PDA

View Full Version : Isn't this like... against the law or something?


Mort
08-22-2009, 01:00 PM
Something about rewriting history books (http://www.ourtimeunited.com/2009/08/texas-to-revise-history-textbooks.html), just feels wrong all over.

Matoyak
08-22-2009, 01:08 PM
Not sure about credibility of source, haven't heard anything about it and I live here.

If this is true, then someone deserves an idiot award. Bah.

Ivhon
08-22-2009, 01:09 PM
No FUCKING way my kids are going to school in this state.

Matoyak
08-22-2009, 01:23 PM
All depends on the teacher, my friend. Most of mine refused to use the books provided, and taught out of college-level books by making copies. They felt the high school ones were inadequate.

Once again, as a resident in Texas, with my mom and my best friend's mom both being teachers (my best friend's mom is a history teacher, BTW) I have yet to hear anything about this.

Ivhon
08-22-2009, 01:28 PM
All depends on the teacher, my friend. Most of mine refused to use the books provided, and taught out of college-level books by making copies. They felt the high school ones were inadequate.

Once again, as a resident in Texas, with my mom and my best friend's mom both being teachers (my best friend's mom is a history teacher, BTW) I have yet to hear anything about this.

I just sent an email to my teacher wife. Dr. says too much coffee makes me nervous

Matoyak
08-22-2009, 01:48 PM
I just sent an email to my teacher wife. Dr. says too much coffee makes me nervous
Oh? Well do let me know if you learn anything, I'm quite curious about this meself, obviously. :)

Cary Sedai
08-22-2009, 06:20 PM
Well, understandably rewritting what was taught before makes you feel a little upset and outraged. However, what we learned in school was from a revised edition and so on back to when even Pops was in school...(walking two miles in the snow barefoot bothways, etc.) :p

I mean, yes we want our children taught the "truth" but, what is the truth? I know that there were differences in how things were taught when I was in HS, just from what is taught in Indiana as opposed to Texas. The specific example that comes to mind is the civil war.

Personally I think children should be taught FACTS, then taught skills to correlate those FACTS into thier own opinions... just a thought.

Weird Harold
08-22-2009, 08:28 PM
Not sure about credibility of source, haven't heard anything about it and I live here.

If this is true, then someone deserves an idiot award. Bah.

A few seconds with Google turned up the original PDF version of the first draft of the proposed changes: (http://ritter.tea.state.tx.us/teks/social/USHistory073109.pdf)

United States History Studies Since Reconstruction Draft Recommendations

(10) History. The student understands the circumstances of the U.S. as it emerges into the 21stcentury. The student is expected to:

(A) describe U.S. involvement in world affairs including the Persian Gulf War, Balkans
Crisis, 9/11, and global war on terror; and
(B) identify significant conservative advocacy organizations and individuals, such as Newt Gingrich, Phyllis Schlafly, and the Moral Majority.
(C) discuss the rise of domestic terrorism
(D) discuss the role of third party candidates, such as Ross Perot and Ralph Nader.
MV-Several members believe that another SE should be added that includes liberal organizations, such as Planned Parenthood, Move On.org, Sierra Club, etc



Tha accusation is correct as far as it goes, but this is a first draft an very unlikely to be put into effect in anything like this form.

It is disturbing that it made it into first draft form as it is worded, even with the note about adding liberal organizations, too.

JSUCamel
08-22-2009, 10:58 PM
Personally I think children should be taught FACTS, then taught skills to correlate those FACTS into thier own opinions... just a thought.

It's easy to teach kids facts. I'd even go so far as to say that's exactly the problem in this scenario. They're teaching these kids things and calling them fact. But how do you know what's fact and what's not?

It's easy to teach facts. In fact, that's pretty much all high school students in America learn. It's the correlation that we need to be teaching them, but because of various problems (such as No Child Left Behind, teaching to the test, discipline, etc), teachers barely have time to teach the facts, much less anything else.

There's an education classification system called Bloom's Taxonomy. In order of importance in the cognitive domain (from least to greatest), it goes like this:

.

