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Old 13th March 2017, 06:22 AM   #81
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Originally Posted by baron View Post
You really need to read the post I was replying to, because your counter-argument is moot. If you did read the post, and believe that 'learning history' is the same as children espousing hard political views, training children to be 'vigilant against fascism' and 'radicaliz[ing] them politically', then your argument is downgraded from moot to simply wrong.
You made a one-line comment, not addressing the topic of the thread in any other fashion. Perhaps you need to do a better job of honing your arguments. I addressed that which was written which was a smackdown of Travis for not being a kid. How is anyone to read your post any other way?

But my post was springboarding off your post, yet addressing a common argument throughout the thread.
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Old 13th March 2017, 06:53 AM   #82
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Originally Posted by Foolmewunz View Post
You made a one-line comment, not addressing the topic of the thread in any other fashion. Perhaps you need to do a better job of honing your arguments. I addressed that which was written which was a smackdown of Travis for not being a kid. How is anyone to read your post any other way?
Are you unfamiliar with the concept of a post addressing the previous quoted post, as opposed to being an isolated 'one-line comment'?

Originally Posted by Foolmewunz View Post
But my post was springboarding off your post, yet addressing a common argument throughout the thread.
Well done.
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Old 13th March 2017, 07:39 AM   #83
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Originally Posted by Fudbucker View Post
After seeing the prominent wanted poster of smiling Mary Brown, I'm even more convinced this was a bad idea. At least one of the kids has an image of a happy black fugitive, wanted for stealing bread. What a lark!
Or perhaps the child, like myself as a child, was not good at art and always draws a mouth as a smile. I was impressed that the child knew that the monetary unit in the colonies was the not the $, far too many adults I know mess up that bit of history. Whereas the kid who did a better job with the art on the face, no smile or frown, put the reward in dollars.
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Old 13th March 2017, 10:56 AM   #84
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Originally Posted by Brainster View Post
I am constantly amused at the notion that slavery and other problems of the past are somehow ignored or glossed over in American history classrooms, in an era when Zinn's The People's History of the United States is one of the most-commonly assigned textbooks.

It's kind of like assuming that the Germans never learn about the Holocaust, or the English about workhouses, or the French about the purge of the aristocrats during the French Revolution.
Agreed.I think we need to steer between the extremes of Howard Zinn history and the other extreme of "Patriotic History".
I have seen of the texts used to teach "Patriotic History" and they are as bad as anything though in the opposite directing,that Zinn and company can come up with. And I cannot say anything worse about a historian.
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Old 13th March 2017, 11:07 AM   #85
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Originally Posted by Hlafordlaes View Post
Could have been handled better, and should have, given the known proclivity to completely ignore all negative aspects of mainstream culture, which is holy, greatest, and god-blessed. The transition from the map below until today also merits at least some form of explanation, preferably including discussion of mineral "rights" and "Manifest Destiny." At minimum, Custer's Last Stand should be celebrated as just deserts for criminal actions, including war crimes.



Puts today's bully pipelines in perspective. There's no turning back the clock, but slavery and ultra-violent land theft are as American as apple pie, and should at least be mentioned as often as Johnny Appleseed, for crying out loud. US history is as mixed a bag as that of, say, Germany, but remains wrapped in racial myth. Someone forgot to own up to the factual past (and present) after WWII, and it ain't the Nazis. Thus, Trump, and alt-right pride. Shameful.

One of the reasons I dislike Trump is that he gives the Euros who hate the US anyway so much ammunition.
And it is apparent that the OP has no idea of how American History is taught in most states.
As for the Black Hills, yes, it was stolen from the Lakota,but they ain't getting it back,given the massive amount of disruption that would happen relocating the current population.
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Old 13th March 2017, 11:09 AM   #86
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Originally Posted by Reheat View Post
This issue has nothing to do about learning about History. It has everything to do about so called "liberal progressive" idiots wanting to destroy everything good about the Country in which I live and have risked my life to preserve and defend.

