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    • jeremyw31

      In advance excuse me in my poor punctuation. Having lived in Spain for three years and having visited many European countries, and being an American I can tell you that our education systems are incredibly different when it comes to History and Geo-Politics. We spend an incredibly small amount of time in most U.S. High Schools learning about Europe, Asia or Africa. Unlike most other countries where education is nationalized and therefore more coherent American Education is more free to explore differing interests of a particular teacher or school district. For example in my own education in the U.S. and for most Geography is not a class that you take, it’s normally world history based on the perspective of that countries interactions with other countries throughout that time period. If you look at most World History books in the U.S. you will see that we start with early Western philosophy in Greece/Italy and then there is the Dark Ages/Plague - and then wallah we are now talking about Spain/inquisition mainly focused in Italy/Spain/Portugal/France and then poof we’re off to the races in Discovering America with Christopher Columbus - some teachers give a pretty good account, but some just talk about the great discovery and the reactions in Spain, Portugal, England and France…then a footnote on Pilgrims and where most Puritans come from hen English/British in their efforts to Colonize. Then we learn that the British did spend a bit of time actually fighting off the French but hey we don’t like taxes and “still don’t and some of us actually like the idea of not having a government that helped bring modern day medicine, nationalized transportation and a few other cool things..”…then you get like 6 months of talkinga bout the expansion of the West and the Jefferson/Napoleon purchase…you get to learn about every little wagon that attempted over the Appalachian mountains and get to play Oregon Trail and the dangers of all those Native American tribes that are just out to kill you…hmmm…never occured to anyone that we were the invaders, then the Civil War, maybe the Spanish-American War (most times a footnote - mainly to highlight Teddy Roosevelt’s coming into National view - but seriously no one is really interested in why or what really happens, just that Spain was defeated pretty quickly in the Philippines..a savvy student might learn about Yellow Journalism. Then the Civil War - expect at least 2 weeks - learning all of the battles but very little about the Compromise of 1850 that delayed but made the Civil War so much worse, then onto Industrialization and this is the first time we really view England as our friendly competitor - thanks Samuel Slater for bringing us the Industrial Revolution…talk of sacrificing/solid nationalism during this time…but almost no attention to the first labor unions and their sacrifices to bring us things like the weekend, or mandating that all children have an education as opposed to getting ground up in industrial gears, then the Great World War - yes and from our history books they weren’t just Great! They were “#$*& Awesome!” Because this is when ‘Merica comes in and kicks some serious Ass and we are the best. Our first real introduction to France as a Country, “uh was Napolean with France - you know the shorty with the military…” Churchill - he’s kinda cool…he said we were awesome. Then there’s COMMUNISM! OMG! COMMUNISM is the devil! COMMUNISM killed something like 200 million people in Russia and they invaded all those countries that we don’t know WAR, WAR, Second Poland you know what we’re talking about. Then that’s usually it…most of our students never get past Communism…or learn that Marx actually thought Russia was the least equipped to promote it or what it actually meant. We learn very little of Trotsky - only that Stalin offed him so that he could be the guy in charge and that’s about it. This is all summed up in a year of World History. Now my exposure to World History in Spain started similarly only it included ancient China, the Crusades - a lot about the Crusades - pretty much skipped over the Spanish-American War, the discovery of indigenous life in the America’s and what they did, also not a whole lot on the inquisition - only that it was a very bad part of history. There’s a lot of history out there and it’s tough to cover all of it, but let’s not forget that we are teaching ourselves and not each other about our histories…so when a UK student can’t name all 50 states why should they? To some varying degree why should American’s too? Non of them are stupid, they haven’t been exposed. We are one big ignorant world in a lot of ways. I would be interested to see if anyone tried to educate folks after this to help them better associate these countries as opposed to pointing and just saying, hahaha look at these Dumb%#$&”

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