Due to an extreme lack of knowledge surrounding what is going on in our world today, from political issues to the entertainment industry, it is a necessity that the study of pop culture be included in school curriculum.
The argument surrounding this topic has been around for years but has always fallen to the favor of those against its inclusion in schools. Integrating more pop culture would make the education system far more relevant to the students, because they will already know a basis of the material, and may even make the overall teaching more successful and interesting.
The adolescent members of our society have never properly learned how to connect their own culture to that of those in older generations, so they have been forced to see other generations as completely differing members of the public. It is powerful when students can examine an evolution of culture based on things like clothing, music, movies and technology, so teaching students more about that aspect of society will make them more engaged and excited about their school work.
For example, a student would be much more compelled to analyze the lyrics of their new favorite song than analyzing an old poem. And although classic poems and stories that we examine in school may contain a lot more literary terms and a deeper meaning, I do not believe that changing out one poem for a portion of class based on lyrical analysis will make a huge negative impact. In fact, I believe that this swap will become a positive for the curriculum and student recollection. A student trying to remember what a paradox is on a test will most likely remember it by using an example from a song they like and know all of the words to versus a poem that they read once and did not care about.
Our school system focuses mainly on studies of the past, but because of that, the vast majority of young people of today rarely have any clue about the political issues plaguing the country and have no formed opinion on the topics they actually have heard about. I will be the first to admit that I am not near educated on politics, but I would like to be conscious enough to form my own opinions.
Not educating teenagers on what politics actually means in our society is just preventing them from becoming something besides the stereotypical millennial generalized by our elders. Many young people are not taking the opportunity they have to vote for office once they turn eighteen because they are ignorant and apathetic towards what those decisions mean. If more current event politics were taught in school, the younger generations would have more impact on everything going on in our country.
For example, in my English class, we often have debates about current events and spend a couple of days becoming familiar with the topic in order to be successful. I am a little embarrassed to admit that I did not even know the difference between a liberal and a conservative before this English class, and neither did a lot of other students in my class. How are we expected to vote for a side when we become adults when we do not even know the name of the side we are on? Learning the basic details and facts about some of the issues in our country will majorly assist us in forming opinions about these issues before we become adults and it is time to vote. If for a person there is no exposure to a situation or no prior education, that person will be clueless about what their ballot means, and overall it results in vast amounts of people not caring and choosing not to vote.
Students will always be more successful when they can connect the material that they are learning to their own lives, so the incorporation of pop culture in our curriculum would sprout increasing interest around that connection. This addition to the curriculum will most likely create an opportunity for students to learn how to express themselves through what they bring to the classroom. Whether it be their differing political stances or their different tastes in music and entertainment, students will be able to connect over bringing what they support and enjoy in life into the classroom.
The classroom is usually seen as a bleak place where students sit for an hour and put up with the environment, but with a little bit of students’ interest ingrained into the classroom, students are more likely to become attached and enjoy the class. Not only is studying pop culture more relevant to students, it is also a way for them to be educated on their personal history and at least have some idea of what political beliefs they want to adopt before they are of voting age.