Friday, November 16, 2007

Grading Text Books

Reviewers with the Texas State Board of Education uncovered over 100,000 errors in math textbooks proposed for use by the state, the Dallas Morning News reports. Over 86,000 of the errors were in books from one publisher, Houghton Mifflin Co.

The story reminds me of a persistent error I have noticed in high school American literature textbooks over the years. I noted it when I was in high school myself back in the Medieval period and again a few years ago while skimming through a textbook of a student I knew. It annoys me because it concerns one of my favorite historical figures.

In presenting a reading from Jonathon Edwards' famous sermon, Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God, those books asked the reader to imagine Mr. Edwards shouting the vivid phrases at the congregation and delivering an animated sermon. That is misleading, at best. It is well known that Mr. Edwards was a dry speaker who read his sermons in a monotone while rarely looking up. As Mr. Edwards work has been the subject of much scholarship through both the 19th and the 20th centuries -- much of it by secular, not Christian, academics -- the error is inexcusable.


Blogger Kay Brooks said...

A delivery method which makes the number of conversions so much more amazing (maybe too amazing for some). It was all about the WORDs.

9:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Despite the words it is still important that children are not mislead when it comes to what they read. We are educating the future of our country and if we cannot even give them accurate text books then what does that say??

3:15 PM  

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