• Matt Murrie

What If We Replaced History Books with Ben & Jerry's?

...if we ever want to have an honest accounting of who we are as Americans, we can’t pick and choose what we wish to remember.

Ben & Jerry’s, “From Slavery to Mass Incarceration


Did I have you at Ben or Jerry? Honestly, though, who doesn’t think the thought of studying history could use a little ice cream?


But this idea has little to do with ice cream and even less to do with making history go down a little sweeter. It’s not a total bummer, either: it’s just honest.


What if, what Ben & Jerry have been doing for years to use their platform--not product--to promote an education long overdue is deserving of a permanent place on what and how we learn?


If that last paragraph has you a little hazy, take a quick look at From Slavery to Mass Incarceration...


.. now that you’re back, I’m open for thoughts or examples on how any current history textbook in the United States is better than Ben & Jerry’s blog.


Some additional questions while you’re digging up evidence for traditional textbooks:


* What would be the ramifications if educators teaching history never opened another textbook until their students completed the contents of Ben & Jerry’s blog?


* The same way Ben & Jerry’s gives readers direct access to organizations providing more information and opportunities for actions, what if all learning about history were connected to a consequence today?


* What if impassioned learners could continue their learning to take more informed actions rooted in contexts of history and empathy that empowers them to be makers of history?


* If an ice cream blog can provide more relevant, succinct, actionable, and affordable learning experiences for a wider audience than traditional textbooks:


  1. Why are we still using traditional textbooks for learning?

  2. Why are we paying for textbooks?

  3. Who is demanding the continued use of traditional textbooks?

a. Students

b. Teachers

c. Parents

d. Administrators

e. Textbooks


Fortunately, for the curious, just as Ben & Jerry's can be much more than ice cream, we can be much more than educators, learners, and community members. We can be collaborators in creating the School of Tomorrow.


Nobody was assigned coming back to "school as usual" for homework when COVID-19 wrecked our "business as usual" lives.


What if it is 100% up to us to make sure we never return to school as we knew it, but school as we make it, even if that means serving Ben & Jerry's for History.

What If Curiosity

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