Teachable Moments Through Current Events

Following Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday and leading into the Inauguration, Cathedral faculty have a wealth of teachable moments to inspire discussion and assist students in their intellectual, social, and emotional growth. Faculty approach current events by proactively opening conversations and allowing room for discussion, rather than simply reacting to events as they unfold. 

Upper School students have Community Time for open discussions and more in-depth opportunities to analyze current and historic events in their social studies, humanities classes, and affinity groups. For example, 7th Grade students are participating in a two-day lesson sequence entitled, “Protestantism and Protest: Martin Luther and Martin Luther King.” They’re discussing factors leading up to the Reformation and reviewing elements of civil disobedience, differentiating between protest and sedition.

Lower School students require gentle scaffolding to connect unfolding events with their academic and social-emotional growth. Ms. Higgins shared, “In Kindergarten to 2nd Grade, themes of fairness, winning, and losing are an opening to frame talks about our recent election. Young children understand rules and can also engage in a conversation about a victory fairly won versus feeling mad about losing. Connecting the fair election of Joseph Biden and Kamala Harris to their own experiences of following rules and winning or losing, helps ground them in the conversation.”

“In 3rd and 4th grades, much of the curriculum offers opportunities to make connections between historical and current events. Faculty can raise the topic of the Inauguration and build on the themes above. In Lower School, daily morning meetings and closing circles provide room for children to process anything that they are hearing or feeling, in addition to informing them about these important days in our nation's democratic process,” Ms. Higgins added.

As a school community, we are all celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday this week and will be noting his life, legacy, and vision for a more equitable and just future. There are vital opportunities to reflect on that vision, connecting it with current events, and reinforcing Cathedral’s Mission.
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