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How People Learn: Brain, Mind, Experience, and School
BOX 7.1Comments on Papers on the American Revoloution
When the French and Indian war ended, British expected Americans to help them pay back there war debts. That would be a reasonable request if the war was fought for the colonies, but it was fought for English imperialism so you can’t blame them for not wanting to pay. The taxes were just the start of the slow turn toward rebellion another factor was when parliament decided to forbid the colonial government to make any more money, Specie became scarcer than ever, and a lot of merchants were pushed into a “two way squeeze” and faced bankruptcy. If I had the choice between being loyal, or rebelling and having something to eat, I know what my choice would be. The colonist who were really loyal never did rebel, and 1/3 support the revolution.
The main thing that turned most people was the amount of propaganda, speeches from people like Patrick Henry, and organizations like the “Association.” After the Boston Massacre and the issuing of the Intolerable acts, people were convinced there was a conspiracy in the royal government to extinguish America’s liberties. I think a lot of people also just were going with the flow, or were being pressured by the Sons of Liberty. Merchants who didn’t go along with boycotts often became the victims of mob violence. Overall though, people were sick of getting overtaxed and walked on and decided let’s do something about it.
‘write history’ and the artifacts that are produced as part of ordinary experience?” The goal of this extended exercise is to help students understand history as an evidentiary form of knowledge, not as clusters of fixed names and dates.
One might wonder about the advisability of spending 5 days “defining history” in a curriculum with so much to cover. But it is precisely Sterling’s framework of subject-matter knowledge—her overarching understanding of the discipline as a whole—that permits students entry into the advanced world of historical sense-making. By the end of the course, students moved from being passive spectators of the past to enfranchised agents who could participate in the forms of thinking, reasoning, and engagement that are the hallmark of skilled historical cognition. For example, early in the school year, Ms. Sterling asked her students a question about the Constitutional Convention and “what were men able to do.” Paul took the question literally: “Uh, I think one of the biggest things that they did, that we talked about yesterday, was the establishment of the first settlements in the Northwest