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Topic ClosedUS school curriculum ethnocentric?

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Jan 2010 at 15:38
Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

Sorry, Germans didn't invented the theory of relativity. A Jew invented it.
A German Jew. You really shouldn't expose your ignorance this way.

 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Jan 2010 at 15:39
Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

...
What exactly has Amerindian society contrîbuted to the make-up of US culture today? I would suggest that Jewish and African heritages have contributed far more than the Amerindian: those Amerindians that have been influential as individuals have for the most part done so through assimilating to the mainstream....


You still don't get the point, do you?

The point is not to make an history to reconfort poor Blacks and poor Jews. Most people feel pitty for those groups already, anyways.

The point is to recognize that human beings existed in the lands of the United States during 12.000 years before the first European settlers arrived to the Americas.

Africans still have Africa. Jews have Israel.

Native Americans only have the U.S.




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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Jan 2010 at 15:39
Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

Sorry, Germans didn't invented the theory of relativity. A Jew invented it.
A German Jew. You really shouldn't expose your ignorance this way.

 


A man that renounced to his German nationality. After all that country was converting his fellow people in ashes at the time.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Jan 2010 at 15:43
Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:

Originally posted by Carcharodon Carcharodon wrote:

Its rather strange that so many non biologists think they are such experts on the history of life that they can dismiss evolution.
 
And most of the people that are forever quoting Darwin and evolution aren't either, so what's your point? If you wish to appear savant here, Carch, then really familiarize yourself with the real controversy: How evolution is taught and when! The contention is but a facet of just how far an educator may assume the role of in loco parentis.
The deeper problem here is the failure to distinguish between 'evolution' and 'Darwinism' Equating one with the other makes nonsense of the whole discussion.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Jan 2010 at 15:48
Originally posted by lirelou lirelou wrote:

My grandson, who lives in Salt Lake City, is currently studying Mandarin in his public school honors program
 
Hey, so is mine in New Jersey (I don't know about 'honours program'). His mother is Filipino and his father of course English.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Jan 2010 at 15:53

Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

 

No it isn't. If you want to do a Michener and write a history of, say, Hawaii, then that approach would be correct. But Hawaii then is just a piece of land. The United States is not a piece of land: it's a people, a nation, a society, a community. That other societies with no influence on the development of the US have existed on some overlapping piece of land is simply happenstance. Not for nothing did Churchill call his book the History of the English-speaking Peoples.


At least before Anglo American invasion Hawaii was also more than a piece of land, it was people and cultures who lived there (some of their descendants still live there) so one can not say that Hawaii (more than in a strict geographic sence of course) is only a piece of land. There is several ways to define Hawaii. Even in an American perspective it is not only a piece of land, it is also an administrative entity.

Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

  That should I suppose be peoples, plural. However the Amerindians only rate a tiny piece if anything of that contribution. Since most US Americans are Christians, shouldn't most of their history be that of Christianity? Since virtually all of them speak English, shouldn't the history of the English-speaking people be more relevant than, say, the history of peoples whose languages aren't spoken by more than a tiny minority?

Today it is more important than ever to see the mulitude in American experience. Also other groups than the dominating group should have their heritage taught in a comprehensive way.

Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

   Exactly. So think again about the history of specific pieces of land. Land doesn't have history, it has geology.


But there is the history of the peoples that lived on that land. And many times there are actually a link between land and people, since people live of the products of the land. That is also an elemement that shapes cultures and history.

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Jan 2010 at 15:55
Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

The deeper problem here is the failure to distinguish between 'evolution' and 'Darwinism' Equating one with the other makes nonsense of the whole discussion.


Well, the meaning of the word evolution can vary depending on circumstances. The Darwinian meaning of evolution though is more narrow.
When they teach evolutionary biology at the university they mean evolution in a Darwinian sence (or at least Darwins theory is at the core of the teachings).


