September 11, education, teaching, tolerance




Twelve years after the attacks, the topic of teaching 9/11 in elementary and middle schools continues to be controversial due to the emotional and violent subject matter. This paper explores that, while taking the stance that teaching 9/11 is essential. Most relevant literature discusses the importance of age-appropriateness, but there is a lack of research involving just how much background knowledge children must have in order to analyze the attacks. The focus of this paper is the conceptual framework that must be established at a young age through responsive and methodical instruction. This paper advocates for a continuous, interdisciplinary (particularly language arts) curriculum that encourages students to build upon their knowledge of 9/11 and further explore related concepts such as tolerance, globalism, and remembrance as they mature.