Why is history class screwed over?

royal744

Ad Honorem
Jul 2013
9,836
San Antonio, Tx
#61
Today, I saw someone on the internet who believed in the propaganda that both sides in the Charlottesville incident were responsible. This is clearly a result of the lack of history teaching. I learned a lot about the world when I moved to another country where world history was taught more adequately. And I bought a lot of history books.
Unfortunately, we have a chief executive in office who is “dumb as a rock” , I’m not even sure he can read, but I do know he can flail around and say things that are plainly untrue.
 
Aug 2014
951
United States of America
#62
Unfortunately, we have a chief executive in office who is “dumb as a rock” , I’m not even sure he can read, but I do know he can flail around and say things that are plainly untrue.
There is an interesting theory out there, seemingly not entirely unsubstantiated, that he actually is mostly illiterate. Whatever the truth of that is, he certainly prefers not to read, or do much critical/analytical thinking.
 

royal744

Ad Honorem
Jul 2013
9,836
San Antonio, Tx
#63
They say a good workman never blames his tools; so might it not be a false dicthomy to say "good workman, but shitty tools?

So, at risk of committing a false analagy, shifting the blame on the public seems the same way to me "good higher education" seems to absolve other, possibly flawed aspects of American education, by shifting the blame on public schools. I do agree private institutions, in this or any case, are not necessarily any more trustworthy than public ones.


The reason I object to your praise of US higher education, is, there are counterpoints such as:

A: The American education system is basically a system of indoctrination and busywork for the young; often price gouging them on the way to the prize (the university degree) that may be an unfair gross overstament; but something that ought to be pointed out. And that might actually be more true of the Univesity system; in some ways more geared towards weeding out, competition, over-educating, price gouging, being geared more towards the credential (the University degree, as opposed to how to get by without one) then instruction and wisdom.

B: This is a history forum, why are you so praising a system that seems to be more geared towards STEM cell research than history?

C: One point about teachers (that ought to be pointed out more often, though I may be putting it too harshly) is that teaching is a sham. Schoolteachers are not gurus, mentors, lifestyle coaches, philosophers, consultants or drill seargants. They're more like freelancers and Beareaucrats who affect to be such. They are basically another hoop to jump through, basically disguised professional training towards people inclined to be that way.


Although the above points might be exaggerrated overstatements; I do think they ought to be taken in to account in any serious discussion about education. I thus cite the great Henry Louis Mencken (the sage of Baltimore):

"School teachers, taking them by and large, are probably the most ignorant and stupid class of men in the whole group of mental workers. "- H.L. Mencken
-----------------------------------------
I have always admired HL Mencken and enjoyed his skewering his targets, but do find that often he is a bit far ‘out there’.

No doubt there are many poorly trained teachers out there; no doubt too, there are many teachers who are not compensated adequately for what they are really worth. At the secondary school level, teachers are quite often obliged (and perhaps forced) to teach to tests and not to teach to real knowledge and understanding. The individual teacher can hardly be blamed for this.

The sad fact seems to be that students who are motivated to learn, learn that skill from their parents or grandparents and those who are motivated but have no such familial support, have to work twice as hard to get it. It can be done - I’ve seen it. But it’s much more difficult.
 

royal744

Ad Honorem
Jul 2013
9,836
San Antonio, Tx
#64
It was in response to your post claiming that history shouldn't be taught from a nationalist perspective.

Of course history should be taught from a nationalistic point of view.
Really? How about teaching history from an educated and unbiased point of view? What does “nationalism” have to do with history, other than bringing bias into it?
 
Aug 2014
951
United States of America
#65
Really? How about teaching history from an educated and unbiased point of view? What does “nationalism” have to do with history, other than bringing bias into it?
I think we ought to leave Mr Booger out of the conversation as I don't think his "ideas" are worth the time, nor ought they have a platform for dissemination.
 
#66
I have always admired HL Mencken and enjoyed his skewering his targets, but do find that often he is a bit far ‘out there’.

No doubt there are many poorly trained teachers out there; no doubt too, there are many teachers who are not compensated adequately for what they are really worth. At the secondary school level, teachers are quite often obliged (and perhaps forced) to teach to tests and not to teach to real knowledge and understanding. The individual teacher can hardly be blamed for this.

