I get that, but does it really have to be about the dates?
nobody gives a fuck if the american war for independence happened in 1776 or 1781. what matters is that thousands of men fought for their country, often going against their families, all for the right to live as free men.
so often, classes are so simplified that the elements that would draw children into learning are just removed. do you ever hear kids excited to hear about how on july 1st, canada became a recognized dominion of britain instead of a colony? fuck no. what's exciting is the work that went into it, the direct results of it!
I understand that a curriculum needs to be followed, and that kids need to learn certain things. I really do. but we've entered an age of information, in which kids can easily just look up specific dates. they don't need to be memorized by rote. what should be remembered and learned is WHY things happened, and HOW they happened. WHY did america drop the nukes on japan? HOW did temujin khan take over europe and asia?