Knowledge: Recall data or information.
(Examples: Recite a policy. Quote prices from memory to a customer. Knows the safety rules.)
Comprehension: Understand the meaning, translation, interpolation, and interpretation of instructions and problems.
(Examples: Examples: Rewrites the principles of test writing. Explain in one's own words the steps for performing a complex task. Translates an equation into a computer spreadsheet.)
Application: Use a concept in a new situation or unprompted use of an abstraction.
(examples: Use a manual to calculate an employee's vacation time. Apply laws of statistics to evaluate the reliability of a written test)
Analysis: Separates material or concepts into component parts so that its organizational structure may be understood. Distinguishes between facts and inferences
(Ex: Troubleshoot a piece of equipment by using logical deduction. Recognize logical fallacies in reasoning. Gathers information from a department and selects the required tasks for training)
Synthesis: Builds a structure or pattern from diverse elements.
(Ex: Write a company operations or process manual. Design a machine to perform a specific task.)
Evaluation: Make judgments about the value of ideas or materials.
(Ex: Examples: Select the most effective solution. Hire the most qualified candidate. Explain and justify a new budget.)



Now, the problem with high school education is that the regular classes tend to get to Level 1 (Knowledge) and sometimes Level 2 (Comprehension). The rest of the class time is usually devoted to getting the kids to sit the hell down and shut the hell up. Very rarely, a teacher will be able to go to a higher level, such as Synthesis (poster projects, presentations) or Analysis (essays, book reports), but these are so rare that they're almost useless. They require a bit of responsibility and maturity that is often lacking in "regular" classes.

Advanced classes, on the other hand, aren't necessarily the smarter kids, but rather the more responsible and mature kids who can focus on classwork rather than socialization. These kids are much more likely to reach the higher levels of Bloom's Taxonomy in the cognitive domain than your average student.

This isn't to say that regular students don't learn those other things, but rather it describes the trend.

Most of us, I'd imagine, were smart enough to pay attention in class and most of us probably took at least one or two advanced classes in high school. Therefore, we're much more able to Analyze, Synthesize and Evaluate than most of America.

Once you reach the college level (and this kind of bleeds over into that other thread), the way you learn and the reasons you learn shift. You're now paying to learn. You're there presumably because you want to be there, and if you don't do the work, you fail and have to take the class again (and pay more money). Not only that, but if you disrupt the class, the teacher can and will (usually) kick you out.

As a result of this attitude adjustment, college students are more likely to focus on the assignments and develop the other levels, such as synthesis and evaluation.

This is another reason why high school students and high school drop-outs are so vulnerable to misinformation campaigns and fearmongering tactics. The state of our current education program is such that students often are barely able to Comprehend, and they usually don't learn the thought processes and learning processes that lead to Analysis, Synthesis and Evaluation. If you examine the final definition and some examples of Evaluation, you can understand how this is scary: without those skills, you can't appeal to authority (you have no way of telling who is an expert and who isn't), and you certainly can't make an informed decision. All you can do is regurgitate facts that others give you.

This is, of course, a gross oversimplification, and Bloom's Taxonomy is not accepted by everyone, but it is a fairly simple and easy way to describe the state of high school education.

Facts are easy.
Comprehension a little less so.

It's the rest of the skills that are more important, and they're not getting taught.

Gilshalos Sedai
08-24-2009, 08:47 AM
I am Gilshalos, and I endorse what Camel just said.

Zanguini
08-24-2009, 08:50 AM
The victors write the history. The right won in Texas long, long ago.

Gilshalos Sedai
08-24-2009, 08:57 AM
And I echo Mato, I haven't heard about this or anything.

Cary Sedai
08-24-2009, 05:11 PM
Camel, you said what I said, just lots longer!:p

Teach Facts and skills to form your own opinions from those facts. Plus I don't think it's just the schools responsibility. First parents must teach thier children thos skills you listed so they are prepared for school. By no means do I think schools should be the only place children learn. First and foremost they're parents are responsible. And we all know that doesn't always happen. But if the world were perfect we'd have nothing to gripe about! :p

Frenzy
08-24-2009, 10:16 PM
who the hell is Phyllis Schlafly?

Matoyak
08-24-2009, 11:34 PM
The victors write the history. The right won in Texas long, long ago.
Texas was one of the more progressive/populist states, especially considering the rest of the south, until the 80's and 90's.

Ivhon
08-25-2009, 06:26 AM
Texas was one of the more progressive/populist states, especially considering the rest of the south, until the 80's and 90's.

And there is a funnily ironic line in the Texas Declaration of Independence:

...in which every interest is disregarded but that of the army and the priesthood, both the eternal enemies of civil liberty, the everready minions of power, and the usual instruments of tyrants.

yks 6nnetu hing
08-25-2009, 07:10 AM
well, unless we're talking about the Ancients (Herodotos and gang, what they did was more like journalism nowadays), writing history is usually re-writing history. so in that sense there's nothing extraordinary about re-writing history as such.

