Thursday, February 4, 2010

Teaching The Kids The Important Stuff

North Carolina Schools May Cut Chunk Out of U.S. History Lessons

State education leaders say this may help students learn about more recent history in greater depth.

"We are certainly not trying to go away from American history," Rebecca Garland, the chief academic officer for North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, told Fox News. "What we are trying to do is figure out a way to teach it where students are connected to it, where they see the big idea, where they are able to make connections and draw relationships between parts of our history and the present day."

As the North Carolina curriculum stands now, ninth-grade students take world history, 10th-graders study civics and economics and 11th-graders take U.S. history going back to the country's founding.

Under the proposed change, the ninth-graders would take a course called global studies, focusing in part on issues such as the environment. The 10th grade still would study civics and economics, but 11th-graders would take U.S. history only from 1877 onward.


Wouldn't you think the GW class would replace fantasy literature?


BB-Idaho said...

Time changes, curriculum changes.
I guess. Some fifty five years back my 10th Grade Civics class
involved the old teacher writing out the constitution on a blackboard and us penciling it ver batim into our notebooks. Tis said
'from the notes of the professor to the notes of the student...without passing through the mind of either'. I suspect now days, history reports are quick
google collections!

Anonymous said...

A school system that provides three courses in social science over a four-year curriculum doesn’t take civics, economics, geography, government, or history seriously in the first place. We keep hearing college professors complaining about the fact that entering freshmen simply don’t know enough history; colleges seem to have corrected this problem by not offering American history, preferring African or Latino studies in its place. So we might wonder why high school seniors are exempt from classes in social sciences. In my view, it is simply a matter of priority among liberal educators. If you have to give something up in order to increase knowledge and skills in other areas, and if you happen to think we can achieve the destruction of the United States by not teaching students American history, then history/social sciences are cut without public debate.

Now for the other side of the argument: the further we go in time, the more difficult it is to teach comprehensive history. A teacher assigned to instruct students in world history must present the material as a survey class. If teachers spend too much time with the Roman Empire, or with the Renaissance, then he or she will never get through the 20th Century before the end of the school year. No matter, the purpose of these survey classes is to teach students important skills. Cause and effect, sequencing, research, reasoning, developing alternative possibilities under ‘what if’ scenarios, and writing essays and summaries of historical events. A quality teacher won’t waste time with having students memorize dates; there are so much more important things to learn.

I often argued that given the mass of geography, civics/government/economics, and history, and given the ever-present contention among college professors and business professionals, high school could end up lasting five years, instead of four. The idiocy of that argument was that it assumed educationalists cared more about learning than they did their own careers. Silly me.

Educational system will present courses they feel are valuable. Apparently, this doesn’t include learning about American history … unless it comes from the book written by Howard Zinn, which if we valued truth in education, would be titled History for Dummies.

Just my two-cents.

Mustang out

Z said...

BB..those were good days; kids remembered what they learned through rote. Poetry was learned by rote, too, from what I've heard from Dad and never ceased to amaze me when he'd break into some famous American poem he still remembered; they never forgot important poetry which drew them to their writers, great Americans from America's past. That was poo poo-d as 'rote and ridiculous...just passing through minds' by the GREAT LIBERAL EDUCATOR MINDS (!), but it didn't stuck there. That was a good thing. Kids today haven't ever read Hiawatha or the Charge of the Light Brigade..hell, they can't even READ. The liberal unions have our kids right where they want them; educated into stupidity and never questioning.

Chuck, this article brought tears to my eyes and I refuse to believe any school could do this. It's bad enough what they're taking OUT but the replacement material says so much about the fact that our schools are overrun by liberal mentalities which do want a one world order and, if not that, at least the end of American sovereignty and greatness.

Mustang, I am for learning dates because it gives a time frame in one's head "When was THAT? Oh, ya...1066..that was when .." I think that is important.
Although it's not important enough to spend TOO much time on it...just let them learn and move on; the better of them will remember and benefit for contextual purposes, etc.

