An Oral History of Wikipedia, the Web’s Encyclopedia

Tom Roston: It’s hard to imagine the internet without Wikipedia. Just like the air we breathe, the definitive digital encyclopedia is the default resource for everything and everyone — from Google’s search bar to undergrad students embarking on research papers. It has more than 6 million entries in English, it is visited hundreds of millions … Continue reading An Oral History of Wikipedia, the Web’s Encyclopedia

If You Want Peace, Study War Colleges are turning against the history of military conflict. But we forget these lessons at our peril.

Margaret MacMillan: So why do history faculties, which accept the need to study other great forces in history, such as changes in the means of production or systems of belief, shy from war? I suspect that horror at the phenomenon itself has affected universities’ willingness to treat it as a subject for scholarship. Years ago, … Continue reading If You Want Peace, Study War Colleges are turning against the history of military conflict. But we forget these lessons at our peril.

When Kids Ran the World: A Forgotten History of the Junior Republic Movement

Jennifer S. Light: Travelers should be sure to visit the curious community in Freeville, New York, where boys and girls were in charge, wrote Baedeker’s turn-of-the-20th-century guide to the United States. This “miniature republic modelled on the government of the United States” was well worth a detour to observe the “legislature, court-house, jail, school, church … Continue reading When Kids Ran the World: A Forgotten History of the Junior Republic Movement

Lord Nelson’s heroic status under review in scheme to re-evaluate UK’s ‘barbaric history’

Brian McGleenon: We will use your email address only for sending you newsletters. Please see our Privacy Notice for details of your data protection rights. The admiral was not an admirer of abolitionist William Wilberforce. Before his death, Lord Nelson wrote that William Wilberforce and his cause were “damnable”. He added in a letter that … Continue reading Lord Nelson’s heroic status under review in scheme to re-evaluate UK’s ‘barbaric history’

Burning the Books: A History of Knowledge Under Attack

Timothy Rybeck: Three infamous conflagrations illuminate the pages of Richard Ovenden’s fascinating new history, Burning the Books. The first is the burning of the Great Library of Alexandria, which, according to Ovenden, did not go up in a single blaze but was gradually destroyed by repeated acts of arson and plunder, until there was nothing … Continue reading Burning the Books: A History of Knowledge Under Attack

No heroes, no hope: Is this how to teach history?

Rick Hess: Well-meaning, white teachers” should “talk about systemic racism,” not stories of individual achievement, advises Robert Harvey, superintendent of New York City’s East Harlem Scholars Academies charters, in an Education Week commentary. “When we neglect to talk about how systemic racism is embedded within American structures — education, justice, employment, housing, and health care … Continue reading No heroes, no hope: Is this how to teach history?

‘Paranoid about the pandemic’: How COVID-19 brought the ‘largest criminology experiment in history’

Adrian Humphreys: Emergency isolation orders, border closures, social distancing and mandated lockdowns are inconvenient and costly, but, it is hoped, it will at least test theories like never before of why crime really happens and how it can be predicted and reduced. The COVID-19 pandemic is “the largest criminological experiment in history,” according to influential … Continue reading ‘Paranoid about the pandemic’: How COVID-19 brought the ‘largest criminology experiment in history’

Chicago-Area Leaders Call for Illinois to Abolish History Classes

NBC5 Chicago: Leaders in education, politics and other areas gathered in suburban Evanston Sunday to ask that the Illinois State Board of Education change the history curriculum at schools statewide, and temporarily halt instruction until an alternative is decided upon. At a news conference, State Rep. LaShawn K. Ford said current history teachings lead to … Continue reading Chicago-Area Leaders Call for Illinois to Abolish History Classes

UW Madison Education School Professor on “Forward” and History

Walter Stern, via a kind reader: It is an example of repackaging history as myth, and myths such as these hold nations together by constructing a supposedly shared and honorable past. But through their inaccuracy these myths also project an understanding of who does — and does not — belong. They spin a national history … Continue reading UW Madison Education School Professor on “Forward” and History

The History of Black Rebellion and U.S. Policing

Intercepted: Donald Trump is threatening to escalate the violent crackdown on national protests against police killings of African Americans. This week on Intercepted: With the threat of a widespread military deployment in U.S. cities looming, the president is acting as an authoritarian dictator. Keisha Blain, author of “Set the World on Fire: Black Nationalist Women and … Continue reading The History of Black Rebellion and U.S. Policing

