6 Insane Educational Claims Published In Real Textbooks
The backbone of our modern education system is the collection of aging textbooks used to teach children about the health benefits of asbestos, the current state of Yugoslavia, and whether we can trust this young upstart Truman. When you're a kid, you believe the authoritative font of these overpriced manuals more than the words of the teachers themselves -- if something is printed in a textbook, it's automatically true.
Unfortunately, some of those things are really, really stupid. Here are six terrible modern textbooks that have all the seriousness and accuracy of a Wikipedia page edited by 4chan trolls:
An Art Textbook Has Blank Spaces Where The Pictures Should Go
Art textbooks are some of the most valued educational tools for young students, since all those images of old paintings and sculptures often provide kids with their first glimpse of dongs, boobies, or even the enigmatic mons pubis. So imagine the disappointment some innocent, virginal college freshmen in Canada felt upon opening a $180 (Canadian) art textbook to find that it looked like an incomplete sticker album:
They were underwhelmed by the newest art movement: post-visualism.
The picture-less textbook isn't the avant-garde brainchild of some enterprising textbook author, since, as usual, imagination and education just don't mix. The book, titled Global Visual And Material Culture: Prehistory To 1800, is lacking in visuals for a far more pragmatic reason: money. According to the publishers, if they secured the rights for all the images they wished to use, the book would've cost around $630. Which is pretty bad, considering that not only is the textbook mandatory for students at the Ontario College Of Art And Design, it's also used for only one semester. It essentially turns into glossy toilet paper after that.
So, the publisher decided that, instead of pictures, they'd just include a box with instructions on where to find a copy of the particular image on the Internet; as if young college students needed any more practice hunting for uncensored images online. We say they should have gone for the more practical solution and filled the blank spaces with quick MS Paint re-creations of each painting, or perhaps a short written description.
"It's some lady smiling, but her smile is, like, super mysterious.
And there's a hidden UFO, my friend says."
The students of Ontario were not happy about Global Visual And Material Culture: Prehistory To 1800 and started a petition demanding their money back, because nobody likes spending 180 maple wendigo doubloons (that's what their currency is called, right?) on a graded scavenger hunt.
The Canadian education system: keeping the USA off the bottom since 1867.
Biology 1099 Teaches Kids That Dinosaurs Are Still Around
Biology 1099, a textbook handed out to thousands of kids through the Accelerated Christian Education program, asserts that "scientists" are more and more convinced that dinosaurs still exist. The evidence? We've got it right here; check it out:
Way more realistic than the CG in some parts of Jurassic World.
Yes, the Loch Ness Monster, an admitted hoax perpetrated by the Daily Mail, is the ultimate proof that dinosaurs are still around, and therefore evolution must be a dirty lie. "Nessie appears to be a plesiosaur," they write, despite Nessie in fact always appearing to be a black blob. According to the textbook, 4,000 years ago when Noah was riding waves on the waters of the Great Flood, some primitive monsters survived. Oh, that's right: Nessie isn't alone. The textbook also cites the case of a Japanese fishing vessel coming across "the decomposing body of a dinosaur-like sea creature" -- meaning that presumably there's a whole bunch of dinosaurs out there, hiding from us because they don't want to go back to being used as dishwashers and vacuum cleaners like in these historical documents.
Evidence indicates that the creature could "fire atom blasts from its mouth" and was "friend to all children."
It gets even ballsier from there. They say there is zero, zilch, blot scientific evidence for evolution, that no transitional fossils will ever be discovered, and that any similarities between animals are merely because God only had a limited amount of LEGO. Oddly enough, after the Loch Ness section first gained the Internet's attention a couple of years ago, new printings of the textbook appear to have omitted that specific example. Hopefully someone's alerted them about this mistake; we don't want kids to be reading incorrect information, after all.
Fearon's Biology: Frankenstein Actually Happened
For the science-minded kids out there, one of the most inspiring parts of school is learning about all the important scientific thinkers in history. Einstein. Newton. Edison. Frankenstein. What's that, you uneducated fiend? You didn't know Frankenstein and his monster actually existed, as opposed to being something that a writer called Mary Shelley came up with while high on opium? Then you didn't have the fortune of having Fearon's Biology as your textbook in school.
We can't wait to learn about Doctors Stark, Brown, and Honeydew in the updated edition.
The book, which was adopted by the Texas State Board Of Education as recently as 1997, is filled with all the typical biological facts, such as life on Earth beginning with "tiny green specks." Unlike its banal colleagues, though, Fearon's Biology includes the exciting tale of the illustrious Dr. Frankenstein, a biologist who "pieced together the parts of dead bodies" to create a monster who eventually killed him (they neglect to mention the monster's wife or his association with Abbott and Costello, though). The authors just casually present the fictional tale as historical fact, as if they accidentally included part of their own strange scientific fan-fiction. Frankenstein is included as Darwin or Pasteur might be, as an entirely serious scientist, who just happened to be killed by an 8-foot-tall remixed corpse.
Another section describes the majestic mating ritual of these giraffes.
Unfortunately for students, this isn't the only inane textbook Fearon has published. Fearon's Global Studies may as well be a work on the properties of spheres, because it certainly isn't a geography textbook, as it claims to be. It doesn't distinguish between Australia and Asia, concluding that despite what every world map (and the people who've actually been there) will tell you, the land down under is in fact a part of the same continent as China. Even geographical academics will learn something new from Fearon -- namely that the most basic and common knowledge in their field is completely wrong.
