Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Why so many students hate history — and what to do about it - The Washington Post

Why so many students hate history — and what to do about it - The Washington Post:

Why so many students hate history — and what to do about it



Back in 1982, a survey was taken of sixth and 12th-graders in a Midwest school district to determine how the students felt about social studies.  The results: The kids were “largely indifferent” or revealed “negative attitudes” toward social studies. If you listen to students and teachers, not much has changed since: A lot of kids in K-12 schools find history class boring.
What’s more, the number of college history majors has been declining; the Los Angeles Times reported:
Since the beginning of the Great Recession in 2007, the history major has lost significant market share in academia, declining from 2.2% of all undergraduate degrees to 1.7%. The graduating class of 2014, the most recent for which there are national data, included 9% fewer history majors than the previous year’s cohort, compounding a 2.8% decrease the year before that. The drop is most pronounced at large research universities and prestigious liberal arts colleges.
Some college history departments now take pains to woo students, explaining that there is employment for history majors after they graduate. Boston University, for example, has a page on its website that says “So, you think you want to study history? But you’re worried it might not be the right choice.” It then goes on to dispels myths “that make some nervous about majoring or minoring in history” and says history majors do, in fact, get good jobs:
Myth No. 1: History is boring.
Maybe you had awkward experiences in high school. You assume history is going to be all names and dates and “one damned thing after another,” as the saying goes. Maybe, like Virginia Woolf, you’ve concluded that history is too much about old men and their wars or that it is “more or less bunk,” as Henry Ford proclaimed. (Then again, Ford also called physical exercise bunk, so he might not be the best authority.)
But wait … it’s not like that.
College history is not designed around state-mandated textbooks or standardized tests … Historical knowledge is powerful currency for the 21st century.  History increases cultural literacy and sensitivity. You will learn to consider multiple points of view and changing global contexts. And you will get more jokes. It also offers a unique education in the curation Why so many students hate history — and what to do about it - The Washington Post:
 Image result for history according to trump

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