By Allie Witek, Staff Writer
We can all agree that global awareness and knowledge of the world around us is paramount; but should current events be incorporated in Trinity Hall curricula as a separate class? Although some feel it is necessary to teach current events as a class because such topics are relevant to our daily lives, in reality current events as an official class would be superfluous and cumbersome. Current issues are already discussed, when deemed appropriate, in history, theology and English classes. Additionally, news material is rapidly changing, and thus difficult to plan lessons around.
A current events class would be redundant at Trinity Hall because current worldly issues are discussed regularly in our Humanities classes. These issues are used to enhance students’ education by providing comparisons and examples to a particular theme or lesson. Because “history repeats itself,” the integration of current events into history classes provides a valuable comparison to lessons in the classroom. This integration likewise is more beneficial for students because they gain knowledge about the overall theme or topic rather than just what is occurring today.
For example, in our US History class, juniors recently learned about the 1848 Seneca Falls Woman’s Rights Convention that engendered awareness for gender equality. Currently, there are still campaigns for women’s rights just like the ones described in the convention, so we spent time comparing today’s issues with similar historical events from centuries ago. Thus, when current topics are discussed in history classes concurrently instead of in isolation in a current events class, they can be used as a comparative tool for learning. Although it is vastly important to be educated on the world outside of our community, history classes already utilize current events as a learning tool.
In addition, it is no surprise that the news changes daily—even hourly. This volatile foundation would lead to an disorganized class syllabus and breaks in discussion. Some may argue that a teacher could plan the class daily, but that can potentially be strenuous for both the teacher and the student. With so much occurring in the world, how could the student and teacher both focus their attention on the most pertinent issues? Plus, if students don’t stay up-to-date on what is going on in the outside world on their own time during breaks and the summer, the class is rendered pointless.
Current events classes would not be beneficial on account of their inconsistency, controversy, and repetition of discussions in history classes already occurring. If students yearn for more discussion on such topics, a possible solution to this desire could be a current events club that meets once a week and analyzes current events. To be educated on the world’s most pressing issues is an idea with much merit, but Trinity Hall does not need a course dedicated solely to that purpose since that goal is already met in our existing classes.