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Old 10-16-2012, 10:54 AM
 
Location: Tennessee/Michigan
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Complete list of US presidents since George Washington, with party and year inaugurated.

Every US president listed | News | guardian.co.uk
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Old 10-16-2012, 04:14 PM
Status: "Wokeness is just a fear of freedom .. and of responsibility" (set 9 days ago)
 
Location: Nescopeck, Penna. (birthplace)
14,349 posts, read 8,770,602 times
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There was a time, more in my grandparents' day than mine or my parents (I was born in 1949) when being able to list the Presidents in order was viewed as a mark of good education. I tend to agree with that, if for no other reason than that it reinforces the understanding that the constant shifting winds of politics favor different personalities at different times. It's also somewhat more "neutral" politically, and, like a study of the Constitution and the separation of powers, tends to round the individual out, rather than indoctrinate.
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Old 10-16-2012, 10:31 PM
 
Location: Here.
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And...?
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Old 10-16-2012, 11:10 PM
 
Location: Wyoming
9,728 posts, read 18,794,477 times
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I had to learn to recite them when in the 7th or 8th grade (around '58)... but I started with Washington and worked my way up, each time starting with Washington and adding as many as I could remember. I can still recite them up to Teddy Roosevelt, but then I run out of gas. And I can remember Hoover to Obama just because I'm not a total dolt. But there's that period in there of about 30 years when I'm at a total loss. Maybe I need to start memorizing again.
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Old 10-16-2012, 11:31 PM
 
5,721 posts, read 5,814,213 times
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We are the mediocre presidents.
You won't find our faces on dollars or on cents.
There's Taylor, there's Tyler,
There's Fillmore and there's Hayes.
There's William Henry Harrison,
Harrison: I died in thirty days!
We... are... the...
Adequate, forgettable,
Occasionally regrettable
Caretaker presidents of the U-S-A!

^ The Simpsons
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Old 10-17-2012, 08:35 AM
 
Location: Victoria TX
42,661 posts, read 78,535,466 times
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Quite a bit of my early knowledge of history came from collecting stamps. In 1938, a set of Presidential stamps was issued, with each president in order being represented by the denomination of the stamp.

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-BL0pEUNIex...dentsAlbum.jpg
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Old 10-17-2012, 01:07 PM
 
14,781 posts, read 38,564,472 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2nd trick op View Post
There was a time, more in my grandparents' day than mine or my parents (I was born in 1949) when being able to list the Presidents in order was viewed as a mark of good education. I tend to agree with that, if for no other reason than that it reinforces the understanding that the constant shifting winds of politics favor different personalities at different times. It's also somewhat more "neutral" politically, and, like a study of the Constitution and the separation of powers, tends to round the individual out, rather than indoctrinate.
Funny, I think people "educated" by means of rote learning are not educated at all, or at least poorly educated. Knowing the "who, what, when, where" are just basic pieces of information that can easily be referenced; beyond helping you compete in trivia games by regurgitating facts, it doesn't do much to advance understanding. Learning the "why and how" is what really matters.

I cannot list all of the presidents in order that they held office, heck I don't know if I can even list all of the presidents without missing quite a few. I think I could make a decent go of it, but I don't find the need, it's why we write things down and have lists like the one in the OP. However, I doubt anyone would accuse me of being "poorly educated" in the matters of politics and history.
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Old 10-17-2012, 05:00 PM
Status: "Wokeness is just a fear of freedom .. and of responsibility" (set 9 days ago)
 
Location: Nescopeck, Penna. (birthplace)
14,349 posts, read 8,770,602 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NJGOAT View Post
Funny, I think people "educated" by means of rote learning are not educated at all, or at least poorly educated. Knowing the "who, what, when, where" are just basic pieces of information that can easily be referenced; beyond helping you compete in trivia games by regurgitating facts, it doesn't do much to advance understanding. Learning the "why and how" is what really matters.

I cannot list all of the presidents in order that they held office, heck I don't know if I can even list all of the presidents without missing quite a few. I think I could make a decent go of it, but I don't find the need, it's why we write things down and have lists like the one in the OP. However, I doubt anyone would accuse me of being "poorly educated" in the matters of politics and history.
It's not a matter of "rote learning" -- the ability to list the Presidents, or the demonstration of exposure to basic Constitutional principles, or anything other than the sanitized and spoon-fed doctrines which pass for history in too many classrooms today is a good conversation-starter, and an invitation to expose the participants to something other then the standardized "pop wisdom" dispensed by a combination of Hollywood and the NEA.

Granted, it opens the door for the personal prejudices of some of the local provincials, but a person with enough self-discipline to master a few such things can then find his/her own way by digging a little deeper via the "higher end" sources like libraries, CSPAN, etc.

Respect for tradition and blind obedience/ignorance are not one and the same.
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Old 10-17-2012, 06:20 PM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
48,571 posts, read 20,546,255 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NJGOAT View Post
Funny, I think people "educated" by means of rote learning are not educated at all, or at least poorly educated. Knowing the "who, what, when, where" are just basic pieces of information that can easily be referenced; beyond helping you compete in trivia games by regurgitating facts, it doesn't do much to advance understanding. Learning the "why and how" is what really matters.

