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(The Atlantic)   "The number-one thing is, you have to know history to actually teach it. That seems like an obvious point, but sometimes it's ignored in schools"   (theatlantic.com) divider line 95
    More: Obvious, Richard Hofstadter, graduate schools  
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7738 clicks; posted to Main » on 11 Jan 2014 at 6:37 PM (36 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-01-11 05:52:25 PM
Lincoln was overrated.  Trounced the Constitution and only partially freed the slaves.

Who's with me?
 
2014-01-11 05:59:46 PM
I love history now but I hated it in high school. It seemed to be nothing more than memorizing dates.
 
2014-01-11 06:28:49 PM
i teach high school economics. i don't know anything about it.
 
2014-01-11 06:40:23 PM

fusillade762: I love history now but I hated it in high school. It seemed to be nothing more than memorizing dates.


dates are usually the least important part of history.  if all you're doing to "learn history" is memorizing a sequence of dates you completely miss how history shapes the present (which to me means much more than the dates).  My high school teacher only made us remember the year 1066 but, I'm guessing that most adults have no idea what its significance is.
 
2014-01-11 06:40:59 PM
What you need is some nice 1960s-era textbooks to work out of.  Stuff talking about JFK proposing a moon landing, and such as.
 
2014-01-11 06:42:38 PM
I tried to get a job teaching social studies out of college the first time. Every interview went the exact. Same. Goddamn. Way.

One of the first questions was, "what can you coach?"

I'm so glad I gave up on trying to be a teacher in this state.
 
2014-01-11 06:44:15 PM

SquiggsIN: fusillade762: I love history now but I hated it in high school. It seemed to be nothing more than memorizing dates.

dates are usually the least important part of history.  if all you're doing to "learn history" is memorizing a sequence of dates you completely miss how history shapes the present (which to me means much more than the dates).  My high school teacher only made us remember the year 1066 but, I'm guessing that most adults have no idea what its significance is.


The Normans invaded England?

*Googles*

Hey, whaddaya know, I did actually absorb some stuff.
 
2014-01-11 06:46:03 PM

SquiggsIN: fusillade762: I love history now but I hated it in high school. It seemed to be nothing more than memorizing dates.

dates are usually the least important part of history.  if all you're doing to "learn history" is memorizing a sequence of dates you completely miss how history shapes the present (which to me means much more than the dates).  My high school teacher only made us remember the year 1066 but, I'm guessing that most adults have no idea what its significance is.


Multiple battles in England, to most important being the Battle of Hastings, which lead to William the Conqueror becoming King of England.
 
2014-01-11 06:46:59 PM
i1207.photobucket.com
 
2014-01-11 06:47:10 PM
 
2014-01-11 06:48:12 PM

fusillade762: I love history now but I hated it in high school. It seemed to be nothing more than memorizing dates.


I always loved history, it was the one subject I never had a problem with in high school. Science and math I didn't come to appreciate really until after high school.
 
2014-01-11 06:48:50 PM

SquiggsIN: fusillade762: I love history now but I hated it in high school. It seemed to be nothing more than memorizing dates.

dates are usually the least important part of history.  if all you're doing to "learn history" is memorizing a sequence of dates you completely miss how history shapes the present (which to me means much more than the dates).  My high school teacher only made us remember the year 1066 but, I'm guessing that most adults have no idea what its significance is.


You have read Sellar and Yeatman's master work, haven't you? 1066 is one of the 'two real dates'. Of course I bloody know its significance.

As for TFA, I'm a bit disconcerted about its emphasis on writing skills. In History, the Medium shouldn't really be the Message.
 
2014-01-11 06:48:59 PM
blog.pennlive.com

*What a typical high school history teacher may look like
 
2014-01-11 06:49:00 PM

nickdaisy: Lincoln was overrated.  Trounced the Constitution and only partially freed the slaves.

Who's with me?


A bunch of crickets?
 
2014-01-11 06:49:08 PM

fusillade762: SquiggsIN: fusillade762: I love history now but I hated it in high school. It seemed to be nothing more than memorizing dates.

dates are usually the least important part of history.  if all you're doing to "learn history" is memorizing a sequence of dates you completely miss how history shapes the present (which to me means much more than the dates).  My high school teacher only made us remember the year 1066 but, I'm guessing that most adults have no idea what its significance is.

