Should History Be Taught In Elementary Schools???

Methods and means of supporting critical thinking in education

Well...?

Yes
28
90%
No
3
10%
 
Total votes: 31

User avatar
Philosophical Skeptic
Account Locked
Posts: 522
Joined: Fri Sep 01, 2006 6:41 am
Location: Milky Way, Earth Way, Earth, U.S.

Should History Be Taught In Elementary Schools???

Post by Philosophical Skeptic » Thu Sep 28, 2006 10:49 pm

I contend that history should NOT be taught in Elementary school, because at that age, children simply can not comprehend history & what it really means.

I know that in first grade, they generally teach, in American schools, about MLK. Now, a 6 or 7 year old, in the vast majority of instances, would not be able to comprehend what happened in the Civil Rights movement, not just because they can't understand the historical aspects, but because they just can't put it in the context of history, & they simply can't understand the philosophical & sociological sides of it.

Generally, again in American schools, they first teach the American Revolution in fifth grade. Now, I definitely don't think 10 & 11 year olds are capable of understanding the implications for human history that the revoution had. Not to mention how it related to the rest of the British Empire, & how the common people who resisted struggled to survive the British Onslaught.

Now, I don't know exactly what's taught in schools in other parts of the west, maybe Kiless could elaborate on this for me, but either way, it just doesn't seem reasonable to teach small children such powerfully dynamic stuff.

Also, I find fault with the way history is taught. It's generally taught by having students memorize sets of facts. I remember reading Michael Shermer's account of history as Non-Linear & similar to an evolving biological system. & Generally, it seems like history should be taught in a sociological way, because then students can grasp what happened, how it happened, & the implications for the rest of history it had, as well as similar events through out history.

Remember This:

George Santyana wrote:Those Who Do Not Know Their History Are Condemned To Repeat It!


But the thing is, if people don't truly understand history as they should, then how are they going to be moved by that saying???
"If you see life as anything more than pure entertainment, you're missing the point." -George Carlin
"All the world's a stage!" -William Skakespaere
"Darwin's theory of evolution is one of the most uncontroversial & highly uncriticised theories in all of science. Now, the theory of random coming togetherness, that's quite a hot topic. It's hated by creationists & Darwinists alike! But Darwin's theory? Very few have ever criticised it." -Me

Best Atheist Site Ever!

User avatar
Tsukasa Buddha
Regular Poster
Posts: 612
Joined: Sun Apr 09, 2006 1:08 am
Location: NeverLand

Post by Tsukasa Buddha » Fri Sep 29, 2006 12:18 am

We have discussed the topic of what we learn as kids compared to what we learn as teens in my History class. I do agree with what you said about kids not being able to fully understand events, as that is what my teacher said as well. That being said, I do not agree that History should therefore be abandoned for younger children. As we go through school, we learn more about each topic and the factors involved, and we also go from a chronological order to a more 'dramatic' one.
"I don't hold back when I fight idiots."
-Tsukasa

User avatar
Mordread
Regular Poster
Posts: 596
Joined: Wed Aug 30, 2006 3:28 am

Post by Mordread » Fri Sep 29, 2006 1:13 am

I agree with you that children may not fully understand much of history as it may be taught to them - however, I don't feel that the curriculum should be devoid of basic historical events.

I think children should be taught the "bare-bones," so to speak - save the in-depth stuff for later, when they are better able to comprehend what those events mean.

User avatar
jj
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1820
Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2005 8:13 pm
Custom Title: Skeptical Curmudgeon
Location: Under the Evergreens

Post by jj » Fri Sep 29, 2006 4:25 am

I think there is a big difference between not teaching History in grade school, and teaching it poorly, which is more or less the digested pap I got in school, at least.

Teach simple stuff, but factual stuff. From day 1, start teaching how things interrelate, etc.
Why does an infallable book have to be constantly revised?

User avatar
JO 753
Has No Life
Posts: 14506
Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2005 3:21 pm
Custom Title: rezident owtsidr
Location: BLaNDLaND

Post by JO 753 » Fri Sep 29, 2006 5:45 am

I think teaching it to kidz iz a waste uv time & taxpayerz money. Most kidz are bored silly by it, so they wont remember it after they hav passed the test. Ever see Jay Leno'z Jay Walking segment? Even the teacherz cant remember major stuff!

I think including history in other subjects iz the way to go. Like who came up with numberz, multiplication, etc. in math. Its interesting wen you can see the practical rezult. And nothing wrong with letting kidz read wut they want in the library.

