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Friday, January 26, 2007

History Rewritten

I absolutely love hearing kids in history class. You know they've got a good teacher not because all their answers are correct, but because they're willing to hazard a guess at the answer even if they're totally wrong. This provides me with many smiles each day.

The other day they were discussed The Great Depression and the teacher explained that at this time, there was no such thing as welfare and asked the kids to brainstorm how people could make money during the depression.

Male Student: Government!
Teacher: No, that's welfare. We haven't got that yet.
Same male Student: Get a job!
Teacher: If they could, yes, they wouldn't help themselves that way. How else could they get money when they had nothing?
Female student: Oprah! She was alive back then, right...?

I love how the passage of time is such an abstract concept for a lot of kids and old just means OLD. I bet if I told them I remember seeing the last of the dinosaurs when I was in kindergarten, some of them would believe me.

6 comments:

humble simpleton said...

Interesting point. That reminds me of one retired USAF mechanic I once met here. I met him in a pub and I was a bit ... well, maybe more than a bit I admit. I asked him whether he was in Korean war. It is ridiculous of course, he could have been something like 10 years old when Klinger mourned his fifth grandma, and the next day I could not believe that I actually said that. Surely there is a part of brain responsible for the sense of timescale, which the kids not yet developed and which was overriden in my case. Ask your psychology colleagues.

humble simpleton said...

And BTW, kindergarten - german
kinder - children
garten - garden
kindergarten - garden for children, much nicer than nursery or infant school isn't it? And I'm kinda surprized, that you still rather write it the german way, instead of anglicizing it to 'kindergarden', interesting.

TeacherLady said...

Haha! Well, I'll assume my student wasn't drunk (though I've known more than a few to come to school high as a kite), but I can imagine that it's simply that they don't understand the concept of the passage of time yet. I once taught some younger students with disabilities who thought slavery was still going on in the US because they couldn't grasp that the movie they were watching was based on past events. Sadly, they were half right about slavery still occuring...

I grew up knowing "kindergarten" and learned what it meant when I was a teenager, so it's not much of a effort for me to use.

humble simpleton said...

What do you mean with the half right that slavery is still occuring? Blacks still have it tough in the USA?
All that about dollar, robot, kindergarten, I wrote because you mentioned your interest in etymology, which seems to be common among the dweeb folk, so I think I'm gonna keep annoying with that.

TeacherLady said...

No, I'm referring to the slavery that sadly still exists on the African continent.
Feel free to keep making the etymology comments, I enjoy them! :)

smartalek said...

"if I told them I remember seeing the last of the dinosaurs when I was in kindergarten, some of them would believe me."
There are plenty of adults who would certainly believe this without hesitation or qualification; they are called "Republicans."