The tumultuous times we are facing as a human population will go down in history. A deadly unrelenting virus, a new President and a charged political climate is what we are experiencing in 2021. There are a plethora of global issues that plague our world today. There is no shortage of news. Updates on current events are now at our fingertips, at the touch of a button. Catching up on the latest news requires little to no effort, as we are spoon fed information from hundreds of news outlets on every social media platform.
Young people have no excuse to not stay informed. I believe that we have a responsibility and duty as a society to expose ourselves to world affairs and current events in order to have a deeper understanding of what is happening in our local region and our world. The time that this exposure begins is as a student.
Students of all ages should be taught about the importance of current events inside the classroom in order to help them develop into worldly citizens. Current events help us gain a deeper understanding of human interaction and issues that we deal with on a daily basis. I believe that elementary school students, specifically, should be exposed to certain current events that are appropriate for their age group. Starting young with news that grade school children can understand can be beneficial for their overall appreciation of how people interact in our society.
I do not, however, believe current events should replace learning history from centuries ago. Being educated on the present should complement our study of history, not replace it. I believe there should be a balance between current events and past events, especially for younger students. Educating students on important events of the present should be equally as important as learning about historic events.
Current events cover a wide array of topics, including both positive and negative news. Similar to studying different subjects in school, students should be exposed to the same diverse subject matter when it comes to world news and events. Exposing children to reading the news and following world events can turn them into lifelong readers and not just on their smartphones. Sadly, smartphones have made reading a nearly impossible task for some. Studying current events would enable teachers to expose students to the benefits of reading and absorbing new material outside the scope of a history textbook.
The goal of education is to foster better thinkers. Limiting education to the past compromises the potential of each student and the impact they can make on the world.
Teachers and professors have such an important role in the shaping of our future generations. The great philosopher, George Santayana, once said, “Those who fail to learn from history are condemned to repeat it.” History teachers should put more emphasis on the importance of current events, because current events are nearly always shaped by the past. History is a valuable teacher; current events supplement those valuable lessons of the past. Students can also have open dialogue with their parents about worldly subject matter, giving them an opportunity to practice having mature discussions about difficult topics.
There is information to be attained every day starting with current events. Moreover, as students get older, it is important that they have obtained the knowledge and resources to build informed opinions. Gaining knowledge in world affairs enables thoughts and opinions on controversial issues. Everyone deserves the right to form their own opinion on important matters, and the first step is becoming an informed citizen.
Competition also persists with professionals in the global marketplace. To set yourself apart from competitors in the workplace, it is beneficial to have a broad understanding of international affairs and diverse groups of people. Finding individuals who may not share the same cultural background as you is common in the United States of America. We live in a melting pot where diversity is encouraged and appreciated. Being knowledgeable about the world around you and diverse groups of people will help form better friendships, partnerships and business relationships.
I believe that it is extremely important that students of all ages should be learning about current events. No matter your age or education background, there is always more to learn. After all, “[T]he man who graduates today and stops learning tomorrow is uneducated the day after,” said Newton D. Baker. The exciting part of life is knowing that each day comes with a new experience, a new lesson to learn and a new outlook to gain.