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Old 10-13-2016, 08:28 AM
 
Location: Nescopeck, Penna.
11,370 posts, read 6,790,399 times
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I'm a more-or-less "typical" product of the Baby Boom of 1945-63; grew up in a modest-sized industrial community surrounded by small farms -- my grandfather bought one of those farms and ran a dairy there from about 1910 to 1935; my Dad ran it for another 40 years.

When I entered Junior High school in 1961, I got two years instruction in American history. The community had fairly strong class divisions between the older, predominately-Protestant families on one side of "the Forge', and the predominant "white ethnics" on the other. So the focus was on the American Revolution and the development of the republic up to, and including, the Civil War, with heavy emphasis placed on the role of Constitution, and parliamentary procedure. In fairness, most of us were not "politically aware" enough to grasp their intent, but our teachers tried.

There was no parochial education beyond the eighth grade, but very little tension when the two cultures mixed beyond that point. Our parents had overcome most of that in the World War II years, and things like a reputation as a high school football powerhouse and a popular stopover for the big bands of the "swing era" (and the first stirrings of what became rock-&-roll) filled in the rest. All but two of the town's dozen-or-so black families had moved en masse to Chicago not long after the end of "the War".

In the fall of 1963, I entered the ninth grade, where instruction in history gave way to "civics". My instructor was a World War II veteran who had gone to Penn State on the GI Bill. He also played some football, (in a stable program that knew only three head coaches between 1930 and 2011) and helped to make a little bit of history when the team stood by its black players and turned down a segregated hotel in favor of an Army base.

Again, heavy emphasis was given to the organization of the "machinery of statecraft" -- not everybody's cup of tea, but I'm sure that the few who went on to the study of law, etc, recalled a few of those points years later.

But that year brought the events of November 22-25; and when school reconvened on Tuesday, Mr. Colone devoted the day to a lecture on the sometimes-high price of life in an open, Constitutionally-protected society; how Lee Oswald probably benefitted from the protections against unreasonable search and seizure; how, if the assassination had occurred in states like Michigan or Minnesota, with no death penalty (and no Federal death penalty, save for kidnapping and espionage, on the books at that time) Oswald could face no more than a life sentence, and most important of all, how none of us would be safe if the law could be changed ex post facto .

In senior high, I was to encounter other examples of "selective evasion" of potentially-divisive subjects, such as the contrasts between Jews and Gentiles during the Middle Ages (the sort of thing upon which Humanities 1 in college is often centered), culminating in the evils of the pogroms, the Holocaust, and a two-act global war that sent about 100 million people to an early grave.

I was to go on to a checkered career that a lot of people would view as a disappointment; never got much formal education beyond the baccalaureate level, and spent the last years in "fast-pace" warehouses with a lot of minorities and immigrants among the work force -- the rebuilding of a "post-industrial" economy. But I consider that just one more part of a well-rounded education, and a well-rounded life.

And the point I seek to make here is this: I don't think our present-day, over-bureaucratized, over-sanitized public educational system, dominated by the teachers' unions and the two-faced ideology called Political Correctness, is capable of providing anything close to the education I got between 1955 and 1967 -- in a community that was just a small part of the great American mosaic.

And the revolting circus into which the current Presidential election has devolved serves as painful proof
.

Last edited by 2nd trick op; 10-13-2016 at 09:24 AM..
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Old 10-13-2016, 05:55 PM
 
8,096 posts, read 4,448,863 times
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i guess it went out the window when people are too lazy to stand for the anthem
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Old 10-14-2016, 06:06 AM
 
Location: Port Charlotte, FL - Pasadena, People's Republic of Maryland
2,814 posts, read 2,599,777 times
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The point I don't get is: Why is the educational system downplaying and bad mouthing American history and civics? Why and when did it become taboo to have pride in your country and what is the ultimate goal?
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Old 10-14-2016, 10:12 AM
 
Location: Colorado Springs
18,888 posts, read 8,873,507 times
Reputation: 18291
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2nd trick op View Post
...
And the point I seek to make here is this: I don't think our present-day, over-bureaucratized, over-sanitized public educational system, dominated by the teachers' unions and the two-faced ideology called Political Correctness, is capable of providing anything close to the education I got between 1955 and 1967 -- in a community that was just a small part of the great American mosaic.

