WW2 History in schools?

Discussion in 'Historiography' started by 17thDYRCH, Sep 15, 2010.

  1. 17thDYRCH

    17thDYRCH Senior Member Patron

    Looking for input from the forum on this topic;

    How much time is spent in your country covering WW2?

    In Toronto, a measly 4 periods is spent covering Canada's military participation in WW2. A period in our public school system is 40 minutes. That equates to 2.66 hours.:( The good news, if there is any, is that 12 periods are devoted to WW1.
     

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  2. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    My Nine-year-old's just starting 'WW2' at school.
    Looks like the focus is on Local Home Front & Remembrance.
    Taped over windows & camo nets in the classroom, rusty old helmets welcome - looked good.
    He's doing a powerpoint presentation on 'WW2 Aeroplanes' - I'm now convinced the sod just ignores tanks to annoy me..

    They don't really have structured periods as such, but it seems to be their main History topic. Talking to him about it makes me realise just how hard it is to begin explaining WW2 to a sprog without getting carried away with scale/details.

    Was interesting to hear last night that the Six-year-old is also doing a bit on remembrance this year. Nothing too in depth, but an encouragement of some awareness.
     
  3. 17thDYRCH

    17thDYRCH Senior Member Patron

    Adam,
    Well, looks like Britain is miles ahead of Canada.
    I am looking forward to more discussion on this thread. I believe the Dutch children cover WW2 through all the grades.
    Hope the Dutch members of the forum add to this as well as the Americans and the rest of the Commonwealth countries.

    Randy
     
  4. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer Pearl Harbor Myth Buster

    It's been more than four decades I had WW2 in high school, but I know that at Purdue U. the WW2 class "sells out" within hours of being open for registration. It's held in a 500 seat auditorium and I can tell you that standing in front of that many people (I gave the Pearl Harbor module one year) is a bit intimidating. Prof. Randy Roberts starts the class with Versailles, and gives all theaters as much attention as can be allotted. I took this class as a undergrad and was Robert's teaching assist for four years as a graduate student.
     
  5. Derek Barton

    Derek Barton Senior Member

    My Grandson's school is much the same as Adam's son's except they covered the subject in Year 3 - 7 to 8 years old. Sam let his teacher know that Granddad knew a bit about WW2 so I got invited in for a couple of hours (this was 2 years ago). We had a question and answer session and I took along some of my models for them to look at.

    I was then asked to go along on the class trip which was an evacuee's day out on the East Lancs steam railway. Everyone dressed for the period, staff and helpers included, and the children made cardboard gas mask cases for everyone. They were allowed to handle some WW2 artifacts at Bury museum before going on the train from Bury to Rawtenstall. On arriving they were selected for billeting by numerous characters, farmer, baker etc and told what their life would be like.

    We then made the return trip to Bury where we went into the education suite and the children learnt about rationing, money and what it would buy, period clothing and handled more items such as a stirrup pump and baby's gas mask/hood.

    I must have done something right because I was asked back again last year for the new Year 3 and am already booked for this years class.
     
  6. canuck

    canuck Token Colonial Patron

    Looking for imput from the forum on this topic;

    How much time is spent in your country covering WW2?

    In Toronto, a measly 4 periods is spent covering Canada's military participation in WW2. A period in our public school system is 40 minutes. That equates to 2.66 hours.:( The good news, if there is any, is that 12 periods are devoted to WW1.

    Randy,

    There is a distinction between elementary and high school curriculums. My daughter completed her Grade 10 history course last year and I was quite satisfied and impressed that the Canadian war experience was covered in great depth. She spent weeks studying and preparing reports on WW 1 and 2. Mind you, that was an elective course so many students will not get the same exposure.
     
  7. martin14

    martin14 Senior Member

    Looking for imput from the forum on this topic;

    How much time is spent in your country covering WW2?

    In Toronto, a measly 4 periods is spent covering Canada's military participation in WW2. A period in our public school system is 40 minutes. That equates to 2.66 hours.:( The good news, if there is any, is that 12 periods are devoted to WW1.


    2.5 hours, wont cover much. I'll bet Hong Kong and Dieppe get passed
    completely.

    Unit 5, well I finished before all that started ;)


    As the years go by, events seem farther and farther away,
    revisionists get in to rewrite things to make us more peaceful.

    Lets all admit we on this forum are biased, and 2.5 hours isnt enough. :)


    erm, Canuck, that outline was for a Grade 10 course.
     
  8. 17thDYRCH

    17thDYRCH Senior Member Patron

    Tim,
    It must be that the elective deals with WW2 in far more detail. The PDF file I found was from a local high school. Maybe it is time I wrote to the minister in Daddy McGuinty's govt!
    Martin 14, I would have to say the your assumption is accurate. I visited the Cemetery in Hong Kong this past January. The lads are a long way from home.
    Thanks for the imput from Derek and Opanapointer.
    I am sure more will follow on this.
     
  9. Swiper

    Swiper Resident Sospan

    Appologies if the following is a bit depressing.

    I've just graduated from my BA in War and Society in Swansea Uni. Over the last 4 years (took a partial gap year...) I've had some amazing things said to me.

    The most recent one was my girlfriend saying to me, "I'm writing my dissertation on Code Breaking in the Second World War." So she knew a bit about Turing, the Enigma machine, and asked me if it was worth watching U571 or Enigma...

