Why are the students in US finding history classes insipid? A brief view into the problems history teachers and historical textbooks tend to bear that keep the students from knowing the "truth".

Essay by sindiaHigh School, 10th grade January 2003

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For years the idea of a caring America, where all peoples of different races enjoy liberty and peace, has been passed on to students so as to build a sense of nationalism. "You have a proud heritage. Be all that you can be. The United States is a free and democratic society. " These are the attitudes many history teachers so often tell their students to hold onto as they study the history of the US.

Yet many gruesome historical events are still hidden in obscurity. These teachers encourage students to believe that history is about learning patriotism. Further more, because of the godlike tone the history textbooks employ, it never occurs to most students to question the information they are provided with. Everything is presented as if it were the full picture. The stories and events the teachers tell are predictable because every problem gets solved eventually. Controversial issues found in the past are offered with reasonable explanations to remove the controversy, thus building up the idea that every problem can reach an ideal ending.

Teachers leave out anything that might reflect badly upon the national heroes of America. The content taught to students is muddled by desires to promote blind patriotism. In this case, the raw materials of history are insulated from the students. Rarely do the textbooks nor the teachers quote primary sources such as speeches, logs, or letters that make the past come alive. Instead, they distort and mangle the historical truth.

Many American students, deceived by the idea that America is perfect and a place to pursue freedom and happiness, tend to bear ignorance. The belief that "despite setbacks, the United States has overcome many challenges" fails to help students apply logic to controversial issues in the society they may encounter in their coming years.