I wanted to share an excellent opinion piece in the Washington Post - "History isn't just for patriots", by Daniel Immerwahr. I thought it concisely and eloquently explained how the point of teaching history is not to show how great or bad America is, but to explain how we got here.
These are the contours of the battle over patriotism in the curriculum: Should students learn of their country’s virtues or shortcomings? Should they leave class feeling proud or ashamed?
I teach history, and such questions have always struck me as odd, for two reasons. First, we design curriculums around what students will learn rather than how they’ll feel. The aim of a geometry class is not for students to love or hate triangles but to learn the Pythagorean theorem. Similarly, the point of U.S. history isn’t to have students revere or reject the country but to help them understand it.
The author mentions the importance of confronting darker truths. I've never understood that impulse or call to avoid those darker truths. That might not be accurate. I think in high school I probably veered a little more towards the you hate America side of things.