In the News: How to Teach Students About the U.S. Capitol Attack
As we experience some of the most intense challenges our country has ever faced, students are watching. Now, educators across the US are tasked with explaining dramatic events as tensions unfold in real time. This article shares resources for how to navigate these issues and support your students.
The dramatic events of Jan. 6 and their continuing fallout demand sustained and careful classroom attention from teachers. But there is no complete roadmap available to them yet.
What makes teaching about the insurrection on Capitol Hill especially complicated is that it’s not a spontaneous event, but rather the product of multiple factors and trends: political polarization, a disintegrating news infrastructure and the rise of social media, a backlash to recent discourse about criminal justice, and racism, among many things.
Nor were the day’s events entirely without historical precedent. Disputed elections have occurred at several points in American history, and there has been at least one other attempted insurgency.
It’s OK not to have everything all figured out immediately, said Emma Humphries, the chief education officer at iCivics, the civics curriculum provider and advocacy group. At least in the beginning, teachers should trust their instincts and take steps to make sure students feel safe. But longer term?