Pupils think Auschwitz is a beer

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Re: Pupils think Auschwitz is a beer

Postby pajo on Tue Mar 10, 2009 11:50 pm

Do we also teach this in the curriculum? Where do we stop? when do we draw the line and let these terrible things become the thing they are, history. / Knowledge is not the same as understanding. What we need to teach is understanding and tolerance.
-- Gotta say paul, I do see where you're coming from with this... but I wonder, can we teach tolerance and understanding without the knowledge in the first place? if u get my meaning... like, how do we know whats wrong, without seeing the wrong? Learning from past 'mistakes" and all that... like I say tho, I do see what your getting at. and I agree to a point. I do think tho, that any hope that there will ever be real tolerance in the world is like hopin to turn lead to gold... unfortunate, but true :(

History (and most other subjects in the Irish secondary school system) are taught with one (and only one) intention: get points. That is all that most parents, teachers and students care about. There is no immediate benefit to knowing anything beyond a list of facts and figures which equate to marks in an exam, and those facts and figures are easily forgotten.
-- this is another unfortunate truth, albeit a whole other kettle of fish as well.... on the "we dont get credit for what we understand but what lines of text we remember from a book" problem. but again, I see where ur coming from. as soon as ppl leave the final exam room, everything they spent the last few yearz drivin into their head is forgotten...

as for johns lil story there... well... lol... thats just one of those classic lil thingz.... thanx for sharin' john :)
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Re: Pupils think Auschwitz is a beer

Postby museumtom on Wed Mar 11, 2009 11:35 am

I usually give Ronan Caffrey a hand displaying the weapons at the Curragh, salute etc. My speel is 'if you can name it you can handle it' I was very surprised how well up some of the kids were about weapon types etc. Even the different rifles, pistols etc, yep they knew them all. I asked on little guy how they knew about all these and knew the differences etc. He says ' They are all in a playstation game'.
Go figure.
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Re: Pupils think Auschwitz is a beer

Postby knightofredemption on Wed Mar 11, 2009 12:34 pm

Gotta say paul, I do see where you're coming from with this... but I wonder, can we teach tolerance and understanding without the knowledge in the first place? if u get my meaning... like, how do we know whats wrong, without seeing the wrong? Learning from past 'mistakes" and all that... like I say tho, I do see what your getting at. and I agree to a point. I do think tho, that any hope that there will ever be real tolerance in the world is like hoping to turn lead to gold... unfortunate, but true :(


Ah! see you cannot have understanding without knowledge, but the opposite is true. Schools often teach knowledge without understanding. Absorb and regurgitate seems to be the order of the day. This seems to be most true with history, people from the past are often portrayed almost as aliens or simpletons. Because of this the lessons of the past are missed because of the lack of contemporary relevance. I see this time and time again, and I hope with one or two close friends to start addressing that very situation next academic year.
While I sadly agree that the likelihood of us ever seeing global tolerance is akin to the lead into gold analogy, like the apothecaries of the past, I'll be damned if i give up on it :D
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Re: Pupils think Auschwitz is a beer

Postby pajo on Wed Mar 11, 2009 1:16 pm

Ah! see you cannot have understanding without knowledge, but the opposite is true.
-- that is very true indeed...

Schools often teach knowledge without understanding. Absorb and regurgitate seems to be the order of the day.
-- This is fine with some hands on things alright (I mean, how many of us understand all the chemical reactions in cooking which produce different flavours?) but unfortunatly, history isnt one of these areas...

I'm only out of school meself like 10yr now (not that long like), and I know people who are doing thier leaving cert and "aborb and regurgitate" is definatly still the way its done, as I said, its not what you know or understand, its what exact lines of text you can "remember", what names go with what dates etc- I consider remembering and knowing/understanding to be two different things, for instance, a guy in my class, wasnt super intelligent or anything, but had a practically photographic memory, could quote a lot of stuff word for word, but didnt really get a lot of it. Also take poetry, just beacuse u can remember it, it doesnt mean you understand it .

I asked on little guy how they knew about all these and knew the differences etc. He says ' They are all in a playstation game'.
Go figure.
-- you know, I was gona say yea, aint it typical, damn games (evn tho I do love my gaming!) but maybe theres a lesson to be learned there...the game is interesting, and its fun, and kids take in the info (in this case the weapons types etc) like a sponge.... history in school is as boring as counting the hairs on yer a**e, and kids dont learn a bugger.... again, its back to the ciriculum, it needs some... "modernising" in the way its taught. Even at shows, kids (and adults alike) seem to take in and learn more, its a point that comes up a lot infact when chatting to MOPs.
sorry for goin on a lil... I'm tired and having trouble articulating in short senstences... see.... lol!
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Re: Pupils think Auschwitz is a beer

Postby knightofredemption on Wed Mar 11, 2009 2:42 pm

the game is interesting, and its fun, and kids take in the info (in this case the weapons types etc) like a sponge.


