How History is taught elsewhere

I’ve often wished I could read a sampling of history texts used in high schools worldwide — it would be educational to see how students in different societies are programmed. For instance in the WSJ today, some of the messages that are being pushed in Russia, so different than how we teach history here: A Do-Over for Russian History? – WSJ.com

Another teachers’ guide getting Kremlin support, meanwhile, recasts key elements of Soviet history. Dictator Josef Stalin is described as “the most successful Soviet leader ever,” for building industry and leading the country to victory in World War II. The guide explains his purges and the system of camps for political prisoners as a function of his desire to make the Soviet Union strong.

Mr. Putin himself echoed that view at the meeting with teachers, saying Stalin’s “Great Terror” of 1937 — during which at least 700,000 people were executed — wasn’t as bad as atrocities other nations had perpetrated, such as the U.S. use of the atomic bomb.

One Reply to “How History is taught elsewhere”

  1. Many years ago I got into an argument with a classmate from Japan about World War II. He argued that Japan had had no choice but to go to war, the ‘so called’ atrocities were an exxageration etc. Given that I was from Singapore, this did not go down well with me. As we argued, it dawned on me that he was simply restating what he had learned.

    We think of history as factual, as something we can trust. Governments however have a huge incentive to interpret the ‘facts’ to their own ends.

    Yes, it would be wonderful to have an online project in which excerpts of history textbooks used worldwide are compared for all to see.

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