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The State of Education

As you know, Dude is doing Public Online Charter School (aka public homeschooling) this year.  The program is run by a group called k12.com and for the most part, it’s very interesting.  They run a lot of the Online Public Charter Schools for other states (Oregon being one of them) and have a pretty in depth curriculum.  However, Georgia has it’s own standards that don’t always fit k12’s curriculum.  Such as, the history portion of Dude’s schooling is pretty limited.  Instead of studying Colonial America and world events from there to post-WWII, he’s to skip 75% of the book and focus on a few, select units and a couple additional lessons.  Mind you, these are GEORGIA’S requirements.

Which led to me pondering my own knowledge and education of history.   I have never studied history in school past the Industrial Revolution.  Not once.  Usually, most of my history classes in school barely made it past the reformation.  In fact, most of what I know about the industrial revolution came about because of a paper I wrote on Franz Schubert, a composer that lived during the Industrial Revolution, the ‘Romantic Era’ of music and when Impressionist art came about.

Never once did I study WWI or WWII.  What I know of them is what I’ve garnered from family, tv and Bad Pants.  In college, history was not my focus and I took the required, bare minimum classes for my science degree, which was never completed.   For that matter, the only world history education I got happened in a 7th grade Honor’s Class, where my teacher taught college level material in lecture format.

We wonder why our children are falling behind large parts of the world when it comes to education.  I am a product of public school.  Specifically of advanced Honor’s classes of public school.  Yet, it’s clear that my education is far from complete.  And now Dude’s is about to follow the same path.

Wouldn’t teaching a more linear, world time line be a good thing?  I mean, US history can be taught in depth enough over a couple of years, spread out and it might be good for Americans to have a broader understanding of world history at large.  Wouldn’t it be good for children to know about the French Revolution? Or about how the Middle East was divided up, causing some of the conflict there today, after WWII?  Or about how and why the rest of the world works as it does?

What do you think?  How much world history education did you receive in school?  Are you a product of public or private school?

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