Lies My Teacher Told Me - Chapter 11, Summary & Analysis

James Loewen
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Chapter 11, Summary and Analysis

"Why is History Taught Like This?" sums up why textbooks are filled with irrelevancies and errors and avoid anything that might help students understand present or future concerns. Only the two inquiry textbooks include footnotes, while six narratives books even lack a bibliography. Clones are issued yearly with new authors named, but little or no change in content.

Textbooks publishers appeal to students, historians, education professors, and teachers, but chiefly to the interest groups and the public whose ire they seek to avoid. In 1925, the American Legion says ideal textbooks must inspire patriotism and optimism, and give equal space to each state and region. This remains the rule, despite Engle and Ochoa's 1986 call rather for selective, in-depth presentations, drawn from across the social sciences, humanities, and the students' own experience, confronting them with important questions not readily answered.

Textbook authors cannot...

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