Skip to comments.No lessons on the Holocaust, Crusades, slave trade 'in case pupils are offended'
Posted on 04/02/2007 1:24:52 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
Schools are dropping controversial subjects from history lessons - such as the Holocaust and the Crusades - because teachers do not want to cause offence, Government research has discovered.
The way the slave trade is taught can lead white children as well as black pupils to feel alienated, according to a study by the Historical Association.
A lack of knowledge among teachers, particularly in primary schools, is also leading to "shallow" lessons on emotive and difficult subjects.
Some teachers dropped the Holocaust completely from lessons because of fears that Muslim pupils might express anti-semitic reactions. One school avoided teaching the Crusades because its "balanced" handling of the topic would directly contradict what was taught in local mosques.
The report, funded by the Department for Education and Skills, said: "Teachers and schools avoid emotive and controversial history for a variety of reasons, some of which are well-intentioned.
"Staff may wish to avoid causing offence or appearing insensitive to individuals or groups in their classes.
"In particular settings, teachers of history are unwilling to challenge highly contentious or charged versions of history in which pupils are steeped at home, in their community or in a place of worship."
The researchers gave the example of one history department in a secondary school in a northern city which decided not to teach the Holocaust as a topic for GCSE coursework.
The report said teachers feared confronting "anti-semitic sentiment and Holocaust denial among some Muslim pupils". Christian parents at another school complained about the way the Arab-Israeli conflict was taught.
"In another department, the Holocaust was taught despite anti-semitic sentiment among some pupils, but the same department deliberately avoided teaching the Crusades at Key Stage 3 (for 11- to 14-year-olds) because their balanced treatment of the topic would have directly challenged what was taught in some local mosques."
The study said too many teachers "play safe". It called for better training in how they should handle difficult subjects.
Emotive issues such as the slave trade can be taught too blandly, portraying Afro-Caribbeans as victims and isolating black pupils, the report said.
But when teachers down play the role of the white authorities in abolishing the slave trade, white children can become alienated.
The report came as Britain marks 200 years since the passing of laws which brought about the end of transatlantic slavery. The anniversary caused angry protests and renewed demands for a formal Government apology for Britain's role in the trade.
Earlier this year, a Government review of citizenship education recommended that all pupils should learn about issues such as slavery and the legacy of the British Empire. Children should be encouraged to develop their own sense of British identity to avoid social divisions widening between different groups, it said.
Idiocy like this can only propogate itself.
This would seem to be part of the "new philosophy of mankind". In times past, the wise teachers taught controversial history as a means of ensuring that it would not be repeated. Today, many Baby Boomers have in their minds that they are a different, more highly evolved human without the foibles and weaknesses of past generations. They are, in Thomas Sowell's words, "The Anointed Ones" who have no need to learning from the past because they are free from "original sin" and would never, ever be so foolish as their evolutionary predecessors (i.e., parents). Sad, because the wise teachers are right, "Those who fail to learn from the past are doomed to repeat it."
Never teach a balanced version of history to the unbalanced. they just might explode.............literally.
History, they say is written by the victors and it appears the teachers have chosen their side.
I used to think, as Dr. Sowell does, that the behavior of the left was due to their feeling of being special and anointed..Now I think it comes from a lust for power over the masses which we have not seen in modern times in America. Terrible pain and experience teaches us lessons we cannot learn any other way. By now, most kids studying the Holocaust and other painful lessons from history are not going to feel much emotion about it..They are most likely thinking about video games, sex, or sports. However, if these events are mentioned, later on in adulthood, some will think about then and even study them further. People whose relatives died in the Holocaust do not want the world to forget..They have real fear that it will happen again. A controversy has recently been in the news regarding the writings of those who declare that that Holocaust never happened. Is the blackout and censorship going on in this school another way to effect that and to have people forget these awful things so it will be possible for a cruel dictator to wipe out groups he/she doesn't like again? Will people ever understand enough about what is happening to academia and our public schools to rise up and change it? The left has taken over the writing of the public school curriculum and the rules governing the teaching of it..They are destroying our history just as surely as if they had built a big bonfire and tossed everything in and the rewriting of it will be done to suit their political aspirations.
England is soooooo over
'The report said teachers feared confronting "anti-semitic sentiment and Holocaust denial among some Muslim pupils".'
