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A modest proposal for [higher education]

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Posts

  • Pi-r8Pi-r8 Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Dyscord wrote: »
    I gotta say, I don't really know what there is to teach about balancing a checkbook.

    yeah I've never actually sat down and balanced my checkbook, and I don't think I'll ever need to.

    Pi-r8 on
  • QuidQuid I don't... what... hnnng Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    When you're 78 years old and buying a gallon of milk wishing you could hold up the entire line then you'll see.

    Quid on
  • AtomikaAtomika not a robot. does not eat bugs!Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    dispatch.o wrote: »
    High school level PE is just a chance for the jocks and assholes to have a class they're not terrible at. It doesn't usually help that they're encouraged to be unsporting geese to everyone else by the teacher, who is also usually the coach for some sport on which they are a member of the team for.

    In high school actual "jocks" are in actual sports, like football or baseball. Anybody referring themselves be a jock that isn't actually playing sports when offered is just a douche.

    This whole "eww jocks!" mentality is very passe.

    Just watch out for the football team this Fall when you start up at Adams College; I hear Stan Gable is a total dick.

    Atomika on
  • dispatch.odispatch.o Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    dispatch.o wrote: »
    High school level PE is just a chance for the jocks and assholes to have a class they're not terrible at. It doesn't usually help that they're encouraged to be unsporting geese to everyone else by the teacher, who is also usually the coach for some sport on which they are a member of the team for.

    In high school actual "jocks" are in actual sports, like football or baseball. Anybody referring themselves be a jock that isn't actually playing sports when offered is just a douche.

    This whole "eww jocks!" mentality is very passe.

    Just watch out for the football team this Fall when you start up at Adams College; I hear Stan Gable is a total dick.

    We had one PE teacher who was big into talking about health and the importance of weight lifting and cardio and nutrition.

    The others basically used it as a time for their boys to practice their sports on people who were novice at best. Wrestling was great, because one kid got a suplex and knocked out by a member of the wrestling team. High five coach!

    I've been to numerous schools, and yeah I'm sorry but maybe one in five or six of the Physical Education teachers were actually there to teach or encourage. Even the girls classes/teachers would assemble all the field hockey players on one team, then all the schmucks on the other and say go.

    edit: The reason I note the girls class PE teachers is because otherwise they seemed the most normal and easiest to talk to. They still had that drive to use Phys Ed as a scrimmage for the people on "the team".

    dispatch.o on
  • DuffelDuffel jacobkosh Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    If PE classes had a pre-set curriculum that was structured like most other classes then they'd be a lot better off.

    They're basically working without a 'textbook', so it's no wonder they aren't as effective as they could be. Modelling them off military-style PT (at least in structure if not in technique) and doing stuff like calisthenics everyday would work much better than "try out x sport for two weeks until end of semester".

    Duffel on
  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Our PE had a set curriculum.

    Damn, you peoples is fucked up.

    shryke on
  • Eat it You Nasty Pig.Eat it You Nasty Pig. tell homeland security 'we are the bomb'Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Yeah, lord knows my HS PE classes were a joke for a lot of reasons and the football/wrestling coach and PE teacher was a known alcoholic who was observed drinking on campus at least twice, but they never featured wrestling matches against members of the wrestling team.

    Actually, the kids who were on his teams generally just got to go down to the weight room and lift for a period while the rest of us had to endure whatever was on the "lesson plan" that day.

    Eat it You Nasty Pig. on
    NREqxl5.jpg
    do you lack faith, brother?
    or do you believe?
  • L|amaL|ama Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Every time I use excel after taking a break from it for a while, I take at least 10-30 minutes to remember to put = before any formula and god damn it's annoying.
    Kaputa wrote: »
    I think the primary reason world history is important is that with the broader view of humanity comes an ability to understand and analyze it in a less culturally/temporally biased way. And I'd say it's obviously beneficial for society as a whole to have more people capable of viewing human cultures and institutions with some level of impartiality, because with this clearer perception comes an easier recognition of their flaws, and, ideally, solutions.

    But that's just me. If we want future generations to have as narrow a worldview as possible then post-colonial American history is all you need.

