Teaching What Really Happened How to Avoid the Tyranny of Textbooks and Get Students Excited about Doing History

ISBN-10: 0807749915

ISBN-13: 9780807749913

Edition: 2009

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Book details

List price: $25.95
Copyright year: 2009
Publisher: Teachers College Press, Teachers College, Columbia University
Publication date: 5/1/2010
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 264
Size: 6.25" wide x 9.25" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.836
Language: English

Social scientist and professor James Loewen is an outspoken critic of "feel-good" history. In his book "Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American Textbook Got Wrong" (1996) he debunks the myths and exposes the omissions he feels are taught in the nation's high schools. Disturbed by his college students' lack of knowledge of history and concerned about minority misconceptions, Loewen spent two years at the Smithsonian analyzing 12 leading history texts and 11 years writing this best-selling indictment of history teaching. Loewen believes that controversy has been removed from classrooms in favor of blind patriotism. "Any history book that celebrates, rather than examines, our heritage has the by-product, intended or not, of alienating all those in the 'out group', those who have not become affluent, and denies them a tool for understanding their own group's lack of success." Loewen's other books include ""Mississippi: Conflict and Change" (1974, rev. 1980), a revisionist history of the state written with a coalition of students and faculty at Tougaloo College, Mississippi; "Mississippi Chinese: Between Black and White" (1971), a study of this minority's role in society; "Social Science in the Courtroom" (1983), based on the author's experiences as an expert witness in civil rights cases and "The Truth About Columbus: A Subversively True Poster Book For A Dubiously Celebratory Occasion" (1992). In addition, the author is a frequent contributor to professional publications, sometimes under the pseudonym James Lyons. James W. Loewen was born February 6, 1942 in Decatur, Illinois and was educated at Carleton College (B.A., 1964) and Harvard University (M.A, 1967; Ph.D., 1968). He was a sociologist and teacher specializing in race relations at Tougaloo College, Mississippi from 1968 to 1974.

Series Foreword
Acknowledgments
Introduction: History as Weapon
A Lesson from Mississippi
A Lesson from Vermont
Why History Is Important to Students
Why History Is Important to Society
The Tyranny of Coverage
Forests, Trees, and Twigs
Winnowing Trees
Deep Thinking
Relevance to the Present
Skills
Getting the Principal on Board
Coping with Reasons to Teach "As Usual"
You Are Not Alone
Bringing Students Along
Expecting Excellence
Racial and Socioeconomic Characteristics Affect Teacher Expectations
Research on Teacher Expectations
"Standardized" Tests Affect Teacher Expectations
Statistical Processes Cause Cultural Bias in "Standardized" Tests
Social Class Affects "Standardized" Test Scores
Internalizing Expectations
Teachers and "Standardized" Tests
Teachers Can Create Their Own Expectations
Historiography
A Tale of Two Eras
The Civil Rights Movement, Cognitive Dissonance, and Historiography
Studying Bad History
Other Ways to Teach Historiography
Doing History
Doing History to Critique History
Writing a Paper
How and When Did People Get Here?
A Crash Course on Archeological Issues
Presentism
Today's Religions and Yesterday's History
Conclusions About Presentism
Chronological Ethnocentrism
Primitive to Civilized
Costs of Chronological Ethnocentrism
Why Did Europe Win?
The Important Questions
Looking Around the World
Explaining Civilization
Making the Earth Round
Why Did Columbus Win?
The Columbian Exchange
Ideological Results of Europe's Victory
Cultural Diffusion and Syncretism Continue
The $24 Myth
Deconstructing the $24 Myth
A More Accurate Story
Functions of the Fable
Overt Racism?
Additional Considerations
Teaching Slavery
Relevance to the Present
Hold a Meta-Conversation
Slavery and Racism
Four Key Problems of Slave Life
Additional Problems in Teaching the History of Slavery
Why Did the South Secede?
Teachers Votes
Teaching Against the Myth
Examining Textbooks
Genesis of the Problem
The Nadir
Contemporary Relevance
Onset of the Nadir
Historical Background
Underlying Causes of the Nadir of Race Relations
Students Can Reveal the Nadir Themselves
During the Nadir, Whites Became White
End of the Nadir
Implications for Today
Afterword: Still More Ways to Teach History
Notes
Index
About the Author
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