History is Made: Groundbreaking Settlement in Detroit Literacy Lawsuit

Public Counsel: A historic agreement was reached today between the plaintiffs and Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer in the Gary B. v. Whitmer literacy suit. The agreement will preserve a groundbreaking opinion by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals which held that a basic minimum education, including literacy, is a Constitutional right, and includes an immediate … Continue reading History is Made: Groundbreaking Settlement in Detroit Literacy Lawsuit

In an extraordinary late-night statement, the Education Bureau has expressed regret and condemnation over a DSE history exam question

HKSAR Education Bureau: Regarding a question of History Paper 1 of the Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education (HKDSE) Examination which has aroused grave public concerns today (May 14), a spokesman for the Education Bureau (EDB) gives the following response:      “The EDB noted that one-sided information has been attached to the question of History Paper … Continue reading In an extraordinary late-night statement, the Education Bureau has expressed regret and condemnation over a DSE history exam question

The Way We Write History Has Changed

Alexis Madrigal:: History, as a discipline, comes out of the archive. The archive is not the library, but something else entirely. Libraries spread knowledge that’s been compressed into books and other media. Archives are where collections of papers are stored, usually within a library’s inner sanctum: Nathaniel Hawthorne’s papers, say, at the New York Public … Continue reading The Way We Write History Has Changed

Yale Art History Department to scrap survey course

Margaret Hedeman and Matt Kristofferson: Yale will stop teaching a storied introductory survey course in art history, citing the impossibility of adequately covering the entire field — and its varied cultural backgrounds — in one course. Decades old and once taught by famous Yale professors like Vincent Scully, “Introduction to Art History: Renaissance to the … Continue reading Yale Art History Department to scrap survey course

LGBTQ history lessons will soon be mandatory in NJ classrooms; 12 schools to pilot program

Hannah Adley: Twelve New Jersey schools will begin piloting a new LGBTQ-focused curriculum this month, the first wave of a requirement that will soon be mandated across the state.  The pilot sites to be announced by the state Tuesday – including schools in Hackensack, Morristown, Newark and Asbury Park – are intended to be proving grounds … Continue reading LGBTQ history lessons will soon be mandatory in NJ classrooms; 12 schools to pilot program

Next Generation of Americans Will Embrace Socialism If We Lose ‘War on History’

Jarrett Stenman: As young Americans are losing an understanding of civics and American history, they increasingly embrace socialism. An annual poll conducted for the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation again found that the younger generations have a far sunnier view of socialism and communism than their elders. Some of the findings from the YouGov survey, released Oct. 28, … Continue reading Next Generation of Americans Will Embrace Socialism If We Lose ‘War on History’

History as a giant data set: how analysing the past could help save the future

Laura Spinney: Turchin set out to determine whether history, like physics, follows certain laws. In 2003, he published a book called Historical Dynamics, in which he discerned secular cycles in France and Russia from their origins to the end of the 18th century. That same year, he founded a new field of academic study, called … Continue reading History as a giant data set: how analysing the past could help save the future

“Theoretically All Children Are Equal. Practically This Can Never Be So”: The History of the District Property Tax in California and the Choice of Inequality

Matthew Gardner Kelly: Background/Context: Dealing mostly in aggregate statistics that mask important regional variations, scholars often assume that district property taxation and the resource disparities this approach to school funding creates are deeply rooted in the history of American education. Purpose/Objective/Research Question/Focus of Study: This article explores the history of district property taxation and school … Continue reading “Theoretically All Children Are Equal. Practically This Can Never Be So”: The History of the District Property Tax in California and the Choice of Inequality

The Secret History of Fort Detrick, the CIA’s Base for Mind Control Experiments

Stephen Kinzer: In 1954, a prison doctor in Kentucky isolated seven black inmates and fed them “double, triple and quadruple” doses of LSD for 77 days straight. No one knows what became of the victims. They may have died without knowing they were part of the CIA’s highly secretive program to develop ways to control … Continue reading The Secret History of Fort Detrick, the CIA’s Base for Mind Control Experiments

The Rise of Peer Review: Melinda Baldwin on the History of Refereeing at Scientific Journals and Funding Bodies

