Textbooks in the Classroom

What are we teaching our students?

Words are worth a Million Ducks

In today's textbooks, our students are learning something very different than the truth. They are being introduced to a learning environment where they are reading material suited for gentle ears. Students are exposed to text that is dictated by a group referred to as the "The Language Police" according to Diane Ravitch's 2004 book. In her book, Ms. Ravitch shares that political groups and textbook publishing companies first began their mission in the 1970's in order to censor text by removing words that were racial or sexist. The Language Police has since expanded this censorship to any topic that might offend a specific group or geographical location. As a society, I feel we are cheating our students out of knowledge and experiences that they should receive from learning. It should be expected that facts and history are not always sunshine and rainbows. But might be dark, painful, insightful, motivating and enriching. It is up to each individual and their families to stand strong on their beliefs and grasp an understanding and appreciation of all text whether comfortable or not. While some words might be too graphic or detailed, that is where age appropriate curriculum development is necessary.

Below are a few links to expand on this topic:

What are we Doing to Today's Education?

Not only is education being changed and challenged by words, but it is being influenced by several advocacy groups that hope to change education for their groups good. Everyone wants to force their issue into schools to help formulate students thinking into what they think is ok. However, I do not feel it is the public schools responsibility to make sure students are taught about personal beliefs for these groups. Rather, our students should be taught items that will prepare them for their futures by presenting history, science, math, reading, writing and additional skills required to be successful in their endeavors. By removing "sensitive" materials from text and teaching students to promote advocacy groups, we will not provide an education to our students free of pressure and agendas. We instead are removing the innocence of education and formulating a strict education dictated by government and officials driven by advocacy groups and publishing companies.