Last night NBC news shined a light on an issue that all of us in the social studies world are concerned with–our students ability to understand and retain key historical information. The news report focused on results from the social studies NAEP which show low achievement across grade levels. The report identifies one of the main reasons for the low test scores to be lack of instructional time for social studies. According to the report, math and reading receive ten times more instructional time than social studies. That is a statistic that’s not surprising to many of us. However, there was a silver lining to the story–social studies teachers around the country are making a difference!
The featured teacher in the story is Dan Buccieri, a Los Angeles Unified School District teacher, who was recently named as a teacher of the year in the district. He is a talented and dedicate teacher who uses TCI strategies and materials extensively in his classroom. When the reporter asks his student, Jose, a question from the NAEP–Identify at least one advantage American troops had over the British?– Jose nails the question!
So, while the battle goes on to raise student acheivement, there is some good news. There are teachers all across the country who, like Dan, are making social studies memorable and are helping their students to nail the question. Congratulations to Dan and to all the teachers out there working so hard to help their students!