Robert Harington: What led to your writing this article about the history of peer review? I think my peer review project started when I discovered something really unexpected about Nature: that it hadn’t employed systematic external refereeing until 1973! When I first learned that, I assumed Nature was unusual, but as it turned out, a … Continue reading The Rise of Peer Review: Melinda Baldwin on the History of Refereeing at Scientific Journals and Funding Bodies

Woke History Is Making Big Inroads in America’s High Schools

John Murawski: The ethnic studies movement has been underway for years and is now poised to enter the mainstream, raising tough questions for educators and policymakers about how to present such material to teenagers. Teachers around the country are already offering ethnic studies classes, units or lessons on their own initiative, citing a growing urgency … Continue reading Woke History Is Making Big Inroads in America’s High Schools

9/11 Is History Now. Here’s How American Kids Are Learning About It in Class

Olivia Waxman: On the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, Lauren Hetrick was a 16-year-old sophomore at Hershey High School in Hershey, Pa. Her French class was just about to start when a strange announcement came over the P.A. system: “Attention, teachers: The computer tech is in the building.” The teacher, hearing those words, logged onto … Continue reading 9/11 Is History Now. Here’s How American Kids Are Learning About It in Class

The death and life of the great American hipster offers an alternative history of culture over the last quarter century.

Greg Jackson: On the college campus where I have been living, the students dress in a style I do not understand. Continuous with what we wore fifteen years ago and subtly different, it is both hipster and not. American Apparel has filed for bankruptcy, but in cities and towns across the US the styles forged … Continue reading The death and life of the great American hipster offers an alternative history of culture over the last quarter century.

Gov. Whitmer’s next move in Benton Harbor an ‘inflection point’ in Michigan’s fraught history of school takeovers

Koby Levin: As Whitmer and the board continue negotiating, observers say the outcome could reshape how Michigan approaches struggling school districts far beyond Benton Harbor that are struggling with rising debts, low test scores, and declining enrollment. “People in Flint are looking at this,” said Eric Scorsone, a former deputy state treasurer and the director … Continue reading Gov. Whitmer’s next move in Benton Harbor an ‘inflection point’ in Michigan’s fraught history of school takeovers

15 Unsung Moments From American History That Historians Say You Should Know About

Time: The month of July is a time for Americans to look back at the country’s past—specifically to that indelible moment in 1776 when the Second Continental Congress declared independence from Britain. But, while the nearly 250 years since then have been chock full of major milestones, not every moment that shaped the country gets … Continue reading 15 Unsung Moments From American History That Historians Say You Should Know About

History is made from ideas — but are ideas becoming history?

Philip Marsden: The imagination is the subject of Felipe Fernández-Armesto’s latest grand sweep of a book. Not a historian to dwell on individual kings, queens or battles, he has identified the creation of ideas as the driver of history, the imagination as their source and the pool of evidence the past 800,000 years. Even this, … Continue reading History is made from ideas — but are ideas becoming history?

Three Sisters Win Emerson Prize from The Concord Review for Their History Essays

Diane Ravitch, via Will Fitzhugh: Since 1987, The Concord Review (TCR) has sought and published more than 1,300 history research papers by high school students from 41 countries in 121 quarterly issues. TCR.org. Over the course of these many years, Will Fitzhugh, the founder of TCR, has been turned down by every foundation while seeking … Continue reading Three Sisters Win Emerson Prize from The Concord Review for Their History Essays

China moves to suspend some history tests for U.S. college credit by 2020

Cate Cadell: Beijing on Thursday ordered a suspension of history exams run by a U.S. non-profit for students seeking credit at American colleges, as the ruling Communist Party cracks down on educational material it deems unfriendly. The suspension of Advanced Placement (AP) tests will hit secondary school students looking to ease the academic workload at … Continue reading China moves to suspend some history tests for U.S. college credit by 2020

Civics: China wants us to forget the horrors of Tiananmen as it rewrites its history

Louisa Lim and Ilaria Maria Sala: Remembering the deaths of 4 June 1989 is no neutral task. It is a civic duty, a burden and an act of resistance in countering a state-level lie that risks spreading far beyond China’s borders. On that day the Communist party sent tanks to clear protesters from Tiananmen Square … Continue reading Civics: China wants us to forget the horrors of Tiananmen as it rewrites its history

