SED 741 - Dr. Gayle Olson-Raymer

Teaching with Passion and Good Historical Content - What is good history teaching and good historical content?

Front cover the book "The Passionate Teacher"

Below, please find the guides for the our discussion.  Please note that each is separated by a solid line.


Goals for today's discussion:

  1. To critically think about the characteristics of good history teachers.
  2. To examine the question "What is good historical content."
  3. To further discuss what makes history so controversial by focusing especially on historiography.

Goals for when we meet together on Elluminate. (See below "Things to do before meeting in class on Elluminate")

  1. To check in with your colleagues in regard to how things are going in your apprentice teaching and in your classes at HSU.
  2. To discuss your thoughts after watching "Lisa the Iconoclast" prior to coming to class.
  3. To discuss what it means to teach with passion as modeled by Fried in The Passionate Teacher, Fried in "17 Reasons...", and by Percoco in Divided We Stand.

Goal #1: To critically think about the characteristics of good history teachers.

Photo of Jim PercocoGood history teachers..

  1. Know history, are life long learners, and search for new research and resources to enliven their classroom discussions. Such continue to search for and incorporate new and diverse historical content and innovative teaching methods into their classrooms and revise their beliefs about history as they learn more content.
  2. Are passionate about history, about teaching history, and about young people.  Such teachers demonstrate a genuine interest in and concern for students and an ability to convey a love of history in the classroom setting.
  3. Create respectful classroom environments.  Such teachers hear their students and respect their voices, allow them to freely express their intellectual thoughts and personal opinions, encourage students to respect and listen to diverging viewpoints and attitudes, and continuously use new teaching methods that fit student needs.
  4. Cartoon of History TeacherAre storytellers who make connections between the past and the present.  Such teachers show students how the present is illuminated by the past.
  5. Use the tools of historians, especially primary documents, historiography, and debate.  Such teachers teach students to examine primary documents for evidence to support the historical record and their viewpoints, encourage them to raise questions about history, and require them to analyze and compare historian’s competing and often controversial views in the classroom setting.
  6. Celebrate diversity, model democracy, and teach for social justice.  Such teachers create a classroom in which students learn about the multicultural makeup of the American people, teach about democracy and model democratic values, and  help students understand that they do their best work when they strive to make society more just.
  7. Collaborate with colleagues.  Such teachers engage in discussions with colleagues, ask for advice and mentoring, and talk with teachers at other school sites, educators at professional conferences, and with fellow subscribers to professional journals.
  8. Are reflective.  Such teachers ask themselves what worked in their classrooms and what did not, listen to students' positive as well as negative critiques of their teaching, and then make necessary changes in both content and method.
  9. Understand the importance of chronological understanding. Such teachers understand that chronological thinking is at the heart of historical reasoning. Without a clear sense of historical time-time past, present, and future-students are bound to see events as one great tangled mess. Without a strong sense of chronology - of when events occurred and in what temporal order - it is impossible for students to examine relationships among them or to explain historical causality. Chronology provides the mental scaffolding for organizing historical thought.
  10. Use carefully crafted themes to convey historical content.  Such teachers develop a list of overall course themes that provide "bottom line" messages for their students, create lessons that illustrate the themes, and encourage students to demonstrate their knowledge of the themes, as well as critique and create new themes of their own.

Goal #2: To examine the question, "What is good historical content?"

Good historical content insures that...