Nail on the head there Pajo, children are sponges and they will absorb naturally, as long as they are engaged and treated with respect.

Understanding the chemistry in cooking? well most of us don't, in the same way most of us don't understand the way the car we drive works, or the way our computers function. But the fact they exist proves somebody does :lol:

History is in some ways harder, but we supply a way to see and touch it. Groups like Billy and the "hobbits" :lol: :lol: (sorry mate I don't think you'll ever live that down) are able to show the way people lived in just the most fantastic way, enabling folk to understand how our ancestors made the best of their environment and technologies in a way that a text book just can't.

An example, I thought I knew something about historical weapons, I have spent many man hours using and talking about them. Then a couple of week ago I went to the royal armories in Leeds for an EHCG training seminar. We were lucky enough to be shown and hold weapons from a 3000 year old bronze sword, to a 150 year old cavalry Saber. I discovered much that I thought I knew, was based on modern reproductions of these weapons. The real thing? much lighter. The bronze sword felt about half the weight of our reproduction. The same with an 800 year old single handed broad sword (2.5lb) and a 15oz Georgian small sword. So this year my spiel will change in the light of a new understanding. I have seen, felt and indeed smelled (in the case of the original I-33 document....wow) So now I must with flawed tools (our modern reproductions) try to impart some knowledge and understanding of my own.
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Re: Pupils think Auschwitz is a beer

Postby Irish-American on Wed Mar 11, 2009 5:55 pm

I think games can and should be used as a teaching tool. I remember in 1995 when I was a little kid we played the 80s version of Oregon trail (a comp game that was about the westward movement in the 1800s) and from then on I was transfixed by the "Old West"
The same goes for my love of the American Civil War. I wast 1st interduced to it in detail (just after atending my 1st reenactment) when my dad brought home a game called Gettsbrug.
I think games can do somthing that even us reenactors cannot do. It can make history seem current becuse what games do is get you hooked on the story being told. I think the best games are the ones that tell the deep stories. And most kids think "Who wants to hear about a gun when I can shoot one in a game?!"
I also feel games can harm (not the games make you kill idea. I played 007 Goldeneye at the age of 7 and I am now 18 and have never whated to end a life to morror a game) but rather, some history based games are badly done and those seem to be the most played. (ex: a ps3 Cuvil War game had Henry rifles in 1861 and a Pvt. carrried a sword. Things like that make me turn off a game) This misimfroms kids about history and how things were done.
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Re: Pupils think Auschwitz is a beer

Postby tommyargue on Wed Mar 11, 2009 6:06 pm

For the past year I have been trying my best to give these displays and lectures in schools. The response from school principals and school boards has been very disappointing. The attitude I have encountered is very much what previous posters have said " if it's not in the book, we don't want to know". I fear what sort of adults our children will make and how much of that is our fault. I thoroughly enjoy this hobby and try to include my kids at all times, but it just doesn't interest them anymore.
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Re: Pupils think Auschwitz is a beer

Postby knightofredemption on Wed Mar 11, 2009 6:34 pm

I think games can do something that even us reenactors cannot do.


Have to disagree, while a good game can help to educate and indeed generate an interest, the player is still one step removed. The light in a small boys eyes when you hand him a sword and he feels the heft tells him more about the reality of it as a weapon than any game. Also to be confronted by a full sized armed and armored man removes any illusion that he could be dispatched by a button on a game pad. As I have said, we can make it real in a way no other medium can.....we have now gone so far off topic I may need to moderate myself :lol:

For the past year I have been trying my best to give these displays and lectures in schools. The response from school principals and school boards has been very disappointing.


Hmm strange, been doing the same for a while now and had the opposite reaction, Mind you I have been in schools in the north so that may make a difference :?
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Re: Pupils think Auschwitz is a beer

Postby Irish-American on Wed Mar 11, 2009 7:26 pm

maybe we need a another topic for this to discuss how to better educate the public in any field of reenacting. Our goal is to inform the public about what it like to live in a time and educate the public, is not?
I’ve seen too many people be selfish at reenactments and forget way they are truly there. Many people within the hobby slap on a jacket and use it as way tog get out for a weekend and talk football (American) with ‘m�boyz’ I �rd a guy when the public was sifting though camp yell to his buddy across the way “I can’t belie�Bush got sucked into that crap bout WMD’s!” I jus�on�ed what sort of message that sent to the troop of boyscouts behind him? For me, it breaks the spell of going back in time. If you think really focusing on how to send the right and worthwhile message is worth talking about I’d gladly take�me to make a topic. Wait! I just threw this farther offtopic didn’t I?! Sorry! :o�Shame about the article, yeah! :D
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Re: Pupils think Auschwitz is a beer

Postby knightofredemption on Wed Mar 11, 2009 8:00 pm

I think you'll find we thought of that :D on going discussion here

http://livinghistory.ie/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=568
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