Posted by The Boy Who Didn't Cry Wolf on March 08, 2002 at 23:46:19:
In Reply to: HELLENISM UNDER SIEGE? posted by Achilles Milonas on March 08, 2002 at 20:41:13:
It is clearly too late to repair the horrendous damage done to the American educational system by nearly two generations' worth of bumbling, tweaking 'intellectuals'. Thirty to forty years ago American schools were among the best in the world; now we barely make the top 10 in overall performance. What's worse is that we barely make the top 15-20 for the two most important subjects; mathematics and science! The recognition and understanding of Greece's contribution to western civilization is among the least of our worries.
In modern America a student's emotional well being has become more important than the conveyance of fact and theory. Add to the fact that lobbying, political correctness and the lowering of standards have polluted the system and you can see why Greece's contribution (and no doubt Italy's as well) has been given the 'cold shoulder'. Such an environment makes proper reform nearly impossible, especially in subjects such as English and History where content and cultural validity can be more readily litigated by lobbyists instead of literary scholars and historians. Perhaps the worst result of such an environment is historical revisionism; the disastrous effects of which have already made serious waves in American society.
Unless you have a foolproof plan that can overhaul the current system AND change the United States back to a nation of civilized, disciplined stoics then America's education system is nearly beyond salvage. This decline is as much the fault of parents and students as it is the system's.
As to Greece's inclusion in the EU and the effects of modern technology upon culture... Well Achilles, there's more to it than technology and modern fads. In the west you need only examine Israel and Switzerland for a decidedly different perspective. Both nations are fine examples of small states that have retained their cultural identities in modern times. If only Greeks would realize that their prosperity and success is not dependent on EU socialists bent on creating one dystopian nation state then Greece would have a better chance for the future.
: What are your thoughts on this subject?
: Hellas itself, is undergoing a slow but steady cultural and social transformation under EU membership and other homogenizing forces, due to revolutions in communication, travel, human rights, migration and the globalization of the economy.Even in America Hellenic Culture and Heritage are under siege, from the recent fad of "Multiculturalism", of "Global Education" and of "Cultural Inclusion". This new twists have developed at the expense of studies of Western Civilization, based on the Miracle of Classical Greece. This trend will certainly get worse, because of anticipated brisk population growth of various minority groups in America.
: The Miracle of Classical Greece has continued to shine for over two centuries of glorious American History,as the bedrock of American philosophical,political and cultural heritage and fountainhead for the Declaration of Independence and the American Constitution.
: It has shown enormous resilience through the centuries and has shined again and again bursting into the world scene, with renewed brilliance.However, the study of Classical Greece and Western Civilization has since 1991 been diminished by revisionists who characterize them as "Eurocentrist", and consider them biased for supposedly neglecting other cultures e.g.the "Afrocentrist" and others.An example of this is found in the Core Curriculum of the American Public School system and especially that of California, which together with Texas and New York, formulate the blueprint for all other states.
: -The curriculum before 1988, emphasized Western Civilization, with Greece depicted as birthplace of Democracy and its cultural and political traditions. Students learned about Greece during sixth, seventh, and tenth Grades. They learned about Greece again in European History linking her to Renaissance and the Enlightenment. In American history, they learned about Greece during the fifth, eighth, eleventh and twelfth Grades.
: -In the new curriculum, the learning of ancient history and Greece, occurs during the sixth Grade only. A course at tenth grade is now called "World History,Culture and Geography" and is concerned with learning about the modern world only since the French Revolution.In the context of "Multicultural" and "Global Education" the students in California will learn about the history of Asian Americans, Hispanic Americans, and African Americans. This is extended to Jewish Americans and to Muslim Americans. A great deal of effort is been made(correctly I might add) to eliminate discrimination, bigotry and prejudice.
: Many ethnic groups have shrewdly provided study materials for the Curriculum, from their own culture(e.g.Asian, Armenian, Slavic, Jewish,and Turkish).
: This is why Educators of Hellenic ancestry and Hellenic Organizations should provide materials for curricula of Public School Systems and organize Student exchanges, Conferences, Seminars, Video-Tapes, Cassettes,and C-D Rom Discs to promote the study of Classical Greece.Also,a concerted effort should be made at the State Legislatures,to re-introduce adequate Western Civilization and Classical Greece material into the Curriculum of the Public School Educational Systems(Dr. Jim Dimitriou,L.A.).
: collected by Achilles
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