21c) Life Skills – a bit of background & the “history” example (con’t)
“Through archaeological evidence, they turn the long-held theory of the origins of New World populations on its head. For more than 400 years, it has been claimed that people first entered America from Asia, via a land bridge that spanned the Bering Sea. We now know that some people did arrive via this route nearly 15,000 years ago, probably by both land and sea. Eighty years ago, stone tools long believed to have been left by the first New World inhabitants were discovered in New Mexico and named Clovis. These distinctive Clovis stone tools are now dated around 12,000 years ago leading to the recognition that people preceded Clovis into the Americas. No Clovis tools have been found in Alaska or Northeast Asia, but are concentrated in the south eastern United States. Groundbreaking discoveries from the east coast of North America are demonstrating that people who are believed to be Clovis ancestors arrived in this area no later than 18,450 years ago and possibly as early as 23,000 years ago, probably in boats from Europe. These early inhabitants made stone tools that differ in significant ways from the earliest stone tools known in Alaska. It now appears that people entering the New World arrived from more than one direction.”
“We now have really solid evidence that people came from Europe to the New World around 20,000 years ago,” Bradley says. “Our findings represent a paradigm shift in the way we think about America’s early history. We are challenging a very deep-seated belief in how the New World was populated. The story is more intriguing and more complicated than we ever have imagined.” “There are more alternatives than we think in archaeology and we need to have imagination and an open mind when we examine evidence to avoid being stuck in orthodoxy,” Stanford adds. “This book is the result of more than a decade’s work, but it is just the beginning of our journey.” Across Atlantic Ice is published by University California Press, Berkeley.–Source University of Exeter”
What does this and the preceding two blogs have to do with our educational curriculum? I use history as an example of a high school subject that is typically a “required” subject for graduation. Much of the history that I studied 50 years ago is no longer valid and some of the remainder was written from an “agenda” point of view. My opinion is that it should be an “elective” and one where the focus is on demonstrating to the student the methods of obtaining the most recent information through research. I would suspect that there are other “required” subjects that fall into this category.
stay tuned next week for more on this topic