What do other countries teach about The united states?

The school experience. School related queries, discussions, and stories that aren't specific to a subject.

Moderators: gmalivuk, Moderators General, Prelates

User avatar
Woofsie
Posts: 705
Joined: Fri Jun 20, 2008 1:11 pm UTC
Location: Ireland
Contact:

Re: What do other countries teach about The united states?

Postby Woofsie » Tue Jun 16, 2009 6:40 pm UTC

Well in secondary school I didn't learn any, because I didn't do history or geography.

In primary school, uhh.. I remember very little, but I know you came up in both world wars (I think we touched on pearl harbour) and we did a bit on Columbus. They seem to do more now though. My 8-year-old brother had to watch Obama's inauguration for homework back when that was happening.

Also, we did nothing on the American Revolution. We did lots on the Irish Revolution though. I guess we're more proud of our own ass-kicking of the British than we are of yours. :P

Voco
Posts: 285
Joined: Tue Aug 26, 2008 7:29 pm UTC
Location: A land of blind idealism.

Re: What do other countries teach about The united states?

Postby Voco » Tue Jun 16, 2009 9:38 pm UTC

Adacore wrote:
I'm curious about the inversion of this question - what do people in the United States learn about European history? I'd ask about Asian and African history as well, but I know so little of that I'd be unable to judge whether you actually did anything interesting or not :?


Well, our textbooks and teachers tend not to consider the native Americans to be part of "our" history prior to colonization. We learn about them, but it is taught as the history of the people who used to live here, not 'our' history per se. We tend to identify with the Romans up until they left Britain, the English until the colonization of the Americas, and the American colonists until the American Revolution. Our history classes therefore follow that progression as well, focusing more on those cultures than others. That said, we do learn a bit about other European countries; Germany in particular, particularly the bits having to do with the protestant reformation and the 30 years war. Beyond that we mostly learn about the world wars and their aftermath. Though we did cover the French revolution for a few weeks in World History. We also learn about the Russian revolution, though I don't know whether you'd say that counts as "European."

Chuff
CHOO CHOO I'M A TRAIN
Posts: 1018
Joined: Mon Feb 16, 2009 8:45 am UTC
Location: The Purple Valley, Mass

Re: What do other countries teach about The united states?

Postby Chuff » Wed Jun 17, 2009 2:11 am UTC

Yakk wrote:
Chuff wrote:
Rakysh wrote:We've never done the US revolution. Ever. That doesn't bother me in the slightest.

Our history is mostly focused on the two world wars, their causes, and the USA's rise to power. Over here, the attitude to the US is mostly that we're pissed at you for dragging us into Iraq. This does come across in many of my more political teachers lessons.

Poxic- I think you're right about Scotland, and I know nothing about Austria, but from my experience Kiwi's are unbothered about Australia- they're regarded as a brasher, slightly immature country but not as innately superior.

You do realize Canada isn't in Iraq, right?

First, you do realize:
Rakysh
Location: UK

right? :)

Second, while Canada "isn't in Iraq", Canadians (and members of the Canadian Armed Forces) are in Iraq. You'd be surprise how intertwined the Canadian and US armed forces get.
Can we just skip over to the part where I'm an idiot and everyone should laugh at me?
But yeah, I know there are Canadians in Iraq, but the Canadian Military on the whole is not.
But back to laughing at my idiocy, okay?
The Great Hippo wrote:The internet's chief exports are cute kittens, porn, and Reasons Why You Are Completely Fucking Wrong.
addams wrote:How human of him. "If, they can do it, then, I can do it." Humans. Pfft. Poor us.

User avatar
Velict
Posts: 609
Joined: Wed Dec 24, 2008 9:07 pm UTC
Location: Icecrown Citadel

Re: What do other countries teach about The united states?

Postby Velict » Wed Jun 17, 2009 3:12 am UTC

Adacore wrote:I'm curious about the inversion of this question - what do people in the United States learn about European history? I'd ask about Asian and African history as well, but I know so little of that I'd be unable to judge whether you actually did anything interesting or not :?


I suspect that the answer to your question varies wildly, given the highly decentralized nature of American education.

TLDR: European history is a brief overview, mostly as it relates American history. There is a rather strong pro-Western bias to be found, and most European history taught concentrates on the classical civilizations (Greece, Rome) and Western Europe. A lot of general trends are taught, but not too many specifics.

In my school district (perhaps my state, I'm not entirely sure), classes on world history and American history are the only history classes required for graduation. There are also various elective courses that touch on European history, notably AP Comparative Government, AP European History, and a course on international relations. I'll try and limit my responses to my experiences from the required coursework; additional classes provide a much more in-depth history, but are not taken by the majority of students; European History is actually the least popular elective of those relevant here.

(A sidenote: I am on the high end of American education. I attend a public, state-funded school, but it has an educational program that is rather far above the average. My coursework so far as history goes is exclusively AP courses, which are only taken by a minority of American students.)

