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Bringing the Cybersecurity Challenge to the Social Studies Classroom


Social Education Volume 78, Number 2, ISSN 0037-7724


Educators have been increasingly sensitized to the role of schools in developing students' cyberethics, cybercitizenship, and cybersafety, which have emerged as one of the most pressing and yet unexplored areas of education. The Department of Defense has identified challenges to cybersecurity infrastructure as a significant risk for the nation's security and economic viability. Initial responses include developing and expanding the cybersecurity workforce, and engaging experts in the content areas of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) to recruit and prepare experts to work with corporations and government entities to refine technological solutions. Events in recent years have confirmed the nation's vulnerability, and significant breaches in cybersecurity that could affect critical U.S. infrastructure have been seen. One of the major national goals outlined to confront this shortfall consists of strengthening the cybersecurity environment by expanding cyber education. This initiative recognizes that "existing cybersecurity training and personnel development programs, while good, are limited in focus and lack unity of effort. In order to effectively ensure our continued technical advantage and future cybersecurity, we must develop a technologically-skilled and cyber-savvy workforce and an effective pipeline of future employees." So what does this mean for the social studies classroom and curriculum? The social sciences are central to the capacity of a nation to defend itself. Moreover, given the ubiquity of computer networks and our reliance as a society on their integrity and robustness, the quality of cybersecurity is an issue that affects everyone's interests. To help teachers develop linkages between the core disciplines of social studies and readily available cybersecurity resources, the authors suggest two specific inquiry-based class activities, which are detailed in a sidebar within this article.


Berson, M.J. & Berson, I.R. (2014). Bringing the Cybersecurity Challenge to the Social Studies Classroom. Social Education, 78(2), 96-100. Retrieved July 23, 2019 from .

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Cited By

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  • Guidelines for Using Technology to Prepare Social Studies Teachers

    David Hicks, Virginia Tech, United States; John K. Lee, North Carolina State University, United States; Michael Berson, University of South Florida, United States; Cheryl Bolick, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, United States; Richard Diem, The University of Texas at San Antonio, United States

    Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education Vol. 14, No. 4 (December 2014) pp. 433–450

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