HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » General Discussion (Forum) » I ran across my old high ...
Introducing Discussionist: A new forum by the creators of DU

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 01:25 AM

I ran across my old high school history book today. It is nearly 40 years old.

And I've been comparing it to the one I just got for the college-level history class I am taking that starts next week. The differences are amazing. My new one really seems dumbed down, as far as vocabulary, layout, and content. No wonder people can't read anymore.

57 replies, 4788 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 57 replies Author Time Post
Reply I ran across my old high school history book today. It is nearly 40 years old. (Original post)
Brigid Jan 2013 OP
Kablooie Jan 2013 #1
CountAllVotes Jan 2013 #2
Jenoch Jan 2013 #7
newfie11 Jan 2013 #14
hfojvt Jan 2013 #32
CountAllVotes Jan 2013 #24
11 Bravo Jan 2013 #31
Jenoch Jan 2013 #43
ReRe Jan 2013 #15
Freddie Jan 2013 #16
WinkyDink Jan 2013 #18
awoke_in_2003 Jan 2013 #22
Nye Bevan Jan 2013 #30
HiPointDem Jan 2013 #46
Karia Jan 2013 #3
awoke_in_2003 Jan 2013 #23
liberal_at_heart Jan 2013 #4
Comrade_McKenzie Jan 2013 #5
Brigid Jan 2013 #6
BainsBane Jan 2013 #8
Brigid Jan 2013 #9
Jenoch Jan 2013 #21
maindawg Jan 2013 #10
MineralMan Jan 2013 #20
BlueJazz Jan 2013 #27
MineralMan Jan 2013 #42
KansDem Jan 2013 #52
MineralMan Jan 2013 #55
KansDem Jan 2013 #56
Jackpine Radical Jan 2013 #28
progressoid Jan 2013 #44
HiPointDem Jan 2013 #47
ZRT2209 Jan 2013 #11
sad-cafe Jan 2013 #35
Warpy Jan 2013 #12
RC Jan 2013 #38
ErikJ Jan 2013 #13
Jackpine Radical Jan 2013 #29
Yo_Mama Jan 2013 #17
WinkyDink Jan 2013 #19
Paladin Jan 2013 #33
datasuspect Jan 2013 #57
Lydia Leftcoast Jan 2013 #25
HockeyMom Jan 2013 #26
madokie Jan 2013 #34
Riftaxe Jan 2013 #36
Posteritatis Jan 2013 #37
Karia Jan 2013 #39
HiPointDem Jan 2013 #49
nadinbrzezinski Jan 2013 #40
HiPointDem Jan 2013 #50
Doremus Jan 2013 #41
progressoid Jan 2013 #45
HiPointDem Jan 2013 #48
NBachers Jan 2013 #51
KansDem Jan 2013 #53
madrchsod Jan 2013 #54

Response to Brigid (Original post)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 01:31 AM

1. I guess it's more important that student's pass than learn.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Kablooie (Reply #1)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 01:48 AM

2. +32,000,000

One vote for every illiterate person in America! That means that one in ten persons in the USA cannot read nor write.

We are going nowhere fast.

I have a relative that is now a teacher. By reading a simple note from this person, you'd never know they went to college much less graduated from high school. This person does not use any punctuation, writes in incomplete sentences, doesn't know when to add/end a paragraph, etc.

Said individual went to a pricey college too and still cannot spell the name of the town I live in. Sad yes and true.

You'd think with all of the texting devices, etc. that people would have at least learned the basics of how to read and also write but I guess that is just too much to ask for.



Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to CountAllVotes (Reply #2)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 02:49 AM

7. Do you live in Albaqerqi, N.M.?

If you do, you should give your relative a pass on that spelling

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Jenoch (Reply #7)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 04:02 AM

14. Hey that's one I did get right on geography tests

Of course I lived there

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to newfie11 (Reply #14)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 05:22 PM

32. I just say in phonetically

Albu-quer-que

or

Alboo-kwer-cue

not quite as easy as Czechoslovakia, a place which, unfortunately no longer exists. The coolness was that the capital of Norway used to be in the middle of it - Czech-OSLO-vakia

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Jenoch (Reply #7)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 04:46 PM

24. Ironically ...

I live in a place that is named after a former President of the United States.

You'd think this teacher (or whatever this person really is) would know how to spell it wouldn't you, and no, it is nothing complicated like Roosevelt.



Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Jenoch (Reply #7)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 05:11 PM

31. It's Albuquerque! I know because we lived there when my Dad was stationed at ...

the Sandia Base in the mid '50s. To the day he died, he could never talk about what he did there, but he was a Naval Aviator and Sandia was dedicated to the design of nuke delivery systems, so I can probably make a pretty fair guess.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to 11 Bravo (Reply #31)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 11:00 PM

43. My brother's best friend's father died last year

at age 81. He did not know that his father worked for the NSA until the funeral. For all of those years he thought his dad worked for Control Data. Some of his dad's retired colleagues came to the funeral and spilled the beans.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to CountAllVotes (Reply #2)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 04:50 AM

15. I guess I live in a special place....

...because the college my kids went to would not graduate anyone who could not read and write. They had Eng Comp for first two yrs, and at the end of their second year, they had to take a writing test and if they didn't pass, they had to keep taking English. And if they got to be a Senior and still couldn't pass a writing test, they would NOT graduate. My kids skated right through the test at the end of their sophomore yr.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to ReRe (Reply #15)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 07:37 AM

16. My daughter went to community college

And the English Comp requirements were tough! I think more kids dropped out because of Comp II than any other course. With lots of hard work she did fine and was well prepared for the many writing-intense courses she had after she transferred for her bachelors degree.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Kablooie (Reply #1)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 08:37 AM

18. Your post is ironic.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to WinkyDink (Reply #18)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 12:25 PM

22. ...

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to WinkyDink (Reply #18)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 05:09 PM

30. +'1 (n't)

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Kablooie (Reply #1)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 01:34 AM

46. ironic post.

 

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Brigid (Original post)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 02:15 AM

3. Students are capable of more

but it is hard to find good textbooks these days. Publishers seem to think students want books that look like web pages and are easy to scan quickly (rather than read carefully).

Low expectations start long before college though. For a good article on the textbooks for elementary, middle, and high school, see http://tinyurl.com/csfydy8 , "How Texas Inflicts Bad Textbooks on Us," by Gail Collins, New York Review of Books, June 21, 2012

"All around the country, teachers and students are left to make their way through murky generalities as they struggle through the swamps of boxes and lists."
<snip>
"And that’s the legacy. Texas certainly didn’t single-handedly mess up American textbooks, but its size, its purchasing heft, and the pickiness of the school board’s endless demands—not to mention the board’s overall craziness—certainly made it the trend leader. Texas has never managed to get evolution out of American science textbooks. It’s been far more successful in helping to make evolution—and history, and everything else—seem boring."

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Karia (Reply #3)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 12:28 PM

23. Yep, you can blame Texas...

We have some fine colleges down here, but primary education sucks.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Brigid (Original post)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 02:36 AM

4. I was really surprised how dumbed down my college English composition class was

I had taken a college credit level English composition class in high school. It was great. I took one again in community college ten years later and it was incredibly dumbed down. I was definitely disappointed.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Brigid (Original post)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 02:38 AM

5. I've learned more through the Internet than I did in my standardized testing factory. nt

 

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Comrade_McKenzie (Reply #5)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 02:49 AM

6. A lot of students at my community college need remedial work.

Many of them have to beef up their reading, writing, and math skills before they're ready for college work.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Brigid (Original post)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 02:52 AM

8. What college level history class are you taking?

Is it a course offered by a history department with research faculty? An education course for history teachers. something else? And which textbook have you been assigned for the college course? The chief difference between the two books should be a significant change in content.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to BainsBane (Reply #8)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 03:01 AM

9. This is a freshman-level American history class.

It's at a community college. Students take it as a general ed. requirement, because it is transferable to a four-year college. It is probably taught by adjunct faculty.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Brigid (Reply #9)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 10:52 AM

21. I remember my American history class

from my freshman year. The teacher was a decent guy, but it was a difficult course in to excel. A student could take down everything the teacher said in lectures, read every assigned chapter in the textbook, and none of that material would be on the test. Anyone with a working knowledge of American history could get a 'C' or even a 'B' on the test, bit there was always a bunch of obscure stuff that made it almost impossible to get an 'A'. There seemed to be a few perfectionists in class that were upset over the testing situation, but as soon as I figured out the situation, it made that one of the fun and stress-free classes. It helped that the teacher was an old guy who was likeable.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Brigid (Original post)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 03:12 AM

