analysis of the great textbook wars

analysis of the great textbook wars - Burgess 1 Textbooks...

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Burgess 1 Textbooks are to learning as water is to living. Textbooks provide students and curious people with an endless supply of information. Although they are a crucial part of anyones educa- tion, textbooks have been causing a lot of controversy lately. According to an article posted in The Week entitled “The Great Textbook Wars”, conservatives and liberals are having a meta- phoric ‘tug-of-war’ over the information put into textbooks. Textbooks are representations of formal education. Formal education is a construction of knowledge, and rather than being either conservative-pleasing or liberal-pleasing, it should be focused on encouraging social diversity. The main ‘battle’ about what information goes into popular textbooks is between conser- vative and liberal thought. Conservatives believe that textbooks, “reflect a liberal bias, promot- ing multiculturalism, secular values, and a negative interpretation of American history, at the ex- pense of Christian values, the importance of free enterprise, and a belief in American exception- alism (“The Great Textbook Wars”).” History textbooks based on conservative thought would typically support war and warfare spending. In opposition, liberals believe that conservatives have been producing textbooks that only suit their prejudices, and most importantly ignoring the concept of evolution. Liberal history textbooks would be supportive of welfare and welfare spending. A good textbook is one that includes majority facts, and less opinion, and when opin- ion is stated, it is duly noted that it is just that. In Texas, a main hub of textbook consuming and curriculum establishing, the conservat- ives won the ‘battle,’ by having the majority in the 15-member state board of education. Board member Cynthia Dunbar said that Texas’s curriculum and all the text books included in it were going to establish that the United States is a “Christian land governed by Christian principles.” For example, the board decided that Thomas Jefferson, the creator of the idea of the “wall of separation” between church and state, should no longer be classified as a primary historical fig-
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Burgess 2 ure, for that sole reason. Also, President Ronald Reagan would have to be presented as a nation- al hero because of his “conservative resurgence in the 1980s and 1990s.” We all know that Pres- ident Ronald Reagan had a lot of bad attributes about him, and to not note them is misleading.
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analysis of the great textbook wars - Burgess 1 Textbooks...

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