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Critical thinking in history came in after I left school, and it currently being forced out again.
What's really funny is, thinking back, because we treated the Aztecs (and the Vikings for that matter) with some respect and tried to understand their culture and way of life rather than being taught they were bloodthirsty psychopaths, despite their keen-ness on human sacrifice (and the Viking keen-ness on raiding and plunder), the teachers/curriculum no doubt be labelled as "woke" if this was today (c.f "woke tyrannosaurus" and other insane stuff). I can see the headlines now!

Re: critical thinking specifically part of it may be I was at a public school by then (went state until 10, then public until 16, then private - I actually liked the public school the least by miles), and the establishment is much less afraid of potential establishment recruits being critical thinkers (indeed, the specific school was a pipeline to the establishment - though not to the same degree as Eton/Harrow/Westminster/etc.).

Also I totally got radicalized against the Saxons in History aged about 11-12. Admittedly 1500 years too late to do anything about it lol. So I guess they taught us about that - we also had this amazing program on the BBC Micro which was kind of Oregon Trail but you were Saxon invaders having to round up and enslave Celts and force them to build your motte-and-bailey castle so you could round up and enslave more Celts. It was all about timing - as resistance took a while to form, you actually wanted to do go hard on gathering slaves and do the hard bits first before the Celts organised a proper army, which was slightly counter-intuitive.
But my history teacher treated me much the way Snape treated Harry Potter, and I'm pretty sure my dad never bullied him at school, and he was slightly less progressive than Colonel Blimp (my teacher, not my dad), so my opinions may be a bit jaded!
Ugh that sucks, sorry. I had four history teachers over secondary school, two of whom were almost Dead Poets Society levels of inspirational. One of those, when Gulf War 1 started, he was like "our planned lessons are cancelled, we're going to watch coverage of this and discuss it, because history is happening right now". That was pretty amazing.
 


Don't forget the blood-eagle!

Wouldn't be St. Paul's by any chance?
No. Though they were our nemesis so you can probably work it out from that.

We were taught the blood-eagle was probably largely a myth - I dunno if historical thinking has since changed on that. We were also - and I know this was accurate - taught that an awful lot of medieval torture devices (including the iron maiden) were nonsense made up in the 1700s and 1800s to wow the olde-timey equivalent of tourists.
 

No. Though they were our nemesis so you can probably work it out from that.
We don't mention that school.
We were taught the blood-eagle was probably largely a myth - I dunno if historical thinking has since changed on that. We were also - and I know this was accurate - taught that an awful lot of medieval torture devices (including the iron maiden) were nonsense made up in the 1700s and 1800s to wow the olde-timey equivalent of tourists.
You are more historian than I am, but fashions change with regards to love/hate of Vikings. My family identify as Viking rather than Saxon!
 

GuyBoy

Hero
Speaking from experience as a recently retired Headteacher, whose main teaching subjects were History and Politics, Paul is (sadly, I believe) more accurate in today’s climate.
Recent governments, particularly since 2016, have pushed a more uncritical approach to British history, particularly in the more imperial sense. Moderators please note, this is statement of fact and can be verified via DfE documentation. I am not giving a view.

There is flexibility to an extent, particularly in younger stages, where elements of African history and American First Nations history are still able to be squeezed in, but most exam-focussed history tends to be British, although one is still able to cover topics such as the Cold War as an international area, albeit with a bigger emphasis on the European aspects. Germany 1919-33 is also available.

Sadly, International GCSEs were abolished in 2018.
It is still possible to teach the International Baccalaureate (IB) in all subjects. An excellent qualification, if somewhat bureaucratic in administration, particularly in History and ( my personal favourite to teach) Global Politics.

Not trying to contradict anyone, but since the discussion was about my direct area of work, both as teacher and school leader, I thought I’d put my tuppence in.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
What if it is a slip case with a book on FR, Greyhawk and The Known World/Mystara? That would be a huge 50th anniversary product and a slipcase with those three would be absolutely worthy of that distinction or one that is a new GH book, the SCAG with the adventure Gazeteer materials included/reprinted and Eberron?
Cool idea: the way Winninger was framing it, we're looking at a unified single setting product.
 

teitan

Legend
Asian cultures do not enjoy the comparatively privileged position that European culture, literature, and history possesses in the American education system. Regardless of whether you deem that understanding as "superficial," it's still a pretty significant portion of our educational background.