The History and Results of America’s Disastrous Public School System,

Mike Margeson and Justin Spears: The problem is the monopoly that schooling has gained over education. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, approximately 97 percent of kids go through traditional schooling (as opposed to homeschooling or unschooling), and just over 90 percent of those attend government schools. That is to say, there is … Continue reading The History and Results of America’s Disastrous Public School System,

Wright Middle School students recognized for winning regional African American History Challenge Bowl

Negassi Tesfamichael: Students at Wright Middle School were formally recognized by the Madison School Board on Monday for their success at the 25th annual African American History Academic Challenge. The contest, which is sponsored by the group 100 Black Men of Madison, saw teams of students from across the district compete to see who knew … Continue reading Wright Middle School students recognized for winning regional African American History Challenge Bowl

Civics: The Assange arrest is a warning from history

John Pilger: Imagine Tony Blair dragged from his multi-million pound Georgian home in Connaught Square, London, in handcuffs, for onward dispatch to the dock in The Hague. By the standard of Nuremberg, Blair’s “paramount crime” is the deaths of a million Iraqis. Assange’s crime is journalism: holding the rapacious to account, exposing their lies and … Continue reading Civics: The Assange arrest is a warning from history

Chinese immigrants helped build California, but they’ve been written out of its history

Michael Hiltzik: In 2014, the U.S. Labor Department formally inducted the Chinese workers who helped build the transcontinental railroad into its Hall of Honor, giving them a place in American labor history alongside union leaders such as Eugene V. Debs and A. Philip Randolph and champions of worker dignity such as Mother Jones and Cesar … Continue reading Chinese immigrants helped build California, but they’ve been written out of its history

Civics: New deputy director of Beijing’s liaison office makes first public remarks: Calls on Hongkongers to be patriotic, study Chinese history and help develop nation

Tony Cheung: Hongkongers should be patriotic, learn more Chinese history and help in the overall development of the nation. Those were the words of the Beijing’s new liaison official as she made her first public appearance in the city on Tuesday. Lu Xinning, the new deputy director of the central government’s liaison office, also promised … Continue reading Civics: New deputy director of Beijing’s liaison office makes first public remarks: Calls on Hongkongers to be patriotic, study Chinese history and help develop nation

Iconoclastic history professor John Sharpless retires

Victoria Davis: UW-Madison is a “liberal bubble,” according to long-time history professor John Sharpless. “Openly disagreeing with people here is like pooping in the pool,” says Sharpless. “They turn around and give you this dagger look. I had Republican students in my classes who said they white-knuckled their way through discussions in other classes. They … Continue reading Iconoclastic history professor John Sharpless retires

Why Are Students Ditching the History Major?

Emma Pettit: If the decline of the humanities already keeps you up at night, a new article, published by the American Historical Association, won’t help much. Since the Great Recession of 2008, writes Benjamin M. Schmidt in Perspectives on History, undergraduate majors have been shifting away from the humanities. And of all the disciplines, history … Continue reading Why Are Students Ditching the History Major?

Civics: Everyone Who’s Never Read A History Book Shocked As Socialist Turns Into Authoritarian At First Whiff Of Power

Babylon bee: “Wow, a socialist who was elected on her promises to work ‘for the people’ is suddenly telling everyone she’s in charge and they have to listen to her? That’s really weird,” said one man in Portland who dropped his world history class in high school. “I would have thought socialists never suddenly transform … Continue reading Civics: Everyone Who’s Never Read A History Book Shocked As Socialist Turns Into Authoritarian At First Whiff Of Power

Mark Zuckerberg Promised A Clear History Tool Almost A Year Ago. Where Is It?

Ryan Mac: Facebook spent most of 2018 embroiled in one scandal or another. But there was a point early on in the year when Mark Zuckerberg thought he could turn down the heat by offering a fix for the public’s privacy concerns. It was just weeks after the news broke that political consultancy Cambridge Analytica … Continue reading Mark Zuckerberg Promised A Clear History Tool Almost A Year Ago. Where Is It?

