my son has ZERO interest in history/global/cultural studies... - Page 5 - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
Reply
 
Thread Tools
#121 of 165 Old 03-03-2011, 07:37 PM
 
savithny's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 1,732
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)


Quote: 
Originally Posted by alicetan View Post

try to get him to play "civilization" game. its actually been used in schools in a number of states to boost interest in world history and there are some lesson plans created around the game. 

 

see more here::

 

MIT Education Arcade (2005 article): http://www.educationarcade.org/node/66

 

dun trust me, go google it :) keyword: "civilization game for education of history"


 

Of course, since the history reflected in the game is not always accurate, the lesson plans assume a teacher (or parent) led discussion will take place:

 

 

 

Quote:(from the article you linked above)

When games can be used as a springboard for engaging in critical thought and play, they can be powerful educational tools. However, we see no reason to fear that computer games will replace teachers or textbooks. Class discussions are needed to help students develop critical perspectives on game play and understand where games fail to represent reality.

The game industry could win over many parents and educators who are currently suspicious of game content if they fully embraced the development of next -generation games for classroom use. Imagine a world where learning more about chemistry, history, or even Shakespeare through a game is as commonplace as learning through books or film. What if we could engage those students who stay up all night solving a level on a game to put that same energy, creativity, and imagination into mastering schoolroom concepts?

In other words, it's a springboard, but needs to be given a context by someone who knows the context and can help the child learn to think critically about what they're experiencing, rather than the gameplay itself being educational or an end in and of itself.

 


savithny, 42 year old moderate mom to DS Primo (age 12) and DD Secunda (age 9).

savithny is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
#122 of 165 Old 03-03-2011, 09:26 PM
WCM
 
WCM's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Victoria BC
Posts: 301
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

There are too many posts for me to quote now, and multi-quoting is a skill I've yet to learn, because I honestly don't care enough to bother learning it. :)

 

I do believe in my kids, and I do accept wholeheartedly the US perspective I hold, that of supporting them, that all they do is learning, not just the things our culture values. And I hear the mothers of older unschoolers saying "that spark will ignite, they'll develop a keen passion and that wil motivate them". and I trust that, I make myself trust it, and that is how I am now as an adult learner.

 

But there have also been a few thread on here of parents who's children did not learn what they needed to, that reached college and needed more of a subject (ok yes it was math!) than they had, and needed remedial courses, and were upset with the delay, missed opportunities, etc . . . and both parent and child blamed the US philosophy they upheld until then, and wish they'd stepped in to guide/force/support in the earlier teen years.

 

And so I keep an open mind, and do not adgere to a dogma. I adhere to my own perspective, based on my experience, as we all do. If my gut says I need to do X to help my child, we'll need to address that. I'm not saying I'll force anything on them, that really is opposite to my beliefs. but my belief is also to do the best I can for them, and that encompasses social/cultural success. not monetarily, but happiness, fulfillment.

 

I went to an US talk once and the speaker talked about his grown children and what they are doing (amazing humanitarian/academic/community building stuff) and how he went about presenting them with certain opportunities when they were young teens and what tey did with those opportunities. And I left that talk feeling so disconnected from his reality, knowing my children are nothing like his and if presented with the same opportunities would stare at me wide-eyed and mute. My children are wonderful, and I hope they find hapiness in their lives through their own interests and choices. But his life and opportunities and children are simply nothing like mine. And I found myself upset at the singular reality he presented, to a roomful of parents of young unschoolers. I'm not angry with him, not at all. I'm just saying I walked out feeling more isolated and disconnected than when I first arrived.

 

OP, what about the suggestion made of speaking with your son about the reality of passing the test=being able to continue homeschooling? I admit to avoiding a testing scenario for my son because I knew he would approach it assuming he was inadequate, that at this time in his life, he's far too sensitive about his worth being tied to his 'school smarts'. Did I miss a learning opportunity? I'm sure it's one he'll run into again. But I have the option of that choice where I live, it sounds like you don't.

 

My children do not have any interest in places/outings that are 'educational' in a classic academics sense. Re-enactments, historical buildings, etc, and I really understand that. It is boring, and as a child I would have been bored as well. As an adult, I can learn from such a field trip, but that's the result of my personlity and interests changing. Will my kids change as teens, who knows? I do think I'd have discussions with them (a la moominmama) about their goals and how I can help them get there. We've started that now, with DS, as he shies away from any new skill or experience, because he presumes he'll fail (see above :)  ), when he's had no experience with failure, and thus no exp with the concept of working towrd a goal that does not come easily for him.

 

I agree that no learning is wasted learning. but I also hear other parents who feel at a loss with their 17, 18 year olds, who have yet to have a spark or passion, and I try to listen to that experience and add it in to my world view on learning and my role as a parent.

 

Blanket statements just cannot be made, I think. My children are so utterly different from my friend's children, I cannot offer her any guidance or advice, I've had no experience with what she's dealing with. As I meet more and more unschoolers, this only proves to be more true. I think, sometimes, parents feel a different tack is needed, a different path, but they hear 'it'll be fine' and feel their understanding of US is about adhering to a dogma, and so they don't do anything differently. But they still feel something's not working. That needs to be acted upon, IMO. That does not mean abandoning your idealogy, it just means adapting your practice of it.

 

 

 


Passionate posts = oodles of typos
WCM is offline  
#123 of 165 Old 03-03-2011, 09:35 PM
 
purslaine's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Canada
Posts: 6,771
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)


Quote:
Originally Posted by savithny View Post




 

Of course, since the history reflected in the game is not always accurate, the lesson plans assume a teacher (or parent) led discussion will take place:

 

 

 

In other words, it's a springboard, but needs to be given a context by someone who knows the context and can help the child learn to think critically about what they're experiencing, rather than the gameplay itself being educational or an end in and of itself.

 


I think this needs to be handled sensitively.

 

I would be oh-so-annoyed if someone tried to turn something I was doing for my own enjoyment (like a video game or dvd) into an educational moment.

 

I think explaining to a child when they are not playing the game that not all events depicted in video games/movies etc are exactly true is fine, and offering to help them find resources on a topic if it interests them is fine, but I sure would not be interupting anyones game to do so.

 

My own personal take on history is big picture. I actually do not care if the video games get a few things wrong.  If kids come away from a video game (dvd, book) with more of a feel for an era I am happy with that.

