This is a pretty old post from neo-neocon, but I noticed it as a related link over at Pajamas Media, and it makes a very good point about the nation’s dreadful concept of teaching history. Not to mention, I’m a fan of neo-neocon, so I like giving her props.
The consequences of putting history into a blender and turning it into bland, featureless, and easily digestible pap is not just having students who are bored to tears, although that would be bad enough. Nor is it just that history textbooks now have a strong bias on the Left, although that isn’t a good thing either. The worst effect is that such an approach to the teaching of history creates an ignorant and naive populace that is even more condemned than would otherwise be the case to repeat history’s errors.
I’m convinced, for example, that failure to properly teach the history of the wars that we have fought in the past—their complications, controversies, and errors, as well as what led to them and what was accomplished by them—has led to unrealistic and simplistic expectations of warfare itself.
It seems pretty clear that most public schools are less concerned with education than they are Indoctrination. Far too many teachers think it’s their job to till and fertilize the fields of youth in preparation for a grand socialist harvest.
My daughter — her little brother started calling her KoGo, so that’s her handle now — starts kindergarten next year.
While she’ll attend public school (you think I can afford private education on a newspaper salary?), it’s a small-town Southern public school that has proven remarkably resistant to typical Leftist domination.
Students pray over the intercom some mornings, and I’ve never heard a complaint or threat of a lawsuit. There’s a prayer before every football game, and my sex-ed class (almost 15 years ago) was little more than remedial blush-and-giggle, followed by study hall.
However, for that reason, I’m not getting any more specific. I know grievance-mongering trial lawyers or the ACLU (alas, I repeat myself), are always trolling for new targets.
But when KoGo starts kindergarten next year, I will be on guard. Indoctrination is a tough stain to wash out. It took me years to get my mind all straightened out after college, and I traveled in surprisingly right-leaning circles.
But I will augment KoGo’s history lessons with strong doses of truth and context. She needs to understand — in a way that I slowly learned — that what teacher says isn’t always the truth. A modern student must identify the blurry areas, so she realizes a twist of the lens might reveal something different.
2+2 will always = 4. But there are more subjective areas a student needs to understand are up for discussion, and where teacher might not provide all the information necessary for a fully-informed discussion.