Monday, April 02, 2007

Good....... Lord.

How depressing is this?
Teachers drop the Holocaust to avoid offending Muslims
Schools are dropping the Holocaust from history lessons to avoid offending Muslim pupils, a Governmentbacked study has revealed.
It found some teachers are reluctant to cover the atrocity for fear of upsetting students whose beliefs include Holocaust denial.

There is also resistance to tackling the 11th century Crusades - where Christians fought Muslim armies for control of Jerusalem - because lessons often contradict what is taught in local mosques.
The findings have prompted claims that some schools are using history 'as a vehicle for promoting political correctness'.
The study, funded by the Department for Education and Skills, looked into 'emotive and controversial' history teaching in primary and secondary schools.
It found some teachers are dropping courses covering the Holocaust at the earliest opportunity over fears Muslim pupils might express anti-Semitic and anti-Israel reactions in class.
The researchers gave the example of a secondary school in an unnamed northern city, which dropped the Holocaust as a subject for GCSE coursework.
The report said teachers feared confronting 'anti-Semitic sentiment and Holocaust denial among some Muslim pupils'.
It added: "In another department, the Holocaust was taught despite anti-Semitic sentiment among some pupils.
"But the same department deliberately avoided teaching the Crusades at Key Stage 3 (11- to 14-year-olds) because their balanced treatment of the topic would have challenged what was taught in some local mosques."
A third school found itself 'strongly challenged by some Christian parents for their treatment of the Arab-Israeli conflict-and the history of the state of Israel that did not accord with the teachings of their denomination'.
The report concluded: "In particular settings, teachers of history are unwilling to challenge highly contentious or charged versions of history in which pupils are steeped at home, in their community or in a place of worship."
But Chris McGovern, history education adviser to the former Tory government, said: "History is not a vehicle for promoting political correctness. Children must have access to knowledge of these controversial subjects, whether palatable or unpalatable
Just when I thought this story couldn't be more depressing, comes this.......
The researchers also warned that a lack of subject knowledge among teachers - particularly at primary level - was leading to history being taught in a 'shallow way leading to routine and superficial learning'.
Lessons in difficult topics were too often 'bland, simplistic and unproblematic' and bored pupils.


Anonymous said...

even when history teachers covered the crusades and the holocaust in the nineties, they did it with caution, and quickly brushed over it. history teachers are like producers of a low rated TV show, they must worry about offending their core audience while making their product more bland for mass consumption. I had a history professor at Montana State who referred to Hitler as a "problematic" person because to say he and Stalin and Franco were murderous dictators might be offensive to one of the three hundred people in the room.

BostonMaggie said...


Anonymous said...

I suppose we should expect the denial that Nathan Hale's actual goal in life was to be a teacher; that his best friend, Benjamin Tallmade, Washington's intelligence officer, shared the same goal.
A letter from Tallmadge to Hale after the former heard of Hale's commitment to the Revolution:
"Liberty is closely connected with learning...When I consider yu a Brother Pedagogue, engaged in a calling , useful, honorable and doubtless to you very entertaining, it seems difficult to advise you to relinquish your business... On the other hand, when I consider our country, a LAnd..holding open her arms and demanding Assistance from all who can assist her in her sole distress, METHINKS a Christian's counsels must favor the latter...You have I conclude some turn for the iliary art...Was I in your condition, notwithstanding the many, I had almost said insuperable, objections against sucha resolution, I think the more extensive Seervice woulld be my choice."
Hale had folowed the news, reports and rumors (appropriate to your initial aticle) and went up to Cambridge to see for himelf what this Siege of Boston was all about (and we might suggest) chase down any inaccuracies reported.
We know this teachers fate. His friend, Tallmadge joined the Sheldon's Horse, which eventually became the II'd Con'l Dragoons, ran the Culper spy ring out of York, held Major John Andre prisoner after Arnold's defection and participated in most of the major battles with Washington.
They were both, but, most likely, but a couple of teachers of yore.
While I'm on my high horse over all this, I'll go a bit further on the role academics and simple people of 'the word' have played in our HISTORY.
Henry Knox, a Boston boy and bookstore owner was Washington's artilery office. He never fired a gun in his life. But he studied all he could find on the subject and brought artillery to the role of tactical, beyond just supportive.
But in the 1960's not only were deferments granted to teachers, professors and the, otherwise fit, jock-impaired (football knee), but eductional loans (grants) were easiily obtained for a mere year or two of teaching (nice and noble thought, but certainly beat VA benefits with the 'V' status. It guranteed the pursuit of higher education- - (Higher than what still baffles me.)
What is it about the truth that has some (some) of these educators so programmed with the fear of reality?
Took a bit of license with yur space here, Maggie, but some people in our history deserve out homage.