    Ding ding ding. A good history course should let you see an issue from multiple sides, even if you disagree with the other side, instead of just thinking that whoever ended up winning was in the right (especially if you're descended from them).

    Just curious here, how good are american high school history courses at talking about the origins of the vietnam war? Do they even acknowledge that ho chi minh was allied with the US during WW2 and basically idolized it? Someone somewhere else on the forums recently made a comment about america basically having no other option than to fight the vietnamese, which blew my fucking mind.

    As much as I dislike him, my high school history teacher did one thing really well and that was drill into our brains that it's pretty much impossible to find an unbiased source, and that is an important thing to know.

    L|ama on
  • Eat it You Nasty Pig.Eat it You Nasty Pig. tell homeland security 'we are the bomb'Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    American history generally stops at 1950 or so, for high schools. If they get that far.

    Eat it You Nasty Pig. on
    NREqxl5.jpg
    do you lack faith, brother?
    or do you believe?
  • L|amaL|ama Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    That's really depressing, but it explains a lot. There's so much interesting and infuriating shit even if you're just looking at the US after then: cuban missile crisis, all the various CIA backed insurgencies and coups in latin america, korea, vietnam, united fruit...

    L|ama on
  • CygnusZCygnusZ Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Lawndart wrote: »
    CygnusZ wrote: »
    Lawndart wrote: »
    CygnusZ wrote: »
    5) It's a little sobering to hear how many of you think that High School should have trade school training as a component. In the least, I think that K-12 education should be focused on giving the students the ability to understand the world they live in. This means a well rounded education, which may include calculus for those with talent in Math, but also means that the students should be familiar with world literature, be able to read science articles in the newspaper, be able to appreciate music etc. I saw a report on some show on PBS about a school in the Bronx which is teaching kids basically how to become office drones. You can learn shit like how to make a spreadsheet anytime, when you're young it's your chance to learn about the world.

    How would vocational training in high school, either as an option or as a requirement, conflict with offering a "well-rounded education"? Wouldn't it serve to make said education...um...well-rounded-er?

    Why is appreciating music, another thing that kids can do anytime, more valuable than learning basic computer skills? Especially since kids from lower income neighborhoods almost certainly can't or won't learn those skills outside of school before entering the workforce.
    I strongly disagree with your sentiments regarding music. Just about everybody I know that has some level of musical appreciation, and by this I mean music itself, can play an instrument and has listened to a wide variety of music from a young age. Learning basic computer skills? That might be fine for elementary school. I'd expect computer classes in Middle and High School to have a focus on learning programming languages and electrical design of a computer, not how to make graphs in Excel. If you want to learn Excel, it better be part of a business program that is teaching the students how to do bookkeeping.

    I agree that basic computer classes should start in elementary school and not middle/high school, but I really don't see the downside to teaching lower-income students how to use the computer programs they're going to need to know how to use in order to land anything close to a decent job.

    I'm certainly not against teaching music appreciation in all levels of public school. I certainly don't think that music appreciation is inherently better or worse than vocational training. Ideally, schools should offer a wide variety of curriculum tracks based on the interests and aptitudes of students, rather than a one size fits all approach.

    There's a whole lot of implicit bias behind what people think a "real" education should entail. Almost always the subjects that people consider to be part of a "real" education are those subjects they themselves have an aptitude for.

    To admit my bias, I'm partially opposed to it since it was not part of my education, and yet myself and everybody I knew managed to learn how to use those programs on their own. I did learn a lot of programming on my own, but many people I know can only program thanks to the classes they took in school. My belief is that by holding students to a higher standard, one which they may not be able to live up to, they will accomplish and grow more than if we have them do simple tasks. I see this often in Japan, where even gang members are able to do calculus by graduation, yet most of the smartest kids have a complete lack of critical thinking skills.

    But also, part of education is forcing the students to do something they're not good at and maybe don't like. It's unpleasant and discouraging, but it's also extremely valuable life training. I didn't like chemistry and physics, but all these years after school, I'm glad that I have the ability to understand those two subjects to at least some extent. I'm opposed to classes which are being offered simply because they'll help you get a job, the point of school is to challenge the students, make them think and hopefully encourage them to grow. Once they graduate, nobody is going to give the students an opportunity to grow like that, unless they go through the process of seeking schooling on their own.

