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Old September 24th, 2017, 07:42 AM   #11

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Originally Posted by EmperoroftheBavarians43 View Post
By focusing on "social history" and day of the life experiences instead we are letting kids enter the world historically illiterate as this doesn't teach them "history" it gives them an understanding of how people lived at different times in history. This is not the same thing and while the former is applicable in the real world (as you know how a country was formed, where current problems and sectional disputes originate from etc) the latter has almost no practical value for most people and is worthless.

...

Students already have a very limited amount of time to learn a very long and complex series of events, out of proportion focus on social movements and oppressed groups that didn't drive this narrative is sabotaging their already difficult education. Also if history is done this way at an academic level the outcome will be people in several centuries having a profound misunderstanding of the event's that shaped the world in previous era's and IMO that's a moral evil.
There's quite a bit in your response so I'm cutting it up for my own response. But overall it seems like your thoughts are locked in a kind of circular logic: the main narrative of history is the traditional great man history of the "West," therefore students should learn that that is the main narrative of history. But aren't we artificially propping up this narrative and perpetuating it as the "main narrative" by continually teaching it and only it? It doesn't make sense to exclude social history and other approaches; such exclusive focus will stymie creativity and exclude a diversity of students and thinkers who are necessary to maintain the vitality of historical studies, besides the obvious effect of forgetting peoples past who weren't those great men.
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Old September 24th, 2017, 07:23 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by EmperoroftheBavarians43 View Post
Ironically Marxist history is actually the kind of history teaching you support lol.

Marxist history(unrelated mostly with Marxism) is the teaching of history centered on those in power under the Marxist logic that those who control the means of production drive the historical narrative. Basically traditional history.

Foucaltian history is the concept that wherever there's power there's resistance and focuses on people who were having power exerted on them largely in the name of regional/political reasons/ideology.
Not really, because that paradigm divides the world up into whether one commands the means of production and whether one produces, because it renders history into the drive of materials and the social relationship to those materials. Such an approach is half-blind, anchored to its own self-contained logic system. The world is more complicated than simply the narrative tale of those who are commanded and those who issue commands. It is very possible to approach and explain traditional history from a Marxist perspective, but only in so far as it re-imagines history to work within the framework provided. Social history is more intricate than just the superstructure's continual co-evolution alongside its base, and great man theory is not limited to the realm of kings and queens, but can work at the level of the poorest individual who at some juncture in time commanded the ability to change the course of human affairs. That the paradigm of the marxists often drifts into the right side of history and of continual human social evolution seems to be a backwards looking glance to remove any element of chance and individual human endeavor from the equation.

But you were responding to my statement where I said I was irritated with historical revisionism to suit modern opinions of justice. This feeling was born from the continual push towards a post-truth era, where underlying "truthiness" is all that is needed to make grand sweeping generalizations that fundamentally undermine history. The justification for it is that history is cold and dead, so whatever harm to it cannot remotely compare to the potential good its reinvented framework can provide to the multitudes as it robs other groups of narrative power and legitimacy. If anything Foucault would like this idea, so long as history as it exists supports the narratives of the powerful and the new history championed by the revisionist supports those with less power.
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Old September 28th, 2017, 09:45 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Aineias Taktikos View Post
There's quite a bit in your response so I'm cutting it up for my own response. But overall it seems like your thoughts are locked in a kind of circular logic: the main narrative of history is the traditional great man history of the "West," therefore students should learn that that is the main narrative of history. But aren't we artificially propping up this narrative and perpetuating it as the "main narrative" by continually teaching it and only it? It doesn't make sense to exclude social history and other approaches; such exclusive focus will stymie creativity and exclude a diversity of students and thinkers who are necessary to maintain the vitality of historical studies, besides the obvious effect of forgetting peoples past who weren't those great men.
I don't want to teach the West and only the West. I believe that in certain eras of history, certain areas were more central to the narrative. In the past few centuries this could be seen as Euro centric(the nations and people who were driving events which wasn't all of Europe). In the Classical era this could be seen as Middle Eastern centric, in a few centuries the world might very well be Asian centric.

What I don't believe in is revising history for revising's sake. If we got something wrong or some figure's great contributions to the narrative were genuinely overlooked in the past great let's change that adjust accordingly. However everything is not equally important and something being previously not focused on isn't merit by itself to focus on it.

My biggest issue with the whole "thinkers who are necessary to maintain the vitality of historical studies" argument" isn't that it's a goal we shouldn't have but it should be a goal for students who are going to be working with the raw materials of history(so in college and graduate school this is great). In terms of grade school and high school students though this skill set will not be relevant in their life as teaching them the history of civilization how things got to be the way they are. Most Americans are historically illiterate to an utterly embarrassing level and part of this isn't their fault it's because they weren't taught history(largely anyway) through the events of great people and events they were taught it through documents(which are great historical tools for historians doing research, terrible tools for teaching students information they will remember) and social history(and this has it's own host of problems besides taking up curriculum space, this should have it's own class really though).

