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 How should we teach our historical figures???? 
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This isn't the first time I have heard about Rosa Parks and Helen Keller. When I first read about this I was really suprised, especially about Keller. I didn't know how much she had contributed to our society. Then I also thought about how much are teachers suppose to teach. Are we as teachers suppose to know and have the children learn every single thing that each person in our society has done. We have so much to teach the students. I just want to know how far we are suppose to teach about each historical figure.
If you also think about it our society herofies our historical figures. The text books don't like to complicate historical figures. Do you think that is a good thing? Should we give the Disney version of history to students?


Tue Nov 15, 2005 8:22 pm
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Good Point. I really think it depends on what age you are dealing with when teaching historical people. When children are very young, kindergarten and 1st grade, I would say at some points the "disney version" may be better at that point because they may not be able to handle all of the real facts.
I think our text made a really good point about this topic. When they described how Martin Luther King is taught a lot, it really made me realize how much teachers have really left out a lot of important information when teaching historical people.
This is a really good discussion, and I am stil kind of at a loss to as to how we should teach children about historical figures.

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Tue Nov 15, 2005 8:34 pm
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I agree in that it is tough to decide what we teach students. I think that Brandi was right in saying that the "disney version" might be more appropriate for younger students, but I think they need to know that there is more to these people than just the "disney version." I think that as students grow older, it is important to let them see how the historical figures really were, and the things they really stood for. While reading the article about Hellen Keller, I was appalled by the excerpts from the children's books and how they belittled the her life and her achievements. Even at a young age, students should be aware that Hellen Keller did more than "help people who were blind or deaf."


Tue Nov 15, 2005 11:50 pm
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I have heard these stories too about Helen Keller and Rosa Parks. I think sometimes in education with a lot of things teachers present material to a level kids can handle and understand, such as the story of Helen Keller as a child. I remember reading about her when i was young. If I was presented with all the things she done at that time I would not of understood it all, and while yes I did learn you can accomplish or overcome hard things in life and press on, I might no of gotten that if I read everything. However, I believe it's extremely important students get the whole story, most student don't find out the real story of things unless they personally pursue it or have a college class that reveals it. That is usually how it works. A lot of things have to do with the government in which teacher don't want to teach the governement is wrong or bad or that it has many flaws, however we all know its not perfect. So i suppose there should be a balance but what do you teach, and how much to you leave out, that is the hard part.


Wed Nov 16, 2005 9:04 am
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I think we do a disservice to our students when we sugar-coat history, and tell them only half truths. I thought it was strange when I was in a highschool history class and finally heard the truth after Christopher Columbus and other historical heroes (we read Lies My Teacher Told Me). It made me wonder why my teachers and textbooks tried to hide the truth about our country's history.
Sometimes I think we underestimate kids. I think that elementary school children could handle a dose of real history. From a young age kids are surronded by violence and other things in the media. And anyway, what innocence are we perserving by not being honest? And how is it beneficial to provide a false foundation of history? Just some thoughts.


Wed Nov 16, 2005 2:00 pm
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Leanna, I think that you are right, we under estimate our kids. Children see all kinds of hoorible things through the media, I just did a presentation on sex, the media, and the influence it has on kids, it was awful what children see and how what they see becomes normal and okay. Additionally when 9-11 happened elementary teachers wheeled in TV's for their students so that they could watch history happen, but yet cannot tell them the whole truth about our countries history?


Wed Nov 16, 2005 4:32 pm
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I think it would be nice to give a better view of what historical figures actually were, but we don't have the time. The Cirriculum doesn't give us enough time to go that indepth. HonestlyI didn't know that helen Keller had done so much more than just learn to communicate until college, but then not knowing that hasn't crippled my learning experience in public school. If I do have time I want to include learning about key figures such as the Dalai Lama. We should teavch our students more, but rarely is there time.


Fri Nov 18, 2005 1:57 pm
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A few weeks ago I was writing a paper for World Civ II. After 23 years I was finally educated on Malcolm X. I found out, 3 years before Malcolm X's death he became an activist like Martin Luther King jr, for equality and not Black superiority. It is crazy to think I was told in grade school that he was a violent man (he was) but they never told me the change he made before his death. I was cheated.

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Sat Nov 19, 2005 9:35 pm
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I feel that history teachers do not have enough time to discuss all the important historical figures that had some lasting affect upon our country. When someone studies history and the major players their views and opinions are bias in one way or another. So, when it comes down to teaching historical figures a lot of the decisions on who and how much to teach depends alot on the instructor.


Sun Nov 27, 2005 5:12 pm
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