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Re: Ch. 11 - Progress Is Our Most Important Product
Chapter 11 Discussion
1.) Are history classes appropriate places to discuss how to change the world? Since time immemorial we have all been inculcated to believe those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it, so if not in a history class, then where? Does history provide the necessary clues to inform a population about how to guide its future? Civics classes were once part of most American HS curricula, and has since gone to the wayside. Do you think this kind of course (i.e. one in where students learn how the government operates and what current problems are facing a nation) should be taught in high school? If not, in college? Why or why not?
2.) In chapter 11, Loewen posits American history texts cite progress as the most important contribution of the US to world history and events. Do you agree? Is America progressing? What about the world in general? Is the progress = better just the foundation for the largest circularly logical argument ever? Economically, if we look at having human needs met, impact on the environment, and hours spent doing it, people have paid a steep price to “progress” since we moved from being hunter-gatherers into a post-industrial society; do you agree or disagree. Why or why not?
3.) Loewen indicates telling young people they should be progressing because it’s natural, and easy, and inherent in being an American is destructive to those young people. Do you agree? Does this jive with the idea that you should praise people to success? Why or why not? Does America’s vision of itself as progression centric hurt its relationships with other countries in the world, including its allies? Why or why not?
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