And the revolting circus into which the current Presidential election has devolved serves as painful proof
.
I wand to debunk -- to some extent -- your premise that the American education system is "dominated by the teachers' unions".

In my career, early on I taught in 3 districts in New York State, and I wasn't even aware of a teacher's union doing anything.

Then I taught for about 7 years in Maryland, where I was a building rep for 2 years. Except for annual contract negotiations at the district level, our union was not influential within individual schools.

Then, where I was an administrator in Virginia, there was very little influence of "unions", because it's a right-to-work state. For example in approximately 20 years of being an administrator there, I got a complaint from the union ONCE. And that was immediately dismissed by the assistant superintendent and the teacher got transferred. Roughly half the states are RTW states.

I'm not saying that teacher unions have no influence. They do. But it is not to the extent that you think it is. You're intentionally -- or perhaps unintentionally -- spewing the party/conservative line -- you did it twice above -- the all-consuming power of the unions and political correctness.
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Old 10-14-2016, 10:32 AM
 
Location: Colorado Springs
18,888 posts, read 8,873,507 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikMal View Post
The point I don't get is: Why is the educational system downplaying and bad mouthing American history and civics? Why and when did it become taboo to have pride in your country and what is the ultimate goal?
I don't see it that way at all.

When I was in school back in the 1950s and 1960s, we were fed an unrealistic view of American history. George Washington never told a lie (which is probably a lie), he threw a silver coin across the Potomac River (wrong river and probably never even happened anyway); American soldiers were always noble; slavery was not that bad, etc.

We are now in an era where history classes present the pros and cons of various issues and students are supposed to make some judgements based on their critical thinking skills about whether certain historical events were good or bad. And I'll give you a good example. Student debate: should American have dropped the A-bombs on Japan. In good schools in America today, that is a common debate topic in history classes, even at the middle school level. And after the debate, some students take one position, some take the other position.

It's called freedom of thought versus American propaganda.
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Old 10-14-2016, 10:51 AM
 
3,700 posts, read 3,027,760 times
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As usual the angle of attack is from the political view, centered on a divisive aspect of American labor realities. All of our woes, flung onto the pile of personal dislike for labor organization. The OP has failed to address the more glaring facts surrounding our loss of political common causes. Instead, jumping on the political bandwagon that already is failing to carry the weight of our divisive Donald and Hilary theater of the absurd, and then chastising the school system and it's teachers unions as the ultimate offenders.

As a seventy year old American, I vividly remember my public school education as an exercise in political propaganda, yes, it was less enthused with cultural values--but we were an all white school with a common heritage from the midwest agricultural framework. Today we see the schools as a real melting pot of ethnicity, religion, and social differences, a far more challenging student body than that of the fifties. That was then--this is now. I fail to see the validity of an argument that centers on a socio/political scenario from the past. We have to deal with the cards were are now playing, and not that one hand that we remember as the iconic winning hand.
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Old 10-14-2016, 10:52 AM
 
Location: Nescopeck, Penna.
11,370 posts, read 6,790,399 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phetaroi View Post
I don't see it that way at all.

When I was in school back in the 1950s and 1960s, we were fed an unrealistic view of American history. George Washington never told a lie (which is probably a lie), he threw a silver coin across the Potomac River (wrong river and probably never even happened anyway); American soldiers were always noble; slavery was not that bad, etc.
Oh, please!! That sort of legend was handed down by the parents at home, and it was debunked, at least in part, in the elementary grades. The history lessons I recall from the third through the sixth grades, touched on issues like the settling of the west, but they couldn't be analyzed and criticized in detail because a nine-year-old mind isn't ready for that. And it shouldn't be overlooked that the Fifties and Sixties saw a huge expansion in the role of television and other electronic media.