The first major topic is classical Greece, which is somewhat idolized. Greek mythology is briefly discussed, and the development of democracy in Athens is considered significant (although teachers make sure to point out that it was not democracy for everyone). Ancient Greek culture is briefly discussed. Historical events include the Greco-Persian wars, the development of the Delian League, Athens' golden age, the Peloponnesian War, and finally the coming of the Romans. The primary focus, as you may note, is on the city-state of Athens. Greek philosophers are discussed briefly; we read excerpts of Plato, Aristotle, and Herodotus, and Socrates is generally revered.

The next major topic covered is the Roman Empire, which is (perhaps fittingly) seen as a remarkably advanced civilization that united much of the world and made significant cultural and technological advances. A rough historical outline is taught, from the foundation of the Roman Kingdom to its disintegration following barbaric invasions in the fifth century. Julius Caesar is highlighted, as are the Punic Wars and the sack of Carthage. The Byzantines are never really covered; their existence is briefly noted, then dismissed.

A very brief outline of medieval history is given. The basic concepts of feudalism, vassalage, and monarchy are taught. The poor quality of life for peasants is emphasized. No single empire is discussed in detail, and there is only a general impression that Europe is constantly involved in war. The Renaissance makes a short cameo, and the development of explorers (as well as Henry the Navigator) are discussed. European colonization follows soon after, which is seen primarily as a means to obtain wealth and economic status, but also political power in Europe. African, Caribbean, and Spanish/Portuguese colonization are viewed as rampant exploitation, and rather inhumane to boot.

European colonization of the present-day United States is covered in full, as you might expect. The Northern colonists fled religious persecution and the too-Catholic Anglican Church in England, while the Southern colonists were primarily there for economic reasons (except for Maryland, which was a refuge for Catholics). England's rule isn't particularly seen as oppressive, except in the case of the Dominion of New England and the Intolerable Acts. I'll exclude the full of the American revolution, as it's not particularly relevant to European history.

The industrial revolution is briefly discussed, while the French and Russian revolutions are taught in great detail. Both are seen as uprisings against tyrannical rulers, while the former is particularly noted for its violence (with the number of revolutionaries executed in the war, it's viewed as somewhere between comedic and barbaric). The poverty of the common people is again emphasized here. The Napoleonic Wars are mentioned briefly, primarily as they relate to American history.

A more complete view of European history begins to take place when World War I is taught. The various warring nations are discussed in some detail, as are the circumstances leading to the beginning of the war. Germany is seen as somewhat aggressive and warlike, while America's role in the war is seen as significant but not a deciding factor. So far as the peace talks and the Treaty of Versailles are considered: Lloyd George is widely seen as a consummate politician, and unnecessarily harsh towards the Germans; Clemenceau is seen as being even harsher, to the point of vindictiveness; and Woodrow Wilson is somewhat romanticized in his efforts towards lasting peace and global cooperation. Post-war Europe is largely considered to be a mess (although one that greatly benefits American manufacturers), and the rise of nationalism, fascism, and socialism are taught (with a notable bias against fascism).

Germany's rise in World War II is largely seen as a result of the terms of the Treaty of Versailles (although that, in American eyes, was the fault of George and Clemenceau), and Neville Chamberlain is viewed as wildly incompetent in his attempts to appease Hitler. Hitler, of course, is roughly equivalent to the Antichrist in popular dislike. The war itself is viewed as rather disastrous towards the Allies until the Japanese attack Pearl Harbor and America enters the war effort. We are seen as the deciding factor in World War II, with the Soviet role rather less important (and Great Britain's even less so; France's is negligible). Largely because of this war, France is seen as being rather incompetent when it comes to warfare, perhaps even cowardly (see the surrender of Paris).

Post-war Europe is considered to be a battleground between the West and the East, with a notable bias against the Soviets. It is taught, with a rather strong sardonic note, that America is the defender of democracy and the foe of communism in Europe. Contemporary Europe isn't really taught at all.

achan1058
Posts: 1783
Joined: Sun Nov 30, 2008 9:50 pm UTC

Re: What do other countries teach about The united states?

Postby achan1058 » Wed Jun 17, 2009 3:54 am UTC

It's surprising that they don't teach anything about the Eight Nation-Alliance at all......, where Japan, Russia, UK, France, US, Germany, Italy, and Hungary all wanted a piece of China. I mean, there is no excuse for this to not be in the history of any American or European history, since they are all involved in it.

User avatar
Velict
Posts: 609
Joined: Wed Dec 24, 2008 9:07 pm UTC
Location: Icecrown Citadel

Re: What do other countries teach about The united states?

Postby Velict » Wed Jun 17, 2009 3:57 am UTC

achan1058 wrote:It's surprising that they don't teach anything about the Eight Nation-Alliance at all......, where Japan, Russia, UK, France, US, Germany, Italy, and Hungary all wanted a piece of China. I mean, there is no excuse for this to not be in the history of any American or European history, since they are all involved in it.


