Re: Curriculum question "Facing History and Ourselves"
- Subject: Re: Curriculum question "Facing History and Ourselves"
- From: Karen Canty <kscanty@PACBELL.NET>
- Date: Tue, 5 Feb 2002 19:54:41 -0800
- In-reply-to: <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Reply-to: Assessment Reform Network Mailing List <ARN-L@LISTS.CUA.EDU>
- Sender: Assessment Reform Network Mailing List <ARN-L@LISTS.CUA.EDU>
thanks for your thoughts - although what I heard last night from students
and teachers didn't seem to be saying what Spritzler's review is. Since I
haven't read much yet - I've scanned the website and read the materials they
handed out - what my impression was is that they are trying very hard to get
kids to "think" about all sorts of choices/historical events/ etc., not just
the Holocaust (although that was certainly part of what I heard) - The
students talked about having a Cambodian genocide surviror come to speak to
their class; that they have learned how to ask questions about everything;
that they have learned that highly educated people could do terrible things
to people (I think Enron is a perfect example of that piece of learning!),
etc. etc. and the teacher certainly seemed to encourage her students to
challenge her, question her and has felt that she has learned as much from
her students as from the program...One of the students talked about how she
had had 13 years of math, 13 years of English, lots of science and band and
ONLY one class in Social Justice - isn't that what we say we want? Maybe
Facing History has grown and changed since its beginning???
I'm just beginning to do my research because our VP from the middle school
was there as was a couple of teachers so I'm assuming that they're going to
research it too and decide if they want to do something with the curriculum
and I would like to be prepared to listen and have some background to make a
decision - if I'm asked to.
So thanks again for your point of view...
From: Assessment Reform Network Mailing List
Behalf Of Dave Stratman
Sent: Tuesday, February 05, 2002 7:28 PM
Subject: Re: Curriculum question "Facing History and Ourselves"
Rick was good enough to give you the url for John Spritzler's excellent
two part article on Facing History and Ourselves. Here are the first two
paragraphs of John's piece, to give you a sense of what it's about:
"A popular course for middle and high school students about the Holocaust
gives a false account of antisemitism and related events in Nazi-era Germany
carefully designed to drive home the lesson that most people are prone to
bigotry and are a dangerous force. The course, called "Facing History and
Ourselves" (FHAO), is funded by liberal foundations and corporations (and in
the past, grants from the U.S. Department of Education) and wealthy
individuals. It reaches one million students a year in schools across the
country. Foundations and corporate leaders support "Facing History and
Ourselves" because it helps discredit the central idea of democracy -- that
ordinary people are fit to rule society.
"FHAO's main resource book, Facing History and Ourselves: Holocaust and
Human Behavior, is a 576-page collection of short readings and questions
carefully selected to convey a negative view of people by lying about the
facts. Contrary to the views promoted by FHAO, the true facts about Germany
during the Holocaust show that 1) working class Germans fought the Nazis; 2)
antisemitism did not come from ordinary people; and 3) anti-semitism was a
weapon used by Germany's industrial and aristocratic elite to attack not
only the Jewish minority but the entire working class."
Editor, New Democracy
5 Burr Street
Boston, MA 02130
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