Challenges of Teaching Social Studies

Teaching Social Studies

Last Updated on July 6, 2024 by Team Experts

Teaching kids is one of the best jobs in the world and social studies teachers are able to help children understand how the world works. 

However, there has been a myriad of issues mushrooming in the teaching area, here are a few.

Controversial Units

Social studies is a political subject at its core and like most political subjects, sides are often taken even when people want to be as impartial as possible. In a world that is growing more liberal by the day, it is becoming hard to navigate social studies. 

In the United States, topics such as the death penalty can be very contentious and can cause a lot of friction. Issues like religion are eggshells that no one wants to walk on in case of trends like ‘cancel culture.’

Relativity to Today’s Lives

The 8th grade social studies curriculum covers issues from the past and in the present. It can be hard getting kids to relate to something they have no idea how it happened. 

For example, ancient Egypt can be quite tough to explain to kids who do not even relate to the country. Teachers have to work exceptionally hard to make these topics interesting enough to capture the attention of the kids.

Too Wide a Subject

Social studies is a subject that covers the entire world, so it can be quite difficult to teach everything in depth. 

From learning all there is about a country, to expanding to a continent and the world, it can be quite hard to get in-depth everywhere which leaves the question of whether topics should be discussed in-depth or just briefly.

Memory Training

With so much to learn in the subject, there is the question of whether the subject actually educates kids or makes them cram details for examinations. 

Social studies teachers need to monitor their teaching methods to ensure they do not use rote memorization as it is not the best way to ensure kids learn. This is not just in social studies, teachers ought to learn how to educate children without making them memory robots.

How to Handle False Knowledge

With high exposure to the internet, children can often come across some false historical facts and this can lead to kids often writing or assuming the wrong facts. 

This is often a problem for teachers who have to root these bits of false knowledge from the kids. The historical movies that are often a kid’s favorite are more for entertainment than education. 

A social studies teacher should use interesting methods to bring the facts to light and have the kids consume them.

Presenting Different Perspectives

Books are written by people and people can have different perspectives of things. There might be two books on the same topic written by two authors of different beliefs or political stands and whichever book a district takes on means the kid’s perspective is bent towards the text. 

History might be written by two different people citing different events so it can be challenging for teachers to take an impartial stand.

Being a social studies teacher is an important job as it helps shape lives and opinions in the future. While debunking the world’s myths and fake news to kids can be a task, what other subject can make role-playing a fun class activity?


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Erin Lane is a creative writer and lifestyle blogger from Canberra, Australia. She is a hard-working, organized, dedicated professional interested in learning new things. With over six years of experience in writing, Erin has covered numerous topics, including health, tech, fashion, fitness, makeup, home improvement, decoration, business, and finances. Erin is an active person who enjoys nature and traveling. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter/X, Instagram

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