Thank God the people of New Jersey recognize this.
So only Right Wing Conservatives are "Real Americans". Sweet.
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Old 13th March 2017, 12:29 PM   #87
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Originally Posted by Foolmewunz View Post
I've heard nine year olds making ****** jokes (with the asterisks representing the n-word). I remember thinking it was funny to call someone a "kike" at age seven. I far-better remember the sitting down at the kitchen table and having to read the Britannica entry on the holocaust, because my mother decided if I was old enough to use racial slurs I was certainly old enough to know some of the history behind those terms and the mindset that produced them.
Your mother is brilliant.
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Old 13th March 2017, 12:39 PM   #88
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Originally Posted by bruto View Post
Another one...
I confess I'm not one for poetry, but I appreciate this contribution to the discussion.
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Old 13th March 2017, 01:24 PM   #89
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I'll add my own two cents in here, for what that's worth.

I'm all for kids learning a complete history, in all it's gory details and complications. Every bit of it. Learn about the slave trade, including the environment that was in existence before American even became a colony. Learn about the Barbary coast. Learn about slave auctions, and branding, and everything else. Learn about it in detail! Don't hide from history, don't gloss it over!

On the other hand... Casting children in the role of the 'bad guy' doesn't sit well with me. Having them make salve auction posters casts them as the seller, the purveyor of humans as chattel. It seems like a horrible position to put a kid in.

Seems like there should be a way to teach all the gory details of history without asking a child to take on the role of the person that we now look on as immoral.
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Old 13th March 2017, 02:43 PM   #90
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Originally Posted by Emily's Cat View Post
<snip>

On the other hand... Casting children in the role of the 'bad guy' doesn't sit well with me. Having them make salve auction posters casts them as the seller, the purveyor of humans as chattel. It seems like a horrible position to put a kid in.

<snip>

When I was growing up kids used to feel the same way about having to be one of the "Indians" when playing "Cowboys and Indians".
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Old 13th March 2017, 03:14 PM   #91
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Not sure if that's a joke or not...
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Old 13th March 2017, 03:36 PM   #92
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Originally Posted by phiwum View Post
So, if you had your way, education would involve political propaganda? And while some areas would indoctrinate fear of the far right (how far is far?), others would indoctrinate fear of the far left (same question), so we'd have a generation of "political firebrands" and nothing could go wrong.

Fine plan.
What are children if not just the cannon fodder for older people to achieve their ideological goals?

Just something I kind of picked up on learning about all the warts in history.

Originally Posted by baron View Post
If you looked out the window could you see your classmates in tree houses or riding their bikes or play fighting or, you know, being kids?
It is possible to have indoor time and outdoor time.

I mapped out our local cave system with my friends. Way more interesting than treehouses.
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Old 13th March 2017, 04:04 PM   #93
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Originally Posted by Emily's Cat View Post
Not sure if that's a joke or not...

Only if the joke went, "Aww, man. Do I have to be an Indian again?!".
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Old 13th March 2017, 04:47 PM   #94
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Originally Posted by Foolmewunz View Post
It's possible to play a little football, build a tree house AND learn some history.
My brothers and I dug holes and pretended we were POWs tunneling out of a Nazi camp.

To some extent I think it's valid to give younger children lessons a slightly rose-tinted view of U.S. history. Instilling pride of citizenship is part of what public schools are for. By middle school, IMO, kids are already getting a little jaded (at least many put up that front) and are ready for exposure to grittier stuff.

When I was 8 I learned political assassinations were pretty common in my era and was very upset about Bobby Kennedy. When I was 9 (fifth grade) the My Lai issue of Life showed up in the mailbox. Even the "Paul is dead" rumor was kind of traumatizing. Then came Watergate and my growing perplexity about why the hell we were in Vietnam. I'd been primed by anti-Communist propaganda to understand the domino theory but by age 12 I was very angry about the war and particularly about the draft.

