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#1 User is offline   Diamond369 

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Posted 02 August 2011 - 09:59 AM

If I were to teach US history, how could I teach it to students in a way that is objective and correct? Is it even possible? :coffeenpc:
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#2 User is offline   fishandchips 

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Posted 02 August 2011 - 10:28 AM

It's very tough to make it objective, but you can try. When I taught my students in South Korea about the kings and queens of England, American presidents and First Amendment, it was very hard to do it without putting my own interpretation on things, but I got by like this...

First: stick to the plain facts that the majority of authors agree on. After you've taught the factual material alone, introduce different interpretations of events and let the students wrangle with them in essays or projects that force them to think critically. (I remember writing my high school final exam on this: Was nationalism or militarism the more important contributor to World War I?)
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#3 User is offline   intotheblackhole 

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Posted 02 August 2011 - 11:16 AM

Being objective is possible. I think it is an innate trait but I am sure can be learned.

The key is not to have a dog in the fight. No personal agenda but rather a love of the facts and truth. You can't take sides and can't be a people pleaser.

I can tell you that being objective is not very popular. You will be alienated from both the left and the right since both sides can't see their own flaws and mistakes. Friends usually expect friends to side with them on things and objective people won't support them if they are wrong.

I am considered an expert witness and get paid to testify in court. I am known as being very objective and state facts only. Both the prosecution/plaintiff and the defense will hire me. I have testified in court in different cases with the same lawyers. One time I was hired by the defense and another time I was hired by the prosecution. In one case I was a witness for both the prosecution and the defense. I think neither side was pleased with my testimony.

Because of my desire to state the facts over agendas I am considered very credible. My guess is that because of my objectivity I have missed out on some cases because the defense or prosecution want technical witnesses to have a slight bias towards their case that isn't obvious to jurors.
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#4 User is offline   Coach 

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Posted 02 August 2011 - 11:33 AM

Yes. Most of our current problems are the result of not doing so or simply ignoring its affects and denying reality. That's what sets the "good" history appart from the propagandist.
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#5 User is offline   BerkeleyUnderground 

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Posted 02 August 2011 - 12:12 PM

Yeah, it's a good question.

When I was in elementary school and maybe middle school, too, we spent time discussing the local history and the flora and fauna of the area and then later my state's history. And I still remember alot that I learned back then and, because I was exposed to this info, I think that it sort of made me a better "citizen" of my city and my state because it imbued in me a sense of connectedness. So I think history is very important in shaping what people think about the "world" they live in. And that shaping of a mindset is, I guess understandably, a political football.

So I don't know if teaching history can be done objectively because often times it probably is susceptible to the "Liberty Valance" admonition: print the myth, and I'm not sure that that's always such a bad thing to do.
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#6 User is offline   vectorsrule 

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Posted 02 August 2011 - 02:03 PM

Winners and leftist write history. It is always biased. Let me give you an example:

You ask the average American what caused the Civil War and the answer by 95% will be "to free the slaves". It wasn't. I have a book written in 1865 by a Union Officer and published in NY, NY. The information presented as the causes of the war were far more than what I was taught in school. This is a classic example of bias in history.

Ever notice how "historical" movies always have our left wing values always inserted? Historians do the same as Hollywood. For example, in both of the last Robin Hood Movies Maid Marion was a sword master....Really?

This post has been edited by vectorsrule: 02 August 2011 - 02:16 PM

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#7 User is offline   oki 

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Posted 02 August 2011 - 03:04 PM

View PostDiamond369, on 02 August 2011 - 09:59 AM, said:

If I were to teach US history, how could I teach it to students in a way that is objective and correct? Is it even possible? :coffeenpc:



Simple.

You drill home that History isn't about right or wrong.
It's about facts.

At most you should try and understand why someone did something.
Justification is in itself a Historical fact that should be taught as well.

IE many Germans went along with the slaughter of the Jews because they believed the Jews to be responsible for most or all of there troubles.
Right or wrong it is a historical fact that this was used as a justification.


My kids are in a unique situation as having grown up in both Japan and the U.S.
Occasional you get some knucklehead at school shooting there mouth(teachers included).
I have told them numerous times history isn't about right or wrong. It's about facts.
Kids often ask adults who was good and bad because they honestly don't know and are asking help to decide.
Before you decide good or bad gather all the facts then decide for yourself.


