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Re: More history from VA



At 5:02 PM -0500 9/18/01, kber wrote:
so, let me be revisionist, as Mickey originally suggested

...
Also, whe list displays our Anglo bias, since much of what we now
consider our west, even ignoring the question of prior Native
American residents, was settled by people of European background by
NORTHERN expansion - I hahve a brother in law in the FBI in New
York (don't worry, he's okay, although overwhlemed by what he ahs
experienced this week) whose family has been in Northern Mew Mexico
for about 300 years - Hispanics moved into that area well before
any significant number of English ahd even crossed the Allegheny Mtns

Ironically, "Eastern" expansion also preceded the Western one--don't
forget that the area between San Francisco and Portland was largely
settle by Russian explorers before they yielded the territory to both
the Northern and Western Expansions (the Spanish were in California
earlier, but they did not conquer as far North as the Russian
River--hint, hint). The Russians were also first in Hawaii and left
peacefully when the locals objected to their presence--there is still
an old Russian fort on the islands. You will not find much about the
Russians in Polynesia, Melanesia and California in any American
school history books. The only clue about the Russian explorations to
the East is the Alaska purchase, but that is only described from the
American perspective--often making it appear that Russian Empire
simply claimed the territory and had no qualms parting with it (and
that it desperately needed money to finance the war with Japan).

and if that is supposed to be the order, how does one justify only
one line for prohibition, which after all began before the 1920's
and lasted until December of 1933

...and was replaced by a different kind of prohibition that we still
face today--the "war on drugs".

All it goes to show - simplistic lists of "What your child should
know" completely misses the point.

Tell that to Hirsch, who still claims to be a Liberal (but curiously
panders to the NAS, Heritage's brainchind, the Intercollegiate
Studies Institute, and all conservative educators across the country).

I know children can understand far better than this. In Arlington
we do this curriculum in 7th grade, only we choose to start from
1850, with a little quick review of appropriate earlier material
(specifically, Constitutional compromises and also Missouri and
1850). I have had my students look at election maps of 1856 and
1860, predict which state thaey thought would withdraws from the
union, then have them look at a list of the states that did before
Ft Sumber and afterwards. One would have epxpected Maryland and
Delware, except the Army woldn't let them. By the time the get done
with their dealing with the geogrpahy and the pllitics, they have a
list of 11 slave states that seceded and 4 (5 when WV comes in) that
did not. They are then able to realize that - regardless of
disputes over slavery that cuased the break, the actual fighting,
when it began, was clearly NOT to eliminate slavery.

Memorizaiont without undertand is pointless. Tests that rely too
heavily on mere recall do not deomnstrate understanding. Ah, if
only life were truly a multiple choice test with only one correct
answer for each situation, then our empahsis on tests such as
Virginia's SOLs might have some purpose, other than making
publishers rich and letting some with agendae feel good about what
they've done (which dertainly will not answer the qeustion, "Is our
children learning?")

I showed the list to a couple of high-school history teachers. Their
reaction was, "What grade is this? They don't really learn much in
6th grade anyway." Then they scratched their heads and admitted,
"That explains why we get them so ignorant, doesn't it?"

VS-)

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