Hawaii Students Have Trouble Seeing the Big Picture

As a professor in computer science, I am very concerned about the reduction in Hgh School Social Studies requirements, including civics, currently being considered by the Board of Education as part of Policy 4540.

Why would an educator in the sciences not want to see more emphasis on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) subjects? Because I want to see the schools produce informed citizens, college students with a breadth of knowledge, workers who can succeed in a global society, and well rounded, articulate, and informed grown ups. Let’s think about these issues one at a time.

We live in a democracy. It is the responsibility of citizens to elect public officials, understand how to judge their performance, and hold them accountable. No matter what our political persuasion, we can all agree that politicians say anything to get elected and do anything to put a positive spin on information about their actions. We need our students to learn about government, understand civics, and be able to find, read, understand, and critically evaluate political issues and politicians’ statements and activities. They get these skills in civics and history classes.

Have feedback? Suggestions?