9/11 as a Lesson, Not a Memory





VINCENNES, Ind. The students filed into their social studies class just after lunch and slumped into desks where they had learned about the Civil War, Lewis and Clark, and the bombing of Pearl Harbor. On this day, teacher Michael Hutchison said, the class would feature "another of those huge moments in our history." He reminded the high school juniors and seniors that he would be grading their notes. Then he dimmed the lights and played a video on the classroom TV....

Eight years later, this is an example of what Sept. 11, 2001, has become for a generation that's too young to remember much, if anything, about that day: It is an educational DVD, a 167-page textbook, a black binder of class handouts titled "A National Interdisciplinary Curriculum." In Room C215 at Lincoln High School, images of the collapsing Manhattan skyline are now a classroom "warm-up exercise." "Militant," "imploding" and "rubble" are boldfaced vocabulary words for students to memorize. Homework assignments and essay questions ensure that Sept. 11 will indeed be remembered by millions of schoolchildren, if with a new sense of detachment.




comments powered by Disqus

Subscribe to our mailing list