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"History is important. If you don't know history it is as if you were born yesterday. And if you were born yesterday, anybody up there in a position of power can tell you anything, and you have no way of checking up on it."     --- Howard Zinn

"The past is prologue."    --- Shakespeare

If the key reason for teaching history is to inform students of the past so that they will be able to solve the problems of the future, then school textbooks are doing a poor job.

The promotion of progress throughout the textbook encourages publishers to tie together all of the material at the end under the theme of American Idealism.  

This manifests throughout school textbooks in two ways:

1) Because America's pursuit of progress has solved all of our problems, textbooks have to leave out many of the problems facing America in order ito make the end of the book fit into the whole.


2) If there are no problems at the end of the book, then they don’t encourage students to look at the past in order to solve our future problems.

If history textbooks “supplied the tools for projection or examples of causation in the past… then they would encourage students to think about what they have just spent a year learning” and allow them ways in which to solve problems instead of ignoring them.[1] It is with this idea in mind that wehave humbly attempted to correct the omissions as we see them and provide a framework for classroom instruction based on our analysis.

 

 

 

Our goal then is to look at problems in our future and analyze them the same way we have analzyed history, this is Loewen's suggestion for the end of the book. We took two subjects Immigration and Global Warming and analyzed them critically.