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Education is all about creating responsible, productive citizens

WASHINGTON, DC — In an article she wrote in 1930, Eleanor Roosevelt concluded that good citizenship is the purpose of education. Eighty-nine years later, it is still the primary reason we send our children to school. Certainly, the classroom is also where kids learn the skills they need – eventually- to get good jobs.
But, it is also where children learn how to be industrious and conscientious citizens—a lesson that would be hard to learn without a knowledge of the successes and failures of past.
America’s dire need for a history lesson has been revealed in numerous studies. Most recently, The Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation reported that Americans don’t possess the history knowledge they need to be informed and engaged citizens.”
The Foundation had 41,000 Americans from every state take the U.S. Citizenship Test; Vermont was the only place where a majority of those who were tested — 53 percent — passed.
It’s not a question of whether history teachers are doing their job, or if history is being taught in the schools. “This is an issue of how we teach American history,” according to Foundation President, Arthur Levine. The problem is the way in which it’s taught is “boring.”
The late Dr. Bruce Cole, former chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities, recognized early on that the source of the nation’s history “deficit” was
from boredom.
There’s nothing like a page-turner to help tap the innate desire in each of us to learn about the past, and Dr. Cole realized that. Children in particular are curious and interested in how they got here, and what it means to be an American. But often their textbooks fail to catch their attention. He felt the solution was to show just how exciting the subject could be. He believed “history could use the help of a ‘good read’ to generate enthusiasm among young people.”
Dr. Cole came up with the notion for the Grateful American Book Prize, and along with author, publisher and education advocate, David Bruce Smith, implemented the project in 2015. According to Smith, “our focus was on getting writers and publishers to produce more works of historically accurate fiction and nonfiction; books that could capture the imaginations of kids and adolescents. And, based on the growing popularity of the Prize, it has worked.”
Valerie Tripp writes historical fiction for children. In a blog at the Web site she wrote, some years ago: “Historical fiction helps us fire up our students and readers because it uses emotion to make the facts matter. It uses emotion to teach gentle life lessons, and to form a ribbon of connection between the child in the classroom and the characters in the story.”

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Hanna Heller

Hanna is the entertainment and lifestyle editor for CDN. Fan of great movies, legendary music, outdoor activities and cool stuff in general, her opinions, as expressed in her articles, are her own and not necessarily shared by anyone .. anywhere .. ever. Follow Hanna on Twitter: @Hanna_CDN

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  1. Education today is INCULCATION!!!

    We no longer have a public school system!!! What we have are Deep State indoctrination centers that “masquerade” as public schools. Consequently there are no TEACHERS associated with these indoctrination centers aka public schools only Deep State agents in lockstep with their districts. What we do have are the results of the blind leading the blind or inculcated inculcating others!

    Deep State Leftopathic Political Correctness has nearly succeeded where our enemies have failed. Abraham Lincoln said, “America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.” We have the Deep State to thank for that (actually the voters who elected and support those traitors) But it is my belief I believe that Americans being resilient as we are will wake up and come to their senses before we completely lose everything we sacrificed for!

    There was a time when if a student failed that student was made to repeat that grade. Not so now, students are pushed through the system at hypersonic speed while allocating as few as possible funds and energy in the process. Sadly this provides abysmal commentary regarding the priorities of the Deep State Leftopaths!!

    Fortunately when I attended school I received a “QUALITY” education there was a commitment to teach not merely “babysit” the class. Discipline was freely dispatched and decorum held high regard.

    The common sense approach to teaching has been replaced with INSIPID LIEberal mandated Zero Tolerance policies so the schools do not have to employ the limited brain trust of school faculties!!!

    For you pseudo intellectual High School – College Students – parents and or supporters of the university system: The mind is a terrible thing to waste!! The following is the true definition of a pampered, self indulgent pseudo intellectual High School or College idiot.

    You exist in the make-believe world of the campus, and have no idea of what people in the real world do or endure. Your total lack of common sense shows just exactly why today’s high school or college diploma would be better used for toilet paper. All today’s diploma shows that one has learned/knows how to scam the system, and not that they know how to tie their shoes…without help…. It’s too bad the military draft was abolished as a stint in basic training would do wonders for your understanding of reality.

  2. To commemorate the September 17, 1787 signing of the (our) Constitution the Congress designated SEPTEMBER 17TH of EACH yer as CONSTITUTION DAY and from the 17th-23rd as Constitution week.

    In 2004, Public LAW 108-447, section 111 was passed and required
    “Each educational institution that receives Federal funds for a fiscal year shall hold an educational program on the United States Constitution on September 17 of each year for the students served by the educational institutions”

    It goes further to include requirements for Federal agencies and departments…..

    If you believe as I do, that Knowledge is Power, ASK your child, grandchild or even a friends child IF they are being taught American History and our Constitution….you just may cry

    WE have many bright teachers that #1can only teach what they’ve been taught & are victims of this same theft of education #2 they are hamstrung by rules/policies of left winged district, legislative group.

    When parents and teachers work together these youngsters “just gotta’ become good productive citizens

    CHANGE occurs ONLY when those like YOURSELVES get involved. I’d like to take the liberty and ask you to share this information with your school officials and speak out at school board meetings.

    Since “every child is entitled to an education, Let’s give them one !!

    Good timing, Hannah
    and good article.

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