Now, teaching history and using history as a political tool, that's another thing entirely. There's an excellent book by Marc Ferro "The Use and Abuse of History" which talks about just this topic. It's not too long, in fact it consists of chapters on different case studies so you can just skip whatever you don't find necessary and you won't miss the general point. The trick with history is that since usually it's boring, you have to "hook" the audience with something they want to hear, often that something is scandals and battles and such, or in the case at hand it's the moral and ethical background. I don't really see anything too wrong with that either as long as the other side is mentioned and explained in a rational manner too.

There are going to be different and often conflicting interpretations of history... well, forever. Can't expect the children of Algerian immigrants in France to care much about Louis XIV or most Eastern Europeans to agree to current Russian official history.

I'd actually be much more worried if re-writing history were to be banned.

Zanguini
08-25-2009, 07:58 AM
You know i seem to remember that there was a bill before the state congress here in arkansas that would prevent College professors from giving out any knowledge that wasnt their subject of study nor allow them to teach unauthorized elements of their own subject. The whole thing was that a kid went to one of the state institutions (arkansas state in this case) and came back with changed ideas about gay marriage and the role of religion in government and that the parents did not like their child receiving this information from a college professor. Thankfully the bill failed but it was closer than it needed to be. Something like 60/40 split.

Davian93
08-25-2009, 07:59 AM
You know i seem to remember that there was a bill before the state congress here in arkansas that would prevent College professors from giving out any knowledge that wasnt their subject of study nor allow them to teach unauthorized elements of their own subject. The whole thing was that a kid went to one of the state institutions (arkansas state in this case) and came back with changed ideas about gay marriage and the role of religion in government and that the parents did not like their child receiving this information from a college professor. Thankfully the bill failed but it was closer than it needed to be. Something like 60/40 split.

Knowledge and thinking are BAD!!!

Gilshalos Sedai
08-25-2009, 08:03 AM
Wait... a kid went to college and GOT IDEAS???? Whatver is this world coming to????

Terez
08-25-2009, 12:55 PM
I'm sitting in the waiting room at my school clinic and they've got FOX blaring on the TV. Should I complain?

Zanguini
08-25-2009, 02:38 PM
no but you can go colbert on it and agree with everything they say loudly

John Snow
08-26-2009, 12:55 PM
this business is still a serious problem between Japan and Korea. To rationalize its takeover and occupation of Korea in the late 1800s - early 1900s, Japan continues to rewrite its history books so that the Yi Dynasty of Korea looks corrupt and incompetent, and the last queen before the takeover a nepotistic, ruthless despot who manipulated everyone around her, stealing from the treasury and parceling out plum jobs to all her relatives. And her assassins weren't Japanese commanded by the local ambassador, they were discontented Koreans who were fed up with her. This is standard fare in current Japanese history texts about the period.

In actuality, Queen Min forced her husband, Kojong, to grow a spine & stand up to his father (who thought he was in line to become monarch when Japan took over), who tried to keep her country independent by balancing Japan, China, Russia and even the US off against each other, and who began many of the modernizations that the Japanese like to claim they brought in. So, those current textbooks are a sore point in Korea, and a good example of how governments like to have kids thinking a certain way about the history of the country. Happens here, too. Look up the standard story on "splendid little war" in 1845, with Mexico - nothing like stealing half the territory of a sovereign nation.

Davian93
08-26-2009, 12:57 PM
I'm sitting in the waiting room at my school clinic and they've got FOX blaring on the TV. Should I complain?

Yes.

Davian93
08-26-2009, 12:59 PM
In actuality, Queen Min forced her husband, Kojong, to grow a spine & stand up to his father

Um Snow, I think you need a reread. Elayne is the one that's the Queen, not Min. Min is from Baerlon.

Gilshalos Sedai
08-26-2009, 01:11 PM
Look up the standard story on "splendid little war" in 1845, with Mexico - nothing like stealing half the territory of a sovereign nation.

Hey! The Texans stole it fair and square!

Davian93
08-26-2009, 02:02 PM
Hey! The Texans stole it fair and square!

Manifest Destiny!!!!

John Snow
08-26-2009, 04:35 PM
Hey! The Texans stole it fair and square!

You Texans seem to have misplaced Arizona, New Mexico, a chunk of Colorado, Nevada, Utah, and California.......

Gilshalos Sedai
08-26-2009, 04:39 PM
We don't care about those bits.

Ivhon
08-26-2009, 05:07 PM
We don't care about those bits.

bunch of god-damn gay-lovin liberals live there for the most part

Ishara
08-27-2009, 01:06 PM
Actually on point (for once), I got this from the website of Guy Gavriel Kay, Bright Weavings:

"The Greatest Russians of all Time" (http://www.brightweavings.com/ggkswords/greatestrussian.htm)

This was first printed in the Globe & Mail, January 2009.

