Published on Monday, July 17, 2006 by

Florida’s Fear of History: New Law Undermines Critical Thinking
by Robert Jensen

One way to measure the fears of people in power is by the intensity of their quest for certainty and control over knowledge.

By that standard, the members of the Florida Legislature marked themselves as the folks most terrified of history in the United States when last month they took bold action to become the first state to outlaw historical interpretation in public schools. In other words, Florida has officially replaced the study of history with the imposition of dogma and effectively outlawed critical thinking.

Although U.S. students are typically taught a sanitized version of history in which the inherent superiority and benevolence of the United States is rarely challenged, the social and political changes unleashed in the 1960s have opened up some space for a more honest accounting of our past. But even these few small steps taken by some teachers toward collective critical self-reflection are too much for many Americans to bear.

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No Comments to “Darkness growing in the Sunshine State”

  • One might remember if they didn’t have the vacume of the memory hole turned up so high, that it was the bad results of too much “sanitized” history, that caused the change in the first place.

    In the Korean War captured GI’s were subjected to “truth Blasting”[ told all the bad things that US History books left out], then allowed to verify those facts as they wished.

    AS the facts were true they were able to verify them and get so disgusted that some 60 of them turned coat and joined the North Koreans. It was a horrendous story at the time.

    As a result they set out to immunise students from Communism, and so took great pains to point out the techniques of propaganda, and at least a quick splash on the negative highlights.

    It worked too well as I am able to see the Repugs doing the Communists one better. Now again we are setting ourselves up for the same thing again

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