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#964295 - Tue Jan 29 2013 05:44 PM How Were You Taught History?
bloomsby Offline
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Registered: Sun Apr 29 2001
Posts: 3617
Loc: Norwich England UK            
Were you taught history chronologically or by theme(s) or did you (at least at secondary/high school level) do largely unrelated projects? Did your course include any local history?

Was your history course primarily about the country or continent that you were in or was it wide in scope?

(This thread is inspired was a discussion in another Forum).

It would be helpful to give your country at the time of your schooling.
______

I'll kick off. I received all my schooling in England. At primary school (age 5-11) history was not a timetabled subject until about age 10, but was taught unsystematically as part of reading. So we read about 'King Alfred and the Cakes', the Battle of Hastings, Nelson holding his telescope to his blind eye, Trafalgar and Waterloo. At age 10-11 there was a very small timetabled slot for history, but learning about history continued in reading. As far as I remember, from age 10-11 we learnt a little about the Industrial Revolution and conditions in 19th century Britain.

At secondary school (11-18) history was taught chronologically up to about age 16. We began with the Ancient World and worked our way up to 1920. We were solemnly told that anything after that couldn't be studied academically as most of the key documents were not yet available to scholars. (At that time most government papers were kept under lock and key for fifty years rather than the current thirty.

The course was very Eurocentric ... The course contained quite a lot about the history of the British Empire(!), from a British point of view.

By age 16 we had quite good timelines in our heads for British history and European history. In adddition, we had some idea about the growth of democracy in Britain, the Agrarian Revolution (c. 1760 onwards) and the Industrial Revolution.

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#964300 - Tue Jan 29 2013 06:04 PM Re: How Were You Taught History? [Re: bloomsby]
ren33 Offline
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Registered: Thu Sep 30 1999
Posts: 11234
Loc: Fanling
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Mine was very very similar to yours, John, (English Grammar School)and not too inspiring I must say. I gave up history at O level, and wish now that I hadn't as it now fascinates me, especially after I realised it was all about Real People. Most of what I read now are biographies and historical accounts. I love TV series with presenters like Simon Schama. It's a pity we were not taught through those, but given really dry text books and lists of dates (although those are useful for trivia!). The really exciting lessons(ie, ones I remember) were during my time at a small private Nursery school where we dug pits in the garden to learn about the prehistoric Pit people and had hands on art and craft lessons, constructing Medieval castles etc. The rest is a blur really.
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#964303 - Tue Jan 29 2013 06:20 PM Re: How Were You Taught History? [Re: bloomsby]
agony Offline

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I was educated in Canada (Alberta) in the '60s and '70s. I never took a course called "History" - in elementary school, it was called "Enterprise" and from grade seven on called "Social Studies". It included History, Geography, Civics, Economics, all that type of thing.

In elementary school, we tended to "do" a country and include the history along with everything else. I can't remember them all, but there was Japan, New Zealand, Ancient Egypt, Canada up to Confederation, India, and I'm sure there were others.

Later, in Social Studies, there was less History included in general, as we tended to focus more on, oh, "Foreign Ownership of Canadian Industry, and its Effects on the Economy, Ecology, and National Identity of Canada", that's one I remember. We spent a lot of time on following events in the news - I remember the October Crisis, elections, and so on. For straight History, we spent half a year on the history of England, going king by king. We also did a pretty intense look at the American Revolution. We also tended to follow ideas, rather than timelines, so that we'd "do" Democracy, for instance, following up from the Ancient Greeks to the most recent election.

I understand the focus of the curriculum has changed a lot in the last few years, but my own kids, who are now in their early twenties, had much the same sort of thing I did. Major units I remember from their schooling would include the Cold War, WWII, the Industrial Revolution, the French Revolution.

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#964304 - Tue Jan 29 2013 06:26 PM Re: How Were You Taught History? [Re: bloomsby]
TabbyTom Offline
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Registered: Wed Oct 17 2001
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Loc: Hastings Sussex England UK    
My recollections of school history lessons are very similar to bloomsby's (which probably isn't surprising since we're both English and much the same age).

