Trouble With Textbooks

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Overview

School textbooks in Iran, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and elsewhere in the Arab and Muslim worlds are filled with anti-Western and anti-Israel propaganda. Most readers will be shocked to discover that history and geography textbooks widely used in America's elementary and secondary classrooms contain some of the very same inaccuracies about Jews, Judaism, and Israel. Did you know that "there is no record of any important Jewish contribution to the sciences?" (World Civilizations, Thomson Wadsworth). Or that "Christianity was started by a young Palestinian named Jesus?" (The World, Scott Foresman/Pearson). Supplemental materials and other classroom influences are even worse. The Trouble with Textbooks exposes the poor scholarship and untruths in textbooks about Jews and Israel. The problems uncovered in this ground-breaking analysis are instructive, and illustrate the need for reform in the way textbooks are developed, written, marketed, and distributed. Substitute another area—how we teach American history, Western civilization, or comparative religion—and we have another, equally intriguing case study. The Trouble with Textbooks shows what can go terribly wrong in discussing religion, geography, culture, or history—and in this case—all of them. The Trouble with Textbooks tells a cautionary tale for all readers, whatever their background, of how textbooks that Americans depend on to infuse young people with the values for good citizenship and to help acculturate students into the multicultural salad that is American life, instead disparage some groups and teach historical distortions. With millions of young people using these textbooks each year, the denigration of some should be a concern for all.

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Editorial Reviews

Market Watch
The five-year study of 28 history, geography,and social studies textbooks published by Lexington Books, reveals that the most widely used textbooks in America's schools are presenting a distorted view of Christianity, Judaism, Islam, and the Middle East. The Trouble with Textbooks shows that textbooks are filled with errors, inaccuracies, and even propaganda....The authors found over 500 erroneous passages in the textbooks.
— 9/24/08
Choice
Of great value. Recommended.
— H. M. Miller
Rev. John J. Keane
The Trouble with Textbooks is a very important book not only for Jews but for the entire Christian community. This volume is an excellent tool for anyone who is interested in balanced information that is fair and reliable concerning Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.
Marc Dollinger
One of my greatest challenges in the university classroom is to teach critical thinking. Most undergraduates, though, consider the course textbook revealed truth and refuse to question it. The Trouble with Textbooks reveals that what passes for academic writing must be challenged.
Carolivia Herron
This book is a must-read for anyone who cares what American school children are learning about history and religion. I was dismayed to learn just how much our nation's school systems and the publishing industry 'dumb down' vital information about religion and how wrong it is. There is powerful and frightening information in this book that gives readers a sense of outrage.
Ephraim Isaac
The Trouble with Textbooks should shock and concern everyone in the educational establishment. This groundbreaking study unflinchingly exposes the dissemination of inaccurate and false history. As the book makes plain, parents and responsible educators must steadfastly demand greater accuracy in the social studies textbooks used to educate entire generations of our schoolchildren. I strongly recommend reading this book from cover to cover.
Kenneth L. Marcus
Gary Tobin and Dennis Ybarra have produced a work of incomparable value. They have exposed an extraordinary pattern of errors, distortions and falsehoods in public school textbooks, teacher training and supplemental materials. More frightening is the stunning extent to which our children are being indoctrinated with anti-Jewish and anti-Israeli materials. Every parent, educator, and policy-maker should read this book.
CHOICE - H. M. Miller
Of great value. Recommended.
Summer 2009 Shofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal Of Jewish Studies
This book exposes the poor scholarship and untruths in textbooks about Jews and Israel. The problems uncovered in this analysis illustrate the need for reform in the way textbooks are developed, written, marketed, and distributed.
Market Watch - 9/24/08
The five-year study of 28 history, geography,and social studies textbooks published by Lexington Books, reveals that the most widely used textbooks in America's schools are presenting a distorted view of Christianity, Judaism, Islam, and the Middle East. The Trouble with Textbooks shows that textbooks are filled with errors, inaccuracies, and even propaganda....The authors found over 500 erroneous passages in the textbooks.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780739130933
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group Inc
  • Publication date: 8/1/2008
  • Pages: 218
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Gary A. Tobin is the president of the Institute for Jewish & Community Research and the author of The UnCivil University: Politics and Propaganda in American Education. Dennis R. Ybarra is a research associate at the Institute for Jewish & Community Research.

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Textbooks Are in Trouble Chapter 2 When the Textbook Is Not Enough: Supplemental Materials,Teacher Trainings, and More Chapter 3 Learning about Jewish Origins: Stereotypes of Jews Chapter 4 Jews, Judaism, and Christianity Chapter 5 Double Standards in Teaching about Judaism Compared to Islam Chapter 6 The Ancient History of Israel Chapter 7 The Founding of Israel: Rights to the Land, War, and Refugees Chapter 8 Terrorism and Internal Conflict Chapter 9 Conclusion Chapter 10 Methodology Chapter 11 Appendix A: Textbooks Reviewed by Publisher Parent Company Chapter 12 Appendix B: Familiar Imprints of Major Textbook Publishing Corporations Chapter 13 Appendix C: Textbook Usage Survey: Extent of Usage by Publisher Parent Company Chapter 14 Appendix D: Textbook Usage Survey: Survey Instrument Chapter 15 Appendix E: Outline of the Arab Narrative

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