Teaching What Really Happened: How to Avoid the Tyranny of Textbooks and Get Students Excited About Doing

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2009-10-30
  • Publisher: Teachers College Pr

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In this follow-up to his landmark bestseller, Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong, Loewen once again takes history textbooks to task for their perpetuations of myth and their lack of awareness of today’s multicultural student audience (not to mention the astonishing number of facts” they just got plain wrong). How did people get here?” Why did Europe win?” In Teaching What Really Happened, Loewen goes beyond the usual textbook-dominated social studies course to illuminate a wealth of intriguing, often hidden facts about America’s past. Calling for a new way to teach history, this book will help teachers move beyond traditional textbooks to tackle difficult but important topics like conflicts with Native Americans, slavery, and racial oppression. Throughout, Loewen shows time and again how teaching what really happened” not only connects better with all kinds of students, it better prepares those students to be tomorrow’s citizens

Author Biography

James W. Loewen is the bestselling author of Lies My Teacher Told Me and Lies Across America. He taught race relations for twenty years at the University of Vermont and gives workshops for teacher groups around the United States. He has been an expert witness in more than 50 civil rights, voting rights, and employment cases. Visit the author's website: http://sundown.afro.illinois,.edu

Table of Contents

Series Forewordp. ix
Acknowledgmentsp. xv
Introduction: History as Weaponp. 1
A Lesson from Mississippip. 2
A Lesson from Vermontp. 7
Why History Is Important to Studentsp. 10
Why History Is Important to Societyp. 15
The Tyranny of Coveragep. 19
Forests, Trees, and Twigsp. 19
Winnowing Treesp. 21
Deep Thinkingp. 23
Relevance to the Presentp. 25
Skillsp. 28
Getting the Principal on Boardp. 30
Coping with Reasons to Teach "As Usual"p. 32
You Are Not Alonep. 36
Bringing Students Alongp. 38
Expecting Excellencep. 42
Racial and Socioeconomic Characteristics Affect Teacher Expectationsp. 42
Research on Teacher Expectationsp. 47
"Standardized" Tests Affect Teacher Expectationsp. 49
Statistical Processes Cause Cultural Bias in "Standardized" Testsp. 51
Social Class Affects "Standardized" Test Scoresp. 54
Internalizing Expectationsp. 56
Teachers and "Standardized" Testsp. 58
Teachers Can Create Their Own Expectationsp. 60
Historiographyp. 68
A Tale of Two Erasp. 68
The Civil Rights Movement, Cognitive Dissonance, and Historiographyp. 71
Studying Bad Historyp. 76
Other Ways to Teach Historiographyp. 80
Doing Historyp. 83
Doing History to Critique Historyp. 83
Writing a Paperp. 87
How and When Did People Get Here?p. 103
A Crash Course on Archeological Issuesp. 105
Presentismp. 109
Today's Religions and Yesterday's Historyp. 110
Conclusions About Presentismp. 112
Chronological Ethnocentrismp. 113
Primitive to Civilizedp. 114
Costs of Chronological Ethnocentrismp. 116
Why Did Europe Win?p. 123
The Important Questionsp. 123
Looking Around the Worldp. 124
Explaining Civilizationp. 127
Making the Earth Roundp. 128
Why Did Columbus Win?p. 131
The Columbian Exchangep. 133
Ideological Results of Europe's Victoryp. 136
Cultural Diffusion and Syncretism Continuep. 137
The $24 Mythp. 141
Deconstructing the $24 Mythp. 141
A More Accurate Storyp. 145
Functions of the Fablep. 147
Overt Racism?p. 150
Additional Considerationsp. 153
Teaching Slaveryp. 155
Relevance to the Presentp. 155
Hold a Meta-Conversationp. 159
Slavery and Racismp. 162
Four Key Problems of Slave Lifep. 165
Additional Problems in Teaching the History of Slaveryp. 170
Why Did the South Secede?p. 175
Teachers Votesp. 175
Teaching Against the Mythp. 179
Examining Textbooksp. 183
Genesis of the Problemp. 186
The Nadirp. 189
Contemporary Relevancep. 189
Onset of the Nadirp. 192
Historical Backgroundp. 194
Underlying Causes of the Nadir of Race Relationsp. 195
Students Can Reveal the Nadir Themselvesp. 197
During the Nadir, Whites Became Whitep. 200
End of the Nadirp. 204
Implications for Todayp. 206
Afterword: Still More Ways to Teach Historyp. 209
Notesp. 213
Indexp. 237
About the Authorp. 248
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