 

 

 

 

 

purslaine is offline  
#124 of 165 Old 03-03-2011, 09:46 PM
 
Chamomile Girl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: West of the Sierras East of the Sea
Posts: 2,781
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post




I think this needs to be handled sensitively.

 

I would be oh-so-annoyed if someone tried to turn something I was doing for my own enjoyment (like a video game or dvd) into an educational moment.

 

I think explaining to a child when they are not playing the game that not all events depicted in video games/movies etc are exactly true is fine, and offering to help them find resources on a topic if it interests them is fine, but I sure would not be interupting anyones game to do so.

 

My own personal take on history is big picture. I actually do not care if the video games get a few things wrong.  If kids come away from a video game (dvd, book) with more of a feel for an era I am happy with that.

 

 

 

 

 


cold.gif Actually that mentality makes me sort of crazy. It's the main reason so many people assume that either:

1. People in the past were just like we are today (anachronism)
2. People in the past were hella freaky strange (altarity)

The best way to get a feel for an era is to read/look at stuff from that time period...not from movies, games or historical fiction. Sorry shrug.gif
Marylizah likes this.
Chamomile Girl is offline  
#125 of 165 Old 03-03-2011, 10:56 PM
 
lach's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: MA
Posts: 1,923
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)


Quote:
Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post




I think this needs to be handled sensitively.

 

I would be oh-so-annoyed if someone tried to turn something I was doing for my own enjoyment (like a video game or dvd) into an educational moment.

 

I think explaining to a child when they are not playing the game that not all events depicted in video games/movies etc are exactly true is fine, and offering to help them find resources on a topic if it interests them is fine, but I sure would not be interupting anyones game to do so.

 

My own personal take on history is big picture. I actually do not care if the video games get a few things wrong.  If kids come away from a video game (dvd, book) with more of a feel for an era I am happy with that.


I'm confused.  I thought the point of presenting these sorts of games was supposed to be that they are an "educational moment" that is supposed to spark a deeper interest.

 

Also, I've played Civilization, and there is no "feel for an era" and there is no historical accuracy.  It's a game where you're an arbitrary country and compete against other arbitrary countries using arbitrary "resources" that you game the system to acquire. As a history major in college, I'm always really shocked when people think that they have anything to do with actual history.  I guess it's better than considering Clan of the Cave Bear or Aurthurian legend as having anything to do with history, but not by much.

 


Trying to live a simple life in a messy house in a complicated world with : DH, DD (b. 07/07), DS (b. 02/09), and DD (b. 10/10)
lach is offline  
#126 of 165 Old 03-03-2011, 11:53 PM
 
cristeen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 14,677
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by lach View Post

I guess it's better than considering Clan of the Cave Bear or Aurthurian legend as having anything to do with history, but not by much.

 

Since this was obviously aimed at me, I invite you to look back at what I actually said.  Nowhere did I say I was relying on historical fiction for actual facts about troop movement, dates, countries, or anything of that type.  But historical fiction is really good at spurning an interest in certain time periods or subjects.  Clan of the Cave Bear series, as I said before brought up some interesting things for me - persecution (prejudice), it introduced me to medicinal herbs and the subject of animal husbandry.  Arthurian legend is great for making you stop and think.  All the talk of politics, the role of the King and his advisors.  Again, persecution (religious this time), misogyny is also big in Arthurian legend.  Nobody said that historical fiction was reliable, nobody said that it was the only source of information to use.  But if reading historical fiction works for me in spurning interest in subjects I otherwise wouldn't have been exposed to, who are you to judge that?  Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn have long been treated as great views into that era, and I'm not the only one to think so.  But actual historical accounts they are not.  They do however give some good jumping off points to learn more, spurn questions, and pique interest.  And isn't that after all what US is all about?  Isn't that what this entire conversation has been about?  I read all of these books as a teenager, at a time where school was a bore, and I learned nothing from the teachers, books were the only thing that caught my interest. So you don't like it, oh well.  Poo-pooing the use of historical fiction in generating interest in otherwise disconnected children doesn't make it an invalid method. 



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by cristeen View Post
As for the subject of why people are ignorant of history - a lot of it is choice.  I know I retained very little of my history classes from school (both public and private).  I learned more in a college level Women's History class than I did in all 10 years of lower schooling.  But most of what I know about history I've picked up from historical fiction.  Clan of the Cave Bear series covers a lot of things, from the persecution of anyone different to medicinal herbs and animal husbandry.  There are lots of Arthurian legend books out there, I think Crystal Cave series got me started on Arthurian legend.  Again, it covers all sorts of things, from the role of religion in politics, to misogyny.  Books like Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn give an interesting view of that era of US history.  Gone with the Wind also covers that era, but a different class.  War and Peace covers politics and warfare, etc...  Most of what I know is completely self-taught, things I've gleaned from here and there, and spurned interest to look into it further, ask questions (of friends, parents, my DH) - sitting here I can't come up with one single tidbit of history I learned in pre-college days in a classroom (unless you count Bible studies). 

 

 

 

purslaine likes this.

Cristeen ~ Always remembering our stillheart.gif  warrior ~ Our rainbow1284.gif  is 3, how'd that happen?!?! 

We welcomed another rainbow1284.gifstillheart.gif  warrior in May 2012!! 

2012 Decluttering challenge - 575/2012

cristeen is offline  
#127 of 165 Old 03-04-2011, 02:17 AM
 
lach's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: MA
Posts: 1,923
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I'm sorry if I came across as sarcastic, it's just that Clan of the Cave Bear and Aurthurian legend really aren't historical fiction.  The first is about pre-history, and the second is about someone that some scholars doubt even existed, and stories about him usually involve wizards and sorceresses casting magical spells.  Neither has any basis in historical fact.

 

I agree that historical fiction can teach history, but I do disagree with your selections, for the most part.  The Twain books are important pieces of literature.  GWTW is one of the greatest piece of historical whitewashing ever written, and an adult should be reading along to help work through some of the very serious issues with the book. It's a fun bodice ripper, but a lot of people seem to take it as historically accurate and that's really worrying. It was written two generations later by someone who famously quipped that she didn't know the South had lost until she was 17.