Other than that, I couldn't agree with you more.

I'd say "Here's the globe....learn the countries and let's talk about them but HERE is where America is and let's learn MORE about HER right now.... later, you can specialize. THIS IS NINTH GRADE!"

I'd say "Environment: PICK UP THE TRASH. Try not to cut too many trees, keep the oceans clean and don't believe everything the nutty Green Al Gore jerks are trying to sell you......Oh, and go ahead and risk that that stupid microscopic fish just might go extinct in the California Central Valley because people put PEOPLE FIRST..kill the fish; instead the leftwingers have destroyed the CENTRAL VALLEY of California which fed the whole COUNTRY!"

I'm sick at heart over this piece,'s so depressing I don't know where to go in my mind with it; meanwhile, Conservatives are rolling over and playing dead and letting liberal teachers unions kill our country....

I know I sound like some nutcase zealot, left-hating creep, but I can't help it...i feel like we're drowning in this nonsense and getting platitudes even worse than "time changes, curriculum changes" from liberals who honestly believe that and shame US into remaining QUIET.

WAKE UP, everybody..this is a once great country one side of which has gun America-hating MAD and is dragging us down with them.

End of screed :-)
Other than that, how's your day!? (heh)

Z said...

I just tried to read this CRAP again in your post and my teeth are grinding.......
Our kids can't READ and they're not addressing THAT but we're addressing THESE ISSUES? WHO DO THEY THINK IS STUPID ENOUGH TO BUY THIS???
sorry.....I can't get this awful info out of my mind. :-(

Z said...

I just did a post linking here, Chuck. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

They've reported on this on Fox. It comes out of Texas which evidently is where the headquarters for the new texbooks for schools, is located.

It's so disheartening and rather overwhelming to know what to do about it.

This whole thing is thoroughly politically driven. If it wasn't, the fact is that the Supreme Court in the year 2010, still bases it's decisions on the Constitution written by our founders.

Given that fact alone, the Constitution and our founders are as relevant today as they were in 1776. So, the idea that American history will now begin as of 1877, is stupidity personified, if it were not because of a leftist agenda, and the purposeful destruction of America as we've known it.

IMO, this is being done now, because the left believes they have won, and curriculums must solidify that victory and represent what they have in motion.

I'm sure the Dept. of Education is behind this, along with the NEA, and all teachers unions.

They will teach our students they are the servants of the state, and owe their loyalty to the government, not the country.

Parents who care will provide the books and discussion necessary to teach their children about the founding of America. And if they can, find a good private school.

It's not complicated. You buy your child a copy of the constitution, a couple of really good books on the true history of America and our founders, add in the dvd series' of Liberty, and John Adams. And teach it yourself. Talk about it at home.

It's those who regard school as a babysitter, and equipped to teach their kids, and there's the rub. They go along because to fight it is time consuming and a bother to take action.

Many don't have a clue about what their children are taught. All they care about is their grades and what college they're kids go to.

It's such a sad time, it's almost unbearable. But, we can never give up. Never.


GM Roper said...

I had to learn the preamble to the Constitution and the opening of the Declaration of Independence. I had to learn the Gettysburg Address and be able to track why the Civil War took place and what the whiskey Rebellion was all about.

In fact, I learned about the Whiskey Rebellion from Mustang who was there.

Kids got it easy today, of course they aren't learning anything if my Introduction to Psychology students are any measure.

Good post Chuck, Mustang sent me here and I'm glad I came. Onto my blogroll you go!

HoosierArmyMom said...

Well, I guess there are no lessons to be learned going back to our founding fathers or the American Civil War, eh? I am amazed when I watch "Are you smarter than a 5th Grader", how many people who supposedly have "advanced degrees" are Historical morons! Even those really smart kids don't know History so well.

Who was President at the start of the Korean War... I said Harry Truman... The adult on the show said "Gerald Ford" (she had been a school teacher turned "wrestling diva") and the "really smart girl" helping her said "Thomas Jefferson"!!!! This is how Progressives in academe and government have dumbed people down for generations!

