Many of you who, like me, had to actively seek out pseudo-science during your formative years will be surprised to learn that the Miami-Dade County Public Schools (MDCPS) is now apparently spoon-feeding it to high school kids in their classrooms. Here's a screenshot from the African American Voices Lesson Plan:
This is one of the four "Higher Order Thinking Questions:"
4. What peoples do the Olmec statue heads most likely represents? How can you tell?
MDCPS: leading the nation in meme-based learning?
It's a shame for many reasons, and I hope someone in a position of authority sees fit to take a look at this. I agree completely that non-European aspects of world history need to be taught far more aggressively. But substituting a focus on European exploration and colonization with a raft of dubious claims about non-European exploration and colonization and casting it as a study of Mesoamerican civilization is absurd. I see nothing in the lesson plan that suggests fringe claims are being critically evaluated on the basis of evidence. Instead it appears that the claims are to be taken at face value and accepted as evidence that the history books are wrong.
You're not doing your students any favors. The History Channel will probably send a gift basket, though.
I thank my friend Pablo Benavente for making me aware of this story via the Fraudulent Archaeology Wall of Shame.
I found this page at Prairie View A&M University.