I frankly can't remember any of the history taught in my primary school . I don't think it was a timetabled subject at all.

At the secondary school, history was taught chronologically. The first year took us from early times up to (I think) the Norman conquest of England. It was largely centred on the British Isles. I certainly don't remember learning anything about ancient Greece, India or China (though I have a vague idea that the “wanderings of the Jews” in early Biblical times figured somewhere in the year).

The next two years took us from 1066 or thereabouts to the end of the Napoleonic Wars. Again, the focus was largely on Britain and especially (before the eighteenth century) on England. The outside world was considered only if it impinged on Britain. So, of course, we covered the American Revolution (or American War of Independence as we called it) and the War of the Austrian Succession fairly well, because the British were heavily involved, but I don't recall much coverage of conflicts that didn't involve the British.

In the next two years we prepared for the O-level history exam. Although the Cambridge Syndicate O-level paper offered a fair choice of periods of study, in our school we were always prepared for “European History 1815 to 1914” and “British History 1815 to 1914”, and we studied European history in the fourth year and British in the fifth year. I think we had a fairly good overview of nineteenth-century Europe (highlights being the 1848 revolutions, the unification of Italy and Germany, the “Eastern Question” and so on). The British year gave us, I think, a fair coverage of political and social history in the nineteenth century.

Unlike bloomsby, I was never given a reason for the termination of the syllabus in 1914, but it didn't seem strange. After all, there were plenty of people still living (including my father) who could tell me at first hand about World Wars I and II and the period between them.
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#964320 - Tue Jan 29 2013 07:15 PM Re: How Were You Taught History? [Re: TabbyTom]
bloomsby Offline
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Loc: Norwich England UK            
Quote:
I certainly don't remember learning anything about ancient Greece, India or China ...


We didn't learn anything about ancient India or China, but I vividly recall writing an essay in my first term at grammar school (secondary school) on the topic I would rather have lived in Athens than in Sparta. Discuss. It was my first ever essay where I had to discuss a statement. Our history master - who was outstanding, and soon rose to head of the history department and then became the headmaster of a major fee-paying school - made it clear that we could argue, with reasons, for either Athens or Sparta or best of all present the pros and cons of both.

I remember, already at that age, arguing vigorously for Athens against Sparta. The essay came back with the comment: 'Good. Sparta was certainly militaristic, but military training might have got your weight down.' smile

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#964338 - Wed Jan 30 2013 01:07 AM Re: How Were You Taught History? [Re: bloomsby]
Copago Offline
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Registered: Tue May 15 2001
Posts: 14133
Loc: Australia
I did my high school schooling in Australia in the 80s.
To tell the truth I don't remember much about the earlier years but I think it was largely unrelated topics ... Australian History and both world wars I remember. From year nine onwards we could choose to an extent different subjects and I chose both modern and ancient history.

[quote]Was your history course primarily about the country or continent that you were in or was it wide in scope?[quote/]

here I am 25 years later just about to have a whinge about it .. LOL ... in year 12 (last year of high school) a group of us picked "three unit modern history". it was known to us that there were a few topic that we could study that year .. one being Australia in the War and another being Chinese Boxer Rellion. They made us do the Boxer rebellion. I still can't understand that choice .. why not get us to study something that was relevant and a lot easier to 'know'? Working my way around all the different Chinese pronunciations and names was tricky. To this day I can't tell you anything about it. Bit of a waste of a year really.

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#964358 - Wed Jan 30 2013 05:35 AM Re: How Were You Taught History? [Re: bloomsby]
Santana2002 Offline
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Like Tabby Tom, Bloomsby, and Ren, primary school lessons in history covered basically the three "ages": stone age, bronze age and iron age. We also got an overview of our Irish celtic history and touched on subjects like Brian Boru's era, the Viking invasions, and feudalism. I don't remember it being in any sort of chronological order.