‘My Responsibility to History’: An Interview with Zhang Shihe

Ian Johnson: “Tiger Temple” (Laohu Miao) is the nom de guerre of Zhang Shihe, one of China’s best-known citizen journalists and makers of short video documentaries, many of them profiling ordinary people he met during extraordinarily long bike rides through China, or human rights activists who have been silenced but whose ideas on freedom and … Continue reading ‘My Responsibility to History’: An Interview with Zhang Shihe

Teaching China Through Black History

Fairbank Center Blog: To commemorate Black History Month in the United States, the Fairbank Center presents a reading and teaching introduction to the history of Black and African Americans’ interactions with the People’s Republic of China. This guide includes blog posts, journal articles, books and book chapters, audio-visual resources, digital archives, and other materials that … Continue reading Teaching China Through Black History

Students in Rural America Ask, ‘What Is a University Without a History Major?’ Image The University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, facing declining enrollment and revenue, is weighing major changes to its degree programs.

Mitch Smith: The locations of college campuses can be a reflection of a bygone America. Most universities were founded generations ago, when rural communities were thriving and when traveling across a state to a larger urban campus was more complicated. As people moved toward cities and the Sun Belt, and as cars and planes connected … Continue reading Students in Rural America Ask, ‘What Is a University Without a History Major?’ Image The University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, facing declining enrollment and revenue, is weighing major changes to its degree programs.

10 Amazing Tales Of The Conquistadors Left Out Of History Books

Tristan Shaw: The conquistadors were Spanish and Portuguese soldiers who explored much of the world during the Age of Discovery. They are best remembered for their conquests and exploration of the Americas. Conquistadors like Hernan Cortes and Francisco Pizarro became legendary for their conquests of the Aztec and Inca Empires, honored as national heroes for … Continue reading 10 Amazing Tales Of The Conquistadors Left Out Of History Books

Mind Control in China Has a Very Long History

James Liebold: China has built a vast network of extrajudicial internment camps in the western region of Xinjiang, where Uighurs and other Muslim minorities are made to renounce their culture and religion, and are forcibly subjected to political indoctrination. After long denying the camps’ existence, the government now calls them benign training centers that teach … Continue reading Mind Control in China Has a Very Long History

‘Cultural Marxism’ might sound postmodern but it’s got a long, toxic history.

Samuel Moyn: At the chilling climax of William S. Lind’s 2014 novel “Victoria,” knights wearing crusader’s crosses and singing Christian hymns brutally slay the politically correct faculty at Dartmouth College, the main character’s (and Mr. Lind’s) alma mater. “The work of slaughter went quickly,” the narrator says. “In less than five minutes of screams, shrieks … Continue reading ‘Cultural Marxism’ might sound postmodern but it’s got a long, toxic history.

Civics and History: Celebrating Wrong Italian? (Columbus vs. Cabot)

James C. Bennett: The interesting thing to me was the complete absence of anything representing the United States. This was not a coincidence. Columbus, and the holiday celebrating his landing in the New World, are seen throughout the Spanish-speaking world as having to do primarily with the extension of Spanish-speaking, Catholic civilization to the New … Continue reading Civics and History: Celebrating Wrong Italian? (Columbus vs. Cabot)

Who Prepares our History Teachers? Who should prepare our history teachers?

Diane Ravitch via Will Fitzhugh: This is an exciting time for history education. States across the nation are strengthening their history curricula and expecting youngsters to learn more American and world history. Even the vitriolic controversy over the national history standards serves to remind us that people care passionately about history. Not only is there … Continue reading Who Prepares our History Teachers? Who should prepare our history teachers?

“We know best”, Disastrous Reading Results and a bit of history with Jared Diamond

Jared Diamond: these stories of isolated societies illustrate two general principles about relations between human group size and innovation or creativity. First, in any society except a totally isolated society, most innovations come in from the outside, rather than being conceived within that society. And secondly, any society undergoes local fads. By fads I mean … Continue reading “We know best”, Disastrous Reading Results and a bit of history with Jared Diamond

Incarceration as Incapacitation: An Intellectual History

Timothy Crimmins: Explaining the dramatic rise of incarceration in the United States has been surprisingly difficult. Theories abound, but they are continually defeated by the vastness and complexity of the American criminal justice system. For a time, the prime suspect was the War on Drugs, which President Obama described as “the real reason our prison … Continue reading Incarceration as Incapacitation: An Intellectual History

New on Parents’ To-Do List: Checking Children’s Credit History

Yuka Hayashi: Parents have a new item to add to their financial to-do list: check their child’s credit history. A new federal law going into effect in September will make it easier for families to combat the growing problem of identity fraud of minors, allowing them to make inquiries about credit files in their child’s … Continue reading New on Parents’ To-Do List: Checking Children’s Credit History

Francis Fukuyama Postpones the End of History: The political scientist argues that the desire of identity groups for recognition is a key threat to liberalism.

