Dr. Andrea Johnson
29 September 2014
Question 1: What is your interpretation of the statement on page six that includes, “…indoctrinate blind patriotism…”
Answer 1: In Lies My Teacher Told Me, James W. Loewen asserts that American history texts are harmful to students because of nationalism and books that “…are often muddled by the conflicting desires to promote inquiry and to indoctrinate blind patriotism” (Loewen 6). Loewen argues that American history texts are failing to teach students the “the bad, and the ugly” truths along with the good regarding our nation’s growth from its initial discovery and colonization by European countries seeking wealth, land, and knowledge, to the present day. Instead of learning the value of the entire truths, students are reading in their textbooks chosen by the State and Local Board of Educations the biased truth as politicians and religious leaders, all who have their own agenda to promote, want them to know. He asserts that part of this agenda is to “promote nationalism” by not encouraging critical thinking and further research by students.
I understand the author’s stance. Despite growing up in a small, conservative military town, I did not experience the indoctrination Loewen is warning us about. In my experience, the teachers always went outside the text and incorporated materials that provided a clear, accurate picture of history. They taught us to think critically, identify bias, and