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ERIC Number: EJ864088
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Oct
Pages: 7
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0037-7724
The Coverage of the Holocaust in High School History Textbooks
Lindquist, David
Social Education, v73 n6 p298-304 Oct 2009
The Holocaust is now a regular part of high school history curricula throughout the United States and, as a result, coverage of the Holocaust has become a standard feature of high school textbooks. As with any major event, it is important for textbooks to provide a rigorously accurate and valid historical account. In dealing with the Holocaust, however, textbook authors face particular challenges. The Holocaust had complex causes, both immediate and long-term; different groups played roles in perpetrating or assisting it; and the meticulous accuracy required in detailing its occurrence imposes many demands on authors. Unlike many other events listed in history textbooks, students have often heard of the Holocaust and may bring considerable prior conceptions of it to the classroom but many of these impressions may come from sources for whom historical accuracy is of little concern. Textbooks are often the first recourse for teachers and students interested in dispelling inaccurate notions and seeking to acquire valid knowledge. In addition, the existence of Holocaust denial makes it crucial that textbook narratives should be completely accurate because deniers often contend that the presence of any error calls into question the actual occurrence of the Holocaust. This article presents the results of a study the author conducted of the treatment of the Holocaust in major history textbooks. While the textbooks provide substantial coverage of the Holocaust, there are also problems in the coverage that can foster inaccurate perspectives about the event. The author recommends that substantive changes be made in future editions of these textbooks to ensure that accurate, comprehensive Holocaust units are presented to students. (Contains 1 table and 21 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A