“American Progress”

The dark history of education as a tool of colonial power and cultural destruction.

  1. Kirsten OlsonKirsten Olson12-12-2010

    Wow. Incredible. I teach these texts and critical events to my highly privileged college students, and at first they are skeptical. This is so much more powerful. Thank you and I will spread the word. Visually, also stunning.

  2. cblackcblack12-28-2010

    Thanks, Kirsten. I love your book, “Wounded by School.” I think STW is really about one more form of school wounding.

  3. AnaLuisaAnaLuisa02-06-2011

    Thank you so much… it is a great work! it invites to think about education, colonizing, and “knowledge.”

  4. Carla AntoniniCarla Antonini03-03-2011

    Fantastic! Simply brilliant and such a needed message for the so smart “developed” world

  5. Diana PDiana P04-30-2011

    Thanks for such great perception and dedication that widens one’s views in our instituted education system and its affect worldwide.

  6. Jenny KnightJenny Knight05-12-2011

    Wow. I can’t wait to watch this film. I really think that once again it highlights magnificently the fact that there most certainly is a very big difference between schooling and education. They are, absolutely, NOT synonymous.

    Oh, the hubris of the well-schooled.

  7. dawne larkindawne larkin06-12-2011

    Stunning. Intense. Can’t wait to see this film released. Many questions though arise while viewing. Perhaps this film will indeed open yet another dialog for change.

  8. There are also educators who would undo the malicious bent of the school system. Those of us who would help our students speak from their experience and question the “truth”.

  9. angela khristin brownangela khristin brown11-14-2011

    It is a good thing to learn about other cultures to grasp a better understanding of relativity. I am part Chactaw, Indian from Mississippi and I do not know much about my cultural background being black indian.

  10. Carmen EmanuelCarmen Emanuel11-18-2011

    This is what happened in South Africa but the purpose of the education was to dumb down the local population so that they would serve the work force

  11. Emile JacobsEmile Jacobs02-06-2012

    An interesting collection of slides and it is detestable what the USA & Canadian Governments did to native Americans in taking their children from them forcibly and beating their cultural heritage out of them. The imagery presented in the slide show is old. I would argue that the governments in question have recognized the wrong committed and are working – albeit slowly – to fix it. Give ’em credit for at least now moving in a better direction.

  12. Carol BlackCarol Black02-07-2012

    The really interesting thing is that all the structures set in place during this period — legal compulsion, grading and failure, a state-mandated curriculum that reflects the values of the dominant society — are still intact. They were intended to wipe out cultures then, and they continue to do so now, whether we intend it or not.

  13. Stephanie SatieStephanie Satie02-19-2012

    This is so powerful. Thanks for continuing to pull the veil from our eyes and the dust from our deeds.

  14. Allan BirdAllan Bird02-20-2012

    Heaven help us all if those who follow in a hundred years choose to judge our actions now by their standards. The documentary may be factually accurate yet lack perspective or balance.

    One can only hope that those who find US government actions of the past so appalling are not blind to the totalitarian bent of the current administration.

  15. Carol BlackCarol Black02-20-2012

    It’s a very interesting thought experiment — and one recommended in our Discussion Guide for the film — to try to imagine how people will look back on our education system in a hundred years. Some values, you always find, are perennial — compassion never goes out of style — and others are of brief duration historically. I think there are a number of contemporary educational practices that we know in our hearts are either inhumane or just foolish and ineffective, but which we persist in because it’s the norm in our time and place. Imagining how our descendants will view these can be a useful stimulant to change.

  16. Professor PlanasProfessor Planas05-15-2012

    Which do you think is a better curriculum for ladahki people? Which would you personally find usefull?

  17. Maria Lawrence (Ramapough)Maria Lawrence (Ramapough)08-27-2012


  18. Alienated otherAlienated other10-11-2012

    Birds comments about actions of the past show an ignorance of the fact that the attitudes, values and beliefs which underpinned those ‘actions of the past’ are still strong today.

    Where does indigenous knowledge sit in your mainstream schools and universities. Is is still the ‘other’ something separate and optional or does it sit alongside, as a part of the ‘we’ the ‘us’. Is it considered as valid as your knowledges?

  19. Rupert MarquesRupert Marques12-09-2012

    Great work and a great and necessary film. Thanks.

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"Generations from now we'll look back and say, 'How could we have done this kind of thing to people?'"