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Sep 2017 HISTORIANS CHRONICLE THE PAST—TEACHERS PREPARE STUDENTS FOR THE FUTURE. THESE ARE VERY DIFFERENT JOBS.

From the Introduction:

"Historians and educators have very different jobs to perform. The role of historians is to chronicle events from the past; the role of educators is to prepare students for the future. Because educators have relied on historians to set the agenda for history schooling, history education looks very much like history: a large collection of one-time events from the past with little or no relationship to the future."


Sep 2017 HISTORICAL LEARNING CAN BE MORE THAN A POINTLESS EXERCISE IN TEMPORARILY MEMORIZING TRIVIAL FACTS FOR THE NEXT EXAM.

From the Introduction:

"This book is intended for people who value history and believe that historical learning should be less a pointless exercise in temporarily memorizing trivial facts for the next exam, and more a quest for important knowledge from the past that can inform judgment in the future."


Aug 2017 BECAUSE HISTORY EDUCATION IS UNSURE OF ITS AIMS, IT IS INEFFECTUAL IN ITS OUTCOMES.

From Chapter 2: Five Basic Problems of History Education

"If historians and history educators can't agree on the purpose of history education, the public can hardly be expected to figure it out either. Without a coherent purpose to guide instruction, history education is a rudderless ship adrift at sea with no destination in mind. It's exceedingly difficult to succeed at an endeavor when you don't know what that endeavor is trying to accomplish. Because history education is unsure of its aims, it is ineffective in its outcomes.


Aug 2017 THERE IS NO BETTER PLACE TO SEEK JUDGMENT THAN IN THE LONG RECORD OF HUMAN EXPERIENCE.

From the Introduction:

"Any society that has developed the capacity to destroy most life on earth needs all the good judgment it can get, and there is no better place to seek it than in the long record of human experience."


July 2017 A BASIC CONFLICT LIES AT THE HEART OF HISTORY EDUCATION: HISTORY IS ABOUT THE PAST, BUT EDUCATION IS ABOUT THE FUTURE.

From the Introduction:

"This conflict does much to explain why history occupies a deeply inferior position in the schools relative to other fundamental realms of knowledge like mathematics, language, and science. More important, it explains why society finds it so difficult to learn from the past"


July 2017 I SAW THAT HISTORY WAS AVAILABLE FOR THE TAKING, AND IT POSSESSED AN AWESOME POWER TO ENLIGHTEN.

From Chapter 1: Getting Emotional About History

"I was now in a position to think my own thoughts and reach my own judgments about the war in Vietnam, and I concluded that the American war effort was no more likely to succeed than previous invasions of Vietnam.  As it turned out, history proved me right."


July 2017 HISTORY IS UNABLE TO FULFILL THE PURPOSE OF EDUCATION LIKE OTHER SCHOOL SUBJECTS DO.  

From the Introduction:

"Unlike other intellectual disciplines, the history profession does not officially recognize principles derived from its subject matter, and without principles useful in the future, history is unable to fulfill the purpose of education like other school subjects do."


June 2017 LEARNING THIS HISTORY WAS ALMOST LIKE A RELIGIOUS EXPERIENCE; IT REMOVED THE SCALES FROM MY EYES

From Chapter 1: Getting Emotional About History

"I didn't have a clue what a kid from Ohio was doing on the other side of the world, living in a hole in the ground, and carrying a fully automatic weapon. That's when I started reading history, the history of America's involvement in Vietnam....Learning this history was almost like a religious experience; it removed the scales from my eyes."


June 2017 HISTORY EDUCATION NATURALLY FLOWS TO TRIVIA LIKE WATER NATURALLY FLOWS DOWNHILL.  

From Chapter 3: Who Is To Blame For the Trivia Game?

"Over thousands of years, the historians' stories have been collected into the historical record, and history education attempts to transmit as much of this record as possible to students, a natural inclination much like water flowing downhill, but an inclination that produces a flood of information too great to be assimilated by human minds and too superficial to be of much use."


More pithy snippets to come...

...Pithy Snippets...

from the forthcoming book:

Future Focused History: Rethinking the Role of History Education in Society

More information: click here

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© 2001-2017 Michael G. Maxwell, Maxwell Learning LLC