Posted by Mario Bocola – We have become an ignorant country in history and geography: it is urgent to review the teaching hours of these disciplines because students do not know how to place historical facts in space and time, do not know how to build a logical discourse and critical of the causes and effects of the battles, wars, disputes that have marked the events between the different European states at different times.
There is great chronological confusion in the minds of students, even college students, and adults, whose gaps will no longer be checked in a question or in a written paper.
Two factors have aggravated the problem: the first concerns the cancellation of the historical trail considered a true bogeyman in the first written test of the 2019 final exam; the second is, in upper secondary schools, the formation of a monstrous hybrid called “geo-history,” which (without distorting the coining of the term due to Fernand Braudel) is neither history nor geography.
It is a “geohistorical” subject that degrades and mortifies both disciplines at the same time, annulling them of their didactic and epistemological content.
In fact, a non-existent “geohistory” subject is taught and teachers are forced to act as acrobats to make students understand historical and geographical connections that may connect two completely distant periods in space and time.
In this way, the study of both history (which begins with the permanence of man) and the geography that places man in space is lost, making him a dynamic being.
When it comes to geography, students are unaware of borders, lakes, oceans (confusing oceans and seas), rivers, mountains, unfamiliar with the most important capitals and cities of a European and world state. Once upon a time geography was studied with the atlas and students were forced to take it to school, but today they use Google Maps and don’t even know how to navigate the space.
In the age of technology, orienteering is very easy, but you have no knowledge of space and orientation. These are the real reforms that schools need: everything else is a palliative or rather an empty scheme of meaning and significance. Let’s go back to the teaching of real geography, which fascinated many students, when in the past boys were passionate about this discipline while today it has become the “Venfocs of the subjects”, the most abused, the cornered because it was considered. insignificant. There is an urgent need to re-emphasize knowledge and ensure that students broaden their horizons of knowledge as much as possible. It is necessary to do so because when our students face a general culture test they fall inexorably, because, in fact, they do not have the basic knowledge of all disciplines.
They have sporadic, fragmented notions, and often in closed questionnaires answer at random, trying to guess the correct answer. Students should be aware that all types of public and private competitions provide for a pre-selection test of general culture to check whether or not the student has the minimum general knowledge of what he has learned in school.
And, on the other hand, when you come across the correctness of the papers that contain questions of general knowledge, you really have to put your hands on your head, to be surprised, since the answers contained therein are at least absurd and denote a superficiality and inadequacy of the knowledge acquired.
It is good for the school to take note of this and put a lot of emphasis on the basic knowledge that students must have at the end of each educational cycle. This is the global knowledge that the student can then spend in the world of work which is very competitive today.
Only when they have that knowledge that will allow the student to move around the world will we be able to talk about the skills to be put into practice. The fact is that in terms of general culture it is necessary to question and open a serious, constructive and in-depth debate because the level of knowledge is very low, so there is not much joke and take it lightly, because in all competitions. there will always be questions of general knowledge, that is, that wealth of knowledge which accompanies the person throughout his life.