Millions of high school students across the country are currently enrolled in one or more classes pertaining to history: world history, cultural history, U.S. history, etc. What do these courses all have in common? Each one focuses on the past. While a rich understanding of nations’ earlier decisions and the ranging effects of differing governments (along with many other issues) are certainly important, schools must not overlook the most important topic of all: the present. Why they are not supplying their students with a class centering on current events, let alone making it mandatory, is astounding, for invigorating participants’ minds and granting them the ability to freely voice their very important opinions is a must in today’s ever growing society. Also, an up-to-date’ lesson, one not yet covered by every professional in the field, would allow for fresh examinations.
A major hindrance to learning is the trepidation towards talking in class. Students, afraid of speaking out, rest easy, knowing that their teacher will do all the work; but if the teacher were forced to focus on topics straight out of the morning newspaper, he or she would only be able to mention so much about them. Using past references and one’s own opinion would leave him/her merely as the class instigator rather than a lone speaker. Subsequently, students would be forced to talk, and whether right or wrong, they would at least be thinking. Overall, minds would be stimulated, and students would be educating each other instead of half-consciously listening to their instructor.
Following hand-in-hand with stimulation is opinion. Students, speaking on a topic, will inevitably form ideas about it. Not only is this essentially beneficial towards the usage of the brain but in such a case as of two or more heavily opinionated classmates passionately debating over a subject, they would unknowingly be pushing one another into farther and deeper modes of thought. This allows the class to take on a life of its own. Scripted lessons (in face of such a unique method of learning) lose their importance, no two class periods could ever be the same, and, consequently, students are able to look forward to an hour that lacks any and all predictability. Conversely, a class dealing only with the past hurts a student’s ability to pursue his/her own ideas while leaving them without the ability to question others’.
Why cause students to focus solely on the past when there is so much happening today? Current events give young adults a breather from intangible subjects and allow them to become integrated into the world that they live in; this helps them not only in the classroom but in common politics as well. Then, utilizing a keener sense of understanding, they are better able to analyze past topics that before would have been thought inaccessible. In the end, a current events class, in connection with everyday history courses, would allow for a focus on today and yesterday, a much wiser method than the one existing.