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  #201  
Old 07-22-2012, 05:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Lumutqueen View Post
Well then I do hope the same fate befalls the medallists of this century. Apparently history means nothing nowadays.
It just hit me. We live in a global society of 15 minutes of fame and forgotten and so many people are really trying hard to get those 15 minutes of fame these days. To top that out, we can all play 6 degrees of separation to that 15 minutes of fame.
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  #202  
Old 07-22-2012, 06:08 PM
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It's just an unfortunate inevitability that as the years go by, knowledge of historical events gets superceded by the here and now. Ask a 10 year old boy to name even half the England team who won the World Cup in 1966, and I think they'd struggle. Ask that same boy to name 6 members of last year's Manchester United team, and they'd likely have no difficulty whatsoever.

The lack of knowledge of British history is not at all surprising to me. The educational establishment, controlled by the teaching unions, have basically decreed that our history is something of which we should be ashamed. I remember history lessons (and a field trip) dedicated to learning about an entirely unremarkable local train track, because it was much more PC than the Empire etc. etc.
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  #203  
Old 07-22-2012, 06:46 PM
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Really its the same all around.

I am not sure how many Americans today could name the 1992 Dream team and that was 20 years ago.

I could name the Olympians from the 52 and 56 Olympics but really only in the sports that interest me. And that would be ice skating. I look for Carol Heiss Jenkins every time there is an ice skating event on television.

But really that's why we have history books (or encylopedias back in the day)...so when the 2012 London Olympics are over, its no longer on the television and the crowwds have gone on...the achievements of the winners as well as those with the personal interest stories will live on. I was watching the 30 Top Olympic moments on television last night and I forgot all about Cahty Freeman (the Australian sprinter) and the Jamaican runner whose father helped him cross the finish line. Sorry his name escaped me but those stories (if not all the names) live on.
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  #204  
Old 07-22-2012, 07:10 PM
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Hell's Bell's Zonk, when I was doing my student teaching, one of the first questions I asked (this was American History) was who was President when the Monroe Doctrine was issued. Noone knew James Monroe-and it isn't much better today. Very sad
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  #205  
Old 07-22-2012, 07:22 PM
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Yes, I saw on ABC earlier in the year a reporter asking some basic questions of people on the streets. One of the questions was who was the first American President......only 4 in 10 got it right. I was shocked because I had assumed that Americans just grew up knowing these things. I am definitely not an American but when I was in school in England we had to learn all 50 states and their capitals and we definitely knew Washington was the 1st President.
We do live in an age where many countries no longer feel the need to teach their own histories ( and no doubt we will pay the price in the future) and when people will do anything to achieve their own 15 minutes of fame. I am of sure why, but apparently fame for any reason and by any method seems quite important for some people. Probably someone has or will write a thesis on this need :-)

Olympic fame has always been quite fleeting. Usually only 1 or 2 athletes in each Games really makes a name for themselves and in todays world they have very little time to capitalize on that fame.
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  #206  
Old 07-22-2012, 10:03 PM
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Kate Middleton's Olympic Agenda Revealed
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  #207  
Old 07-23-2012, 12:56 AM
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Originally Posted by EIIR View Post
It's much worse...
I may not be able to name any medalists from the 1948 Olympic Games, but I certainly know who Winston Churchill is, and can definitely name the monarch who ruled at the time of the Spanish Armada (Elizabeth I). I think it's very sad that today very few people have intellectual curiosity (and it's not encouraged in schools either, with all the standardized tests). Here, in the States, people can't name things like the Allied Powers or the current Vice-President, never mind the first President or the author of the Declaration of Independence. At this point, I'm not shocked that there are those in the world who are unaware of where the Olympic Games are held this summer.
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  #208  
Old 07-23-2012, 03:25 AM
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I decided, as a result of reading this thread to do a straw poll of my students today on the Olympics.

Nothing scientific mind you.

I simply asked the following three questions:

1. Where are the Olympic games going to be held this year?
2. Who will open the games?
3. Where were the games in 2008?

I had a total of 85 students in my 4 classes today with the following results.

