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Brainwashing for kids
by Dimitrios Kontopodis
2007-04-02 10:08:17
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The proposal of the German EU presidency for common European history schoolbooks is terribly interesting, radical and probably unrealistic, at least in the short term. However, the comments that followed, especially the negative ones, are surprisingly interesting themselves.

First of all, it is important to raise the fundamental question: Why do we teach schoolchildren any history at all? Well, we teach math because the pupils need to be able to calculate the change at the groceries, we teach them physics, so that they can better understand the world around them, we teach them languages to help them communicate. And history?

One answer could be that history allows them to understand how our society functions and why it is made like it is. But then, this purpose could be served exactly as good, if not better, by a common European textbook.

One other answer could be that we consider our past as part of who we are and, therefore, we try to give the children a sense of identity. But still, what is the problem with learning also about the identities of our fellow Europeans?

By reading some of the negative reactions in the UK, I got some interesting hints:

Nigel Farage, the leader of the UK Independence Party, suggested that "euro-history will tell our children that peace in Europe has been kept by the EU, and that Britain was never a global power".

Apparently, it must be taken for granted that the "euro-history" will present a different version of the facts than the official national history. Mr. Farage also asks: "Do we really want our children being brainwashed by Eurocrats and politicians into believing an EU-style history where politicians saved the day?"

Interestingly enough, he speaks of brainwashing the children. Does this mean that the children are already brainwashed with the national history?

The Tory EU spokesman, Graham Brady, suggested that "the teaching of our history is vitally important for any nation and particularly so for Britain, which has so much to be proud of. We should not under any circumstances lose control of our educational responsibilities."

I take the freedom to combine the two comments and generalise:

Our children are brainwashed with our version of history, which teaches them that they have so much to be proud of. We will not allow them to be brainwashed with anything else.

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Get it off your chest
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Eva2007-04-02 12:35:44
Good point.

Thanos2007-04-03 10:33:58
I loved the conclusion!!!

Alan2007-04-04 08:30:03

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