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American History Curriculum

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In her article, Ji-Yeon Mary Yuhfill states her thesis in the form of two questions. She states “But what of the country’s women, African-Americans, Mexicans, and Asians? Did they merely sit on the sidelines as white men built the nation (Yuhfil, 1991)?” This creates the basis of the whole paper as she tries to show the inconsistency in the history learnt in school and the reality. In my own words, I would frame the thesis in amore clearer way as follows; “Though the history books suggest the involvement of the white\s alone in the building of the United States, other races were equally involved and have collectively led to the nation we have today”.

Yuhfill feels that several changes are required in the learning of history in the United States. According to her, it is critical that the American curriculum acknowledges all the people in the United States, regardless of their respective races. It should let students realize that many people built the United States and that the whites were not the only people who helped shape up the continent, to become what it is today. Young children need to be told about other races other than whites, and how hard they fought for liberation, despite being disadvantaged in the society. A perfect example is Fredrick Douglass who was a slave, yet came out to fight for the liberation of the black people. Yuhfill also feels that the curriculum should include the contributions of the Indians in the building up California and the immeasurable work that Asians did to the country. The current curriculum assumes that the only immigrants into the United States were whites alone, which was not true. It disregards all the other races and ethnicities to cement the belief that there was no other race that helped in the building the US. After the discovery of the New  World, which later became the United State of America, many people helped in the process of building and they need to be acknowledged. Yuhfill feels that the curriculum in the US is biased and should be adjusted to give the full account of the history of the United States (Yuhfil, 1991).

Yuhfill feels that it is critical that American students receive more than the traditional white-only version of our nation's history (Yuhfil, 1991). The Impression of Whites only US is a source of discontent to non-white children like her because the white children who come out of school would never acknowledge other races. Most of the non-whites develop a feeling that they do not belong to the United States as Yuhfill did.

Changing the curriculum will do a great job in reconciling the children regardless of their races or ethnicities (Yuhfil, 1991). It would eventually create a feeling of oneness and a better coexistence. According to Yuhfill, students will learn to be more patriotic as they will have a better ability to analyze the sources of inconsistencies between the ideals of the United States and the social realities. After the children are taught about the reality, they will be armed with the necessary intellectual tools, which would eventually help them bridge the gap between the ideals and the reality. 

If the books were made multicultural, everyone in the United States would benefit (Yuhfil, 1991). Though there are warnings that the introduction of such a curriculum in schools is an emphasis of ethnicity over national unity, this might not be true. American people live together and have shown great understanding across different ethnic groups as well as different races. It would therefore prove hard for them to fight after the children are taught about their past. The students will benefit in that they will know that history is continuous and involves the discovery of the past, the interpretation of this past, and the different ways that people can view the world. It will also improve the level of patriotism due to the revelations regarding the roles played by the different people present in the US today. There will be an intact cohesion and appreciation of everyone’s role in creating the great United States. It will help the children and everyone in the country that no matter what their decent was, and how they looked like, they were all Americans.

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