TED Conversations

Austin Rogers

This conversation is closed.

What are broad (or specific) topics that a current event/social issues/ high school course cover?

I've started a class at my high school and will assist in teaching it, and I believe that the best ideas come from cumulative thinking. So any ideas from the TED community are greatly appreciated.
Good background for this is that it's an elective course limited to juniors and seniors, and the teaching style is heavily subjective to Socratic seminar to create an appreciation for all ideas and enforce a deeper connection with a feeling of democratic equality.


Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • Jun 27 2013: This question seems too obvious. Cover the important topics.

    Also, discuss how the media pick which stories to cover, and why they very often do not cover the important topics.
    • thumb
      Jun 27 2013: I guess the topics are , or can seem, obvious due to knowledge of 21st century issues. However the issue when trying to plan a syllabus is what ideas and topics deserve more in depth investigation, because nearly any topic that comes to mind has the content to fill a semester if really investigated. The issue really rises when trying to decide which topics demand more than others, then deciding if those topics can be covered while still painting a relatively broad picture.
      So the question really ought to have been what topics MUST be covered or what are the most important ones?

      Because obviously i would have a strong bias towards my own interests.
      • Jun 27 2013: It appears that you are asking for specific topics, and I find that confusing. I understood that this course would be discussing CURRENT events, meaning that you would be picking and choosing from very recent media stories. You can hardly expect us to predict what topics will be in the news next semester. I can fully understand why you would be concerned about bias toward you own interests, but it is also part of your job as a teacher to offer guidance about what is important. (I am awed by the responsibility of teaching young people.)

        If it can be done, I would form two committees to help pick topics. You would chair both committees. One committee would consist of you and two other teachers. (Or perhaps community leaders, if you can get them to do it.) Pick one teacher that disagrees with you about everything. The other committee would be you and two students, different students each week. Be sure to make it clear that these committees are not picking the topics, they are just helping you to decide. (What is discussed in your class is your responsibility.) If you see a story that you think absolutely must be covered, just do it, even if both committees disagree. Be prepared to give these committees some guidance on what you are trying to accomplish.

        Be sure to use sources other than the major media, such as blogs.

        One source for future stories is the agenda of the Supreme Court.

        Since I have absolutely zero experience with this, I will not feel offense if you conclude that I have no idea what I am dealing with and this idea is complete nonsense.

        Good Luck.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.