Russia-Ukraine: Students learn world history in real-time

Students at West Allis Central want to know if the United States will send troops to Ukraine.

They’re also worried about how this conflict will affect their daily lives.

It isn’t every day Mrs. Huber’s world history class shifts its focus from past to present:

"What I did for you guys is kind of put together the major economic, political and social things that have happened in the past few days. There were talks today," she said.

Mrs. Huber

There’s no textbook for this lesson… just a basic timeline on the whiteboard.  

It’s a conversation starter for students to help answer questions and talk about their fears:

While discussing NATO and U.S. involvement, Trent Elbert raises his hand…

 "It’s a possible war going on here," Elbert said. "There’s a chance we will get involved in the war. It’s possible Russia could attack us too."

Trent Elbert

It’s heavy stuff and it isn’t just about casualties or borders. it’s about how gas and grocery prices will affect Wisconsin.

 "Economically, we should care – and also for our safety we should care," Huber said.

As the period winds down, Huber hopes everyone watching this feels like they have a seat in her class.

 "They are missing out on that world context – we are such a global society.  We can’t ignore these things," she said.

Real-time education that won’t end with the sound of a bell

Huber calls this conflict a "flashbulb moment" for students – something they will likely tell their children about in the future.

Most students thought the pandemic would be the biggest thing to happen while they are in high school. Only history will tell them if that’s the case.

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