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The author of this blog has moved his efforts over to a new group blog. Please visit The Arizona Growler.

O'Hara Factor
Friday, August 04, 2006

U.S. history versus the gened status quo

The Arizona Republic reported two days ago regarding the possibility of requiring U.S. history at Arizona public universities.

Let there be no doubt: students are vastly undereducated regarding the history of our country, and there are not enough history professors to handle such a burden at UA right now. While the article only addresses these two issues, the current status of general education and academic bias at the university also come into play.

Students currently consider general education simply to be a burden upon what they really want to study before graduation. I doubt U.S. history courses will change that, but if the university wants to make room for such a possibility, general education will have to produce well-roundedness rather than burden and money drain.

Combined with the already-established academic bias of UA professors, what use are students going to gain from such Tier I or II courses as...?

  • INDV 102: Black and White: The Causes and Consequences (...)
  • INDV 102: Lesbian and Gay Studies (or we could treat people as individuals, too!)
  • *INDV 103: What is Politics? (at least under David Gibbs, promoted moral equivalency between Soviet Russian propaganda and that of the Reagan administration)
  • *JPN 245: Popular Culture in Japan (A course focused almost solely upon reading outdated, boring scholarly essays about popular art, not culture. Despite having taken four semesters of Japanese language and having been to Japan four times, this course was of no help.)
  • TRAD 101: The Africana Experience (stupid white men!!)
  • TRAD 104: Eroticism and Love in the Middle Ages (ooh, fun)

* Courses I've taken

Of course, there's good things about the general education courses as well. I give high marks to:

  • *INDV 101: Philosophical Perspectives on the Individual
  • *NATS 104: Nutrition, Food, and You
  • About to take TRAD 104: Justice and Virtue

The solution is simple. General education needs to be about things like classical philosphy and U.S. history, not sex and anime (but I repeat myself). After all, is there any use trying to find some way to blame it on the white man before actually studying history and philosophy?


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