Wednesday, September 17, 2003

Here's an interesting article about the state of Social Studies and history education in America. Surprise, surprise- multiculturalism is getting in the way of good history education.

History is mostly about people doing really nasty things to each other, and contrary to what our multiculturalist tendencies in this country tell us to think, some groups of people have been nastier than others at various times. Right now, for example, probably three out of any random four news stories involving someone doing something really evil to someone else will be about a Muslim. Well, that's just at the moment, but there it is. But if that's insensitive, then I can't say it. It doesn't matter whether it's true, just whether it makes us feel good about our multiculturalism. So a lot of those stories might make it into the news media, being less systematic about their selection of material, but it doesn't make it into the multiculturalist history book.

I especially liked the bit about textbooks being bland and uninspiring. I read somewhere at some time that this is the result of most history textbooks being written by committees these days, instead of by an individual author. When an individual writes a book, it may be good or bad, but it's a lot more likely to be interesting since you'll get all of that individual's biases and perspectives on whatever he's writing. Then, you may agree or disagree, but at least there's something to think about. All that being said, I went to a Christian, "outside-of-the-mainstream" school, and I never remember textbooks being anything other than bland and uninspiring. When I homeschool my kids, I can have them read all sorts of fun stuff like Paul Johnson and Florence King.

You know, as I re-read this, it seems like maybe the percentage of bad stories about Muslims has dropped off some in the last year or so. The result of a so-far successful war on terror?

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