PART 1: Main Focus:
- Where are you (with respect to Social Studies?)
I am interested and intrigued by the subject of Social Studies. I believe this is because it’s such a broad topic which many categories fit under (History, Political Sciences, Anthropology, Philosophy, etc.), and therefore many exciting ideas and learning opportunities.
To be more specific, I love history because knowing the past gives me a clearer view of the present. Understanding what led up to current events is important in understanding the event itself. In knowing history, you learn not to take things for granted, because you know what it took to get here (war, genocide, labour, injustices, to name a few.) as well as where things come from and where they might be going.
Having more knowledge on historical topics also creates an advantage in participating in debates or conversation. For example, I sometimes engage in tame spats with family members over social or political issues, and I have to admit to being uneducated on some topics, which leads to lack of a convincing argument. I dislike being ignorant.
I’m also personally fascinated by the human mind and culture (anthropology?), and “deep” or “big” questions. (I will expand on this in PART 2: 2nd Focus.)
- Where are you going?
Looking very far ahead into the future, I’ve considered careers relating to what we study in Social Studies. I’m not sure if I want to go in this direction, but it’s still an option for me. My goals for a closer time period are to become more aware of the world and how to manage being part of it and learn about the past so as not to take the future for granted.
PART 2: 2nd Focus:
- What interests you in this topic? (Why?)
There are quite a few points of interest for me in the vast topic that is Social Studies. The earliest interest within Social Studies that I can remember I’ve had is Native American/First Nations culture and history. For some reason their ideas and morals really appealed to me from a young age. When I was eight, I went out of my way to learn more about them. I also loved books about the past, such as the Little House series by Laura Ingalls Wilder. I am constantly wondering about the past.
(Image courtesy of flickr)
Last year, for an open project we had, I stretched the guidelines as far as I could to do a project on Christopher Columbus and his actions because I had had a sudden interest in it. This was because I wanted to challenge the fact that Columbus Day still exists after reading a poster about “200 years of tourism”. It’s funny because this is what we stared learning in grade 9, so I was a bit ahead.
Now, my interests expand to questions between right and wrong, being exposed to new ways of thinking, and social justice issues. In the social media era, social issues are easily spread around, and I find them to be important. Another big interest is human society, culture, and behaviour. I think that people tend to subconsciously believe that we are bigger and better than the creatures and plants around us and regard ourselves as more intelligent. I’m against this belief. My idea is that we are just another species and that if we look at human culture on a larger scale instead of zeroing in, we’ll find that we aren’t any more significant, than, say, ants because we’re just another species that all share common behavioural patterns. I’m not calling this my own mind-blowing original idea, because it’s not at all, but it’s just what I think and I hope it makes sense. Of course there are many arguments against this and I’m still interested in hearing every one.
- What challenges you about this topic?
I would say that being open minded to all ideas can be tough for me, because I tend to latch on to one idea and stick with it. I should improve in regarding other people’s ideas as highly as my own.
PART 3: 3rd focus
- What have we done/read/discovered so far that provides an example of the main or 2nd focus?
Where we are: We’ve done ‘Philosophy Pop Quizzes’ which gives us as students a good idea of where we are with our learning and interest towards the subject. Reading about Christopher Columbus, his true history, and arguments about progress have put us in a place where we can ask meaningful questions.
Where we’re going: Exploring the idea of “progress” and what it really means. In Social Studies we created an Agreement/Disagreement/New Ideas/Confusion chart to reflect on the text we read and create new ways of thinking. Between peers, we have discussed ‘main ideas’ and questions which we are yet to come to a conclusion.
In closing, I’m looking forward to a ‘progressive’ semester of learning in Socials 9! I’m eager to be exposed to more about the past in the future. (See what I did there?)