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Sato Ryohei
What do teachers teach about the atomic bomb in the U.S? I know this issue should be treated carefully, but I like to know the reality in the U.S. I don’t want to discuss or argue here, but just want to know the fact. Please let me know.
Aug 15, 2019 2:56 PM
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Answers · 11
To answer your question to Merlyn -- In my own experience, I think very few teachers would teach that it was ethically right to use the bomb, given the massive impact on civilians. It's true that there's no national curriculum, but I think when this subject is taught, there is usually a lot of focus on the horrors of nuclear war in general (and the desire to avoid it in the future), including the way it affected Japan. I think the reason why there tends to be so much discussion about the question of whether or not it was necessary to use the bomb is because many people believe it was not necessary, and was therefore ethically wrong.
August 15, 2019
I assume you are talking about secondary school (not university)? We do not have a national curriculum in the country, nor a national exam for K-12 schools. So this is very variable. It depends highly on the teacher and the school. From my experience in a high school in NY, the discussion centers less on than the destruction, and more on whether it was necessary to drop the bomb to end the war. But several times, we have had survivors from Hiroshima come and talk to the students. These talks/discussions have focused more on the horrors of nuclear weapons (and the need to fight against their use) than on the reasons it was used. There are special programs that bring these speakers to the schools. https://www.sevendaysvt.com/vermont/japanese-atomic-bomb-survivors-bring-their-stories-to-vermont/Content?oid=20393514
August 15, 2019
Here is a typical overview which is targeted at teenage school children and which introduces ethical questions. https://www.khanacademy.org/humanities/us-history/rise-to-world-power/us-wwii/a/the-manhattan-project-and-the-atomic-bomb
August 15, 2019
I don't know exactly what aspect you mean, but it is taught. Of course in my schools (and almost all schools) it was part of overall US history, and there is alot of history so it wasn't given an entire semester like it would be at university. The development and deployment of 'Fat Man' and 'Little Boy' was covered, political and strategic military pros and cons, the ethics of nuclear weapons generally and the ethics specifically related to this event. In the '50's my Dad was required to read the translations of accounts of the survivors of Hiroshima.
August 15, 2019
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August 15, 2019
Sato Ryohei
Language Skills
English, Japanese
Learning Language
English