History Textbooks
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11-05-2016, 12:18 PM
History Textbooks
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/06/us/deb...&smtyp=cur

There's a very interesting battle going on over textbooks in California right now. The California Board of Education sets standards that school textbooks have to meet. They're currently debating whether or not the word to use the word "India" to mean anything other than the current nation-state of India. In other words, the tradition is to talk about the history of the Indian subcontinent as the history of ancient India, but there is an argument that that should instead be called the history of South Asia (so as to also include Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Nepal). This change would affect 6th and 7th-grade textbooks.

The controversy led to the #donteraseindia social media campaign. The case is that removing the word India erases an entire history of a distinct people. And I agree with that argument, especially because to change from India to South Asia is to endorse the idea that the only way to characterize a people is if they have a sovereign nation-state—that "India" did not exist before 1947 and the people who lived there were a loose collection of disparate people.

So this is a fascinating debate on its own, but it got me thinking about the things I learned from textbooks when I was 12 or 13. I don't have a very clear memory of it, but I'm sure what I read back then shaped the way I think about things now.

Can you think of something you read in a textbook as a kid that just seems totally wrong now?
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11-05-2016, 12:24 PM
RE: History Textbooks
(11-05-2016 12:18 PM)GenerationWhy Wrote:  ...
Can you think of something you read in a textbook as a kid that just seems totally wrong now?

Yup.

Something about Murika being a democracy and the home of the brave and the land of the free.

In hindsight, it seems so ridiculous.

Ah, well.

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