Edited by Carcharodon - 07 Jan 2010 at 16:01
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Jan 2010 at 15:58
Originally posted by Constantine XIShakespeare is more important if you spend most of your life living in an English speaking country. And frankly, most Americans do.
<DIV>[/QUOTE Constantine XIShakespeare is more important if you spend most of your life living in an English speaking country. And frankly, most Americans do.
[/QUOTE wrote:

A fortiori Shakespeare is more important no matter what language is spoken where you are. No playwright, not even Racine
A fortiori Shakespeare is more important no matter what language is spoken where you are. No playwright, not even Racine or Corneille or Goethe or Aeschylus or Euripides or Lope de Vega or O'Casey, is played so often and so widely and so innovatively at so many levels and in so many languages as Shakespeare is, all around the world even in Japan and India.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Jan 2010 at 16:05
Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

A fortiori Shakespeare is more important no matter what language is spoken where you are. No playwright, not even Racine or Corneille or Goethe or Aeschylus or Euripides or Lope de Vega or O'Casey, is played so often and so widely and so innovatively at so many levels and in so many languages as Shakespeare is, all around the world even in Japan and India.


Historically, his works had only a meaning in a western context. In China for example he have not had any meaning exept for a very short period of time. Still today for example Wu Chengen  means a lot more for most chinese than Shakespeare. The western culture is not equivalent with all culture.

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Jan 2010 at 16:05
Originally posted by Carcharodon Carcharodon wrote:

Originally posted by pikeshot1600 pikeshot1600 wrote:

LOL  How did the American Indians collaborate "to create the MAINSTREAM America?"
 
We await your filling the forum with your unchallengable wisdom!!!! 
 


America of today is a result of historical processes where the American Indians had a very important role, maybe some times as adversaries (which was not their fault) but still they where very much involved in creating todays America.
No they weren't. That's the whole point you are getting fundamentally wrong. They no more did that than the aborigines created modern Australia or the people who built Stonehenge created modern Britain.
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And actually they they are still around contributing to and shaping the history and culture of America.
Some individuals are, vut they are only having any effect because they are assimilated to the mainstream culture.
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 And actually their long history in America is in the long run maybe more important and interesting than some of the rather short, hodge podge, wild west style history of the European descendants.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Jan 2010 at 16:13
Originally posted by Carcharodon Carcharodon wrote:

Originally posted by Constantine XI Constantine XI wrote:


...
Irrelevant. You learn about your own culture before that of the wider world first. We are talking about the high school curriculum, not tertiary level.
And yes, mainstream US culture is largely derived from European heritage.

That is not so clear cut. From early on Amerindians and also other ethnic groups have participated very much in forming the history of what is today USA.

Ethnic groups 'other' than what?  Of all the ethnic groups in the world, perhaps the one that has contributed least to modern America is the Amerindian. Probably the Ainu contributed less.
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To not cover those group is to give a wrong picture of history.
To ignore them completely would be to give an incomplete picture, yes.  But we're discussing high school education for generalists, not tertiary education for specialists, and thereforeyou need to concentrate on the ones that played the bigger role.
 
In fact, if there's a visible weakness in US education it's that not enough attention is paid to foreign history and culture.

 


Edited by gcle2003 - 07 Jan 2010 at 16:14
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Jan 2010 at 16:23

Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

 
No they weren't. That's the whole point you are getting fundamentally wrong. They no more did that than the aborigines created modern Australia or the people who built Stonehenge created modern Britain.

Of course they were. Without the Amerindian contributions (also even when they were in an advesary role) there would be no US. And all the way up to today they played, and still play a role.

Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

Some individuals are, vut they are only having any effect because they are assimilated to the mainstream culture.

Many ideas from the Amerindian communities affects the debates and cultural life in todays US.

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Jan 2010 at 16:24
Originally posted by Carcharodon Carcharodon wrote:

And they do not have to reapeat Shakespeare in all eternity. At least the Chinese laborers lived and worked in the US. Shakespeare lived in England.
What the expletive deleted difference does it make where he lived? Are you suggesting American children should not be taught about Julius Caesar because he lived in Italy? Or about Saladin? Or about Napoleon (other than he sold Louisiana)? Or about Galileo and Newton? Or Velazquez?
 
