Every day since fifth grade, I’ve come home to the San Francisco Chronicle to fuel my procrastination of homework. As the years go on, I’ve gotten further into the depths beyond just the first page captions. Maybe it’s just because I’m a journalist, but I’ve come to actively search for news outlets to feed my need for staying updated on my current events.
However, I know for most students this isn’t the norm. Based on a Raven Report survey with 238 responses, we found 63 percent of students considered themselves to be less knowledgeable than average, after taking a short current events quiz.
Although, a lot expressed how they think students should be informed, as we are the next generation and will be entering the real world soon, they aren’t seeking out information to educate themselves.
Sure, current events are briefly referenced or discussed in classes, but I believe students need to pay more attention to what is going on.
There could be so many issues that anger you, but you don’t even know they’re happening. Do you know about all the environmental rules President Trump has repealed or is in the progress of repealing? What about the independence referendum in Barcelona that became violent? Or the Rohingya crisis in Myanmar? How are you going to have a voice in the world if you aren’t up to date with all the events happening?
According to the Education World, the benefits of knowing current events for students include having higher tests scores, becoming effective readers and improving vocabulary as well as comprehension. Also, most of you are going to vote soon, so you should be educated about these issues.
Another statistic found through our survey is 87 percent of students use social media for news. While this may be the best way to see all those weird Buzzfeed stories, it is not the most accurate source for learning what happened in Texas, Florida and what continues to happen in Puerto Rico. The problem with only getting one news source is you only ever get one view. Yes, journalists are supposed to be objective, but everyone has their biases which can change the information they put into an article or even a tweet.
It is very important to read sources with differing views from yours so you can learn to understand the opposite sides of the argument. Understanding there is no answer to the issue that caused the event will enrich student’s mind to be aware there is never a right answer. Like history teacher Lydia Cuffman has written on her wall, “Nothing is unbiased.”
Sure, in a lot of classes, teachers talk about current events, yet they aren’t always talked about in depth. From my personal experience, teachers and students are mostly never on the same level of knowledge about topics, which doesn’t allow us to have enriching discussions around the event.
However, most teachers only ever present their view on the event instead of presenting both sides so students can’t form their own opinions on it. This causes students to believe the only correct view is the teacher’s view instead of focusing on what they themselves believe in. Especially if most of the class agrees with the teacher, it singles out the students who don’t believe in the same view, thus making them feel out of place and not wanting to share their views again. I think if students are to read up on current events, they will be more likely to offer differing opinions when current events are discussed in the classroom. So, I think when talking about current events it should be done carefully so we don’t cause homogenization of ideas.
If classes brought in more stories having to do with current events, students would become more informed about the world so when they’re at a boring adult dinner party they can relate the topic on the table to what they have learned in the classroom. Teachers should be pushing their students to read up on topics that interest them whether it may be sports, politics or the latest award show.
I mean, after all, knowledge is power.