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Local teachers weigh in on new draft of state standards

Posted: 7:17 AM, Apr 10, 2019
Updated: 2019-04-10 12:17:17Z
Teacher see benefits of new standards

Giving kids an expanded view of history. That's the goal of Nebraska's new social studies standards.

If approved, it could changed how your kids are taught.

Social studies teacher Diana Schergan says she sees the benefits of keeping the material fresh.

"I think it's good to be able to look at your curriculum and look at it as an active thing that constantly needs to mold and change and get better," she said.

The standards cover civics, economics, geography along with U.S. and world history.

The new social studies standards would stress multiple perspectives.

"To have our students analyze various interpretations of history whether it be world history, American history I think that's a very very fundamental skill that we can help our students begin to practice and master," Social Studies Department Chair Bob Brousek said. So they [can] understand that history has been written by various historians over time and those interpretations can change."

Brousek is a long-time history teacher and says he appreciates that the new standards put a greater emphasis on civic engagement for students.

"They can become attuned and active participants in their society," he said.

The 2019 social studies standards asks students to:

-Study marginalized groups
-Be actively involved in civic engagement (for example advocating for personal rights and/or volunteering)
-Explore climate change from a variety of viewpoints

The overall goal is to help students take on the world as adults, and "understand the past helps one shape the future," Brousek said.

You can find the full draft of the new state standards, as well as a public opinion survey at, https://www.education.ne.gov/contentareastandards/