The Normans invaded England?

*Googles*

Hey, whaddaya know, I did actually absorb some stuff.


i just mentally queued up the scene from Billy Madison where he's being quizzed by Miss Vaughan and can't remember the Spanish Armada was in 1588.  then i just thought about "topless tutors" from Van Wilder.... I think the approach has merit.
 
2014-01-11 06:49:50 PM
Two academically valid schools of thought.
One taught in schools.
A majority of the students graduating acknowledge only one school of thought.

That, in a nutshell, is one of the many problems with today's academic system.
 
2014-01-11 06:50:39 PM

SquiggsIN: My high school teacher only made us remember the year 1066 but, I'm guessing that most adults have no idea what its significance is.


Meh. There is considerable evidence of open-field villages as far back as the tenth century. Evidence of settlements with one long village street, farmsteads, hamlets, little towns - the framework was complete.  By the time of the Norman Conquest, the rural framework was complete. The problem is that people don't sing enough history to understand it.

/The Ronettes Sing Medieval Agrarian History
 
2014-01-11 06:50:39 PM
Afterwords, Henry of Normandy invaded England after the disorder and chaos of the English Civil War and straightened out the mess that the country was.

King Henry II is also known for mistakenly getting his friend Thomas Becket killed when some overzealous hangers-on took his venting rage as a license to kill.
 
2014-01-11 06:51:10 PM
My freshman year of college, World History 1,  the first day the professor said "Everything is interrelated, nothing exists in a vacuum. My goal is to show you that interrelation as pertains to history."  He went on to give an example "Industry, transportation, religion, sexuality, and family values...how are they related?" When none of us answered, he said "The day the first back seat went into an automobile, every parent was convinced their child was going to Hell".
Pretty powerful on a young and impressionable teen, as it was a new way of looking at history besides "What date did such-and-such happen?".  It's stuck with me for 20 years.

/CSB
 
2014-01-11 06:53:25 PM
In all seriousness, if we are discussing the 11th century, then the schism between the Western and Eastern halves of Christendom would seem to be of more global importance than the Battle of Hastings and all that. But that's just like my opinion man.
 
2014-01-11 06:53:37 PM

guttermedic: My freshman year of college, World History 1,  the first day the professor said "Everything is interrelated, nothing exists in a vacuum. My goal is to show you that interrelation as pertains to history."  He went on to give an example "Industry, transportation, religion, sexuality, and family values...how are they related?" When none of us answered, he said "The day the first back seat went into an automobile, every parent was convinced their child was going to Hell".
Pretty powerful on a young and impressionable teen, as it was a new way of looking at history besides "What date did such-and-such happen?".  It's stuck with me for 20 years.

/CSB


James Burke was your history teacher?  Cool.
 
2014-01-11 06:54:32 PM

some_beer_drinker: i teach high school economics. i don't know anything about it.


That makes you more honest than the roving packs of economists and econometrists. I know enough about it to realize that once you get past the basics there's loads of politically or ideologically motivated BS that rarely gets called on.

/Mom has a masters in political economics
//It was dinner table conversation growing up.
 
2014-01-11 06:55:59 PM

SquiggsIN: My high school teacher only made us remember the year 1066 but, I'm guessing that most adults have no idea what its significance is.


Magna Carta? Difficulty: no googles.
 
2014-01-11 06:56:38 PM

fusillade762: I love history now but I hated it in high school. It seemed to be nothing more than memorizing dates.


I had a good history teacher in HS, Bill McGinn. Didn't fully appreciate him at the time, but he made history interesting.

/History is one thing after another
 
2014-01-11 06:58:22 PM
bzzzt.
 
2014-01-11 06:58:53 PM

noitsnot: guttermedic: My freshman year of college, World History 1,  the first day the professor said "Everything is interrelated, nothing exists in a vacuum. My goal is to show you that interrelation as pertains to history."  He went on to give an example "Industry, transportation, religion, sexuality, and family values...how are they related?" When none of us answered, he said "The day the first back seat went into an automobile, every parent was convinced their child was going to Hell".
Pretty powerful on a young and impressionable teen, as it was a new way of looking at history besides "What date did such-and-such happen?".  It's stuck with me for 20 years.