    CygnusZ on
  • Pi-r8Pi-r8 Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    CygnusZ wrote: »
    Lawndart wrote: »
    CygnusZ wrote: »
    Lawndart wrote: »
    CygnusZ wrote: »
    5) It's a little sobering to hear how many of you think that High School should have trade school training as a component. In the least, I think that K-12 education should be focused on giving the students the ability to understand the world they live in. This means a well rounded education, which may include calculus for those with talent in Math, but also means that the students should be familiar with world literature, be able to read science articles in the newspaper, be able to appreciate music etc. I saw a report on some show on PBS about a school in the Bronx which is teaching kids basically how to become office drones. You can learn shit like how to make a spreadsheet anytime, when you're young it's your chance to learn about the world.

    How would vocational training in high school, either as an option or as a requirement, conflict with offering a "well-rounded education"? Wouldn't it serve to make said education...um...well-rounded-er?

    Why is appreciating music, another thing that kids can do anytime, more valuable than learning basic computer skills? Especially since kids from lower income neighborhoods almost certainly can't or won't learn those skills outside of school before entering the workforce.
    I strongly disagree with your sentiments regarding music. Just about everybody I know that has some level of musical appreciation, and by this I mean music itself, can play an instrument and has listened to a wide variety of music from a young age. Learning basic computer skills? That might be fine for elementary school. I'd expect computer classes in Middle and High School to have a focus on learning programming languages and electrical design of a computer, not how to make graphs in Excel. If you want to learn Excel, it better be part of a business program that is teaching the students how to do bookkeeping.

    I agree that basic computer classes should start in elementary school and not middle/high school, but I really don't see the downside to teaching lower-income students how to use the computer programs they're going to need to know how to use in order to land anything close to a decent job.

    I'm certainly not against teaching music appreciation in all levels of public school. I certainly don't think that music appreciation is inherently better or worse than vocational training. Ideally, schools should offer a wide variety of curriculum tracks based on the interests and aptitudes of students, rather than a one size fits all approach.

    There's a whole lot of implicit bias behind what people think a "real" education should entail. Almost always the subjects that people consider to be part of a "real" education are those subjects they themselves have an aptitude for.

    To admit my bias, I'm partially opposed to it since it was not part of my education, and yet myself and everybody I knew managed to learn how to use those programs on their own. I did learn a lot of programming on my own, but many people I know can only program thanks to the classes they took in school. My belief is that by holding students to a higher standard, one which they may not be able to live up to, they will accomplish and grow more than if we have them do simple tasks. I see this often in Japan, where even gang members are able to do calculus by graduation, yet most of the smartest kids have a complete lack of critical thinking skills.

    But also, part of education is forcing the students to do something they're not good at and maybe don't like. It's unpleasant and discouraging, but it's also extremely valuable life training. I didn't like chemistry and physics, but all these years after school, I'm glad that I have the ability to understand those two subjects to at least some extent. I'm opposed to classes which are being offered simply because they'll help you get a job, the point of school is to challenge the students, make them think and hopefully encourage them to grow. Once they graduate, nobody is going to give the students an opportunity to grow like that, unless they go through the process of seeking schooling on their own.

    I don't think anyone is saying that we should force kids to do nothing but job training, and give up teaching the liberal arts and sciences. I certainly wasn't arguing for that, anyway. All I'm saying is that, in addition to teaching pure academic classes, we need to give students some sort of job training, somewhere along the line. Because as it is now, students graduate from 16+ years of education, and unless they've learned job skills independently on their own, they get thrown onto the job market as unskilled labor. 16 years ought to be enough to learn some sort of useful job skill, and "the ability to learn" isn't enough.

    Pi-r8 on
  • KistraKistra Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Yeah, my high school PE class had a set curriculum and I audited it even though I was exempted. We rotated through different modules (4 per semester, every day for half a year, all four years) like rock wall climbing or personal defense or weight lifting or running or biking and there was some choice. They varied in physical intensity - the personal defense one was especially light, there was a lot of talking about how to avoid situations in the first place and how to get out of them early on. But other ones, were very physically challenging. I went to a large high school (~750 per year).