Jane Elliott's famous blue eyes/brown eyes experiment started the day after Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated. She was working with third graders. It was an all-white school, so she improvised. Was it appropriate? After that first year, some footage was captured of the process. I tend to trust her as an exceptional teacher and human being; the lesson was well-planned enough (IMO) to resolve the ghastly experience for the kids. Could I pull that off? Probably not.

A class divided

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Old 13th March 2017, 04:56 PM   #95
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Originally Posted by Travis View Post
I mapped out our local cave system with my friends. Way more interesting than treehouses.
Did you plot revolutions down there? Did you call yourselves the Underground Resistance?
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Old 13th March 2017, 11:09 PM   #96
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Heck we role played an entire revolution in which we went mad with power and Mexico had to invade and bring us before the Hague!
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Old 14th March 2017, 12:14 AM   #97
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Originally Posted by baron View Post
Did you plot revolutions down there? Did you call yourselves the Underground Resistance?
Yes, and you can thank my New Orleans grade school education and Walt Disney. We grew up admiring Francis Marion and Jean Lafitte, after all! One man's revolutionary freedom fighter is another man's terrorist, as they say.

I grew up not seeing much difference between Francis Marion, George Washington and Patrick Henry on the one hand and Simon Bolivar, Bernard O'Higgins or even the Castro brothers on the other.

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Old 14th March 2017, 11:09 AM   #98
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The auction poster is a legitimate exercise in using source documents to make a presentation. Teachers like "artifacts" - projects that support evidence-based grades. "Activities" are needed to manage children (including teenagers). I wonder if it would work to have students lie on the floor, packed like sardines, in the dark, for 10 minutes. Then have them create a list of questions about what it must have been like to live this way for weeks. It's not very artifact-y, and would need admin approval.

I agree though that the slave auction poster is too much for 5th grade. People on this board who support it might not realize that they may have been atypical students at age 10. Fifth grade is a kind of peak, in my experience - the storms of puberty have yet to hit, but they are old enough to be rigorously challenged, as they should be. Kids are naturally critical thinkers. This one goes just a bit over the line.
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Old 14th March 2017, 11:35 AM   #99
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Originally Posted by Foolmewunz View Post
Ya know.....

The fallacies are flowing freely here. Did someone call "Fallacy Happy Hour" and they're being offered two-for-one?

It's possible to play a little football, build a tree house AND learn some history. "Won't someone think of the children??!!" Stuff and nonsense! What's the magic age when a ten-year-old is going to be okay to learn the actual history of his/her country? Obviously not 11. Fudbucker's got some special snowflakes who couldn't handle it at that age. 12? 13? Are you ready for an honest appraisal of history when you grow some hair on it?

Most adult Americans are ignorant of colonial and antebellum history as regards to slavery. I had a discussion a couple of months ago with a Confederacy Apologist ("I never owned no slaves, why should I feel bad" was the starting point) who could not wrap her head around the 1807 ban on importing slaves. Her response was "See, it was going away, anyway!"

What many people (educated adults, supposedly) miss is that for almost six decades there were Americans involved in slave husbandry! Breeding stock. They were bought and sold and raised like animals. Would I rather that my child and all children are not exposed to such horrors? Yes,... if they never happened. Since they did happen and are very real, though, I'll settle for them learning about them, preferably in school but I'll teach the topics at home if I have to.

I've heard nine year olds making ****** jokes (with the asterisks representing the n-word). I remember thinking it was funny to call someone a "kike" at age seven. I far-better remember the sitting down at the kitchen table and having to read the Britannica entry on the holocaust, because my mother decided if I was old enough to use racial slurs I was certainly old enough to know some of the history behind those terms and the mindset that produced them.
100% right.

I would also note - and it's certainly implied in your last paragraph - that the gory details are exactly what help cement learning into people's minds, no matter the age.

