“We won’t get those new books for two more years,” laments Morrison, who teaches in Manchester, Mo., near St. Louis.
To a large extent, this leaves secondary and even grammar school teachers relying on their own wiles to incorporate 9/11 and the events that have followed in rapid fire order into the classroom.
“The integration is challenging,” Morrison says about bringing Sept. 11 material into her lessons. Morrison says that last year she juxtaposed the Mexican revolutionary Pancho Villa with Al Qaida’s Osama bin Laden. “Would Villa be considered a terrorist today,” Morrison asked her class?
History is more important than this. History is more important than a teacher’s personal agenda. If we can’t rely on teachers to present facts rather than opinion who can we rely on?
Which isn’t to say that history is a collection of numbers and facts. It is much more than that. But it is important to look at history objectivly and without bias. Coming to the argument with many preconceived notions and biases, as these teachers appear to have, does nothing for the students. In fact, it hurts them. History becomes meaningless if it changes to fit a bias. Orwell taught us that lesson. History is written by the victor, but we must make sure that it is also true. If not, then we have lost it.
“Obvious parallels exist especially when looking at World War II.” Some are well-trod ground: 9/11 and Pearl Harbor, for instance. Others are more subtle. For instance, Chase says she asked students to compare the internment of Japanese-Americans in the 1940s to the increased scrutiny Arab-Americans have come in for following 9/11.
At the same time, it is important to look at history from all sides. America is not perfect. But is it really fair to compare increased scrutiny to the Japanese interrnment? Did FDR come out days after Pearl Harbor and urge Americans to not lump all Japanese together? I don’t remember hearing that speach.
This is why I want to teach. I think that many teachers have lost their way in their zeal. There is far too much emphasis on groups and collectivism in schools today. There is far too much PCness in schools today. There are far too many biases in schools today. And far too little honest teaching. History transcendes politics. At least it should. If it doesn’t, we are in danger of losing it.
via USS Clueless