Sunday, April 01, 2007

I wish this were an April Fool's joke.

Amy has has to put up with my complaints for years that there is not enough history taught in school. I know I'm not alone where my experience in high school history classes consisted of a couple of decent teachers and a whole lot of sports coaches who could have cared less. Luckily, one of the best teachers I ever had at any level taught history in 7th and 8th grade and gave me the appreciation for history I have today. Thank you Mr. V.

But enough nostalgia. Amy just passed this headline along to me:

"Teachers Drop Holocaust, Crusades From History Lessons to Avoid Offending Children"

Teachers are dropping controversial subjects such as the Holocaust and the Crusades from history lessons because they do not want to offend children from certain races or religions, a report claims.

A lack of factual knowledge among some teachers, particularly in primary schools, is also leading to “shallow” lessons on emotive and difficult subjects, according to the study by the Historical Association.

Allllllllrighty then. The reason not to teach these subjects are (1) some might find it offensive, and (2) a lack of knowledge by the teachers.

History is offensive? It's a factual account of the past, not some kind of personal attack. Bad things happened, often for very bad reasons: learn from them--THAT'S THE POINT! You don't study history because you have a fascination with memorizing dates (but don't tell that to the football coach). You study history to learn about the people, their motives, what you can learn from them, and, how it affected others, and how it affects you today.

And a "lack of knowledge among some teachers"? Of the holocaust and the crusades? We're not talking the finer points of modern computer network architecture here, or some other topic where the data changes at light speed... we're talking *history* here, people -- READ A BOOK FOR GODS SAKE!

I mean, seriously, how can this be true? What subjects are being taught instead, at the sacrifice of history? Is it too much to ask that a middle school teacher have at least a middle school understanding of the holocaust? Really?

I know this is yet another of "old man Ready's" rants about stuff that irritates me, but come on, this is just insane.

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