Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Save World History in Ohio

As a teacher educator, an avid voter, and a citizen deeply concerned about the future of the State of Ohio, I’m asking for your help in curtailing the devastating cuts made to the social studies curriculum by the Ohio State House. In its most recent decision, the Ohio State Legislature and the Ohio Department of Education decided not to include World History as a required course for high school graduation. The state representatives have also failed to include world history on its list of courses to be assessed. In the past 10 years, the education community has come to learn that if a course is not mandated or assessed, it’s usually not taught; especially, in such difficult economic times for schools. This unprecedented move by the Ohio Department of Education and the Ohio Legislature will have devastating consequences for our students, families, communities, and industry in an increasingly globally interconnected age.

The decision to not include world history as a required course could not have come at a worse time with our nation and veterans engaged in two on-going international military conflicts, citizens facing a global economic recession, and our world facing important global issues. The fact is that our State needs citizens, consumers, workers, and businesses that are knowledgeable about the rest of the world and its people. More so than any other generation, today’s students will be actors on a global stage (Merryfield & Wilson, 2005). Their lives will be shaped by events, movements, and issues from all corners of our planet. Their economic, political, and environmental decisions will have a significant impact on our world. World History is one of the most important courses in the entire social studies curriculum geared towards preparing students to work with a diverse citizenry committed to a deeper level of understanding in order to confront both local and global challenges.

We need your support in mandate that World History is a required course for graduation in the State of Ohio. There are three steps readers can take to meet our goal of ensuring World History stays a vibrant course offering in Ohio:

1. Discuss this issue with family, friends, and community leaders. Be sure to emphasis how the decision to not include World History as a graduation requirement or to mandate the state-wide assessment of World History in the State of Ohio will be devastating for our State’s mission of cultivating globally attuned and active citizens.

2. Contact your elected leaders and voice your concern about the failure to include World History as a required course for high school graduation.

For more information on this topic, please, feel free to review the advocacy efforts of the Ohio Council for the Social Studies:  http://ocss.wordpress.com/advocacy/legislative-updates-and-contacts. I have also blogged about this crisis at http://globalandsocialstudieseducation.blogspot.com/2010/09/state-of-social-studies-educatin-in.html .

I look forward to your support in helping to educate the youth of Ohio in a globally interconnected age.

A Recent Article Published in TSSP
Saving World History in Ohio's Schools

Global and Social Studies Education

The website/blog allows educators in the social studies to reflect upon key issues in the social studies. It also allows teachers the opportunity to access resources that help infuse instructional media and technology, and global perspectives in their teaching.