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How WWII Taught In School Today


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#1 Nathan S.

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Posted 03 June 2003 - 02:43 AM

I'm a highschool sophmore and I really think that History teachers (for the most part), do a very poor job of teaching WWII (partially I think it's the curriculium set up by the state). We've covered WWII in the last 2 years and each time was horrible. I'm always trying to correct my teacher on basic facts.
Last year, my teacher showed a picture of a German bomber on the overhead projector. German crosses and swazticas could be clearly seen. However, our teacher proceeded to tell the class that the plane was a "British" aircraft. I informed him that it was a German He 111 bomber. He didn't believe me at first, but I finally convinced him that I was rigth when I began giving facts and specs about the He 111.
This year, my teacher tried to teach WWII from a CD-ROM (which was poorly done). Then we had to write essays about what we saw on the CD. He really didn't explain anything to the class. However, what he did explain was usually wrong. He told the class that when we captured the Marinas, we used them to launch "big B-52 bombers off to bomb Japan". He also told us that Germany used V1 rockets to bomb California and parts of the Rockies. When I asked if he was confusing the V1 rockets with the Japanese balloons that hit in the Rockies, he basically said I was stupid and I didn't know what I was talking about. Now, maybe I'm wrong, but I've never heard of V1s hitting America. I can't remember, but I think they only had a range of about 1,000 miles (correct me if I'm wrong).

Anyways, as you can see, WWII is not taught very well at my school. Is it only my school that is like this, or are all schools like this now? What about teaching anytime from the end of the war untill now?

#2 No.9

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Posted 03 June 2003 - 03:48 AM

Nathan, can you find another school? Others will give you more detailed info, but the V! ‘Flying Bomb’ with it’s impulse engine was a medium range Cruise Missile. A few hundred miles range and slow enough for a fighter to intercept it.

The V2 rocket could fly much higher and faster but was still limited to a few hundred miles range. It was much heavier and cost nearly 10 times more to produce and was was far more intricate.

Remember, Britain and France are only about 26 miles apart at the closest point! Unless teacher can come up with evidence the German’s launched these on California from submarines…………….?

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#3 C.Evans

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Posted 03 June 2003 - 06:30 PM

Nothan--I think your teacher needs to come here--"we" will straighten out his/her headgear. :D
Lost are only those, who abandon themselves) Hans-Ulrich Rudel.
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#4 Doc Raider

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Posted 03 June 2003 - 06:57 PM

In my experience, highschool history teacher have no interest in history, they are just the coaches. My highschool history classes involved us watchin movies. That's it.

#5 C.Evans

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Posted 03 June 2003 - 07:04 PM

:eek: :eek:

In my day we had class involvement in many ways--which helped make it more interesting.

In my Texas History class--I build a small diorame of The Alamo--and I used about 200 1/72nd scale soldiers on it. I got an A+

In another history class--I did a drawing of Tha Alamo as viewed as if you were looking down from the sky. It has breaches in the wall, damaged buildings etc. I represented the attackeers and defenders with colored boxes--as to try to draw figures would be impossible--they would be the size of a "."

In my 8th grade class--I built a "Boston Massacre" scene in 1/32nd scale. It wasn't near as well done as my 7th grade project but I still got a "A" for it. smile.gif

We never watch movies but we did do class plays and brought things for show and tell.

I guess they teach much differently now than they did just 22, 23, 24, or so years ago. :(
Lost are only those, who abandon themselves) Hans-Ulrich Rudel.
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#6 Doc Raider

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Posted 03 June 2003 - 07:14 PM

I'm completely honest about my highschool history classes. They just flipped on the VCR and usually left the room. It was terrible. We had no reports or projects. I don't know if we even had any tests. We basically just had a sheet full of questions about the movies. I remember a civil war miniseries with patrich swayze, the "centenial" miniseries, tour of duty episodes, and the movie midway. I'll never forget one day, when my teacher brought in the wrong tape, so we got to watch what was on it for class anyway. It was 2 episodes of the show "golden girls". Now granted, I went to the biggest school in the state, but still........