Ah, I forgot that bit. It's taught in American history, insofar as the United States came late to the game and then advocated an "Open Door" policy (accomplished following the Boxer Rebellion).

User avatar
Why Two Kay
Posts: 266
Joined: Sun Mar 23, 2008 6:25 pm UTC
Location: Plano, TX
Contact:

Re: What do other countries teach about The united states?

Postby Why Two Kay » Wed Jun 17, 2009 6:05 am UTC

Velict wrote:
achan1058 wrote:It's surprising that they don't teach anything about the Eight Nation-Alliance at all......, where Japan, Russia, UK, France, US, Germany, Italy, and Hungary all wanted a piece of China. I mean, there is no excuse for this to not be in the history of any American or European history, since they are all involved in it.


Ah, I forgot that bit. It's taught in American history, insofar as the United States came late to the game and then advocated an "Open Door" policy (accomplished following the Boxer Rebellion).


Yeah, we learned about this in AP US History. But it wasn't in much depth.
tl;dr - I said nothing important.

User avatar
Adacore
Posts: 2755
Joined: Fri Feb 20, 2009 12:35 pm UTC
Location: 한국 창원

Re: What do other countries teach about The united states?

Postby Adacore » Wed Jun 17, 2009 9:06 am UTC

Velict wrote:Lots of interesting stuff about history education in the US snipped for length

Germany's rise in World War II is largely seen as a result of the terms of the Treaty of Versailles (although that, in American eyes, was the fault of George and Clemenceau), and Neville Chamberlain is viewed as wildly incompetent in his attempts to appease Hitler. Hitler, of course, is roughly equivalent to the Antichrist in popular dislike. The war itself is viewed as rather disastrous towards the Allies until the Japanese attack Pearl Harbor and America enters the war effort. We are seen as the deciding factor in World War II, with the Soviet role rather less important (and Great Britain's even less so; France's is negligible). Largely because of this war, France is seen as being rather incompetent when it comes to warfare, perhaps even cowardly (see the surrender of Paris).

Cool - so you actually get pretty much the same historical 'track' as the UK up until colonisation, where the focus switches across the atlantic. I guess that makes sense.

The WW2 teaching is interesting (not just the US perspective, just generally), in that every country teaches it so differently. We're pretty much taught that, at least in the european theatre, the US helped out some with the counterattack but we (the Allies, led by the Brits) were on track to winning the war without them (although we would've been totally screwed without the convoys of US materiel). The majority of the war from the British perspective was the battle of britain with the RAF valiantly holding off the Luftwaffe until we were ready for D-Day. As with you, the Soviet role is greatly downplayed (political reasons for this, of course, during the cold war, and that perspective is still ingrained).

Sethric
Posts: 9
Joined: Sat Jun 13, 2009 9:29 am UTC

Re: What do other countries teach about The united states?

Postby Sethric » Wed Jun 17, 2009 9:35 am UTC

Adacore wrote:As with you, the Soviet role is greatly downplayed (political reasons for this, of course, during the cold war, and that perspective is still ingrained).


Which is a pity, as I always saw the Battle of Stalingrad as the key turning point. Germany had devoted huge amounts of manpower to operations in the East.

User avatar
Grop
Posts: 1998
Joined: Mon Oct 06, 2008 10:36 am UTC
Location: France

Re: What do other countries teach about The united states?

Postby Grop » Wed Jun 17, 2009 1:08 pm UTC

Yes, the idea that USSR and UK alone couldn't do the job* is most probably a misconception. Now, we should maybe avoid making this a serious thread; it's okay as long as we all agree we are talking about points of view.

* That is, the job of creating the communist empire of Eurasia ;).

User avatar
Vaniver
Posts: 9422
Joined: Fri Oct 13, 2006 2:12 am UTC

Re: What do other countries teach about The united states?

Postby Vaniver » Wed Jun 17, 2009 5:11 pm UTC

My school history education involved a basic overview of... most dominant cultures at most times, I think. It wasn't particularly informative (there were the Ottomans! They had this government structure! They used horseback archers, then janissary riflemen!), and it's hard for me to separate the things I learned elsewhere from what I learned in school. There's only so much you can cover in... I think we had around a year of world history.
I mostly post over at LessWrong now.

Avatar from My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, owned by Hasbro.

User avatar
Internetmeme
Posts: 1405
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2008 3:16 pm UTC
Location: South Carolina, USA

Re: What do other countries teach about The united states?

Postby Internetmeme » Wed Jun 17, 2009 5:45 pm UTC

Adacore wrote:I'm curious about the inversion of this question - what do people in the United States learn about European history? I'd ask about Asian and African history as well, but I know so little of that I'd be unable to judge whether you actually did anything interesting or not :?
Here in South Carolina, we have a "track" to be followed.