The reason people have a visceral reaction to mentions of 9-11, for example, is because they saw the events unfold right in front of them on television, and those who didn't watch it live saw the video coverage after it happened. Most barely give a thought to the hundred thousand or more Iraqi and Afghan civilians (who in the main had absolutely nothing to do with the 9-11 attacks) that have been killed in the wars subsequent to it because their deaths weren't (and aren't) recorded for posterity and played on a loop by US television networks.
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Old 14th March 2017, 12:07 PM   #100
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Originally Posted by Foolmewunz View Post
Ya know.....

The fallacies are flowing freely here. Did someone call "Fallacy Happy Hour" and they're being offered two-for-one?

It's possible to play a little football, build a tree house AND learn some history. "Won't someone think of the children??!!" Stuff and nonsense! What's the magic age when a ten-year-old is going to be okay to learn the actual history of his/her country? Obviously not 11. Fudbucker's got some special snowflakes who couldn't handle it at that age. 12? 13? Are you ready for an honest appraisal of history when you grow some hair on it?

Most adult Americans are ignorant of colonial and antebellum history as regards to slavery. I had a discussion a couple of months ago with a Confederacy Apologist ("I never owned no slaves, why should I feel bad" was the starting point) who could not wrap her head around the 1807 ban on importing slaves. Her response was "See, it was going away, anyway!"

What many people (educated adults, supposedly) miss is that for almost six decades there were Americans involved in slave husbandry! Breeding stock. They were bought and sold and raised like animals. Would I rather that my child and all children are not exposed to such horrors? Yes,... if they never happened. Since they did happen and are very real, though, I'll settle for them learning about them, preferably in school but I'll teach the topics at home if I have to.

I've heard nine year olds making ****** jokes (with the asterisks representing the n-word). I remember thinking it was funny to call someone a "kike" at age seven. I far-better remember the sitting down at the kitchen table and having to read the Britannica entry on the holocaust, because my mother decided if I was old enough to use racial slurs I was certainly old enough to know some of the history behind those terms and the mindset that produced them.
How did she think there were *any* slaves by the 1861? Any imported in 1807 would have been worked to death by then. I feel soiled just writing that.
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Old 14th March 2017, 01:48 PM   #101
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Originally Posted by Minoosh View Post
I agree though that the slave auction poster is too much for 5th grade.
I'm a bit confused, the slave auction posters (there were 2 examples) are just text no images (well except for the money on one where it says cash only). Are you saying it's too much for 5th graders to learn that there were slaves in the colonies and they were sold at auction? Truly curious because I can't remember in which grade I was taught that fact in the 1960s, it might have been 6th or 7th grade.

Looking over the four poster images again I was pleased to see that one of the two auction posters makes a point of saying "All slaves raised on the plantation of John Carter". This makes me think that kid had learned that importing was banned by 1885, the date his poster represents.
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Old 14th March 2017, 02:14 PM   #102
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Originally Posted by 3point14 View Post
"A school in the US state of New Jersey is under fire for an assignment that asked children aged 10-11 to create posters depicting slave auctions."

Parents getting upset over depictions of actual history seems weird.



http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-39242443
You don't think that maybe some parents thought 10-11 yr old is too young to be assigned posters of slave auctions?
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Old 14th March 2017, 07:23 PM   #103
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Originally Posted by eeyore1954 View Post
You don't think that maybe some parents thought 10-11 yr old is too young to be assigned posters of slave auctions?
You don't think that some parents approved of the exercise? It's right there in the various articles on the subject.

As a history assignment, I think it's fine. I do not think it's fine as a hallway display with no explication of the assignment, and am not certain that even with explication it would be okay. Those hallways service kids from 5 to 12. "Wanted" posters of your black schoolmates (or yourself if you're black) can leave a lasting impression. So that much I will object to.
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Old 14th March 2017, 09:53 PM   #104
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Originally Posted by Reheat View Post
What you are referring to as your ancestors is TOTAL BS. The entire Country were not you ancestors. This is a total cop out of the definition of an ancestor.
Depending upon how far back we go (and 200 years is too recent) the entire country will be made up of people who either are you ancestors, or are no living person's ancestors. In fact, something like 80% of the population will have been your ancestors. Moreover how far back we need to go before this is true is surprisingly recent.