Foozball
New Member
Posts: 15
Joined: Tue Sep 26, 2006 7:28 am

Post by Foozball » Fri Sep 29, 2006 9:47 am

They should teach it but only certain parts, Where it is true we can't expect children to comprehend actions during the cival rights movement, We should be able to explain things such as Columbus's journey and the american revolution. There is actually a show on PBS called, "Liberty's Kids" about children in the Revolutionary War that explains the whole thing in a way understandable to chilren. So I belive it should be taught as a child can learn at their age, Then added to as they progress through school (IE teach the american revolution the PBS way then as they get older add more detail about the death toll, technology, politics involved, etc). That way it will also be embeded in their minds, And they won't just space it off and forget it. In a best case sceniro school boards would have a sub board of history planners who would decided what to teach and how to make it comprehendable to young minds.
Marge: Homer! There's someone here who can help you...
Homer: Is it Batman?
Marge: No, he's a scientist.
Homer: Batman's a scientist?!
Marge: It's not Batman!

User avatar
DeusEx_Humana
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1194
Joined: Wed May 25, 2005 3:55 am
Location: Houston

Post by DeusEx_Humana » Fri Sep 29, 2006 8:49 pm

JO 753 wrote:
I think including history in other subjects iz the way to go. Like who came up with numberz, multiplication, etc. in math. Its interesting wen you can see the practical rezult.


Yes and one of the best books I have seen in this regard is Bryson's "A short history of nearly everything". It was the most fun reading history I have ever had.

Chronological history is lifeless, I much prefer it as a story with a point to it. The history channel does this very well sometimes with its specials. History can be exciting or dull depending on how it is presented.

User avatar
Mordread
Regular Poster
Posts: 596
Joined: Wed Aug 30, 2006 3:28 am

Post by Mordread » Sat Sep 30, 2006 12:42 am

DeusEx_Humana wrote:Chronological history is lifeless, I much prefer it as a story with a point to it. The history channel does this very well sometimes with its specials. History can be exciting or dull depending on how it is presented.


Yes they do most of the time. I particularly enjoyed one of the recent series about the Revolutionary war.

Ultimately, it is about the way it is presented. If you have a crotchety old man with a monotone voice just presenting chronological facts, of course kids aren't going to be interested in it. Any subject will be like that, but particularly history.

If you present it in a story-like format, and teach it with enthusiasm, it does become interesting.

In college, one of my most memorable classes was U.S. History 1865-present. The instructor was a graduate student that was an amazing storyteller. Every class period, he would present the material in such an enthusiastic and passionate manner that he would sweat profusely.

The sweat was a little disgusting, but he was very good at making history interesting.

User avatar
Philosophical Skeptic
Account Locked
Posts: 522
Joined: Fri Sep 01, 2006 6:41 am
Location: Milky Way, Earth Way, Earth, U.S.

Post by Philosophical Skeptic » Sat Sep 30, 2006 6:19 am

mater deum wrote:I think you are semi right, Philo Skep. Kids can't understand history. Really, it's just cultural propaganda.

But I'm against the cultural brainwashing we call History Class here in Canada. The French, the English and we mention alittle bit about the Aboriginal Peoples. It wasn't until uni. that I heard anything about the Potlatch Laws here in western Canada. High School history class didn't even mention Aboriginal people or the discriminatory laws against them. History is prettied up. It is propaganda.


It's the same here in America. For example, when learning about the Industrial Revolution, American schools go on & on about the contributions of the U.S., but gloss over the contibutions of Britain, Germany, & to a certain extent, France.

Now, I don't know about there, but here, political correctness diludes alot of history. For example, it is true that much of the racism in the south was tiggered by their bitter defeat in the Civil War. Now, that was definitely NO excuse for the racism, & there's NO excuse for racism anywhere, but you can't ignore history.

Also, when teaching about the journey west, while the genocide against many of the Indians was another disgusting stain on our history, they teach it in a black & white format. Indian good, white man bad. When in fact, there were some good tribes, & there were some bad tribes.

But teaching in black & white is a very prevelant flaw in teaching history. In the civil war, there were many northern racists, & some southern abolitionists, like Robert E. Lee, who thought they were simply fighting for their homeland.

& Also, they seem to have an obsession with the Nazis. Hitler! Hitler! Hitler! Sometimes they don't even mention the atroceties of Stalin & Mao!!!

There's also the flaw of oversimplification. When teaching the rise of the Nazism, for example, ALL they talk about is the holocaust, as if Nazi Germany had no other history. & Even in the holocaust, they make it seem as if all of Germany just decided to hate Jews one day, when in fact, Christian Anti-Semitism had brewed for centuries beforehand.

As far as your point about teaching ancient history goes, it's a very good point. But also, ancient history shaped how we exist today. It's really astounding to think about, that what happened thousands of years ago still has an impact on us today. & That would also awaken people to the fact that their actions will affect their Grand Children of countless Greats.

As far as making history interesting, that's something we should pay ALOT more attention to. But what some educators do, in the fashion of shows like History Detectives on PBS, is try & make history "Fun". They make it seem kiddy, in other words.