  1. History is storytelling in its finest form; it weaves together many related historical and contemporary events and ideas that are linked to a larger story.   History is not a recitation of unrelated facts that do not contribute to a larger story.
  2. History is interpretive; it invites students to debate multiple perspectives, offer their opinions and educated interpretations, and challenge existing beliefs. History does not dummy down to students by teaching standardized facts that do not encourage open inquiry and honest interpretation.
  3. History is revisionist in scope; it is an on-going conversation and a constant process of reexamination that is based upon continual new discoveries and evidence. History is not about an agreed upon set of facts, one indisputably true history, or a forever-fixed story that is never subjected to changes and updates.
    Cartoon of Revisionist History
  4. History is integrative of many disciplines; it especially incorporates geography, literature, art, sociology, economics, and political science. History is not a simple historical chronology of famous dates, incidents, and people.
  5. History is inclusive; it ensures that the experiences of all classes, regions, and ethno-racial groups, as well as both genders, are included. History is not restricted to stories written by and about the most well known leaders in American history.
  6. History is relevant; it uses past experiences to explain what is important in our lives today.  History does not rely solely on the past with no examination of how the past has influenced the present or how it may influence the future.
  7. History is experiential; it encourages people to actively experience history, question history, and think about history.  History is not static, passive, or reliant upon the mere recitation of facts and dates.
  8. History is controversial; it presents all the facts, warts and all, examines both the negative and positive actions of Americans, encourages students to think about social justice and social change, and promotes real understanding of historical issues and events and critical analysis of our nation’s domestic and foreign policies. History is not about one absolute truth, one particular perspective, or one set of facts and figures.

A more detailed understanding of how to make history relevant to students

My approach to telling the story of 9/11 dramatically changed with each anniversary and with the new generation of young people coming into the schools who had little to no first-hand knowledge of 9/11. What gradually became apparent was that the American people are struggling with a very delicate balancing act – we want to retain our freedom and our civil liberties at the same time that we want to be safe. Thus, I kept running up against four questions:

  1. Should the events of 9/11 require us, as former White House spokesman Ari Fleisher warned the American public after 9/11 "to watch what you say" about terrorists and terrorism?
  2. To be patriotic Americans, should we be required to make a choice, as President Bush stated, to either "be with us or with the terrorists?"
  3. Should we be forced to make a choice between being safe and free?
  4. Was this the first time in U.S. history when our rights were in jeopardy and when we were asked to make such difficult choices?

The answer to the first three questions was consistent no.

  1. We should not have to watch what we said about terrorists and terrorism - the first amendment to the Constitution guarantees us freedom of speech.
  2. We should not have our patriotism questioned if we try to understand why people would commit acts of terror against Americans.
  3. We should not have to make a choice - we can and should be both safe and free.

But it was the answer to the fourth question that led to a new focus on my lessons about the consequences of 9/11. As a historian, I was aware of several times in our nation's history when our civil liberties suffered in the name of national security. But I didn't know all the events and I only knew a few details. Thus, I began to believe that the best way to address 9/11 during the yearly anniversaries was to help students gain a better understanding of our civil liberties those freedoms that we cherish - and of governmental efforts to achieve national security throughout our history.

So, how did I do this? I began with an understanding of how and why our Founding Fathers wrote the Constitution. I wanted to review the civil liberties they felt were the essential building blocks of their fragile and experimental new republic. In so doing, I was reminded that there is only one civil liberty that it mentioned in the original Constitution - the privilege of habeas corpus. But to understand this discussion, we first have to define the terminology:

Cartoon of sacrificing civil liberties for national security

There are, however, five distinct civil liberties guaranteed in the Bill of Rights:

Knowing that habeas corpus was what our Founders felt to be our most important liberty as well as the liberties they later included under duress in the Bill of Rights, gave my research and thoughts a clear focus. I decided I needed a much better historical understanding of how our liberties - especially habeas corpus - have or have not been protected over the past 220 years since the constitution was signed. This led me to create a chronology of events .

I began my chronology by going to about 10 secondary resources - largely books and articles - and dozens of primary documents - the actual amendments, laws, court cases, presidential proclamations, etc. that were passed in the name of national security. What I created is accessible at http://gorhistory.com/sed741/SED741HabeasCorpus.html.


 Goal #3: To further discuss what makes history so controversial by focusing especially on historiography.

Historiography - Why do historians so often disagree?