Louis Menand: In February, 1989, Francis Fukuyama gave a talk on international relations at the University of Chicago. Fukuyama was thirty-six years old, and on his way from a job at the RAND Corporation, in Santa Monica, where he had worked as an expert on Soviet foreign policy, to a post as the deputy director … Continue reading Francis Fukuyama Postpones the End of History: The political scientist argues that the desire of identity groups for recognition is a key threat to liberalism.

Man sues over Google’s “Location History” fiasco, case could affect millions

Cyrus Farivar: As a result of the previously unknown practice, which was first exposed by the Associated Press last week, Google has now been sued by a man in San Diego. Simultaneously, activists in Washington, DC are urging the Federal Trade Commission to examine whether the company is in breach of its 2011 consent decree … Continue reading Man sues over Google’s “Location History” fiasco, case could affect millions

Civics: James Comey Has A Long History Of Questionable Obstruction Cases

Mollie Heningway: Following countdown clocks on cable outlets and dramatic claims in the media about what devastating testimony to expect, James Comey sat down before the Senate Intelligence Committee last week. The hearing ended up being a bit of a let-down for critics of President Trump who hoped to get him impeached (or removed via … Continue reading Civics: James Comey Has A Long History Of Questionable Obstruction Cases

Civics: A Brief History of the CIA’s Unpunished Spying on the Senate

Conor Friedersdorf: Late last week, that internal “accountability board” announced the results of its review. If you’ve followed the impunity with which the CIA has broken U.S. laws throughout its history, you’ll be unsurprised to learn that no one is going to be “dealt with very harshly” after all. “A panel investigating the Central Intelligence … Continue reading Civics: A Brief History of the CIA’s Unpunished Spying on the Senate

The Chinese Typewriter: A History by Thomas S. Mullaney

Jamie Fisher: Nominally a book that covers the rough century between the invention of the telegraph in the 1840s and that of computing in the 1950s, The Chinese Typewriter is secretly a history of translation and empire, written language and modernity, misguided struggle and brutal intellectual defeat. The Chinese typewriter is ‘one of the most … Continue reading The Chinese Typewriter: A History by Thomas S. Mullaney

How History Classes Helped Create a ‘Post-Truth’ America

Alia Wong: In 1995, the University of Vermont sociologist and historian James W. Loewen published a book that sought to debunk the myriad myths children were often taught about the United States’ past. Framed largely as a critique of the history education delivered in America’s classrooms but also serving as a history text itself, Lies … Continue reading How History Classes Helped Create a ‘Post-Truth’ America

China’s ‘red education’ history tours and the rise of communist cosplay

Josephine Ma: If anyone can best tell the scale and intensity of China’s “red education” drive to promote loyalty to the ruling Communist Party, it’s businessman Yu Meng. The 36-year-old runs the largest Red Army uniform rental business in Jinggangshan, a city dubbed the “cradle of the communist revolution” deep in the mountains of Jiangxi. … Continue reading China’s ‘red education’ history tours and the rise of communist cosplay

Madison’s Spring Harbor Team Wins National African American History Academic Challenge

100 Black Men of Madison, via a kind reader: For the second consecutive year, a team representing the Madison Chapter of the 100 Black Men of Madison was crowned National Champion of the African American History Academic Challenge at the recently conducted 32nd Annual Conference of the 100 Black Men of America. The Spring Harbor … Continue reading Madison’s Spring Harbor Team Wins National African American History Academic Challenge

Mathematician-M.D. solves one of the greatest open problems in the history of mathematics

Daniel Druhora: Athanassios Fokas, a mathematician from the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics of the University of Cambridge and visiting professor in the Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical Engineering at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering has announced the solution of one of the long-standing problems in the history of mathematics, the Lindelöf … Continue reading Mathematician-M.D. solves one of the greatest open problems in the history of mathematics

Hong Kong history: the fortunes built on opium – including those of many of its richest families

Jason Wordie:: Opium – for numerous economic and political reasons – has loomed large in Asia for more than three centuries. Importation from India to China and the wider balance-of-trade dynamics, regional power struggles and eventual international conflicts that surrounded the trade have generated entire libraries of historical research. Young American’s first-hand account of second … Continue reading Hong Kong history: the fortunes built on opium – including those of many of its richest families

Despite the far-reaching consequences of Johannes Gutenberg’s printing press, much about the man remains a mystery, buried deep beneath layers of Mainz history.