Went to Private School until 4th,

Elementary
4th grade-overveiw of world history, cavemen to pre civil war (american).
5th grade-American Civil war to fall of Soviet Union. overview,
Middle School
6th grade-Slightly more detailed overview of world history, cavemen to pre age of exploration
7th grade-Age of exploration to fall of Soviet Union
8th grade-South Carolina history; 1600's to mid 1950's
High School
Takes several tracks. Just finished 9th grade, but in Global Studies I Honors:

Cavemen, the two basic species of humans, other minor species which died out; Neanderthals lived 100,000 years and homo sapien sapien civilization sprung up in a few thousand years.
Neolithic Revolution-farming, early civilizations, characteristics of civilization (Government, social classes, trade, cities, religion, art).
Mesopotamia; Akkadians, Sumerians, etc...
Egypt; overview
Greece, detailed; Minos (I think that's the name; it was the advanced civilization that historians think were exxagerated to be Atlantis. They had 2 story buildings and indoor plumbing), Mycenai, Athens, Sparta, Greco-Persian wars, Peloponesian War
Alexander the Great, hellenistic world
Early India
Early China
Early Japan
Rome. Several chapters on Rome. We get it, they were a great civilization.
Fuedalism, the Black Plague, death of Fuedalism, Crusades, major empires
Arab World
Middle China
Middle India (last unit on them)
Middle Japan, they are stagnanting
Africa (they only get one chapter)
Italian Renaissance, death of Fuedalism
Native Americans
Meso-America
Age of Exploration
Enlightenment
Protestantism, Reformation
100 years' war
Rise of Spain, England, and France
30 years' war, which was really the first world war, death of Holy Roman Empire, Spanish King Philip II, English Queen Elizabeth, French Louis XVI (I think he was the Louis that was the "sun king")
American Revolution
French Revolution
Napoleon

And then the year ended.

So that's basically what we are taught about Europe and the rest of the world in America.
Spoiler:

User avatar
Adacore
Posts: 2755
Joined: Fri Feb 20, 2009 12:35 pm UTC
Location: 한국 창원

Re: What do other countries teach about The united states?

Postby Adacore » Wed Jun 17, 2009 5:58 pm UTC

Internetmeme wrote:French Louis XVI (I think he was the Louis that was the "sun king")

Thanks for the info - nice to see you got a fair bit of world history in there! The Sun King was Louis XIV.

achan1058
Posts: 1783
Joined: Sun Nov 30, 2008 9:50 pm UTC

Re: What do other countries teach about The united states?

Postby achan1058 » Wed Jun 17, 2009 8:06 pm UTC

Adacore wrote:
Internetmeme wrote:French Louis XVI (I think he was the Louis that was the "sun king")

Thanks for the info - nice to see you got a fair bit of world history in there! The Sun King was Louis XIV.
Ya, XVI was the one that got his head chopped off.

Bassoon
Posts: 476
Joined: Wed Nov 28, 2007 10:58 pm UTC
Location: Wisconsin

Re: What do other countries teach about The united states?

Postby Bassoon » Wed Jun 17, 2009 8:11 pm UTC

Internetmeme wrote:
Adacore wrote:I'm curious about the inversion of this question - what do people in the United States learn about European history? I'd ask about Asian and African history as well, but I know so little of that I'd be unable to judge whether you actually did anything interesting or not :?

[snip]
So that's basically what we are taught about Europe and the rest of the world in America.


Hmmm, that's interesting. In Wisconsin, we were taught nothing about history until third grade, where we focused on the colonization of the Americas and the history of Wisconsin. Oh, I lied. In second grade, we had a unit on the town history.

2nd: The History of the Town
3rd: Colonization of Americas, History of Wisconsin, Wisconsinian Native American Tribes
4th: History of Wisconsin, Wisconsinian Native American Tribes, Slavery
5th: Native American Tribes all throughout the Americas. Incas, Aztecs, Mayans, Tlingit, etc.
6th: Ancient Cradle of Life History. Babylon, Assyria, Ur, Egypt, China, Rome, Greece. Middle ages.
7th: More focusing on Current Events. Aztecs, Mayans. Africa. Lots and lots of Africa. Black Death.
8th: Early American history from colonization to Reconstruction.
9th: Late American history from Reconstruction to 1980s.
10th: World History focusing on Latin America, Middle East, and China, and how Europe's imperialism affected them.
11th: Extended world history, focusing more on current events then using history to define them.
12th: Economics and Government.

These were the classes you had to take to graduate. The AP classes actually covered stuff.

I regret our history programs. They didn't really teach us anything focus on anything that would seem important. Most of the stuff I "learned" about Native Americans I'd forgotten by 12th grade because they taught it to us seven years ago.

Oh, and what's worse than that is that at the beginning of every history year, they always have to review geography. Always! Every year! They also spent an inordinate amount of time teaching that slavery was bad. I swear, at least five times every year the classes were given the old "Slavery sucks and here's why" speech. I certainly got it after fourth grade. Why did we need to rehash this? The classes, until 8th grade began, seemed to be a random assortment of history topics. I can't exactly recall why we covered the Aztecs, Africa, and the Black Death in 7th grade, but I do remember that we covered them.

The classes during high school weren't half bad. They covered the topics we'd need to know adequately, but I'm rather upset about the grade school classes being essentially a failure. We didn't really go too in-depth on anything. They just sort of grazed the surface of history and then moved on. I can't tell you how many times I've asked questions that go deeper than what they're taught only to be answered with, "That's not covered in this course." It actually was so bad that in 9th grade, before reading Les Miserables, our English teacher took a week to teach us about the French Revolution. They did that again in 10th grade because our history classes never covered it. In 7th grade science, we learned about the Renaissance because history hadn't covered it. It's ridiculous. You'd think they'd spend less time teaching you Wisconsin's history (when the fuck will I ever need that?) and more time teaching your something you can apply, like world history. But whatever. I'm not bitter.

Although, the science classes were extremely in-depth.

User avatar
Angua
Don't call her Delphine.
Posts: 5941
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2008 12:42 pm UTC
Location: UK/[St. Kitts and] Nevis Occasionally, I migrate to the US for a bit

Re: What do other countries teach about The united states?

Postby Angua » Thu Jun 18, 2009 7:23 pm UTC

I went to school in the Caribbean. Here, most of our history is rather Caribbean oriented, and so what we learnt about the US was all in relation to us. Here goes:

Due to the high prevalence of land taken up by sugar, most of our food came from the US (usually dried or salted), and so when you lot had the American War of Independence (apparently we don't call it a revolution because nothing much actually changed for the average person's way of life) the sugar plantations ended up going downhill because they couldn't get food due to blockades, and so we had to start trying to grow our own, but it really was the beginning of the end for the West Indian sugar plantations.

In the early 1900's West Indians started immigrating to the US (and Britain) to look for work, we had a bit about the Back to Africa movement and that was about it.

What else did we do in history that had to do with other countries? Well, there was a bit about early civilisations (though mostly Central and South American ones), a bit on what was going on in Europe in relation to the political climate before Columbus (so a lot of Spain for the late 1400's to end of the 1500's, with the Spanish taking over and wiping out most of the indigenous people here, and how they colonised the islands here), and during their power struggles that ended up in who did the most colonising of the Caribbean (Britain), a bit on Oliver Cromwell as he was the one who led to the capture of Jamaica (and failed attempt at the Dominican Republic), the black rights movements in Britain (Mansfield Judgement was the beginning there), a bit on the French Revolution as they were actually the first to grant equal rights to blacks in Haiti before Napoleon came along and tried retake Haiti, a bit on India and China (and a tiny bit of Madeira) because we had indentured servants from there when they abolished the slave trade in 1807, the politics of Britain in who was trying to lobby for the actual end of slavery (eg the people trying to convince the planters that Amelioration in 1827 was a good move but then ending up with Emancipation in 1834-1838 (IIRC Antigua was the only island to forgo Apprenticeship, and of course then found out when other countries ended slavery, but they weren't high up, we barely even looked at the American Civil War), and then all the upheavals in the Caribbean during colonialism (which is what in my country at least we call the period between the end of slavery and us gaining independence) which had was disrupted by WW2 as Britain had to divert resources until most of the countries ended up becoming independent.

Yes, Caribbean history is so much fun, but don't worry if the US is viewed in a bad light, pretty much everyone outside the Caribbean was. :P
Crabtree's bludgeon: “no set of mutually inconsistent observations can exist for which some human intellect cannot conceive a coherent explanation, however complicated”
GNU Terry Pratchett

User avatar
LaserGuy
Posts: 4585
Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2009 5:33 pm UTC

Re: What do other countries teach about The united states?

Postby LaserGuy » Thu Jun 18, 2009 8:47 pm UTC

Out of curiosity, how many of the Americans (or others) here learned in history class the myth that Columbus discovered America while trying to prove that the Earth was round?

Voco
Posts: 285
Joined: Tue Aug 26, 2008 7:29 pm UTC
Location: A land of blind idealism.

Re: What do other countries teach about The united states?

Postby Voco » Thu Jun 18, 2009 8:58 pm UTC

Well, I heard it... In first grade or so. That seems to be a quirk of (American) history education. Each year corrects some of the misinformation taught the year before. By the third grade almost nothing learnt in the first still applies. One myth that persists far longer than it should, though, is the myth that the American revolutionaries won the war of independence because they "were the only ones smart enough to hide behind trees." That's as complex as it gets, for far too many.

User avatar
bigglesworth
I feel like Biggles should have a title
Posts: 7461
Joined: Sat Apr 07, 2007 9:29 pm UTC
Location: Airstrip One

Re: What do other countries teach about The united states?

Postby bigglesworth » Fri Jun 19, 2009 1:20 am UTC

To be fair, I was taught (in England) that the war basically started and was won because the French wanted to spite the Brits.
Generation Y. I don't remember the First Gulf War, but do remember floppy disks.

User avatar
Velict
Posts: 609
Joined: Wed Dec 24, 2008 9:07 pm UTC
Location: Icecrown Citadel

Re: What do other countries teach about The united states?

Postby Velict » Fri Jun 19, 2009 2:01 am UTC

bigglesworth wrote:To be fair, I was taught (in England) that the war basically started and was won because the French wanted to spite the Brits.


That also seems like a misconception, although towards the other side. The French only became heavily and directly involved in the war effort after Saratoga, when it became clear that the rebellion had some chance of success. France and Spain aided the American cause greatly, but American forces eventually repelled Cornwallis in the South and bottled Clinton into New York after 1778. Although it's fair to say that French and Spanish activity in the Caribbean did distract British resources significantly.

User avatar
Vieto
Posts: 1558
Joined: Sun Jun 22, 2008 10:44 pm UTC
Location: Canada

Re: What do other countries teach about The united states?

Postby Vieto » Sat Jun 20, 2009 12:47 am UTC

LaserGuy wrote:Out of curiosity, how many of the Americans (or others) here learned in history class the myth that Columbus discovered America while trying to prove that the Earth was round?

To be fair, I was taught that he thought the Earth was 1/3rd its actual size.

User avatar
sparks
Posts: 119
Joined: Sat May 17, 2008 7:24 pm UTC
Contact:

Re: What do other countries teach about The united states?

Postby sparks » Sun Jun 21, 2009 2:24 am UTC

I'm in Portugal, and we mostly only talked about the US when covering Int'l history. That is, grades 7-9 and then 10-12. 10-12 I took History A (the more in-depth one, mandatory for the area of studies I chose). We covered basically from the colonization to the present day, at varying depths. We did talk a lot about when it came to the War of Independence, and then the 20th Century -- WWI and WWII, Cold War, etc..
(icon by clockwork-harlequin.net)
Image
"An idea that is not dangerous is unworthy of being called an idea at all." ~ Oscar Wilde

User avatar
Kimmeh
Posts: 21
Joined: Sun Jun 21, 2009 11:13 pm UTC
Location: United States
Contact:

Re: What do other countries teach about The united states?

Postby Kimmeh » Sun Jun 21, 2009 11:34 pm UTC

I don't remember what countries we did specifically, but I think I received a rather varied history background, well, until I started high school.

5th grade: I want to say is was largely American history. I remember going over the Great Depression, the time leading up to it, and the time after it. Our teacher also used to live in Saudi Arabia so we learned a bit about that culture as well.
6th grade: We largely focused on other countries, namely European. I remember us having multiple skinny books, each one on either a country or a group of them.
7th grade: First part of the year was largely Greece due to the Olympics. We spent a good chunk of time on Mesopotamia.
*Moved to North Carolina for 4 months. Didn't learn much. Moved back to original county*
8th grade: Georgia History. 'Nuff said. Rather pointless IMO
*Moved to Michigan*
9th grade: Civics and Geography. For me it was largely a review of elem. school topics. We didn't really go in depth at all.
10th grade: American History. Again a review. Started in about the 1800s with expansion to the west, Industrial Revolution, Depression, what various presidents did, WW1, WW2, Vietnam, etc
11th grade: Government/Economics.
12th grade: Nothing required. I'm taking both AP US History and AP European History this year. APEH covers from the end of the dark ages to present day. Not sure about APUSH.

I find it interesting that Georgia is/was ranked 49 on the educational scale (last I knew). I know Michigan is not 50th, yet I feel I received a better education in Georgia that I have in Michigan.

User avatar
BlackSails
Posts: 5315
Joined: Thu Dec 20, 2007 5:48 am UTC

Re: What do other countries teach about The united states?

Postby BlackSails » Mon Jun 22, 2009 5:28 am UTC

In my high school (American), we had two years of global history, then one year of american history, and one year of either economics or US Government/Politics.

Global history started with the neolithic revolution, then basically jumped to early civilizations (indus river, Mesopotamia, etc), then from there, we basically went off into different cultures. (Ie, we would do africa, then jump back in time and start China from pretty early on).

It was pretty through, but I really couldnt be assed to remember most of it. Learning about salt traders in ancient Africa is not all that interesting.

User avatar
WholeLottaSean
Posts: 93
Joined: Tue Apr 28, 2009 7:51 pm UTC

Re: What do other countries teach about The united states?

Postby WholeLottaSean » Mon Jun 22, 2009 9:12 am UTC

I'm in England, and we learnt about the slave trade, a bit on independence, the revolution, and the treatment of blacks thereafter. WWI and II came up in year 9, the bits that focussed on America were Pearl Harbour and the A bombs.

I learnt more about Russian history than I did American.

keeperofdakeys
Posts: 658
Joined: Wed Oct 01, 2008 6:04 am UTC

Re: What do other countries teach about The united states?

Postby keeperofdakeys » Mon Jun 22, 2009 11:35 am UTC

I'm from Australia and haven't really learned much about america from school, I've mostly pieced it together from movies and tv
I have covered a bit about the world wars
this is about as much as I know
Christopher Columbus finds it, fights with indians, southern expansion, uprise against british, civil war with south then a blank region till last century

User avatar
Hazel
Posts: 114
Joined: Wed Jun 18, 2008 1:35 pm UTC

Re: What do other countries teach about The united states?

Postby Hazel » Mon Jun 22, 2009 12:17 pm UTC

Can't recall much except the twentieth century, sorry. I'll try and dig up some textbooks later. Plenty of Cold War, of course, and I remember a lot of "the other Allies didn't do all that much in WWII and didn't open the Second Front when they said they would." I don't think we went over Pearl Harbour at all, and Hiroshima and Nagasaki were skimmed over. It was mostly all about the Great Patriotic War. Actually, the war as a whole is generally seen as having lasted four years, although that's just the Soviet campaign. I'm not sure if it's that way in other schools, but we had two separate history classes: Russian and global. We skimmed over a lot of material. Covered the Great Depression in an hour, etc.

User avatar
harpyblues
Posts: 171
Joined: Mon Dec 01, 2008 4:19 am UTC
Location: Chicago

Re: What do other countries teach about The united states?

Postby harpyblues » Mon Jun 29, 2009 5:40 am UTC

Adacore wrote:I'm curious about the inversion of this question - what do people in the United States learn about European history? I'd ask about Asian and African history as well, but I know so little of that I'd be unable to judge whether you actually did anything interesting or not :?


We learned very, very little about Asia and Africa. Mostly, from 4-5th grade, we learned about very early civilization and how it branched off from Africa and into the other continents, touching down on the Yellow River early civs in China. I only really covered it again in highschool during AP Euro, with how Europe was taking over/forcing trade in Africa and Asia. Not much about the real history at all.
michaelandjimi wrote:But these are zombies of cuteness!

MWPPrule215
Posts: 23
Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2008 9:13 pm UTC

Re: What do other countries teach about The united states?

Postby MWPPrule215 » Fri Jul 10, 2009 7:26 am UTC

Lets see... I don't really remember much from elementary school, just that in 1st grade we learned that "in fourteen hundred ninety two, Columbus sailed the ocean blue" and he "discovered" America. Oh, and he had 3 ships. The rest of Elementary education is a blur, though I do remember doing a Canada project in 5th grade, when I learned that they had provinces instead of states. I had Alberta.

6th and 7th grade were world history, mostly pretty much just overviews. Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece, Rome,.... world wars.... yea it was a long time ago.

8th grade was US history.... we went from the native americans up until right after WW1

9th grade was world history again, though more in depth. We only went up to the renaissance. A bit of China's history was covered here too.
10th grade= AP Euro. Pretty much the middle ages onward. We did a whole unit about the French Revolution (my teacher had a funnn game/project thing for that). After the AP in may, we had to cram in the rest of the world in the 6 weeks before the global regents. So yea... don't think i actually retained much from that time.
11th grade was APUSH.... Native Americans--> Present Day, though we didn't spend much time talking about anything after Vietnam.
12 grade I took AP Gov and AP Economics. Almost nothing about govenments outside of the US. We did learn a bit about communism in economics though.
Image

User avatar
ShaiDeshe
Posts: 13
Joined: Sun Jul 12, 2009 11:40 pm UTC
Location: HUJI, Israel
Contact:

Re: What do other countries teach about The united states?

Postby ShaiDeshe » Mon Jul 13, 2009 12:47 am UTC

I believe my high school textbooks mentioned that the US exists a few times... We learn what we need to know about the US from TV.
I guess it's pretty accurate, I mean, there are no fat people at all in the US, right?

User avatar
The Loofah Tree
Posts: 33
Joined: Thu May 21, 2009 11:01 pm UTC
Location: A cardboard box

Re: What do other countries teach about The united states?

Postby The Loofah Tree » Tue Jul 14, 2009 12:21 pm UTC

^Correct. Everyone falls into the pleasantly plump category. :D
User is indefinite and subject to spontaneous onsets of apathy.

solitarysock
Posts: 20
Joined: Fri Nov 28, 2008 6:12 pm UTC

Re: What do other countries teach about The united states?

Postby solitarysock » Wed Jul 15, 2009 1:23 am UTC

I went to school in different countries, and skipped some years, which, together with the fact that history curricula are crammed with so much stuff that teachers never manage to do all of it in one year (and will skip the rest), made my knowledge of history rather strange :-)

We learnt a lot about Egyptians, Mesopotamians, Greeks, Romans... (huge gap) Middle Ages (huge gap) Columbus (huge gap) ~1800-1940 (small gap that accidentally covers WWII, yes, this is Germany here) and then some bits and facts here and there and lots of contracts to memorize from between 1945-1950. Nothing since then (it was supposed to take place in 13th grade, which is rather late, too). Never learned anything in school about how Germany was divided into two parts or about the Vietnam War, and what we did about the Cold War was basically learn what weapons they had.
So... that didn't cover much of anything about the US, that took place in English lessons, if at all. I think we did the Constitution and how the political stuff works once a year. Funnily enough, there are always elections you can talk about. Either there are elections right now, there have been elections within the past two years, or there will be elections within the next two years... Well, and we learned the "I have a dream" speech by heart, as well as the Gettysburg Address (apparently that's what it's called... I can't remember the context, just the first bit... so much for learning by heart)

Interestingly enough, including foreign history and culture lessons into language classes meant that we learned lots and lots about the UK, France and Spain, quite a bit about the US, a lot about poisonous animals in Australia, so I never want to go there, thanks a lot, a little about South America (excluding Brazil, nobody even mentioned that, as if it didn't belong there at all), and nothing about Africa, China, Russia, Japan or any other part of the world we didn't learn the language of (well, and India, too, except that one day when some Indians came and gave us a talk about India... nobody could understand them, though...)

User avatar
Zamfir
I built a novelty castle, the irony was lost on some.
Posts: 7604
Joined: Wed Aug 27, 2008 2:43 pm UTC
Location: Nederland

Re: What do other countries teach about The united states?

Postby Zamfir » Wed Jul 15, 2009 8:58 am UTC

solitarysock wrote:(small gap that accidentally covers WWII, yes, this is Germany here)


Are you suggesting that Germans cut WWII from their curriculum? I know loads of Germans, and I personally never encountered any tendency to 'forget' about WWII.

User avatar
Dragon029
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Jul 14, 2009 10:05 am UTC
Location: Australia, QLD
Contact:

Re: What do other countries teach about The united states?

Postby Dragon029 » Wed Jul 15, 2009 9:30 am UTC

Here in Australia I'm only taught really where the USA is <although it'd be pretty amazing to find someone who didn't know, just from TV, games, literature, etc we're taught which states are which, etc.

To be honest, my school doesn't really focus on anything but Australia, as the media pretty much covers things like the American Civil War.
My Year 9 SOSE <Study Of the Society and Environment - aka Geography, Economics, Environmental & History studies rolled into one for most of our education> / Year 9 & 10 English teacher was from Minnesota.
Adapt or Die

User avatar
Zamfir
I built a novelty castle, the irony was lost on some.
Posts: 7604
Joined: Wed Aug 27, 2008 2:43 pm UTC
Location: Nederland

Re: What do other countries teach about The united states?

Postby Zamfir » Thu Jul 16, 2009 10:07 am UTC

Meteorswarm wrote:
Dragon029 wrote:To be honest, my school doesn't really focus on anything but Australia, as the media pretty much covers things like the American Civil War.


Somehow I feel like any information you're getting from the "media" about historical events is going to be woefully incomplete.


On the contrary. If you rely on the media for historical events, your knowledge of the American Civil War is going to be woefully overcomplete for such a distant subject. Especially as a non-American.

User avatar
Ran4
Posts: 131
Joined: Mon May 04, 2009 2:21 pm UTC

Re: What do other countries teach about The united states?

Postby Ran4 » Thu Jul 16, 2009 2:49 pm UTC

In Sweden: not very much.
Usually some quick line such as "then the united states went into the second world war".
A few times, the teacher also explained to some students that the reason many americans aren't good at geography or international politics is because they (eg. american students) spend most of their time learning about the united states instead.
Oh, and once we had an english exam which consisted solely of remembering as many US states as possible. I think the average score was remembering the name and position of 20 states or so. (No, I don't know why that was an english exam...).

...you don't learn much about anything in Swedish schools.

User avatar
bigglesworth
I feel like Biggles should have a title
Posts: 7461
Joined: Sat Apr 07, 2007 9:29 pm UTC
Location: Airstrip One

Re: What do other countries teach about The united states?

Postby bigglesworth » Thu Jul 16, 2009 2:52 pm UTC

Damn, you're breaking my faith in Sweden :(
Generation Y. I don't remember the First Gulf War, but do remember floppy disks.

User avatar
yeyui
Posts: 102
Joined: Sun Sep 16, 2007 10:45 pm UTC
Location: Kinston, NC, USA
Contact:

Re: What do other countries teach about The united states?

Postby yeyui » Fri Jul 17, 2009 6:11 am UTC

My schooling was in Ohio.

Our history classes pretty much ignored Canada after the war of 1812 (although I barely remember learning anything about that).
What bothered me was how little we learned about the UK. Sure, we learned about it during Exploration, Colonialism, the America Revolution, Industrial Revolution, and the World Wars. And of course Shakespeare (but not in history class). But I don't think we were ever taught about William the Conqueror, the Magna Carta, The War of the Roses, Henry VIII, or the Acts of Union.

I'm reading Churchill's History now to fix some of that ignorance.

achan1058
Posts: 1783
Joined: Sun Nov 30, 2008 9:50 pm UTC

Re: What do other countries teach about The united states?

Postby achan1058 » Fri Jul 17, 2009 3:13 pm UTC

I don't recall much about Henry VIII neither, other than:
a) He had his own church.
b) He divorced many wives, some beheaded.


Return to “School”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests