More news on: Doug Abrams

Professor Abrams Critiques High Schools’ Teaching of American History

December 1st, 2015

Doug Abrams

In his new article published in the Texas Journal on Civil Liberties and Civil Rights, Professor Doug Abrams critiques the way many high schools teach sensitive topics in American history.

The article, “Reforming High School American History Curricula: What Publicized Student Intolerance Can Teach Policymakers,” describes three recent publicized incidents. High school students publicly belittled lynching and the Trail of Tears, evidently without understanding the episodes’ painful historical significance for their inhumanity. National surveys indicate that high school American history classes frequently sanitize or avoid sensitive topics that might cause local complaints, protests or even book banning.

Professor Abrams writes that high school curricula and textbooks should not shrink from frank classroom dialog about past tragedies. He quotes historian Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr.: “Honest history is the weapon of freedom” because “the strength of history in a free society is its capacity for self-correction.

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