Obviously, history is anything but "Fun". & My stance is that, unless you depict all the R-Rated & X-Rated moments in history as they actually happened, you're not conveying the true message history has to teach us. & In a way, by doing that, you're also making a mockery of history.
"If you see life as anything more than pure entertainment, you're missing the point." -George Carlin
"All the world's a stage!" -William Skakespaere
"Darwin's theory of evolution is one of the most uncontroversial & highly uncriticised theories in all of science. Now, the theory of random coming togetherness, that's quite a hot topic. It's hated by creationists & Darwinists alike! But Darwin's theory? Very few have ever criticised it." -Me

Best Atheist Site Ever!

User avatar
Tsukasa Buddha
Regular Poster
Posts: 612
Joined: Sun Apr 09, 2006 1:08 am
Location: NeverLand

Post by Tsukasa Buddha » Sat Sep 30, 2006 4:59 pm

Whoa, hold on here, historians can be biased?!

I guess we had better stop teaching then.
"I don't hold back when I fight idiots."
-Tsukasa

User avatar
Tsukasa Buddha
Regular Poster
Posts: 612
Joined: Sun Apr 09, 2006 1:08 am
Location: NeverLand

Post by Tsukasa Buddha » Sat Sep 30, 2006 6:23 pm

mater deum wrote:Yes. The teacher/prof can be biased. A few years back there was a case of a High School history teacher ( James Keegstra) teaching some racist crap about Jews and the Holocaust. Lawyer , Doug Christie, defended him. There are good teachers and there are bad teachers. Sad, but true.


Yeah, last year my History teacher was a god. But this year I have some conservative jerk. I usually end up having to correct his definitions for my friends before the tests. But it is always clear where his bias shows up, and I still learn things in class.
"I don't hold back when I fight idiots."
-Tsukasa

User avatar
Philosophical Skeptic
Account Locked
Posts: 522
Joined: Fri Sep 01, 2006 6:41 am
Location: Milky Way, Earth Way, Earth, U.S.

Post by Philosophical Skeptic » Wed Oct 04, 2006 12:00 am

JO 753 wrote:I think teaching it to kidz iz a waste uv time & taxpayerz money. Most kidz are bored silly by it, so they wont remember it after they hav passed the test. Ever see Jay Leno'z Jay Walking segment? Even the teacherz cant remember major stuff!

I think including history in other subjects iz the way to go. Like who came up with numberz, multiplication, etc. in math. Its interesting wen you can see the practical rezult. And nothing wrong with letting kidz read wut they want in the library.


You can never disregard Common Sense! Man, I love that Jay Walking segment, too... :D :D :D
"If you see life as anything more than pure entertainment, you're missing the point." -George Carlin
"All the world's a stage!" -William Skakespaere
"Darwin's theory of evolution is one of the most uncontroversial & highly uncriticised theories in all of science. Now, the theory of random coming togetherness, that's quite a hot topic. It's hated by creationists & Darwinists alike! But Darwin's theory? Very few have ever criticised it." -Me

Best Atheist Site Ever!

able83
Poster
Posts: 78
Joined: Tue Jul 18, 2006 3:06 am
Location: Oz

Post by able83 » Wed Oct 04, 2006 2:18 am

Kids are introduced to letters and numbers at a very young age, and then taught spelling, comprehension & mathmatics, which in turn leads to grammar, essays and algebra, and on and on and on

The simple base, at a young age allows them to progress and understand subjects that will continue and become more complex as the years advance.

From my perspective history should be no different.

User avatar
Beleth
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1426
Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2005 7:54 pm
Location: yo mammas puddin

Post by Beleth » Fri Oct 06, 2006 3:58 pm

I was just going to post about the same thing able83 posted just above.

It is important to give grade-school kids a basic overview of history, just like it is important to teach them the basics of language, math, and science. Let the deeper meaning fall into place later. Tell kids what happened; save the why for high school and college, or for really inquisitive students.
"Beleth thinks with beauty."
-- brainfart

User avatar
Deft One
Poster
Posts: 151
Joined: Tue Jun 21, 2005 7:01 pm
Location: Nowhere in particular at the moment

Post by Deft One » Mon Oct 09, 2006 3:54 am

Local history can be very rewarding for children as well, as it IS something they can relate to. Learning about past economies and families and disasters can all instill a "sense of place". This is true for everyone, but especially for children being raised in someplace they will eventually consider their hometown. History is very digestable at this scale and can encourage involvement in civic affairs.
"I haven't failed, I've found 10,000 ways that don't work." -- Thomas Edison

"Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast." --Oscar Wilde

User avatar
St. Jimmy
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1173
Joined: Fri Sep 08, 2006 6:50 pm
Custom Title: ghostbuster
Location: His Noodly Embrace

Re: Should History Be Taught In Elementary Schools???