The book also fulfills Fearon's obligatory quota of irrelevant tales by including an account of Mohammed meeting with the angel Gabriel as historical fact. In their geography textbook. Uh, guys, we think this Fearon person you're quoting might be drunk and making shit up.
The Making Of America Claims Slavery Wasn't That Bad
Generations after it was unequivocally decided through violent warfare that slavery was not a good thing, there are still people who can't quite grasp the concept that, in the Land Of The Free, people like to have freedom. This includes the deceased Cleon Skousen, author of two of the most bizarre books ever used in the education system -- The Making Of America and The Five Thousand Year Leap -- and of whom Glenn Beck is a big fan.
Not as cool as the cover implies.
The Heritage Academy charter school in Mesa, Arizona, was the subject of controversy last year for still using Skousen's books despite the fact that, among other terrible things, The Making Of America claims that slavery was actually beneficial to African Americans. According to Skousen, the Southern slaveholders weren't really racist; after all, they were keeping those slaves in employment. It was the abolitionists from the North who caused Southern racism with that pesky "equality" of theirs. Also, slave children were actually the lucky ones, since they got to run around naked while white kids went to school.
The Five Thousand Year Leap, on the other hand, asserts that the mighty USA has made more progress in 200 years than the rest of the world combined has made in 5,000 (which is hard to argue with if you've ever tasted a McRib). Beck called the book wise and divinely inspired -- which is appropriate, because Skousen wrote that America itself was the product of divine inspiration. God practically penned the Declaration Of Independence and the U.S. Constitution himself, probably throwing in that bit about freedom of religion just to look humble.
Apparently, Skousen got his thoughts about that hokey "separation of church and state" from the same period he got his views on race ... and yet his books are still being used to teach children and even topped Amazon's rankings at one point thanks to Beck's endorsement. That's right, Beck tricked his fans into doing homework. Twisted shit.
United States History: Heritage Of Freedom Believes The Great Depression Was A Hoax
It's becoming quite clear that in order to get an outrageous textbook into publication, all an author needs to do is invoke a sense of American patriotism. When your religious agenda isn't getting through on its own, just bundle it in an American flag, and voila -- you're now in 5,000 schools across the country. Case in point: United States History: Heritage Of Freedom, a book used to teach high school students about "history" from the perspective of batshit paranoia.
Written with one hand on the keyboard and the other petting a bald eagle.
According to this book, the most destructive idea to come to the fore in the 20th century was the theory of evolution. But that's literally textbook stuff compared with what comes next: The Great Depression, it then states, was just socialist propaganda. It was exaggerated by President Franklin D. Roosevelt so that the New Deal legislation would pass. Yes, the Great Depression was an inside job.
"FDR DID 10/24."
The statistics of unemployment were exaggerated, as were the rumors of foreclosures, mass evictions, and hunger riots. All those people starving? Crisis actors, probably. The "best-known work of propaganda," though, was that shameless pinko pamphlet called The Grapes Of Wrath (which gave its author a Pulitzer and a Nobel, no doubt arranged by reptilians). It worked, and now socialist brainwashing techniques are used to indoctrinate children all around the country into the ideology that this textbook hates: what actually happened in history.
Guide To Culturally Competent Health Care Is Full Of Varsity-Level Racism
The other textbooks are in the minor league compared to the Babe Ruth of bad educational writing, Guide To Culturally Competent Health Care. A lawsuit by a former professor at the University Of Central Florida (who says she got fired for refusing to teach from it) cites several examples of the book's Archie Bunker-level ideas about race, all included to guide students in providing people with sufficiently competent/xenophobic care.
For instance, the book warns that African Americans tend to be "loud, high-keyed, animated, confrontational, and interpersonal." It's important for students to realize that, in the black community, "being overweight is seen as positive." It's as if the author's entire exposure to black people was through Tyler Perry fat-suit movies. The text goes on to say that "voodoo doctors" are "folk" healthcare practitioners for African American communities, presumably because the James Bond film Live And Let Die was a documentary, right down to the scene where a crime boss turned into a human balloon and exploded.
"Sorry, your insurance only covers head shrinking and curses -- not zombieism."
Once the hole has well and truly been dug, the authors continue digging into the depths of lunacy, writing that, "Because significant numbers of African Americans are poor and live in inner-cities, they tend to concentrate their efforts on day-to-day survival," as if the streets of America are rife with hunter-gatherer tribes.
But don't worry: Guide To Culturally Competent Health Care is comprehensive in its insanity, including a bunch of other ethnicities. Italian American families, for example, are in complete submission to the father of the house and make no decisions without his input. Not only have they drawn their conclusions on African Americans from 19th-century European colonizers, they've also extrapolated the Godfather films.
"Look out for nearby oranges; that means one of them's about to die."
In the only good piece of advice in the book, it is warned that Holocaust jokes are inappropriate in the company of Jewish patients, as are jokes that insinuate they are stingy. So, remember: Save those Holocaust jabs for all the other races, but if Jewish people are around, try to switch to something lighter, like a classy dead babies joke, perhaps. Wouldn't wanna come off as racist, after all.
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