The teaching of history in our schools has taken a very dramatic and destructive turn in recent years. History education has been poor for decades now, but it was always generally geared toward the teaching of facts and content. Even if the education system did a poor job teaching that content, history instruction itself was still more or less a straightforward presentation of information. That is no longer the case. It has become something wholly unrecognizable, designed to flip history on its head.
When I first started teaching in public schools, I vividly recall all the Social Studies teachers at our department meeting talking about how Social Studies teachers are the reformers and activists of the teaching profession. They joked about how whenever there is an issue with administration, it is always the Social Studies teachers who start the fight and bring about change. They made the point that we (Social Studies teachers) simply just know more than everybody else. We were trained in history, civics, and government. We understand the intricacies of social structures and transformational techniques. We know how things should be, and we are best suited for the job of making them that way. I didn’t really think anything of it back then, as a new teacher. I thought it was weird how elitist they were; how proud they were to be agitators. But other than that, I went about just trying to teach my classes the best I could.
Since then, I have met many more Social Studies teachers, at many different public schools, and they all have a similar attitude. They see it as their duty to make society in the way they think is best. And since the overwhelming majority of teachers in the country are liberals…well, let’s just say it’s not a shock that our society is advancing rapidly to the left.
Social Studies courses are also unique among curricular disciplines in their power to change the direction of society. The umbrella term “Social Studies” includes courses in History, Government, Civics, Economics, and Psychology. More than any others, these courses are the most influential in shaping the beliefs and behaviors of our children because it is in Social Studies courses that children wrestle with the concepts and ideas that will determine their understandings of the world and of each other which they will carry with them throughout the rest of their lives. This is where the war for the hearts and minds of our children is being waged, and it is where the values that parents are trying to instill will either be reinforced or torn down.
Let’s take a look at some of the ways in which Social Studies is used as an activist tool to invert history and advance false and destructive ideologies. First, there are the more overt ways:
· BLM and pride flags in classrooms
· Howard Zinn’s aggressively anti-American screed A People’s History of the United States
· Michael Moore’s ahistorical, starkly one-sided “documentaries”
· The 1619 Project
· Privilege walks
Most of you know about these. You may not know how ubiquitous they are, but you are aware of them. Schools do not try to hide them. There are other ways, however, that are harder to spot.
I am going to share with you a few very specific examples that I have witnessed first-hand; examples that are not so overt, but equally as damaging.
Among the more disturbing trends in Social Studies courses is the advancement of the idea that women should reject their traditional roles in society; that somehow if a woman chooses to embrace her role as mother, that she is somehow demeaning herself and throwing away her potential. This, of course, is nothing new in our broader society, but most people would not believe how completely pervasive it exists in our schools as well. It is advanced just subtly enough so that students are brainwashed into it, but if you are not really looking for it, you might never notice it in your child’s lessons.
In Social Studies classes across America, everything is analyzed through a feminist lens, including the study Classical Greek civilizations. In one particular lesson that I was privy to, the teacher used carefully cherry-picked readings which were designed to advance the desired progressive doctrines about each civilization. Then, students were asked to choose which society they would prefer to live in:
Sparta, where women can be just like men (war-like and promiscuous)
or Athens, where women are expected to embrace their role as mother and wife, and are valued for their importance in the raising of good citizens
I happened to be in the class the day this lesson was being taught. Every single girl in the class chose Sparta, which is exactly the response the lesson was designed to produce. That is not as surprising as you might think. They have been taught for years that raising a family is the work of an evil patriarchy trying to keep them down. Boys and girls are both taught in school from a very young age to reject their traditional roles and responsibilities in society. This particular lesson, in a 9th grade class of 14-year olds, was meant to reinforce that, to make sure the conditioning took. The teacher must have been very happy to see that it did. I've attached a picture of the final piece of this lesson in the References section at the end of this article.
Social Studies teachers are also still using a piece of revisionist history called “The Worst Mistake in the History of the Human Race” by Jared Diamond. This article that was published in Discover magazine back in 1999. In it, the author depicts the development of agriculture (and by extension the very existence of civilization) as being the devil that brought us all the evils that exist in modernity. This article has been challenged by dozens of scientists for making grand leaps in interpretation, drawing overly broad conclusions from small data sets, blatant plagiarism, and overstating the significance of evidence. So, why do teachers still use it? Because it supports their own attitudes and beliefs about society and religion. The article advances the radical idea that civilization is “a catastrophe from which we have never recovered” full of “gross social and sexual inequality”. Diamond asserts that science has wiped away “our smug self-image”, and has taught us that “we weren't specially created by God”.
