'Lies My Teacher Told Me' by James W. Loewen

This text made me extremely emotional. I can identify with the high school students who Loewen talks about – the teens who disregard history because it was painfully boring, dry and wrapped up with unrealistically tidy endings. Having grown up with a mother in education, my home was filled with books. I read often to supplement my white-washed schooling. I was fortunate enough to learn pieces of much of what Loewen reveals in Lies. I seek knowledge constantly, attempt to read avidly and watch documentaries voraciously. Still, I was surprised by much of the information uncovered by Loewen. Still, I found myself feeling robbed of knowledge that I should have received from blinded teachers.

I am saddened by how much of my story has been silenced, and how children of color may never possess adequate knowledge of their histories. Not only do I feel for students of color, but for White students, who without sufficient education of the past, will never question their privilege, thus perpetuating the muted system of racism still woven in our nation’s fabric.

I will not be the type of educator who allows textbooks and stiffly assembled curriculum to dictate what I teach my students. I want my students to love history, in all of its ugliness. I want them to be thirsty for information and beam with excitement when new figures and events are introduced. They will have an appreciation for the wholeness of history.

I encourage everyone to read this text, and others that successfully achieve what the textbooks adopted by our school systems do not - give truth.

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1 Engage in Discourse:

Coach Kwan said...

Reading is one way to enhance one's knowledge, but unfortunately so many fail to realize that in every book lies a bias. In North America, where most of our text is written by westerners tells only half the story and the knowledge being passed along is highly influenced by western philosophies, political views and religion. True education lies in seeing and experiencing this World ourselves in the physical and hearing the historical stories from those who experienced the events themselves. Unfortunately, travelling the World is not part of the economical or political agenda. Make it happen, save up, make the move.

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