Schools across the country will mark the anniversary of the September 11 attacks next week with memorials, moments of silence, and special lesson plans. Teachinghigh school students about 9/11 and its aftermath is a lofty task, as most students were not old enough to remember and understand the attacks, and many educators will need to wade through the emotions and stereotypes already woven into the narrative.

“I really don’t envy teachers who have to face this enormously complex, massive material and present it in the context of a short lesson or two short lessons,” says Clifford Chanin, director of educational programs for the 9/11 Memorial in New York City. “This event obviously is a horrible, stark moment in time, but has very complicated antecedents and it’s had very complicated consequences.”

Confronting sterotypes often becomes part of the talking with students about the events and aftermath of September 11, and teachers can help students work through those prejudices.

“Let’s face it, if some student says something the teacher finds objectionable or challenging … the classroom is the place where these things need to be taken apart,” Chanin says. “The kind of emotional statements people make are very natural to the subject. … Those are moments that teachers are trying to deconstruct in their classrooms and they’re trying to provide information that deepens the students’ understanding of just what’s involved here.”

Helping students dig deeper into the complexity of the 9/11 attacks means… Continue Reading at US News/Education.

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