It was recently reported that over fifty million Russians had decided the greatest Russian ever. In a broadcast on the state-run Rossiya channel, which concluded three months of telephone and internet voting, Prince Alexander Nevsky emerged in first place. There's symbolism at the top: Nevsky is revered for defeating western aggression against Mother Russia in the 13th century. Point taken? (He is said to have forced an invading army of Teutonic Knights onto the ice, which cracked under them.)

But that isn't the news that matters. After battling Prince Alex for first all the way, Joseph Stalin slipped to third place by a mere 5,500 votes. There are fierce rumours of Kremlin interference, possibly to avoid the 'embarrassment' of a Stalin victory, and certainly the vote difference is easily small enough to justify a recount in the venerable tradition of honest and fair Soviet/Russian elections. There are no current allegations of dangling chads. This is not Florida, after all.

Less widely reported, but equally noteworthy, is the fact that V.I. Lenin came sixth in the voting. He'd not have been happy about being a hundred thousand votes behind Stalin, let alone behind a poet like Pushkin, who was fourth. (For the record - and for the curious - Czar Nicholas II's prime minister, Pyotr Stolypin - who instituted major agrarian reforms in an attempt to forestall the revolution, came second. He was assassinated in 1911; agrarian reforms didn't do the trick.)

What is one to make of this? It would feel self-indulgent to launch a jeremiad about how very, very evil Lenin and Stalin and their system were. The novelist Martin Amis did this in a book a little while ago, Koba the Dread, which is essentially about his own belated discovery of that truth. And how his father, Kingsley Amis, and godfather, Robert Conquest (who exposed the atrocities of the Great Terror for the west) had been ... right all along while Amis and his college chums had been proclaiming the glories of the Soviet Union and Mao's China in the 1960s. It was nice to see Amis fils getting around to getting it right, but the tone of shocked baby-boomer awakening bordered on the amusing.

No, it seems to me there's another point, a narrower focus to be sought here, and it comes from - unsurprisingly - Alexander Solzhenitsyn, whose The Gulag Archipelago, smuggled out to the west thirty-five years ago, documented the abomination of the Soviet internment camps with a terrifying mixture of Biblical prophet and meticulously detailed scientist. (Solzhenitsyn, who did more to expose the reality of Lenin and Stalin and the Soviet empire to the world than anyone else who ever lived, and did so with unfathomable courage, did not surface anywhere near the top of the balloting, by the way.)

Here's the issue that seems necessary to register after considering this vote: in The Gulag Archipelago Solzhenitsyn makes the point that as of 1966 some 86,000 Germans had been convicted in Germany for Nazi crimes. But what about in the Soviet Union - the Gulag, the enforced starvations, the Terror? "In our own country (according the reports of the Military Collegium of the Supreme Court) about ten men had been convicted." (The italics are his.) And he asks, "What kind of disastrous path lies ahead of us if we do not have the chance to purge ourselves of that putrefaction rotting inside our body?"

He insists, in a written voice that still thunders, that Russia has a defining duty to name all of these people (Lenin, Stalin...) and their Party to have been executioners on a scale that beggars description - except that he does describe it.

He declares to his country that in keeping silence about evil "we are implanting it, and it will rise up a thousandfold in the future." He asserts (in 1974!) that failure to do so will cause a generation to grow up ignorant of and indifferent to, or even supporters of those foul deeds. And he ends a passage of colossal power by declaring: "It is going to be uncomfortable, horrible, to live in such a country!"

And that is the point. That is the sort of country that can vote as Russia just did, choosing its greatest figures.

Denying, suppressing, falsifying the past, however savage it might have been (perhaps especially when it was savage) exposes a society to the raw power of history when it isn't dealt with. And that is a power strong as glaciers grinding everything in their path, shaping a landscape. It is critical to realize that this isn't some abstract, intellectual issue. It defines the world today, from Moscow to the Middle East, Kosovo to Kenya.

A country where Lenin and Stalin are proclaimed as heroes, as great men, is a country that invites emulators and disciples to follow where they led.

Guy Gavriel Kay
*********
I think that this has really helped me to understand what both Dr. Snow and yks are saying. History books should be rewritten - to capture and address the realities, as ugly as they may be, or won't we be doomed to repeat them?

Gilshalos Sedai
08-27-2009, 01:54 PM
God, those men, revered? That's like us, revering Sherman.

Davian93
08-27-2009, 02:09 PM
God, those men, revered? That's like us, revering Sherman.