EXAMPLE: The history book I recall from one year, somewhere between the fourth and sixth grade was entitled My Pennsylvania. It dwelt on a wide variety of subjects, often in an anecdotal format -- everything from the bitter winter at Valley Forge to Pennsylvania artists as diverse as Stephen Foster and Marian Anderson. But it wasted a lot of print lionizing Thaddeus Stevens, the notorious architect of Reconstruction -- because Stevens was also an early, and strong advocate of public education. Absolutely no mention of Stevens skullduggery, which included attempts to undercut the Constitution -- just as in the 1930s and the present day -- was mentioned, nor was it brought up in my Junior High history studies.

Quote:
We are now in an era where history classes present the pros and cons of various issues and students are supposed to make some judgements based on their critical thinking skills about whether certain historical events were good or bad. And I'll give you a good example. Student debate: should American have dropped the A-bombs on Japan. In good schools in America today, that is a common debate topic in history classes, even at the middle school level. And after the debate, some students take one position, some take the other position.

It's called freedom of thought versus American propaganda.
Except that demographic trends, such as the near-complete adaption of many tenets of socialism and collectivism by an increasingly-feminized Educational Establishment, place a much heavier burden upon those advocating traditional and/or libertarian (small 'l' emphasized, please) values. To the NEA and its minions, Political Correctness is often an absolutist doctrine -- as demonstrated by many of the ideologues who seek to dominate academia.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jertheber View Post
As usual the angle of attack is from the political view, centered on a divisive aspect of American labor realities..
FWIW, I was a member of a labor union (United Food and Commercial Workers / AFL-CIO) for eighteen years, participated in one six-week strike, and considered the dues well spent -- so long as the money went for formulation and enforcement of work rules within my shop. That purpose, however, seemed to take more and more of a back seat to politics as the years passed.

Unions serve a purpose, but they are most successful in the capital-intensive industries such as public utilities, or essentials like chemicals and oil -- some of which have been gutted by de-industrialization. In lower-paying industries like food and beverages, local shops have been weakened by competition from nationally-known brands. On the lower rungs of the industrial ladder, unionists tend to sink to class warfare, but they still wield a lot of power when they hold a (usually state-mandated) monopoly in fields like education and public safety, and they are well aware of this disparity, though a lot of the rank-and-file are not.

Last edited by 2nd trick op; 10-14-2016 at 11:29 AM..
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Old 10-14-2016, 11:18 AM
 
4,229 posts, read 1,905,340 times
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Originally Posted by brownbagg View Post
i guess it went out the window when people are too lazy to stand for the anthem
Compare and contrast to old movies of little Chinese children all standing and waving their copies of Chairman Mao's "Little Red Book" on demand.
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Old 10-14-2016, 11:39 AM
 
11,686 posts, read 13,083,410 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phetaroi View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by MikMal View Post
The point I don't get is: Why is the educational system downplaying and bad mouthing American history and civics? Why and when did it become taboo to have pride in your country and what is the ultimate goal?
I don't see it that way at all.

When I was in school back in the 1950s and 1960s, we were fed an unrealistic view of American history....
I was in high school from '52 - '56. Our American History teacher was also the school football coach, and he did a better job at the latter. We received a very uncomplicated and, what I was to discover later, sometimes untruthful narrative of U.S. history. The elitist prejudices of the 1787 constitutional convention were ignored, slavery was largely kept at arm's length, the effect of post Civil War mass immigration on U.S. politics barely mentioned, etc. A very sanitized version of the tumultuous and wonderful history of the U.S.

To his acute discomfort we had several students who had been educated across the border in Canada, and their questions based on their history courses there about the American Revolution and the War of 1812 made him acutely uncomfortable, and they were not baiting him but trying to understand the other side of a subject they had been taught previously.

It was our English department actually who gave us a better education in U.S. history, because they did not steer away from the American classics that dealt with the more troubled aspects of U.S. history in a forthright manner, and classroom discussion was encouraged and the teachers were not afraid of the controversies of the past.
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Old 10-14-2016, 12:03 PM
 
4,229 posts, read 1,905,340 times
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It's as plain in this thread as elsewhere that some have never crossed over the bounds of some sappy Norman Rockwell painting.
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