Saturday, March 23, 2013

Dumbing Down History

And important part of a Maine child's education is learning about the state of Maine in the 4th grade. You do projects, presentations, and take field trips to the capitol . You think you know every little fact about Maine by the time you're done, but really, some things have been not been taught. As a 33 year-old, I went to the Maine State Museum for an afternoon with John. I hadn't been since I was a kid. He told me there was a whole section about "white guilt," and intrigued, I asked to see it early on. It was the Malaga Island exhibit, telling the tale of the mixed-race colony on Maine's Malaga Island and how the state forced them off the island and several into an asylum.

It got me to thinking about the education system and how much misinformation is actually presented to students in history books as fact. Why do we do this? Why are we constantly hiding the ugly aspects of history? Sure, looking at the Malaga Island incident, it's a shameful aspect of history, but still an important part that we should learn from and teach going forward. Omitting and outright writing our own history in favor of the less desirable facts is a disservice to young minds and to the future of our  species as a whole.

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