Now that we are nine years removed from September 11, 2001, this is something I’ve wondered: how do schools teach about this day? According to the Christian Science Monitor, there seems to be a variety of approaches.
Another place to look would be school textbooks. With evidence that textbooks either just plain get it wrong or present biased perspectives, how younger generations learn about 9/11 will be something to watch.
Overall, both specific school lessons and textbooks will help shape the American collective memory regarding the event. This collective memory can take time to develop and is likely to be controversial; just look at how long the 9/11 memorial is taking to shape up at Ground Zero.
Before the start of each college school year, Beloit College publishes the Mindset List. This list is intended to provide an overview of how incoming college freshman understand the world. While the list certainly serves to get Beloit College on media outlets throughout the country, the list has some value. According to the creators, it is meant to help professors in the classroom:
Being aware of the generation gap helps professors craft lesson plans that are more meaningful, said Ron Nief, a former public affairs director at Beloit College and one of the list’s creators.
Developing lessons that students can relate to can be a challenge, particularly if technological and cultural changes accumulate as a professor ages.
The list is also a good reminder of generational differences. While students and faculty may inhabit the same academic classrooms, their experiences and perspective of the world can differ greatly.