For this final blog post, it is almost poetic to return to the beginning, and that is exactly what I am going to do. I will be editing our first official history blog post, which is actually the second blog post. My original question read “To what extent is the teaching of history and the perception indoctrinated on our youth affecting their perception of cultural ideologies and differences long term?”. I still have the same general question, but the phrasing of that question needs some housekeeping. After some thought, the final research question is “To what extent does the way in which we teach the history of the world to our youth affect their perception of differing cultures in the long term in respect to the biases presented to them upon their instruction?”.

In the original post I had decided that from there I would interview K-12 history teachers in regards to their curriculum and determine if their curriculum  was correct, or if it was filled with lies and or partial dishonesty, as a watered down version of history is perceived to be the root of the common misunderstandings and struggles within todays society in this project. I still stand by that, but in order to make my argument even more compelling, I would identify, if there was any misleading information, if it came from the teachers directly or it was forced upon the teachers from a higher authority within the school district.  From there I would work my way up as necessary to understand why the students were given false information and argue my point to those people as well. Also in regards to this section of the hypothetical research project I would interview teachers from all across the United States and possibly other countries in order to avoid any geographical biases.

Secondly I had wished to interview the students and get their perspectives on historical topics. I had originally planned to ask them questions regarding topics such as the discovery of America, the founding fathers, slavery, economic theories such as socialism and communism and capitalism. I would still do this, but to solidify my argument even further if I were to receive an answer such as that the students were given a watered down history of the discovery of America, for example, I would also speak with students of a higher educational status in the same area/school district to see if they were taught about the correct/ unbiased history of this topic. I would do this because explaining the complexity of some of these situations to our youth could be very difficult for them to understand, and if the false teachings were corrected upon later instruction, then the “bias” presented could just be accredited to a lack of comprehension skills in regards to the students. While interviewing these students I would also have to eliminate any political biases presented to them by their parents. To do this I would also have to interview the children’s parents with the same questions and keep track of how they answer because it is a proven fact that many children will default to their parents beliefs. In order to promote honesty among all parties interviewed, they would be granted anonymity within my research paper up front and before asking any questions unless otherwise expressed.

From there I would gather loads of empirical evidence, evidence which can not be logically disputed to prove my point to those I interview. The goal behind this is to first prove to the people affected by biases in teaching that they were inappropriately educated, and possibly be more susceptible to helping identify the correlation I was searching for. For example if I were to ask a question about communism I would gather evidence which states the original motivation for the creation of a communist state. I would be prepared with evidence for every scenario for each question I would ask.

Although I would go into this research project with a set question it is not certain that I would end it with the same question. The research may guide my question in different directions, for example I may find that the educational aspect of history was not the primary reason for someone’s biases, the research could tell me that a person’s perspective on history as well as modern day topics are more heavily influenced on familial bias or even from the internet as opposed to the way in which they were taught.

If this project were to be executed it would be even more difficult nowadays amidst a pandemic. Interviewing people at social justice rallies and other political events in which people gather in large numbers would prove difficult, which is bad because there would be opposition there as well making it a great spot to conduct interviews.

In order to conduct this research to the extent it deserves to be researched would take a lot of time. Time I unfortunately do not have, this is a topic in which I am very passionate about, but the scale in which this would be executed would take me alone many months to complete assuming everything goes on well. This is why I believe that if this were to be implemented as a research question it would be best resolved by a team.

I think that this class is very important, and should be taken seriously. Not only does this class provide us with valuable examples which we can learn and grow from as a person and a society, it also gives us the skillset to look at a problem a different way than we had previously thought. This class has given us examples and ways of thinking that can be very useful no matter what any of us do from here on out, just like two weeks ago when we did the word mapping. I had never thought to use text analysis in this way to guide research when looking at any text based evidence. The work we did in this class can forever be utilized to promote higher learning and a sense of understanding.

One thought on “FINAL BLOG POST

  1. I think it was a great idea to look back to the beginning of the semester to reflect on how much you accomplished this semester. I really enjoyed reading about your revision to the second blog post on formulating a historical research question, and I think your updated version speaks very succinctly and profoundly to key conversations we had during this course. To pursue this question, I think an interview-based study would make for an excellent project. My suspicion is that the teachers have very little control over the content of their classes, as they have to meet curriculum requirements and state guidelines. This definitely points to a deeper structural problem in K-12 history education that doesn’t empower teachers with the trust they deserve. It would be very interesting to track the state-to-state differences in history education and the content that is covered in their curriculums (and how it is taught). Rather than categorizing responses into categories of correctness, it might be worthwhile to leave this open-ended and consider the room for improvement and the solution to address these structural problems. I appreciated your acknowledgement of the possibility that your research may point you in new directions; as researchers, we have to follow where the evidence leads!

    I also appreciated your additional reflections about the course and the prospects of using these skills beyond our (Zoom) classroom. Thank you for all of your contributions this semester and I wish you the best of luck on your future endeavors!

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