1. The “facts” are seldom straightforward. There are some historical facts that are not in dispute - like Columbus sailed to the Americas in 1492 and slaves resisted slavery. But the reality of these “facts” is complex and difficult to determine.  For instance, debate exists about how large the American population was prior to the arrival of Columbus and about whether his actions with the Taino people set genocide into motion; about how many slaves resisted slavery and how such resistance occurred.  Furthermore, historians have only spotty records at best to determine the facts and often disagree over definitions - like what is “genocide” and “resistance?”

2. The interpretation of the “facts” differs among historians.  These disagreements can be the result of the following:

3. Historical interpretation changes in response to the time in which it is written.  While historians may strive to be “objective” in their work, no one can be entirely free from the assumptions and concerns of the present - especially during times of crisis.  For example, during the Vietnam War, concerns about racial justice and disillusionment with the war altered the way many historians thought about war and a society enmeshed in war.  These historical events introduced a much more critical tone to scholarship on the Sixties and Seventies.

4. They encourage us to wonder if there there is such a thing as “truth.”  Truth, some historians argue, does not exist; it is simply a series of interpretative narratives constructed by people who view life in very different and often highly personal ways.  Others argue that there are not only some very real truths in history and interpretations are useful without resting on a solid and truthful foundation.

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When we meet in our Elluminate session, we will focus primarily on summarizing what we learned from today's lecture and discussion. To prepare for our class meeting, please address the requirements below in the "To do before meeting in class on Elluminate."

To do before meeting in class on Elluminate:

  1. Be prepared to check in with your colleagues in regard to how things are going in your apprentice teaching and in your classes at HSU.
  2. What did you learn from "Lisa the Iconoclast"
  3. What did you learn about teaching as modeled by Fried in The Passionate Teacher, Fried in "17 Reasons...", and by Percoco in Divided We Stand.
  4. Which one of the "17 Reasons why Football is Better than High School" did you find most compelling and why?
  5. After watching the lecture/discussion on "Teaching with Passion and Good Historical Content " how would you address the following:

 

 

1920 - Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer, using the full power of the Espionage Act, began the Red Scare, a series of politically motivated raids and prosecutions of those who dissented from government policy - especially Socialists, anarchists, and immigrants suspected of “un-American” beliefs.  Agents in over 30 cities arrested between 6,000-10,000 people often without arrest warrants and seized political literature, membership cards and lists, organization records, and other documents.  The judgment to deport or not to deport most individuals was made by an immigration inspector in a secret hearing.  Most of the prisoners sentenced during the Red Scare were eventually freed.

1941 - President Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 that permitted military leaders to designate areas “from which any or all persons may be excluded.”  Citizens or not, and without proof of individualized suspicion, over 120,000 persons of Japanese ancestry who lived on the Pacific coast were eventually imprisoned in internment camps. 

1942 - U.S. Supreme Court in ex parte Quirin unanimously upheld the right of the President to try before military tribunals enemy belligerents - and even a U.S. citizen - who violated the rules of war.  The decision created the first definition for what would later become known as "enemy combatants" or “Citizens who associate themselves with the military arm of the enemy government, and with its aid, guidance and direction enter this country bent on hostile acts are enemy belligerents within the meaning of the Hague Convention and the law of war.

The decision defined two categories: lawful and unlawful combatants. Lawful combatants were to receive prisoner of war (POW) status and the protections of the Third Geneva Convention while unlawful combatants would not receive POW status or the full protections of the Third Geneva Convention.

1943 – U.S. Supreme Court in Hirabayashi v. United States ruled that the military order Gordon Hirabayashi ignored was constitutional. The Supreme Court upheld the 8pm to 6am curfew - the restriction of all persons of Japanese ancestry within military-designated areas - was a legitimate exercise of government’s power and was necessary to prevent espionage and sabotage in an area threatened by Japanese attack.

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U.S. Supreme Court in Yasui v. U.S. unanimously ruled that the federal government could restrict the lives of civilian citizens during wartime. In late 1942, Minoru Yasui, an Oregon lawyer, was arrested for violating curfew orders.  His lawyers argued to no avail that the government's restrictions were unconstitutional because they were based upon racial prejudice, not military necessity.  