 

I agree that historical fiction can be a great tool to spark an interest in history, but I disagree with the "meh, good enough" attitude that makes faux history computer games and trashy novels (and I mean that lovingly: as a teen, I enjoyed all of these books too, because they're all good, fun, trashy love/lust stories) good examples of historical fiction and appropriate history lessons.


Trying to live a simple life in a messy house in a complicated world with : DH, DD (b. 07/07), DS (b. 02/09), and DD (b. 10/10)
lach is offline  
#128 of 165 Old 03-04-2011, 05:18 AM - Thread Starter
 
umami_mommy's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: home is where the magic is
Posts: 4,983
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

so interesting the twists and turns this discussion is taking!

 

thanks everyone for your thoughts. 

 

i think, clearly, we'll need to come up with a collaborative plan for learning this stuff. right now we are looking at migration maps for early north american peoples. DH is going to help me create a "puzzle" for DS to solve to find local historical landmarks. kind of a cross between letterboxing and orienteering. (ie, "clues" to find the susan b. anthony house... clues that will not only allow him to find the house, but learn about why it's important) i think this will be a good place to start with DS. whatever we come up with though will need to be something that DS agrees to do, otherwise, i'll just be getting a bloody head. 

 

 


"Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this, too, was a gift." -- Mary Olivercoolshine.gif

umami_mommy is offline  
#129 of 165 Old 03-04-2011, 06:16 AM
 
purslaine's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Canada
Posts: 6,771
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)


Quote:
Originally Posted by Chamomile Girl View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post




I think this needs to be handled sensitively.

 

I would be oh-so-annoyed if someone tried to turn something I was doing for my own enjoyment (like a video game or dvd) into an educational moment.

 

I think explaining to a child when they are not playing the game that not all events depicted in video games/movies etc are exactly true is fine, and offering to help them find resources on a topic if it interests them is fine, but I sure would not be interupting anyones game to do so.

 

My own personal take on history is big picture. I actually do not care if the video games get a few things wrong.  If kids come away from a video game (dvd, book) with more of a feel for an era I am happy with that.

 

 

 

 

 




cold.gif Actually that mentality makes me sort of crazy. It's the main reason so many people assume that either:

1. People in the past were just like we are today (anachronism)
2. People in the past were hella freaky strange (altarity)

The best way to get a feel for an era is to read/look at stuff from that time period...not from movies, games or historical fiction. Sorry shrug.gif


That is Ok.  I knew the statement was criticism worthy when I made it.

 

Still, it is how I feel.  I have actually learned things from historical novels, dvd's etc.  I never assume they are "the truth" (this is key) but they have helped me have a feel for the era and I enjoyed them as springing-off points for more in depth (and undoubtably more accurate in most cases!) reading.

 

Not everyone learns the same way.  I have to be intrigued by an era before I sit down and "read/look" at stuff from an era. When I think of my life - I am inspired to learn through 2 things:  need or perceived need and interest.  I need something to light the fire for interest, unless the interest is developed and it has a life of its own.

 

 

 

 

 

purslaine is offline  
#130 of 165 Old 03-04-2011, 06:38 AM
 
purslaine's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Canada
Posts: 6,771
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)


Quote:
Originally Posted by lach View Post




I'm confused.  I thought the point of presenting these sorts of games was supposed to be that they are an "educational moment" that is supposed to spark a deeper interest.

 

 

 


I don't know.  If someone wants to present something to someone hoping it will spark interest - go for it.  Maybe it will work.

 

I feel slightly uncomfortable about the whole thing, though.  If someone gave me a video game because they thought it would be educational and would act as a springboard to further learning - I might feel mildly insulted. If I would feel insulted, why would I turn around and do that to my kids (is it simply because "they are kids"?) 

 

I am not a hard core USer - I have taught both reading and math skills over time - but my line is drawn in inserting my agenda before history.  There is so much history in the world that I can create a resource rich environment and let their path lead them where they chose.  

 

I do think some discussions around histiography (which would definitely include the need to discuss that dvds, etc are not the best source of info) should be had in childhood and the teen years.  

 

This is my long winded way of saying I would not hand a child a dvd or video game expecting them to be springing off points.  I would hand it to them if I thought they would like it.  If it acted as a springboard, great. If not, that is fine...I am not overly invested in what they study in history.

 

 

 

 

 

purslaine is offline  
#131 of 165 Old 03-04-2011, 06:54 AM
 
savithny's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 1,732
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)


Quote:
Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post




That is Ok.  I knew the statement was criticism worthy when I made it.

 

Still, it is how I feel.  I have actually learned things from historical novels, dvd's etc.  I never assume they are "the truth" (this is key) but they have helped me have a feel for the era and I enjoyed them as springing-off points for more in depth (and undoubtably more accurate in most cases!) reading.

 

Not everyone learns the same way.  I have to be intrigued by an era before I sit down and "read/look" at stuff from an era. When I think of my life - I am inspired to learn through 2 things:  need or perceived need and interest.  I need something to light the fire for interest, unless the interest is developed and it has a life of its own.

 

 



So how much "leading" of your child do you think is permissible in order for them to learn this?    This seems to be a lesson that needs to be imparted from outside before a student, self-directed or outside-directed, sets off on a course of learning.   Otherwise, its easy to bounce from source to source, believing each one to be a true representation of events, facts, or situations.  


Ideally, you read multiple sources on a subject to triangulate on some form of "the truth," but that requires more time, the ability to seek out the multiple sources, and the critical thinking skills to put the sources in context  and understand that while no one source may represent "the Truth," some are closer to objective truth than others (giving equal weight to holocaust revisionists as to conventional histories of Kristallnacht will lead to a very twisted idea of the history of the era, for example).