Oki
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#8 User is offline   leftcoast, right winger 

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Posted 02 August 2011 - 03:20 PM

The facts of history are always objective. It's the historians who "record" it and those who "teach" it that aren't.


BA in History Cal State Bakersfield 1976
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#9 User is offline   Ticked@TinselTown 

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Posted 02 August 2011 - 04:26 PM

View Postleftcoast, right winger, on 02 August 2011 - 03:20 PM, said:

The facts of history are always objective. It's the historians who "record" it and those who "teach" it that aren't.


BA in History Cal State Bakersfield 1976

:yeahthat:

History is a chronological record of events that unfolded.

Teaching history does not require regurgitation to students.

Teaching history requires integrity and honesty in providing ALL the historical facts from all sides and sources so that a full, well rounded picture of what happened, how and why, can be taught to students.

If you want to process those facts and then regurgitate it to students like a mother bird processes food to her young, then you aren't teaching history, you're espousing your own philosophy as it pertains to those facts and events in history.

That's an entirely different thing.

If students want to have a discussion group about the facts that they are learning, to share their thoughts and their conclusions, that's fine, but a teacher teaches information, not their own personal mantra.

If that is their goal then they should sell themselves as as life coach and guru who gets paid to create neophytes to their doctrine and leave straight education alone.
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#10 User is offline   The-Stig 

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Posted 02 August 2011 - 04:37 PM

my biggest problem with history teachers is presenting "facts" out of context of time and culture. To teach about Columbus actions in comparison to todays culture is doing a great diservice to history and learning. Its like teaching about how the American indians were treated (or misterated) while implying that until the white man came all tribes lived in a harmonious relationship is tantamont to lying
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#11 User is offline   scotsman 

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Posted 02 August 2011 - 05:09 PM

Quote

Winners and leftist write history. It is always biased. Let me give you an example:

You ask the average American what caused the Civil War and the answer by 95% will be "to free the slaves". It wasn't. I have a book written in 1865 by a Union Officer and published in NY, NY. The information presented as the causes of the war were far more than what I was taught in school. This is a classic example of bias in history.

Ever notice how "historical" movies always have our left wing values always inserted? Historians do the same as Hollywood. For example, in both of the last Robin Hood Movies Maid Marion was a sword master....Really?


Bias in history can come from both sides.

A rah-rah, arent we great teaching of history is as dangerous and myopic as a self-loathing history.
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#12 User is offline   The-Stig 

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Posted 02 August 2011 - 05:31 PM

View Postscotsman, on 02 August 2011 - 05:09 PM, said:

Bias in history can come from both sides.

A rah-rah, arent we great teaching of history is as dangerous and myopic as a self-loathing history.

as I repect your credentials in history I would like your opinion of the BBC World at War series narrated by Laurence Olivier
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#13 User is offline   scotsman 

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Posted 03 August 2011 - 05:58 AM

Still the greatest documentary series Britain has produced, and thats saying something, as documentaries are something that we have always done better than anyone else.

And it was ITV not BBC.
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#14 User is offline   The-Stig 

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Posted 03 August 2011 - 10:30 AM

View Postscotsman, on 03 August 2011 - 05:58 AM, said:

Still the greatest documentary series Britain has produced, and thats saying something, as documentaries are something that we have always done better than anyone else.

And it was ITV not BBC.

sorry,

I had the whole set on vhs but I just picked up the dvd box set, makes the lunch hour just fly past

I like the Dogfight series but they are somewhat narrow subject sticking mostly with US aces

I understand that Jeremy Clarkson of Top Gear fame has done several WWII documentaries on the VC recipeints
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#15 User is offline   scotsman 

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Posted 03 August 2011 - 05:10 PM

Not criticising you, ITV is a massive broadcaster, but outside of the UK and Ireland, its not known, the BBC is however world famous.

Clarkson has done several: St Nazaire 1942, Zeebrugge 1918, Arnhem 1944. His father in law was Arnhem legend Robert Cain:

http://en.wikipedia....bert_Henry_Cain
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