Kaori Sano Journal2/education of American history

Dr.Mel Ely’s lecture was the most impressive lecture that l have ever heard about the history of America. Before I took the lesson, I thought George Washington and Thomas Jefferson were the heros, who brought freedom and the notion of equality to America. But I learned this was just a view from white nationalists who try to justify what they do. I was shocked to know that Thomas Jefferson had a lot of black slaves. I think he ignored the right to be freedom of Africans and indigenous people. This is a paradox to what he wrote that all people are created equal. I was also surprised to know that George Washington promised liberty to slaves and even supported for their self independence, but people doing so was a very few minority in 18th century. My history teachers never told me about these facts!

In my high school lessons in Japan, me and my classmates had to remember everythings what our teachers say to us. And it includes the exact name of events, and what, when and why to occur. There are three problems that kind of lesson styles in Japan. Firstly, every teachers teach us almost the same things written in the decided textbook, which was edited by the Japanese government and publishers. Secondly, most history teachers in Japan cannot catch up the cutting-edged perspectives made by researchers dedicated in researching history. Thirdly, and most importantly, we did not have opportunity to discuss about the contents of the lectures. In my opinion, our teachers think that finishing the curriculums are the most important priority. It is because what is written in the textbooks and the syllabus are strongly connected in Japan. According to OECD survey and NHK news I watched, Japanese teachers have the busiest to tasks but have the least time to teach children. I think this is why many Japanese don’t like to learn history after their graduation of high schools.

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