Teachers Tackle Terrorism

September 09, 2008 1 min read

Today’s high school students were in grade school on September 11, 2001. For many of them, the terrorist attacks of 9/11 are a distant memory, informed more by outside sources than their own recollections. Despite the difficulties of teaching the subject as national debates rage on about Iraq and Middle East politics, the Salt Lake Tribune reports that Utah high school teachers have taken it upon themselves—9/11 is not in the state’s social studies curriculum—to teach 9/11 in a historical context.

Bingham High School history teacher Charron Mason not only approaches the subject using student discussion with her history students, but also in her finance classes with a discussion about the state of world finances immediately following 9/11. Others, like West High School’s U.S. history teacher Jose Bernardo Fanjul and Bingham High School history teacher Scott Crump, are teaching several-day lessons and full units, respectively, on terrorism. Crump broadens the discussion of terrorism by including lessons on the Berlin Munich Olympic attacks on Israeli athletes and the conflicts in Northern Ireland, as well as 9/11.

“I really go all out, because for this generation nothing else comes close [to 9/11], even if now most of my students remember it only from grade school … We try to use it as a platform to teach political activity and tolerance,” Fanjul said. “It’s a great moment to start teaching other issues. We can take it and run with it in almost any direction.”

A version of this news article first appeared in the Web Watch blog.