Historian Jason Goetz: Reclaiming Our History to Mend Our Culture
Sharon Kilarski, 14 Aug 17
       

Portrait of Richard III, late 16th-century, National Portrait Gallery. Richard had been painted as a villain in most historical accounts. (Public Domain)

Historian and educator Jason Goetz looks to the classics as a means for our culture to survive.

As author of two sets of histories, one completed and the other in process, Goetz hopes his works will reinvigorate high school history classes and better prepare the next generation. This is crucial, Goetz believes, because the model for how we educate is broken.

Amid a polarizing political environment, Goetz worries that what our youth are learning in history and civics classes—often only dates or narratives that scratch the surface—is insufficient. Yet our democracy requires educated voters who are able to discriminate between truth and fiction, which a deeper understanding of history would provide.

Also, embodied in our Western history and its classics are our ideals. If education does not provide a deep knowledge of these, our students will lack social cohesion, a way to define themselves, and a source of inspiration. Youth so educated are vulnerable to being radicalized, Goetz believes.”A common history strengthens our ties to a common culture,” he said.

Reclaiming Our History

When Goetz was in high school his grandfather gave him Encyclopedia Britannica’s 54-volume “Great Books of the Western World” set, but he never cracked them open. In college, when he finally read them, he fell in love.


Our democracy requires educated voters who are able to discriminate between truth and fiction, which a deeper understanding of history would provide.


Borrowing from American philosopher Mortimer Adler, Goetz defines Great Books as works that have “inspired thinking men” and can be read repeatedly, with benefit. Especially histories, for history is “the fullest exposé of human nature,” he said.

Sign in to view full article

       
‘It’s All About Me, Me, Me!’ Why Children Are Spending Less Time Doing Household Chores
In August, Treasurer Scott Morrison warned that “Australia has a generation growing up expecting government handouts”.
Shi Li
Thu, 12 Jan 17
Are The Rich More Selfish Than The Rest Of Us?
Social scientists have long known that the rich are not exactly model citizens.
Jan Stoop, James Andreoni, Nikos Nikiforakis
Wed, 12 Apr 17
Organ Harvesting in China: Foreigners ‘Are 1 in 5’ Transplant Recipients
Prisoners of conscience are murdered on demand for their organs in China to supply a state-run transplant industry where one ...
James Burke
Mon, 20 Feb 17
Why Women Make The Best Stock Traders
Female traders can be far more selective, as they spend more time evaluating before making a trade and have a ...
Peter Swan
Thu, 9 Mar 17
Gut Check: Researchers Develop Measures to Capture Moral Judgments and Empathy
Imagine picking up the morning newspaper and feeling moral outrage at the latest action taken by the opposing political party. ...
C. Daryl Cameron
Sat, 1 Apr 17
At Epoch Times, We Care :o)
An Epoch Times Survey
Join us today!
Sports Elements
Read about Forced Organ Harvesting
Sports Elements