    Because of the module system I didn't do team sports in high school, but back in junior high I hated it when they split us up by girls and boys and frequently went and played with the boys because the girls weren't competitive enough for my tastes. Especially ultimate frisbee.

    Also, AtomicRoss, I'm willing to bet that you came from a small town. At larger schools people frequently have to be training year round on private teams in order to make the high school sports teams. Even if they don't end up making the cut, other people are going to consider them jocks if they are training for a sport 10-15 hours a week.

    Kistra on
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  • LearnedHandLearnedHand Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    edited April 2010
    People who can't do math and don't know what sort of job they want to do are the ones who do liberal arts degrees. I stumbled into a politics degree in the classes and the clases were interesting but the degree is totally worthless. I could have studied communism for free at the library.

    Fortunately, I went to an in-state public university so tuition was reasonable. I think it was like $2000 a year. But if you're going to a private university or out-of-state public university and studying a liberal arts discipline, you're making a huge mistake.

    First job I had after university was a security guard making $8.25/hour. Over the next decade or so...well, I guess I was a substitute teacher a couple days a week for about a year. That job required two years of university. This varies by school district, though. Some don't require any university. But anyway, aside from that, I never had a job that required or even wanted a university degree.

    Just one shit job after the next in both the US and UK. Then I applied for a job that's...well, I guess it's kind of a trade. I had to a training course with the company. In the US, you'd go to like a business school sort of thing to learn this. Or...what's it called...like a secretary school.

    Anyway, I do a proper job now and it's because I learned how to do this...essentially a trade. Useful. University was a waste of time but because it wasn't too expensive I don't regret going.

    The problem is that many people divorce studying from working. Instead of thinking about what would be useful to study in order to find a job, people (myself included at the time) think about what would be interesting and perhaps what classes are easiest to pass.

    In these previous shit jobs, I encountered a lot of people with history degrees and the like. So if you want to manage some old English dude's little property empire in a business he runs out of his fucking garage, study history. Otherwise, study something sensible that will lead directly to jobs that actually require a degree in that particular field.

    LearnedHand on
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  • DuffelDuffel jacobkosh Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    It's not impossible to get a job in a field that requires a study of the liberal arts - working with publishers, or in museums, or in teaching, or as a journalist, or whatever. It just takes a lot of hard work and you have to actually want to do it. It's a bad idea if you don't actually want to go into any of those fields.

    And, for jobs that require a degree and not much else, you might as well get a degree in something you actually enjoy studying. You really don't need a business major to work at Dunder Mifflin.

    Duffel on
  • Rhan9Rhan9 Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    The problem is that many people divorce studying from working. Instead of thinking about what would be useful to study in order to find a job, people (myself included at the time) think about what would be interesting and perhaps what classes are easiest to pass.

    I've always found this a fairly interesting approach. I can understand the reasoning behind it, but I never really considered university as something to do just because I'd enjoy it, but as something to pad my resume with for maximal benefit when looking for work. I've angled my studies almost entirely with the perspective that they'll be useful in applying to nearly any field for work, even if my interest in the vast majority of what I've studied has been cursory at best. If I studied stuff I really liked, I'd have no idea what sort of a job they'd get me(that I'd want, at least). Then again, I haven't yet quite figured out what I really want to do with my life either. :P

    Rhan9 on
  • PicardathonPicardathon Registered User
    edited April 2010
    Duffel wrote: »
    It's not impossible to get a job in a field that requires a study of the liberal arts - working with publishers, or in museums, or in teaching, or as a journalist, or whatever. It just takes a lot of hard work and you have to actually want to do it. It's a bad idea if you don't actually want to go into any of those fields.

    And, for jobs that require a degree and not much else, you might as well get a degree in something you actually enjoy studying. You really don't need a business major to work at Dunder Mifflin.

    The issue is scarcity. Engineering is holding up better than any other degree because an engineering degree is hell to get. Getting a bare bones liberal arts degree is much easier, so you have tons of people with those competing for relatively few positions that actually use the degree. The result is that the only ones who do get those jobs probably worked as hard as an engineering student to do so, with everyone else wondering what happened.