/CSB

James Burke was your history teacher?  Cool.


Pretty sure he wasn't, since Google turns up a British scientist, an actor, and a gangster...can't remember the professor's name, and I see what you were hoping to do there...he may have stolen the line, he may have made it up- I don't know.  What I do know is that it got the attention of a snotty 18 year old who before that was completely indifferent to history.
 
2014-01-11 07:00:16 PM

Jake Havechek: King Henry II is also known for mistakenly getting his friend Thomas Becket killed when some overzealous hangers-on took his venting rage as a license to kill.


A Timothy Dalton reference?  Cool!
 
2014-01-11 07:00:25 PM

guttermedic: My freshman year of college, World History 1,  the first day the professor said "Everything is interrelated, nothing exists in a vacuum. My goal is to show you that interrelation as pertains to history."


I thought it was a CSB

I wish more people would look at things that way.  It continually amazes me to look at simple things like family trees and mentally calculate all that had to go right with so many people for each of us to be who we are and where we are in the present.  We take a lot of simple things for granted including the language we speak and how we ended up speaking it.  We tend to ignore how seemingly unrelated things are quite related.  I caught a few episodes of the new Bryan Cranston-narrated show Big History.  I like the style they use to connect the historical dots in ways you don't traditionally connect them.  Check it out if you haven't seen it yet.
 
2014-01-11 07:00:55 PM
Recently got my BA in History, with my undergraduate project being an analysis of the British farking up things in Afghanistan. Yes, you ABSOLUTELY have to know and -understand- History in order to teach it. Coach if you're going to do that, but be a History teacher -first-. Or we'll all be saying "Welcome to Costco, I love you."
 
2014-01-11 07:01:59 PM
There's a middle ground here. History should be taught more broadly than just dates, but at the same time, turning it into an abstract narrative meant to entertain is a mistake. Students should get a solid appreciation of facts (dates, statistics, geography, etc) along with stories so that they can look at history and make their own judgments.

If you just give them dates, they turn into robots. If you just give them stories, they have no capacity to frame those stories, let alone question them. And history should always be examined.

Also, and I really want to emphasize this: under NO circumstances should a history teacher accept a hand job from one of their students. Be it for extra credit or as a last day of school present-- it's just wrong. Such impropriety should lead to admonishment, suspension, or even termination.
 
2014-01-11 07:03:05 PM
We don't teach history in public school in The United States; we teach Propaganda.  History is forbidden until University.
 
2014-01-11 07:04:30 PM

J.Shelby: We don't teach history in public school in The United States; we teach Propaganda.  History is forbidden until University.


Then you get the leftist agenda where you learn how terrible the white man is and how women can't get a fair shake (utter rubbish-- some American woman are shake superbly)
 
2014-01-11 07:05:05 PM

wildcardjack: some_beer_drinker: i teach high school economics. i don't know anything about it.

That makes you more honest than the roving packs of economists and econometrists. I know enough about it to realize that once you get past the basics there's loads of politically or ideologically motivated BS that rarely gets called on.

/Mom has a masters in political economics
//It was dinner table conversation growing up.


most of written/recorded history was written by the victors with political or ideological motivations.
 
2014-01-11 07:05:23 PM

fusillade762: I love history now but I hated it in high school. It seemed to be nothing more than memorizing dates.


This. I really regret not paying more attention in high school. Our teacher was actually pretty knowledgeable she just didn't have any teaching skills. And I had no paying attention skills.
 
2014-01-11 07:05:42 PM

UNC_Samurai: I tried to get a job teaching social studies out of college the first time. Every interview went the exact. Same. Goddamn. Way.

One of the first questions was, "what can you coach?"

I'm so glad I gave up on trying to be a teacher in this state.


You missed out man. You should have answered:

Matholetes. Every. Goddamn. Time.
 