Post by St. Jimmy » Wed Oct 11, 2006 5:25 pm

Philosophical Skeptic wrote:
George Santyana wrote:Those Who Do Not Know Their History Are Condemned To Repeat It!

But the thing is, if people don't truly understand history as they should, then how are they going to be moved by that saying???


Well, I probably don't "truly" understand my history. I know quite a bit of it, and hopefully by the time I have to take my exam at the end of the year I will understand the important bits, but one way to to be moved by that saying is to go to a certain museum I was in recently which I shouldn't really mention on this forum (PM me) where it is hung in big letters on the wall (without the Stupid Capitals and read "remember" for "know"), just round the corner from the main exhibits.

Clearly, teaching in the usual way any history up until about 1750 is really dull, because we have no idea of what it was really like to live at the time. The ideas just don't connect to anything. I almost wrote 1870 there but I guess the French and American revolutions are pretty important.
I'd rather have a full bottle in front of me than a full frontal lobotomy.

User avatar
Philosophical Skeptic
Account Locked
Posts: 522
Joined: Fri Sep 01, 2006 6:41 am
Location: Milky Way, Earth Way, Earth, U.S.

Post by Philosophical Skeptic » Fri Oct 13, 2006 12:57 am

I can appreciate history in the ancient world. The important thing to know is that people today are really no different from their ancestors. I can really relate to so many people, from Mozart to Socrates, & so many others.

The thing is, even if you teach young children the basics, there will be a stereo-typical like image that comes to mind every time they think of the subject later in life. For example, it's hard for me to be moved seriously by the American Revolution, because in grade school, we were constantly shown the simplistically innocent images of powdered wigs & red suits. As a result, every time I think of the people involved or see documentaries on the subject, everything looks kiddish to me.

It's like how when I hear the words, "Four score & seven years ago", instead of hearing the deep & dark meanings & implications of that speech, I hear some grade school kid with a fake beard reciting the speech in front of their parents & teachers. Not literally, but I think you know what I mean by certain moments in history bringing on grade school feelings.

Just imagine what would happen if they taught about the rise of the Nazis in grade school. Instead of thinking of Adolf Hitler, the leader of a complex political revolution that dismantled the Weimar Republic, we would be thinking about AAAAA-Dof Hitwer, the big bad boogey man.

Basically, teaching grade school kids history will impose a simplistic & symbolic image of history which will make it hard for them to take history seriously later in life.
"If you see life as anything more than pure entertainment, you're missing the point." -George Carlin
"All the world's a stage!" -William Skakespaere
"Darwin's theory of evolution is one of the most uncontroversial & highly uncriticised theories in all of science. Now, the theory of random coming togetherness, that's quite a hot topic. It's hated by creationists & Darwinists alike! But Darwin's theory? Very few have ever criticised it." -Me

Best Atheist Site Ever!

User avatar
Mordread
Regular Poster
Posts: 596
Joined: Wed Aug 30, 2006 3:28 am

Post by Mordread » Fri Oct 13, 2006 2:23 am

Philosophical Skeptic wrote:I can appreciate history in the ancient world. The important thing to know is that people today are really no different from their ancestors. I can really relate to so many people, from Mozart to Socrates, & so many others.

The thing is, even if you teach young children the basics, there will be a stereo-typical like image that comes to mind every time they think of the subject later in life. For example, it's hard for me to be moved seriously by the American Revolution, because in grade school, we were constantly shown the simplistically innocent images of powdered wigs & red suits. As a result, every time I think of the people involved or see documentaries on the subject, everything looks kiddish to me.

It's like how when I hear the words, "Four score & seven years ago", instead of hearing the deep & dark meanings & implications of that speech, I hear some grade school kid with a fake beard reciting the speech in front of their parents & teachers. Not literally, but I think you know what I mean by certain moments in history bringing on grade school feelings.

Just imagine what would happen if they taught about the rise of the Nazis in grade school. Instead of thinking of Adolf Hitler, the leader of a complex political revolution that dismantled the Weimar Republic, we would be thinking about AAAAA-Dof Hitwer, the big bad boogey man.

Basically, teaching grade school kids history will impose a simplistic & symbolic image of history which will make it hard for them to take history seriously later in life.


The history curriculum in our schools when I was growing up started teaching in depth history at grade five. Hitler, the Nazis, and most everything about WWII was covered in the curriculum. Before that grade, it was called social studies - and that subjected touched on the "simplistic" overviews of history, social systems, government, etc....

I'm now almost two decades out of grade school, and I've been taking history seriously ever since. It's actually one of my favorite subjects to read, research, and learn about without being prompted. Furthermore, despite learning about Hitler at that point in time, I didn't have any illusions as to what kind of man he was - The dangers he posed were explicitly pointed out.

