October 16th, 2013

History cirriculum in 1930's Brooklyn public school?

Setting: 1930's Brooklyn
Searched: history of education, Brooklyn public schools 1930s, education during great depression, teaching the trail of tears

In my story, I have Captain America a WWII soldier from Brooklyn ending up in the 21st century. He is getting tutored in the several decades of history he missed, but in the process, Darcy his history tutor mentions the Trail of Tears, and he has no idea what it is. [Said tutor starts to go over more history with him...]

Said tutor starts to go over more history with him, and much of the story is Steve, the soldier, realizing how much he doesn't known about the country he is supposed to represent. Much of the story surrounds him trying to make-up the difference, so to speak.

He went to public school in Brooklyn, and is of Irish working class descent. While he was always very poor, he had some money left over from his dead parents, and with the help of Bucky a friend who was able to help support him, he managed to finish high school and even get in a bit of art school before having to drop out to work.

Is this gap in his education feasible? I know that there are schools today that gloss over American genocides and human rights tragedies, or skip them all together - my mother, just a few years ago, was barred from teaching a class about the Trail of Tears. But is that a recent thing or is it feasible that Steve did not learn this, as well as a lot of other stuff that puts America/the West in a bad light, in the history cirriculum he would have received in public school during the Great Depression?


And going on that, how familiar would someone with that educational background be with world history in general? A different section of the story has him learning more about non-European-centric world history, but this idea was another reflection of modern education (namely my own frustrations with how similar World History and European History were in high school, when the latter was supposed to be only a portion of the former instead of the majority of it). Would a Euro-centric view on world history have been standard during that era and in that area? If not, what would World History have taught? Or would someone like Steve have learned World History at all, or is the idea of World History another modern educational standard?</lj-spoilers>