Students Gain Insight into US Politics as Historical Events Unfold in Real Time



San Diego County students are learning about U.S. politics in real time through lessons in their classrooms. History and social studies teacher, Michael Williams, at Wilson Middle School starts his classes with students watching the CNN 10 program, which is produced for children to better understand current events. Vince Martinez, who teaches advanced placement psychology and a section of AP research at Otay Ranch High School in Chula Vista, stated that students are inundated with information from sources seeking to influence them, and they often trust these sources to be factual when they are not.

Real-Time U.S Politics Unfold in San Diego Classrooms

As the Super Tuesday primary results rolled in, Californians, and the nation, now shift their focus to the November election. Indeed, even the students in classrooms across San Diego County are following the unfolding political narrative, gaining firsthand knowledge of U.S. politics.

“By 2032, they’ll be old enough to vote, old enough to participate in our democracy. So, we want them to think about it as active citizens.”

– Michael Williams, History and Social Studies Teacher at Wilson Middle School

At Wilson Middle School in City Heights, history and social studies classes begin with viewing the CNN 10 program, a show designed to help children understand current events. The program aids students in deciphering U.S. politics and its prominent figures.

Williams employs a teaching strategy called scaffolding to guide students’ understanding of national and world events, progressively reducing his assistance as they grasp the concepts. Considering these students are a few presidential elections away from voting, this understanding is crucial.

Meanwhile, at Otay Ranch High School in Chula Vista, Vince Martinez guides his advanced placement psychology and AP research class through semester-long project investigations requiring in-depth academic research. Several students will be eligible to vote in the upcoming presidential election.

These students, despite being part of a generation swamped with information from various sources, are learning to discern fact from fiction, recognizing that profit or content generation may be the primary motive of some sources.

Brady Peters, a 17-year-old student, is investigating political misinformation. Intrigued by the extreme conspiracy theories gaining traction on social media, Brady has just completed a survey with 114 students from his school, assessing their perceptions of truthfulness after viewing pairs of political ad videos.

His research is part of a larger lesson on the potential for misinformation and the importance of critical thinking in an era of information overload, a lesson all students are learning in their journey towards becoming informed citizens.

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