 

At what point does cautioning your child about the nature of points of view and the possibility of inaccurate or purposely-spun "history" cross over?   If your child is the kind who shouts "No, Mom!  That's NOT what the BOOK SAYS!!"  at you when you make an observation about history or culture, is it imposing your will or viewpoint to keep going?   Is it "strewing" to pull out a copy of a book you know will give another, valuable, viewpoint?    If you don't know much about the topic the child is looking into, or playing a game about, do you go do some reading yourself to be ready to have these conversations that you say are the basis of the child's exposure to ideas?  How can there be a discussion and delving into the ideas and the ramifications of events if there is no one else in the house who has any knowledge of the topic?


savithny, 42 year old moderate mom to DS Primo (age 12) and DD Secunda (age 9).

savithny is offline  
#132 of 165 Old 03-04-2011, 07:17 AM
 
VisionaryMom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 3,736
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)


Quote:
Originally Posted by lach View Post

I agree that historical fiction can teach history, but I do disagree with your selections, for the most part.  The Twain books are important pieces of literature.  GWTW is one of the greatest piece of historical whitewashing ever written, and an adult should be reading along to help work through some of the very serious issues with the book. It's a fun bodice ripper, but a lot of people seem to take it as historically accurate and that's really worrying. It was written two generations later by someone who famously quipped that she didn't know the South had lost until she was 17.

 

Plus Mitchell intended it as political satire, which we know from her personal papers, not the book itself. 

 

My undergrad & graduate work is in the history of the American South, and I agree completely that historical fiction is rarely useful as a learning aid. In fact, I can't read most historical fiction because I get caught up in how *wrong* it is. Instead if you want to go the fiction route, I would suggest reading actual fiction from the time period because then you get an idea of accepted language conventions as well as viewpoints from that time period, rather than reading something written generations later by someone who likely didn't have any real training in historical analysis. 


It's us: DH , DS ; DD ; and me . Also there's the . And the 3 . I . Oh, and .
VisionaryMom is offline  
#133 of 165 Old 03-04-2011, 07:42 AM
 
purslaine's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Canada
Posts: 6,771
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)


Quote:
Originally Posted by savithny View Post





So how much "leading" of your child do you think is permissible in order for them to learn this?    This seems to be a lesson that needs to be imparted from outside before a student, self-directed or outside-directed, sets off on a course of learning.   Otherwise, its easy to bounce from source to source, believing each one to be a true representation of events, facts, or situations.  

 

Critical analysis is a great life skill.  I repeatedly have conversations with my children on books and media "Is this true?  How do we know?  Do you think the writer might have had some biases?"  I had one yesterday.  Ds saw a MacLeans magazine cover that talked about the "crises in healthcare".  He asked if I thought there was one.  I told him it was a complicated, regional answer and I did not know....I also told him MacLeans likes to sell magazines so they are going to put an attention grabbing item on the cover.  I told him this didn't mean the thesis was correct or incorrect - but that is their main goal.

 

I actually do think the repeated conversations is the way many people learn things.  They will learn critical analysis far better through lifetime exposure (and not just from me - although I am an important educational role model in their lives) than they will through a single unit study.

 

At what point does cautioning your child about the nature of points of view and the possibility of inaccurate or purposely-spun "history" cross over?   If your child is the kind who shouts "No, Mom!  That's NOT what the BOOK SAYS!!"  at you when you make an observation about history or culture, is it imposing your will or viewpoint to keep going?  

 

I have no issues with sharing my viewpoint (which I think is different from imposing).  If a child disagreed with me and insisted the book was correct I might say something like:  "We are at an impasse.  Lets see what other people or sources have to say."  If a child refused to budge on their stance but refused to look up any further info I might move onto other concerns - like flexibility and how to conduct oneself in a discussion (i.e. refusing to look up facts to substantiate your views will not help your case)

 

 Is it "strewing" to pull out a copy of a book you know will give another, valuable, viewpoint?    If you don't know much about the topic the child is looking into, or playing a game about, do you go do some reading yourself to be ready to have these conversations that you say are the basis of the child's exposure to ideas?  How can there be a discussion and delving into the ideas and the ramifications of events if there is no one else in the house who has any knowledge of the topic?

I have no issues with strewing - although I am much more forthright about it.  I usually say "here is a book, I thought you might like it.  You seem to be into xyz and this is a well respected book on the topic".

 

I do not not usually do reading on the topics my kids are interested in.  They share with me, so I do tend to learn about topics- from them.  I occasionally look things up with them - but the looking up is important for  me (as it gives me a chance to role model how to do it) rather than the actual info.

 

I think it is important to talk about the underlying issues with history topics:

-who wrote this?  Do they have any biases?  When was it written and what was going on then that could have made the author  believe as they do?  Is it a translation?  A good one?  Primary or secondary source?  Have you looked at various sources?  Can you research what scholars say about the source? 

 

If you give kids the tools to analyze critically you do not have to delve into every topic they are interested in.  

 

Moreover, I am not the only source of discussion for my kids - family and friends are as well.  In some cases teachers are. The online world is.  I have on occasion sensed an unmet need for discussion from my children about a topic so I read the book or saw the movie  so I could meet that need.  It is pretty rare though.

 

 

 

 

 

 

purslaine is offline  
#134 of 165 Old 03-04-2011, 08:27 AM
 
Roar's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 4,419
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)


Quote:
Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post



 

I feel slightly uncomfortable about the whole thing, though.  If someone gave me a video game because they thought it would be educational and would act as a springboard to further learning - I might feel mildly insulted. If I would feel insulted, why would I turn around and do that to my kids (is it simply because "they are kids"?) 

 


 

Interesting. Maybe it gets down to core issues of the way we define ourselves. I think of myself as a curious person who likes to learn new things. I assume other people close to me understand that. So, if a friend or parent gave me a book and said that they thought I might find it interesting or engaging I appreciate that. I suppose someone could hear in that "you loser who doesn't know anything you should learn more about x,y, and z" but I know that's not the intent of people close to me and it would never occur to me to see it that way. If it gets to the point where a person views any sharing of anything related to learning something new as a criticism or threat - isn't something wrong with that picture?

 

Roar is offline  
#135 of 165 Old 03-04-2011, 08:30 AM
 
Chamomile Girl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: West of the Sierras East of the Sea
Posts: 2,781
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by cristeen View Post

 


But historical fiction is really good at spurning an interest in certain time periods or subjects. Clan of the Cave Bear series, as I said before brought up some interesting things for me - persecution (prejudice), it introduced me to medicinal herbs and the subject of animal husbandry. Arthurian legend is great for making you stop and think. All the talk of politics, the role of the King and his advisors. Again, persecution (religious this time), misogyny is also big in Arthurian legend. Nobody said that historical fiction was reliable, nobody said that it was the only source of information to use. But if reading historical fiction works for me in spurning interest in subjects I otherwise wouldn't have been exposed to, who are you to judge that? Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn have long been treated as great views into that era, and I'm not the only one to think so. But actual historical accounts they are not. They do however give some good jumping off points to learn more, spurn questions, and pique interest. And isn't that after all what US is all about? Isn't that what this entire conversation has been about? I read all of these books as a teenager, at a time where school was a bore, and I learned nothing from the teachers, books were the only thing that caught my interest. So you don't like it, oh well. Poo-pooing the use of historical fiction in generating interest in otherwise disconnected children doesn't make it an invalid method.



 

 

 

 


I totally agree about the spurring interest part, but I think having a knowledgeable person to discuss with is the key here. Upthread you mentioned Mary Stewart's Crystal Cave series. This series is one reason I became a medievalist. The more I learned about the time period the more impressed I have become with the world she portrayed...she did a boatload of research. So you really can get a pretty good gist in some ways from that series. Recently I read Ken Follett's Pillars of the Earth/World Without End...which was like 2000 pages of dreck. Awful, awful rendition of the medieval period. So I think it really depends on the book.

However you also mentioned Mark Twain and Arthurian legend which I think are different as they are (or in the case or Arthurian legend, can be) primary sources. Whether or not something is fiction if it was written in the past it can tell you lots about the time it was written. Its a gen-u-ine historical source, not just historical fiction.
Quote:
Originally Posted by lach View Post

I agree that historical fiction can be a great tool to spark an interest in history, but I disagree with the "meh, good enough" attitude that makes faux history computer games and trashy novels (and I mean that lovingly: as a teen, I enjoyed all of these books too, because they're all good, fun, trashy love/lust stories) good examples of historical fiction and appropriate history lessons.


Agree
Quote:
Originally Posted by VisionaryMom View Post



Plus Mitchell intended it as political satire, which we know from her personal papers, not the book itself. 

 

My undergrad & graduate work is in the history of the American South, and I agree completely that historical fiction is rarely useful as a learning aid. In fact, I can't read most historical fiction because I get caught up in how *wrong* it is. Instead if you want to go the fiction route, I would suggest reading actual fiction from the time period because then you get an idea of accepted language conventions as well as viewpoints from that time period, rather than reading something written generations later by someone who likely didn't have any real training in historical analysis. 


Totally agree with the bolded.
Quote:
Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post



I think it is important to talk about the underlying issues with history topics:

-who wrote this?  Do they have any biases?  When was it written and what was going on then that could have made the author  believe as they do?  Is it a translation?  A good one?  Primary or secondary source?  Have you looked at various sources?  Can you research what scholars say about the source? 

 

If you give kids the tools to analyze critically you do not have to delve into every topic they are interested in. .

 

 

 

 

 

 


Awesome post. I am actually frequently amazed at the number of students who make it to college without having these tools. In other words they don't understand/ are not trained to think about author bias. As a result they will read sources from the past and think they represent "truth" rather than a person's point of view. This makes me crazy, and is also rather dangerous when the sources you are reading are talking about things like eugenics. Or in one memorable case students who could not wrap their heads around the fact that many of Dickens' characters (like Gradgrind) are parodies, and that Dickens was not actually advocating the kind of teaching he represents in the first scene from Hard Times.
Chamomile Girl is offline  
#136 of 165 Old 03-04-2011, 08:42 AM
Dar
 
Dar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: St. Louis, MO
Posts: 11,249
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roar View Post




 

Interesting. Maybe it gets down to core issues of the way we define ourselves. I think of myself as a curious person who likes to learn new things. I assume other people close to me understand that. So, if a friend or parent gave me a book and said that they thought I might find it interesting or engaging I appreciate that. I suppose someone could hear in that "you loser who doesn't know anything you should learn more about x,y, and z" but I know that's not the intent of people close to me and it would never occur to me to see it that way. If it gets to the point where a person views any sharing of anything related to learning something new as a criticism or threat - isn't something wrong with that picture?

 


I think you misunderstood Kathy's post. What she was talking about was more like a friend giving you a book and saying, "I'm giving you this book because it will help you become more educated on the topic of the dangers of the boll weevil in Georgia, and perhaps convince you to do some further research in this area." I'm assuming you have no interest in boll weevils... if you do, substitute something else.

I think every unschooler here has said, repeatedly, that giving a kid a book or game or whatever because you think the child will enjoy it or find it interesting is not only in line with unschooling, but also essential to unschooling.

 
fambedsingle1.gifSingle mom to Rain (1/93) , grad student, and world traveler earth.gif


  

Dar is offline  
#137 of 165 Old 03-04-2011, 08:58 AM
 
lach's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: MA
Posts: 1,923
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)


Quote:
Originally Posted by Dar View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by Roar View Post




 

Interesting. Maybe it gets down to core issues of the way we define ourselves. I think of myself as a curious person who likes to learn new things. I assume other people close to me understand that. So, if a friend or parent gave me a book and said that they thought I might find it interesting or engaging I appreciate that. I suppose someone could hear in that "you loser who doesn't know anything you should learn more about x,y, and z" but I know that's not the intent of people close to me and it would never occur to me to see it that way. If it gets to the point where a person views any sharing of anything related to learning something new as a criticism or threat - isn't something wrong with that picture?

 




I think you misunderstood Kathy's post. What she was talking about was more like a friend giving you a book and saying, "I'm giving you this book because it will help you become more educated on the topic of the dangers of the boll weevil in Georgia, and perhaps convince you to do some further research in this area." I'm assuming you have no interest in boll weevils... if you do, substitute something else.

I think every unschooler here has said, repeatedly, that giving a kid a book or game or whatever because you think the child will enjoy it or find it interesting is not only in line with unschooling, but also essential to unschooling.


I agree with Roar.  I've often read books that I wasn't interested in because a friend or family member recommended it.  It might not spark a lifelong interest, but on the other hand it might.  If someone recommended it, I'd at least assume the book was good.  How can someone grow if they're not interested in exploring new things?  And the easiest way to discover new things is to have someone you trust bring it up.

