Why Catholic Schools Urgently Need CTP History Textbooks

Fifty years ago, 20 major publishers (including several Catholic publishers) were producing social studies and history textbooks for American schools.

Today there are five major publishers, and none are Catholic.

No social studies/history series distinctively for Catholic schools had been published since the 1960’s. This meant that teachers in Catholic schools were forced either to use out-dated materials or secular textbooks that often (and increasingly) carried anti-Catholic bias and distortions.

In addition, secular textbooks have steadily diminished in quality and quantity. Textbooks have become image-heavy, the space formerly given to text has been diminished, and the language has been “dumbed down.”

At the same time, the national system of textbook review—which is dominated by a few big states such as Texas and California—has politicized textbook production. History textbooks are now written more to please committees of “professional reviewers,” activist organizations and agenda-driven sectors than to convey accurate historical fact.

As a result, contemporary K-12 history and social studies textbooks have become bland. They offer little besides pictures and gimmicks to awaken interest, not to mention wonder, in students. Not surprisingly, there has been a dramatic decrease in historical literacy.

Catholic schools lacked not only Catholic tools (such as an integration of the significant contributions of Catholics throughout more than 2,000 years of history), but also the high-quality materials that have historically made Catholic education superb.

The Catholic Textbook Project was formed to change that situation.

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