What a loss for our nation’s children not to know from whence they came and to whom they belong. Their heritage is no longer taught in school, and the library books that revealed it were discarded long ago. Even the older folks who know a bit of our real history aren’t going to be with us much longer.
Why is something so important to the character formation and intellectual development of American children being withheld from them? Dramatic changes in the public school system were implemented in the 20th century and included doing away with the individual subject of history to merge it into environmental studies. Also, the focus was redirected from studying the lives of great achievers to highlighting the everyday life of average people, concentrating on inequalities in the United States. American history was replaced with “social” studies, a dry, lifeless exercise in boredom, often taught by athletic coaches who were required to teach something besides physical education.
The United States is the greatest country in the history of the world, offering freedom, opportunity and the upward mobility to reach for the stars. If we want our country to continue to be great, young Americans must learn about its greatness, its high principles and its heroic people. St. Augustine’s haunting words apply: “What we don’t know, we don’t appreciate. What we don’t appreciate, we discard.”