In his Aug. 5 letter, “Teacher’s commentary exposes troubling bias,” Dion Dugan claims that because of my bias I lack the credibility to be taken seriously in the history classroom.
First, publicly criticizing the policies and direction of a political party isn’t bias, it’s democracy (a form of government I favor). Second, Mr. Dugan misunderstands teaching history, which has been my life’s work. Studying and teaching history are about judging and examining the truth, not indoctrination.
Massachusetts state history frameworks note that Thomas Jefferson endorsed public education for all “to enable every man to judge for himself what will secure or endanger his freedom.” Jefferson knew that bias is everywhere. I teach students to evaluate their sources of information critically, so they can judge them for themselves. Since I am one of their sources, I expect students to examine my biases, and those of Thomas Jefferson, Jane Addams and Franklin Roosevelt - along with their textbook.
There is no “unbiased worldview.” Some educational systems require a single historical narrative to be taught and screen their teachers for their political views: Iran and North Korea, for example. I prefer education for democracy and the freedoms guaranteed by our First Amendment.
The writer teaches history at Monomoy Regional High School.