This is just a side point though because I don't see any moral implications of ancestry.
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Old 14th March 2017, 10:44 PM   #105
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Originally Posted by paulhutch View Post
I'm a bit confused, the slave auction posters (there were 2 examples) are just text no images (well except for the money on one where it says cash only). Are you saying it's too much for 5th graders to learn that there were slaves in the colonies and they were sold at auction? Truly curious because I can't remember in which grade I was taught that fact in the 1960s, it might have been 6th or 7th grade.
I can't remember either. Seventh grade sounds better than 5th for this project. My point in an earlier post is that I was pretty jaded by the time I turned 10, due to the horrifying real life that was happening around me.

Originally Posted by paulhutch View Post
Looking over the four poster images again I was pleased to see that one of the two auction posters makes a point of saying "All slaves raised on the plantation of John Carter". This makes me think that kid had learned that importing was banned by 1885, the date his poster represents.
The kid who put up the 1885 date is seriously misinformed about the timeline.

ETA: I'm not suggesting that the fact of slavery shouldn't be taught earlier. Fifth-graders are self-aware enough to understand how offensive it would be to be owned by another human being. Making posters is a popular type of assignment and does help engage students. I would want them to get the facts right. No point internalizing the wrong date.

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Old 15th March 2017, 07:19 AM   #106
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Originally Posted by Minoosh View Post
I can't remember either. Seventh grade sounds better than 5th for this project. <snip lots of good info>
Thanks for the reply, I love to hear the point of view from people who actually work in the field we're discussing.
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Old 15th March 2017, 11:43 AM   #107
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Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
Depending upon how far back we go (and 200 years is too recent) the entire country will be made up of people who either are you ancestors, or are no living person's ancestors. In fact, something like 80% of the population will have been your ancestors. Moreover how far back we need to go before this is true is surprisingly recent.
I am not sure if this holds true in a country with such a strong and recent* history of immigration.

All of my ancestors immigrated to America after the civil war - none of my ancestors lived in this country before 1880 or so**. However, there are plenty of people in the U.S. who can trace their ancestry back to before the American revolution, or much further.

Go back a 1000 years, and there would be people who were the ancestors of today's Native Americans, but are most certainly not my ancestors.

Or did I read your post wrong?


*ETA

**This holds true for many, perhaps most white people in the U.S. - but I also agree with you that ancestry does not matter all that much. My ancestors in the U.S. faced fewer disadvantages than black people of the same era. My ancestors benefited from the racial biases that stemmed from the slavery era, even if those biases preceded their arrival here.

Last edited by crescent; 15th March 2017 at 12:22 PM.
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Old 15th March 2017, 12:09 PM   #108
bruto
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Originally Posted by crescent View Post
I am not sure if this holds true in a country with such a strong history of immigration.

All of my ancestors immigrated to America after the civil war - none of my ancestors lived in this country before 1880 or so*. However, there are plenty of people in the U.S. who can trace their ancestry back to before the American revolution, or much further.

Go back a 1000 years, and there would be people who were the ancestors of today's Native Americans, but are most certainly not my ancestors.

Or did I read your post wrong?


*This holds true for many, perhaps most white people in the U.S. - but I also agree with you that ancestry does not matter all that much.
I was thinking the same thing, although I don't think it's a huge issue in the subject of what should be taught in school. But certainly there are many Americans whose ancestors had nothing to do with slavery owing to arriving here after it was finished, and at least some others whose ancestors were here, but who had nothing to do with it, some distinguishing themselves in opposition to it. Beyond a certain point I think it does not matter anyway, just as it seems crazy to me that some people object to history that suggests their long long distant ancestors were cannibals. Sure, most of my ancestors on one side were either from deepest Vermont or post-civil-war immigrants, and on the other side were old New Englanders a few of whom died fighting for the union. It still seems reasonable that my kids should have learned about the history of the country, slavery and all. You learn the history of the country you're in, not of your own family or your own politics.
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Old 15th March 2017, 12:39 PM   #109
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Originally Posted by eeyore1954 View Post
You don't think that maybe some parents thought 10-11 yr old is too young to be assigned posters of slave auctions?
Were they actually "assigned" to make posters of slave auctions? I thought, based only what has been written in this thread, that they were assigned to make posters reflecting some historical aspect of their colony? The students were the ones who chose slave auctions. The teacher did not assign that to them.

