RE: Textbook writing: don't just blame the authors!

Subject: RE: Textbook writing: don't just blame the authors!
From: "Carnall, Jane" <Jane -dot- Carnall -at- compaq -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 16 Jan 2001 13:53:21 -0000

>Text books aren't all that much like what we do... But neither is
>American Public Education. If you want to save your kids, read the
>texts with them, and find the spots that are obvious crap. Face it, you
>won't get them to use real history in public schools.

History for schools is rarely accurate, and the more recent the history, the
less accurate it is. There is also a kind of universal censorship, no matter
how far back in the past you go, that deems certain topics unsuitable for
classroom discussion: these topics will therefore be omitted from history.
This is truer than most people want to think about any school in any
country. (I don't want to go into OT details, but it is absolutely true of
both private and state education in the UK.)

But what this thread was about (I thought) was the lack of proofreading and
care that means a picture of a woman can be mislabeled as a picture of a
silicon molecule... and no one notices. Or the mistakes I used to point out
to *my* teachers when I was a rotten little brat in a Scottish state primary
school, elementary grammatical mistakes in my English textbook. These are
not mistakes inserted for political reasons or as a selling point: these are
simple uncaring errors, left in because it was worth no one's while to care
about the quality of the product.

Jane Carnall
Technical Writer, Compaq, UK
Unless stated otherwise, these opinions are mine, and mine alone.

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