.
I can name all of the presidents in order, most of the losing candidates as well. I can also name all the WS participants, winners, number of games that were played, and the league MVP winners going back to 1947. None of it is a product of rote process, I never set out to memorize any of it, I just absorbed it all in the course of reading US history and baseball history. It was very much like the way we find ourselves knowing huge volumes of song lyrics, despite never making a deliberate effort to store them in our memory banks.

On the other hand I most frequently have a terrible time remembering the names and faces of people I have just met. It has also not been uncommon for me to have a need for something like a new can opener, and go for a couple of years before I finally find myself remembering that I need it when I was somewhere where I could get it.

I have a sneaky suspicion that it will be eventually determined that all intelligence is actually savant in nature, that is compartmentalized functioning with wildly differing levels of efficiency and quality from one department to another. I wonder about the value of a general IQ score when it is possible you could have three people with identical totals, but with very different gifts and abilities. One could be a severe savant, where 75% of the total comes from hyper abilities in one particular cranial function, while another might have balanced, but unexceptional talents across an array of dynamics.

In pragmatic terms, IQ will always be task specific. I'm an intelligent guy in some settings and a useless moron in others.

So, being a rote learner/reciter doesn't necessarily disqualify that person from also being able to use the information in imaginative ways, nor is disability in this area necessarily a sign of anything.

None is this is meant to be in refutation of your main point which was that understanding the how and why was more critical than memorizing the facts. I'm just babbling here, I haven't decided whether to try and pass it off as art, or take it as an early senility warning.
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Old 10-18-2012, 08:05 AM
 
14,781 posts, read 38,564,472 times
Reputation: 14496
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2nd trick op View Post
It's not a matter of "rote learning" -- the ability to list the Presidents, or the demonstration of exposure to basic Constitutional principles, or anything other than the sanitized and spoon-fed doctrines which pass for history in too many classrooms today is a good conversation-starter, and an invitation to expose the participants to something other then the standardized "pop wisdom" dispensed by a combination of Hollywood and the NEA.

Granted, it opens the door for the personal prejudices of some of the local provincials, but a person with enough self-discipline to master a few such things can then find his/her own way by digging a little deeper via the "higher end" sources like libraries, CSPAN, etc.

Respect for tradition and blind obedience/ignorance are not one and the same.
I was responding to your intonation that memorizing such facts was a sign of an educated person. A large number of the people I have met who have undertaken the memorization of such facts are generally not that well versed in anything but the facts they have memorized. Others, such as GS apparently, simply have a knack for memorizing such things. Still though, I do not take that alone as a sign of intelligence. If all GS did was post lists of facts then he wouldn't be the incredibly informative and interesting poster he is. So, don't rattle off a list from Washington to Obama to show me how smart you are. Tell me about what they did, why they did it, how they got it done and the things about them that shaped who they were.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Grandstander View Post
I can name all of the presidents in order, most of the losing candidates as well. I can also name all the WS participants, winners, number of games that were played, and the league MVP winners going back to 1947. None of it is a product of rote process, I never set out to memorize any of it, I just absorbed it all in the course of reading US history and baseball history. It was very much like the way we find ourselves knowing huge volumes of song lyrics, despite never making a deliberate effort to store them in our memory banks.

On the other hand I most frequently have a terrible time remembering the names and faces of people I have just met. It has also not been uncommon for me to have a need for something like a new can opener, and go for a couple of years before I finally find myself remembering that I need it when I was somewhere where I could get it.

I have a sneaky suspicion that it will be eventually determined that all intelligence is actually savant in nature, that is compartmentalized functioning with wildly differing levels of efficiency and quality from one department to another. I wonder about the value of a general IQ score when it is possible you could have three people with identical totals, but with very different gifts and abilities. One could be a severe savant, where 75% of the total comes from hyper abilities in one particular cranial function, while another might have balanced, but unexceptional talents across an array of dynamics.

In pragmatic terms, IQ will always be task specific. I'm an intelligent guy in some settings and a useless moron in others.

So, being a rote learner/reciter doesn't necessarily disqualify that person from also being able to use the information in imaginative ways, nor is disability in this area necessarily a sign of anything.

None is this is meant to be in refutation of your main point which was that understanding the how and why was more critical than memorizing the facts. I'm just babbling here, I haven't decided whether to try and pass it off as art, or take it as an early senility warning.
Maybe a little of both? lol

I get what you are saying. My brother-in-law and father-in-law are similar in terms of baseball facts. They can rattle off endless lists of stats and figures that they didn't even try to memorize, it just comes naturally to them. However, they also know why a certain batter had the stance they did, why a manager made a certain decision, what was going on behind the scenes, etc. People who can just rattle off the stats are franky, boring. I think you would agree. A good example is your Civil War thread. If all it contained was a list of bullet point facts, then it wouldn't be very interesting. On the other hand since you weave the facts into the story and explain the how and why behind them, I find it a fascinating and enjoyable read.
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