TriggerFinger


The purpose of teaching about totalitarianism


BrownstoneIn my teaching, I prepare undergraduate students to become high school history teachers. In one course, teacher candidates prepare and deliver mock lessons. Their peers play the role of high school students, and I observe and give feedback following these practice lessons. Whether coincidence or a reflection of the times, this fall a good number of mock lessons covered the rise of totalitarianism. In one excellent lesson, a teacher candidate had his students examine the contexts that gave rise to totalitarianism. He accompanied this lesson with an excerpt from a world history textbook listing characteristics of totalitarianism.

This lesson hit on the true purpose for including totalitarianism in high school curricula. That purpose is not to honor the likes of Hitler, Stalin, or Mussolini. Nor is that purpose to provide the methods of totalitarianism as an instructional manual to follow. Rather, the purpose of teaching on totalitarianism is to deliver a warning: heed well the conditions that yielded totalitarianism, so you can recognize and avoid them. As I observed this teacher candidate’s lesson, I could not help but think about that purpose in the context of our present time.

The purpose is, of course, to recognize the signs of rising totalitarianism and stop it. So far, that's not gone very well. We already have "vaccine hunters" and "strike teams" and "quarantine camps". Canada will tax the unvaxxed heavily. Australia has home confinement for the unvaxxed, and the French government is threatening their citizenship.

This entry was published Wed Jan 12 22:27:57 CST 2022 by TriggerFinger and last updated 2022-01-12 22:27:57.0. [Tweet]

comments powered by Disqus

Related Categories


Subscribe to Atom Feed

I am not a lawyer, and nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice.

This site is run on custom blog software and is being actively developed. Please be forgiving of errors.


This website is an Amazon affiliate and will receive financial compensation for products purchased from Amazon through links on this site.