Indoctrinating Our Youth: How A U.S. Public School Curriculum Skews the Arab-Israeli Conflict and Islam

Jul 15, 2017 by

By Steven Stotsky – Many students today arrive at college campuses critical of Israel but are not well-informed about the causes of conflict in the Middle East. There is a pressing need to look at what students are taught before they arrive at a college campus.

CAMERA’s monograph, Indoctrinating Our Youth, is a case study of the recent controversy in Newton, Massachusetts over the materials used in a 10th grade World History course on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The study traces the roots of the controversy, recounts key events, and examines in detail the problematic materials used in the course. The study also examined how Islam is presented in a 9th grade World History course.

Much of the materials used to teach about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was sourced from the Internet and reflected journalistic reporting rather than historical scholarship. Students were given an account of the conflict that was riddled with errors and omitted crucial historical or contextual information. In contrast, the materials used to teach about Islam were simplistic and tended to gloss over controversial topics relating to women and minorities in Muslim society.

The use of the World History course to acquaint students with a contemporary contentious issue raises questions about the kind of safeguards we need for teaching contemporary events in the history curriculum. While teachers as professionals should be able to select materials they want to use in their classrooms, a serious problem arises over the increasing number of materials on the Internet that cannot be adequately vetted by the average teacher and that open the classroom to fringe perspectives and the influence of partisan groups or organizations with political agendas.

The monograph offers recommendations on what parents and concerned citizens can do to address the problem of substandard and biased materials in the schools.

Source: Indoctrinating Our Youth: How A U.S. Public School Curriculum Skews the Arab-Israeli Conflict and Islam: Steven Stotsky: 9780966154894: Books

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