10. the education industry is a rachet

You should go try and read just one text book from a century ago. I have three of those small brown text books from that era. History , German, and the other is like animals and biology.
I work in the schools with all ages of children. I can tell you that the text book are garbage. The way they teach now is by method. They will have about 40 or 50 lessons to complete. So they have to be easy enough to accomplish that goal. They teach the test.
College is very expensive, and while I agree that education can be a for profit venture, it should be free also. Free education is the bulwork of a strong society. If you wish to educated, you must do it yourself.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to maindawg (Reply #10)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 10:27 AM

20. A rachet, eh?

No such thing. So much for edumacation, I guess.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to MineralMan (Reply #20)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 05:05 PM

27. Here you go > LOL

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to BlueJazz (Reply #27)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 07:20 PM

42. Nah. That is a ratchet.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to MineralMan (Reply #42)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 02:06 AM

52. Then there's the "racket"...



The racket (or ranket) was a small double-reed wind instrument of the 16th and 17th centuries. It had a narrow cylindrical bore folded into a number of parallel tubes, and therefore produced a very low pitch relative to its size, similar in character to the bassoon.

http://www.la.unm.edu/~davies/MAA/instruments.html

Maybe its name comes from irate neighbors shouting, "Hey, stop that racket!"

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to KansDem (Reply #52)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 08:45 AM

55. Often spelled with two "ts", though. Rackett.

I used to play the rackett, in an early music group. It sounds like musical farts.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to MineralMan (Reply #55)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 04:37 PM

56. Hey! I played a little recorder and viola da gamba!

Last edited Mon Jan 14, 2013, 05:08 PM - Edit history (1)

In an early music group, too!

Maybe at the next DU get-together, we could get together for a little "L'homme armé?"


Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to MineralMan (Reply #20)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 05:05 PM

28. I think it rhymes with "sachet."

Or, for you Gophers, "Cloquet."

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to MineralMan (Reply #20)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 01:29 AM

44. “It says sprocket not socket!”

“This lawn supervisor was out on a sprinkler maintenance job and he started working on a Findlay sprinkler head with a Langstrom 7″ gangly wrench. Just then, this little apprentice leaned over and said, “You can’t work on a Findlay sprinkler head with a Langstrom 7″ wrench.” Well this infuriated the supervisor, so he went and got Volume 14 of the Kinsley manual, and he reads to him and says, “The Langstrom 7″ wrench can be used with the Findlay sprocket.” Just then, the little apprentice leaned over and said, “It says sprocket not socket!”

-Steve Martin

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to maindawg (Reply #10)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 01:36 AM

47. another ironic post.

 

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Brigid (Original post)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 03:14 AM

11. textbooks can be made more quickly and easily for tablets

soon paper textbooks will be a thing of the past and those old crones on the school board will find themselves impotent

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to ZRT2209 (Reply #11)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 06:06 PM

35. until schools have the funding to make sure students ALL students have a computer both at home and

 

at school, there will still be a need for paper textbooks.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Brigid (Original post)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 03:17 AM

12. One of the things I managed to snagged when my last grandparent died

was a high school math book from the early 1930s, back when a high school diploma was regarded as highly as a baccalaureate degree is now. Now I was a total math shark, but I had trouble getting through that thing. Knowledge of obsolete weights and measures was combined with all sorts of other things to make the problems hairy as hell. I doubt many people of any educational level could get through it now.

We've confused passing with being educated, money with wealth, wealth and fame (or infamy) with success, charisma for worthiness, and the list goes on and on. The culture has been so cheapened--and shortchanged--that I don't know if this country will ever dig itself out of this second Dark Age.

I know my eyes were opened when I tutored math and English at the college level and found out how illiterate so many high school graduates are. My own ex, not a stupid man by any stretch of the imagination, despaired of being able to write properly, mostly because no one had ever required him to read difficult books.

I would despair were I not on so many other sites and talking to younger folks who are not fools, who read and are literate, and who can do more than simple arithmetic.

I just feel so sorry for them. Their peer group is so much more ignorant than mine was. It's going to be very lonely for a lot of them as they go through life.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Warpy (Reply #12)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 06:24 PM

38. It looks like you have a handle on the current situation.

 

We've confused passing with being educated, money with wealth, wealth and fame (or infamy) with success, charisma for worthiness, and the list goes on and on. The culture has been so cheapened--and shortchanged--that I don't know if this country will ever dig itself out of this second Dark Age.


I totally agree here.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Brigid (Original post)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 03:19 AM

13. Democracy depends on educated middle class.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to ErikJ (Reply #13)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 05:07 PM

29. Fox Noose

depends on an illiterate audience.

