3 February 2022
The History and English high school curricula need to change because they are no longer applicable to this generation. For example, whitewashed history, books, and school curriculums. The English curriculum features very questionable books such as To Kill a Mockingbird, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Catcher in the Rye, Brave New World, and Animal Farm, all of which include racist, sexual, and derogatory remarks. History textbooks have been rewritten hundreds of times, how many lies will be used to suppress the voices in our new generation?
Every student has different views on what should and shouldn’t be taught in our curriculums. However, historical events have shifted from an oppressed group of people fighting alone, to multiple groups assisting them. In light of modern movements standing up for Black-Americans, Palestinian freedom, Asian-Americans, and Native Americans, the curriculum needs to adapt to include their experiences. Today’s social events have brought more people of different cultures together. Unprecedented developments have occurred during the last century, resulting in an even greater change in the classroom. “I think it would help to have more works that reflect the diversity of our school system,” said Mr. Stuppy, an English teacher at Atholton.
Instead of thinking locally, our schools should think globally. Instead of spending years teaching whitewashed American history, schools should teach about history globally. “I’ve actually gone through and sat and counted the chapters that were dedicated to Europe, then I made my students do it. And then counted the chapters that were on Asia, Africa, South America and it wasn’t even close,” said Mr. White, a history teacher at Atholton. “If you’re focusing on part of the globe in world history. Then you’re leaving out other parts of the globe. One group that was continually left out are Native Americans, they were here first”. Students need more knowledge of social events that will make an impact on their adult lives.
Everybody knows about the World Trade Center tragedy, when JFK was assassinated, the civil rights movement, and other huge events that happened. Yes, those historical events should be taught, but our education shouldn’t stop there. Aretha Franklin was a massive part that she played. She was a teenager when she embarked on a cross-country tour with King, preaching nonviolence in the civil rights struggle. Her music was used to inspire people to fight by her side, she bailed many innocent protesters out of jail, and yet, textbooks don’t talk about her. It’s only about MLK’s famous I Have a Dream speech, but not the people who helped him. Like Rev. Franklin (Aretha’s dad) who was a colleague of MLK. Two months before the 1963 March on Washington, C.L. Franklin led a freedom march in Detroit, walking with King. No one is aware of it because it’s not taught in the curriculum.
The world around us is changing; the most important argument for a shift in education is based on the need for information. This is why curricula must evolve in response to a considerably higher demand for information. We no longer live as small, individual communities. We are a small part of a much larger planet, and with a bigger globe comes a bigger knowledge base.
“Your generation is more aware of the world around them. Whereas, my generation in the’90s, we just expected things to go well. We took all those things for granted, we thought ‘eh things are good’ and things would just stay good-slash-positive. But I think your generation again is calling for more change in all aspects of life, and you’re more involved in the world around you,” said Mr. White. “AND also, your music sucks.”