I was talking to a college professor of mine a few weeks back and he told me not one of his students in a period over a decade knew who Ferdinand and Isabella were(influential figures who's marriage created a major country, completed the reconquista, did the inquisition/persecuted jews and muslims and who funded the discovery of the new world). This is embarrassing. The list of important figures and events I had never heard of before college is even more embarrassing(and I was an A history student).

Also I don't understand the logic that social history=creativity. It just doesn't make sense to me. In terms of the experiential approaches the way I see it, they are great for sparking interest(like pictures etc), but terrible for teaching. These methods have failed. This isn't the only problem history education has, the localization of history has always been a huge issue but that's normal and it's always been a problem, this isn't.
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Old September 29th, 2017, 02:33 AM   #14

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Hi EmperoroftheBavarians,

Let me begin to say that I quite disagree with you in some of the points on this theme, as I already had the opportunity to tell you, not here, but in other thread: The Influence of Eurocentrism on Our Grasp of History

Probably this change of ideas is more adequate here than in the other thread, albeit the themes are related, and in the other thread the sequence of posts didn’t allow us to continue to talk about this.

To not repeat myself in other words, I will bring here some parts that I consider relevant:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulius View Post
The objective of the Education in History from the first years of a citizen until high Scholl (12 years of formal Education, in the case of Portugal) is not to make history experts in facts or in short stories of history, but to make citizens with a global knowledge of the human past, generally more focused on their country, and, more important, with the mental ability to think, rationalise, analyze and criticize, using the tools given to us by the human and social sciences.

If we have those citizens, those citizens will hardly fall into fake news or fake history, because they will question: how this can be a fact? How and why this event, real or fictional, reached me, and with what intent?

Isn’t that defence against the lies of the world much more important that to know the name of a “great man”, according to some other person? Aren’t that “mental tools”, given not only by the history but by the human and social sciences, and all the sciences in general, more important and relevant for a later use in the personal and professional live of the citizen?

Besides, for better or for worse, today we use less and less our capacity to memorise, since we can easily access to books, real or virtual, to online searches in an instant, and that is a social trend, not one specific to History. How many people today can recite all the Iliad and/or Odyssey? Much less than some 2500 years ago. If we dump historical information, solely with dates, names and events, to a student mind, how much will be retained in the moment, or 5 or 10 years later? How much it will be understood?
Even so, I would like to address particularly to some of your last comments.

Quote:
Originally Posted by EmperoroftheBavarians43 View Post
In the past few centuries this could be seen as Euro centric(the nations and people who were driving events which wasn't all of Europe). In the Classical era this could be seen as Middle Eastern centric, in a few centuries the world might very well be Asian centric.
Two notes here: Greece and Rome are not in the Middle East, and History is about the past it doesn’t matter if Asia in the future some historians will have a Asiancentric perspective of history. Let the study of the future out of history, that belongs to… astrology!?

Quote:
Originally Posted by EmperoroftheBavarians43 View Post
If we got something wrong or some figure's great contributions to the narrative were genuinely overlooked in the past great let's change that adjust accordingly. However everything is not equally important and something being previously not focused on isn't merit by itself to focus on it.
But, do we really need to change a figure for another? There are actions that belong to the society and not to an individual figure.

Quote:
Originally Posted by EmperoroftheBavarians43 View Post
My biggest issue with the whole "thinkers who are necessary to maintain the vitality of historical studies" argument" isn't that it's a goal we shouldn't have but it should be a goal for students who are going to be working with the raw materials of history(so in college and graduate school this is great). In terms of grade school and high school students though this skill set will not be relevant in their life as teaching them the history of civilization how things got to be the way they are. Most Americans are historically illiterate to an utterly embarrassing level and part of this isn't their fault it's because they weren't taught history(largely anyway) through the events of great people and events they were taught it through documents(which are great historical tools for historians doing research, terrible tools for teaching students information they will remember) and social history(and this has it's own host of problems besides taking up curriculum space, this should have it's own class really though).
I don’t know if most of the US Americans are “historically illiterate to an utterly embarrassing level”, personally the idea that I have is that they usually have different perspectives than the Europeans, and are much more interested in local history and about their personal roots, “familiar history” and genealogy.

For instance, let me write here the finalities (since 2001/2002) of the teaching of history in Portugal for the levels 10 to 12 (High School), as far as I know it isn’t much different from other European countries:

- Promote the development of skills that allow the problematization of relations between the past and the critical interpretation of the world today;
- To develop the capacity for reflection, sensitivity and critical judgment, stimulating the production and enjoyment of goods cultural activities;
- Promote personal autonomy and clarification of a value system, from a humanist perspective;
- Develop awareness of citizenship and the need for critical intervention in diverse contexts and spaces.