The sad fact seems to be that students who are motivated to learn, learn that skill from their parents or grandparents and those who are motivated but have no such familial support, have to work twice as hard to get it. It can be done - I’ve seen it. But it’s much more difficult.
That's the best approach for the school's reputation & their funding: Students get high enough scores to get into the best Universities, the school can say "look what a great job we did" and keep on trucking, since the students are now someone else's problem.
 
Jun 2018
133
New Hampshire
#67
Mr Booger has much more to contribute to this discussion than nationalist historiography. Believe you me. Keep in mind that I am still new at this forum, been a member since June, and thus I have yet to learn all of the social customs and mores around here. Though based upon the negative reception my comments have received, I can presume that discussing history from an overtly nationalist perspective is frowned upon here. So from henceforth I will refrain from bringing nationalism into these discussions.

Now to the substance of my position. I tend to agree that history has been largely dismissed as "unimportant" by those in charge of the curriculums at primary and secondary educational institutions. Several things are needed to remedy this less than ideal situation. Perhaps most importantly, the administrative positions at city educational departments and colleges and universities need to be filled by those who appreciate the immense value of learning history for our younger generations. History is not only useful for enabling one to learn from the past. Both great achievements and mistakes. It is also necessary in order to learn both where our civilizations came from, and thus potentially where they will be going. History should of course be part of a standard curricula independent from the other social studies, but also recognizing its innate value to make one a better citizen and to increase one's knowledge of the world in which they live.

In the United States, American history is of course most commonly taught beginning with the voyages of Christopher Columbus and his "discovery" of the Americas. While this is fine for younger kids, grades 1-5, older students in junior high and high school should be taught a much deeper historical curricula intertwining both the cause and effects of political and economic history which ultimately resulted in the origins of the United States. I would in fact prefer American history curricula to begin many centuries earlier as far back as ancient Roman times. This not only for the obvious fact that the Founding Fathers based America's republican system of government on the Roman Republic, but also due to the origins of the spice trade which connected the western economies with that of China, India, and the Middle East. It was after all, the desire to find quicker maritime trade routes with the orient which led to Columbia's voyages and the European "discovery" of the New World.

A detailed study of the ancient and medieval spice trade which could include primary source material such as the Travels of Marco Polo would certainly be an effective manner to both begin American history lessons at the junior high and high school levels, as well as to develop a passion for historical knowledge in the younger generations. The rise of the Ottoman Empire during the 15th century could be included in order to explain the rationale of European powers seeking maritime rather than overland trade routes with the east. While the earlier Islamic Caliphates were not exactly friendly towards Christendom, they were much more pragmatic than their Ottoman successor states. Particularly with regards to trade. Concomitant circumstances in Ming China should also be emphasized here. The Mongol Empire was largely tolerant of western merchants and even missionaries, and the first two Ming emperors largely maintained their open door policies. After the death of the Yongle Emperor however, the reactionary civil service became the dominant power block in the imperial government which led to China closing its markets to western merchants.

All of these above factors should be taught in American history classes at the junior high and high school level. And these are metely some of my suggestions for American history. I also have suggestions for other areas of history which I will leave for a later post.
 

sparky

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
3,587
Sydney
#68
only some on this board object to History as seen from a nationalistic perspective
in fact one could draw plenty of ways to look at History
the evolution and diffusion of technologies , of ideas
the local , regional ,intercontinental trade is a fascinating subject
the growth of states from small polity to empires then decay
families rise to power , the Hapsburg compared to the Sopranos.....etc ...etc

there is a lot of bad teachers out there , even some very bad ones
who suck the oxygen out of kids brains and don't deserve a pay check at all

If you want to catch kids interest , mention how Christoper Columbus was a fraud
who didn't know geography or sailing and was a thoroughly despicable character
that should keep them awake
 
Likes: Swamp Booger

VHS

Ad Honorem
Dec 2015
4,281
Brassicaland
#69
only some on this board object to History as seen from a nationalistic perspective
in fact one could draw plenty of ways to look at History
the evolution and diffusion of technologies , of ideas
the local , regional ,intercontinental trade is a fascinating subject
the growth of states from small polity to empires then decay
families rise to power , the Hapsburg compared to the Sopranos.....etc ...etc

there is a lot of bad teachers out there , even some very bad ones
who suck the oxygen out of kids brains and don't deserve a pay check at all

If you want to catch kids interest , mention how Christoper Columbus was a fraud
who didn't know geography or sailing and was a thoroughly despicable character
that should keep them awake
Christopher Columbus was criminal even by the standards of his days!
 

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