1944 - U.S. Supreme Court in Korematsu v. United States upheld the imprisonments of Japanese Americans by a 6-3 vote.  The court found that the imprisonment of Fred Korematsu and other Japanese Americans in relocation camps during WWII was constitutional given the wartime emergency and need to protect the public.  Dissenting Justice Murphy termed the decision "one of the most sweeping and complete deprivations of constitutional rights in the history of this nation."

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U.S. Supreme Court in Ex Parte Mitsuye Endo ruled on behalf of the case for Mitsuye Endo Photo of Mitsuye Endothat President Roosevelt’s executive order and the enforcement law passed by Congress only authorized the removal of the Issei and Nisei from military areas, not their imprisonment. They thus declared the camps unconstitutional.  Writing for the majority, Justice Murphy wrote, "“I am of the view that detention in Relocation Centers of persons of Japanese ancestry regardless of loyalty is not only unauthorized by Congress or the Executive, but is another example of the unconstitutional resort to racism inherent in the entire evacuation program...racial discrimination of this nature bears no reasonable relation to military necessity and is utterly foreign to the ideals and traditions of the American people.” 

1960s - COINTELPRO, the FBI's Counter-Intelligence Program, began out of frustration with US Supreme Court rulings that limited the government's power to proceed overtly against groups who challenged the status quo – Communists, Communist sympathizers, Black Nationalists, anti-war activists -  and ended with public exposure of their unconstitutional activities.  COINTELPRO, according to the report of the US Senate's Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations, allowed the FBI to conduct "... a sophisticated vigilante operation aimed squarely at preventing the exercise of First Amendment rights of speech and association, on the theory that preventing the growth of dangerous groups and the propagation of dangerous ideas would protect the national security and deter violence."   COINTELPRO targeted the Black Panthers, various violent left-wing groups, and the Ku Klux Klan, as well as peaceful dissenters.  Public hearings in 1975 exposed additional law enforcement abuses and resulted in reform, including new legislation, executive guidelines, and permanent Congressional oversight of intelligence-gathering activities.

1975 - The report of the Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities investigated alleged abuses of power by the Central Intelligence Agency and the Federal Bureau of Intelligence. The Committee concluded: "Domestic intelligence activity has threatened and undermined the Constitutional rights of Americans to free speech, association and privacy. It has done so primarily because the Constitutional system for checking abuse of power has not been applied."

1978 - Congress passed the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) to provide specific standards for investigations relating to national security and allowing warrants to be issued for electronic surveillance by a secret court order at the request of the Attorney general who only has to show that the main purpose of the investigation relates to intelligence gathering about a foreign entity such as a government or terrorist group.

1988 - Congress passed the Civil Liberties Act - Redress for Japanese Americans in which the U.S. apologized to Japanese Americans for the grave civil rights violations during WWII and authorized the payments of $20,000 to each person who had been placed in relocation/concentration camps.

1996 - Congress passed the Anti-terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act that attempted to curb the number of habeas petitions by death row inmates; expanded the authority of federal officials to proscribe domestic fundraising by terrorist groups; banned suspected terrorists from entering the U.S.;  expelled foreigners linked to terrorism; and punished those who intentionally provide “material support” to terrorists.

2001 -  One week after the terrorist attacks of September 11, Congress passed the Authorization of the Use of Military Force Act (AUMF) that authorized the president "to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons." The act clearly resembled a declaration of war - and its primary purpose was the legal authorization of the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan.

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On September 20th, President George W. Bush formally declared in a joint session of Congress a "war on terror" Photo of President Bush's address to Congress declaring a war on terrorismwhen he said, "Our war on terror begins with al Qaeda, but it does not end there. It will not end until every terrorist group of global reach has been found, stopped and defeated." This was the beginning of the Bush administration's policy that treated the 9/11 attacks as acts of war rather than violations of criminal law.

On October 1, President Bush authorized Operation Enduring Freedom, the invasion of Afghanistan with the goal of capturing al-Qaeda's leader, Osama bin Laden.

