losing sight of history

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default losing sight of history

Post by frmthhrt on Mon May 23, 2011 6:28 pm

Just another bit of proof that I am getting old:
Lately I have had friends sending me technical articles on great new inventions and fantastic new ideas, but more often than not these turn out to be old ideas re-invented, with no mention or credit or any awareness of the original developments. The latest was a fantastic new engine design, which I immediately recognised as identical to an engine from 1903! Being an automotive history buff, especially of unique engineering, this particular article was right up my alley...
A few years ago I went on a letter writing campaign to Audi and Mitsubishi, and actually convinced them to research something that they were falsely claiming as a new invention in their advertisements. I was able to point them to technical papers from Bosch, from 1952, that proved that they were wrong, and to their credit they did change their ads. LOL. Now I see that Bosch has finally taken credit for this invention from way back then.
What I find most alarming is the dearth of basic history being taught to children in school today. Other than the usual nationalistic propaganda, and sometimes the teachers' pet interests, it seems that history has become of far less importance today than it ever was...and don't even get me started on the complete lack of teaching of geography! I would be really surprised if most public school children could find their country on a globe. But it's okay, Google knows...
So what exactly is all this time at school being spent on, if it is not the basics like geography and history? Facebook and Twitter? I really can't tell.
Remember the immortal words of George Santayana: "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it".
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Post by BlueTopaz on Tue May 24, 2011 5:00 am

Ha! That is so cool Fth, that a big corporation noticed. Probably was afraid of litigation.
Kids are not being taught a lot in school, in spite of excellent teachers who try (like Kathi on the other HSP board). I spent years preparing to teach and yet turned away from the career. Kids around here aren't being taught much beyond how to prepare for state assessment tests that guarantee money for the schools and the district.
And History is a big one. Good teachers could make it so interesting. I remember my very first ancient history class. I fell in love with ancient Egypt and have been ever since.

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Post by Reamsie on Wed May 25, 2011 7:13 am

BT is correct, still having three left in the public school system that the kids spend the majority of their time preparing for the state assessment tests. Tests that are drawn up ironically by administrators who have never taught in an actual classroom. I could go on a rant with what is wrong with our school systems, but I'm just too frustrated and too tired. Just some advice, anyone who has a child(ren) not in school yet, find a way, anyway to get them into a private school!

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Post by waterdragon7 on Wed May 25, 2011 10:32 am

BlueTopaz wrote:...I spent years preparing to teach and yet turned away from the career. Kids around here aren't being taught much beyond how to prepare for state assessment tests that guarantee money for the schools and the district...
I fully expect a non-bloody "civil war" to eventually be upon us re: most of the state governments in the U.S. - the protests which went on in Wisconsin and California being only precursors to the biggest financial "tug-of-war" you've ever seen between taxpayers and public employees. Or more likely, the public employees unions. Of course, taxpayers are free to start their own PACs and unions as well, and I believe certain such organizations are in their nascent stages right now in several states.


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Post by melodiccolor on Wed May 25, 2011 2:14 pm

Reamsie wrote:BT is correct, still having three left in the public school system that the kids spend the majority of their time preparing for the state assessment tests. Tests that are drawn up ironically by administrators who have never taught in an actual classroom. I could go on a rant with what is wrong with our school systems, but I'm just too frustrated and too tired. Just some advice, anyone who has a child(ren) not in school yet, find a way, anyway to get them into a private school!

It has been headed to this sorry state for decades and it's a major reason I am no longer a teacher.

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