Non-Western History in our Secondary Schools

Mitsunaga, Aiko
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University of Hawaii at Manoa
My interest in the study of why non-western history courses should be offered or even made mandatory in our secondary schools was aroused by two publications, "The Ugly American" by Eugene Burdick and William Ledarer and "Far East in the High School Curriculum" by James High. In the case of "The Ugly America", I was astounded by the American lack of understanding and insight of foreign societies. Although the image of the "ugly America" is high exaggerated, the basic premises are not mere fiction; rather, they are a reality in many parts of the world where American citizens have traveled and lived in ignorance. The other factor that aroused my interest was James High's publication which expressed his belief that in teaching Far East history, emphasis should be placed on more familiar areas, and the study should be within the period of time since the respective country has become important to the United States. My interested was aroused because this attitude of the United States being supreme to all other countries is erroenous. Not only the Far East, but all areas of the world are important, not because the United States has come into contact with them, but in their own right.
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