Therein you have the explanation for the phenomenon.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Brigid (Original post)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 07:52 AM

17. So true

My mother was a teacher, and collected textbooks. You could see that ours were dumbed down from the versions they used in the 1800s, but when I read modern textbooks, I am appalled about how they have changed in 40 years. I'm 51.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Brigid (Original post)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 08:40 AM

19. Read a TIME or NEWSWEEK from the two eras. The current guises deserve extinction.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to WinkyDink (Reply #19)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 06:01 PM

33. Agreed. (nt)

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to WinkyDink (Reply #19)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 04:43 PM

57. Read a Vanity Fair or Harpers article from the mid 90s

 

compared to today.

same thing with television - case in point, GMA segment from the 70s:



notice the lack of choppy editing, excessive graphics.

notice an actual conversation taking place.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Brigid (Original post)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 04:59 PM

25. When I was in fifth and sixth grade, we read Junior Scholastic every week

It contained simplified (but not real simplified) summaries of the week's news and a feature on a different country every week. One article that I remember was about the formation of the Common Market (the predecessor of the EU). It explained what it was, who the members were, and why it was formed. I suppose I remember because I had heard the words "Common Market" on adult news casts and was glad to find out what it meant.

Fast forward to the late 1990s. I am volunteering in a G.E.D. tutoring program for street kids. I arrive a bit early, so I start poking around in the classroom and find a stack of Junior Scholastic magazines. I start paging through it and discover that it's all about good grooming, how to get along with people, and tiny bits of obvious news with obvious and trivial "study questions." The print is larger than that in Junior Scholastic in the 1960s.

My theory about this dumbing down is that the business interests who control the American economy and the publishing industry and the academic testing industry don't want smart, thinking people. They want people who will be unthinking cogs in the corporate machinery, so helping young people understand the world is not a priority. In fact, employees who understand the world are an obstacle to a single-minded focus on the bottom line.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Brigid (Original post)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 05:04 PM

26. Graduated HS in 1966

and colllege in 1996. Yes, I can understand.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Brigid (Original post)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 06:03 PM

34. I remember when

I was in grade school in the fifties and best I can remember the maps in our school books showed Cuba to be more off the east coast of Florida rather than where it really is

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Brigid (Original post)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 06:07 PM

36. Because Students now use picture books

not college text books, they are brightly colored with graphics and pictures, minimal text...since I am sure some study or other showed pictures and bright colors are more important then what is written.

Modern text books are pretty much a joke unless you take a hard science course and even there the texts are less comprehensive then they should be.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Brigid (Original post)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 06:20 PM

37. Kids These Days Suck, episode 713857918!

And god knows I've got some opinions about the state of history texts from back then.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Posteritatis (Reply #37)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 06:52 PM

39. It is not the kids & it is not the teachers

I really think the problems are the textbook industry and the anti-intellectualism of the right wing (see my post #3 above).

Many of my daughter's textbooks have been awful but she is getting a great education in our "failing" public school anyway because her teachers are awesome and they bring in lots of material to supplement the textbooks.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Posteritatis (Reply #37)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 01:40 AM

49. +1

 

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Brigid (Original post)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 07:00 PM

40. A certain story of a wizard s read by kids in the UK

Two to three grades earlier than in the US. You are not imagining this.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to nadinbrzezinski (Reply #40)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 01:46 AM

50. the average 6 year old in the uk is reading harry potter, is it? lol.

 

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Brigid (Original post)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 07:04 PM

41. I bought some books at an estate sale and tucked inside one of them was

someone's 8th grade history test from the turn of the century. It had no multi choice or T/F questions, just 10 questions that required the student to answer on a separate piece of paper. Questions were like "Discuss Tecumseh's involvement in the War of 1812."

Very few students today could pass that test.


Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Doremus (Reply #41)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 01:31 AM

45. Who is Tecumseh?

Kidding.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Brigid (Original post)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 01:37 AM

48. people can't read anymore? why are we here?

 

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Brigid (Original post)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 02:03 AM

51. I'm probably the only person who uses correct spelling, punctuation, and grammar in text messages

I'm just not comfortable with the shorthand patois, and I'm irritated when I read it from others.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Brigid (Original post)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 02:09 AM

53. You still have a high-school textbook?

Weren't you suppose to turn it back in at the end of the school year?

Uh-uh-uh...

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Brigid (Original post)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 07:35 AM

54. i have my mothers school books from the early 1900`s

i also have history books from the 1870-80`s. very different than the books of today.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread