The importance of teaching history
In his Forum post, Red Jahncke argues that progressive education is “mischief.” He buttresses his opinion by misrepresenting the work of “infamous” Professor Ibram X. Kendi, vilifying the NEA and AFT, and making wild and unsubstantiated claims that “the controversial and divisive CRT…and the associated radical ideological theories” are taught at Greenwich. public schools “under cover of darkness”. Allow me to alleviate his concerns.
The study of history, beyond its inherent interest, has always been about criticism and not about “repudiation”. We study history because we love it, and also because we want to learn from it, to improve the present and the future by avoiding the mistakes of the past. But we cannot learn from history if it is not completely true. As a child, I read Landmark books. As an adult, I supplemented my knowledge of what happened by reading scholarly books. It didn’t teach me to “deny” America or Americans – or myself. It opened my eyes to how all parties feel. When I learned, for example, that the Pilgrims found and ate seed corn, that did not make me despise them. Landmark painted quite a different picture – but if we deny that Indians were robbed, how can there be any meaningful discourse or peaceful coexistence with them?