Congress passed the PATRIOT Act in the wake of September 11th. The key parts of the Act - subject to a "sunset" requirement that requires reauthorization in four years if the law is to be extended - streamlined and relaxed warrant, investigative, and detention requirements.  The new law gave federal agents expanded authority to track the flow of Internet and telephone communication.  It also allowed the limited transfer of information from traditionally secret grand jury proceedings; law enforcement ability to access library records of citizens; increased time that the Immigration and Naturalization Service can detain non-citizens; and widespread authority to approve phone record searches, retrieval of electronic evidence, and roving wiretaps that follow a particular targeted person and allows phone intercepts of multiple phones across numerous jurisdictions. 

On November 13th , the president issued a military order on the "Detention, Treatment, and Trial of Certain Non-Citizens in the War against Terrorism" which was designed to deal with the problem of what to do with suspected terrorists and their supporters who fell into American hands during the War on Terrorism. The order gave the Secretary of Defense authority to detain anyone who planned or facilitated terrorist acts against the United States. In practice, the order meant that suspected terrorists captured in Afghanistan or elsewhere were not criminals worthy of trial but "enemy combatants" who could be detained for the limitless duration of the war on terror. Because they were "illegal" enemy combatants, the order also meant that the prisoners did not merit the high treatment standards for prisoners of war mandated at the Geneva Convention. Eventually, over 700 persons would be detained, most at Guantanamo. This presidential order was the first step in the process of establishing indefinite detention without trial as a mainstay of the US approach to fighting terrorism

2002 - United States' Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba opened Camp X-Ray. Political Cartoon of habeas "corpses" at GuantanamoThe Bush administration asserted that because the Naval Base was not technically on US soil, the captives held there were not subject to US law and did not have access to the rights guaranteed by the US Constitution or to protection through the United States Justice System. President Bush ordered that certain detainees imprisoned at Guantanamo were to be tried by military tribunals.

2004 - The U.S. Supreme Court in Rasul v. Bush ruled in the first habeas corpus submission after 9/11 to reach the Court. The Court found that the Naval Base at Guantanamo was not beyond the reach of US law, that the Executive Branch lacked the authority to deny captives access to the US justice system, that the captives had the right to initiate habeas corpus submissions, and that the Executive Branch was obliged to provide the captives with an opportunity to hear and attempt to refute whatever evidence had caused them to have been classified as "enemy combatants."

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The Department of Defense created the Combatant Status Review Tribunals which established non-public hearings to determine if detainees held at Guantanamo Bay had been correctly designated as "enemy combatants."

2005 - Congress passed the first reauthorization of the USA PATRIOT and Terrorism Prevention Reauthorization Act Cartoon of sacrificing civil liberties for national security in July. This bill reauthorized provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act and created new provisions relating to the death penalty for terrorists, enhancing security at seaports, providing new measures to combat the financing of terrorism and new powers for the Secret Service.

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Congress passed the Detainee Treatment Act which prohibited the “cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment” of detainees and provides for “uniform standards” for interrogation.

2006 –  Congress passed second reauthorization act, the USA PATRIOT Act Additional Reauthorizing Amendments Act in February, making permanent 14 provisions set to expire at the end of 2005.  Three other measures were extended for seven years – one allowing law enforcement agents access to bookstore and public library records, another allowing roving wiretaps that follow an individual who may use multiple means of communication rather than targeting a single phone, and the last allowing federal investigators to track an individual not connected to a foreign government but suspected of operating as a “lone wolf” terrorist.

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The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, the second post-9/11 habeas corpus submission, that the Executive Branch lacked the Constitutional authority to set up military commissions to try captives taken in the war on terror and that instead, this authority properly resided in Congress.

Congress passed the Military Commissions Act of 2006 which says in part, “"No court, justice, or judge shall have jurisdiction to hear or consider an application for a writ of habeas corpus filed by or on behalf of an alien detained by the United States who has been determined by the United States to have been properly detained as an enemy combatant or is awaiting such determination."  Thus, in the eyes of the United States, aliens are not to be granted the rights of a free people.