1. London 32/85; Don't know - 14/85; Beijing 2/85; Somewhere in Europe (a range of different European places - cities and countries - some who have hosted the games and some that haven't); various sites in North America 21/85 and Rio 16/85.
2. Obama - 46/85; The Pope - 3/85; The Queen 32/85; miscellaneous 4/85
3. London 41/85; Beijing 24/85; Athens 2/85; LA 5/85; miscellaneous cities that haven't hosted the games 13/85

A sad indictment of the general knowledge of our youth. Maybe some other teachers out there could try something similar - and hopefully raise our spirits.
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  #209  
Old 07-23-2012, 04:35 AM
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Well, I don't know about Australia and Great Britain, but here in the US, history doesn't seem to be taught until high school-if then. When I was in grade school, many many years ago, we knew the states, their capitals, the presidents, the three branches of government, not to mention the kings and queens of England and a few other countries. I guess those days are gone forever unless you home school the kids. It's very sad, because history is such an important subject. Part of the problem is probably that it is not made interesting- just memorizing dates really doesn't do it and really there are only about 15 dates that are really needed to be learned- events that changed the world= you know, 1066, 1215, 1453, 1492, 1776 and a few more. History can be made interesting- but here in this country, it is too often taught by foot ball coaches- who could care less.
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  #210  
Old 07-23-2012, 04:49 AM
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We have something confirmed for Friday, Sir Chris Hoy will carry the Union Flag.
London Olympics 2012: Sir Chris Hoy will carry British flag at opening ceremony | Mail Online
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  #211  
Old 07-23-2012, 07:24 AM
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Originally Posted by wanderingnana View Post
Well, I don't know about Australia and Great Britain, but here in the US, history doesn't seem to be taught until high school-if then. When I was in grade school, many many years ago, we knew the states, their capitals, the presidents, the three branches of government, not to mention the kings and queens of England and a few other countries. I guess those days are gone forever unless you home school the kids. It's very sad, because history is such an important subject. Part of the problem is probably that it is not made interesting- just memorizing dates really doesn't do it and really there are only about 15 dates that are really needed to be learned- events that changed the world= you know, 1066, 1215, 1453, 1492, 1776 and a few more. History can be made interesting- but here in this country, it is too often taught by foot ball coaches- who could care less.

As a modern day history teacher (not a football coach mind you) I can't remember the last time I insisted kids learn a date - other than our Year 9 course where I do think there are two dates they should know - 1st January 1901 and 25th April 1915. As for the other dates you mentioned - don't teach any of them because we don't teach European or American history at my school except for The Vikings.

That is the problem. In the late 70s to early 80s they focus of history changed from The Story of Man to inquiry based focus on specific units so you have 25 hours of study of The Vikings and then 25 hours of study of the impact of colonisation (emphasising the negatives of European colonisation) and that is Year 8 history. The consequence is a lot of information on one topic but no broad knowledge of anything.

We seem to spend more time training mini-historians then teaching the 'what happened side of history'.


But back to the Olympics - I remember when knowing the different cities was actually taught e.g. 1968 my teacher had us do some research - had to use books and all that stuff - on the previous Olympics and I drew the 1936 Games. I think we all had a lot of fun with that and the presentations were up around the room for the week or so leading up to the games in Mexico and continued throughout the games as well as the week afterwards.

Maybe that is when my interest in the Olympics began.
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  #212  
Old 07-23-2012, 08:37 AM
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In the UK, part of the problem we have is that kids can give up history at 14. I remember learning about the Victorians in primary school, and some other bits of history. Then at high school we learned about the history of medicine in ancient Greece, Egypt and Rome. We also studied the causes of WWII, not the actual war itself. Studying British history was seen as somehow nationalistic, or jingoistic, and any British history we did learn tended to emphasise how awful our ancestors were.

