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Thread: Is teaching History to primary kids using Empathy a valid technique or a "trendy" one?

  1. #1
    Dylan2010
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    Default Is teaching History to primary kids using Empathy a valid technique or a "trendy" one?

    I came across an example where a nine year old girl came home upset from school because she was given a history exercise which was a picture of a WW1 trench and she had to imagine being there and ponder why there were dead bodies not moved in the trench etc. Its certainly different to the way we were taught history and while there is more to history to remembering dates and the names of kings etc. I would have thought that the next step was to try to include some ethical backdrop possibly or economic backdrop which was probably missing when I learned history in school.

    So are such methods the "bees knees" or a waste of time as a way to teach kids either History or empathy? It reminds of the Simpsons episode where the boys and girls are sent to different schools and Lisa's class do maths by having to think about how the numbers make them feel. Surely the more people have experienced war the more damaged they are, why would one want to "fake" it in the classroom?


    there is a short Express article which covers some aspects of this in the UK case.

    Return to traditional history

  2. #2
    Politics.ie Member Mr. Bumble's Avatar
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    This empathic method seems like an excellent way of understanding history but nine years old is too young. There is an old adage about learning:

    When I hear, I forget.
    When I see, I remember.
    When I do, I understand.
    Cry your hardest now, it opens the lungs, washes the countenance, exercises the eyes and softens down the temper. So cry away.

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    She won't feel like crying the next time. Just another subtle method to rob children's childhood innocence as early as possible in order to create children hardened and immune to the suffering of others and to make them 'adults' with complete adult knowledge of all the evils the the world as soon as possible to normalise it all.

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    Politics.ie Member Mr. Bumble's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zerubbabel View Post
    She won't feel like crying the next time. Just another subtle method to rob children's innocence as early as possible in order to create children hardened and immune to the suffering of others.
    Yes that's exactly the purpose of this method. Pesky Lizard people.
    Cry your hardest now, it opens the lungs, washes the countenance, exercises the eyes and softens down the temper. So cry away.

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    Politics.ie Member Clanrickard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zerubbabel View Post
    She won't feel like crying the next time. Just another subtle method to rob children's childhood innocence as early as possible in order to create children hardened and immune to the suffering of others and to make them 'adults' with complete adult knowledge of all the evils the the world as soon as possible to normalise it all.

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    Names, places and dates are important.

    But what is wrong with firing the imaginations of young people?

    The best history books, documentaries and films tell you the human story of what it was like to live at that time, what made people believe, say and do what they did and how what happened in the past created our present and how we ourselves are part of history.

    Imagine if kids were actually taught how to think for themselves?
    Last edited by Hitch 22; 11th March 2013 at 07:51 PM.

  7. #7
    Dylan2010
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    here is the page in question

    (History Quest 5. CjFallon, pg 73)


  8. #8
    Dylan2010
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Bumble View Post
    This empathic method seems like an excellent way of understanding history but nine years old is too young. There is an old adage about learning:

    When I hear, I forget.
    When I see, I remember.
    When I do, I understand.
    there is that but I'd still prefer to see history with some "ethics" goggles on, like "do you think the soldier wanted to be there?" "did he hate the soldiers on the other side? . to fully experience what the soldier was going through youd need exercises like "imagine a rifle round going through your best friends brain, how does this make you feel?" ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dylan2010 View Post
    here is the page in question

    (History Quest 5. CjFallon, pg 73)

    What's the problem?

    The trenches of World War I were hell on earth.

    Shouldn't kids be told the unvarnished truth?

  10. #10
    Dylan2010
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hitch 22 View Post
    What's the problem?

    The trenches of World War I were hell on earth.

    Shouldn't kids be told the unvarnished truth?
    its still varnished though as I mentioned above do they need to see the effects of a rifle shell on the body, or what an artillery shell does to a horse? , I guess part of my question is we dont teach adults history this way so why kids?

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