Why more kids should study world history, harder


Jon Taplin explains why knowing world history is valuable. The sad thing is that, of course, the story that makes his reason doesn’t appear in the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills list for world history, nor in any other social studies course.

Now that the Texas State Board of Education has taken off the cloak of education and made it clear that social studies in Texas is considered a political free-fire zone, and that they plan to vitiate anything but the propaganda value for the Republican Party, Taplin’s piece has all the more poignance.

The Renaissance, and Florence, were more than just a minor question on the TAKS test.  Santayana’s Ghost weeps bitterly.

Why isn’t Jon Taplin’s blog required reading in more places, by more people in government and politics?  We know why the Texas State School Board doesn’t want anyone to read it — that alone should make people fight to see what Taplin says.

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One Response to Why more kids should study world history, harder

  1. bknister says:

    You write well, and what you say makes sense. These two attributes are not always to be found in the same piece.
    As for free-market, red-meat capitalists, they take their cue from Thomas Hobbes’ vision: life is nasty, brutish and short, and it’s each man and woman for himself, etc. The trouble with this point of view is that it is in no way legitimately in synch with Darwinian ideas, specicially natural selection. That idea asserts that individuals–and species–fluorish or perish to the degree they can adapt. Humans have fluorished because they succeeded in making adaptations to compensate for their weaknesses in relation to the environment and to other species (which in effect are part of the environment). They did so, not by competing but by cooperating. Only in this way was early man able to compete and eventually come to dominate.
    That’s why simple-minded notions of rugged individualism and independence should not be held up as the model by which all actions are to be judged. Without helping all members of the tribe–including weaker ones like children, the elderly, the sick–the species puts itself at risk.
    This doesn’t have a great deal to do with my own blog, but you might find it interesting: justbillandthemister.com
    Best,
    Barry Knister

    Like this

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