What do you really want to do? Totally destroy culture in America? 
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Originally posted by Constantine XI Constantine XI wrote:

Then you should give practical examples. E.g. students spend such and such a percentage of their time studying Native American history, when such and such a percent would be more appropriate.
Well, then one must have the exact shemes of the schools and their curricula if one shall go in and give advice about details. I am talking of overall principles here.
What you're doing is blethering about something you know nothing whatsoever about.


Edited by gcle2003 - 07 Jan 2010 at 16:24
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Jan 2010 at 16:29
Originally posted by Carcharodon Carcharodon wrote:

Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

Originally posted by Carcharodon Carcharodon wrote:

It seems that some organisations and schools actually must ask for donations to get some teaching about Native Americans into schools:


Probably. US Schools seem always to be raising charitable funds to supplement inadequate public funding, not just for whatever "Native American Curriculum" may be.
 
Tell me, what history of the north American tribes do we have, apart from archaeology and the history of encounters with Europeans?


One must see history in its wider meaning and not only as written sources.  Archaeology can give a lot of information (in some matters it can be superior to written sources) and also the careful study of orally transmitted history.
In other words, there is none. List me just a few historical events that took place on what is now US soil before 1492 (other than possible landings by Vikings). I can't think of any frankly, but you may know better than me.
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To only teach 500 years of an American experience of about 15 000 years is really to falsify reality.
Then give me some of those historical events that you would want to teach.
 
 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Jan 2010 at 16:29
Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

Ethnic groups other than what?  Of all the ethnic groups in the world, perhaps the one that has contributed least to modern America is the Amerindian. Probably the Ainu contributed less.

You express a clear ignorance about the contributions of Amerindians. There would not even have been a US without Amerindian contributions of different kinds.

Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

In fact, if there's a visible weakness in US education it's that not enough attention is paid to foreign history and culture.


Tha last thing I can agree with. It is often obvious when one deals with some Americans.

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Jan 2010 at 16:34
Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

...
What exactly has Amerindian society contrîbuted to the make-up of US culture today? I would suggest that Jewish and African heritages have contributed far more than the Amerindian: those Amerindians that have been influential as individuals have for the most part done so through assimilating to the mainstream....


You still don't get the point, do you?

The point is not to make an history to reconfort poor Blacks and poor Jews. Most people feel pitty for those groups already, anyways.
But they contributed far more to the building of the US than Amerindians did. It's you that don't get the point.
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The point is to recognize that human beings existed in the lands of the United States during 12.000 years before the first European settlers arrived to the Americas.
Like Carch, what you're saying is that there is NO history of the Amerindians in North America other than that connected with the European invasion. All there is is archaeology. So go teach an archaeology class.
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Africans still have Africa. Jews have Israel.

Native Americans only have the U.S.
The US is not a piece of land.



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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Jan 2010 at 16:36
Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

...
No they weren't. That's the whole point you are getting fundamentally wrong. They no more did that than the aborigines created modern Australia or the people who built Stonehenge created modern Britain....

Look at this way. Europeans (or white people, if you preffer) are getting extincted everywhere. In the long term all that people will know about the white people in the U.S. is that they were a majority during .... 300 years?

Do you think history will be the same after the WASP establishment lost power?
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Jan 2010 at 16:40
Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:



In other words, there is none.


Then you are simply not well informed.

[QUOTE=gcle2003] List me just a few historical events that took place on what is now US soil before 1492 (other than possible landings by Vikings). I can't think of any frankly, but you may know better than me.
[QUOTE]

Well, one can take the buildning of some of the native cultures. One can take the building of for example the mound builder culture and their structures and the evolution of that society. One can take the evolution  of Agriculture and other modes of subsistence in North America, or the development of different kind of societies. One can teach about the movements of certain peoples and cultures or the how ecological factors gave rise to different cultural and societal adaptations. One can teach about how it came that Amerindians in the norht west lived in a different ways thatn on the plains, or in the eastern woodlands, or in the southwest or in the souther woods and swamps.
There are really so many things to teach. The contexts, the developments and also the details and particular cases and examples.
And it is of course possible to adapt those teachings to different levels in the schools systems.

It seems that your view about what history is in a wider context is a bit narrow and western centered.


