Teaching 9/11


Today, many classroom discussions will revolve around the history and implications of 9/11, but the event has yet to make its way into many curricula beyond the anniversary. An article in the Newark Star-Ledger discusses a few different efforts underway to provide curricular guidance.

Still in the early stages is the National 9/11/01 Civic Education Program, an Initiative of the World Trade Center United Family Group and the Taft Institute for Government at Queens College. They plan to “provide high school teachers with the tools to educate their students on the historic events of 9/11/01 while promoting and directing the nation’s youth toward civic participation.” The National September 11 Memorial and Museum offers a page of multimedia resources and lesson plans.

A story in today’s Philadelphia Inquirer details the decision-making progress area schools are going through as they choose if and how to integrate 9/11 into the curriculum. One public figure takes a clear stand:

Former New Jersey Gov. Tom Kean, who chaired the national 9/11 Commission, said 9/11 should be woven into every school district’s curriculum. “If it’s not taught properly, it could be pretty scary,” Kean said. “Older kids will remember it, and younger kids will hear about it. It’s a wonderful teaching tool.”

Are you discussing 9/11 in your school on the anniversary—and beyond? What challenges are you facing, and what are you finding is most effective?