What sort of "connections to their European roots" are you imagining here? I'm definitely not making family visits to long-distant relations in England, Northern Ireland, or Germany. Nor am I celebrating modern European dishes that didn't even exist in Europe in the time when our paths diverged from Europe.


Wait? There are over 442 million people who speak Spanish natively, and you're mad that people in an American nation with a large Latin American population assumes that a Spanish name means that they come from the 387 million chunk (Latin America) and not the smaller 55 million chunk (i.e., Spain)?


White and non-white Americans are bombarded with European history and literature in schools.


And?
You’re misunderstanding me on the Spanish thing and assuming something here that is utterly ridiculous and not my intent. White Americans hear Gomez for example and automatically think Mexican, not Spaniard. Take the kerfluffle over the Addams Family reboot where they cast a young Latina woman as Wednesday and Luis Guzman as Gomez Addams. It’s a perfectly valid casting but some Americans got up in arms they cast Hispanic people in the film because the cast of the TV show was white and Addams is a supposedly European name and the counter argument was that Gomez is a Spanish name so he’s validly hispanic. In the comic strip they’re Jewish and also Spaniards and Castilian. The TV show was a subtle commentary on racism and the movement of minorities into the suburbs in the 1960s. So the knee jerk reaction in the US is that names of Spanish descent much be from Latin America. A close friend of mine is constantly thought to be Mexican because his name is Vasquez but his family came here directly from Spain. He’s a second generation American.

My point with the folklore but is that Europe is just as varied as any other continent or peoples and we can even do better by them and respecting those cultures as well. I am offended at your implications in your response to me when I am making a valid contrast and comparison of things I would like to see WOTC do in future products but you keep your assumptions to yourself. Get out of here with that. You apply emotion to me that isn’t there from a casual internet post by saying “I’m mad” about something that I’m obviously not mad about. I made an observation. I’m going to nicely ask you to not respond to me in the future and add me to your ignore list of you’re going to continue to engage me in such a way and project onto me so grossly.
 
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Aldarc

Legend
So the knee jerk reaction in the US is that names of Spanish descent much be from Latin America. A close friend of mine is constantly thought to be Mexican because his name is Vasquez but his family came here directly from Spain. He’s a second generation American.
I'm not interested in getting into a debate about the Addams Family casting, but the above is largely my point. I think it's only natural for Americans to assume that such a name would come from the 387 million chunk of Latin America Spanish speakers (or ~125 million in the case of Mexico) that they are more likely to encounter in the Americas than from the 55 million chunk from Spain who they are less likely to encounter.

My point with the folklore but is that Europe is just as varied as any other continent or peoples and we can even do better by them and respecting those cultures as well.
Sure, and many TTRPG companies around the world, including in Europe, are doing that. There have been a number of Scandinavian TTRPG companies in the past decade making TTRPGs that reflect Scandinavian culture and folklore or Italian TTRPG companies making TTRPGs that reflect Italian culture and folklore. Even in the United States, there are also now several TTRPG companies made by American Indians that are about American Indian folklore and culture or even by Appalachian Americans that are about Appalachian America's folklore and culture. That trend is only continuing.
 

teitan

Legend
I'm not interested in getting into a debate about the Addams Family casting, but the above is largely my point. I think it's only natural for Americans to assume that such a name would come from the 387 million chunk of Latin America Spanish speakers (or ~125 million in the case of Mexico) that they are more likely to encounter in the Americas than from the 55 million chunk from Spain who they are less likely to encounter.


Sure, and many TTRPG companies around the world, including in Europe, are doing that. There have been a number of Scandinavian TTRPG companies in the past decade making TTRPGs that reflect Scandinavian culture and folklore or Italian TTRPG companies making TTRPGs that reflect Italian culture and folklore. Even in the United States, there are also now several TTRPG companies made by American Indians that are about American Indian folklore and culture or even by Appalachian Americans that are about Appalachian America's folklore and culture. That trend is only continuing.
Good bye.
 
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