    Picardathon on
  • Muse Among MenMuse Among Men Suburban Bunny Princess? Its time for a new shtick Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    L|ama wrote: »
    Every time I use excel after taking a break from it for a while, I take at least 10-30 minutes to remember to put = before any formula and god damn it's annoying.
    Kaputa wrote: »
    I think the primary reason world history is important is that with the broader view of humanity comes an ability to understand and analyze it in a less culturally/temporally biased way. And I'd say it's obviously beneficial for society as a whole to have more people capable of viewing human cultures and institutions with some level of impartiality, because with this clearer perception comes an easier recognition of their flaws, and, ideally, solutions.

    But that's just me. If we want future generations to have as narrow a worldview as possible then post-colonial American history is all you need.

    Ding ding ding. A good history course should let you see an issue from multiple sides, even if you disagree with the other side, instead of just thinking that whoever ended up winning was in the right (especially if you're descended from them).

    Just curious here, how good are american high school history courses at talking about the origins of the vietnam war? Do they even acknowledge that ho chi minh was allied with the US during WW2 and basically idolized it? Someone somewhere else on the forums recently made a comment about america basically having no other option than to fight the vietnamese, which blew my fucking mind.

    As much as I dislike him, my high school history teacher did one thing really well and that was drill into our brains that it's pretty much impossible to find an unbiased source, and that is an important thing to know.

    Lets see . . . in regular World History we spend a little time on it, but that is because we were always rushing and our teacher just was awful. We haven't gotten to it yet in US History (my current class). Note I am taking AP US History. I have found that we do spend a fair bit of time on each chapter though. This is probably the best history class I have ever taken and the book is very good as well. It doesn't 'give a Disney view of history.

    I could look at my friends history book (it isn't AP) to tell you what the difference are if you guys are interested.

    Muse Among Men on
  • PicardathonPicardathon Registered User
    edited April 2010
    My teacher had us teach five decades from 1950 to 2000 as a class project, then covered Vietnam because he thought it would be on the test.
    We might be getting to the point where we can't cover absolutely everything. I suggest we skim through 1812 to the Civil war more effectively and that we completely cut out everything from 1868 to 1900, with the exception of the industrial revolution. After all, Carnegie was running the country at the time.

    Picardathon on
  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    I've never seen what the point is in going over the fine details of older history and then skimming over everything post WW2.

    But then I guess, especially in the US, classes on recent history would be INCREDIBLY politicized.

    shryke on
  • KaputaKaputa Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    L|ama wrote: »
    Every time I use excel after taking a break from it for a while, I take at least 10-30 minutes to remember to put = before any formula and god damn it's annoying.
    Kaputa wrote: »
    I think the primary reason world history is important is that with the broader view of humanity comes an ability to understand and analyze it in a less culturally/temporally biased way. And I'd say it's obviously beneficial for society as a whole to have more people capable of viewing human cultures and institutions with some level of impartiality, because with this clearer perception comes an easier recognition of their flaws, and, ideally, solutions.

    But that's just me. If we want future generations to have as narrow a worldview as possible then post-colonial American history is all you need.

    Ding ding ding. A good history course should let you see an issue from multiple sides, even if you disagree with the other side, instead of just thinking that whoever ended up winning was in the right (especially if you're descended from them).

    Just curious here, how good are american high school history courses at talking about the origins of the vietnam war? Do they even acknowledge that ho chi minh was allied with the US during WW2 and basically idolized it? Someone somewhere else on the forums recently made a comment about america basically having no other option than to fight the vietnamese, which blew my fucking mind.

    As much as I dislike him, my high school history teacher did one thing really well and that was drill into our brains that it's pretty much impossible to find an unbiased source, and that is an important thing to know.
    My non-AP high school classes were in general pretty pathetic, and history is no exception, but the textbook we were using was pretty objective and accurate in its description of the Vietnam War and its causes.

