9 votes

American History Textbooks' Lies: Everything Your Teacher Got Wrong - Myths, Education (1995)

3 comments

  1. [3]
    determinism Link
    I enjoyed this conversation. I'm not sure how much of these criticisms are still relevant today but I suspect that there are plenty of areas where history education has not substantially improved...

    I enjoyed this conversation. I'm not sure how much of these criticisms are still relevant today but I suspect that there are plenty of areas where history education has not substantially improved in the last twenty years.

    I can say that there are certainly holes in my knowledge with regard to American history. I wasn't the most devoted history student when I was in elementary/highschool so I can't really claim that the holes are due to the curriculum.

    2 votes
    1. [2]
      masochist (edited ) Link Parent
      Part of it is certainly that the presentation of the material could have been a lot better. As it's taught in the US, history is an immensely difficult subject to get into. A lot of it is reading...

      Part of it is certainly that the presentation of the material could have been a lot better. As it's taught in the US, history is an immensely difficult subject to get into. A lot of it is reading textbooks that, in a desperate attempt to appear nonpartisan, present the facts in such a dry, soulless way that it doesn't allow any of the humanity to come through. And the lectures tend not to be any better. A lot of it is just memorizing dates and names and receiting them on demand in multiple-choice (or multiple guess, as, ironically, one of my history teachers called it) tests.

      As I've commented here before, math classes tend to be just as bad.

      edit: accidentally a word

      4 votes
      1. CALICO Link Parent
        History is one of those things that really needs the humanity. Humans are what make history interesting, not arbitrary dates and names you learn just enough to regurgitate on Quiz Friday. Landing...

        History is one of those things that really needs the humanity. Humans are what make history interesting, not arbitrary dates and names you learn just enough to regurgitate on Quiz Friday.
        Landing on the Moon wasn't interesting because it was a wartime dick measuring contest, for example. It's interesting because of what the Moon represents, how difficult leaving the planet is, and what kind of future a space-faring humanity may attain. The dream and the humans who dreamt it matters far more, and is far more interesting, than knowing it happened on July 20, 1969.

        3 votes