Madhvi Ramani: he German city of Mainz lies on the banks of the River Rhine. It is most notable for its wine, its cathedral and for being the home of Johannes Gutenberg, who introduced the printing press to Europe. Although these things may seem unconnected at first, here they overlap, merging and influencing one another. … Continue reading Despite the far-reaching consequences of Johannes Gutenberg’s printing press, much about the man remains a mystery, buried deep beneath layers of Mainz history.

What the History of Math Can Teach Us about the Future of AI

Nathan Myhrvold: Whenever an impressive new technology comes along, people rush to imagine the havoc it could wreak on society, and they overreact. Today we see this happening with artificial intelligence (AI). I was at South by Southwest last month, where crowds were buzzing about Elon Musk’s latest hyperbolic claim that AI poses a far … Continue reading What the History of Math Can Teach Us about the Future of AI

Looking for Bigotry? Try Public Schooling History

Neal McCluskey: Polling reveals that parents, especially African Americans, want school choice. Studies show choice students pulling even with public school kids even in laggard programs, and often surpassing them. And states keep expanding choice initiatives as families flock to them. Perhaps because of all this good news, opponents of expanding the options available to … Continue reading Looking for Bigotry? Try Public Schooling History

Charter Schools Are Not A “Republican” Thing History shows Democrats have supported charters from the very beginning

Peter Cook: As I noted earlier this week, a group of anti-reform activists in Colorado recently passed an amendment to the state Democratic Party platform opposing the Colorado chapter of Democrats for Education Reform and calling on the organization drop “Democrats” from its name.1 Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time DFER has been attacked by … Continue reading Charter Schools Are Not A “Republican” Thing History shows Democrats have supported charters from the very beginning

Solid ship ballast from the age of sail tells surprising stories about history.

Mats Burström: Just when we thought we knew everything important about the age of sail and its impact on the world, along comes research that exposes our collective myopia when gazing at the past. Ships carried all sorts of things across the oceans, including commodities, disease, and ideas. But as archaeologist and author Mats Burström … Continue reading Solid ship ballast from the age of sail tells surprising stories about history.

Will Fitzhugh: Common Core, Close Reading, and the Death of History in the Schools

Diane Ravitch: He writes: A few years ago, at a conference in Boston, David Steiner, then Commissioner of Education for New York State, said, about History: “It is so politically toxic that no one wants to touch it.” Since then, David Coleman, of the Common Core and the College Board, have decided that any historical … Continue reading Will Fitzhugh: Common Core, Close Reading, and the Death of History in the Schools

Will Fitzhugh: Common Core, Close Reading, and the Death of History in the Schools

Will Fitzhugh is founder and editor of The Concord Review, which publishes outstanding historical essays by high school students. I have long been an admirer of the publication and of Will for sustaining it without support from any major foundations, which are too engaged in reinventing the schools rather than supporting the work of excellent … Continue reading Will Fitzhugh: Common Core, Close Reading, and the Death of History in the Schools

History is taught as texts without context

Joanne Jacobs: Who’s that man? Why is the crowd gathered? Teachers aren’t supposed to say. Studying texts, without context, is no way to learn history, writes Will Fitzhugh on Diane Ravitch’s blog. But it’s the Common Core way. A notorious lesson called for teaching the Gettysburg Address without discussing the Civil War. Teachers were told: … Continue reading History is taught as texts without context

Commentary on history, maturity and “Snowflakes”

Victory Girls: But we’re supposed to listen to Generation Snowflake, because they somehow have the moral authority to speak on domestic policies about which they know exactly jack and shit? We’re supposed to refrain from criticism about their obviously uninformed opinions, because they’ve been through what had to be a traumatic experience? We’re supposed to … Continue reading Commentary on history, maturity and “Snowflakes”

What’s Behind One of the Biggest Financial Scams in History

Knowledge@Wharton: David Enrich: That’s right. The mastermind of the LIBOR scandal was a guy named Tom Hayes, a mildly autistic mathematician who was a star trader at some of the world’s biggest banks. He was accused, at the end of 2012, of being the central figure in this scandal by both American prosecutors and British … Continue reading What’s Behind One of the Biggest Financial Scams in History