 


Trying to live a simple life in a messy house in a complicated world with : DH, DD (b. 07/07), DS (b. 02/09), and DD (b. 10/10)
lach is offline  
#138 of 165 Old 03-04-2011, 09:02 AM
 
purslaine's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Canada
Posts: 6,771
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)


Quote:
Originally Posted by Roar View Post




 

Interesting. Maybe it gets down to core issues of the way we define ourselves. I think of myself as a curious person who likes to learn new things. I assume other people close to me understand that. So, if a friend or parent gave me a book and said that they thought I might find it interesting or engaging I appreciate that. I suppose someone could hear in that "you loser who doesn't know anything you should learn more about x,y, and z" but I know that's not the intent of people close to me and it would never occur to me to see it that way. If it gets to the point where a person views any sharing of anything related to learning something new as a criticism or threat - isn't something wrong with that picture?

 


Perhaps I should have been a bit more thorough.

 

I like herbs.  If you gave me a herb book, I would appreciate it and thank you.  I may or may not like the book - but I would still appreciate the gesture.

 

If you gave me a book on something I had no interest it, I would wonder why. I would tend to think it was because you did not know me and my interests or were trying to pawn off stuff on me (lol, I doubt a child would think this though!).  

 

If there was an undercurrent of "I think this is something you should know but don't"  I would feel a little judged.  I have actually done this to someone once, and my sister has been on the receiving end of such a gift once.

 

I think it all comes down to knowing your audience in information book giving.

 

As a parent I throw resources at my kids all the time.  I will always bring up a resource if I think they will like it.  I do not bring up a resource that I think will be "good for them" unless it is an expressed need or interest.  There are exceptions - we have some resources in our house for when inspiration hit, or because I hope the kids will one day want to use them.   These are things I buy for our at-home collection.  I do not thrust them at anyone. 

 

Edited to add:  I think recommending any book to anyone is fine.  I am a librarian -I do it on a daily basis.  I wouId never sneak a book into a patrons bag however. The same hold for children and buying resources.  I would recommend a book to a child, but unless they said yes, I would not bother buying it.  If they are not interested they are not interested, and buying does seem a bit too "pushing my agenda".  

 

 

 

purslaine is offline  
#139 of 165 Old 03-04-2011, 09:09 AM
 
purslaine's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Canada
Posts: 6,771
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)


Quote:
Originally Posted by Chamomile Girl View Post
 Or in one memorable case students who could not wrap their heads around the fact that many of Dickens' characters (like Gradgrind) are parodies, and that Dickens was not actually advocating the kind of teaching he represents in the first scene from Hard Times.


Here is a good one:  People think Anne of Green Gables actually existed.  The government of PEI actually has a house they call "Green Gable House" - they do  say that it inspired the Anne books....but I have met people who actually think Anne lived and lived in that house.  Yeah.

 

purslaine is offline  
#140 of 165 Old 03-04-2011, 09:15 AM
Dar
 
Dar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: St. Louis, MO
Posts: 11,249
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by lach View Post




I agree with Roar.  I've often read books that I wasn't interested in because a friend or family member recommended it. .

 


But are they recommending it because they think you'll enjoy it, or because they think you're deficient in some realm of knowledge and it would be educational for you?

 
fambedsingle1.gifSingle mom to Rain (1/93) , grad student, and world traveler earth.gif


  

Dar is offline  
#141 of 165 Old 03-04-2011, 09:32 AM
 
annakiss's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: O-hi-o-hi-o
Posts: 15,505
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)


Quote:
Originally Posted by Chamomile Girl View Post

Awesome post. I am actually frequently amazed at the number of students who make it to college without having these tools. In other words they don't understand/ are not trained to think about author bias. As a result they will read sources from the past and think they represent "truth" rather than a person's point of view. This makes me crazy, and is also rather dangerous when the sources you are reading are talking about things like eugenics. Or in one memorable case students who could not wrap their heads around the fact that many of Dickens' characters (like Gradgrind) are parodies, and that Dickens was not actually advocating the kind of teaching he represents in the first scene from Hard Times.
 


I guess I'm not surprised by it. It seems to be the norm. In fact, I'd argue that most kids come to college and their professors spend most of their time trying to teach them how to think. Perhaps the acceptance of some written accounts, whether fictional or non-fictional, as absolute truth is the result of the cult-like approach to the written word found in an institutional setting. Maybe it's the nasty side-effect of one-sized education that emphasizes certain truths over and over again. Perhaps that's just people sometimes though. Religious dogma tends to achieve the same outcome in most instances.

 

I'm sort of content to wait for teaching how to think at the level being discussed here. Certainly, we talk about critical thinking all the time, but it's pretty watered down and a lot of just asking our children to consider the opposing viewpoint of whatever subject is at hand. They're young yet.

 

I think the point about historical fiction or even just fiction set in a different time or place, is not that it spurns a tangible interest in real history, but that it's play. It's play with ideas. It's not about remembering dates or facts or battles - we can look almost all of that up with ease. I think the only reason my historian husband knows dates is because he encounters them repeatedly. In fact, as an aside, the other day he asked me to google if the emancipation proclamation was in 1863 while he was grading a student's paper. The point of play though is to get accustomed to thinking about things from multiple angles, whittling down to some acceptable conclusion that may morph and change as new information is added.

 

Do we need complete understandings of history at any given moment? I know that most of the history I learned when I was young was names and dates and was boring. The most interesting stuff was to experience it - to visit houses set up as historical sites, museums, any historical site or place where some piece of the past was upheld or preserved or displayed. These can be roadside signs or mills or parks or nature preserves or taverns or shops or anything. The history that is all around us. Later, I gleaned bits and pieces of history through art. From films, from studying art history, from listening to the news and to NPR, from newspaper articles. It's all bits and pieces. I don't have the full story. I'm reading a book about the Civil War right now and I still don't fully understand why it happened and most folks don't seem to know that either. Maybe we get as far as states rights and slavery, which is true, but it's not the whole truth. History isn't really linear though. History is like piles of sands. There are so many different variations on what happened and how. Over the years, I've gained enough information to have a workable model in my head of how things changed for people over time and what that might mean for the present and the future.

