The Holocaust UK Curriculum

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by Freddie53, May 4, 2007.

  1. Freddie53

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    I received this chain e-mail today. All kinds of misinformation can now be sent all over the world quite quickly and and without much if any cost. I haven't researched this, but I know that the European Union has passed a law making it a crime to deny the Holocaust. The UK is a part of the European Union.

    Our UK members, please inform us on what REALLY is going on in UK school curriculum concerning the Holocaust. I'm convinced this is bull shit, but I don't have proof as of yet.

    In Memoriam
    >
    > Recently this week, the UK removed The Holocaust from its school curriculum
    > because it "offended" the Moslem population which claims it never occurred.
    >
    > This is a frightening portent of the fear that is gripping the world and how
    > easily each country is giving into it.
    >
    > It is now more than 60 years after the Second World War in Europe ended.
    > This e-mail is being sent as a memorial chain, in memory of the six million
    > Jews, 20 million Russians, 10 million Christians and 1,900 Catholic
    > priests who were murdered, massacred, raped, burned, starved and
    > humiliated with the German and Russia peoples looking the other way!
    > Now, more than ever, with Iran, among others, claiming the Holocaust to be
    > "a myth," it is imperative to make sure the world never forgets.
    > This e-mail is intended to reach 40 million people worldwide!
    > Join us and be a link in the memorial chain and help us distribute it around the world.
    > Please send this e-mail to people you know and ask them to continue the memorial chain.
    > Please don't delete, it will only take you a minute to pass this on.
    >
    >
    >
    >
     
  2. rubberwilli

    rubberwilli Member

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  3. Yorkie

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    It sounds like chain letter nonsense to me.After the part we played in World War 2 it's highly unlikely that any aspect of it will ever be off the agenda.
    School only comprises a small part of education anyway.I learnt far more once I got out of the school gates.The books I read were definitely not part of the school curriculum. :cool:
     
  4. B_big dirigible

    B_big dirigible New Member

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    The hinted Snopes conclusion is hardly justified by the story on that page. Despite the appearance of nice comforting words there like "compulsory", it admits that at least one school is known to be avoiding that little bit of history. Out of how many schools examined, it doesn't say. The explanation presented there is not inconsistent with the "rumor", except that "UK removed The Holocaust from its school curriculum" should be "Major chunks of the UK don't require The Holocaust to be included in the school curriculum." Is that really much of an improvement?
     
  5. Sergeant_Torpedo

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    I understand the British academic jailed (by ex Austrian nazis and their descendants) for questioning the holocaust figures was pilloried for a simple and rigorous historical questioning of the cliometrics. Two bads do not make a good but the Turkish and Japanese governments have not apologized for the atrocities they visited upon Christians. One race does not have more of a claim on our sympathies than another. Wickedness has no exuse, however I am not aware that the Islamicist lobby in the UK is the reason for any alteration in school curriculum. The charge seems spurious and suspiciously propagandist.
     
  6. Yorkie

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    It's been a long time since I was at school but the events of the war were covered so thouroughly and so often on tv that it didn't need to be taught in school.
    The regular screening of Spielberg's holocaust movie will have a bigger impact on kids than anything a teacher says on the subject.So if any school isn't doing their job properly the information will still get through.
     
  7. dreamer20

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    When stated like this it makes sense to me.:rolleyes:
     
  8. B_big dirigible

    B_big dirigible New Member

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    Dad's Army will come to the rescue of a lazy, incompetent, or terminally PC pedagogy?

    The situation may be more dire than I'd realized.
     
  9. Freddie53

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    Really? If the Holocaust is taken out of the curriculum in a school because a segment of the population doesn't believe it exists, then it is unlikely the the parents of that group are going to teach it and that subculture group will continue to spread false information to the people of that subculture.

    As a retired social studies teacher, I am appalled when a group of history teachers together as a group decide not to teach about a certain piece of history, especially a major piece of history that happened within the lifetimes of some people still alive.
     
  10. madame_zora

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    Well, we do it here too. The main problem is that people are too stupid to understand the difference between stating facts and hurling insults. Many of our schools no longer include works by authors as simple as Mark Twain because they contain the "N" word. Well, that word existed and it's a part of our history. To not understand that is to not understand how our cultural attitiudes developed. Any change we decide to make now will be because of our past decisions, not in spite of them.

    Holocaust deniers are one far-out lot, but the silent majority might be the real killer. If the majority says nothing for fear of being offensive, and the few spew misinformation, it does leave one with a substantially difficult task of discovering the truth on one's own, most people probably wouldn't bother. It was closer to my generation, a few more removed, and it could be seriously downplayed even in this relatively short period of time.

    Just like here- we heard exaggerated rumors of high school teachers teaching creationism as fact, and we all went nuts. Then we found out it was one particular school, and we felt much better. Then a few more stories surfaced, and we realised that the original rumour, while a bit hysterical sounding, was pretty accurate to begin with. I'd say there's probably some truth to this one in the UK as well. It's probably always been like this as far as how history has been reported, I'd imagine a good bit of the things I take as true today are someone's spin from years gone by.
     
  11. Lordpendragon

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  12. dong20

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    So far as I can tell it's hype. It's still on the National Curriculum as a mandatory subject to be taught at KS3 in QCA Unit 19 (along with others). That said, this really only applies to state schools, independent schools may vary their curriculum.

    It's quite likely that 'faith' schools will be very 'selective' about whether they teach certain subjects and more worryingly how they teach them. This is one reason why I'm so opposed to them; not so much in principle (I went to one) but in practice; today they seem ever more to be sources of social division rather than education.

    I think there is a very real danger of diluting the subject, and others such as slavery for the reasons stated in the OP, I say danger because by diluting Humankind's darkest hours, and worse one still within living memory of it's occurence is an offront to it's victims and sidesteps the repercussions and divisions which are still deeply entrenched in many of today's societies.

    If such dilutions are allowed to invade our classrooms in 50 years the Gulf war(s) may be portrayed as triumphs of liberation, freeing oppressed peoples as opposed to being, largely squalid politically and personally motivated campaigns aimed, primarily at bolstering personal egos and protecting access to a certain natural rescourse. Call me a cynic, I've been called worse.
     
  13. No_Strings

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    My personal experience was that while we aren't actually taught anything about the holocaust as a defined subject, WW2 is obviously a huge part of our curriculum and from that we learn about it.

    Through our studies of WW2 we're taught about concentration camps, told the story of Anne Frank, what the regime stood for etc etc. and things are just 'picked up'. (This was around 4-5 years ago)

    I don't know a single person who I'm not related to who has watched Schindler's List, which I find more fascinating than any discrepancies in our curriculum. :confused:
     
  14. Gillette

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    While not true of the UK cirriculum as a whole I'm still disturbed that it's true for even one school. Will they next cut evolution to avoid conflict with creationist teachings?

    I think the key to avoiding offence when teaching history is to teach it without characterization. Are the techers unable to convey the events without assigning good guy or bad guy roles to the parties involved?

    Facts are facts, whether we're comfortable with them or not.
     
  15. dong20

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    I've heard the idea mooted...:eek:

    I think that in part that's probably the reason. I do appreciate it's hard to paint Hitler (in this instance) as other than a baddie but then that's the skill of teaching.

    From experience I've found some facts are more....factual than others, or at lest more palatable.
     
  16. B_ScaredLittleBoy

    B_ScaredLittleBoy New Member

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    "German and Russia peoples??" WTF (should be Russian, or the peoples of...)

    And I haven't been in school for awhile but I thought it was the German, Austrian and Polish Jews that were targeted.

    How do people fall for this shit? If it were true, it would have been on the news.
     
  17. dong20

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  18. Ethyl

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    They fall for this because it suits their needs. Years ago, I spoke with two members of the Aryan Nation who vehemently denied the holocaust. It's funny because these guys were in their early twenties, already indoctrinated with this crap, yammered on about how history books are rewritten and falsified but when I asked them what's actually correct in the history books and what isn't, they couldn't tell me. The conversations ended with me saying "you two don't know what the hell you're talking about. You're just parroting what your leader says. Come back when you start thinking for yourselves and we'll continue this discussion."

    *shakes head*
     
  19. Freddie53

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    As mentioned earlier, I taught social studies which includes history and served on state curriculum guides committees for several years.

    The first rule in teaching history is that personal pronouns need to be avoided if at all possible. Example: In teaching the American Civil War the terms are the Union Army and the Confederate Army. There is no, "Their army came in and did such and such and then our army sent in reinforcements and when the day was over "WE" won the battle.

    There is no "WE" in the American Civil War. Everyone involved in that war is dead and has been for some time now. Never in studying historical events that happened at a time before any of the children were born should any child or group of children be made to feel that We did this or that.

    If a true balanced study of Christianity and Islam is done, there will be plenty of examples of good deeds and bad deeds. A far amount of killing people has been done in the name of both religions to be able to not favor one religion over the other. But it is also important to learn that it wasn't those religions that did it. It was people. People who may or may not have been real believers of that particular religion. All religions and culture are made up of people. There will be both good and bad there. The purpose of teaching history is to one, get a perspective on why things are like they are now and why certain groups either get along great or have historically been enemies. It helps in determining what plan of action might or might not work in problem solving. The second reason is hopefully, we can learn from the past and not make some of those same mistakes. That is why learning how Hitler was able to come to power in Germany is more important than learning all the facts and dates of the battles of the war. When we see that same pattern developing in a society, hopefully, we will take steps to see that history does not repeat itself.

    It is also very important in teaching World War II to say that the Nazis did these things, not the German people. Many Germans lost their lives opposing Hitler. The German people still exist. The Nazis for all practical purposes do not exist, certainly not in the context of War World II.

    Sometimes in teaching history we have to find a piece of history out of context to teach it side by side certain sensitive issues so that the students see a balanced curriculum at the moment and not it be balanced over the period of three years.

    When the students in class present versions of history that clearly are different from what most if not all historians recognize as history, we teachers have to be sensitive and learn how to answer that. One way, is to say that yes, there is some differences of opinion about what happened during that time. However, most historian believe this is what happened. Sometimes, it is better to just let those students speak what they believe and then move on. I would not suggest that history teachers tell students that their parents or their place of worship is wrong. It is better just to say that one of the aspects of history is Point of View. That is a major component of education. Take advantage of it when real life examples happen right there in the classroom. It can be a major learning tool for every student if they learn the concept of Point of View. Then maybe someday the children of the children of different cultures can sit down and come to an understanding of what really happened. We can always hope.
     
  20. dong20

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    That just about summarises the situation. The ability to recognise that one's POV is just that, personal. And, while one's opinion may not co-incide with that of the majority (or indeed fly it's it's collective face) that alone doesn't render it invalid. Surely rational dicussion should proceed from that premise. At least in theory, but that's just my POV.:smile:

    I wish more here could learn that skill.
     
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