2014-01-11 07:07:05 PM

TheotherMIguy: Recently got my BA in History, with my undergraduate project being an analysis of the British farking up things in Afghanistan. Yes, you ABSOLUTELY have to know and -understand- History in order to teach it. Coach if you're going to do that, but be a History teacher -first-. Or we'll all be saying "Welcome to Costco, I love you."


One of my biggest pet peeves about modern coverage of political instability in the middle east is the way no one mentions how much of it is the fault of the West for drawing arbitrary lines on a map without regard to the people/ideologies located within the lines.
 
2014-01-11 07:08:57 PM

Tillmaster: SquiggsIN: fusillade762: I love history now but I hated it in high school. It seemed to be nothing more than memorizing dates.

dates are usually the least important part of history.  if all you're doing to "learn history" is memorizing a sequence of dates you completely miss how history shapes the present (which to me means much more than the dates).  My high school teacher only made us remember the year 1066 but, I'm guessing that most adults have no idea what its significance is.

You have read Sellar and Yeatman's master work, haven't you? 1066 is one of the 'two real dates'. Of course I bloody know its significance.

As for TFA, I'm a bit disconcerted about its emphasis on writing skills. In History, the Medium shouldn't really be the Message.


There is a school of thought that says if you learn pedagogy right you don't have to know a thing yourself about the subject
 
2014-01-11 07:11:10 PM

J.Shelby: We don't teach history in public school in The United States; we teach Propaganda.  History is forbidden until University.


IIRC the sanitized history class is : America #1, USA is the best at everything, we've never done anything wrong or instigated any conflicts, patriotism, patriotism, America #1, American Indian natives didn't use the land properly so we were justified in taking it from them.
 
2014-01-11 07:11:16 PM

UNC_Samurai: I tried to get a job teaching social studies out of college the first time. Every interview went the exact. Same. Goddamn. Way.

One of the first questions was, "what can you coach?"

I'm so glad I gave up on trying to be a teacher in this state.


Preaching to the choir here. Can you believe when I student taught the students didn't know why I made them write opinion papers and answer essay questions?
Actually got told they were wanting a football coach too.

Kind of glad I didn't start teaching in IL
 
2014-01-11 07:12:26 PM
History should be taught backwards. They should, for example, start with the Iraq war, go back through the "pax Americana" of the middle east in the 90's (a main reason for al quaedas attacks on us), through Desert Storm, Iran/Iraq etc etc back to the Sykes/Picot treaty of 1916.

History is about context and analysis - too often it's taught into a knowledge vacuum that has no context which makes analysis difficult

/history major
 
2014-01-11 07:12:33 PM

SquiggsIN: TheotherMIguy: Recently got my BA in History, with my undergraduate project being an analysis of the British farking up things in Afghanistan. Yes, you ABSOLUTELY have to know and -understand- History in order to teach it. Coach if you're going to do that, but be a History teacher -first-. Or we'll all be saying "Welcome to Costco, I love you."

One of my biggest pet peeves about modern coverage of political instability in the middle east is the way no one mentions how much of it is the fault of the West for drawing arbitrary lines on a map without regard to the people/ideologies located within the lines.


Afghanistan is not in the Middle East
 
2014-01-11 07:12:35 PM
I think one of the big reasons history is poorly taught is deliberate - to tone down disagreements at home. I went to school at a time when there was still a rich living memory of World War I; not a single history teacher I had ever even mentioned the 20th Century. History, for us, ended at the Spanish-American War. Nobody wanted to take a chance that Junior might learn some consensus history in school, go home, and have Grandpa Muggs instantly say, "That's not how it went!" and go off on an epithet-laden tirade, even though the history class is, of necessity, a broad overview and Grandpa Muggs's experiences are fairly pinpoint.

I had three grandfathers through remarriage. One was in the Pacific Theater, one was in the Battle of the Bulge, and one spent World War II stateside peeling spuds. Guess which one had the most, shall we say, unique view of 20th century American history.

Making history as boring and irrelevant as possible may be a terrible way to teach it, but it certainly cuts down on conflicts. These days, Junior's Granddad fought in Vietnam and lives on a diet of Rush Limbaugh and Fox News; you think Junior's going to hear word one about the Gulf of Tonkin incident, the Tet Offensive, Vietnamization, or the illegal bombing of Cambodia? To date, my father can't even watch the trailer for a Jane Fonda movie without leaving the room, and he was in the National Guard serving in Germany.
 