2007 – The President signed executive order – “Blocking Property of Certain Persons Who Threaten Stabilization Efforts in Iraq."  This order allows the President to confiscate assets of those opposed to the U.S. led war.  On July 17th, the President announced, “I have issued ad Executive Order blocking property of persons determined to have committed or to pose a significant risk of committing, an act or acts of violence that have the purpose or effect of threatening the peace or stability of Iraq or the Government of Iraq or undermining efforts to promote economic reconstruction and political reform in Iraq or to provide humanitarian assistance to the Iraqi people.” The Justice Department decides what constitutes “threatening stabilization efforts” and the order does not permit a challenge to the information upon which the seizure is based.

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The House passed the Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act by a vote of 405 to 6 in October. The Act failed to win approval in the Senate. The act would have created a congressional commission empowered to hold hearings, conduct investigations, and designate various groups as "homegrown terrorists”; empowered the commission to propose new legislation enabling the government to take punitive action against both the groups and the individuals who are affiliated with them; and empowered all the members on the commission to arrange hearings, obtain testimony, and even to administer oaths to witnesses in various parts of the country. Language in the act partially defines "homegrown terrorism" as "planning" or "threatening" to use force to promote a political objective and it describes "violent radicalization" as the promotion of an "extremist belief system" without defining "extremist."  After doing its work within 18 months, a Center of Excellence for the Prevention of Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism would have been established to study the lessons learned. The center would have been tasked with continuing power to monitor the homegrown terrorism problem and propose legislation and other measures to counter it.

The Protect America Act of 2007 was enacted as an amendment to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). It removed the warrant requirement for government surveillance of foreign intelligence targets "reasonably believed" to be outside of the United States. The FISA Amendments Act of 2008 repealed the Protect America Act, but replaced it with similar provisions in Title VII of FISA.

2008 - U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Boumediene v. Bush that the Bush administration’s withholding of habeas corpus at Guantanamo Bay - the practice of holding terrorism suspects in indefinite detention - is unconstitutional. The case challenged the legality of Boumediene’s detention in Guantanamo as well as the constitutionality of the Military Commissions Act of 2006. The Court’s 5-4 decision, written by Justice Anthony Kennedy, rejected the Bush administration’s argument that prisoners can be held for years without a fair process for assessing the evidence against them. Thus, the federal courts will now be able to examine the basis for detainees’ claims that they are wrongly held. President Bush as well as Democratic nominee Barack Obama and Republican nominee John McCain state that they all support closing Guantanamo. Obama pledged that if elected president, he would close the facility.

2009 - On January 22, newly inaugurated President Obama proudly issued his first three executive orders, one of them, a directive requiring Guantanamo to be closed within one year. In March, the Obama administration submitted a file to a federal district court in regard to litigation over indefinite detention at Guantanamo. In this filing, the Obama administration adopted the Bush administration's position that persons allegedly involved in terrorism were participating in a war and could be held indefinitely without trial. This was the second step in the process of establishing indefinite detention without trial as a mainstay of the US approach to fighting terrorism.

NDAA Political Cartoon2011 - In March, President Obama issued an executive order authorizing the use of indefinite detention. This was the third step in the process of establishing indefinite detention without trial as a mainstay of the US approach to fighting terrorism. Then, on December 31, President Obama signed the National Defence Authorization Act (NDAA) which included a provision allowing indefinite military detention without trial. This was the fourth step in the process of establishing indefinite detention without trial as a mainstay of the US approach to fighting terrorism. The law is especially troubling to civil rights advocates on several levels:

first, it makes Obama the first President to sign into law indefinite detention as permament policy of the United States;

second, it authorizes the military to pick up anywhere in the world and indefinitely jail anyone it considers a terrorism suspect without charge or trial;

third, it appears to violate the 4th Amendment to the Constitution. ( "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized"); and

fourth, it makes transferring prisoners from Guantanamo difficult because it forbids transfering or releasing any detainees from Guantanamo to their home countries or third countries willing to take them as refugees unless the Defense Department can certify that the individual will not engage in any hostile acts when they are returned - something that the Defense Department cannot certify, which is why the FBI and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta vigorously opposed these provisions of the Act.

