I am occasionally amazed at the naivety of my middle school students. For example, we watched “Remember the Titans” recently and by the kids responses you would have thought we were watching a movie about the 1800’s. They had no concept of ignorance, discrimination, prejudice, etc. I asked myself whether this was good or bad. Today we watched “Hairspray” and although we had a few naive comments they seemed to understand the concepts a bit more and the idea that segregation was a problem and integration was a real struggle that occured not all that long ago.
It is always so interesting to me to see the world through the eyes of our youth. Is it a positive thing that they don’t remember or understand the depths of ignorance because they can’t understand that type of hatred or is it a negative because it means they aren’t aware of who we were, where we struggled and what we must continue to overcome? I appreciate their innocence but I have a big problem with the general lack of knowledge they have about history. Doesn’t middle school history cover slavery, black history, Martin Luther King Jr. at a very minimum? Shouldn’t it be at the very least looking at the presidential race we are currently engaged in and asking why is so monumental? I want them to question and understand the power behind this election and ask themselves why this is the first time that there may be a black president or a female president?
Just food for thought I guess.