Secondary school up to age 15 we went a very little more in depth and learned about the English rulership in Ireland, the fight for independence and eventual autonomy then touched on the unification of Italy and of Germany.

World War I and II were not a big element of our education, then again, Ireland was neutral during both of those wars, and indeed, took advantage of them to work towards eventual independence.

The most notable thing I can say is that our history lessons, while not exclusively so, were very much centred around Irish history, with very little time given to the broader world situation at those times. I dropped history after my Intermediate Certificate (15 years), but think the final two years concentrated more on the World Wars and American history to a smaller extent. I do think it was extremely controlled and limiting as an education and left me sadly lacking in knowledge about broader world affairs. I can safely say that Asia,Chinese and American history remain more or less a mystery to me, except for what I have picked up through reading or TV documentaries since then.

I put this down to the fact that a freshly independent country had a policy of reinforcing the national identity and this was reflected very strongly in the school curriculum.

Edited to add: I received my education in Ireland (republic of) in the 70's and 80's.


Edited by Santana2002 (Thu Jan 31 2013 12:03 AM)
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#964385 - Wed Jan 30 2013 08:43 AM Re: How Were You Taught History? [Re: bloomsby]
Chavs Offline
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Loc: Ireland
Santana, I had exactly the same experience and I am shocked and embarrassed at the lack of my historical education -- I didn't even get to Irish Independence in school and am still a bit muddled! The Group Cert didn't seem to need it?! We covered the Industrial Revolution for a few weeks, but mostly we learned about the Celts, & the Vikings & Normans in Ireland.

Most of my primary education was in England in a progressive school that didn't separate subjects but integrated them, so it was never called "History" per se, however all I can recall is English-centred ...King Henry VIII, 1066, and ...nope that's it really.


Edited by Chavs (Wed Jan 30 2013 08:45 AM)

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#964433 - Wed Jan 30 2013 11:47 AM Re: How Were You Taught History? [Re: bloomsby]
sue943 Online   content

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I guess as another UK pensioner it is not surprising that mine is more or less the same as the other ancient Britons here. smile

In primary school we didn't have history, or geography, lessons but were obviously taught some of both. I have recollections of learning a lot about the South Sea Islands, wherever they are! smile

Grammar School, at 11+ I feel sure that we more or less started with 1066 but might well have done up to that stage in the first year, I don't remember. I know we had to learn a lot of dates and I am useless at such things.
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#964528 - Wed Jan 30 2013 06:29 PM Re: How Were You Taught History? [Re: bloomsby]
spanishliz Online   FT-cool
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Loc: Ontario Canada
I studied in Ontario, Canada in the late fifties and throughout the sixties. In elementary school, at first, we had Social Studies (not the same as agony's class of that name, though) and I loved it. We did explorers like Vasco da Gama, Diaz, Prince Henry the Navigator and Marco Polo. Later we did the explorers who opened up Africa, and the conquistadores in the New World (I guess we must have done Columbus too). Around the same time we were learning about the French in New France and Henry Hudson and the rest searching for the Northwest Passage.

By Grade 7 and 8 History and Geography had been separated out, and now it was more Canadian and political. The Corn Laws (as they applied to Canada), Responsible Government, 1837 Rebellions and all that jazz.

In high school, except for Grade 10, I really don't know what the set course was, because we had a great, inspiring teacher who through the books aside and taught us interesting stuff - loosely based on what was in the books. A lot of it was Canadian, but we also learned about Finland in the Winter War smile and focussed a lot on current events (including the Pueblo incident, the Vietnam war, the Six Day War and also the conquest of space). Grade 10 I had a different teacher and we did boring Civics and one pretty cool project on WWI.

You might have guessed that I love history, and always have. Went on to study Modern European with a side of Canadian History in university, but that's outside the scope of this discussion.