2012 - January 11th marked the 10th anniversary of the detention of prisoners at Guantanamo. At that time, 171 prisoners remained at the site: 36 await trial on war crimes charges, including the alleged mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks; 46 are in indefinite detention and the U.S. considers them dangerous but they cannot be charged for lack of evidence or other reasons; 32 are considered eligible for release which had not occurred largely because of congressional restrictions; and 57 men from Yemen have not been charged but the government won't let them go because their country is unstable.


Five major points in regard to our discussion on civil liberties versus national security

  1. Throughout American history during times of national crisis, our civil liberties have been violated in order to protect Americans from potential dangers.
  2. During most of these times, American citizens have rarely protested the deprivation of our civil liberties, reacting, instead, with fear and believing that we will be safer without them.
  3. The PATRIOT Act, the most current legislation that deprives us of some of our civil liberties, is not a revolutionary attempt to curtail our civil liberties, but in fact is just the last in a long list of such violations.
  4. The Obama administration's decision to back the new provisions of the NDAA is a landmark decision that not only shifts the responsibility for dealing with suspected terrorists anywhere in the world to the military, but also makes the suspension of the right of habeas corpus in suspected cases of terrorism a permanent part of American law.
  5. The American people are responsible for maintaining and protecting our freedom – the civil liberties guaranteed in our Constitution.

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Political cartoon "Where is Afghanistan?"


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 Historiography - Why do historians so often disagree?

1. The “facts” are seldom straightforward. There are some historical facts that are not in dispute - like Columbus sailed to the Americas in 1492 and slaves resisted slavery. But the reality of these “facts” is complex and difficult to determine.  For instance, debate exists about how large the American population was prior to the arrival of Columbus and about whether his actions with the Taino people set genocide into motion; about how many slaves resisted slavery and how such resistance occurred.  Furthermore, historians have only spotty records at best to determine the facts and often disagree over definitions - like what is “genocide” and “resistance?”

2. The interpretation of the “facts” differs among historians.  These disagreements can be the result of the following:

3. Historical interpretation changes in response to the time in which it is written.  While historians may strive to be “objective” in their work, no one can be entirely free from the assumptions and concerns of the present - especially during times of crisis.  For example, during the Vietnam War, concerns about racial justice and disillusionment with the war altered the way many historians thought about war and a society enmeshed in war.  These historical events introduced a much more critical tone to scholarship on the Sixties and Seventies.

4. They encourage us to wonder if there there is such a thing as “truth.”  Truth, some historians argue, does not exist; it is simply a series of interpretative narratives constructed by people who view life in very different and often highly personal ways.  Others argue that there are not only some very real truths in history and interpretations are useful without resting on a solid and truthful foundation.


Assignment for next week at http://gorhistory.com/sed741/RevisionistAssignment.html

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When we meet in our Elluminate session, we will focus primarily on summarizing what we learned from today's lecture and discussion. To prepare for our class meeting, please address the requirements below in the "To do before meeting in class on Elluminate."

To do before meeting in class on Elluminate:

  1. Be prepared to check in with your colleagues in regard to how things are going in your apprentice teaching and in your classes at HSU.
  2. Watch "Lisa the Iconoclast" at _____________. Be prepared to share your responses to following questions with your colleagues:
  3. Submit your journals on The Passionate Teacher and Divided We Stand no later than the Tuesday morning prior to coming to class. Be prepared to discuss the following when we meet:
  4. Be prepared to share and explain how and why you found ONE of the "17 Reasons why Football is Better than High School" most compelling to Fried's argument and why?
  5. After watching the lecture/discussion on "Teaching with Passion and Good Historical Content " please be prepared to address the following: