Beth Fertig is WNYC’s Contributing Editor for Education. She previously covered politics, which included City Hall during the Giuliani administration, and the U.S. Senate campaigns of Charles Schumer and Hillary Clinton. She also covered transportation and infrastructure.
City Principals Get New Curriculum for Teaching 9/11
Thursday, September 01, 2011
Just in time for the tenth anniversary, the city's public schools will now have a new curriculum for teaching about the 9/11 attacks.
In a letter to principals Thursday, Chancellor Dennis Walcott said that with the opening of school next Thursday, it's important to "engage students in a meaningful discussion." He noted that while some students may feel deep emotions about the attacks if they lost a close family member, many students "will have little or no recollection of the event itself."
The city's new lesson plans for grades K-12 result from a partnership with the National September 11 Memorial and Museum.
The lesson plans are divided into four main themes: Historical Impact, Community & Conflict, Heroes & Service, and Memory & Memorialization.
Second graders, for example, could discuss whether rescue animals are heroes, while ninth graders may look at Afghan literature.
The city has also prepared a basic history of the World Trade Center, and will continue to offer counseling services.
A Department of Education spokesman said the city schools have been offered different curricula about 9/11 on teacher resource pages, including one developed by Queens College. But he said this was the first one created by the central school system, and with broader instructional goals in mind.