The teaching of history in high school has become so appalling that few students arrive at a university with any coherent understanding of the past.
As an example, I’ve been asked to be on a panel for my college’s students who are too young to know much about 9/11.
With a lack of understanding about recent historical events, it is not surprising that students don’t know much older history. And what the students know is mostly tripe. Somehow 9/11 was OUR fault. Saddam Hussein wasn’t such a bad guy. We stole America from its true owners and should pay reparations for slavery.
But there’s more. The College Board, a nonprofit organization that runs the SAT and Advanced Placement program, announced that it was revising the world history course it has offered since 2002.
After many complaints, the organization added 250 years to the front end of the course, making the new class cover the 13th century through to the present day.
Here’s what students will learn in the additional material:
–The founding of the Mali Empire in 1235
–The death of Sundiata Keita in 1260
–The life of Mansa Musa (1280-1337)
–Swahili cities of the 14th century
–Zimbabwe in the 15th century
And wait for it: The beginning of the European slave trade in 1441.
All of these areas of history may be worthwhile to examine, but I don’t think they belong in an introductory world history course.
But there’s even more. One of the suggested areas of study is to imagine if Christopher Columbus were a woman named Christine.
The study guideline suggests an area of discussion includes the societal interpreations of menstruation in European and Native American culture. I’m not kidding.
In a companion syllabus, the rest of the course, which is supposed to be at the college level, provides information on the following:
–Global Interactions (c. 1450 to c. 1750)
That would be creating imperial empires that subjugate humans throughout the world. Now I’m kidding, but it’s probably close to the truth.
–Industrialization and Global Integration (c. 1750 to c. 1900)
That would be dehumanizing workers and expanding empires to subjugate the poor.
–Accelerating Global Change and Realignments (c. 1900 to the Present)
I think this probably means a lot of bad things happened unless you were part of the one-percenters.
You really can’t make this stuff up! But I guess a lot of high school history teachers do.
Here’s Sam Cooke: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R4GLAKEjU4w