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View Diary: Black Kos, Tuesday's Chile (212 comments)

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  •  Ouch. As an instructor in Am Studies (13+ / 0-)

    (defined very broadly) I am dismayed by the decline in good approaches to teaching essential aspects of U.S. history and society in recent years, particularly since the NCLB objectives have de-emphasized social studies. (No coincidence, I am sure of that.) People aren't born knowing about their past, no matter who they are, and there is still waaaaay more of a bias toward teaching the "great rich white men" approach to history than is good for any of us. Your account here is yet another indicator that we have no more time to lose in fighting for a truly inclusive, expansive, curriculum.

    I will try to give your specific question some consideration, though I know there are others here who could do better than I just off the top of their heads.

    Some DKos series & groups worth your while: Black Kos, Native American Netroots, KosAbility, Monday Night Cancer Club. If you'd like to join the Motor City Kossacks, send me a Kosmail.

    by peregrine kate on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 01:46:02 PM PST

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    •  Thank you. (9+ / 0-)

      And I am bothered quite a bit by what I'm seeing and hearing, too. So much so, that I'm poking my nose in where it is most certainly not particularly wanted. :)

      Almost 10 year old Daughter: "Boys are pretty good, but daughters have sentimental value." Me: "I don't think that phrase means what you think it does." Daughter: "None of them do, Mom. More's the pity. Words have to be flexible in today's world."

      by left rev on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 01:49:32 PM PST

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    •  Wow, do I EVER feel your pain! (11+ / 0-)

      I get the sense when I'm teaching the survey courses in history that I'm more UNDOING what they learned in high school than educating them, but I'm probably wrong. I'm using an American Studies approach wherever possible too.

      -7.75, -8.10; Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? . . . and respect the dignity of every human being.

      by Dave in Northridge on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 01:52:24 PM PST

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      •  It is deeply disheartening to see the gap (13+ / 0-)

        grow, not shrink, between what needs to be conveyed to K-12 students (especially those in high school) and what actually gets taught.

        Unlearning is about right for most students by the time they finish. On the other hand--a conversation I had with my daughter yesterday reminded me that her government teacher has a hard row to hoe. (My younger daughter is a HS junior, taking one of the few remaining required HS civics classes.)

        I can't remember exactly how it came up, but she was telling me about something in her class, to which I responded (as tactfully as I could, since neither of my kids while in HS has been terribly fond of having a teacher-mother) that "you know that the U.S. is an imperial power, right?" She said yes, of course mom in that impatient HS way. But then she continued that she suspects that her teacher often wants to say more than she does, but censors herself in order not to cause too much controversy. And that there are very conservative kids in her class who give the teacher a hard time anyway.

        This is in a purported "liberal" bastion, by the way; my own daughter (for the moment) is also fairly contrarian at least in terms of political affiliation. I say the latter to observe that she and her classmates are still very much in process.

        It's very tricky to teach these almost-adults. Their analytical ability is emerging, but they usually don't have the skill to do very much with it yet. At the same time, they love to have strong opinions.

        Hmmm, discussions like these always make me wistful about not being in a classroom!

        Some DKos series & groups worth your while: Black Kos, Native American Netroots, KosAbility, Monday Night Cancer Club. If you'd like to join the Motor City Kossacks, send me a Kosmail.

        by peregrine kate on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 02:05:31 PM PST

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