Sunday, September 03, 2006

Theocracy in Education: A review of A Beka’s “New World History and Geography”

A Beka, is an Evangelical Christian text book publisher that, by its own estimate, provides curriculum to over 1 million school children annually. While much has been made of this publisher’s science text book which promote creation science while denigrating legitimate science, A Beka’s social studies text should be of even greater concern.

Over a period of three months I read one of A Beka’s social studies texts, New World History and Geography (NWHG) from cover to cover. What follows is my review of this text (serialized for this blog). While the contents of this text ranges from error prone to racist to just plane loopy, when taken in total, the text is nothing short of frightening. Remember, A Beka has the minds of over 1 million children in its hands and this publisher operates with virtually no oversight for any credible academic institution.

In the end, A Beka, along with Bob Jones, sits at the intellectual core of the dominionist movement. What A Beka seeks is, in their own words:

We present government as ordained by God for the maintenance of law and order, not as a cure-all for the problems of humanity. We present free-enterprise economics without apology and point out the dangers of Communism, socialism, and liberalism to the well-being of people across the globe. In short, A Beka Book offers you a Christian and conservative approach to the study of what man has done with the time God has given.”

We begin with the A Beka’s coverage of the Civil War as portrayed in NWHG.


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