Hey, he did help break the South and hasten the end of the Civil War. Without his campaign, the South may very well have held out for at least a couple more years.

Terez
08-27-2009, 02:16 PM
I'm sitting in the waiting room at my school clinic and they've got FOX blaring on the TV. Should I complain?Yes.
I eventually changed the channel and turned down the volume a bit. I just couldn't stand it any more - it was McCain at a town hall thingy. Reminded me to much of the town hall thingies during the election. And the commentators...oh god, they know how to slick up that crap they peddle, don't they? ugh...

Gilshalos Sedai
08-27-2009, 02:20 PM
Hey, he did help break the South and hasten the end of the Civil War. Without his campaign, the South may very well have held out for at least a couple more years.

Dude, the March to the Sea in another century would be a war crime. I have the unique perspective of seeing the Civil War from both the Northern and Southern perspective.

Ishara
08-27-2009, 02:34 PM
Apologists are just as bad. I think that's what GGK is saying. I mean, I know you're joking Dav, but it really made me thing this afternoon (I hate that!).

GonzoTheGreat
08-27-2009, 03:18 PM
He is said to have forced an invading army of Teutonic Knights onto the ice, which cracked under them.Them knights were none too smart, were they? About 60 years later, Belgian commoners obliterated an army of knights by luring the silly buggers into a swamp.

Mort
08-27-2009, 03:18 PM
[quote=Gilshalos Sedai I have the unique perspective of seeing the Civil War from both the Northern and Southern perspective.[/quote]

You're over 150 years old and lived in both the south and the north? :P

Sorry, when a slam dunk like that emerges, you HAVE to take it :D

Edit: Quotes doesn't work any longer?

JSUCamel
08-27-2009, 03:20 PM
I have the unique perspective of seeing the Civil War from both the Northern and Southern perspective.

Unique, huh? Cause nobody else has lived and received education in both the north and the south. You're so special. I'm in awe of your specialness.

GonzoTheGreat
08-27-2009, 03:39 PM
Edit: Quotes doesn't work any longer?Quotes work, if you do them properly. Since you didn't, they don't.
You forgot the closing bracket after "Gilshalos Sedai".

Gilshalos Sedai
08-27-2009, 03:46 PM
Unique, huh? Cause nobody else has lived and received education in both the north and the south. You're so special. I'm in awe of your specialness.

Other than myself and my sisters, not too many that I've met had high school history in both the north and the south.

What the fuck's up with the bitchiness toward me, Camel? Who the hell peed in your Cheerios today?

yks 6nnetu hing
08-28-2009, 02:32 AM
I think that this has really helped me to understand what both Dr. Snow and yks are saying. History books should be rewritten - to capture and address the realities, as ugly as they may be, or won't we be doomed to repeat them? In a way that's why I like fantasy so much, because it often deals with *why* people do what they do. I'd love it if there was an accepted way of writing of the nazis (for example) from the "why" point of view but usually this kind of thing is called "glorifying nazis" and "rewriting history". I mean, they can't have ALL been baby-killing maniaks, that just doesn't make sense...

My grandma once told me that in 1940 her family didn't starve to death because the German officers gave them food aid. But, in 1944, a few months before the nazis retreated, my grandmothers' mother was invited to the police station (run by the nazis then) just down the street and no-one ever saw her again. Grandma still remembers the German officer who gave them food fondly though, and that's how she refers to him: the German officer, not the Nazi officer.

Ishara
08-28-2009, 07:09 AM
In a different essay on the site, GGK makes reference to a discussion he had years ago with a Russian Sci-Fi Literary magazine editor. The editor was explaining that he was about to lose half his readership due to the end of communism. He explained that now writers could actually write about the political situation openly without "hiding behind" fantasy and sci fi. I wondered about that, as we don't see most of the Russian literature over here. It seems to me that fantasy would be an excellent means of examining the why and not being seen as an apologist.

That was one of the things I like best about Inglorious Basterds last weekend too. One of the characters is a Nazi war hero who was made famous by killing hundreds of Italian and American soldiers single-handedly. He's handsome and charming and sincere. There are two sides to every story, and while that one doesn't end so well, it made me think...

Mort
08-29-2009, 11:53 PM
Quotes work, if you do them properly. Since you didn't, they don't.
You forgot the closing bracket after "Gilshalos Sedai".

I didn't forget. The messageboard forgot since I only clicked the quote button :)

Neilbert
08-30-2009, 12:34 PM
No FUCKING way my kids are going to school in this state.

I've got really bad news for you. Because Texas buys so many textbooks, and early, they pretty much set the standard for the nation.