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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Jan 2010 at 16:41
Originally posted by Carcharodon Carcharodon wrote:

Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

 

No it isn't. If you want to do a Michener and write a history of, say, Hawaii, then that approach would be correct. But Hawaii then is just a piece of land. The United States is not a piece of land: it's a people, a nation, a society, a community. That other societies with no influence on the development of the US have existed on some overlapping piece of land is simply happenstance. Not for nothing did Churchill call his book the History of the English-speaking Peoples.


At least before Anglo American invasion Hawaii was also more than a piece of land, it was people and cultures who lived there (some of their descendants still live there) so one can not say that Hawaii (more than in a strict geographic sence of course) is only a piece of land. There is several ways to define Hawaii. Even in an American perspective it is not only a piece of land, it is also an administrative entity.

I didn't say Hawaii was a piece of land. I said if you did a Michener you would be treating it as a piece of land. You do know Michener, don't you? It sounds from your response as though you didn't have the faintest idea what I was talking about.
Quote

Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

  That should I suppose be peoples, plural. However the Amerindians only rate a tiny piece if anything of that contribution. Since most US Americans are Christians, shouldn't most of their history be that of Christianity? Since virtually all of them speak English, shouldn't the history of the English-speaking people be more relevant than, say, the history of peoples whose languages aren't spoken by more than a tiny minority?

Today it is more important than ever to see the mulitude in American experience. Also other groups than the dominating group should have their heritage taught in a comprehensive way.

You're always coming up with these plonking statements with nothikng to back them up. WHY is it more important than ever now? I can see why it is more important that ever now that Americans understand foreign countries, because the US is no longer invulnerable across the ocean. But no reason at all why it is more important than ever to learn about the Amerindians.
Quote

Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

   Exactly. So think again about the history of specific pieces of land. Land doesn't have history, it has geology.


But there is the history of the peoples that lived on that land. And many times there are actually a link between land and people, since people live of the products of the land. That is also an elemement that shapes cultures and history.

Irrelevant to the point. The history of the United States is not the history of a piece of land. If you'd understood the Michener reference you'd have realised that I accepted you could write a history of North America, or part of it (cf Centennial ) That wouldn't be the same thing at all, and I see no need for it at high school level.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Jan 2010 at 16:42
Originally posted by Carcharodon Carcharodon wrote:

Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

The deeper problem here is the failure to distinguish between 'evolution' and 'Darwinism' Equating one with the other makes nonsense of the whole discussion.


Well, the meaning of the word evolution can vary depending on circumstances. The Darwinian meaning of evolution though is more narrow.
When they teach evolutionary biology at the university they mean evolution in a Darwinian sence (or at least Darwins theory is at the core of the teachings).
No it ç%&%ç well isn't.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Jan 2010 at 16:43
Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

But they contributed far more to the building of the US than Amerindians did. It's you that don't get the point.


Contributed to what? Perhaps you should start for getting informed about the Amerindian contributions. Otherwise, you are arguing without bases.
The first contribution was to develop the foodstuff to settle there.

Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:


Like Carch, what you're saying is that there is NO history of the Amerindians in North America other than that connected with the European invasion. All there is is archaeology. So go teach an archaeology class.


Again. Are you sure about that? Again, I am afraid you don't have much idea.

Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:


The US is not a piece of land.


Confused

So, what is it? A boat in the ocean?





Edited by pinguin - 07 Jan 2010 at 16:49
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Jan 2010 at 16:47
Originally posted by Carcharodon Carcharodon wrote:

Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

A fortiori Shakespeare is more important no matter what language is spoken where you are. No playwright, not even Racine or Corneille or Goethe or Aeschylus or Euripides or Lope de Vega or O'Casey, is played so often and so widely and so innovatively at so many levels and in so many languages as Shakespeare is, all around the world even in Japan and India.


Historically, his works had only a meaning in a western context.
If all you mean is he wrote them in London, that's true. Otherwise it's nonsense.
Quote
In China for example he have not had any meaning exept for a very short period of time.
Again if all you mean is it took a fair amount of time to get through to China, that's probably right. Eventually though it did.
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Still today for example Wu Chengen  means a lot more for most chinese than Shakespeare.
And in how many countries would that be true? In any case Wu was not a playwright, and I specifically said 'playwright'. Find me a Chinese playwright with anything like the universal appeal of Shakespeare.
 
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 The western culture is not equivalent with all culture.

Truism. So what?
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Jan 2010 at 16:49
Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

But they contributed far more to the building of the US than Amerindians did. It's you that don't get the point.


Contributed to what? Perhaps you should start for getting informed about the Amerindian contributions. Otherwise, you are arguing without bases.
The first contribution was to develop the foodstuff to settle there.

Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:


Like Carch, what you're saying is that there is NO history of the Amerindians in North America other than that connected with the European invasion. All there is is archaeology. So go teach an archaeology class.

Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:


The US is not a piece of land.


Confused

So, what is it? A boat in the ocean?
That must be up there with your all-time stupidest quotes.
The US is a federal nation state.
 
You're still, I note, unable to come up with any historical events like I asked Carch for.



[/QUOTE]

Edited by gcle2003 - 07 Jan 2010 at 16:49
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Jan 2010 at 16:51

 

Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

 

I didn't say Hawaii was a piece of land. I said if you did a Michener you would be treating it as a piece of land. You do know Michener, don't you? It sounds from your response as though you didn't have the faintest idea what I was talking about.


Well, if you express yourself in a more coherent manner then it would be easier to understand what you mean.

And I read Micheners books, yes.

Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

  You're always coming up with these plonking statements with nothikng to back them up. WHY is it more important than ever now? I can see why it is more important that ever now that Americans understand foreign countries, because the US is no longer invulnerable across the ocean. But no reason at all why it is more important than ever to learn about the Amerindians.


If people at all shall understand why there is a US and why it looks at i does, then they must learn about American indians. Otherwise they will not understand how US came to be or why it looks the way it does.

Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

  Irrelevant to the point. The history of the United States is not the history of a piece of land. If you'd understood the Michener reference you'd have realised that I accepted you could write a history of North America, or part of it (cf Centennial ) That wouldn't be the same thing at all, and I see no need for it at high school level.

The history of the US as a state is also intimately connected with the Amerindians. One can not teach US history in a comprehensive way without understanding their contributions and their importance. And to understand that it is also good to have knowledge about the history of the Amerindians in a longer persective.

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Jan 2010 at 16:52
Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

But they contributed far more to the building of the US than Amerindians did. It's you that don't get the point.


Contributed to what? Perhaps you should start for getting informed about the Amerindian contributions. Otherwise, you are arguing without bases.
The first contribution was to develop the foodstuff to settle there.
Nope. It grew there, or its antecedents did. The colonists would have had no problem living off the land with no Amerindians around.
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Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:


Like Carch, what you're saying is that there is NO history of the Amerindians in North America other than that connected with the European invasion. All there is is archaeology. So go teach an archaeology class.


Again. Are you sure about that? Again, I am afraid you don't have much idea.
All you have to do is prove it by giving me a list of historical events that took place in North America before the Europeans arrived.
Citizen of Ankh-Morpork.

Never believe anything until it has been officially denied - Sir Humphrey Appleby, 1984.

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Jan 2010 at 16:56
Stupid quotes?

Yes, the US is a Federal nation state.

And if you knew more about the topic you would know that was modeled after the IROQUOIS CONFEDEREATION.

That's why people should learn history, so it doesn't remain ignorant of the facts.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Jan 2010 at 16:58

Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:


If all you mean is he wrote them in London, that's true. Otherwise it's nonsense.


I mean for a long time his works was mostly known in a western setting. In many other cultures he did not mean anything. Once again you overvalue western cultural contributions.
 

Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

And in how many countries would that be true? In any case Wu was not a playwright, and I specifically said 'playwright'. Find me a Chinese playwright with anything like the universal appeal of Shakespeare.

 

To start with in China. And Wu Chengens work has been a standing piece of both Beijing opera and sevearal other local forms of Chines opera for a long time. And today his work is a true icon even in modern Chinese popular culture.

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Jan 2010 at 17:02
Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

[
Nope. It grew there, or its antecedents did. The colonists would have had no problem living off the land with no Amerindians around.


False, once again. The Europeans tried once before the settlers of North America. They were the norse. They died of hunger because they didn't have the colaborations the Brits received.

Many people died of hunger in the Americas during the early settlements, but I am afraid you aren't informed.

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Jan 2010 at 17:11
 
Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:


And if you knew more about the topic you would know that was modeled after the IROQUOIS CONFEDEREATION.

That's why people should learn history, so it doesn't remain ignorant of the facts.

Indian romanticism, much like the Germans playing Indians you were complaining so much about. The federative construction of the republic of the United States was modelled, not surprisingly, after the republic of the United Provinces.



Edited by Styrbiorn - 07 Jan 2010 at 17:11
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Jan 2010 at 17:11
Should you ask me,
whence these stories?
Whence these legends and traditions,
With the odors of the forest
With the dew and damp of meadows,
With the curling smoke of wigwams,
With the rushing of great rivers,
With their frequent repetitions,
And their wild reverberations
As of thunder in the mountains? 

  I should answer, I should tell you,
"From the forests and the prairies,
From the great lakes of the Northland,
From the land of the Ojibways,
From the land of the Dacotahs,
From the mountains, moors, and fen-lands
Where the heron, the Shuh-shuh-gah,
Feeds among the reeds and rushes.
I repeat them as I heard them
From the lips of Nawadaha,
The musician, the sweet singer."
...
On the Mountains of the Prairie,
On the great Red Pipe-stone Quarry,
Gitche Manito, the mighty,
He the Master of Life, descending,
On the red crags of the quarry
Stood erect, and called the nations,
Called the tribes of men together. 

     From his footprints flowed a river,
Leaped into the light of morning,
O'er the precipice plunging downward
Gleamed like Ishkoodah, the comet.
And the Spirit, stooping earthward,
With his finger on the meadow
Traced a winding pathway for it,
Saying to it, "Run in this way!"
 
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Hiawatha (excise of Introduction, stanzas 1/2, Chapter 1, stanzas 1/2)
 
[for those interested in the entire poetic epic, a transcription of the 1909 edition of the 1859 editio princeps is on-line, together with Notes on the text by Wallace Rice: http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/toc/modeng/public/LonHiaw.html ]
 
Just the existence of this work makes mishmosh of all the malarkey put forth on this thread just as does the career of Longfellow, Professor of Modern Languages at Harvard, who was criticized for "imitating European styles and writing for the masses". So much for the argument of ignoring and disparaging...
 
Sing, O Song of Hiawatha,
Of the happy days that followed,
In the land of the Ojibways,
In the pleasant land and peaceful!
Sing the mysteries of Mondamin,
Sing the Blessing of the Cornfields!


     Buried was the bloody hatchet,
Buried was the dreadful war-club,
Buried were all warlike weapons,
And the war-cry was forgotten.
There was peace among the nations;
Unmolested roved the hunters,
Built the birch canoe for sailing,
Caught the fish in lake and river,
Shot the deer and trapped the beaver;
Unmolested worked the women,
Made their sugar from the maple,
Gathered wild rice in the meadows,
Dressed the skins of deer and beaver.
 
Ibid., 13: 1-2, "The Blessing of the Cornfield"
 
The poem alone, which is part of the standard curriculum in elementary education, says enough of the Amerind in a North American context than all of the dreary polemics foisted by the agenda-minded. And guess what it is damned accurate with regard to custom, languages, and history! Yes, it is romantic, but to the truly curious it remains a spark even in its ironic closing, which Longfellow drew from the writings of the Jesuit, Pere Marquette.
 
To claim that the American educational system does not "expose" its charges to the cultures of the Amerind is a contention possible only through stark ignorance. However, what then to do with the incontrovertible fact that these cultures are not homogenous, nor should they be. Certainly, any claim that the children of the state of New Mexico are kept ignorant of the Pueblos is poppycock, but then there are also the Navajo...which all goes back to my original assertion: the dilemma stems from how the subject matter is taught and not its instruction at all. 


Edited by drgonzaga - 07 Jan 2010 at 17:13
Honi soit qui mal y pense
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