There is no such thing as ‘ factual history ‘.History is always written from a particular perspective.
Although I am a great supporter of public education, I am, paradoxically, also a great supporter of ‘ freedom of education ‘.
If you believe that the Earth is flat and the sun rotates around that flat disc (or rectangle or triangle), it is your right to believe that and to educate your children in that belief.
History is-more than any other school course-an expression of your personal conviction.The government has no right to impose a conviction on your children other than yours.
As a parent, I had the choice to send my son to a gristful school, where he presented a strange worldview in my opinion, part the let take in the montesorial study direction, and let him his school time with crayons To a school, where he has a reasonably colourless neutral view of history (as far as there is history in schools anyway.Is the author of this question aware of how little history is being given in schools nowadays?) And I can ‘ complement ‘ it with my own vision of history.
In the ideal situation, education has a supportive and no predominant role in the attempts of a parent to “prepare” their children for life as adults.Any restriction imposed by the Government, I see as an attempt to undermine the ‘ freedom of expression ‘.
Freedom of education is a great good!In Europe, the Netherlands is one of the few countries that has this freedom. Please let us keep it!
No.When they all proclaim the same view of history, people are at risk of forgetting that different readings of history are always possible. If only one version is available, that version would pretend to be the correct version. As if there is a correct version, one reading is not more accurate than the other. Provided that only facts are proclaimed of course.
A bit of competition and diversity is healthy.In an ideal world, we would all learn the same undocumented version of history, but if a committee is instructed to write such a book, there is a great chance that we will all get the same biased view. That is even worse. Rather, we all come back to another kind of verteking.
It is annoying that basic schoollers around the world have a version of their own country.So if I were a minister of Education I would encourage elementary schools to purchase books written by as diverse a group of authors as possible. Let a Brasilian Marxist and an Iranse Sufist and an Indian utilitarian and a Rusian monarkist and an Amsterdam Oudhippie (which of course all have good academic merits) together write a history book and you get a book that you Can hardly provide for a certain bias.
I think that textbooks should give at least three interpretations of history.When I was studying history, I studied five different interpretations of the French Revolution. Including a classical French interpretation, a Marxist and an Anglo-Saxon. When you read them all sound like perfect explanations for what happened.
In my opinion, your children should learn to look at events from different viewpoints.
Yes.In any case up to and including secondary education.And the Government must determine what should be included in those books and have it reviewed every X-year by a college of independent historians. When new facts come to the table, they can be processed. When people start studying history, they naturally learn that there are several stories around and there are different realities. But it is I think for the general formation of a people well when they learn one history and leave discussing about details to the professors.
We also learn from all other subjects a basis that does not necessarily contain the whole reality, and only when we delve into it we learn how it really is.(Physics, Biology, Chemistry, economics, etc.) So why shouldn’t we do that for history? As long as we do not say that Baltazar Gerards Napoleon put death with the sword of Damocles in 500 BC at Nieuwpoort….. Of course, that cannot be.
Incidentally… Of course, we can no longer have books anno 2019.Just a file in the cloud… Get Away with books. Far too heavy. 🙂
And what version should this be?
In practice, school books are compulsory in many countries by the local or national government, none of them is completely objective.
Yokohama, Japan, is going very far: WW II is described as a total of 3 pages, emphasizing the heroic deeds of the imperial army.The rape of Nanking -whereby after the fall of the city, which was heroically defended by the Chinese nationalistic army, followed a week-long orgie of murders and rapes, 300.000 people lost in that week after the surrender their lives -was dismissed with one sentence.Listen to this engaging two-part podcast from the BBC Documentaries where two young female journalists, Japanese journalist Mariko Oi and Chinese journalist Haining Liu, together in Japan and China went looking for how the current generation School children WW II Experiencing: Part 1 BBC World Service-the documentary, Missing histories: China and Japan and Part 2 BBC World Service-the documentary Podcast, Missing Histories: China and Japan
When you listen to this podcast, you also understand why the Chinese never wanted to forgive the ancient Japanese rulers for their wrongdoings.
The study of history takes place through a debate between different academics and other actors, both through academic papers and through other channels.
Presenting all the details of this debate in secondary education, of course, would not go, but when you make abstraction of this debate and present history as established facts, you actually do them dishonor and you actually miss the essence.
It is important that students know that history is a process, often on the basis of very limited sources and quite far-reaching hypotheses, that it is always colored, and that it constantly evolves.
So you certainly do not have to give historical criticism and resource processing as you would find at university level to students in secondary education.
In practice, education, and certainly secondary education, does not have the function of making history In such an ‘ objectively ‘ way as possible, but rather to bring a ‘ convenient history ‘.The French still do not have it over Algeria for example.
Yes, on the one hand it is important, but it is also dangerous again.In Russia Under Communism this thought also existed. That the state had to determine what the ‘ real ‘ history was, and if you did not learn it, you were warmly welcomed to the Gulag.
In addition, perspective is very important.Nowadays, there is a strong stream of people constantly counting our history according to our current morality, so that everyone in history is suddenly a monster. That way, history doesn’t have any value, because you can’t learn anything about it. Nuance and context are hugely important for determining whether an action makes someone malicious, or a child of his time.
This makes mistakes not well-talked, but it is incredibly arrogant to think that we have the wisdom in lease, and thus the history of the target may be days.
In principle, I think that is not really possible.
It depends on what you are basing history on.For example, a school with religious signature treats the emergence of the world and lives thereon differently from a school without a religious signature. And even within those religious signatures there are differences.
But it also determines where you emphasize.There is too little time to deal with any historical fact. This forces a school and its teachers to make choices in how much time is spent on which subjects. This leads to the insertion of preferences in that planning.
History is the same for everyone, but the one puts emphasis on things other than the other.Each book writer has his own insights into what the significance of historical facts is, just as how witnesses of a collision also do not tell the same thing. This diversity is really fine, so people can get to know each other aspects of an event.