At least, that is my understanding.

Do you think that 10 - 11 yr old is too young to be assigned a poster that reflects something about the history of your colony? That the kids themselves chose slave auctions tells me that they are sufficiently aware of the history of their colony to not be traumatized by having to learn about slave auctions.
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Old 15th March 2017, 12:45 PM   #110
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Originally Posted by Emily's Cat View Post
On the other hand... Casting children in the role of the 'bad guy' doesn't sit well with me. Having them make salve auction posters casts them as the seller, the purveyor of humans as chattel. It seems like a horrible position to put a kid in.
I agree. At that age they can understand and study propaganda, but do you want them thinking of how to create propaganda?

Johnny, how best do we convince reluctant Germans to turn in their Jewish neighbors through art? Now put some real effort into it! Be creative!
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Old 15th March 2017, 12:59 PM   #111
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Originally Posted by Dr. Keith View Post
Be creative!
It is the creative aspect of this that bothers me. Learning about the slave trade, learning about slave auctions, knowing that these things were broadly advertised - that makes sense.

Encouraging kids to make posters advertising a slave auction encourages the kids to be creative about it - advertising is inherently creative and kids are taught that creativity is good and fun.

Encouraging kids to be creative to mimic a thing that makes slavery seem normal and acceptable dangerous ground to tread.


Originally Posted by pgwenthold View Post
Were they actually "assigned" to make posters of slave auctions?

NEW JERSEY SCHOOL APOLOGIZES OVER SLAVE AUCTION POSTER ASSIGNMENT
Quote:
The South Orange-Maplewood School District is planning a community meeting to discuss whether the assignment -- which asked to students to draw "examples of an event that would occur during (your) assigned colonial time period, including a poster for a lecture, speech, protest or slave auction" -- is appropriate for fifth-graders.
It was within the range of options presented to them.

ETA: A poster that describes slave auctions might be a very good educational assignment. A poster that advertises a slave auction is not appropriate for that age range, or for much or any reason except perhaps as a prop in a play or something - not as a stand-alone assignment.

Last edited by crescent; 15th March 2017 at 01:09 PM.
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Old 15th March 2017, 01:03 PM   #112
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I wonder how many kids were wearing clothes from Walmart as they drew their slave posters. Oh, I forgot, paying people $20 a month (until they're all killed when their factory collapses) isn't really slavery; slavery ended 200 years ago, right kids?
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Old 15th March 2017, 08:07 PM   #113
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Originally Posted by paulhutch View Post
Thanks for the reply, I love to hear the point of view from people who actually work in the field we're discussing.

I bet there's more than one.
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Old 16th March 2017, 03:09 AM   #114
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Originally Posted by quadraginta View Post
I bet there's more than one.
Yep even helping me right in the thread, should have been points.
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Old 16th March 2017, 04:02 AM   #115
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What did the kids say about having to do this? Anecdotal I know but I used to run a "Classics club" at my school. On one occasion the kids had to choose a topic from Roman history and society and do a little presentation on it. They could choose from things like Roman food, Roman Britain, the Roman army, Roman clothes, Gladiators and some other topics I can't recall. The kids were between 10 and 12 years old. Guess what 100% of them chose?







Gladiators.
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Old 16th March 2017, 09:53 PM   #116
Roboramma
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Originally Posted by crescent View Post
I am not sure if this holds true in a country with such a strong and recent* history of immigration.

All of my ancestors immigrated to America after the civil war - none of my ancestors lived in this country before 1880 or so**. However, there are plenty of people in the U.S. who can trace their ancestry back to before the American revolution, or much further.

