any bias in the classroom is to give the kids all the sides of the story. Give the kids all the sides. We live in such a politicized society today that every side thinks that their side is right.”

Smith explained he wants his students to understand that today’s events are things their children and grandchildren will ask about, and it’s a good thing to take it all in as it is happening.

“I try to tell them it’s very important to observe what’s going on right now in the world and try to remember it the best you can and get as much knowledge as you can about it because that knowledge will be very, very valuable in the future.”

Smith said he sometimes would allow students to discuss current events to enable other points of view to be heard.