Why wouldn’t activist liberal teachers use this article in their instruction? It plays right into their desired narrative. It divides society into the haves vs the have-nots. This intentional inversion of history is used by progressives (aka revisionists/deconstructionists) to explain all the ills of the modern world, including the horrors of monogamy and motherhood. I must stop and take a moment here to point out that this is right out of the Marxist playbook. It was Karl Marx's collaborator, Fredrich Engels, who claimed in 1884 that agriculture was the source of inequality between the sexes. Engels argued for a reversion to a mythical time, before the development of agriculture, when our ancestors lived in a communist utopia and the family unit did not exist.
“the first condition for the liberation of the wife is to bring the whole family back into public industry, and that this in turn demands that the characteristic of the monogamous family as the economic unit of society will be abolished” (Engels, pp. 137-8)
There are consequences to inverting history. There are consequences to allowing a government entity to take over the raising and teaching of children. The supplanting of Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples’ Day is a direct consequence of the failure of the education system. As is the breakdown of the family, the BLM riots, the toppling of statues, the nation’s deep political divisions, increased racial hatred, soaring crime rates in our cities, and the denial of our Christian founding. These are all the result of our education system directly attacking the foundations of our society, consistently and systematically for generations.
What foundations I am talking about? I am talking about our national shared values and principles. Obviously, we could make a much longer list, but these are some of the more familiar ones.
A common set of shared values and principles are the glue that hold large and diverse republics like ours together. They unite a people on a deeper level, beyond differences in skin color, religion, and cultural background. Every nation on earth has a set of these of their own, unique to them, that make them who they are. And every nation actively instills them in their children in order to preserve and advance their society.
We also have a set. I would argue, the greatest set devised by humankind so far. We get them primarily from three places: American Founding principles, Judeo-Christian values, and Western thought.
By inverting history, not only has our education system practically stopped advancing these Three Pillars entirely, but very often it actively tries to tear them down, denigrating them in the eyes of our children through all the ways we have outlined in this article and many more. For this reason, we can confidently say...
THE EDUCATION SYSTEM IS FAILING US
We have allowed it to churn out generation after generation of citizens who have no understanding of their roles and responsibilities in society, and who have no connection to each other or to their community. This does great harm to our children. It leaves them lost and adrift in a country they do not understand, do not respect, and have no ability to truly thrive in. It is no wonder they are so susceptible to the predations of gender ideology, Marxism, CRT, and suicidal ideation. We have given them nothing to hold on to; nothing to ground them to the social institutions and traditions which are meant to provide them with meaning and purpose.
At The True Corrective, our mission is simple: To restore our national shared values and principles by empowering parents to take back authority and control over their child’s education, out of the hands of the progressive activist teachers who seek to tear those values down and twist our children’s minds against them.
We provide public and private school parents with material to help them directly counter and combat the false narratives and damaging ideologies their children are being subjected to in the classroom, and we provide homeschool parents with the highest quality instruction built to bring them and their children together in the advancement and celebration of our shared values and principles. All of our instruction is designed to be eminently teachable by all parents, regardless of their own level of expertise or educational background. Parents are the first and most essential teacher of children. They are the ones who should be instilling values and principles in them, not us, or any other teacher. The best thing we can do is help them.
The name we chose for our effort was very carefully selected. It comes from a letter Thomas Jefferson wrote to William Jarvis in 1820 in which he talks about the capacity of the American people for constitutional self-government. In short, he says that when the people do not exercise their capacity for self-governance properly, the answer is not to take it away from them. The answer is to educate them better. Jefferson calls this “the true corrective of constitutional abuses”. We would agree.
"the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education." ~Thomas Jefferson, 1820
There’s no denying we are witnessing a brazen and transparent effort in the culture to undermine our nation’s founding principles, the values of Western civilization, and the moral undergirding of Judeo-Christian thought. We must fight these attacks at every turn. The stakes are too high. If we fail to educate our children in the shared values and principles that bind us together as a people, we don’t just fail them, we fail our Republic.
References Caldwell, John C., and Bruce K. Caldwell. “Was There a Neolithic Mortality Crisis?” Journal of Population Research, vol. 20, no. 2, 2003, pp. 153–168., https://doi.org/10.1007/bf03031849. Diamond, Jared. “The Worst Mistake in the History of the Human Race.” Discover Magazine, Discover Magazine, 10 Apr. 2023, https://www.discovermagazine.com/planet-earth/the-worst-mistake-in-the-history-of-the-human-race. Engels, Friedrich. The Origin of the Family, Private Property, and the State. Introd. by Evelyn Reed. Pathfinder Press, 1973.
This article also appeared on Apologia - Award Winning K-12 Homeschool Curricula