Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Defining History 2

Having read the law referred to below, it strikes me less as a right wing plot, and more like student wish-fulfillment.

No matter how many times you try to teach/show students that history is a matter of investigation (Greek: 'istoria), narrative (French, etc.: histoire), and interpretation, many of the dear little ones often seem to want to be bored (in what they consider a useless required subject). They really would prefer a list of facts they could just remember.

I was at a store the other day, talking to a guy, and I mentioned (when he asked why I was in the US) that I had come to study for a doctorate in history. He then asked what use was that unless I wanted to teach? I asked him in return what use it was learning how to plumb unless he wanted to be a plumber?

He was gob-smacked, as we would say in Manchester.

[of course plumbers make more.]

1 comment:

Andrew said...

Or it's the opening salvo in the fight for the revised social studies standards in Florida.

The social studies standards in Florida are coming up for revision very soon. Along with that will be the push to include "Social Studies" in the high stakes standardized test used by the state (FCAT) as part of NCLB.

Am I the only one who remembers the trouble with the proposal for a national history standard? It was positioned as a central battle in the "culture war" and was led by none other than our dear Lynne Cheney.