How to fit my learning halfway into Socials 9 into a concise, easy to read, blog post. Easier said than done! I’ve learned so much in such a short period of time, and I’ve had a lot of fun doing it.
People don’t change. This is evidenced throughout history in the way it repeats over and over. There are reflections of history in many instances in modern politics, and a better understanding of our past will lead to a brighter future. We learn best from our mistakes, but we cannot learn from what we do not know. There is one prominent cycle I’ve noticed in the news, as well as what we have learned in class, that supports this theory.
Big Idea: Disparities in power alter the balance between individuals and between societies.
The way I see it, power is something no one man, woman or non-diverse group of people should wield. All too often in history, it was handed on a silver platter to those undeserving. For example, Christopher Columbus was given far too much power in his expedition, and it resulted in the bloody massacre of thousands of Native Americans. After people like that are given that much power, relationships between the people and those with the power are strained for years to come, such as after the English Civil Wars. That said, even if the power is said to be shared, such as between King Charles I and Parliament, it can end up in the exact same way for there is almost always a one true power. The idea behind democracy is that the people are represented by those in power. The problem is, is that not everyone has equality, therefore the people are not fully represented. This is evidenced by Parliament’s historical lack of diversity. I’m excited to see that Trudeau has taken this into account with the country’s Parliament, as I feel that it better represents the people of Canada.
Here is where I found the pattern. When a specific person, or non-diverse group of people are in sole possession of power, they tend to implement discriminatory policies towards the groups they deem less important than they. We saw this in the niqab debate, where politicians tried to regulate the attire of women from a specific religion based on their personal beliefs. These groups tend to make up the lower class, whereas the people in power and those like them are the upper class. With these policies implemented, the upper class develop a superior attitude to the lower class, which leads to crimes and wrongs committed towards those already subject to discriminatory policies. This is evidenced by the media reports about police brutality towards racial minorities. When the lower class comes together as a whole, fed up with the abuse/neglect from the upper class, conflicts arise. They start small, but they sometimes grow to catastrophic proportions, as seen in the English Civil Wars. After a large scale conflict is won by the lower class, they implement a social/political revolution. I saw this in the movie “The Butler” that I watched at home, it depicted the struggle for equality for all races. Even after social/political reform, we retain the idea of classism, so the cycle continues.
What I do well!
Make reasoned ethical judgements about controversial actions in the past and present, and whether we have a responsibility to respond.
Throughout all the examples I’ve mentioned thus far, I have looked for examples in which specific moments have repeated themselves. I feel as though learning about these actions is the response we truly need. As for whether we need to act on them, in the case of Columbus Day, I think we certainly do. We are continuing to celebrate the massacre of thousands of Native Americans every year. One thing I would like to learn more about in this topic, is why we send our troops into other countries’ wars. I want to know at what point do we decide to throw our soldiers at risk to defend another man’s borders.
In class, we talked about morals with the Trolley Problem. With each layer of intricacy, the class became more and more anxious. We looked around the room, silently judging those with different choices. I believe that the choices each student made was based off of not only natural instinct, but learned behaviours. With that in mind, when I look at this question, I think of all the difficult decisions politicians make. Knowing that they will be judged by every person whose ideas do not match theirs. I feel as though sometimes, this would affect the decisions they make, and they may take the easy way out of things. Fearing the backlash from the public, they would slip up, and make far more trouble for themselves.
Assess the justification for competing historical accounts after investigating points of contention, reliability of sources, and adequacy of evidence.
I have yet to do very much of this, as I tend to be a biased reader. I am not the best at looking at all sides of a problem, though it is something I look forward to practicing. To work on this skill, I will read from more than one source, and from more than one side of the argument. I will challenge myself to think deeper to fully understand the topic.
Assess the significance of people, places, events, and developments, and compare varying perspectives on their historical significance at particular times and places, and from group to group.
Assessing the significance of things has never been my strong suit, as I was always one to highlight the entire page thinking if someone’s bothered to write about it, it must be important. To develop my skills in this area, I will read texts specifically to break them down into the important bits. When I am describing my day to my family, I will challenge myself to do it in thirty seconds or less, so that I only focus on the important bits. Finally, I will learn from all sides of the event, by comparing perspectives and deciding on those most valid.
At the end of the day, no matter how many times we are told exactly how not to do a thing, we will do it anyways. This really sums up my learning experience, as no matter how many times I learn that staying up late to do my work the night before is a very bad decision, I still end up doing it. After all, what’s the point of learning from your mistakes if you can simply repeat them?