Is social studies boring?

So I was talking to my buddy the teacher yesterday (as opposed to my other buddy the teacher).  He says, “Another teacher told me that they like my social studies class, but in general everyone thinks social is boring.”

Based on my experience that is true.  Some teachers might make social an interesting subject, but it wasn’t interesting on its own merits.  But that hardly makes any sense – history isn’t just dates and names it is events and personalities and they are fascinating.  The other side of the class is learning social structures – the building blocks of society.  Also fascinating.

How does it get messed up?  Are the texts bad?  Does the curriculum not have the fun bits?  Are the lesson plans bad?  Or are kids of that age just not able to appreciate the material?  (I’m sure that there are other options.)

I remember being bored while studying the french revolution.  There more action in the French Revolution than a Michael Bay movie – how can you possibly be bored?

Agree or disagree?  If you can separate the subject from your teachers, is Social Studies boring?


7 thoughts on “Is social studies boring?

  1. David Silvestri says:

    Notice that we’re more interested in History now than we were as children. Children (teenagers included) have trouble focusing on the now and the recent. Asking them to understand and focus on details that are hundreds of years old is next to impossible.

    We take out all the killing from history texts because “kids are too young to deal with that stuff”, but based on what’s on tv these days and what’s popular, it would be what kids find interesting.

    And the French Revolution wasn’t cool in school because we did it for 4 years straight… same stuff every year. The first time we learned about the FR it was cool. But by the time we were being force fed the same thing for the 3rd and 4th time, it was like I “unlearned” a lot of it and just tuned it out.

    • Take this with a hearty grain of salt since I have no kids, but I think some kids stuff is too sanitized (while tween/teen stuff might contain too much). Especially death – unexpected death is something kids have to deal with too so some prep is likely nice. Remembrance day and its reasons are what I’m thinking of (as opposed to sitting down to watch Saving Private Ryan).

      Anyway, come the French Revolution studying in 8th grade or so being frank about the barbarism that folks can descend into is probably a valuable lesson. No need to dwell on the gruesomeness to generate interest though…

      Sorry – that point is pretty vague and messed up.

      I agree that the fourth time you hear about Jacobins it starts to just flow through the ears…

      • David Silvestri says:

        Agreed… I think it’s important that Children understand about Remembrance Day and wars that have come and what they meant to us. But they aren’t ready to see the reality of war (or pretty darn close to it in SPR) yet.

        Do you really think we were supposed to have FR 4 years in a row? I still remember Mr. Kuran completely perplexed that none of the french students knew anything about the First or Second World Wars when we had to take SS in English in Grade 12.

  2. Brandi says:

    Social was actually one of my favorite classes and I had a cool teacher for quite a bit of the time.

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