We Learn Nothing From History

| Learning | February 2, 2016

(I am a substitute teacher. I’m in a ninth grade-level World History class. The students are studying for an upcoming test on the Middle Ages. I decide to quiz the students on some basic facts they should know.)

Me: “Who knows the importance of the year 1066?”

Student #1: “Isn’t that when William Shakespeare invaded Jerusalem?”

Student #2: “No, you’re thinking of the Crusades. That’s when Shakespeare invaded France!”

Student #3: “No, that didn’t happen until the 1300s. 1066 is when some French dude invaded an island somewhere.”

Student #4: “Oh! That’s when Charlemagne invaded England!”

Me: “1066 is when William the Conqueror invaded England from France.”

Student #1: “Well, I got the William part right.”

Student #2: “And I knew the French had something to do with it!”

Student #3: “And England’s on an island.”

Student #4: “So we kind of got it right, right?”

(I wonder if any of them passed the test.)

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