What Does “Current” Mean?

Another topic brought up in one of our live meetings this week centered around the topic of “current.” A big complaint we’ve heard from many, many parents in the last few weeks is that you can’t really do “current events” in print anymore because the internet has made print obsolete (Internet killed the newspaper star, perhaps?). The curriculum director for one of the Christian schools in St. Louis made the point, though, that the idea of “current events” for students, young students in particular, isn’t exactly the same as what adults tend to think of as current events.

She said that current events for students is more what is important to them and not necessarily breaking news.  This isn’t to say that we don’t introduce what we think of as “current events” in age appropriate ways to young kids, but that we need to keep in mind that what they think of as current and what we think of as current are not always the same.

What do you think about that? Anything you would add to, concur with, deviate from in this idea?

6 Comments

Filed under How Kids Think

6 responses to “What Does “Current” Mean?

  1. kim

    I read most of my “current events” online, simply because it’ s more convenient for me.

    I think the term, “current events” includes *breaking news* as well as those topics that are impacting us on a more long term scale.

    An easy example;

    The War in Iraq….it has been going on for years now, and is still a current event that can be covered quite adequately in print. Of course what is happening day to day can not, one would need to go to the daily print sources, internet or tv.

    I think it is a good idea to provide comprehensive, thorough coverage in print, and then when the day to day stuff pops up in the media, the kids would already have the background info that allows them to put the *breaking news* in context.

  2. jenny

    I agree with the curriculum director. We enjoyed the God’s World publication in my 2nd grade classroom, and I have fond memories of the “Weekly Reader” close to 30 years down the road!

  3. Rose Bexar

    Internet killed the newspaper star indeed!

    Current events need not always be what we tend to think of as news, either. Many of the “current events” I remember from when I was little were just that, *events*–the Olympics, elections, baseball. Of course, major breaking news is something kids will want and need to talk about, but it doesn’t have to be all hard news all the time. It can be just what’s happening today.

  4. I don’t know what, if any, distinction exists between current events for students and adults, but even adults can have multiple approaches to current events. To use my husband for an example (because he’s much more of a news junkie than I), he checks the CNN and local paper headlines several times a day online, but then he also reads *National Review* every other week for background information, history, and stories that get overlooked in the churning of daily news.

    So even though I was advocating the internet earlier, I can see the value in a slower news source, too. I would miss the linking capacity an online source would have, though.

  5. Kids definitely have other things at the forefront of their minds. Although it is important for them to learn about current world and local events like the war, Dafur, elections, etc., children need to learn things taught on their level.

    My kids have seen a show once or twice (I think on PBS) where kids deliver their own version of a news program. They may report on a new baby animal at the zoo, and kids making a difference with recycling in their own community. I think it is important for children to see or read these type of news programs. I think it produces an interest in the world around them, and teaches them to think outside themselves. It also teaches them that children are an intregal part of society and capable of producing positive change.

  6. As the Mom of two small girls and an early childhood curriculum consultant when I think of current events and the children that I deal with I find that a current event is more of a local occurrence. Being mindful of changes in classrooms, with caregivers, at home, with friends. Those are the current events that are meaningful and concrete. We adults and adolescents and teens find our current events more globally the younger the child the more locally they will need them to be in order to be meaningful.

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