 

I guess my point is that it seems like this all just came by being interested in new experiences. I didn't have to contrive anything. I just read books, watched films or shows both fictional and documentary, listened to the radio, read magazines, talked to people. I really just assumed my children would have a similar experience by being in the world and by being exposed to thoughtful, articulate people and the materials we all search out. In the end, it wasn't what I was handed that helped me model that vision of the world. It was the things I sought out or happened upon. It was never school. It was never contrived activities. It was always accidental or stemming from my own interests.


anna kiss partner to jon radical mama to aleks (8/02) and bastian (5/05)
annakiss is offline  
#142 of 165 Old 03-04-2011, 09:37 AM
 
lach's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: MA
Posts: 1,923
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)


Quote:
Originally Posted by Dar View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by lach View Post




I agree with Roar.  I've often read books that I wasn't interested in because a friend or family member recommended it. .

 




But are they recommending it because they think you'll enjoy it, or because they think you're deficient in some realm of knowledge and it would be educational for you?

 

There really isn't any difference for me.  I enjoy filling in realms of information that I'm deficient in.  I would actually assume that's why they gave me the book.  I have friends who are interested in all sorts of things, so I enjoy reading about what they're interested in so I can talk about it with them.  I'm really not offended if someone says "you obviously know nothing about this, here's a book."  There's a lot of information in the world, and I'll be the first to admit that I know very little of it.  But I'm always excited to learn more.

 

I'm trying to think of subjects I don't really care about, and I can't.  Maybe Civil War history, LOL.  But if someone said "I know you hate Civil War history, but if you read this book you'll understand why it's awesome," I'd be happy to give it a go.

 

It's taken me a very long time to write this answer, because I think I just really don't understand.  Isn't reading about new subjects how people learn and expand their horizons?  You're saying it's normal to just dismiss new subjects out of hand, when someone else suggests you learn about them, no matter their motives?  Maybe it is, I don't know.  It's not true for me, and I really, really hope that it's not true for my kids.  I guess I find it a little... strange, maybe?... that unschoolers would be fine with that.  I always considered one of the main perks of unschooling that there are no constraints to what you learn about.

 

 


Trying to live a simple life in a messy house in a complicated world with : DH, DD (b. 07/07), DS (b. 02/09), and DD (b. 10/10)
lach is offline  
#143 of 165 Old 03-04-2011, 09:39 AM
WCM
 
WCM's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Victoria BC
Posts: 301
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I think this what's missing is a acknowledgment of intent.

 

I myself do not know anything about history. It was boring and linear in school, and not taught in a way that grabbed me. Post-school I went into the sciences and literature, and got into genetics. I've never missed my lack of history, and yet do feel as an adult, through exposure to films about historical events (the recent King's Speech made aware of things I was utterly ignorant of before) I will likely become more interested in certain historical periods or persons. My point is, in my life, the study of history, in depth or otherwise, has never interested me. yes, I was never likely exposed to a variety of things that could have been historical springboards, but regardless, reading about historical events is one of the last things, as an adult, I feel like doing.

 

To those of you that know alot about history, and work in that field as an adult, of course another person's general suggestion of certain history-like activities (Clan Of Cave Bear, King Arthur) may make you cringe at the inaccuracies or what have you. But that person's intent and interest is not necessarily at the same level as your own interest. I'll happily expose my kids to lots I think may interest them, but I do not expect them to leap into each thing with gusto.

 

This is partly a discussion about how to get OP's child the facts he'll need to pass a govt test, and doing so while following one's US principles. And it has also become a discussion of how best to teach a topic (history/math) and what sources qualify as factual, etc. BUt I think one's intents in these pursuits are different.

 

If I were OP (cause I'm not trying to speak for her) in keeping with my US beliefs, I'd not be aiming to actually develop in my child a keen interest in history that carries them right up to seeking a university education in the subject. I'd be trying to find a way to get this particular task done so I can continue to US and meet my child's needs. Whether those needs do develop into science or history down the road is unknown, but at the age of 8, faced with a test, that is not necessarily the deal-breaker on having an interest for life in a given topic. Personally, I don't care if Age of Empires is not totally accurate, because other than that game my children have little interest in pursuing historical facts. No I do not think AofE is providing them with any hist facts or education that is measurable, per se, but it is giving us a springboard or something to relate back to when another discussion comes up. "Remember how AoE has diff editions based on eras of time, this is one of those eras and here's how they lived" or what have you. My intent is not to create adults like those of you who did pursue a life in history, because I have no idea what interests my child will pursue. Of course if they do get into history, we'll talk about it, I'll learn, we'll get analytical. Just because I don't know much about history right now doesn't mean I'm limited so much that I can't learn and find resources/people/ect. See what I'm saying? We seem to be disagreeing/discussing two diff ways of doing/seeing things, but we're also of two diff perspectives. Waiting and supporting our children as they find their passions, vs. actually learning factual historical data once you have such a passion.

 

Yes if my child was really into history AoE would not be a tool, of course. But people go through life knowing/learning alot about only what interests them in particular. Just as one poster felt her DH's lack of exposure to sciences was to his disadvantage, my lack of exposure to extensive historical data as a teen was not any disadvantage. Because it's simply not an interest, now that I know more and can pursue whatever interests I want as an adult, I still do not want to learn more about history in a sustained academic way. Science is my gig, always in books, and history is an entertaining interest that I'm curious about. But if you gave me a history book, I'd give it right back. A movie, sure I'll watch that.


Passionate posts = oodles of typos
WCM is offline  
#144 of 165 Old 03-04-2011, 09:40 AM
 
lach's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: MA
Posts: 1,923
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)


Quote:
Originally Posted by Dar View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by lach View Post




I agree with Roar.  I've often read books that I wasn't interested in because a friend or family member recommended it. .

 




But are they recommending it because they think you'll enjoy it, or because they think you're deficient in some realm of knowledge and it would be educational for you?


Thinking about it, usually the latter.  I guess we fundamentally disagree, because I'm fine with that.  More than fine.  I actually hope that's why they'd recommend something!