The Objectives:

- Develop attitudes of intellectual curiosity, of research and of problematization, in face of the acquired knowledge and the new situations.
- Develop the capacity for self-criticism, openness to change, understanding for the plurality of opinions and by the diversity of civilizational models.
- Deepen the aesthetic sensibility and the ethical dimension, clarifying personal options.
- Develop habits of participation in group activities, taking initiatives and stimulating the intervention of others.
- Develop awareness of national problems and values, democratic rights and duties and respect for minorities.
- Interpret the content of sources, using techniques and knowledge appropriate to the respective typology.
- Apply instruments of analysis of the social sciences in the construction of historical knowledge.
- Formulate explanatory hypotheses of historical facts.
- Use correctly the specific vocabulary of the discipline.
- Develop habits of organization of the intellectual work, using diverse resources and methodologies.
- Systematize knowledge and present them, using various techniques.
- To identify historical knowledge as a scientifically conducted study of societies becoming in time and space.
- Identify the factors that condition the relativity of historical knowledge.
- To interpret the past-present dialogue as an indispensable process to the understanding of the different epochs, civilizations and communities.
- Recognize the complementarity of the diachronic and synchronic perspectives in the historical analysis.
- Recognize the interactions between the various fields of history - economic, social, political, institutional, cultural and mentalities - between the various levels of spatial integration, from the local to the global, from the central to the peripheral, as well as between individuals and groups.
- Understanding historical dynamics as a process of continuities, changes and development rhythms conditioned by a multiplicity of factors.


Quote:
Originally Posted by EmperoroftheBavarians43 View Post
I was talking to a college professor of mine a few weeks back and he told me not one of his students in a period over a decade knew who Ferdinand and Isabella were(influential figures who's marriage created a major country, completed the reconquista, did the inquisition/persecuted jews and muslims and who funded the discovery of the new world). This is embarrassing. The list of important figures and events I had never heard of before college is even more embarrassing(and I was an A history student).
For a citizen, of any country, it is more important to know who Fernando and Isabel were or, if something is said about them, to have a critical mind and the tools to research if that assumption is true or false? In other words, with a basic mathematic example, the citizen doesn’t need to know that “2+2=4”, he must have the ability to sum 2 with any other number and discover the result.

Quote:
Originally Posted by EmperoroftheBavarians43 View Post
Also I don't understand the logic that social history=creativity.
It is the other way around. Solely a kind of history, for instance the old great men history = to lack of creativity. History is complex and must be studied in all its complexities.
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Old September 29th, 2017, 01:33 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Tulius View Post
Hi EmperoroftheBavarians,

Let me begin to say that I quite disagree with you in some of the points on this theme, as I already had the opportunity to tell you, not here, but in other thread: The Influence of Eurocentrism on Our Grasp of History

Probably this change of ideas is more adequate here than in the other thread, albeit the themes are related, and in the other thread the sequence of posts didn’t allow us to continue to talk about this.

To not repeat myself in other words, I will bring here some parts that I consider relevant:



Even so, I would like to address particularly to some of your last comments.



Two notes here: Greece and Rome are not in the Middle East, and History is about the past it doesn’t matter if Asia in the future some historians will have a Asiancentric perspective of history. Let the study of the future out of history, that belongs to… astrology!?



But, do we really need to change a figure for another? There are actions that belong to the society and not to an individual figure.



I don’t know if most of the US Americans are “historically illiterate to an utterly embarrassing level”, personally the idea that I have is that they usually have different perspectives than the Europeans, and are much more interested in local history and about their personal roots, “familiar history” and genealogy.

For instance, let me write here the finalities (since 2001/2002) of the teaching of history in Portugal for the levels 10 to 12 (High School), as far as I know it isn’t much different from other European countries:

- Promote the development of skills that allow the problematization of relations between the past and the critical interpretation of the world today;
- To develop the capacity for reflection, sensitivity and critical judgment, stimulating the production and enjoyment of goods cultural activities;
- Promote personal autonomy and clarification of a value system, from a humanist perspective;
- Develop awareness of citizenship and the need for critical intervention in diverse contexts and spaces.