They are unwilling to CONFRONT bigotry and lies flowing from the houses of hate (the mosques)?
Isn't it their jobs as educators to educate, not keep these people in a 7th ideology that simply cannot exist in a civilized society?
Why don't they just start ordering their textbooks from Saudi Arabia, which refer to Jews as the offspring of pigs or dogs or monkeys? There is an equal amount of truth between the lies and garbage printed in the Saudi textbooks and the hateful and disgusting rhetoric of Holocaust denial.
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The liberals are always the first to accuse conservatives of censorship. Of course, when they censor to avoid "offense", it doesn't count.
Devastate the world with a cataclysm, e.g., the eruption of a caldera, wipe out 1/2 the human population, and throw technology back 200 yrs; does anyone doubt that humanity, along with the "anointed," wouldn't witness massive wars for resources, slavery and pan nationalism? History is the story of humanity in its concurrent environment.
Wouldn't it be nice if Christians (the overwhelming majority in this country) were given the same consideration. Won't happen, of course. The teachers aren't afraid of Christians...
When offending people for whatever reason became a sin, you get weird results. This is one of them.
Those who do not remember, and learn, from history are doomed to repeat it.
"A controversy has recently been in the news regarding the writings of those who declare that that Holocaust never happened. Is the blackout and censorship going on in this school another way to effect that and to have people forget these awful things so it will be possible for a cruel dictator to wipe out groups he/she doesn't like again? Will people ever understand enough about what is happening to academia and our public schools to rise up and change it?"
Good points. I do agree with Dr. Sowell that a lot of it comes down to the concept of fallen mankind and the belief that man is inherently evil unless changed by supernatural intervention and submission to that intervention. If the Left believes that evil comes from outside influences rather than the very nature of man, then the belief that controlling outside circumstances will rid the world of evil is very powerful. Many a Nazi and Communist argued that, after a painful (bloody) transition, State control will bring on a paradise for all and they are just the ones to run the State that will bring about the paradise.
Is this part of a larger conspiracy to brainwash the masses for control by the Left? I am always a little hesitant to abscribe conspiracy except by a few, very select players at the top. Most of the minions are useful idiots. They have been conditioned to believe some highly contradictory principles which are being mindlessly foisted on everyone. For example, one ought not challenge our children about anything that might make them uncomfortable, EXCEPT about their patriotism, religion, or codes of morality. One ought not frighten children EXCEPT about soldiers, guns, white males, and stay-at-home mothers. One ought not dictate lifestyles EXCEPT for veganism and "carbon footprints". One ought to rely completely on science EXCEPT in matters of homosexual relationships, abortion, or the differences between men and women. It goes on. In fact the very teaching of logic and reconciliation in the mind of man is being neglected, possibly on purpose but most likely because most have lost the ability to deal with contradictions in any way except to avoid them.
Will people wake up and change public education? It would take a massive revolt on the part of both teachers and parents. The problem is, many of us quit caring when our children are out of the system, at least until grandkids show up. And many feel it is a losing proposition and so are dropping out, going into home schooling or other options which give public education free rein to go about their conditioning of the ones left behind. I have a sister in public education. She has standards like mine and sees the flaws in society in general but we can't talk about education because she is highly defensive of any criticism whatsoever. She deals with occasional bad apple teachers but sees them as aberrations rather than the norm. She votes Republican (I think) but supports the highly-partisan NEA. Her tolerance of contradictions is almost unlimited. So I don't hold out much hope in the direction of getting teachers to revolt. Once teachers and other educators get high enough to see the real flaws in public education, the employment and retirement benefits are just too powerful for them to want to rock the boat.
"Devastate the world with a cataclysm, e.g., the eruption of a caldera, wipe out 1/2 the human population, and throw technology back 200 yrs; does anyone doubt that humanity, along with the "anointed," wouldn't witness massive wars for resources, slavery and pan nationalism? History is the story of humanity in its concurrent environment."
I'm sure the Anointed believe that such choas among the masses is not only possible but inevitable but they would also argue that such "Acts of God" are also the very reasons why they, the uber-intelligent and uber-compassionate, should be put into power as soon as possible so they can coordinate the proper response to these unpredictable conditions when they happen.
History is writ small by natural conditions and writ large by the human response to those conditions. They want to write large.