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  1. #1
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    A Scot's view of how little Scots are taught of their own history

    For fellow Outlander fans ( mostly the books, for me; much better, IMHO, than the tv series) here is an interesting blog, by a young man who grew up in Edinburgh, making the point that Scots are taught next to nothing of Scottish history. I would like to "hear" the reaction of those Scots, who were educated in Scotland/ the UK, on how little, or how much, they were taught of Scottish history.
    https://youtu.be/ibTnK5cLHeU
    waulk softly and carry a big schtick

  2. #2
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    Not much in my early years, but I read Scottish history at Aberdeen, so overly much later. As I understand the comparisons, Scots are taught Scottish history pretty much as Canadians are taught Canadian history. We are taught much more about Scotland (and Canada) on the world stage; not as in America where America IS the stage.
    Last edited by ThistleDown; 28th December 17 at 07:16 PM.

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  4. #3
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    When in Germany I found the locals I asked about one of my great grandfather's era, when Bismark was in power, and quite a few more well off Prussians emigrated to America, the Germans I spoke with had very little idea about the history of their country in those days. Indeed they seemed to know little of the days before 1945. I learned more in an American high school world history class than they had.

    Today American high school kids seem to know next to nothing of their own history. I have yet to meet one who could pass a citizenship test. I slid through my 8th grade American history class based on what I had learned in grade school.

    Scots aren't the only ones not learning their history today.
    Benning School for Boys
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  6. #4
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    But BB, those who were interviewed by the blogger were late middle-aged. In their early school years they had been taught about UK history (not Scottish). They know who Prince Charlie was, but nothing about the Jacobites. I think that was a point the blogger was making. The Scots are an exceptionally well-educated people, but their education has been focused on their Nation as just a part of the United Kingdom (read 'England', if you wish). Germany is a different case and not to be compared.

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  8. #5
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    US history is being changed and not taught.

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  10. #6
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    I would have to agree that I remember being taught very little about Scotland's history, it was all about the history of Great Britain and worldwide events aka Christopher Columbus etc. I won't say that this was all bad, but thinking back it does seem strange that we were taught so little about our own country which had such a colourful past.

    I guess some may think that this was a deliberate ploy to reduce the friction that still existed between the Scots/English even in the 1970s, but if it was, it didn't work that well as the rivalry and shenanigans that happened around sporting events of that era demonstrates.

  11. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Madadh View Post
    US history is being changed and not taught.
    History is always subject to interpretation. Shoot, even science changes as our understanding does, but with science I expect more objectivity. That said, general narratives have always exists and are at the whim of the dominating culture of the times. If you want to know about a particular time period, read accounts from the bottom up. The truth is out there for those that want to know.
    American by birth, human by coincidence and earthling by mistake.

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  13. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by jhockin View Post
    For fellow Outlander fans ( mostly the books, for me; much better, IMHO, than the tv series) here is an interesting blog, by a young man who grew up in Edinburgh, making the point that Scots are taught next to nothing of Scottish history. I would like to "hear" the reaction of those Scots, who were educated in Scotland/ the UK, on how little, or how much, they were taught of Scottish history.
    https://youtu.be/ibTnK5cLHeU
    I saw this as I subscribe to his channel. I was surprised. I've been told how superior every educational system outside the US is to the US. FWIW, I remember reading accounts of Japanese young adults seeing the movie Pearl Harbor and they didn't know that happened...With Germany, they had to own up to their transgressions during the war and before, Japan didn't get the same treatment. Knowing one's history is important for everyone in that it gives context and substance to where one is from and who they are. Another thing is that the American experience is different from many other places. We're all from somewhere else and most haven't been here more than a few hundred years, whereas other countries are far less dynamic in terms of immigration and culture. What is important culturally will be different.
    American by birth, human by coincidence and earthling by mistake.

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  15. #9
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    I see your point, ThistleDown. Perhaps as years go by younger Scots are learning more of their own national history, and that being for the good. Could it be in some way as it was for American Indians who were put into government schools where in the they learned nothing of the history of their own peoples, but now have their own tribal schools where they can also learn their own history?

    As for students in the public schools I'm afraid less of our national history is being taught now than in the past, say when I was young. My third grade teacher a very devoted teacher, one who taught us well, including our history, began her carrier in the early 1900s. She retired at the end of my year with her in 1955. Teachers of that era, and there were many like her, had distinctly different views than those today who teach less earnestly. Teachers of my acquaintance today pursue the work specifically to impart propaganda more than fact. It pains me that it is so. As a result young Americans today are learning less and less of the facts of their own history, and learning nothing but one person's opinions about it.

    I have a little game. Often when checking out at a store, and the cashier is young, and the amount of my purchase is the same as some important date in our history I'll ask them what happened on that year, say 1865, and every time they fail to know. When I tell them, without fail so far, they invariably tell me they did not learn that in school.

    Hoorah for young Scots taking an interest in their own story.
    Last edited by Benning Boy; 29th December 17 at 08:44 PM.
    Benning School for Boys
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  17. #10
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    Those are good questions, BB. Jerry (jhockin) was, however, asking: I would like to "hear" the reaction of those Scots, who were educated in Scotland/ the UK, on how little, or how much, they were taught of Scottish history. The problem on this forum, with its limited cultural diversity, is that those who are not Scottish-educated find that they need to respond with comparatives from within their own culture and social experience. And because there are so fewer of us we can sometimes seem defensive which -- I assure you! -- we are not.

    There is almost no similarity between the destruction of Native American culture by a greedy, land-hungry incoming horde and the absorption of Scottish society by a large, wealthier, powerful (and, perhaps, greedier) portion of itself.

    If we must compare Scottish and American education, then we must look at America's North and its South, and the United Kingdom's North and South, in reverse. But -- and this is a very large 'but' -- Scotland's National educational system and intense desire for knowledge has long been superior to that of its dominant neighbour Nation. If we take the blog jhockin gives us as a symbol of Scots knowledge about its own history, the question Scots must ask is what knowledge of its history exists south of the Tweed -- and it does ask that question, frequently. A secondary question might be directed to the limited extent of the survey and, mayhap, to the location of the blogger when he conducted it.

    I can't remark on your point that folk in America are absorbing history as it is tossed at them on social media without question and research. That's beyond the OP's question and quite probably in violation of our rules on political comment.
    Last edited by ThistleDown; 29th December 17 at 10:31 PM.

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