The Morality of Democratic Citizenship: Goals for Civic Education in the Republic's Third Century

R. Freeman Butts
Center for Civic Education
Calabasas, California

Chapter 1
One Clear Mandate: Teach History

By the mid-1980s the educational reform movement was rolling along with the aid of the many commission reports and the political clout of state governors and legislatures, financial support of major foundations, and the acquiescence, if not complete enthusiasm, of the major professional education organizations. Still, the main attention continued to be structural arrangements to attract, pay, and hold high quality teachers. These were probably the key matters, but the question of curriculum reform and what to teach as well as what it was most worth to learn in the elementary school had scarcely begun to go beyond literacy and numeracy (long known as reading, writing, and arithmetic).

At the high school level, several of the states were following Ernest Boyer's lead in arguing for a common required curriculum for all students, whether college-bound or not. The California State Department of Education agreed and put it this way in its Model Curriculum Standards of 1985:

A strong consensus is building within the education profession in support of a core curriculum. First, if we are to stay competitive internationally, our economy requires a more sophisticated education for all students. Second, the continuance of our democratic society demands that we do a better job of teaching civic values by connecting more of our students to our history, our culture, and those ideals which hold us together as a people. Finally, we surely can be more successful in providing a broad, liberal education for more of our youth. In too many instances we have betrayed the democratic dream by operating our schools as if only the more advanced student could understand and appreciate our culture and our political and ethical ideals.  1 
In several states this "emerging consensus" at the secondary level settled on the basic academic subjects: English, science, mathematics and history. Very often civics or government was added; sometimes the arts and foreign language. California's pace-setting law of 1983 set state-wide requirements for high school graduation at:

3 years of English
3 years of History/Social Science
2 years of Mathematics
2 years of Science
1 year of either Foreign Language or Visual and Performing Arts
2 years of Physical Education
The legislation also required the State Superintendent of Public Instruction to draw up and the State Board of Education to adopt "Model Curriculum Standards" for the newly mandated graduation requirements. Local school districts were required to compare their own curriculum with the model standards at least once every three years. The intention was to give guidelines, leadership, and models, but not to mandate the specifics of course content. Superintendent Bill Honig soon set in motion a wide range of efforts to respond to the legislation.

One of these was an invitational conference of the CLIO Project, cosponsored by the State Department of Education and the Graduate School of Education at the University of California, Berkeley, in August 1984 on the topic "History in the Public Schools: What Shall We Teach?" As one might imagine, the answers to that question by the several score of attendees were quite varied. They ranged from a stress on return to narrative story-telling and heroes rather than bland analysis, emphasis on chronology rather than "problems," history for its own sake, and greater emphasis on the forgotten actors in history, the minorities, ethnic groups, women, the underclass. My own paper, "History and Civic Education," focused on history as a major formative component in the making of democratic citizens and improving their public judgments, a purpose that harkened back to some of the founders of the Republic.  2 

More directly aimed at drawing up "Model Curriculum Standards", a series of advisory committees was appointed by Superintendent Honig for each of the curriculum subjects. The Committee for History-Social Science ultimately settled on topics to be included in a year of World History, Culture, and Geography; a year of United States History and Geography; a half-year of American Government and Civics; and a half-year of Economics. Whereas no member of the Committee, including myself, would agree with every aspect of the result, I was pleased that considerable emphasis was given in the "Recommendations" to the role of history and the social studies as generators of civic education. Recommendation #3 stated explicitly that the history-social science curriculum "should provide for the understanding of American civic values."

A. Teach History—But What History

It is well enough that such affirmations in favor of civic education should be made in important educational documents in important states. It is much better than to fail to do so, as was the case with so many of the educational reform reports of the 1980s. But, even so, the professed generalizations need to be brought down to specific content and examples. I believe that the California Model Curriculum Standards pointed the way, but the test will eventually be how they are regarded by hundreds of local school districts and thousands of teachers, administrators, and boards of education. In the following pages I try to give some historical perspective on what role the teaching of history has played and might play in the "making of citizens."

In response to the query posed by the CLIO Conference—What history shall we teach?—we could give two kinds of answers about the topic of history and civic education. One deals with the specific role that history should play in the over-all educational effort to prepare the young for citizenship. The other has to do with the relative importance of the study of history in comparison with the other social studies as an instrument for civic education in the schools. Both topics are important today, but neither was in the forefront of thinking about education in the early days of the American republic. As Hazel Hertzberg points out, history as a widespread, separate, and distinct subject of instruction in schools and colleges is only about a hundred years old in the United States.  3  Nevertheless, it is worth reminding that the founders of the republic were virtually u- unanimous in their belief that the welfare of the republic rested upon an educated citizenry capable of achieving civic virtue, i.e., a willingness to put obligation for the public good above private interest.

Inasmuch as many founders viewed their revolution primarily in political rather than economic or social terms, they talked about education as a bulwark for liberty, equality, popular consent, and devotion to the public good, goals that took precedence over the uses of knowledge for individual self-fulfillment or preparation for a job. Over and over, many of the Revolutionary generation, both liberal and conservative in outlook, asserted their faith not only that the welfare of the Republic rested on an educated citizenry but also that republican schools—especially free, common, public schools—would be the best way to educate the citizenry in the cohesive civic values, knowledge, and obligations required of everyone in a democratic republican society.

The principal ingredients of a civic education, most agreed, were literacy and inculcation of patriotic and moral virtues. Only a few stressed studying history along with the principles of republican government itself. The founders and almost all their successors were long on exhortation of the value of civic education, but they left it to the textbook writers to distill the essence of those values for school children. And since most of the textbook writers turned out to be of a conservative persuasion (more likely Federalist in outlook than Jeffersonian Republican), they almost universally agreed that political virtue must rest on moral and religious precepts. Since most textbook writers were New Englanders, the early texts were infused with Protestant and, above all, Puritan outlooks.

