Wednesday, June 15, 2011

History? Just a Bunch of Stuff That Already Happened - American Education Fails Fabulously!

Of all the studies by which men acquire citizenship of the intellectual commonwealth, no single one is so indispensable as the study of the past. Of History -Lord Bertrand Russell

Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself.
John Dewey

Life without even a basic understanding of the past has been accomplished by John Dewey the Progressive Hegelian Father of American Public Education. Sadly, even some Catholic schools and far too many universities ape Public Education and have cashed in classical learning for Dewey's shell game.

Here are the results of Mr. Tests & Measurements' handiwork:

The overall lackluster performance is certain to revive the debate about whether history and other subjects, such as science and art, are being pushed out of the curriculum because of the focus on math and reading demanded under the No Child Left Behind federal education law. The federal law mandates that students be tested in math and reading.

Sue Blanchette, president-elect of the National Council for Social Studies, a national association of K-12 and college social-studies teachers, called the results disheartening and said history education has been marginalized in the last decade.

"Everyone is going to participate in civic life by paying taxes, protesting against paying taxes, voting, and we must teach our children how to think critically about these issues," she said. "Clearly, we are not doing that."
Click my post title for the Wall Street Journal's report on the American social studies shame.

Sue Blanchette is 'disheartened' that is Progressive speak for "more tax dollars."

Here is a critical thought, Sue, how about teaching civics and history. Here is another gem from Johnny Dewey - "Education, therefore, is a process of living and not a preparation for future living." John Dewey and Jane Addams and Mary McDowell and other turn of the 20th Century Hegelian's bullied educational methods into place that eroded public education and murdered America's sense of History.

The History Channel is a monument to John Dewey. History is series of Nostradamus, Ice Road Truckers, Pawn Stars, Swamp People, American Pickers ( "Fabulous Bric-a Brac!") Larry the Cable Guy and UFO's. Reality TV as History.

The American public school classroom is no different. A coach (of whatever sport is necessary) pops in a disc of Glory and accepts a paper posing the question of why they didn't use flame-throwers or call in airstrikes. No teacher would consider recording the Sunday Morning lectures from the Pritzker Military Library on every Sunday on cable, because the lectures might be too boring.

Dewey demanded that education be play! He built the Laboratory School at the University of Chicago upon that very dictum.

Education is preparation and our students are unprepared.

Teaching should be harder than learning and learning is everything that it is cracked up to be.

History was written by 'Dead White Men' we are told by Educators. White Guys like Berossus of Babylonia which is now called Iraq, St. Augustine the Bishop of Hippo, a suburb of Carthage which is in North Africa; Ban Zhao of the Han Dynasty - not the Swedish Zhaos mind you. There were a few skirts too, like Mary Bonaventure Browne, Poor Clare 16th Century Irish historian.

How many Chicagoans could tell you why Comiskey Park was built on Shields Ave*.? That is a leading question. All good teaching is leading. Education comes from a Dead Language - educere - to lead away from . . .that would be from ignorance. John Dewey encourage education to be contrarian -that is Progressive: No exceptionalism!

Here, in essence, is American Eduction ala John Dewey:

I'm not kidding.

Ignorance is temporary but stupid is forever. It seems Education in America is Dewey forever. We can do and have done much better, but that would require a sense of history and John Dewey helped kill that with a great deal of help.

* James Shields Elementary School in Chicago's Brighton Park neighborhood is named for Senator/General james J. Shields the only American to be elected a United States Senator from three states ( Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri), who nearly fought a dual with Abraham Lincoln, was a hero of the Mexican American War and the only Union General to defeat Confederate General Thomas Stonewall Jackson in the field at 1st Battle of Kernstown in 1862. Likewise Shields Ave. is named for the same man. Charles Comiskey's father served in the Union Army and prior to that was a member of the Shields Guards Militia which partly formed the 23rd Illinois Irish Brigade. History is a big deal made of very small things.

Update from Mr. Dan Kelley, historian/journalist/attorney

Honest John Comiskey was also a Chicago alderman. His son was tipped to the fact that street car lines were going to be routed towards the area where the ballpark was eventually erected (on the site of a former dump) and this was a valuable consideration for the site of the Baseball Palace of the World.

Oddly enough, the same architect worked on both Comiskey Park and Weegham Park (later remodeled and renamed Wrigley Field), but Charles Comiskey scaled back on Zachary Taylor Davis' plans and cut expenditures whereas the Northside Park was built on a more liberal basis.

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