In allowing children to stop learning history at 14, we're essentially signalling that knowing about that which came before isn't important, even though it shapes and affects out present and future.
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  #213  
Old 07-23-2012, 08:51 AM
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When I attended school, we studied history every year, without exception, until graduation. And it wasn't just Armenian history too, mind you. We studied Armenian History, Ancient History, Modern History, History of England, History of Russia, and World History. We had exams in all of those subjects too.
My school was a private one, but all those (minus history of England, which is taught in English schools only) are taught in any school here.
  #214  
Old 07-23-2012, 04:49 PM
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When I was student teaching in a secondary school history class, the teacher insisted that I only teach the kids what they needed to know for the state exam at the end of the year. The text book she used was geared toward low-functioning students, and not all the kids were low-functioning. I used the textbook, but also brought out my own knowledge, which made the subject more interesting and gave the kids a challenge. Let me tell you, they loved it. I told them about Yekaterina II (the Great) and Piotr the Great, as well as Ivan the Terrible (they loved the fact that Yekaterina had her husband murdered and quite shocked about the circumstances that lead to Ivan the Terrible killing his son). They wanted to know more, but were prevented from doing so by a teacher who had low expectations.
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  #215  
Old 07-23-2012, 04:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wanderingnana View Post
Well, I don't know about Australia and Great Britain, but here in the US, history doesn't seem to be taught until high school-if then. When I was in grade school, many many years ago, we knew the states, their capitals, the presidents, the three branches of government, not to mention the kings and queens of England and a few other countries. I guess those days are gone forever unless you home school the kids. It's very sad, because history is such an important subject. Part of the problem is probably that it is not made interesting- just memorizing dates really doesn't do it and really there are only about 15 dates that are really needed to be learned- events that changed the world= you know, 1066, 1215, 1453, 1492, 1776 and a few more. History can be made interesting- but here in this country, it is too often taught by foot ball coaches- who could care less.
I don't know what the various public school requirements are at the moment in the US, but I was taught history throughout elementary, middle, and high school, and I didn't attend all that long ago. Mind you, I attended private schools, but my friends at public schools didn't seem to have vastly different curriculum. Just thought I'd offer my perspective. :)
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  #216  
Old 07-23-2012, 05:22 PM
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It seems that each system is clearly different in what it regards as the importance of history and even 'what is history'.

Here in Australia we are about to have a national history curriculum introduced but even though that course is written for 80 hours of study for each of the first four years of high school (ages 11/12 - 15/16), but each state is free to set the minimum hours and NSW is sticking to its current 50 hours (or about 90 minutes per school week) and we will be doing more than every other state.

As there is no external exams at the end of those compulsory years states can do their own thing. History is then elective for the final 2 years of High School. In NSW of the 70,000+ students who do the final year exams about 10,000 do Modern History and about the same number do Ancient History (with about a third or more of them doing both).

I do think we are moving off topic though so the Mods might think this discussion better in a different thread.
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  #217  
Old 07-24-2012, 01:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Iluvbertie View Post
I decided, as a result of reading this thread to do a straw poll of my students today on the Olympics.

Nothing scientific mind you.

I simply asked the following three questions:

1. Where are the Olympic games going to be held this year?
2. Who will open the games?
3. Where were the games in 2008?

I had a total of 85 students in my 4 classes today with the following results.

1. London 32/85; Don't know - 14/85; Beijing 2/85; Somewhere in Europe (a range of different European places - cities and countries - some who have hosted the games and some that haven't); various sites in North America 21/85 and Rio 16/85.
2. Obama - 46/85; The Pope - 3/85; The Queen 32/85; miscellaneous 4/85
3. London 41/85; Beijing 24/85; Athens 2/85; LA 5/85; miscellaneous cities that haven't hosted the games 13/85

A sad indictment of the general knowledge of our youth. Maybe some other teachers out there could try something similar - and hopefully raise our spirits.
wow, this is pretty bad. can you provide some background to the class (ages, subjects studied)?
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  #218  
Old 07-24-2012, 05:09 PM
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wow, this is pretty bad. can you provide some background to the class (ages, subjects studied)?

There were 4 classes surveyed - one Year 8 of 23 mixed ability, one Year 8 of 25 top ability, one Year 10 of 12 of low abilty, one Year 11 of 25 students again mixed ability. All classes are History as that is the subject I teach - ages ranged from 13 - 17 and ethnic backgrounds range from kids of British descent (could be back over 200 years), or more recent such as Chinese, Vietnamese, Lebanese, Greek, Madedonian, Italian and Pacific Islanders.
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  #219  
Old 07-24-2012, 05:17 PM
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I might have started this, by accident but I think we're going off topic now.

The athletes discussion isn't open yet, so I assume this info can go here, twitter tells me that Rafael Nadal has pulled out of the Games sighting he isn't ready.
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  #220  
Old 07-24-2012, 05:45 PM
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I'm pretty sure that was announced a few days ago actually - London 2012 Olympics: Rafael Nadal pulls out of Games | Mail Online. Federer and Djokovic are in London and ready to take part though, as is Andy Murray.

David Beckham says that he has a role in the Opening Ceremony, although he won't say any more. A full dress rehearsal of the OC was held last night. Feedback was very positive, with spectators saying that it's different to every other OC and is quite quirky in a very British way. I think it will be more humourous than previous OC's. I hope the British musical and literary traditions are a large part of it, both of which are second to none in my view.
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