Race, Class & Gender

, Deborah Lambert, 1 Comment

If you’re wondering why students who study U.S. History appear not to have learned a thing about history, there’s a reason. In a study of history courses at the University of Texas and Texas A & M, “83 percent of the U.T. faculty members teaching these courses received their PhDs in the 1990s or later, and had race, class and gender (RCG) research interests,” according to the National Association of Scholars, which did the study.

But that was just one of the problems. It seems that America’s founding documents such as the Mayflower Compact and Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address, which are normally highlighted in U.S. History courses, were not even assigned.

NAS researchers gleaned the true nature of the issues facing history courses by coming to grips with the fact that these instructors don’t think of themselves as teachers but as “reformers eager to eliminate prejudice and bigotry. However, when university programs consider it their responsibility to atone for or redress impressions of the past, history becomes a tool of ideological manipulation. While the struggle betweehn the downtrodden and rooted injustice is one dimension or our history, it in itself doesn’t convey the whole story.”


Deborah Lambert writes the Squeaky Chalk column for Accuracy in Academia.
If you would like to comment on this article, e-mail mal.kline@academia.org.