Connecticut's Board of Education recently issued guidance that aims to help create a curriculum that includes economics, geography, technology and culture to prepare students to compete in a global workforce. Curriculum changes follow the recommendations of the College, Career and Civic Life Framework by the National Council on the Social Studies and could be approved by the fall.
Shocked and saddened by the use of anti-Semitic language by her classmates, Liah Kaminer, of Hall High School in West Hartford, Conn., decided to create a class to teach ninth-grade social studies classes about the roots of the hate-speech and how it hurts people. Kaminer worked with Stephen Armstrong, the social studies department supervisor, to form the class. Kaminer said she plans to continue the class in the future and hopes to expand to another high school.
A group of 77 eighth-graders from Shelton Intermediate School in Connecticut recently toured Washington, D.C.'s historic sites, including the World War II memorial, where they showed appreciation to the veterans and others they met on their trip. "They get an appreciation for our history by visiting monuments and museums, and get a better understanding on our government -- for instance, what branch does what -- when visiting the Capitol," said Dina Marks, the school's assistant principal, who also was one of the trip chaperones and a former social studies teacher.
Southington Public Schools in Connecticut has found mixed results from a bring-your-own-device pilot project, Karen Veilleux, district technology director, said in a recent board of education meeting. Student participation varied by grade, as did conclusions as to whether the program was successful -- ranging from some schools reporting increased engagement to other schools struggling to access the Internet because of aging infrastructure.
Students in Theresa Vara-Dannen's American Studies at University High School of Science and Engineering in Hartford, Conn., have written and published 30 profiles of local men and women for the African American National Biography, compiled by the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research at Harvard University. Students research their subjects, such as abolitionist Selah Africanus, through libraries, historical societies and newspaper archives. The project is a reason Vara-Dannen was named 2012 Connecticut History Teacher of the Year by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, said Steve Armstrong, president-elect of the National Council for the Social Studies.