As I said before, it's probably too early to teach the in depth history early on in grade school - it should be taught in an overview, somewhat simplistic way, especially when it comes to local or regional history.

The more dramatic, probably should be saved for later in Junior High or High school.

able83
Poster
Posts: 78
Joined: Tue Jul 18, 2006 3:06 am
Location: Oz

Post by able83 » Fri Oct 13, 2006 3:38 am

Skeptic Phil - I'm afraid that says more about you than it does about any short comings of history teaching.

User avatar
Philosophical Skeptic
Account Locked
Posts: 522
Joined: Fri Sep 01, 2006 6:41 am
Location: Milky Way, Earth Way, Earth, U.S.

Post by Philosophical Skeptic » Fri Oct 13, 2006 3:48 am

But at a young age, it's precisely that simplistic method of teaching that rams in the stereo-typical view of history young people have today. Basically, it comes down to this:

A. You can teach young children history in its full form, which they can not understand.

OR...

B. You can teach it simplistically, which can potentially influence them to only see history in a narrow & simplistic way.

First, I apologize for not making point B clearer at an earlier time. Continuing, while you may not have been affected, many people are. I love history, but it's still hard for me to be moved by events like the Revolution.

What I'm trying to communicate is the fact that when teaching children the kiddy, innocent & simplistic version of history that's being taught in grade school, at an early age, (Which is what's been happening), even after they've matured, their mind still associates those moments in history, & particularly the imagery of the moments, with the trivial & innocent feelings of childhood, which makes us feel awkward as adults.

So, while it may not affect some people, I think that it's just too dangerous psychologically to teach history in grade school. Personally, I think that it should start in 7th Grade. That's the age when kids really start to get a grasp of adulthood.

& That's VERY important, because history is niether innocent nor trivial. The first step in the process would to introduce them to the pessimistic truth of the world around us. Show them the dark side of the world, because that's the truth, & that will set a very serious tone for their historical education.

Once they see this dark, & adult like look into the world, then they can be taught how history works, through the basics of the workings of society &
human nature. Once they can see things through a dark & mature reality, then history can be processed properly.

The next step could be story-telling about some historical figures as characters that students can relate to. From there onward, you can teach history straight forward while constantly elaborating on the mechanisms of how history works, sociology, & how history affects us today.

That last part were just some thoughts of mine, but the main body of this post was damn serious.
"If you see life as anything more than pure entertainment, you're missing the point." -George Carlin
"All the world's a stage!" -William Skakespaere
"Darwin's theory of evolution is one of the most uncontroversial & highly uncriticised theories in all of science. Now, the theory of random coming togetherness, that's quite a hot topic. It's hated by creationists & Darwinists alike! But Darwin's theory? Very few have ever criticised it." -Me

Best Atheist Site Ever!

able83
Poster
Posts: 78
Joined: Tue Jul 18, 2006 3:06 am
Location: Oz

Post by able83 » Fri Oct 13, 2006 3:59 am

Philosophical Skeptic wrote:What I'm trying to communicate is the fact that when teaching children the kiddy, innocent & simplistic version of history that's being taught in grade school, at an early age, (Which is what's been happening), even after they've matured, their mind still associates those moments in history, & particularly the imagery of the moments, with the trivial & innocent feelings of childhood, which makes us feel awkward as adults.


Again, i think you are revealing more about yourself than you are about a real problem.

User avatar
Philosophical Skeptic
Account Locked
Posts: 522
Joined: Fri Sep 01, 2006 6:41 am
Location: Milky Way, Earth Way, Earth, U.S.

Post by Philosophical Skeptic » Fri Oct 13, 2006 4:33 am

From my experience, many other people had the same problem, & it looks like the problem I'm addressing is a big influence on why, quite frankly, the majority of people just don't care about history. It's not unreasonable to think that a bad first experience of a subject will turn people off.
"If you see life as anything more than pure entertainment, you're missing the point." -George Carlin
"All the world's a stage!" -William Skakespaere
"Darwin's theory of evolution is one of the most uncontroversial & highly uncriticised theories in all of science. Now, the theory of random coming togetherness, that's quite a hot topic. It's hated by creationists & Darwinists alike! But Darwin's theory? Very few have ever criticised it." -Me

Best Atheist Site Ever!

able83
Poster
Posts: 78
Joined: Tue Jul 18, 2006 3:06 am
Location: Oz

Post by able83 » Fri Oct 13, 2006 5:05 am

i think they were just agreeing with you to be nice.

User avatar
Philosophical Skeptic
Account Locked
Posts: 522
Joined: Fri Sep 01, 2006 6:41 am
Location: Milky Way, Earth Way, Earth, U.S.

