Teaching social studies through rock and roll


Dr. Brad Maguth, Assistant Professor (CIS), is working to educate future teachers to march to a different beat. Collaborating with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, Maguth will open his students’ eyes to how music is changing our world as well as reflecting it.

On November 7, Maguth’s Secondary and Middle Level Social Studies Methods courses will teleconference with the Rock Hall to learn how the music of the 1960s – 1970s reflected that era as well as how to use music when teaching social studies. Prior to the teleconference, the class has been given homework to listen to artists such as Bob Dylan, Buffalo Springfield, Aretha Franklin, and Jefferson Airplane. From rock and roll to hip hop to the blues, music is a useful tool to teach history, politics and civics.

In tandem with the Rock Hall teleconference, Maguth is interested in building partnerships with area institutions. He believes that it is important to prepare teachers to utilize the people, places, businesses and organizations in their community to bring social studies to life for students.  “There are teaching tools all around us. I am trying to show my class how they can tap in to the valuable resources and assets of where they live to create dynamic lessons for their students.”

Throughout the academic year, the Rock Hall Education Department connects with many university and PK-12 classrooms around the country via interactive videoconferencing and guest lecturing to enhance courses in subjects such as popular music and culture, education, and history. UA is pleased to join this inventive collaboration.

As the Rock Hall’s website states, “Music gives us a microphone to speak to the world.”

Be sure to check out Dr. Maguth's blog on Global & Social Studies Education