A Brief History of NAEP Cohort Math Gains-The Low Hanging Fruit Already Picked

Matthew Ladner: My guess is that reformers picked the low-hanging fruit of education reform in the early aughts. The introduction of standards and testing in the early days seems to have produced a bump in achievement. Over time however this effect may be fading. Political Science 101 teaches that organized interests defeat diffuse interests 99 … Continue reading A Brief History of NAEP Cohort Math Gains-The Low Hanging Fruit Already Picked

A guide to greater Madison’s black history for teachers, students and parents

Michael Johnson : Here are some indicators on how the black community has influenced the Greater Madison region and Wisconsin for more than 175 years. Attached is a timeline created by the Cap Times, Madison 365, myself and leaders from the African-American community. One additional note: this is not a list of every black Madisonian … Continue reading A guide to greater Madison’s black history for teachers, students and parents

How wars were once fought over spices – cookbook looks at history and modern uses of all things aromatic

Susan Jung: “They have played an important role in health, adding healing properties to medicines, and they have been used to give scent to perfumes. A study of Ayurvedic practices in India gives an understanding of how spices can work for the well-being of the body. Such beliefs and practices are becom­ing widely accepted in … Continue reading How wars were once fought over spices – cookbook looks at history and modern uses of all things aromatic

History isn’t a ‘useless’ major. It teaches critical thinking, something America needs plenty more of

James Grossman: Since the beginning of the Great Recession in 2007, the history major has lost significant market share in academia, declining from 2.2% of all undergraduate degrees to 1.7%. The graduating class of 2014, the most recent for which there are national data, included 9% fewer history majors than the previous year’s cohort, compounding … Continue reading History isn’t a ‘useless’ major. It teaches critical thinking, something America needs plenty more of

Hong Kong pupils ‘have poor knowledge’ of modern Chinese history … and some think Mao is a woman

Su Xinqi: The findings were part of a report on DSE performance released on Tuesday by the Examinations and Assessment Authority. Last week, officials announced the decision to make Chinese history an independent and compulsory subject for pupils from Form One to Form Three in 2018. For pupils from Form Four to Form Six, Chinese … Continue reading Hong Kong pupils ‘have poor knowledge’ of modern Chinese history … and some think Mao is a woman

How an Amateur Astronomer Became One of History’s Greatest Solar Observers

Sarah Laskow: One night in Tokyo, in the years before World War II, Hisako Koyama looked up, out into space, and saw a shooting star. It could have been passing moment, one that others would miss or quickly forget. For Koyama, the impression left by the streaking meteoroid was an inspiration. Without formal training, she … Continue reading How an Amateur Astronomer Became One of History’s Greatest Solar Observers

Irfan Shahîd’s history of the Arab’s interactions with Rome and Byzantium before the rise of Islam is available for download

Dumbarton Oaks: We are happy to announce that all seven volumes of Irfan Shahîd’s monumental Byzantium and the Arabs, published by Dumbarton Oaks Publications, are available for free download from our website. Irfan Shahîd knew even as an undergraduate at Oxford that the role of the Arabs in Roman history would be his life’s work. … Continue reading Irfan Shahîd’s history of the Arab’s interactions with Rome and Byzantium before the rise of Islam is available for download

Honoring the English Curriculum and the Study of U.S. History—Sandra Stotsky

Sandra Stotsky, via Will Fitzhugh: “Advocates of a writing process tended to stress autobiographical narrative writing, not informational or expository writing.” It sounds excessively dramatic to say that Common Core’s English language arts (ELA) standards threaten the study of history. In this essay we show why, in the words of a high school teacher, “if … Continue reading Honoring the English Curriculum and the Study of U.S. History—Sandra Stotsky

Timeline: The marches that made history

Journal-Sentinel: DEC. 9, 1965 Gov. Warren Knowles signs an open housing law that prohibits discrimination in the sale, rental or financing of housing. The law, a watered-down version of a measure proposed by Rep. Lloyd Barbee and other lawmakers, exempts owner-occupied properties with four or fewer units – leaving out the overwhelming majority of the … Continue reading Timeline: The marches that made history