News roundup

August 6, 2006

Huntsville Times (Alabama) on extensive summer workshops teachers take in order to keep current and keep teaching credentials: Who says teaches take summer off?

Sydney Morning Herald (Australia) notes that some educators seem to fear teaching history for fear of saying something politically incorrect; Australia’s public school history courses are virtually non-existent, with the topic covered in other subjects: Schools ‘afraid of teaching history.’

An Associated Press story on a project that I think would work wonders in my high school classes: Pitt professor aims to help teach other subjects through music. A sample:

What do Woody Guthrie, Neil Young, James Brown, Dolly Parton, Irving Berlin and Bob Dylan have in common? They, among others, just may save music in American schools and put a powerful tool in the hands of teachers of all subjects.

A University of Pittsburgh music professor is disseminating a new approach to teaching history, English, social studies and other humanities by including music to be studied like any primary text. The results have been stunning for those teachers who have implemented his program in their curriculums.

More from Down Under: The Australian notes that several parts of Australian history face pressure from revisionists — and goes on to detail a challenge to the common notion that the Great Depression there featured a lot of evictions of renters into the rain — it was, instead, a tough time where Australians helped each other get by: The Myth of the Great Depression.

A press release from Pearson Scott Foresman details a new California history curriculum the company is selling, which is almost completely digital, and focused intensely on California standards.

A high school history teacher in Tibet got a 10-year prison sentence for writing a text on Tibetan history, government and geography that appears to have come too close to telling the facts, for Chinese authorities. He’s asked the United Nations to intervene.

One of America’s great local newspapers, the Louisville Courier-Journal, carried a report on the death of Henry E. Cheaney, a University of Kentucky professor who collected massive amounts of data on the state’s African American people, for in-depth history.

The Grand Rapids Press (Michigan) criticized proposed history standards from the Michigan State Board of Education. According to the newspaper:

A straight telling of the American story is what Michigan students need. State education bureaucrats should have been able to provide it.

Instead, they produced a truncated and ideologically tilted version that fully deserved the subsequent uproar and the decision of state Superintendent Michael Flanagan to send it back for remedial work.


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