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#964558 - Wed Jan 30 2013 10:34 PM Re: How Were You Taught History? [Re: bloomsby]
agony Offline

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Ah, yes, I remember doing the explorers, too - Vasco da Gama, Magellan....

And I loved the New France stuff - Cartier and Champlain and Father Brebeuf and Radisson and Groseilliers.

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#964563 - Wed Jan 30 2013 11:00 PM Re: How Were You Taught History? [Re: bloomsby]
spanishliz Online   FT-cool
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Radishes and Gooseberries! Yes! smile

Of course, I should also have mentioned the War of 1812 - we even visited Queenston Heights on a class trip.


Edited by spanishliz (Wed Jan 30 2013 11:01 PM)

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#964564 - Wed Jan 30 2013 11:35 PM Re: How Were You Taught History? [Re: bloomsby]
ozzz2002 Offline
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Registered: Mon Dec 03 2001
Posts: 16980
Loc: Sydney NSW Australia        
I enjoyed history at school, back in the 60s and 70s (which is now itself a part of history!).

In primary school, we had one teacher looking after the whole school-it was only tiny, maximum enrolment was about 25 kids. History and Geography were blended together, so we learned all about Australian rivers and states, some of the more prominent explorers, Cook, Flinders, Burke and Will, Blaxland Wentworth and Lawson.

High school was vastly different. Besides the fact that there were 900 students as opposed to 25, the curriculum was much more rigid. We studied Commomwealth history- Australia in more depth, about 1000 years of UK history, South African stuff such as Cecil Rhodes, Boer War, and the colonisation of Africa, Asian colonisation- India, Malaya, Ceylon, East and West Pakistan, and a bit of New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and Canada.

There was also extensive teaching of Europe, WW1, WWII, and the between-wars period, all of which had a decidedly British slant to it. We probably studied more history of China and Japan than we did of the US. In the later years, it was mainly about the Cold War and the threats from Russia, and the Korean War.
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#964565 - Wed Jan 30 2013 11:49 PM Re: How Were You Taught History? [Re: bloomsby]
salami_swami Offline
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Registered: Thu Nov 01 2007
Posts: 8183
Loc: Colorado USA
History was always US based for me (I'm 20, this is recent).

If ever we learned about others countries, such as Britain, it was learning about how it affected Amerca and all that stuff. Any explorer we ever learned about was one who connected to America in some way. Even those who circumnavigated the globe, the emphasis was on the Americas.

During my schooling, yes, we learned of the world. But all my teachers ever seemed to care about was how the world shaped America. That's fine and all, but I like to learn about the word's history as well, unbiased. It's all from the US point of view.

I hadn't even heard of much of the world's famous history until FunTrivia. I never learned about Tasman, or the great fire of 1666, or Hastings 1066. All that information was from here.

So, I am by no meas saying I didnt study the world. All I am saying is that the schooling was very biased. Nothing mattered in the world unless it had an impact on America in some way.

I actually cannot recall anything I learned about the world that wasn't warped into an American bias.


Oh well. That's what FunTrivia is for.,. Helping me learn what school neglected to teach. wink

I can't recall when I learned what. I was in online school for much of my education, so with the same teachers several years in a row, I cannot recall everything. I remember not having history in 12th grade... That's about all I remember.
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#964567 - Wed Jan 30 2013 11:51 PM Re: How Were You Taught History? [Re: bloomsby]
salami_swami Offline
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Registered: Thu Nov 01 2007
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Loc: Colorado USA
As I'm reading, it seems I was taught with an American slant, and quite a few others learned about near everything but the US. Lol.

