Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Why I Love/Teach Social Studies

To all of my students: I hope you are all enjoying your time off.

To all of the people that live with my students: I hope it's enjoyable for you as well.

I've had a couple people email me and ask if there would be extra credit given over break.  Yes, there will be, but I'll probably only post once or twice.

Here's a quote by Rudyard Kipling: "How can you do anything until you have seen everything, or as much as you can?"

Sometimes I think my students (and students in general) have a hard time grasping the purpose of "non-essential" lessons.  I'm sure at one point or another most of us have either heard, or said: "when am I ever going to use that?"

Who knows?

In making decisions, you want to be informed.  And how many decisions do you have to make in life?  How do you even know what decisions will be presented?

What are the essentials?  What do we need to know to get by in life?

I'm guessing basic math facts and enough of a common language to be understood.

But what kind of life is that?

I love, LOVE Social Studies because it is all about the richness of life - the essential non-essentials.  Diversity of language, history, culture.  Conflict and conflict resolution.  Politics and religion and relationships.  Countries that are in petty arguments that mirror the arguments I hear in the hallway everyday.

It's about authority and corruption.  Greed and sacrifice.

The way I see it, people have one of three reasons for not loving social studies:

  • They don't understand it/ can't see how it relates (or)
  • They're boring
  • They do like it, but they just don't realize it
(Correct me if I'm wrong on that...)

Here are some lyrics from a song I like (All I Can See, by Brendan James):

"I want to learn a completely new language,/ one I don't understand./ I want to help someone lost, someone helpless,/ with the strength of my hand."

Here are some more:

"Those who journey can easily understand,/ the more they see the more they'll learn,/ the more that they will be./ So this I swear to you, and this I swear to me,/ I'll never rest till I've seen all I can see./ No, I'll never rest till I've seen all I can see."

Here's the song, it's pretty good:

To get the extra credit from this blog, discuss it with an adult. Discuss some of the following questions:

  • Do you agree with the three reasons Mr. Habecker gives for people not loving social studies?
  • What would you say are the essential things you need to learn?
  • Is it important to learn more than that?  If so, what's important?  If not, why not?
  • Do you agree or disagree with the Kipling quote at the beginning?  Why?
  • If you could travel anywhere in the world that you've never been, where would you go?  Why?

Then, write down at least 5 sentences giving your thoughts on this post. Have the person you discussed it with sign the paper.

Happy Extra Credit.  I'll probably post one more before break's over.


  1. Hi I stumbled upon your blog through Google. I love Social Science and everything its stands for. I'm a Senior in high school and I want to study something in the social science field!

  2. Awesome. Thanks for commenting.

    Good luck in the future.

  3. I love love love social studies and more often than not I find myself caught up in a historical fiction book or scrolling through countless webpages of a certain historical event. Yet i don't find the use for this knowledge I love which saddens me. I hope I could use my passion for History for something in my future.