The Objectives:

- Develop attitudes of intellectual curiosity, of research and of problematization, in face of the acquired knowledge and the new situations.
- Develop the capacity for self-criticism, openness to change, understanding for the plurality of opinions and by the diversity of civilizational models.
- Deepen the aesthetic sensibility and the ethical dimension, clarifying personal options.
- Develop habits of participation in group activities, taking initiatives and stimulating the intervention of others.
- Develop awareness of national problems and values, democratic rights and duties and respect for minorities.
- Interpret the content of sources, using techniques and knowledge appropriate to the respective typology.
- Apply instruments of analysis of the social sciences in the construction of historical knowledge.
- Formulate explanatory hypotheses of historical facts.
- Use correctly the specific vocabulary of the discipline.
- Develop habits of organization of the intellectual work, using diverse resources and methodologies.
- Systematize knowledge and present them, using various techniques.
- To identify historical knowledge as a scientifically conducted study of societies becoming in time and space.
- Identify the factors that condition the relativity of historical knowledge.
- To interpret the past-present dialogue as an indispensable process to the understanding of the different epochs, civilizations and communities.
- Recognize the complementarity of the diachronic and synchronic perspectives in the historical analysis.
- Recognize the interactions between the various fields of history - economic, social, political, institutional, cultural and mentalities - between the various levels of spatial integration, from the local to the global, from the central to the peripheral, as well as between individuals and groups.
- Understanding historical dynamics as a process of continuities, changes and development rhythms conditioned by a multiplicity of factors.




For a citizen, of any country, it is more important to know who Fernando and Isabel were or, if something is said about them, to have a critical mind and the tools to research if that assumption is true or false? In other words, with a basic mathematic example, the citizen doesn’t need to know that “2+2=4”, he must have the ability to sum 2 with any other number and discover the result.



It is the other way around. Solely a kind of history, for instance the old great men history = to lack of creativity. History is complex and must be studied in all its complexities.
First off, I'm not saying creativity as bad or isn't needed but kids can get that in English, Literature or some other class history shouldn't be given up due to creativity. We don't learn the past to be creative.

All the Portuguese school standards don't really tell me anything positive or negative about your curriculum. Those are quite broad and I know from the US all these goals just tend to be fluff that could be used with both a curriculum I find ideal and one you find ideal. Last one I feel in particular seems to suggest an immense focus in national history(which is a separate issue but is a problem everywhere). Think students in the US and every country should have a separate citizenship class.

Again almost all the objectives you've brought up are valuable but are either irrelevant or secondary in a historical context for kids who will not be studying history long term.

In terms of Greece and Rome not being in the Middle East, this further proves my point that history is about who is central to events at certain points of time. For example "Eurocentrism" focuses on Japan and the US as well because these countries were key players in driving events in a time when most of the world's dominant players happened to be European.

In regards to the whole future thing, the future one day will be the past. The main point I was trying to make is that this is about the story of humanity not the location of the main drivers of events.
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Old November 11th, 2017, 04:33 AM   #16

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“We don’t learn the past to be creative.”

That’s depressing. And tragic in that you teach.


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Old November 11th, 2017, 04:47 AM   #17
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My experience with proffesors of history is that some have very narrow views and treat history books as bibles, even though they have been proven wrong.
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Old February 6th, 2018, 06:57 PM   #18

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bravo!
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Old February 6th, 2018, 07:00 PM   #19

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I am socially liberal as hell and support the "social justice approach" as a political agenda(see them as a distraction from economic issues but my positions would mainly agree with the social justice approach) but as a historical one it's quite destructive. There should be critiques of "great men". The reason we study "great men"(and women!) isn't because they were wonderful human beings, it's because they had an impact on history and drove events on the path that leads us to where we are today. By focusing on "social history" and day of the life experiences instead we are letting kids enter the world historically illiterate as this doesn't teach them "history" it gives them an understanding of how people lived at different times in history. This is not the same thing and while the former is applicable in the real world (as you know how a country was formed, where current problems and sectional disputes originate from etc) the latter has almost no practical value for most people and is worthless.

It is okay to reexamine history. What's not okay is trying to apply 20th-21st century values to the study of history. In the past only a very small amount of people in a very small group were able to drive the historical narrative, studying these people and mostly ignoring everyone else might seem regressive but wasn't inherently wrong. If one can find other people who did important contributions who have been overlooked, that's great if one bases a curriculum around oppressed, classes, races and genders and tries to impart importance on the narrative that actually isn't there though that's a problem cause you're not teaching what actually happened and that's what history is, not social movements class. Social movements in the SJW sense weren't even a thing for most of history.

Students already have a very limited amount of time to learn a very long and complex series of events, out of proportion focus on social movements and oppressed groups that didn't drive this narrative is sabotaging their already difficult education. Also if history is done this way at an academic level the outcome will be people in several centuries having a profound misunderstanding of the event's that shaped the world in previous era's and IMO that's a moral evil.
BRAVO! (this was what I was bravoing to)
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Old February 10th, 2018, 02:55 AM   #20

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Originally Posted by Iphigeneia View Post
My experience with proffesors of history is that some have very narrow views and treat history books as bibles, even though they have been proven wrong.
That is really a bad experience. I guess history professors are like all men and women. Some are good at their jobs, others… well let us say that they should had chosen other profession. But nit picking a little your comment, I also think that history books should be treated as bibles. After all a bible is a book with some historical information.
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