Localize education

Friday, September 9, 2016

Gov. Terry Branstad's proposal to teach Iowa history in schools across the state is a good idea, although the proposal should not be made an unfunded mandate. A unit of Iowa history in some grade of upper elementary could be supplemented by a unit on the history of the towns and counties served by each district.

Establishing a sense of place creates civic pride, which remains important wherever a person ends up later in life.

In later grades, civics should include teaching about local government as well as state and federal government. One former teacher in Cherokee had high school students attend meetings of local governing bodies - city, council and school district. This seemed like a worthwhile learning experience.