Dr. David Childs, Ph.D.
Northern Kentucky University
Today’s political climate can be tumultuous and taxing to the average person when witnessing the constant fighting between Republicans and Democrats. If there is one word that describes the political situation of our country right now, it is divided. The two major political parties can often be seen on the various news outlets in heated debates. They disagree on social issues on all levels. They clash on ideas about race and social class, policing, women’s rights, abortion, marriage and a whole host of other issues. It is truly an unsettling time in history and we wonder how bad things will get. But hope lies in youth and others that want to try to bring about unity through educating one’s self and being more civil and peaceful. However, young people along with the average citizen are often confused about what is going on in the political realm, so they cannot be effective unless they are more educated on the topics.
The social studies classroom should be a space that can offer some clarity on these issues. With the rapid advance of technology there are more resources than ever before to assist in educating students about political issues on both sides of the aisle. However, with the plethora of media outlets and resources such as Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, CNN and Fox News, it is often difficult to keep up or know what is going on in our city, state, nation and in the world. One of the roles of the classroom teacher is to help navigate this rough political and ideological terrain. But teachers have to be politically educated themselves and that can prove to be a challenge. The proliferation of new podcasts can offer incredible resources for teachers to prepare themselves for discussions and lessons surrounding various political issues. In turn, educators can bring middle and high school students up to speed on important topics. Many political podcasts stay up to date on current events and thus offer a great resource for social studies classrooms. We have spoken in the past about the importance of podcasts in teaching civics and history. We want to revisit the topic today and offer links to good podcasts that provide information to keep the public abreast on the latest news and current events.
Political Podcast as a Social Studies Resource
Pod Saves America
Slate Political Gabfest
The NPR Politics Podcast
Pod Save the People
Can He Do That?
NPR- Code Switching
Podcasts are a great form of entertainment, but also a great source of information. I do agree that our country seems to be divided and there may be some confusion regarding politics. I think that using podcasts as a form of educating others is a great idea and a great way to help students learn as it seems more engaging and interesting.
I completely agree that our hope is in the next generation. That is why our job of teaching is so important. As teachers our focus should always be on informing them completely on what is going on in our world and how they can get involved. I love how this article focused on how podcasts can prepare the teacher to better educate herself. That is how you can change the lives of your students. Not only focusing on them but focusing on how to make yourself better.
After reading this post, it reemphasized my belief that the use of podcasts can have numerous benefits. Like the post stated, there are many conflicts occurring in today’s world. I agree that it is important to learn from these conflicts and share this knowledge with the future generations. I, myself, do not have much of an understanding when it comes to what is going on in the present world. I tend to be behind on any news regarding politics. I believe that by incorporating these political podcasts into my everyday life it would better my overall understanding. Due to this, I highly recommend that educators should read this article to also help their students better their understanding.
Educating our youth on the world’s current political climate is important for many reasons. By educating our youth on such topics, we will help them prepare for the future. Learning about current political issues will give the youth a mental image of their future. It will teach them the importance of bringing our divided country back together. They will also learn the consequences of political disagreements and why it is important to stay civil.
Politics can be a very touchy subject in our world today and become a big debate or argument between two or more people. It is extremely important to educate our students on both sides of politics such as Democrats and Republicans. With having social media now, you see a lot of debates going on that have to relate to politics. It’s important for our students to understand the difference between both Democrats and Republicans. By incorporating them into our classroom it allows students to also voice their opinions and thoughts about politics but its also important for all the students to know that everyone is entitled to their own opinion. There are many politics topics that were incorporated in the past but it can also help understand what may or may not happen in the future. Our future is so important to learn about and understand. I love the idea of listening to podcasts that have to do with politics because it also allows you to listen to someone else’s view or helps you better understand politics as a whole.
Before reading this article, I did not even think about including podcasts in the classroom to keep students informed about the political state of our country. It is true that politics are divided immensely right now between two parties. As a teacher it is hard to keep up with what is going on in the world around us and doing that in an unbiased way. I think introducing podcasts into the classroom provide students with a way to hear both sides in a constructive manner and aren’t hearing the biases of the teacher teaching them. I believe by opening up this discussion in youth they will be able to fully understand what is going on in the world and fully comprehend how they can make a change, all while being able to make a inference on their own how the believe politics are without being told how they are by someone they know that could have a bias.
Thank you so much for creating this resource! As a future elementary teacher, I know students will hear all sorts of ideas from home, other teachers, coaches and many other adults. I’ll receive questions that are difficult to answer and you never want to give a one-sided argument. (I’ve heard horror stories of parent emails and staff meetings over simple misunderstandings; I would love to stay out of that!)
With our society feeling educated and opinionated about almost every topic, it’s refreshing to have a well-rounded group of places to hear both sides to every story. Thank you again!
I agree that this country is “divided” when it comes to politics. However, I think it stems to other major issues as well. Race, gender, religion, etc. This country can’t seem to agree on much these days. But I wonder if the increased use of technology has affected the opinions of this country’s people? We are constantly being fed a plethora of information, most of the time never knowing if it’s completely true. The media seems to have a desire to leave out certain details or try to sway the population one way or another. In regards to the podcasts that you suggested, I appreciate that. As a teacher, I feel that we must be educated about what’s going on in the world around us. It seems like the podcasts that you suggested have a wide range of opinions and information in them. Thank you for that!
I completely agree with you that this country is divided. I also strongly agree that students need to be educated and informed instead of sheltered and uneducated. I will say that I had an amazing government teacher my senior year who was great about educating us on what politics are and how they work. He got us involved in current events and exposed us to many different media outlets. I also agree that it’s important for teachers to be educated in order to educate their students. I will say that I think it’s important we talk about politics and have those tough discussions, because maybe this country wouldn’t be so divided!