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Lies My Teacher Told Me: Chapters 1 and 2

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Allie Mike

on 15 April 2014

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Transcript of Lies My Teacher Told Me: Chapters 1 and 2

Main Themes
Those who write our history can do as they please with it. We are taught to believe whatever we read in our history books, when most of the time there is something that had been changed to a person's liking and we are never told the whole story. We were taught that Helen Keller was blind and deaf, and despite her disability, she learned to speak and became a civilized woman (and that's why she should be a role model). We were taught that Columbus was a great explorer who sailed the sea and changed history (for the better).
Assessment of Strengths and Weaknesses
The author provides excellent arguments. We should not believe everything we read about in our history and we try to learn everything we can about who is made to look like the hero.

But because of the fact that everyone has been lied to over time about past histories, Loewen cannot totally blame the authors of textbooks, nor can he provide a perfect solution.
Relevance Today
The history that we still learn about in our textbooks are sugarcoated and we are taught to think in one dimension. We are taught not to question our history because it is told by educated white men and women. We as students and as a society rarely get to hear any other sides of the story because they come from non white educated women and men.
To this day after taking the land from the native americans we still try to take away what little they have by keeping them repressed on reservations this land was once theirs but now the white man gets to control the land that was once rightfully theirs.
Quiz Questions
Who was the biggest jerk in all of history?!
Chapter 1: Handicapped by History: The Process of Hero-making
People like Helen Keller are only remembered how we want to remember them. Those who we want to claim as heroes typically have certain qualities blown out of proportion (Helen Keller's blindness and deafness being the only thing remembered, being used to encourage children), while what they worked so hard towards is forgotten. The same thing goes for those who are not remembered for who they truly are, like Woodrow Wilson, who was a bigoted, racist man who was very much disliked by the general public.
In Conclusion...
Even though we are being taught by educated individuals from textbooks that tell one side of the story, that doesn't mean you shouldn't question our history and the individuals that are telling the story. There will always be more than one perspective and just because its not from the wining side that doesn't mean we should just forget other perspectives. Text book writers should not reduce the lives of people, leave out facts, and turn them into bland one dimensioned individuals. If they are going to teach us our history and the history of those who made this country, they should include the good and the bad.
The Thesis of our Presentation is:
For centuries our history has been twisted by those who are labeled the winners because they have the power to.

William F. Buckley Jr.-
History is the polemics of the victor.
Chapter 2: 1493: The True Importance of Christopher Columbus
Christopher Columbus was a horrible person. But we are taught that he was the first person to discover America and that he proved that the Earth is round, and thus he is converted into a hero by textbook authors. Most of the information we learn is portrayed differently by different people, and his deeds vary from textbook to textbook depending on the author's stance. In reality, he was a man who enslaved thousands of people, killed a majority, and was incredibly racist.

"In fourteen hundred and ninety-three, Columbus stole all he could see"-
updated traditional verse
Lies My Teacher Told Me: Chapters 1 and 2

Along with supporting women's suffrage Helen Keller was also known for being a _______________?
Was Columbus the first to visit the Americas?
What race was Woodrow Wilson openly hostile to during his presidency.
More than often who gets to tell the stories in history.
Full transcript