Tuesday, June 01, 2004

No Child Left Behind Act Leaves Behind History

I just read an article in the Chronicle of Education that discusses the emphasis that the No Child Left Behind Act places on reading and math. It argues that because schools are trying to meet the requirements of the act they have doubled the time spent on math and reading, lessening the time spent teaching history and science.

While I can understand the author's dismay, I do not think schools need to abandon history to reach the No Child Left Behind Act requirements. Why not incorporate history lessons and historical writings into reading comprehension. By reading books and articles on historical subjects and teaching students to locate arguments and supporting evidence, schools could accomplish some of the goals of teaching history, while at the same time contributing to the reading abilities that children need to master in order to do well on No Child Left Behind assessments. While I don't think that all history teaching should be 'reading comprehension', this move could increase the overall amount of time students spend learning about history.

No comments: