Should History be a subject at school?

Discussion in 'ex-Rag Chew Central' started by EI4GMB, Aug 11, 2013.

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  1. EI4GMB

    EI4GMB Ham Member QRZ Page

    As a History graduate I often wonder if History should be taught at all in schools. Here in Ireland, were there is political conflict, people are hung up on the past. We hear the same old rhetoric time and time again from both sides of the divide. It is always the same - deferring to history and what went on in the past. Personally, I think if history was dropped as a subject at school the world would be a better place and people would forget about the past and finally get on with the future ...
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2013
  2. K6CPO

    K6CPO Ham Member QRZ Page

    I think history was eliminated from school curriculum because we realized we never learned from the events of the past. Look at Afghanistan. It's rapidly turning into another Vietnam and it's obvious we didn't learn anything from that protracted conflict. After we withdraw from Afghanistan, the outcome will be the same as it was in Vietnam.
  3. W4HAY

    W4HAY Ham Member QRZ Page

    What history isn't revised for political correctness is ignored as being "inconvenient".
  4. N5CEY

    N5CEY Ham Member QRZ Page

    History is always written from the viewpoint of the victor, which is why it is always distorted. The vanquished never get to tell their side.
  5. 2E0OZI

    2E0OZI Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thats very true - the question arising is "who's history will be taught?" I recommend anyone wishing to understand the history of the British Isles should read all 3 volumes of Professor Simon Schama's "A History of Britain". Its a great read, and note he calls it "A History" not THE history. Because its his history.

    We did about 2 hours of history a week at school 1979 to 1982. It was compulsory. After that in the 2 senior years at school, I dropped history and did chemistry, biology, English, maths, geography and agriculture. Should have dropped ag or geography and done physics and history.
  6. K7JBQ

    K7JBQ Moderator QRZ Page

    Not so fast, my friend.

    I give you, free of charge, The Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government, by Jefferson Davis.



  7. K5FH

    K5FH Ham Member QRZ Page

    On a scale of 1 to 10, that deserves AT LEAST a +100! :)

    JBQ: relatively few people even know of the existence of The Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government, much less have read it. Another example of inconvenient history being ignored.
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2013
  8. G0GQK

    G0GQK Ham Member QRZ Page

    No I don't think history should be ignored, the problem is that history is taught in blocks, well it is in Britain. The schools are taught about Henry VIII, well, they are told the basics, they never get to the reasons why, then they are taught about Hitler, and all that that involves.

    Its only when the pupils are in a higher grade, like High Schools, the pupils absorb and remember that the salient facts are understood. History is interesting when you reach the age of understanding about the world, but to most kids, because the subject is boring, they don't listen or remember. The history teachers need to teach less about dates and more about the personalities, why they did what they did, and the result of what they did.

    Mel G0GQK
  9. W9OE

    W9OE Ham Member QRZ Page

    Two of my passions are History and Geography. The majority of time I spend on the internet are spent reading those two subjects. That is when I am not on the ZED. US and world History is taught here from elementary school all the way through High school and beyond. However they could eliminate it here in the states because we have Mel, who insists on educating us Americans on the subjects every day as if we have no clue.

    Sorry Mel, I could not resist! :D
  10. AF6LJ

    AF6LJ Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    The problem with teaching history is the way it's usually taught.
    What I mean is history is often taught with a specific doctrine in mind, a political view or a form of political correctness.
    In other words what is usually taught is a lie.
  11. KD3NE

    KD3NE Ham Member QRZ Page

    How is the American colonists kicking England's butt taught in England's history classes?

    I always wondered about that ... and how has the way they are portrayed, change over time?

    We see the 56 signers of the US Declaration Of Independence as 'heroes', but were they not, in reality traitors to their own government?
  12. K9STH

    K9STH Ham Member QRZ Page

    In college, I had one United States history class that the professor taught in a very unusual manner. First of all, he had hundreds of Life, Look, Time, and other magazines from the 1920s through the 1950s on tables at the rear of the classroom. For the first 15-minutes, a student was to pick up any magazine and read it. Then, since the course did cover the period of the American Civil War, he read letters from his great uncle, who served in the Confederate Army from almost the beginning of the war. The professor did assign chapters in the text book to be read as "home work" and did have examinations on those chapters. But, as for class periods, we learned about fairly recent history and about the Civil War through the eyes of one of the soldiers.

    During the last class before final examinations, the professor read the last letter from his uncle. Then, he informed the class that his uncle had been killed in action during the week before Lee surrendered to Grant basically ending the war in the east.

    That was probably the best history class that I ever took from high school all the way through college.

    Glen, K9STH
  13. G8ADD

    G8ADD Ham Member QRZ Page

    As I remember it, it certainly gets a mention, but there were a lot of more important things going on at the same time and of course they get more coverage, events across the Atlantic were a sideshow!


    Brian G8ADD
  14. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I think "history" is a very relevant subject and it's not been eliminated from our public school curriculum at all.

    I loved "history" when I was in school, although then went on to major in engineering where I didn't take any more history classes per se, but did take "humanities" courses which could have included history, philosphy, psychology, or any number of things.

    Here in the States, we have several kinds of history we study: American history is the "easiest" one, I think (at least it was for me) because it doesn't go back that far...just the early 17th Century, really. There was a little bit of American history before that, but not much. "World" history is much more complicated and goes back thousands of years.

    I didn't like "world history" in public school, mostly because it was very complex and there was a lot to learn and understand. I doubt anyone fully knows everything about world history. But as I grow older, I'm finding it more and more interesting, and now would probably enjoy some courses in the subject.

    My kids were are all B.A. types (and not B.S. types) all studied various kinds of history in college. My youngest daughter is still in college (last year, coming up now) and is taking History of the Middle East as an elective. It's going to be a tough course, but I recommended it to her as "the bible" writings are mostly about that region and it will make her more conversational in groups of people.

    One can never learn enough, about anything. And the world is getting smaller all the time. What was very far away 100 years ago is just a short trip today.
  15. KD3NE

    KD3NE Ham Member QRZ Page

    I would love to get hold of some old British newspapers or writings from the English government of that period. to see what kind of spin they was putting on the entire revolution from the beginning to end.
  16. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Back then the "events" would have to be colored by time. You couldn't report American goings on in Britain for months; by the time the news got there, everything would have changed.

    Al Gore's internet changed all that. Now we see The News of The World two seconds after it's published, and vice-versa.

    The world is now so small, it officially fits in my car.:eek: Soon, it will fit in my pocket.

    Hard to hide, today.
  17. J85K

    J85K XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    History is always written for an agressor's political and economic advantage.......

    Clifford_N5CEY is absolutely correct!!

    If one considers the colonisation of America, with the wholesale plunder of forest, fishing, and game (fifty million bison wiped out in the 1800's) resources; the Indigenous people would have had a very different viewpoint. These peoples co-existed with their natural world for 10,000 years, before the coming of Europeans.

    Consider the political intent of the US government, to 'legislate' that 'Native American' peoples be required to integrate into modern American society; and then turnabout and deny their ancestral claims, because their bloodlines are now diluted -- all happening under the penalty of law.

    Ditto for the Aboriginal peoples of Australia. Ditto for European colonisation of Africa and India.

    The arbitrary British partition of India, and its consequent involuntary mass migrations, (due to religious and ethnic cleansing) was such that sectarian violence, was assured.

    In Africa, tribal affiliations were partitioned into new disconnected (French, Belgian, German, Portuguese) designed political structures, that pitted cousins against cousins.

    And the irony of it all --- those who would repatriate --- "EMIGRANTS!!"

    P.S. I guarantee that there will be further World Wars -- reason being, that there are now about five billion too many inhabitants on the planet. Fewer 'reasoned' people, can survive much longer if the rump of humanity is removed.
  18. KD2AKG

    KD2AKG Ham Member QRZ Page

    I take issue with the above statements. As a Secondary Education major with my concentration in History, I find that we use a quite different approach in teaching history. Back in the 80's when I was in elementary school and into the 90's in high school, there was a great deal of "revisionist history." What we teach students now is to use primary documents, the internet, etc. to learn about the past. The text book is merely a starting point or a springboard. There is no "doctrine" taught in our classes. History classes are about understanding change over time, remembering the sequence of historic events, not necessarily specific dates. (of course the biggies like D-Day or Pearl Harbor must be memorized.) Teaching history is about teaching critical thinking skills and guiding students to make their own discoveries based on the evidence they find.

    Oh yeah, maybe we do teach a certain doctrine. The Monroe Doctrine is the first that comes to mind.;)
  19. WA6MHZ

    WA6MHZ Subscriber QRZ Page

    History is REWRITTEN here to point out the great aspects of one particular political party and HOW ROTTEN the other is!
  20. KD2AKG

    KD2AKG Ham Member QRZ Page

    I don't know Pat and Sue. Maybe that's just a west coast thing.
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2013
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