What did you learn about in History?

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Madrigal
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What did you learn about in History?

Post by Madrigal » Sun Jan 23, 2022 5:34 pm

So, I had a bumpy high school experience because I went to HS in 3 different countries. I know a lot of things slipped through the cracks in those moves. Literally, I only learned about slavery, indigenous peoples of the Americas and the independence movements of the Americas. There is no more. I know a normal experience would have included the Greeks and Romans and generally ancient and modern European history, the World Wars, whatever. It was not my case.

Right now I've been working with textbooks for US HS students and I can't believe the breadth of topics covered. It goes way beyond the things I thought I missed. Did schools just start adding entire civilizations to their syllabus?

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Spartan26
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Re: What did you learn about in History?

Post by Spartan26 » Mon Jan 24, 2022 12:09 am

Madrigal wrote:
Sun Jan 23, 2022 5:34 pm
Right now I've been working with textbooks for US HS students and I can't believe the breadth of topics covered. It goes way beyond the things I thought I missed. Did schools just start adding entire civilizations to their syllabus?
At this point, I've forgotten even what I was supposed to learn. I believe after freshman year, maybe sophomore, you could really choose what you wanted to learn as far as meeting history/social studies requirements for graduation. For years, I had been hearing how hard "Western Civ" was. The History of Western Civilization. Which basically started in Greece and went up to WWII and into a bit of cold war, Vietnam, civil rights movement, the moon walk and computers giants like IBM. Of course much more was going on by then but that's where they tapped out. I guess they figured history had to be in the past, so not necessarily up all the way to present day. Anywho, even with setting my course load to prepare me for a "competitive university" or whatever that path was called, I didn't have to take it. It wasn't just me avoiding the class, there were some more intriguing options. I also chose not to take AP History. This was a class that you could take to test out of semester of college history if you passed the exam given at the end of the course. I don't know if it was just by comparison but some people felt it was the easiest of the AP classes.

I do believe they had various classes on history of the Americas, European history classes, US Govt, US during certain time periods, and pre-history history, if you will, oh, and state history. From what I remember in talking to other students in college, a lot of their curriculum was based on their location/population. So, like students in Virginia, Md, DC had more Pan African studies history, as I believe it was called at the time, compared to those in the southwest who had more on "Chicano Studies". Some of these terms were already on the way out.

It wasn't to the extent of college selections, but I believe that you could find more specific histories by taking certain literature classes and advanced languages.

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puerile_polyp
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Re: What did you learn about in History?

Post by puerile_polyp » Mon Jan 24, 2022 6:18 pm

I feel like I didn't learn shit in high school. It was very America-centric. Han Dynasty? Caliphates? Ottoman Empire? I don't recall stuff like that even being mentioned. It was basically Greece and Rome, the Dark Ages, the Renaissance, European colonization (but nothing about stuff that mostly just mattered in Europe like the reformation and Napoleon), and then all America stuff.

It's a story, a narrative they tell you to frame the other things they're telling you and get you to accept them.

"They'll prove their lies with history,
Say "that's the way it always was,
Accept the shit and slavery, be one of us."

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Buttrock as zen
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Re: What did you learn about in History?

Post by Buttrock as zen » Fri Feb 11, 2022 6:13 pm

AP American History was much better attended than AP World History in my high school. We're talking about a school with 95% white kids in the 90s. AP American History was pretty good, we learned down to the level of stuff like the XYZ affair and Tammany Hall. We kinda had to know a lot of facts and dates and also be semi-able to make over-arching arguments about trends.

Yesterday
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Re: What did you learn about in History?

Post by Yesterday » Wed Mar 09, 2022 7:03 am

That if one buoys just below a certain threshold... it regularly repeats itself. :dont:
ENTP

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Roger Mexico
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Re: What did you learn about in History?

Post by Roger Mexico » Thu Mar 10, 2022 2:44 am

My experience with US History classes in the US (which are classes I now teach sometimes) is that they have an oddly specific, oddly consistent tendency to end at almost exactly the same point.

You have 9 months, you usually start with the Bering migration from Siberia in 12,000 BC, and no matter what you do, the last thing you'll be talking about in June will all-but-inevitably be the 1968 presidential election.

It was like that in the 90's when I was in high school, and it's still like that now.

Some weird minor law of thermodynamics, I guess.

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elfsprin
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Re: What did you learn about in History?

Post by elfsprin » Thu Mar 10, 2022 6:37 am

Almost nothing worthwhile.
Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity - Simone Weil

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elfsprin
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Re: What did you learn about in History?

Post by elfsprin » Thu Mar 10, 2022 6:42 am

I guess I should specify I’m thinking about 6th grade social studies which was my last class purportedly addressing history exclusively.

I had a bunch of history in high school and it was very good, but very niche and in the context of other classes.

Eg:

In our required Old Testament class, we read Enuma Elish and the Epic of Gilgamesh and dissected how those ANE Babylonian epics were recycled for the Bible’s creation stories.

In our required Humane Letters seminar, we read things like The Federalist Papers, Walden, The Jungle, and My Antonia and talked a lot about the context in which those texts were composed.
Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity - Simone Weil

Julius_Van_Der_Beak

Re: What did you learn about in History?

Post by Julius_Van_Der_Beak » Thu Mar 24, 2022 6:55 pm

In high school ('00 - '04, so coincidentally the most militaristic years in my living memory) I was taught by a bunch of hippies so I think the history I received bears up to much better scrutiny.

Lots of work on the folly of imperialism as well as the frequent "civilizing" justification being employed. Nor were we taught that the US was immune, as well as critiques of the idea that the US was justified in dropping nukes on Japan. The Mexican-American war was covered as well.

Hell we read a chapter from Howard Zinn on Vietnam that presented a much clearer picture than the one in the text book we had.

But even in public school I feel like I learned a hell of a lot about slavery and the like, I think because where I lived had a large Black population.

I suppose this is why the right wages such a battle about education. I feel like I was exposed a lot to the idea that the U.S isn't 100% perfect, and if you are sure of such knowledge, (like the fact that the US had not, actually, spent the last fifty years just traveling around the globe giving countries democracy) American exceptionalism is harder to swallow.

Mx7xM
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Re: What did you learn about in History?

Post by Mx7xM » Thu Apr 21, 2022 8:35 pm

I went to high school in Spain, and from memory the syllabus was quite broad across different civilizations and eras. My biggest educational gap is probably never having read Shakespeare, as Spain of course prioritised Cervantes and their own literature. Keenly interested in the psychology of Shakespearean characters, but no interest in acquiring the necessary vocabulary to read the plays.

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