Channeling Zinn: Local history teacher brings the Zinn Education Project to the Classroom
Published on June 29, 2010 in Santa Cruz Good Times

By Elizabeth Limbach

The wall behind Jeff Matlock’s desk is covered with photographs and paintings of his heroes from American history: Frederick Douglass, Susan B. Anthony, Abraham Lincoln, and Jane Adams among them. There is a photograph of women marching down Pennsylvania Avenue in 1913 with a sign that reads, “I wish Ma could vote!” And, as if to encapsulate Matlock’s “nothing is black and white” view on history, he also has two contrasting photographs beside one another: one of a group protesting World War I with signs that say “Don’t send our boys to die in a useless war,” and the other, a shot of U.S. soldiers wading ashore at Omaha Beach on D-Day. “There are two sides to every story,” he says simply.

Squeezed in beside these notable figures from history is the one who instilled this all-inclusive attitude in him, and perhaps his favorite hero of them all: late historian, author and activist Howard Zinn.

Matlock was a history buff from an early age. He hardly had to study for tests and could spout off historical dates without fail. But it wasn’t until he picked up a copy of Zinn’s “A People’s History of the United States” as a teenager that history became more than dates and places for him. “I felt like my world totally opened up into something I’d never thought of before,” he remembers. “I never saw history as being something that could be less than concrete. I thought ‘these are facts, this is the way it is.’ But what Zinn taught me was that nothing is absolute.”

Continue reading at Santa Cruz Good Times »

A local teacher with the Henry Ford Academy is being honored for teaching beyond the textbook.
Published on June 18, 2010 in Fox 29 San Antonio

Through the Zinn Education Project (, this teacher has received a free class set of 25 copies of A People’s History of the United States. Here she is on the local news talking about why it is important to teach from a people’s perspective.

Continue reading at Fox 29 San Antonio »

Giving context to history textbooks
Published on June 18, 2010 in Camarillo Acorn

By Michelle Knight

It’s difficult to distinguish Angelica Chavez from her students at Adolfo Camarillo High School. A little more than a decade ago, the 29-year-old U.S. history teacher was sitting in their seats.

Chavez didn’t like history then. She felt, like many critics of traditional history books, that U.S. history is told solely from the perspective of the controlling class. Many students find history boring because it presents a one-sided narrative, Chavez said.

“You knew America was going to win,” she said. “We could do no wrong, ever.”

Chavez came to appreciate history in college after reading about events and people traditional textbooks ignore, such as women, people of color and social movements.

“History spoke more to me,” Chavez said on a recent Thursday morning between classes.

Howard Zinn’s “A People’s History of the United States” was one of the books that impressed her.

Continue reading at Camarillo Acorn »

Teacher wins textbooks
Published on June 17, 2010 in San Lorenzo Press – Valley People

Jeff Matlock, an eighth-grade U.S. history teacher at Scotts Valley Middle School, is one of 20 teachers in the country who will receive a free class set of 25 copies of “A People’s History of the United States” from the Zinn Education Project.

Matlock used a Zinn activity regarding the Seneca Falls Convention in 1848 to help his students gain another perspective on women’s history.

The Zinn Education Project was co-founded in 2008 by historian Howard Zinn, author of “People’s History,” and two nonprofits: Rethinking Schools and Teaching for Change. It encourages people to look at history from different perspectives.

Continue reading at San Lorenzo Press – Valley People »

History teacher honored for including voices seldom heard
Published on June 4, 2010 in Camarillo Acorn

Angelica Chavez, an 11th grade U.S. history teacher at Adolfo Camarillo High School, was one of 20 teachers selected by the Zinn Education Project to receive a free class set of 25 copies of “A People’s History of the United States,” a copy of the film “The People Speak” and the books “A Young People’s History of the United States” and “Voice of a People’s History of the United States.”

To celebrate her achievement, on June 3 Camarillo High School students read their work and Chavez spoke on the importance of teaching history that includes multiple voices.

Chavez found that the key to engaging students is to emphasize the stories that are left out of the textbooks.

Continue reading at Camarillo Acorn »

Social Science Docket’s Curriculum Review of the Zinn Education Project
Published on June 1, 2010 in Social Science Docket

Review by Matthew Crichton
Howard Zinn, who recently died, was a historian and author of the groundbreaking A People’s History of the United States (New York: Harper, 2003). Zinn views historical events through the eyes of the ordinary people and focuses on their struggles against oppression, rather than from the perspective of leaders or conquerors. The Zinn Education Project ( is a new effort to influence the secondary school curriculum. The website offers historical documents and lesson ideas organized chronologically and thematically. It also includes lists of resources. (more…)

Continue reading at Social Science Docket »

Yes! recommends Zinn Education Project
Published on May 1, 2010 in YES! Magazine

By Jing Fong

Nidoto Nai Yoni—“Let it not happen again,”—is the inscription at the memorial site where the first group of Japanese Americans were taken from Bainbridge Island to internment camps in the California desert. When you don’t talk about race, how do you make sure racism doesn’t happen?

The Zinn Education Project is committed to helping middle and high school students learn about history, race, and themselves through its thought-provoking resources. Your students will find its lessons and activities engaging as they take an honest look at the past, and are introduced to the people who have worked together, across racial lines, for a more fair and just world.

Continue reading at YES! Magazine »

Zinn on Zinn
Published on April 23, 2010 in PEN Newsblast

On January 19, historian and activist Howard Zinn gave his final radio interview, which Rethinking Schools has published in its entirety. In the question-and-answer session, Zinn relates that his experiences as the child of immigrants, combined with a great deal of reading, pushed him in an “activist direction.” He also developed a consciousness that the country is divided into rich people and a lot of other people, the vast majority of whom struggle to get by. Many are rendered invisible by poverty and immigrant status. Yet even in our founding documents, Zinn said, we pretend these disparities don’t exist: “The preamble of the Constitution begins with the words ‘We, the people of the United States…,’ as if all of the people established the Constitution. But that wasn’t true because we were a class-divided country before, during, and after the revolution. The Constitution was not adopted by ‘we, the people.’ It was adopted by 55 rich white men who met in Philadelphia in 1787.” Zinn’s advice for prospective history teachers is to not be intimidated by “what they say you must teach… You have to play a kind of guerilla warfare with the establishment in which you try not to be fired.”

Continue reading at PEN Newsblast »
Page 7 of 9« First56789