I still think that the people who are the best problem solvers in our society know history. The know the mistakes, cause and effect from the past and are creative and critical thinkers because of it. This kind of stuff just makes me sick.

Hand me the bottle of tequila, will ya???

Always On Watch said...

The globalist in the linked article stated: "They certainly are taught U.S. and North Carolina history in middle school."

Is that right? I don't think so.

Typically, elementary and middle school students all over the United States in public schools aren't taught any real history but rather participate in various "activities," which are community or biography oriented. When parents ask about real history being taught, they are told, "That can wait until high school."

Just last week, I gave one of my middle school Latin students my fifth grade history book, A History of the Old World, so that she can prepare for the National Latin Exam. The book contains more facts and cause/effect information in it than most high-school history texts used now! The essay questions -- yes, the book has essay questions on every chapter -- are worthy of use in a high school course. The book isn't fancy (all black and white text and photos and no Internet activities), but it clearly teaches history, just as the old McGuffey Readers taught critical reading and advanced reading comprehension.

The dumbing down of our curricula in language arts and history is astounding, particularly if one looks at what used to be included way back when -- in the Dinosaur Age.

IMO, a survey class can really accomplish something if the teacher uses the course as a springboard to teaching beyond the reading material in the text. Of course, that kind of success for the course assumes that the teachers themselves are competent in their supposed field of expertise.

Always On Watch said...

And one more thing....Avoiding the period of the founding of our nation sets up these young people to vote for any demagogue who comes along. Indeed, the young vote just elected BHO. Heh.

Ticker said...

The same thing is occurring here in Texas. The so called history books contain mostly junk history connected to the Progressive Thinking of social justice. Anything that would show a positive light on anything this country has been involved in has been deleted.
Multiculturalism is now the subject to be taught and even teachers are being instructed that they must in no way hold any ideas that are not in line with multiculturalism.

On one of the websites that is required reading for future
teachers, there's a discussion of what multiculturalism means.
Even this site admits that there's no fixed meaning; but all the
definitions they propose make it clear just what multiculturalism
is all about - indoctrinating our kids with a radical left-wing
agenda. One of their suggested definitions is "education change as
part of a larger societal transformation in which we more closely explore and criticize the oppressive foundations of society and how education serves to maintain the status quo -- foundations such as
white supremacy, capitalism, global socioeconomic situations, and exploitation."

Teachers not meeting this qualification would not be allowed to teach in Texas schools.

If they can dumb down our children, grandchildren enough then the New World Order will effectively be established.

I bought my grandchildren a stack of old history books all written prior to the 60's and they love reading them and also bringing up the things that are not being taught in our schools today. There are some teachers who would strangle them while others sit back and allow them to speak out.
I am sure as they advance in school they will meet with much more opposition from teachers when they attempt to point out the great things this country was founded on and has accomplished since it's inception.

I suggest that those of you with kids still in school or grandkids that you order the booklet called "The Essential Liberty Project" from the PatriotPost.US. They will thank you for it.

Anonymous said...

AOW is absolutely correct. Gone from reading are Samuel Clemens, and Alfred Lord Tennyson ... replaced by Doctor Depression himself, Ernest Hemingway and that all time loser, Maya Angelou. And we wonder why kids are suicidal and three bubbles off plumb by the time they graduate from high school.

Don't misunderstand ... Hemingway is worthy of read and understand, but only when placed into some context of his time and the events of his own day. And let's stop pretending that he was part of the lost generation. He was, rather, a damn loser.

As for Roper, he was first secretary to Moses ... so he knows something about history too.



Chuck said...

BB, my kids use google, you are right. But they are learning history in the process

Mustang, that should be history by dummies. I agree that it is getting harder and harder to teach a comprehensive history. Harder doesn't mean you don't try, it means you try harder. Something the NEA will not allow

Z, I see I touched a nerve. Thanks for the link, I'll be by as usual. This whole thing is the dumming down of America. We have coped out and brought everyone down to the lowest denominator

Pris, welcome and thanks for stopping by. You have hit on 2 rally good points here.