Education. FunTrivia does it best. laugh
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#964588 - Thu Jan 31 2013 06:00 AM Re: How Were You Taught History? [Re: bloomsby]
WesleyCrusher Offline

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Registered: Thu Sep 04 2008
Posts: 3713
Loc: Germany
German system of the 1970s (primary) / 1980s (secondary) school:

Primary, grades 1 to 4: Some snippets of local history woven in with general education, but no formal focus on the subject.
Secondary, grades 5 to 6: Not taught
Secondary, grades 7 to 9: One chronological run-through; focus on Europe, but not that much on Germany except for the World Wars
Secondary, grades 10 and up: Three to five main topics per year, not in any specific order. We did US history (mostly independence and civil war), 30 years' war, ancient Greece/Rome, crusades, some Arab history, industrialization, Nazi Germany / WW2, explorers... - a pretty big spectrum. The only really big gap was Chinese / Japanese history where we did very little.

As a small curio, history as it was taught to us ended with the 1969 moon landing. Anything beyond that was considered present time and thus a case for social / political science by the history teachers but anything older than 5 years was past and thus thought irrelevant by the politics folks. This led to our year essentially missing out on any knowledge about the events of 1970 to approximately 1977-80 (the latter being the age when most of us really started watching news or reading the papers).


Edited by WesleyCrusher (Thu Jan 31 2013 06:01 AM)
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#964618 - Thu Jan 31 2013 08:38 AM Re: How Were You Taught History? [Re: bloomsby]
spanishliz Online   FT-cool
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Loc: Ontario Canada
Don't get me wrong, salami, we did learn stuff about the US too, but I find it hard to separate what I learned in school (e.g. the Louisiana Purchase), from being a Davy Crockett fan (e.g. the Alamo) and reading on the side (e.g. Battle Cry - USMC in WWII). A lot of the current events we discussed in high school had a major US slant (Vietnam, space). When I was about twelve I was annoyed that I had a complete list of Medal of Honor recipients (in a book that I owned), but not of Victoria Cross recipients. I set out to compile one of the latter... But that wasn't school, that was for fun smile

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#964625 - Thu Jan 31 2013 09:15 AM Re: How Were You Taught History? [Re: bloomsby]
salami_swami Offline
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Posts: 8183
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Not to make you feel old or anything....

But most of my school's history ended around 1990s.

I DID learn about the Berlin Wall, briefly. We didn't really study Germany or anything, but we did learn about the wall.

So, my history went to at least 1989. :P
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#964629 - Thu Jan 31 2013 09:40 AM Re: How Were You Taught History? [Re: bloomsby]
George95 Offline
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Posts: 7594
Loc: Ontario Canada
In Ontario, elementary school was Medieval Times, and the development of Canada, pioneers, and a little bit of the War of 1812. History is not offered to Grade 9 students, (that's the Geography year) and in Grade 10 is a Canadian look at the two World Wars, the Great Depression, and the Korean/Vietnam Wars (although I remember we did not get that far). Grade 11 is a more international history, a more global look at the same things, and then communism/capitalism. At least that was what it was supposed to be, our history teacher was a very proud Canadian, who spread his propaganda throughout the course. Grade 12 is an older history, looking at the Industrial Revolution, all the way back to the Romans.

There is an American History course now offered through the Internet and this thing called e-learning. I didn't take it, but it's about the American Revolution, Civil War, all the way to the World Wars, Korea, and Vietnam.

The Grade 11 History course has the most American content (with General MacArthur, Iwo Jima). In elementary school, there is a more British and French history, as is the time period that is discussed.

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#964632 - Thu Jan 31 2013 09:57 AM Re: How Were You Taught History? [Re: bloomsby]
spanishliz Online   FT-cool
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Registered: Thu Dec 13 2001
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Loc: Ontario Canada
Is this all quite recent, George95? It differs quite a lot from my era in Ontario. (I even had to do Grade 13...).

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#964645 - Thu Jan 31 2013 11:19 AM Re: How Were You Taught History? [Re: bloomsby]
George95 Offline
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Registered: Sat Apr 24 2010
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Yes, this is quite recent. I was born in the 90's, and I've got a younger brother in middle school. Elementary is quite hazy. No more Grade 13.

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#964648 - Thu Jan 31 2013 11:58 AM Re: How Were You Taught History? [Re: bloomsby]
Mariamir Offline
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Posts: 4258
Loc: Ontario Canada
I've used a US curriculum all my (short) academic life.

I recall bits and pieces of history being taught from kindergarten to grade 2.

Grade 3 was a Child's History of the World, or something like that. Basically it was a bit of the stone, iron, etc ages to the Medieval Age to the Revolutionary War to World War II, all very brief.

Grade 4 was Build Our Nation, from the Native Americans, exploring, and pilgrims to modern US.

Grade 5 was A Message of Ancient Days, Egypt and the pyramids, Persia, Austria, Stonehenge, Lucy, the Ice Ages, Greece, all that.

Grade Six was Across the Centuries, ancient Rome, the Angles, Saxons, Danes, Huns, Vandals, Dark Ages, plagues, Medieval Age, Queen Elizabeth I, The Sun King, the Age of Exploration, British Empire, whatnot.

Grade 7 was a more in depth Grade 4 history, the US again.

Grade 8 was a more in depth recap of Grade 7, more US history, and even more "Ra, Ra, USA" in attitude.

And...the rest was so long ago I've forgotten it. Not really. laugh I'm not quite past Ninth Grade yet.
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#964652 - Thu Jan 31 2013 12:24 PM Re: How Were You Taught History? [Re: bloomsby]
malik24 Offline
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Registered: Fri Sep 14 2007
Posts: 96
Loc: Somerset UK
I did some history in primary school, but to be honest all I can remember of it was that I wasn't able to be around for the dinosaurs section and I wanted to know about the dinosaurs and how they became extinct. (basically, during the time dinosaurs was being taught, I had to be elsewhere).

Erm, secondary-school wise, we had a history session twice a week, I think. I dropped history as soon as I got to GCSE as history was the only lesson that had ever properly managed to put me asleep! I'd have stopped at 15 or 16. So, what can I remember... (this next section is a bit of an info-dump and probably isn't structured very well)

In terms of the Brits, we did Jack the Ripper. The gunpowder plot was definitely covered at least once. British monarchy-wise, I think Victoria got a fair bit of attention, since she was the first monarch to live in the Buckingham Palace and I used to imagine the palace as being see-through and made of glass (why? I've no idea...). And, of course, we must have looked at Henry VIII and his several wives at some point too. The abdication of Edward VIII was 'mentioned' at the very least. The Battle of Hastings definitely came up at some point too, as did the coverage of the bubonic plague and the Great Fire of London with Samuel Pepys' diary. The Industrial Revolution was looked at too, as the image of the young kids working for peanuts in workhouses had always stuck with me. Not sure about the Stone/Bronze/Iron ages... maybe. I think we had a look of Boudicca of the Iceni as well, but not sure when. (well, to be fair, I don't know when I learnt any of this stuff exactly :p )

Other than that, we did the French Revolution. I guess that's when we covered the storming of the Bastille too. We did a LOT on World War II, and maybe a little on World War I too. I think we might have covered the Vietnam War at some point too, but I can't remember if it had just come up in a fictional book somewhere... I vaguely recall there was some emphasis on the change of the name from Saigon to Ho Chi Minh City (I think?) but under what context, I couldn't say... We covered some ancient Roman history, too, I believe. We definitely covered the eruption of Mount Vesuvius and the burying of Pompeii at some point, as well as gladiator culture. The Boston Tea party might have come up at some point too, but not sure... but I do believe we covered the moon landing. Although Custer's Last Stand was covered, it may have been elsewhere as I remember watching a video about it, so... yeah. Christopher Columbus and his expeditions were looked at at some point for sure, as I remember his ships Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria. The north pole expedition was also covered too, I think, and the climbing of Everest might have been mentioned at some point. Magellan and Marco Polo too, perhaps. Marie Antoinette? Maybe. Vikings? Maybe.

We didn't look much at Africa, Australia or South America at all, or at least I don't remember it if we did. Oh, having said that, we must have looked at the Egyptians at least once because of the pyramids... but the rest of Africa, probably not.

So, to answer the other questions in the original post...

1. My memory for timelines is awful, so I couldn't say, but I think we flitted back and forth between different time periods. Local history? Nope.
2. I think the scope was pretty good, but obviously it's bound to be a bit Brit-focused! Either way, I don't remember many of the details of these events.

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#964661 - Thu Jan 31 2013 01:08 PM Re: How Were You Taught History? [Re: salami_swami]
adams627 Offline
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Registered: Wed Oct 31 2007
Posts: 1
Loc: Georgia USA
I'm not sure I've ever posted on these forums before--though I do browse through them occasionally--but I didn't want Salami's to be the only idea people had of US schools, since I guess I had a somewhat different experience. smile I went to public school in a well-off area of the country, so that could explain parts of it.

In earlier years of school, I remember most of elementary school being devoted to US history, but middle school was split up pretty well--we would cover history and geography of Latin America, Europe, and Australia in 6th grade, Africa and Asia in 7th, then US in 8th.

Looking at HS more relevantly, we had 9th grade US Government for a semester, and everyone took a US History class in eleventh grade. I personally took AP US History. For those not familiar, AP is a national program which allows universities to give credit for high school coursework depending on a student's performance on an end-of-year rigorous, comprehensive, exam. I remember doing a fair bit of other history in that class too, though: we covered a few European wars for instance, as long as they had some impact on the US. I'm sure that lower-level classes probably didn't go into as much detail as AP did into relevant European and Asian history, but I learned something.

However, I also took AP World History, which deliberately incorporates only 25% of info from North American and Europe, if I remember correctly, so we covered those Chinese dynasties and African kingdoms. Other schools in the area (not mine) did AP European History as well. I think rigor is a big deal here--if you're not at a particularly good school, it's perfectly likely that you're going to get the stereotypical "We're USA, Rah Rah Rah" message. But we did analysis in my classes, and sometimes the answer was: yes, My Lai was horrible, firebombing Dresden was horrible, the US does awful things sometimes. We covered up through probably 1990 in those classes.

I think the most interesting class I took in high school was AP Comparative Government and Politics, though. This isn't widely taken in the US, and it's a shame. We learned about other systems of government--spent 3 weeks each on the governments of the UK, Russia, Nigeria, Mexico, Iran, and China. I learned how parliamentary democracy differs from presidential systems, how political history impacts contemporary issues and politics. Heck, we read The Economist every week. We learned about political history STARTING in 1990, to the present. We simulated "Question Time" in class, did a debate about the Chinese welfare system, watched the Russian presidential [cough dictatorial] inauguration. It was fascinating. I might even still remember enough to write about a few countries' governments (erm...doubtful), but I think offering more classes in general Political Science and Comparative Government would go a long way toward combating the stereotype that American students are morons who don't know the first thing about the world around them. It might also get the younger generations interested in politics again--the apathy of people my age is astounding and disappointing. Though, frankly, I had very little interest in politics before that class.

Point of interest: in my high school of 2000 students, there were 12 in my AP Government class--average class size in the school was probably well over double that. That's how bad political apathy is.

Now, get me on to how they teach math in public schools, and that's a completely different story. smile

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#964762 - Thu Jan 31 2013 03:58 PM Re: How Were You Taught History? [Re: bloomsby]
TimBentley Offline
Explorer

Registered: Mon Apr 09 2012
Posts: 79
Loc: Indiana USA
I went to school in the US in the 90s and first couple years of the 2000s. I don't really remember what history I learned in elementary school, but I believe it was primarily American. In sixth through eighth grades, social studies (which may have included culture as well as history) covered three different areas of the world (I believe one year was Canada+Latin America). I had to take two years of US History in high school, a semester of US government, and a semester of some other social studies class (I took Criminal Law). I believe World History was offered, but it was not required.

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