In his article Abolish Social Studies, Michael Knox Beran looks at the history of the topic “social studies” found in public schools across the nation. He argues that the roots of this subject area are based in efforts to suppress individual spirit and bring students into a collective in service to a community. (He is ominously non-specific about who actually then gets to call the shots for that community.)
Many of our campus Gen Ed requirements flow directly from the mission goals of those “social studies” topics. Does UM’s mission continue this practice of suborning individuality or does it reverse course in order to nurture each student’s ability to think critically?