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Re: Ch. 13 - What Is the Result Of Teaching History Like This?
Chapter 13 Discussion Questions
1.) How did you find Loewen’s assertion that research shows the educated are more in favour of aggressive foreign policy? Do you believe that is currently the case; i.e. are the educated more likely to conform their policy positions to those of the currently ruling government (in both the US and elsewhere)? In the US, the Trump administration has made no bones about its adversarial position to universities, science, and the educated both within and without the government — is this a change from normal? Does casting education as inimical to the government (even if subtly) work well or poorly for governments either free or totalitarian? Why? In contrast, how does the government of May/Trudeau/Morrison/Macro/Merkel handle this issue?
2.) How corrosive to a free society do you view inculcating compliance rather than accountability? Do you feel the idea of compliance has taken a back seat to the political rancor that has prevailed in the last ten years or so? Why? Is political rancor or identity politics a valuable tool in sidelining the resistance to a compliance-driven government and citizenry? To cross pollenate a bit, if you are currently discussing (or have read 1984) in the sister Fiction forum, how do you feel compliance relates to the government of Oceania? How much closer to that government does the abdication of accountability bring us? How can we as individuals be more like Winston Smith before he meets his fate at the end of the book?
3.) Is being bad at history bad? Does it essentially boils down to being bad at buying propaganda as currently taught? That is to say: if we are going to teach crap in high school history classes, is it really objectionable if students don’t learn the skill of drinking the Kool-Aid? Loewen identifies systematic problems that continue to propagate this problem, but as individuals what are some tangible, functional things we can do to change the paradigm back to one of true learning and understanding the factors and conditions which landed us here today from history?
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