 


Trying to live a simple life in a messy house in a complicated world with : DH, DD (b. 07/07), DS (b. 02/09), and DD (b. 10/10)
lach is offline  
#145 of 165 Old 03-04-2011, 09:43 AM - Thread Starter
 
umami_mommy's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: home is where the magic is
Posts: 4,983
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)





Awesome post. I am actually frequently amazed at the number of students who make it to college without having these tools. In other words they don't understand/ are not trained to think about author bias. As a result they will read sources from the past and think they represent "truth" rather than a person's point of view. This makes me crazy, and is also rather dangerous when the sources you are reading are talking about things like eugenics. Or in one memorable case students who could not wrap their heads around the fact that many of Dickens' characters (like Gradgrind) are parodies, and that Dickens was not actually advocating the kind of teaching he represents in the first scene from Hard Times.


when i was in graduate school i taught a 100 level class, mostly to freshman. i was astounded that almost all of my students couldn't even form their own opinion about a text, much less critically analyze it. i spent most of the semester teaching them how to say they agreed or disagreed with a text and why. it was not only difficult, but sad too. at 18, 19, 20 most of these students didn't even know what they thought about things beyond what someone else said. and this was at a *university* not a college or community collage. many of them spent the whole semester trying to find the "right" answer to give me. 

 


"Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this, too, was a gift." -- Mary Olivercoolshine.gif

umami_mommy is offline  
#146 of 165 Old 03-04-2011, 09:46 AM
 
annakiss's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: O-hi-o-hi-o
Posts: 15,505
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)


Quote:
Originally Posted by umami_mommy View Post




when i was in graduate school i taught a 100 level class, mostly to freshman. i was astounded that almost all of my students couldn't even form their own opinion about a text, much less critically analyze it. i spent most of the semester teaching them how to say they agreed or disagreed with a text and why. it was not only difficult, but sad too. at 18, 19, 20 most of these students didn't even know what they thought about things beyond what someone else said. and this was at a *university* not a college or community collage. many of them spent the whole semester trying to find the "right" answer to give me. 

 



Right. This is why this is not surprising to me. And exactly why no one should not teach to the test! It sets everyone up for finding the right answers! They're in the back of the book, remember? My husband teaches at a fairly well-respected university and it's the same thing. These kids are massive over-achieving, brilliant kids who will go on to be hugely successful doctors and engineers and researchers. They cannot, however, critically analyze historical works without a lot of prodding.


anna kiss partner to jon radical mama to aleks (8/02) and bastian (5/05)
annakiss is offline  
#147 of 165 Old 03-04-2011, 09:49 AM
Dar
 
Dar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: St. Louis, MO
Posts: 11,249
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Lach - I think you should read Death Without Weeping (Nancy Scheper-Hughes), if you haven't, because it's a really engrossing book and you'll really gain a good understanding of how structural violence words, and what critical medical anthropology is all about. I think understanding those things is really important to responsible global citizenship.

I also think you should read Life and Words, by Veena Das - I think they go well together, in a weird way, and Das's book is great for understanding the way violence is conceptualized and experienced, over time and space, and the lived experience of violence.

Those are the things that interest me, anyway...


 
fambedsingle1.gifSingle mom to Rain (1/93) , grad student, and world traveler earth.gif


  

Dar is offline  
#148 of 165 Old 03-04-2011, 10:03 AM
 
lach's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: MA
Posts: 1,923
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)


Quote:
Originally Posted by Dar View Post

Lach - I think you should read Death Without Weeping (Nancy Scheper-Hughes), if you haven't, because it's a really engrossing book and you'll really gain a good understanding of how structural violence words, and what critical medical anthropology is all about. I think understanding those things is really important to responsible global citizenship.

I also think you should read Life and Words, by Veena Das - I think they go well together, in a weird way, and Das's book is great for understanding the way violence is conceptualized and experienced, over time and space, and the lived experience of violence.

Those are the things that interest me, anyway...
 

I haven't heard of either of those books, but that's definitely a subject that interests me!  I've read all of Paul Farmer's books, and a few older books on structural violence (I took a class in college where we read Weapons of the Weak and that's the first time I had ever really heard of it, so it's something I've dabbled in reading about since).  A very good friend works for organizations that help organize women in India in particular, but she's also worked in several other countries and her husband's specialty is Brazil.  I bet I can even borrow these books from her.

 


Trying to live a simple life in a messy house in a complicated world with : DH, DD (b. 07/07), DS (b. 02/09), and DD (b. 10/10)
lach is offline  
#149 of 165 Old 03-04-2011, 10:26 AM
 
purslaine's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Canada
Posts: 6,771
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)


Quote:
Originally Posted by lach View Post


I'm trying to think of subjects I don't really care about, and I can't.  Maybe Civil War history, LOL.  But if someone said "I know you hate Civil War history, but if you read this book you'll understand why it's awesome," I'd be happy to give it a go.

 

It's taken me a very long time to write this answer, because I think I just really don't understand.  Isn't reading about new subjects how people learn and expand their horizons? 

 

 


I will actually read about most (not all) subjects.   I am a bit of a generalist and know a bit about a lot of things.  I like it this way.  Not everyone is a generalist, though.  Some people are specialists and really do want to (are driven to?) going in depth in the field of their choice.  Handing them a book outside their interests is futile.  The world needs both generalists and specialists.   In short I think it is normal to be willing to read anything, and I think it is normal to only want to read about what you want to read about.  

 

It is hard for me to track the genesis of new interests - but I do know very few of them have come about through someone giving me a book on a random topic.  For me, the interest often starts with something I have seen on dvd or TV (and often fiction) and then it takes off.  I occasionally see something that I do not know happened or I think is incorrect, and this causes me to research it.  Some interests are born out of practicality - local eating and herb use have been 2.  

 

 

purslaine is offline  
#150 of 165 Old 03-04-2011, 10:26 AM
 
Roar's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 4,419
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by lach View Post


There really isn't any difference for me.  I enjoy filling in realms of information that I'm deficient in.  I would actually assume that's why they gave me the book.  I have friends who are interested in all sorts of things, so I enjoy reading about what they're interested in so I can talk about it with them.  I'm really not offended if someone says "you obviously know nothing about this, here's a book."  There's a lot of information in the world, and I'll be the first to admit that I know very little of it.  But I'm always excited to learn more.

 

I'm trying to think of subjects I don't really care about, and I can't.  Maybe Civil War history, LOL.  But if someone said "I know you hate Civil War history, but if you read this book you'll understand why it's awesome," I'd be happy to give it a go.



Hooray, you just saved me a lot of time. Yes, all of that exactly. I may not end up loving or finishing the Civil War book but I'll take a stab at it and see if I like it. Worst case scenario maybe I don't get into the topic, but I might gain a little more insight and appreciation for my friend's passion.

Roar is offline  
Reply

User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off