Using Music in Social Studies

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I get frustrated sometimes with teaching.  With history, I know a ton of professors/instructors who emphasize either the memorization of rote details or esoteric, irrelevant information.  At the college level, sometimes this is academic bullying–though administrations do nothing about this.   At the secondary level, a lot of the time the Social Studies position is considered as vital as the human appendix.  So why do many become Social Studies/History teachers?

  • They had to do it in order to be the school basketball or football coach
  • At the college level, it’s 15hrs of work/week and no need to grade much (or have grad students do the work for you) and you can cancel class pretty regularly
  • Great pay at the college level

Anyways, that’s not the way to get through to students–whether adult or adolescent.  Students want teachers who care about them AND the subject, teachers who put effort into things.  If they get that, they’re good with class whether it is lecture-based, project-based, or whatever, and the more they see the teacher working on their behalf, the more effort they put in which (for me at least) makes me want to give more effort for them, a virtuous circle.

That’s important–put effort in and you’ll get it back in almost every instance!  Just as important…consider why you teach.  Are you doing it for the right reasons?

In any event–there’s one thing everyone can agree on.  In some form or another, we like music.  I can’t stand country, but I know others who dislike rap or rock and others who think music died with Kurt Cobain’s suicide.  The thing is–everyone has some genre they like…which means that if we can put things into music, we have a better chance of getting through.  Maybe?

In any event, here’s a list of songs I could think of related to social studies in some fashion or another.  There’s a comment section for the blog–if there are others you know of, please add to this.  It’d be great to come up with a huge list that teachers could use/refer back to.

PHILOSOPHY:

PRE-1700 HISTORY:

NAPOLEONIC ERA:

1830s-1850s:

US CIVIL WAR/RECONSTRUCTION:

WORLD WAR ONE:

WORLD WAR TWO:

VIETNAM ERA:

A-BOMB/COLD WAR PROTESTS:

GENERAL SOCIAL MOVEMENTS/PROTESTS:

HURRICANE KATRINA:

TREATMENT OF AMERICAN INDIANS/NATIVE POPULATIONS

OTHER: