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  1. #21
    Per Ardua Metamorphosis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Usehername View Post
    The only history class Canadians have is in grade 11.
    This is somewhat disturbing. I would agree with Randomnity's point that history classes tend to focus only on facts, and not enough on significance, but that doesn't change the fact that the study of history is very important.
    "You will always be fond of me. I represent to you all the sins you never had the courage to commit."

    Reason is, and ought only to be the slave of the passions, and can never pretend to any other office
    than to serve and obey them. - David Hume

  2. #22
    Sniffles
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    Quote Originally Posted by MacGuffin View Post
    They can probably say something about a "Boston tea party" but not place its significance in the historical narrative. Ask the average American about Saratoga or Yorktown or the larger European war that grew out of the American revolution or the Articles of Confederation.
    Or try telling them the national anthem is based off an old British drinking song:
    [youtube="lRwAoneiDMc"]Original Star-Spangled Banner[/youtube]

  3. #23
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    Australians argue about our history. In fact we even have history wars. Some take the Black Band view of Australian history and some see us as a model Western country.

    And interestingly we engage in comparative history, particularly with colonial countries similar to ours, such as the countries of South and Central America and North America, Africa, India and Indo China.

    And it is comperative history that I think is the most fascinating and throws the most light on our own history.

  4. #24
    On a mission Usehername's Avatar
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    Points taken from some of the Americans. I wonder if my very traditional, behind-the-times Republican state takes more pride in its nation's history because they want to clutch to the past so much, so I run into a disproportionate number of people who know their nation.

    @Victor what is something about Australia's history that all Australians would know about?
    *You don't have a soul. You are a Soul. You have a body.
    *Faith is the art of holding on to things your reason once accepted, despite your changing moods.
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  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Usehername View Post
    @Victor what is something about Australia's history that all Australians would know about?
    The peaceful federation of six sovereign States into the Commonwealth of Australia.

    And the peaceful and amicable independence from Briton.

    And of course the exploration of Australia.

    Also our fight for survival against the Japanese Empire.
    And the fight against the Nazis in Europe.

    And women were the first in the world to gain the vote in Australia and New Zealand. And we were the first with the Old Age Pension. And the first with a minimum working wage.

    And there are the discoveries in science and medicine.

    We know about the ANZUS alliance with the United States. And our claim on half of another Continent, Antarctica.

    We know we did not betray lawful authority with a bourgeois revolution, and we didn't sacrifice our children in a Civil War.

    And we know that this Continent has never know institutional slavery.

    We know we were founded by the Scottish and English Englightenment and our motto is, "The greatest good for the greatest number".

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Usehername View Post
    Now I know this doesn't generalize to every single American that ever lived, but it's common enough to note:

    Americans all know their gazillion presidents from memory. They can tell you all sorts of details about important historical moments in the formation of their nation. There are American flags in every single American classroom I have ever seen. And I don't know how common this one is, but the American constitution is on the wall of every single classroom I've taught in and been a student in.


    Is your country like this?

    I haven't been able to find the video online, but there was a CBC survey on university campuses across Canada, and the basic consensus was an utter fail of knowledge about Canada's history.

    If I were to sum it up, there is no cultural expectation in Canada to care about the strengths or weaknesses of my country's history. Like that scene between Rafiki and Simba in The Lion King, there's an attitude of, "It doesn't matter! It's in the past!" There is a cultural expectation to care about the present moment and how that interacts with other countries, and that's the context that is expected.

    I absolutely see the value in both of them--context is crucial. But they are different contexts, and I can't figure out which one is more common. They seem to be polar opposities.
    I would say knowing all the presidents is uncommon to the American but teaching them in the classrooms is common.

    I disagree with @Beargryllz. However, the number of American cultures there are robs any individual culture of its depth.

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Usehername View Post
    The only history class Canadians have is in grade 11.
    I hope for your sake you're not Canadian. If you were you'd have learned about the division of powers (see the BNA Act) and known that to say anything about 'Canadian' education is in and of itself incredibly ignorant: education is a provincial matter and varies from province to province. There is no broad, country-wide education system. To say "Canadians only have a history class in grade 11" is idiotic: every province has their own curriculum.

    In Alberta we started learning Canadian history in elementary school. In which podunk, backwater province do kids not learn any Canadian history until Grade 11?

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Usehername View Post
    I'm an educated and curious person, and here are the prime ministers I can name:

    John A. McDonald
    Trudeau
    Cretien
    Harper
    And until I was pretty old I thought Winston Churchill was a Canadian prime minister.
    Going back in reverse chronological order: Harper, Paul Martin, Jean Chrétien, Kim Campbell, Brian Mulroney, John Turner, Pierre Trudeau, Joe Clark, Trudeau's first term, Lester B. Pearson, John Diefenbaker, Louis St-Laurent, William Lyon Mackenzie King, R. B. Bennett, King's second term, Arthur Meighen's second term, King's first term, Meighen's first term, Robert Borden, Wilfred Laurier... and then I can't remember the order. MacDonald was Prime Minister for most of the 19th century, save for Alexander MacKenzie's five years and the short terms of a few others (Bowell, Abbott and the shortest-serving PM: Charles Tupper, who lead the country for about two months).

    Which provinces were first? No idea.

    When was my home province established? No idea.
    Ontario (the former "Canada West" and "Upper Canada"), Quebec ("Canada East", "Lower Canada"), New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. The Northwest Territories were ceded to Canada in 1870. Manitoba was created from some of that territory as a home for the Métis; this was a direct result of the rebellion led by Louis Riel. BC joined the following year. PEI joined in 1873. The Yukon was created in 1898 to deal with the Klondike. Alberta and Saskatchewan were created from the Northwest Territories in 1905. Newfoundland joined Canada in 1949. Nunavut was created in 1999.

  9. #29
    On a mission Usehername's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 93JC View Post
    I hope for your sake you're not Canadian. If you were you'd have learned about the division of powers (see the BNA Act) and known that to say anything about 'Canadian' education is in and of itself incredibly ignorant: education is a provincial matter and varies from province to province. There is no broad, country-wide education system. To say "Canadians only have a history class in grade 11" is idiotic: every province has their own curriculum.

    In Alberta we started learning Canadian history in elementary school. In which podunk, backwater province do kids not learn any Canadian history until Grade 11?
    How on earth would anyone but a K-12 teacher or parent council attendee know that individual provinces decide curriculum? I don't remember learning that either

    For the record, my K-undergrad was entirely in a Canadian province (different from yours). And I'm speaking from the perspective of the people I went to school and university with.

    You know what is also "idiotic?" Calling a broken spoke on a bicycle a "broken wheel." But 95% of people do that. Why? Because there's no cultural expectation to know or even truly see the parts of a bicycle, and the only ones who learn are those who take an interest and take it apart for themselves. Similarly, I'm saying there's no cultural expectation in my home province to know Canada's history, and that 95% of people wouldn't know those things you're mentioning.

    I've HEARD of them. I could pair them up with Canada, like people could pair up the word "spoke" with bicycle. But recognizing and truly knowing are different. I didn't know any of those except Newfoundland in 1949 and Nunavut when I was in grade 7.
    *You don't have a soul. You are a Soul. You have a body.
    *Faith is the art of holding on to things your reason once accepted, despite your changing moods.
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  10. #30
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    So which province are you from?

    I suspect you learned a great deal of Canadian history in school but don't remember any of it. Maybe it was taught poorly or maybe you just didn't care to remember at the time.

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