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James W. Loewen's (1995) Lies My Teacher Told Me

This often serves to undermine the values and culture of other peoples, leading to prejudice, racism, discrimination and the formation of stereotypes.

As an Iranian immigrant to the U.S. after living for two years in Germany, I am well-aware of the ethnocentrism that exists in U.S. society and people's impressions of 'others' based on stereotypes. Once a woman who was organizing an Arab awareness social event called and asked me if I had a burka, not realizing that question is as offensive as expecting a Mexican to have a sombrero laying in the closet. As Loewen (1995, Front Matter) notes, biased accounts of history lead to biased learning that promotes ignorance not education, 'History is the only field in which the more courses students take, the stupider they become.' They become stupider because they are being taught distorted history and history guilt of omissions that favor the culture interpreting past events.

In our own lives, we can apply Loewen's criticism of American History and education by seeking out other sources of history. We can turn to history books written by those from other cultures whose interpretations are often in stark contrast to American interpretations. Loewen maintains that one way to avoid the negative impact on development from biased accounts of history is to provide our students with the truths they should be taught, such as those that provide a balanced perspective on the actions of their leaders and nation. Instead, textbooks continue, from Loewen's (1995, p. 252) perspective, to be dull, too long, irrelevant, and biased, or as the author chooses to call them, crammed with 'lies.'

In conclusion, as the world's cultures become more united through communications technologies and the spread of democratic regimes and open market


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James W. Loewen's (1995) Lies My Teacher Told Me. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 04:48, September 21, 2017, from
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