CHS evaluates social studies department after curriculum restructuring

Superintendent+Michael+Beresford+works+in+his+office+located+inside+the+Carmel+Clay+Schools+Education+Services+Center.+Beresford+said+he+believes+the+greater+emphasis+placed+on+inquiry+by+the+recent+social+studies+curriculum+reformat+is+critical+in+developing+valuable+life+skills+for+students+at+this+school.

Superintendent Michael Beresford works in his office located inside the Carmel Clay Schools Education Services Center. Beresford said he believes the greater emphasis placed on inquiry by the recent social studies curriculum reformat is critical in developing valuable life skills for students at this school.

Raghav Sriram

According to Superintendent Michael Beresford, the school board evaluated the high school’s social studies program at their last meeting.

“So we had to report on the social studies (program), and every six years, we adopt new materials for courses. At Carmel, we always evaluate the whole program and look at research and make sure we’re going in the right direction, we’re on the cutting edge of what’s going on in that field,” Beresford said.

According to Beresford, the current social studies curriculum is new. 

“You make the plans, and you make the recommendations, and then you have to make the curriculum map. From there, you go to adopt the materials, and then it goes to implementation,” Beresford said. “So probably, the first step will be training the teachers about what the new goals are, and that sort of thing. I don’t think we’re very far in implementation yet.”

According to Beresford, recent social studies curriculum restructuring puts a greater emphasis on ‘inquiry.’ 

“So, in other words, you’re going to take the facts that you gathered and opinions that you gather, and you have to come to your own conclusion,” Beresford said. “You’ve been in class and have had somebody sit you down and tell you, here’s the facts, write these down, and remember them for the test. You guys don’t like that, and it’s really it’s very low-level learning. But when you have to dig in and go, is this a reliable source? I don’t think there’s a more important skill that you guys need to learn than what’s a credible source and what’s not.”

Senior Jordan Seigel, a social studies peer tutor, said, “[Inquiry] is important because you need to challenge what you think you know and realize that there’s almost never one definitive truth.”

Beresford said, “The idea that you are really going to be pushed to critical thinking and evaluate and come to an opinion, and then my favorite part of it is that your opinion can be different from someone else’s opinion. And you can argue your opinion passionately; they can argue their opinion passionately, they may convince you, or you may convince them, or you both may not convince each other at all, but that’s okay. So, from a pedagogy standpoint, it’s really deeper learning.”

 

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