One, I think the left is trying to change the country and have been for years. They have for the last 30+ years been developing social engineering in the class room. In other words, indoctrination. Second, you are right, we need to teach our kids at home ourselves. We have always been musuem people in our house. Our kids have grown up spending their vacations inone type of museum or another, learning whatever there is to learn.

GM, glad you stopped by. I went to an inner city school, we spent most of our time learning about slavery. Most of what I have learned about anything is from college or is self-taught.

BTW, this is funny

In fact, I learned about the Whiskey Rebellion from Mustang who was there.

Hoosier, problem is that this has been going on for over 30+ years. My dad went back to college in the 70's and one of the women in his class said we didn't need farms anymore, we can get all of the food we need at the grocery store...

We now have idiots raising idiots. This is how the schools are getting away with this.

AOW, my kids go to fairly good public school. My 4th grade daughter probably knows as much about history, geography, and the arts masters than most high school students. And she actually loves it. Kids want to learn, it's a natural curiousity

As far as the voting, a good history lesson on Carter would have saved most of the young voters.

Ticker, this is another tactic from the left - indoctrinating the teachers

Mustang, another thought occurs to me while reading your second comment - you have to wonder if this constant degrading the country and all of it's citizens is contributing to the problems kids have. If they are constantly being told they are evil, racist, homophobic, destroying the planet, the mere fact they exist means the planet is over-populated, they are bound to feel despondant.

オテモヤン said...


Chuck said...



I've got to say I agree.

Time to put a captcha back on, getting too much spam. Sorry if I inconvenience anyone

Z said...

So, all we do is complain and type comments, I guess.
I sure with America was STANDING UP and having the guts to tell the new Sec of Education and the idiotic Teachers unions that they are DONE and LET GO OF OUR KIDS. But, alas...

Z said...

that's 'wish', not 'with'

Chuck said...

Z, we are gaining small victories. There is a saying in process improvement "a little up, every day". The meaning is small advances are what makes change.

MK said...

"Wouldn't you think the GW class would replace fantasy literature?"

Yeah but fantasy literature is probably easier to read and more interesting, and worth more.

Mia Cronan said...

I saw this on the news the other night and could not even believe it's gotten this bad. So, everything prior to Rutherford B. Hayes would be cut from the history curriculum. In other words, who needs to know about our Constitution, the Declaration, George Washington, etc...? I wouldn't be surprised if she tried to just snip out the Reagan years, if it suits her lib agenda. I could vomit.

I'm pretty sure if you asked the Good Lord, history doesn't start on a certain date.

Chuck said...

MK, agreed

Mia, you can believe they will cover the Reagen and Bush years. Maybe not like you would, but they will

Z said...

Chuck, that's funny. Oh, yes, they'll surely cover those 'awful Reagan and Bush' years which BROUGHT this horrid economy on us, which brought the decline in American morality on, which has caused ALL the bad in America (saracasm, of course!)

Oh, yes....I can see it now. God forbid I have to, you see what just your post info did to me !!

cube said...

Can't have children learning about the founding of our democratic republic and the exceptionalism of America. It's much easier to steal our freedoms when they aren't cherished.

Always On Watch said...

Mustang said:

Gone from reading are Samuel Clemens, and Alfred Lord Tennyson ... replaced by Doctor Depression himself, Ernest Hemingway and that all time loser, Maya Angelou.

Checked the critical reading section of the SAT's lately? The classics are pretty much missing.

Students schooled in classics find the reading on the SAT's pointless, boring, depressing, and strange.

Chuck said...

Z, I have no doubt it will be done sensitively and fairly

Cube, dead on

AOW, I remember being forced to read Great Expectations when I was a kid. I loved it when I got into it.

Bloviating Zeppelin said...

This is, of course, again the entire RE-WRITING OF HISTORY.

I have a question: can a percentile of this be attributed to instructors themSELVES not being versed in history??