Historians, how do you feel about the history that is being taught in grade school (K-12)?

I'd prefer more world history. In Belarus, I'd prefer history to a) be taught in Belarusian and b) be not just Russian, Belarusian and Eastern Europe focused. So I think in general, a world view needs to be given. There needs to be less date learning and much, much more analysis of sources. Also, history should be fun! If we'd done a project on the history of toilets when I was seven, half the class would love it because wow, toilets,and it would also teach us valuable stuff about history and also researching stuff.

I'd like us to do more analysis. To analyse the old soviet propaganda, to analyse WW2, WW1 etc propaganda, especially as stuff like that is still currently having effects on our politics and democratic system (or lack of). Analysing primary sources etc. Teaching people to view sources critically from an early age. So if you're looking at a diary from the sinking of the titanic, then you ask, well, this girl is rich, so do you think someone who is poor might see the titanic a bit differently? How does her being rich mean she sees the journey differently? Etc etc. Starting from a very young age. I'm sure modern teachers do do this, but they didn't for me at least. Probably varies by country.

I think world history is necessary to cut down prejudice, xenophobia etc etc. But more modern world history! Not just learning about the ancient Egyptians, but 13, 14yr olds learning about the Cultural Revolution and communism in China, or about the partition of India or the creation and original aims of the EU, the Iranian revolution, I don't know. We were pretty good at learning a world history for the Cold War, we looked at Angola, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Afghanistan etc etc but it should be even wider, that was all stuff that very directly affected the country, but stuff which is more indirectly affecting us today should be taught about. I think it would stop the othering a bit more.

So, TLDR: teaching kids to analyse sources, especially propaganda, from the very start and giving kids a more rounded world of recent world history is important, for my country specifically, teaching history in the traditional language.

/r/AskHistorians Thread