Assessing Textbooks for Truth

In high school, American history and social studies students may or may not be learning the truth about the world in which they live. Through the study of textbook evolution, the study of textbook criticism, the close reading of curricular materials, and careful research into an area of interest, you will begin to question the sometimes surprising relationship between commercial educational materials and truth. Through analytical reading of high school material and comparison to scholarly peer reviewed academic sources, you will begin to form opinions on the merit of the material most secondary educators use. Once you discover, research, and write on an area of concern, you will make a persuasive presentation to your class. You will also have the opportunity to learn from guest speakers about the book publishing industry, teacher and teacher-education dynamics, and the challenges book authors face as they strive to render the truth (or, conversely, indoctrinate students to their way of thinking). This class is designed to help you fully grasp the complexities of textbook creation and practice good reading strategies to engage critical thinking of all your course material.

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