Lies My Teacher Told Me- James W. Loewen



What is wrong with the way History is taught in schools and textbooks?

"We begin to get a handle on this question by noting that the teaching of history, more than any other discipline, is dominated by textbooks. And students are right: the books are boring. The stories that history textbooks tell are predictable; every problem has already been solved or is about to be solved. Textbooks exclude conflict or real suspense. They leave out anything that might reflect badly upon our national character. When they try for drama, they achieve only melodrama, because readers know that everything will turn out fine in the end... No wonder students lose interest." (Loewen 2)

In other words, students are disinterested in the subject because anything remotely controversial or worth discussing is left out. Teachers are left scrambling to make history interesting using these books as their students' knowledge base.

To help assuage this problem, we have created this Wiki as a supplement to this textbook. Each chapter represents an element of U.S. History that has been neglected in the classroom.
We have created this supplementary material to pair each chapter with an element of history.

Please peruse the following chapters on the left-side menu and discover our suggestions to help
your students think critically and become involved with the material.

As you are looking over the chapters, please keep in mind some of the following overreaching questions:
  • How does learning History define us?
  • Why is it important to view History from more than one perspective?
  • If history is written by the winners, what would the losers say?
  • How should true progress be viewed?
  • What does our portrayal of our nation's history reveal about our culture?
  • How does conflict in history help us discover knowledge and implications for our own lives?

"Once you have learned how to ask questions - relevant and appropriate and substantial questions - you have learned how to learn and no one can keep you from leaning whatever you want or need to know." Neil Postman and Charles Weingartner