We Are Not Doing Enough

In answer to Lyall’s question – “Are we doing enough?” In fact, Lyall answered his own question by saying:

I remember three US history classes in school . . . Not one of them came close to teaching me about US history or gave me an appreciation for our Republic and constitution . . .

For me the best part of the post was the quote from and reference to Commentaries on the Constitution. Based solely on that quote I intend to read that volume and hope to raise my appreciation for our Constitution and government.

About David

David is the father of 8 extremely organized children (4 girls / 4 boys) who is constantly seeking answers to tough questions related to parenting, education and politics while moonlighting for 40 hours each week as a technology professional. He also enjoys cooking, gardening, and sports.
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Comments

6 Responses to We Are Not Doing Enough

  1. Reach Upward says:

    I read Lyall’s post and appreciated what he had to say. But I can’t help reflecting on my own history and civics education. I was frankly a lousy student back in those days. I can remember units that covered this material, sometimes in great detail. I looked at it as trivia that had to be memorized in order to pass a test.

    I can’t say for certain that my education was deficient. But I was certainly deficient in taking advantage of what was offered. Perhaps this simply reflects my natural callowness during my formative years.

  2. David says:

    That’s a good point – sometimes there are factors that we can’t control, such as the attitude that students bring to the classroom. That being said, I know that there was only one history class that I ever took which really gave our government and Constitution the attention that should be due to them. That was an AP class so it was an exceptional class and not one that most people get.

    I guess the only thing to address unprepared students is to raise them in an environment where the appreciation of our civic heritage is always evident – that can’t be done in the schools alone.

  3. Reach Upward says:

    Citizenship in the Nation merit badge comes to mind.

  4. David says:

    True – but only if the boys actually participate rather than just attending a class where they get the badge for showing up if they stay until the end.

  5. Lyall says:

    David,

    I appreciate the follow-up post on Story. BTW you will love the commentaries. There are some tough passages to wade through, kind of like reading through Isaiah at times, and then all of a sudden he just goes off with all these nuggets of insight and wisdom. A tremendous read.

    I think Reach’s comment on his own callowness toward history is not a true reflection that he wasn’t ready but more a reflection of how history is taught. I know few people who enjoy memorizing random facts and then being asked to recall those random facts on a test. History is one of the most poorly taught subjects in school. “Its just a bunch of old dead dudes.” And we may laugh at Bill & Ted’s but what is taught in that movie as to what someone learns when you can help them experience the past changes forever their appreciation for names and dates on a stale page.

    My love of history really started when I set foot on the battleground of Yorktown as a teenager. I felt something. I didn’t have to know the exact dates. I would learn those later, but I began to feel a connection to my past.

  6. David says:

    I have already begun reading them. I think you make a great point about how our teaching of history (or any subject really) has a substantial effect on how well the subject is received and retained by the students. I know that when I feel a connection to something I am much more likely to remember information related to that subject.

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