    One problem with my high school's history is that, as some others had mentioned, it ended forty years before the present. The events of the 70s, 80s, and 90s are pretty damn important to understanding the world today, but those events fall in between the time periods covered in history classes and the time period that today's youth is aware of by living in it. I've noticed people my age to be pretty ignorant of the latter third of the 20th century as a result.

    The other two problems with my high school history education were the aforementioned "American history only" approach and, depending on the teacher, an over-reliance on fact memorization instead of understanding the context and relationship of historical events. Learning why things happened is more important than simply learning what happened, in my opinion. Of course, it takes more skill and knowledge to teach history that way, so simple memorization of events will probably continue to be the norm for public high school history in the foreseeable future.

    Kaputa on
  • DuffelDuffel jacobkosh Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    I'd say it's also got something to do with the fact that history has to be done in chronological order and by the time you get to post-WWII you're looking at summer vacation, at least the way most textbooks are set up.

    Although we covered the post-WWII era pretty well in my old high school. Lots of stuff about the Civil Rights era and Vietnam.

    Duffel on
  • Muse Among MenMuse Among Men Suburban Bunny Princess? Its time for a new shtick Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Many of the history teachers do seem to really enjoy teaching US/world history 1950s onwards but express lament at there being too little time to cover it accurately. They either skim through everything, or teach what they have time for in depth (but that usually ends by the time they get to WW2).

    How is this remedied in countries with even longer histories than that of the United States?

    Muse Among Men on
  • CommunistCowCommunistCow Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Duffel wrote: »
    I'd say it's also got something to do with the fact that history has to be done in chronological order and by the time you get to post-WWII you're looking at summer vacation, at least the way most textbooks are set up.

    Although we covered the post-WWII era pretty well in my old high school. Lots of stuff about the Civil Rights era and Vietnam.

    I don't think we really ever covered anything past the New Deal in school. We always planned to get past it but always ran out of time.

    CommunistCow on
    No, I am not really communist. Yes, it is weird that I use this name.
  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Duffel wrote: »
    I'd say it's also got something to do with the fact that history has to be done in chronological order and by the time you get to post-WWII you're looking at summer vacation, at least the way most textbooks are set up.

    Although we covered the post-WWII era pretty well in my old high school. Lots of stuff about the Civil Rights era and Vietnam.

    Then start later or skip over more shit in the middle.

    shryke on
  • DuffelDuffel jacobkosh Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    shryke wrote: »
    Duffel wrote: »
    I'd say it's also got something to do with the fact that history has to be done in chronological order and by the time you get to post-WWII you're looking at summer vacation, at least the way most textbooks are set up.

    Although we covered the post-WWII era pretty well in my old high school. Lots of stuff about the Civil Rights era and Vietnam.

    Then start later or skip over more shit in the middle.

    All history is important, though.

    Start later? Ooops, now you've started US history post-Contact. Don't think I need to explain why that's a bad idea.

    Skip the middle? Well, then you lose out on stuff like Reconstruction, the gilded age, victorian-era social reform, and the Great Depression.

    The only solution is to make it at least a 2-year course.

    Duffel on
  • override367override367 ALL minions Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Threads like this depress me and make me think I'm wasting my time in college. Then I see my mom continually denied jobs for less experienced people because they have 2 more years of college than her and am reminded it's not totally useless

    Although I'm into computers, so it probably is... ah well something to do during the recession

    override367 on
  • AtomikaAtomika not a robot. does not eat bugs!Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Threads like this depress me and make me think I'm wasting my time in college. Then I see my mom continually denied jobs for less experienced people because they have 2 more years of college than her and am reminded it's not totally useless

    Although I'm into computers, so it probably is... ah well something to do during the recession

    I just hope that if you plan on working in IT, you have at least a perfunctory level of social decorum when conversing with others.

    There's something about IT that attracts crazy people, and something about IT that lets them get away with being crazy.

    Atomika on
  • jothkijothki Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Duffel wrote: »
    I'd say it's also got something to do with the fact that history has to be done in chronological order and by the time you get to post-WWII you're looking at summer vacation, at least the way most textbooks are set up.

    Now you've got me wondering about that. Would it be possible to set up a history course that looks at the world as it currently is and traces back along the causes?

    jothki on
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