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(A) Are there any ideas, issues, or specific pieces of content you find absent in the standards?

After reviewing the standards, I feel there are several items missing or underemphasized. I believe there should be some mention in the World History Era 8 section about the rise of nationalism and its effects on nation building. I took a history course on nationalism last semester and am convinced of its importance, especially in the 20th and 21st century. A new included standard would mention something like: "Highlight the emergence and importance of nationalist movements in the post-colonial world. Discuss the pro-nationalism movements of the Middle East, South American, and former Soviet Union and how national movements and sentiments continue to define national bodies into the 21st century." This would allow for a discussion on some of the following points: What is a nation? How does a nation differ from a country? How do 'nations' come to exists? What are the characteristics that differentiate one 'nation' from another? On the topic of nationalism, I am a firm believer that national sports and team loyalties play an important role in national identity. Discussions on nationalism can delve into many different realms including music, art, commercial advertising, and consumption media. I would like to discuss these topics further in my own classroom and feel they deserve some place in the content standards. Another area of the content standards I feel needs work is the economics section. In general, I believe there needs to be more emphasis on personal finance decisions and less about the science and mathematics of economic forecasting. While I certainly value the content mentioned in the standards, specifically the areas that highlight the government's relationship with the US economy, my experience has been that high school graduates are not informed enough about their own personal finances to be successful. Of the entire section on economics, only 1/2 a page is dedicated toward personal finance. Particularly alarming is the fact that 'insurance' is only mentioned in one sub-caption of the personal finance section. I firmly believe that all students who graduate high school need to have a solid understanding of how the medical insurance industry works.

(B) Do these standards attend to what you identify as the purposes of social studies? I am very impressed with the text and graphics provided at the front end of the packet. I strongly agree with the objectives the MDE is trying to achieve with these standards. I particularly liked the visual provided on the bottom of page 8. I feel like 'responsible citizenship' is a nice way to describe our overarching goal as social studies teachers. Perhaps changing it to 'responsible global citizenship' would help promote the standards' international perspective.

(C) Is there any one perspective or viewpoint that is more present at the expense of others? How would you adapt this in your own instruction? Interestingly enough, I feel as though the content standards are purposefully all-inclusive. While I am sure there are specific events and people groups not explicitly mentioned, the standards do a good job of summarizing the vast wealth of knowledge that could be discussed in a particular

social studies program. That being said, I feel that many social studies teacher pick and choose many of the same elements to enforce year after year and certain events and people groups get featured while others exist only on paper. This turns into a discussion about what is listed on the state standards versus what is actually being taught by the Michigan core of social studies teachers. It would be an interesting study to collect data from a large group of Michigan social studies teachers and weigh how much time is spend on what content standards. Additionally, I believe many textbooks highlight the same people groups and events edition after edition and leave many of the other worthy content standards unmentioned. So, in my own teaching I will be sure to pull from some of the less mentioned content standards because I feel that many of the items listed could relate very well to certain students in my classroom. In general, I feel that the content standards list a very diverse set of objectives, however current social studies teachers tend to mainly focus on those pertaining to United States or 'White History'.

(D) Which standards may be more difficult for you to meet in your classroom? Why? The difficulty of addressing certain standards will be defined by the types of students in my class. If my class is mostly minority students I can see the lessons on the American Revolution and the formation of the United States as difficult because of the typical over emphasis of white male politicians in textbooks and other instructional materials. Teaching early European colonial history can be challenging to handle if there is a student of Native American ancestry. Teaching World War II history can be difficult for Jewish, Japanese, or German students. While these standards may be more difficult to teach, I believe there exists a great of opportunity to highlight histories that are not as strongly mentioned textbooks. This would require me to find new resources and brush up on my own knowledge of different histories. Another difficulty is my limited knowledge of everything mentioned in the content standards. While there are certainly many items I recognized and would feel comfortable teaching, there are others that I know very little about. I see this as an opportunity to continue my growth as a historian and I intend to use those lesser-known standards as a challenge to build my vocabulary.

(E) Which standards get you excited about teaching? Why?

While I am a history major and enjoy the subject immensely, I also have a strong passion for political science and its continual importance on our daily lives. Reading through the Civics content standards got me excited about covering the topic, especially around election cycles. I am most excited about the accessibility of the standards and the vast wealth of popular and academic resources students can use to better understand the subject. I also enjoy the strong connections the standards make between history and political science. When students understand how governments, ideologies, and legal and economic systems motivated the American Revolution, the American Civil War, World War I and World War II, it can provide a strong interdisciplinary moment that can be very memorable. I should also mention that there are certainly more connections other than war and politics that can be covered.

(F) What are your beliefs about content standards in social studies?

The difficulty of answering this question is the distinction between the actual content standards versus their use by teachers in classrooms and textbook companies in producing educational materials. If we are strictly talking about the content standards on paper, I whole-hearted support their intent and continual development. I strongly believe that producing the content standards document helps solidify the state's constitutional responsibility to educate its children. Because every state produces its own set of standards, the original intention of the nation's founders to designate public education to individual states is continually recognized. State standards also provide a content outline to teachers to help them construct their own individualized curriculums. Too often I feel that educators interpret the state standards as curricula. This is not the case in my opinion! I view the standards as a collection of valuable content expectations that teachers can use to construct their own curricula. There is no way a class can cover every content standard effectively. This allows for some creativity and autonomy by individual teachers that I welcome. As for the many negative uses of content standards, I'll save that for another piece because I could write for days about it.

(G) What do you think your students would think about the standards?

As a student I would see the content standards as a lofty goal. I would probably be the student to approach my teacher at the end of term and complain of how we didn't cover C2 2.1.4. However, I'm sure not all students would view the standards in that way. Some students may view the standards as a laundry list of requirements that don't add up to any real learning. Where is the section about building relationships between teachers and students? Where is the section on building students' character? Where is the section on teaching healthy diets and lifestyles? How to deal with the complexities of high school romance? I think there are a lot of things that are 'learned' in high school that don't appear on any content standard. This is why I don't believe content standards should be viewed as the definitive tome of public education. There is a highly human and personal exchange that happens in classrooms between teachers and students that should not be ignored because its existence is not mentioned in some state content standard. Overall, I think students would view the content standards as a relatively small portion of the actual 'life learning' that happens in high school.