Go back a 1000 years, and there would be people who were the ancestors of today's Native Americans, but are most certainly not my ancestors.

Or did I read your post wrong?


*ETA

**This holds true for many, perhaps most white people in the U.S. - but I also agree with you that ancestry does not matter all that much. My ancestors in the U.S. faced fewer disadvantages than black people of the same era. My ancestors benefited from the racial biases that stemmed from the slavery era, even if those biases preceded their arrival here.
Yes, you are right, which is why I specifically said "200 years is too recent", and as you point out, for those individuals whose ancestors immigrated less than 200 years ago it will equally be true that their immigration is too recent for my above point to be true.

My ancestors, for instance, immigrated to Canada only 3 generations ago (I think it's true that all 8 of my great-grandparents were immigrants born outside of Canada who moved to Canada in their youth [actually if I remember right my maternal grandmother was born in England and moved to Canada while quite young], though I'm not sure about my father's paternal grandparents). So my earlier statement certainly isn't true for me, though if we looked at Europe 1000 years ago I think it is.

On the other hand I think that outside of the case of places with recent large scale immigration most people would be surprised by how many people living even as recently as say 500 years ago were their ancestors.
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Old 16th March 2017, 09:59 PM   #117
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Originally Posted by baron View Post
Oh, I forgot, paying people $20 a month (until they're all killed when their factory collapses) isn't really slavery;
Yes, there is a very big difference between forcing people to work and hunting them down if they try to leave and offering a voluntary position from which they are free to leave any time they want, for instance when a better opportunity arises or when they have managed to save enough money to invest in their own education.
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Old 17th March 2017, 06:55 AM   #118
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Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
Yes, there is a very big difference between forcing people to work and hunting them down if they try to leave and offering a voluntary position from which they are free to leave any time they want, for instance when a better opportunity arises or when they have managed to save enough money to invest in their own education.
You're so right, slavery these days isn't what it was. Modern day slaves aren't really, you know, slaves, they're just working their way up the corporate ladder. There are so many great life opportunities for slaves, as you say, it's absurd that they see slavery as a negative.
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Old 17th March 2017, 11:59 AM   #119
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I don't think it's inappropriate to make a distinction between the undoubtedly evil way in which workers in some places are exploited, and even in many ways enslaved, and the institution of slavery as it was practiced here.

It's true that people in many other countries are, in some degree, exploited in a way that amounts to slavery in many ways, and that may in other ways be worse. But that does not make it the same thing.

Child labor, abuse, unsafe working conditions, and impoverishment may make the lot of many workers in the world materially worse than that of many slaves of former times, whose physical well being represented an investment. But at the same time, those abused workers are probably not subjected to laws that make their children automatically and irrevocably slaves for the rest of their lives, nor to legalized separation of families, legalized lashing and even death, or rape.

You can argue that things are just as bad, that the term "slavery" can loosely be applied here, and that there is little moral difference, just as there is little moral difference in the end between killing a person by hanging or by poisoning, but the things are not actually the same, and you don't have to be snarky or put words in other people's mouths to say that much.
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Old 17th March 2017, 12:17 PM   #120
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There's a short story that I remember reading decades ago. I've never been able to identify it, so I'm not sure if it was a legitimate story, or something put together for a school book.

It depicts a future society in which the human race has become so blended that everyone has uniform gray skin and gray hair, but eyes of every imaginable color. One day, a teacher starts telling his class about the different ethnic groups that used to exist and assigns the students to research the races of their ancestors. (I'm not sure how this would work, if everyone is so blended. Everyone would have every race as ancestors.) This has the unintended effect of reintroducing racism in the class.

"My ancestors owned your ancestors."
While restraining a classmate and brandishing a can of spray paint, "Let's paint the animal."

The teacher walks in on this behavior and is horrified, but is able to shame the students into returning to their previous behavior. He never expected that educating his students about racial attitudes of the past would cause them to adopt them themselves.
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