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Current Events Courses

Why study current events?

"Those who do not study history are doomed to repeat it." This is commonly repeated in relationship with what's happening today, but an implicit understanding of this saying is that we also study what's happening now. 

Analyzing the events of the present helps us create links to what happened in the past. It's only by understanding both that we can hope to learn and improve. As educators, as parents, and historians and journalists, we must learn to see current events for what they are in the cycle of human history.

News stories often provide overviews of major events like the Covid-19 pandemic, school shootings, supreme court decisions, or the latest conflicts such as those between Israel and Hamas.  Students of history look at these events not as separate occurrences but as parts of larger occurrences. The coronavirus mimics the Spanish flu pandemic. Hamas fits in a long history of the Gaza Strip. Myanmar repeats its cycle of military violence. 

Learn about current events

The news and podcasts aren't the only places to study what's happening in the world. edX offers courses designed to teach critical thinking skills, history, philosophy, and social science. These are developed in partnership with experts in the field and delivered by thinkers and innovators. Students receive access to education from respected institutions from around the world, right from their own homes.

Many courses are free to explore for personal development, but students may also opt for official credit or even complete full degrees online. edX facilitates quality education available to almost everyone.

Studying current events

edX offers a variety of courses that can help students explore current events from a critical eye. In addition to many history courses, students can explore social studies, philosophy, political science, and even social media.

For example, the Smithsonian offers a unique course, The Rise of Superheros and Their Impact on Pop Culture. Students learn how the evolution of superheroes affects our understanding of heroes in current times. 

Columbia's Fighting for Equality: 1950 to 2018 explores the factors of the past that led to the trajectory of women's equality. Learners explore the events of the Cold War up to the rise of the Me Too movement.

Understanding Current Events

It's vital to place these events into the larger scope of world history. With a well-informed public, we can make changes and evolve into a better version of society. Health care, the coronavirus, Derek Chauvin's trial -- everything happening today has precedence. It's vital to explore world news in light of history with a critical eye for the future. 

Young people are moving away from traditional news outlets like CNN or Reuters and must understand how to critique information sources. edX's platform provides training and courses for learners to explore beyond U.S. News to understand that current events aren't typically the first time something happens. Everything is connected.