2014-01-11 07:14:01 PM
d24w6bsrhbeh9d.cloudfront.net
 
2014-01-11 07:15:13 PM

SquiggsIN: J.Shelby: We don't teach history in public school in The United States; we teach Propaganda.  History is forbidden until University.

IIRC the sanitized history class is : America #1, USA is the best at everything, we've never done anything wrong or instigated any conflicts, patriotism, patriotism, America #1, American Indian natives didn't use the land properly so we were justified in taking it from them.


When did you go to school, 1930? When I was in high school (20 years ago) it was a constant barrage of white guilt. I can't imagine what it's like today. I bet George Washington gets a five second "shout out" before they move on to the Tuskegee Airman and Stonewall, two relatively unimportant events in US history that I'm sure every Farker knows better than the War of 1812.

Who's with me?
 
2014-01-11 07:16:12 PM

SquiggsIN: fusillade762: I love history now but I hated it in high school. It seemed to be nothing more than memorizing dates.

dates are usually the least important part of history.  if all you're doing to "learn history" is memorizing a sequence of dates you completely miss how history shapes the present (which to me means much more than the dates).  My high school teacher only made us remember the year 1066 but, I'm guessing that most adults have no idea what its significance is.


The FSB speed of a Core 2 Quad Q6600?

Err... wait... no, that was the Norman invasion. Incidentally, why my last name is English instead of French.
 
2014-01-11 07:18:43 PM

DeathByGeekSquad: A majority of the students graduating acknowledge only one school of thought.

That, in a nutshell, is one of the many problems with today's academic system.


Cuz facts are liberal
 
2014-01-11 07:18:50 PM

SquiggsIN: TheotherMIguy: Recently got my BA in History, with my undergraduate project being an analysis of the British farking up things in Afghanistan. Yes, you ABSOLUTELY have to know and -understand- History in order to teach it. Coach if you're going to do that, but be a History teacher -first-. Or we'll all be saying "Welcome to Costco, I love you."

One of my biggest pet peeves about modern coverage of political instability in the middle east is the way no one mentions how much of it is the fault of the West for drawing arbitrary lines on a map without regard to the people/ideologies located within the lines.


Whoa there Nelly, are you suggesting that 30+ years of installing puppet regimes, laundering money, running guns to both sides, and shameless 'Don't Let it Happen Here!' propaganda at home has led to some negative consequences for the USA? That sounds a lot like terrorist sympathizing; come over here for a nice cavity search and a 'weekend' at our Guantanamo Bay resort...
 
2014-01-11 07:21:00 PM

peasandcarrots: I think one of the big reasons history is poorly taught is deliberate - to tone down disagreements at home.


It's amazing how much you learn once you can read for yourself without a syllabus and 'approved' text restricting the actual events of history.
 
2014-01-11 07:23:16 PM

Brainsick: SquiggsIN: TheotherMIguy: Recently got my BA in History, with my undergraduate project being an analysis of the British farking up things in Afghanistan. Yes, you ABSOLUTELY have to know and -understand- History in order to teach it. Coach if you're going to do that, but be a History teacher -first-. Or we'll all be saying "Welcome to Costco, I love you."

One of my biggest pet peeves about modern coverage of political instability in the middle east is the way no one mentions how much of it is the fault of the West for drawing arbitrary lines on a map without regard to the people/ideologies located within the lines.

Whoa there Nelly, are you suggesting that 30+ years of installing puppet regimes, laundering money, running guns to both sides, and shameless 'Don't Let it Happen Here!' propaganda at home has led to some negative consequences for the USA? That sounds a lot like terrorist sympathizing; come over here for a nice cavity search and a 'weekend' at our Guantanamo Bay resort...


Try 100 years (aforementioned Sykes/Picot treaty)

See 'Tribes With Flags' by Glass for modern context
 
2014-01-11 07:25:02 PM

uber humper: [blog.pennlive.com image 585x768]

*What a typical high school history teacher may look like


In my HS he was the biology teacher.
 
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