Sunday, January 28, 2007

History Textbook

Hi again. Speaking of the question of "who can write a history," the Korean government has announced plans to start letting schools use all privately published high school history texts that meet a certain standard in 2009.

Don't Leave History Education to the Left

The link is an article in Chosun Ilbo, and so it is understandable but at the same time very interesting to read:
"We had years of headaches due to a left-leaning school text on modern Korean history. About half of Korean schools still use texts that portray North Korea’s government and hereditary transfer of power in a positive light, while focusing on South Korea’s history of authoritarianism and corruption. They also represent South Korea as subordinate to the U.S. and Japan. This is because leftwing historians hijacked the writing of these texts, which are then given the blessing of teachers from the leftwing Korean Teachers and Educational Workers’ Union. If history books are to be certified by the government under these circumstances, more students would be taught to believe that South Korean history is a sad catalogue of injustice and opportunism without learning about North Korea’s purges and totalitarian oppression. Another generation will come away with the impression that North Korea is the achieved state of a glorious revolution born of the desire to build a sacred nation."

I find this interesting because Japan's right-oriented people have the same complaints about generally left-leaning history education at school (e.g.: Masochistic view of history in education).

1 comment:

Jaime said...

On the topic of history textbooks, especially how many Japanese textbooks fail to teach about comfort women, this Chosun Ilbo editorial notes that a component of a resolution adopted in the U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs recognizing comfort women contains a clause specifying Japan's responsibility to teach this issue.

Given the controversial nature of the textbook and history debate, it is interesting a) that the U.S. has taken a stance and b)that the House Committee on Foreign Affairs has included history education in their resolution on a human trafficking issue.