Video: A Content-Free Social Studies Classroom

James Kendra, who has been teaching social studies at Kenowa Hills Middle School for the past nineteen years, explains his approach of a “content-free social studies classroom.”  In this 12:35 video from TEDx Muskegon, he explains that social studies is the most important class students take in school but not when the emphasis is on facts and dates. “Students want to know why these events are happening,” Kendra says. “Historical events (if they were truly significant) would connect to events of today.  We shouldn’t be telling students which events were important, but them discovering how past and present connect.”  How would your tours or exhibits change if they were based on current events and then looked to the past for explanations and understanding?