Sunday, November 27, 2005

Norway: Shock over school reform plans

Shock over school reform plans

Teachers, students and experts have expressed widespread bafflement as to how proposed education program reforms can include a curriculum that ignores modern history. A key component in the draft national high school curriculum proposes replacing much Norwegian, European, world and modern history with digital presentations of the Viking age, the rise of the Roman Empire and the development of medieval China. Students already fear a knowledge gap filled by repetitive Power Point presentations on the same few subjects. The new program leaves out the world wars, the Russian Revolution, the Cold War, and does not mention the topics of Nazism or Communism. The world wars are potentially included under a clause that would allow teachers and students "to choose and examine two or more recent international conflicts, and assess cause and effect". The reform would further complicate the teaching of general education by reducing the number of hours of history to two hours a week. Criticism of the plan, and its bureaucratic formulation, has come from all quarters, and while Minister of Knowledge Øystein Djupedal has insisted that the reform process will be ready by January 2006 and in force by autumn next year, he has clearly registered the protests.


At November 27, 2005 5:49 PM, Blogger Flopbot said...

"He who controls the past controls the future."

-George Orwell, "Nineteen Eighty-Four"

At November 27, 2005 5:50 PM, Blogger Mother Effingby said...

This is unbelievable! Is it any wonder that we can't fight the current wars we are in? What is the motivation behind this obfuscation of history? Is it that the powers in charge WANT a society of historical amnesiacs? What could possibly come of such ignorant thinking?

At November 27, 2005 5:59 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Is it that the powers in charge WANT a society of historical amnesiacs? What could possibly come of such ignorant thinking?

Yes, it's deliberate: The destruction of the traditional, Judeo-Christian European nation state, which will leave the road open for your Utopian pet fantasies.

At November 27, 2005 6:57 PM, Blogger Heloise said...

I'm speechless.

At November 27, 2005 8:11 PM, Blogger simulev said...

Let me just translate a bit what is sold in the Swedish Stockholm mosque regarding some new history up on sale...:

""Oh Lord, exterminate the Jews, Oh Lord, exterminate the Jews, Oh Lord, exterminate the Jews, Oh curse them and expel them and let them be whipped by suffering, Oh Lord over heaven and earth!

All protests against this will ofcouse be regarded as Islamophobic.

At November 27, 2005 8:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Welcome to the scary new world of revisionist history that the US has been grappling with for some time now. Here is an excellent overview on some of the issues being discussed:

History, Democracy, and Citizenship

"According to Ellington and Eaton, most multicultural theorists (textbook writers, standards creators) espouse the critical separatist view. They cite studies showing that social studies education professors lean far more to the left than other teachers and fault them for their ideas about white privilege, knowledge/power, impossibility of objective truth, etc. Multicultural theorists’ “postmodern perspective” also challenges what is history, what can be taught as history, and what is evidence. “If there are always ‘multiple truths,’” Ellington and Eaton write, “then what is taught as content becomes simply a matter of competing opinions.”

Fjordman is dead-on target in his assessment of their motives.

At November 27, 2005 9:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's a clarion cry from the same article to Norwegians who are wondering what this all means:

And what they do know is skewed

"Additionally, proponents of traditional history have charged that the “serious issues…such as what constitutes appropriate history” have been altered beyond recognition by “political correctness,” if not neglected completely.... In his NEH Jefferson lecture, they write, McCullough “decried the way in which the kind of political correctness exposed in this volume [Social Studies] has stripped the American history that today’s students study of any messages as to why we should appreciate the ideals and sacrifices that have made this country great. He called the emerging national historical amnesia rooted squarely in vapid politically correct accounts of our history, a threat to liberty: ‘Something is eating away at our national memory…For a free, self-governing people, something more than a vague familiarity with history is essential if we are to hold on to and sustain our freedom.’”

Proponents of “traditional history” also link this issue to the politicization of the university by “tenured radicals” who have taken over the university and indoctrinated their students with their leftist agendas. Education has become political, and objectivity, traditional values, and academic discipline have gone out the door."

At November 27, 2005 9:32 PM, Blogger NN said...

And I thought my history education sucked.

Interesting choice of priorities. They remove recent history and focus on ancient history, which I suspect will be presented with a multiculturalist slant and in non-essentials such as "What did the Romans eat for breakfast?"

I think the immediate reason is power. Ignorant, illiterate citizens are helpless to make political decisions without any frame of reference. This is were big brother welfare state jumps in. Hatred of the West is of course always there, beneath the surface

At November 28, 2005 3:39 PM, Blogger sissyblue said...

Hi Fjordman,

Can you folks opt for "home schooling"? I've heard there's a booming market here in the US because of the exact same problem. I heard recently that 2,000,000 families in the US are doing this and that the resources are pretty sophisticated now. Does Mother Government still consider them YOUR children?

I'm surprised they're teaching them about the Vikings... still... I'm sure that whole block of history will soon go into the garbage bin... too nationalistic, violent, etc. Then again maybe they're planning on making them look like evil murderers... just skip that whole bit about discovering N America...

At November 29, 2005 1:59 AM, Blogger ERYSICHTHON said...

I've read a little about this new history plan...and I really don't see what is so bad about it. We read about the world wars and the holocaust in primary school, why not concentrate on the Roman empire, (ca.763bc-1453ad) it's impact on what we view as being european is bigger than anything else.
The middle ages are also an example of how the europe of today developed. I love antiquity and honestly said, I'm pretty fucking bored with the world wars. Of course this may be angled in a leftist-"national self-despise" depicting how evil the western civilisation is, but any kid with the slightest ability to think for himself will realise that the roman empires impact and effect on modern society is throughoutly positive.
So I cant honestly see why it's such a bad change for students of history. But maybe I havent read enough about it...please enlighten me if that is the case.

At November 29, 2005 3:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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