#7 C.Evans

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Posted 03 June 2003 - 07:19 PM

I could only wish that I had a history class like that--but more as one that was like a Chess Club class and for extra credit.

With history "teachers" like you had--who needs history? I guess they think hollywood is the better history teacher than books? graemlins/no.gif graemlins/no.gif

If that's all that's required top be a "history teacher" then see if I can get a job "teaching" history at the school you went to. At least I could make it more challenging. :cool:
Lost are only those, who abandon themselves) Hans-Ulrich Rudel.
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#8 Stefan

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Posted 03 June 2003 - 07:25 PM

Hmm, our history teaching is not that bad, my history teachers are good. Both are cambridge graduates and one is possibly the best teacher I have ever had. The other is not so good and does make mistakes from time to time but at least she can admit to them (WW2 is not her period, specialises in the Middle ages). I have had teachers who were worse, but mainly I think it is the curriculum, it is too interested in covering a period to allow much focus on detail. Then again my school is the best grammer school in the UK, in my brothers it is different. The teachers have potantial but the problem is that none of the students want to learn. At least in my 6th form we go to lessons because we want to learn about stuff, or at the very least get good exam results.
There's no honorable way to kill, no gentle way to destroy. There is nothing good in war. Except its ending.
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#9 Jet

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Posted 03 June 2003 - 07:38 PM

I too am a High School student and I feel that History Teachers just teach what is needed to know and that is it. I think some teachers should go deeper into World War 2 and show what the men went through, as well as providing an insight into what happened. Unfortunately my school only did WW2 once because it is a very new dyslexic centre school and History was not an option in my GCSEs :mad: . The lessons into WW2 were not very good and mainly told about Rise of Hitler, Children Evacuees, Holocaust and Propagand and only had a few lines on D-Day, Pearl Harbour, Dunkirk etc.
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#10 Mahross

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Posted 03 June 2003 - 07:49 PM

Classes in britian aren't to bad. My 'a' level teachers knew there stuff but when it came to anythin remotly linked to the military zilch. the main problme is that military history is considered a the bottom of the ladder as a field of historical study. a few month ago i had talk by proffessor terry copp and he used to be an eminent social historian but he ommented that he went down to the bottom of the ladder when he became interested in military history. unfortuanatly there is not enough interest in the subject in the academic world, therefore, most prospective teacher leave university as social or womens historians and don't really know what they are talking about when they have to teach military history.

#11 Stevin

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Posted 03 June 2003 - 07:54 PM

I think History lessons tend to focus on the political side of the conflict. I never had any military history, except was told that D-Day was important. It is how you look at it. I think teaching the politcal and social side of the conflict in school does make more sense than teaching the military aspect.

I was fortunate to have had a teacher who was very compassionate about history in general. Learned a LOT from him.

But there is just too much to teach. If interested in a certain time period, it will be up to you to study it and do your own research. I know of a certain teacher who was very happy to get through WW2 just to get me to stop my interruptions and pointing out what I thought were mistakes. :D
"Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true!" - Homer Simpson
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#12 Friedrich

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Posted 03 June 2003 - 08:31 PM

I know what you mean. On my first year of senior highschool I met an incredible History teacher whose speciality was the Mayan culture. He is a doctor in History by the National University of Mexico. His text book was incredible and he focused more on political, cultural and even philosophycal aspects of History. He was the first to teach us what liberalism and marxism really are. He didn't get too deep into military History because he hates wars. I actually gave the classes on WWI and WWII. He gave me 4 of his classes to teach WWII. I made only a slight correction to his text book which said that El Alamein was at Libia and that there had been a battle at Suez. He gently told me to correct them. As a pacifist teacher it did not matter at all. He was the best teacher I have ever had. Now he moved from the city and I am going to take his post next year. smile.gif

But my teacher in the next grade, who was supossed to teach us Mexican History was the worst teacher I have ever had. The lady was old and didn't know how to speak. I speak much better Spanish that her! She told us an amazing number of stupidities and historical inaccuracies impossible to believe. She didn't even know where, how or when did the Mexican 201st squadron fight in WWII... She said that everyone got killed... and she later compared the Mexican pilots to the German ones. I'll quote her literally: "By the end of the war there were only two planes in Germany. But they shot down 50 enemy planes before they returned to base for lack of fuel"... :confused: :mad: And the best part. A friend of mine asked her: "Teacher, what do you know about the battle of Stalingrad?" She answered: "It was when Napoléon invaded Stalingrad ( graemlins/no.gif ) but the Russians burned the city and the food. Then the Germans died of starvation." :mad: :confused: :eek:

On next August I am going to take for my first teacher's post at my former senior highschool. I will be teaching 600 students aged 15-17 Universal contemporary History. I, of course will focus a lot in the military aspect, but it won't be the main aspect. It can't be the main aspect. Politics, culture and philosophy are the things to teach. Wish me luck, but I am going to make an effort and teach them WWI and WWII as they must be taught. Just enough to get them involved in it. I also can't spend too much time on it because there are many other conflicts and things to be taught in one year. I'll post on how everything goes. Also, don't you think it will be a problem to have a teacher just two or three years your senior?
"War is less costly than servitude, the choice is always between Verdun and Dachau." - Jean Dutourd, French veteran of both world wars

"A mon fils: depuis que tes yeux sont fermes les miens n’ont cessé de pleurir." - Mère française, Verdun

#13 Stevin

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Posted 03 June 2003 - 09:55 PM

Sounds like large shoes to fill, Fried. I wish you all the luck! I know how I was at age 15! tongue.gif As to being only three years their senoir. Yeah, you might be confronted with some authority-bashers. But I guess that when you know what you are talking about and don't let them drive you crazy, they will get the point....I know we made some newly graduated new teacher's life hell, but it is all about respect. You will be better able to relate to these kids than many old teachers...That'll give you an edge.

Good stuff to be teaching them history. I am sure you'll do a good job. Passion about the subject is so important. If you can bring that across, the facts will follow.

graemlins/rk.gif for motivation...

[ 03. June 2003, 04:57 PM: Message edited by: Stevin Oudshoorn ]
"Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true!" - Homer Simpson
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#14 Friedrich

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Posted 03 June 2003 - 09:58 PM

Thanks, Stevin! ;)

But do you think that my students are going to beahve inproperly at my classroom? Remember they are dealing with Friedrich, a person who has a tiran as his avatar and that is in Hitler's wing in the political poll we made. :rolleyes:
"War is less costly than servitude, the choice is always between Verdun and Dachau." - Jean Dutourd, French veteran of both world wars

"A mon fils: depuis que tes yeux sont fermes les miens n’ont cessé de pleurir." - Mère française, Verdun

#15 Stevin

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Posted 03 June 2003 - 10:00 PM

Well, you can always threaten to invade...

Remeber, you are the teacher...you have the power whether they get to move to the next class or have to do the year all over again... smile.gif
"Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true!" - Homer Simpson
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#16 Friedrich

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Posted 03 June 2003 - 10:05 PM

Indeed. And you are not helping them! I will threaten them with my red pen and a nice F on their exams!
"War is less costly than servitude, the choice is always between Verdun and Dachau." - Jean Dutourd, French veteran of both world wars

"A mon fils: depuis que tes yeux sont fermes les miens n’ont cessé de pleurir." - Mère française, Verdun

#17 Stefan

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Posted 03 June 2003 - 10:08 PM

Friedrich, as a Cadet instructor I find the threat of acts of extreme violence often work as well ;) :D
There's no honorable way to kill, no gentle way to destroy. There is nothing good in war. Except its ending.
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#18 Stevin

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Posted 03 June 2003 - 10:13 PM

Hahahahaha! That'll go down well on teacher-parent night....

But sure, do instill in them the need for discipline!
"Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true!" - Homer Simpson
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#19 Friedrich

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Posted 03 June 2003 - 10:18 PM

You'll see! By the second month they all will stand up firmly, raise their right arm and shout: "Heil, Professor Friedrich, the smartest in the world!" :D :rolleyes: tongue.gif
"War is less costly than servitude, the choice is always between Verdun and Dachau." - Jean Dutourd, French veteran of both world wars

"A mon fils: depuis que tes yeux sont fermes les miens n’ont cessé de pleurir." - Mère française, Verdun

#20 Stevin

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Posted 03 June 2003 - 10:31 PM

Oh Dear, I feel another "The Wave - experiment" coming up... :eek: :rolleyes:
"Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true!" - Homer Simpson
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#21 Doc Raider

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Posted 04 June 2003 - 02:22 PM

Originally posted by General der Infanterie Friedrich H:
You'll see! By the second month they all will stand up firmly, raise their right arm and shout: "Heil, Professor Friedrich, the smartest in the world!" :D :rolleyes: tongue.gif

Now that would be something worth seeing!!! Make them all wear Fredrich Youth uniforms!!

#22 Deep Web Diver

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Posted 06 June 2003 - 04:54 AM

Posted by Nathan: "I'm a highschool sophmore and I really think that History teachers (for the most part), do a very poor job of teaching WWII (partially I think it's the curriculium set up by the state). We've covered WWII in the last 2 years and each time was horrible. I'm always trying to correct my teacher on basic facts."

Nathan, your school might benefit from a visit by a veteran. Take a look at this article in the War Stories thread about a Doolittle Raider who recently visited with some of your fellow Ohio students. Could you arrange a similar visit at your school?

Your local VFW or other veterans organizations may be willing to serve as a contact between your teachers and veterans who are willing to meet with your class and discuss their experiences. If you can find the veterans, ask your teachers to invite them to meet with your class to discuss their wartime experiences.
This information has been posted for non-commercial, educational, and research purposes.
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"The world will little note nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here." - Abraham Lincoln, Nov. 19, 1863
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#23 Stevin

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Posted 06 June 2003 - 05:51 AM

Excellent idea, Crapgame!

Someone from the resistance came to our (primary) school and told about the war one afternoon. That made a great impression on everyone.

Fried, is this something that you will do in your class? Maybe ask you granddad?
"Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true!" - Homer Simpson
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#24 CrazyD

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Posted 06 June 2003 - 02:17 PM

For one point, every teacher is different. Unfortunatley, sometimes people just get a crappy history teacher. Can happen in any subject... I think one solution would be more emphasis on finding GOOD teachers, not just anyone who will take the job. Maybe pay teachers a bit more?!

But...

partially I think it's the curriculium set up by the state

This accounts for 95% of the problems facing teachers today. Since SO much emphasis has been put on standardized testing and fulfilling requirements, there winds up being very little time for anyting else. Keep in mind, because of Bush's whole "No Child Left Behind" program, the funding for school districts is based directly on their performance in standardized tests. Teachers are forced to spend the majority of their time preparing students for the tests, and little room is left for a lot of the really neat stuff some of us older people remember from school. I'm only 28- but I can remember back in school there was never this kind of emphasis on standardized tests.
As a case in point- anyone heard the currently popular nickname among teachers for "No Child Left Behind"?
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#25 Nathan S.

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Posted 07 June 2003 - 03:01 AM

True, true, and ofcourse it's not only history that suffers from the standardized testing. All of my other classes suffer from it also.

I also agree with the part about finding better teachers to do the job. The Senior American Government teacher told me that Akron, Ohio, was bombed very heavily during the Vietnam War. Once again, when I told him that I had never heard of that (not to mention that it was totally impossible), he basically told me that I was stupid.




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