Two days ago an article was published in the New York Times entitled "To Shape Young Palestinians, Hamas Creates Its Own Textbooks." The article details the creation of a new textbook that was created by the Islamist Hamas movement and which will become the predominant text taught in Gaza (NOT in the West Bank). The textbook does not recognize modern Israel or mention the Oslo Peace Accords that the country signed with the Palestine Liberation Organization in the 1990s. Textbooks have been a point of contention in the Israeli-Palestinain conflict for years. "Education" is one of the most powerful means for cultivating a sense of nationalism. How have textbooks contributed to a sense of nationalism in the United States? Share your thoughts!
It's hard to say - it's also hard to get a sense of what textbooks are being used by specific districts - it is something I would hope districts would make more transparent:
I get an afterschool crowd - and it is very difficult to be able to help students, if I don't know the textbooks they are working with at school.
Often the United States history curriculum engages in justification of wrongs to create feelings of nationalism. For instance, in videos from discovery education (and I am sure many other sources), it will mention that the founders of the United States owned slaves, but that they freed their slaves after their death. For instance in a video clip titled "Plantation Life: A Tour of the Mount Vernon Estate" it states, "In 1799, Mount Vernon had 314 slaves. However, in his will, Washington ordered freedom for all his slaves." Does this justify that Washington owned over 314 people?
Not the same as the Hamas textbook referenced, but do both create a sense of pride in one's country?
An interesting point, Adam. I think this "justification of wrongs" can certainly cultivate a sense of nationalism and even ethnocentrism within a country. Do others agree? This also opens up another good conversation: that there are multiple ways nationalism can be created within a country. So far we see textbooks and justifications of wrongs as potential cultivators of nationalism. Do people see any others? Particularly others that relate to an education system?