March 2012

Old or New-Which is Acceptable?

It seems that textbook publishers are constantly updating college materials, which often means that students are required to purchase new books on a regular basis. This can be extremely frustrating if you had planned to use the book for more than one class only to find out that the edition has been updated in the meantime. You may actually be able to continue using an older edition of the book, so here are some things for you to consider:

School Board Member Questions Textbook Content

 A California school board member is questioning the doctrine being taught in a history textbook after a parent brought the content of the book to her attention. Dr.  Leslie Bramson recently expressed her concerns that the seventh grade book titled “History Alive” spends too much time focusing on Islam and is also teaching incorrect material to students.

Bramson claims that Chapters 7 through 11 in this textbook are devoted to the geography of the Middle East as well as the history and contribution of Muslims to this part of the world. These chapters also contain some background on Muhammad as well as certain teachings of Islam itself.

 She’s also concerned because Islam is portrayed to be a very peaceful religion, and students are not told about some of the more violent aspects of it. Bramson claims that "They are being given a rosy colored idealistic picture of a narrow piece of the religion and culture of Muslims."  This is because parts of the textbook state that jihad is merely a “struggle against enemies”.