    The next day we went to Duxford's BoB show and I managed to drag her around the exhibits between the flying/when they formed up - she soon realised that WW2 - surprisingly big topic. Indeed she lacked all chronological understanding of the war, asides from the shocking usual I encounter at uni - Poland (sometimes they think France is where it started), Dunkirk, Battle of Britain, Stalingrad, D-Day and then the war is over suddenly.

    She is now getting to grips with John Keegans 'The Second World War' as I decided to keep her away from Beevor or Hasting's drivel and show her that if she wants to write on Codebreaking that she needs to understand the background first.

    Guys at uni have cornered me in the pub and asked, "So WW2... what ACTUALLY happened then as my school made no sense."

    Indeed when I was taught the history of WW2 in Secondary School we spent so much time staring at Hitlers Tash that it put me off the subject for a few years due to lack of 'meat' on the rest of it.

    Its one of the reason that me and a few boys are launching a new series for YouTube aimed at 14-30 year olds in November-Decemberish as I finally wrap up the first episodes script.

    Most history students I know, are interested, but cannot fathom much more than the SPR scene they were shown at school. Its a good idea but fundamentally flawed that a beach assualt (extraordinary) is shown as the ordinary of Second World War conflict. It does not also help that some teachers I've met/students I've seen become teachers - are total morons who do not know Stalin from Shangri-La.

    Rant/Over. (I think... oh dear GF is calling again to ask for details on why Hastings is a cockbag...)
     
  10. arkrite

    arkrite Senior Member

    Having done my education in the 50's and 60's I cannot recall being taught anything at school about WW2. All our Teachers had gone through it and it was easy to get some ex-Forces to start regaling you with stories about being up to their necks in muck and bullets.The younger ones would tell stories of the Blitz and life on the Home Front.
    It is good to see the schools including it in their curriculum. The excellent Libraries of those days supplied me with plenty of Non-Fiction reading about the two World Wars.Most students of those days had no interest in it.
     
  11. phylo_roadking

    phylo_roadking Very Senior Member

  12. 17thDYRCH

    17thDYRCH Senior Member Patron

    Arkrite
    I guess it was the times back then to simply move on.

    Swiper, please keep us posted on the youtube series. Should be very interesting.
    Interesting parallel...my Dad was demobbed in '45 right after the Japanese surrendered. He was 23. He spent 5 years away from home. My nephew is now 23. What a difference in life experiences.

    cheers from across the pond
     
  13. worrals

    worrals Junior Member

    I was at school in the 70's and all I remember being taught about the war was the rise of Hitler and the Third Reich.
     
  14. Swiper

    Swiper Resident Sospan

    Swiper, please keep us posted on the youtube series. Should be very interesting.

    Will do so, its got large dollops of humour/jokes/sketches to make things a bit more relevant - so certainly an unusual take on things. The most popular one thus far is what we've devised to explain how charismatic Hitler was... ;)
     
  15. 17thDYRCH

    17thDYRCH Senior Member Patron

    Phylo Roadking.

    Read the link....Unbelievable!
    Cheers
    Randy
     
  16. Stormbird

    Stormbird Restless

    Unable to answer how much is taught, I still have a strong feeling of what is the essence:


    Norway was invaded by the Germans

    • The war started in 1940

    • The people suffered terribly

    • The war was won by the allies (who were the allies... ? England and.... ??) thanks to Norwegian heroes like Gunnar Soensteby and Max Manus

    • The Telemark sabotage, performed by Norwegian patriots, was the turning point of the war

    • There also was an atomic bomb… in Japan or somewhere… ? But was that during the WW II ?…Can’t have been, since war ended on 8th May 1945…. Why was Japan involved, anyway ??
    • Nazism is highy undesirable
     
  17. James S

    James S Very Senior Member

    being the grand old age of %! you will most likely find that those of my generationed reached this point without any formal education on WW2 not a single word never mind a single period.
    As far as what is taught today , it is an improvement even if it is just put in to promote or provide an awareness.

    If you GF needs a time line World at War might be a good series ( one which has travelled quite well) to introduce her to although the code breaking aspect will not be well covered , this in itself will have her asking a few questions.
     
  18. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer Pearl Harbor Myth Buster

    I really like the way the UK is helping with this. Second World War

    I always made sure that link was on the WWII class page at Purdue.
     
  19. Gage

    Gage The Battle of Barking Creek MOD

    He's doing a powerpoint presentation on 'WW2 Aeroplanes' - I'm now convinced the sod just ignores tanks to annoy me..


    He must have mum's brains!:D
     
  20. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin

    Having done my education in the 50's and 60's I cannot recall being taught anything at school about WW2. All our Teachers had gone through it and it was easy to get some ex-Forces to start regaling you with stories about being up to their necks in muck and bullets.The younger ones would tell stories of the Blitz and life on the Home Front.
    It is good to see the schools including it in their curriculum. The excellent Libraries of those days supplied me with plenty of Non-Fiction reading about the two World Wars.Most students of those days had no interest in it.


    I too was at school during this time and completely agree with your post.

    Our Geography teacher was taken Prisoner of war by the Japanese and we learned that he had only one lung due to his injuries.

    An extremely quite and reserved gentleman who never mentioned the war.

    Regards
    Tom
     

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