Post by Philosophical Skeptic » Fri Oct 13, 2006 7:22 pm

Anyone else have a legitimate comment?
"If you see life as anything more than pure entertainment, you're missing the point." -George Carlin
"All the world's a stage!" -William Skakespaere
"Darwin's theory of evolution is one of the most uncontroversial & highly uncriticised theories in all of science. Now, the theory of random coming togetherness, that's quite a hot topic. It's hated by creationists & Darwinists alike! But Darwin's theory? Very few have ever criticised it." -Me

Best Atheist Site Ever!

User avatar
Beleth
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1426
Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2005 7:54 pm
Location: yo mammas puddin

Post by Beleth » Fri Oct 13, 2006 7:39 pm

Hmmm.

I admit to not being much into studying history. I have always seen it as a series of unconnected events, or at best a series of events connected by irrationality and ego.

But I have to admit that I too see subjects such as the American Revolution through the eyes of a 3rd-grader, even to this day, quite a few years later.

I might actually be getting persuaded! Could it be?

I wonder if there are topics in history that are understandable by a 3rd-grade mind. I mean, who in 3rd grade has any real concept of taxation, or slavery, or war? Can it be that history is only understandable once those kinds of concepts are understood? And yet, paradoxically, how does one come to understand concepts such as slavery in this day and age without studying history?

Perhaps a different kind of history can be taught. One that doesn't concentrate on the grandiose hostilities of powerful people hundreds of years ago. One that's more accessible to the 8-year-old mind. Genealogy, perhaps... have each student report on the lives of their great-grandparents. I don't know. But I think you might be on to something, PS.
"Beleth thinks with beauty."
-- brainfart

User avatar
Mordread
Regular Poster
Posts: 596
Joined: Wed Aug 30, 2006 3:28 am

Post by Mordread » Fri Oct 13, 2006 8:13 pm

Philosophical Skeptic wrote:But at a young age, it's precisely that simplistic method of teaching that rams in the stereo-typical view of history young people have today. Basically, it comes down to this:

A. You can teach young children history in its full form, which they can not understand.

OR...

B. You can teach it simplistically, which can potentially influence them to only see history in a narrow & simplistic way.

First, I apologize for not making point B clearer at an earlier time. Continuing, while you may not have been affected, many people are. I love history, but it's still hard for me to be moved by events like the Revolution.

What I'm trying to communicate is the fact that when teaching children the kiddy, innocent & simplistic version of history that's being taught in grade school, at an early age, (Which is what's been happening), even after they've matured, their mind still associates those moments in history, & particularly the imagery of the moments, with the trivial & innocent feelings of childhood, which makes us feel awkward as adults.

So, while it may not affect some people, I think that it's just too dangerous psychologically to teach history in grade school. Personally, I think that it should start in 7th Grade. That's the age when kids really start to get a grasp of adulthood.

& That's VERY important, because history is niether innocent nor trivial. The first step in the process would to introduce them to the pessimistic truth of the world around us. Show them the dark side of the world, because that's the truth, & that will set a very serious tone for their historical education.

Once they see this dark, & adult like look into the world, then they can be taught how history works, through the basics of the workings of society &
human nature. Once they can see things through a dark & mature reality, then history can be processed properly.

The next step could be story-telling about some historical figures as characters that students can relate to. From there onward, you can teach history straight forward while constantly elaborating on the mechanisms of how history works, sociology, & how history affects us today.

That last part were just some thoughts of mine, but the main body of this post was damn serious.


I think it's a mistake to equate simplistic concepts of what happened in history as being trivial, innocent, "warm and fuzzy," etc.

One can easily be taught that something happened in history, it was very bad, and it is bad for these reasons, without going into a lot of detail.

I'll give you that some people may be effected in the manner that you describe, but I'd warrant that most people are not - both are simply opinions from our own personal observations.

I don't believe that there have been any studies that support your assertion. Until there is (or if there is, then someone please supply - I couldn't find anything personally), this debate is rather pointless.

arn
New Member
Posts: 8
Joined: Sun Nov 05, 2006 10:47 pm

Post by arn » Sun Nov 05, 2006 11:31 pm

make it fun and interesting as the kids progress thru school (the same w/math and science). we've all had examples of effective and ineffective teachers. personally, i'm a proponent of much better facilities in the lower economic areas. think what could be accomplished if kids, living in horrible conditions, could look forward to warm, nutricious noontime meals and a fun and learning evironment. we need good, well-paid teachers.

Psy-Sky
New Member
Posts: 46
Joined: Mon Oct 30, 2006 10:20 pm

Post by Psy-Sky » Mon Nov 06, 2006 12:55 am

Iffy subject. I honestly don't know. History isn't always the truth. Or probably seldom. The victor's side of the tale is the one most presented and is simply the victor's opinion. On the other hand, its important to know about history. In not appearing stupid for one, but really I means events like the Crusades, the Burning Times, the Inquisistion --so they aren't repeated again. On the other hand most of us know all about the Crusades and the Witch Hunts but they are still occuring again.

See why I can't decide?

psy

arn
New Member
Posts: 8
Joined: Sun Nov 05, 2006 10:47 pm

Post by arn » Mon Nov 06, 2006 5:12 pm

no!

User avatar
IlluSionS667
Regular Poster
Posts: 837
Joined: Mon May 21, 2007 8:43 am

Post by IlluSionS667 » Wed Jul 25, 2007 7:40 pm

History is important for a child to understand its place and that of its people, but unfortunately it is always abused by the leaders to distort the child's mindset.

Even though teaching objective history is something unlikely to ever happen, I don't think that not teaching history to children is an option worth considering.
All things are subject to interpretation. Whatever interpretation prevails at a given time is a function of power and not of truth - Friedrich Nietzsche

User avatar
T. A. Gardner
New Member
Posts: 47
Joined: Tue Aug 21, 2007 4:49 am

Post by T. A. Gardner » Thu Aug 23, 2007 12:45 am

Not only do I think it should be taught (history) but, in grade school the emphsis should be on American history (in US schools) and culture without the current global and/or mulitculturial emphsis it often has. I believe that it is critical that children get a shared set of culturial values within their society at an early age as this is a very strong glue that will bind that society togeather later in life for them.
Teaching a smattering of various cultures and using culturial relativism as a point of reference weakens society as a whole through not having some shared values.

User avatar
bigtim
Perpetual Poster
Posts: 4088
Joined: Thu Feb 16, 2006 7:04 pm
Custom Title: Skeptical Berserker
Location: Miðgarðr

Post by bigtim » Thu Aug 23, 2007 3:10 am

History is critical -- it should be geared towards the age of the child. The public school system's try to do that... but in this effort what they end up teaching is legend and not history.

My wife and I teach our children history, we correct what they learn in school, and we tell them where their family came from, what their families have been involved in and what they've done. My children had a greater and more realistic grasp of what has gone before than nearly every kid their peer. Due to this as my children have grown they have also fostered a love for history; for the detective work that studying history often entails and as such as they’ve grown they tend to look at things as multi-layered and not black and white.

I also think math is critical; as is English (writing, reading – language arts), science, the arts and sports.
~
BigTim
"I'm not entirely convinced that ValHalla isn't real."

User avatar
mfumbesi
Poster
Posts: 77
Joined: Wed Jul 20, 2005 1:27 pm
Location: Pretoria, South Africa

Re: Should History Be Taught In Elementary Schools???

Post by mfumbesi » Wed Jan 14, 2009 11:58 am

In our primary school at grade 1 we were taught local history. We were taught things like the name of the founders of the school, the school's age, town founders etc.
In that way it is not overwhelming and we had a point of reference.

Tom Palven
Has More Than 6K Posts
Posts: 6188
Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2008 12:29 am

Re: Should History Be Taught In Elementary Schools???

Post by Tom Palven » Fri Feb 13, 2009 1:12 pm

mfumbesi,
Teaching kids about local history, and perhaps how it relates to the geoprphy and nature of an area doesn't sound like a bad idea at all. Even some of the history of a continent might be okay, as it relates to geography and nature. 1492 and the introduction of the wheel into North America, tomatoes into Italy, potatoes into Ireland, maize into Africa, and so on.

History here is often presented as a bunch of military generals and dates to be memorized in regard to battles in various wars. This, I think, is Philosophical Skeptic's main objection, which I wholeheartedly agree with. Tomorrow there will be a re-enactment of the Civil War Battle of Olustee in Olustee, Florida, USA. I am NOT a pacifist, but there must be better ways to celebrate "just victories", a fiesta perhaps, without glamorizing death and destruction.
If one can be taught to believe absurdities, one can commit atrocities. --Voltaire
I may not agree with the what you say, but I will defend your right to say it. --Voltaire
Mankind will not be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest. --Denis Diderot
I haven't abandoned my vices. My vices have abandoned me. --Denis Diderot

User avatar
vanderpoel
Perpetual Poster
Posts: 4577
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 3:01 am
Location: Honolulu

Re: Should History Be Taught In Elementary Schools???

Post by vanderpoel » Sun Feb 22, 2009 10:32 am

Yes.
The history of child abuse.
"When you put a toucan on a monkey’s ass, don’t be fooled by the brightly colored plumage, beware of the enormous bill!"

Tom Palven
Has More Than 6K Posts
Posts: 6188
Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2008 12:29 am

Re: Should History Be Taught In Elementary Schools???

Post by Tom Palven » Sun Feb 22, 2009 2:06 pm

Yes, drugging kids and making them sit in chairs hours on end, at least in some cases, might amount to child abuse.
If one can be taught to believe absurdities, one can commit atrocities. --Voltaire
I may not agree with the what you say, but I will defend your right to say it. --Voltaire
Mankind will not be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest. --Denis Diderot
I haven't abandoned my vices. My vices have abandoned me. --Denis Diderot

User avatar
decreptitate777
Regular Poster
Posts: 854
Joined: Sun Dec 14, 2008 8:43 pm
Custom Title: The Dumbest Genius

Re:

Post by decreptitate777 » Sun Feb 22, 2009 9:43 pm

bigtim wrote:History is critical -- it should be geared towards the age of the child. The public school system's try to do that... but in this effort what they end up teaching is legend and not history.

My wife and I teach our children history, we correct what they learn in school, and we tell them where their family came from, what their families have been involved in and what they've done. My children had a greater and more realistic grasp of what has gone before than nearly every kid their peer. Due to this as my children have grown they have also fostered a love for history; for the detective work that studying history often entails and as such as they’ve grown they tend to look at things as multi-layered and not black and white.

I also think math is critical; as is English (writing, reading – language arts), science, the arts and sports.
In complete agreement...let the schools teach it...but supervise it as a parent and correct when needed...this is easy being that my son is home-schooled anyhow...and not with the religious quack curriculum either...but state certified with competent people running the program. I explain it to him just like I would to any adult...he is not a dumb kid anyhow.

User avatar
OlegTheBatty
Has No Life
Posts: 11975
Joined: Thu Mar 27, 2008 2:35 pm
Custom Title: Uppity Atheist

Re: Should History Be Taught In Elementary Schools???

Post by OlegTheBatty » Sun Jun 14, 2009 2:45 pm

A-number wrote:History is like religion, depending on who is its writer or from what angle it's been framed; it could be complete sausage from beginning to end, therefore I don't believe it should be taught.
Creationists distort science, so science should not be taught.
Advertising denigrates art, so art should not be taught.
Doping scandals deminish athleticism, so athleticism should not be taught.
Acronyms as originating on usenet and becoming panedmic in texting deminish writing, so writing should not be taught.
I can't think off hand how math is sullied, but it must be somehow, so it should not be taught.
. . . with the satisfied air of a man who thinks he has an idea of his own because he has commented on the idea of another . . . - Alexandre Dumas 'The Count of Monte Cristo"

There is no statement so absurd that it has not been uttered by some philosopher. - Cicero

.......................Doesn't matter how often I'm proved wrong.................... ~ bobbo the pragmatist

User avatar
brauneyz
Persistent Poster
Posts: 3767
Joined: Sun Jan 20, 2008 3:13 pm
Location: Everywhere, USA

Re: Should History Be Taught In Elementary Schools???

Post by brauneyz » Sun Jun 14, 2009 2:52 pm

OlegTheBatty wrote:
A-number wrote:History is like religion, depending on who is its writer or from what angle it's been framed; it could be complete sausage from beginning to end, therefore I don't believe it should be taught.
Creationists distort science, so science should not be taught.
Advertising denigrates art, so art should not be taught.
Doping scandals deminish athleticism, so athleticism should not be taught.
Acronyms as originating on usenet and becoming panedmic in texting deminish writing, so writing should not be taught.
I can't think off hand how math is sullied, but it must be somehow, so it should not be taught.
Everyone knows statistics are used by lying politicians, so math should not...... :wink:
"A society of sheep must in time beget a government of wolves." ~ Bertrand de Jouvenel

User avatar
OlegTheBatty
Has No Life
Posts: 11975
Joined: Thu Mar 27, 2008 2:35 pm
Custom Title: Uppity Atheist

Re: Should History Be Taught In Elementary Schools???

Post by OlegTheBatty » Sun Jun 14, 2009 2:55 pm

brauneyz wrote:
OlegTheBatty wrote:
A-number wrote:History is like religion, depending on who is its writer or from what angle it's been framed; it could be complete sausage from beginning to end, therefore I don't believe it should be taught.
Creationists distort science, so science should not be taught.
Advertising denigrates art, so art should not be taught.
Doping scandals deminish athleticism, so athleticism should not be taught.
Acronyms as originating on usenet and becoming panedmic in texting deminish writing, so writing should not be taught.
I can't think off hand how math is sullied, but it must be somehow, so it should not be taught.
Everyone knows statistics are used by lying politicians, so math should not...... :wink:
Thank you. I knew someone here would bail me out.
. . . with the satisfied air of a man who thinks he has an idea of his own because he has commented on the idea of another . . . - Alexandre Dumas 'The Count of Monte Cristo"

There is no statement so absurd that it has not been uttered by some philosopher. - Cicero

.......................Doesn't matter how often I'm proved wrong.................... ~ bobbo the pragmatist