Noah Webster's spellers, readers, and grammars exemplified this combination of faith in literacy (Americanized), didactic moral instruction, patriotism, and Puritan devotion to duty. Immediately following the Revolution, schoolbooks began to celebrate the values of national cohesion, love of country, and love of liberty. All things American began to be glorified. Even the staid New England Primer, which taught generations of Protestant children to learn the alphabet by Biblical injunctions, changed its couplet illustrating "W" from "Whales in the Sea, GOD's Voice Obey" to "Great Washington brave, His Country did save." Indeed, Washington became the object not only of extravagant praise but of virtually religious devotion. Ruth Elson quotes a 1797 textbook as saying of Washington: "The most unexceptionally, the most finished, the most Godlike, human character that ever acted a part on the theatre of the world.  4 

In the first half century of the Republic the most influential carriers of civic education in the schools were the spellers and readers. Their paramount theme was to "attach the child's loyalty to the state and nation. The sentiment of patriotism, love of country, vies with the love of God as the cornerstone of virtue: 'Patriotism...must be considered as the noblest of the social virtues.'"  5 

One of the few founders of the new Republic who put real faith in the study of history, rather than religion, as preparation for most persons in the duties of citizenship was Thomas Jefferson. In reviewing the reasons for his proposal of a Virginia law to establish public schools, Jefferson stated a classic view of the importance of history in the education of citizens. In his "Notes on the State of Virginia" Jefferson described the revisal of laws he proposed for Virginia in 1779 designed to replace the English monarchical common law with laws more consistent with republicanism. One of the most important of these was the proposal for a complete system of public education, consisting of elementary schools for all children, grammar schools for the bright and needy, and a state university as capstone for the training for public leadership. Jefferson's words are worth quoting at some length:

The first stage of this education being the schools of the hundreds [local districts], wherein the great mass of the people will receive their instruction, the principal foundations of future order will be laid here. Instead, therefore, of putting the Bible and Testament into the hands of the children at an age when their judgments are not sufficiently matured for religious inquiries, their memories may here be stored with the most useful facts from Grecian, Roman, European, and American history. The first elements of morality too may be instilled into their minds; such as, when further developed as their judgments advance in strength, may teach them how to work out their own greatest happiness, by showing them that it does not depend on the condition of life in which chance has placed them, but is always the result of a good conscience, good health, occupation, and freedom in all just pursuits.  6 
Jefferson not only gave history a basic role along with reading, writing, and arithmetic, he stressed the role of history in forming the political judgment of citizens:

But of all the views of this law none is more important, none more legitimate, than that of rendering the people the safe, as they are the ultimate, guardians of their own liberty. For this purpose the reading in the first stage, where they will receive their whole education, is proposed, as has been said, to be chiefly historical. History, by apprising them of the past, will enable them to judge of the future; it will avail them of the experience of other times and other nations; it will qualify them as judges of the actions and designs of men; it will enable them to know ambition under every disguise it may assume; and knowing it, to defeat its views. In every government of earth is some trace of human weakness, some germ of corruption and degeneracy, which cunning will discover, and wickedness insensibly open, cultivate and improve. Every government degenerates when trusted to the rulers of the people alone. The people themselves therefore are its only safe depositories. And to render even them safe their minds must be improved to a certain degree. This indeed is not all that is necessary, though it be essentially necessary. An amendment of our constitution must here come in aid of the public education. The influence over government must be shared among all the people.  7 
Although many American founders were convinced that education was important for the welfare of the Republic, there was little agreement concerning just what kind of history teaching would best prepare citizens to make better political judgments and thus become better citizens. If textbooks prevailing in the 19th century can be trusted as guides, it was widely assumed that history ought to be taught as a handmaiden to Protestant Christianity, and that the teaching of government ought to be a handmaiden for Federalist orthodoxy.  8  Then in the late nineteenth century things began to change. Important as it is, I cannot deal here with the history of the teaching of history. I can only mention a few generalizations, drawn principally from the excellent and detailed research being conducted by Hazel Whitman Hertzberg and also from some secondary studies of my own.  9 

Models of the Past

Toward the end of the 19th century and the opening of the 20th century, the teaching of history in the secondary schools was increasingly influenced by professional and academic organizations whose committee reports helped to shape the textbooks and the pedagogical concerns for several decades. Of particular importance was the effort to stiffen and expand the study of history (and thus reduce the emphasis on civil government) by introducing more rigorous scholarly knowledge into the history texts and courses. In 1892, the Madison Conference on History, Civil Government, and Political Economy made proposals that became a part of the overall re-examination of the entire secondary school curriculum undertaken by the Committee of Ten of the National Education Association whose report was published in 1893 and again in 1894.

Hailed by the president of the National Education Association as "the most important educational document ever published in the United States," the report of the Committee of Ten dealt with nine subject matter fields pertaining to the secondary schools. The order of listing was not insignificant, reflecting the predominantly collegiate and academic concerns of the overall Committee as well as those of the nine sub-committees:

  1. Latin
  2. Greek
  3. English
  4. Other Modern Languages
  5. Mathematics
  6. Physics, Chemistry, and Astronomy
  7. Natural History (Botany, Zoology, Physiology)
  8. History, Civil Government, and Political Economy
  9. Geography
The hierarchy of studies proposed by the Committee of Ten in its model courses is clear:

(a) The social studies rank much lower than the languages, mathematics, and the sciences.
(b) Within the field originally called History, Civil Government,and Political Economy, the attention to history is by all odds predominant.

In fact, the Madison Conference, which drew up the report on these subjects, recommended that political economy not be treated as a separate subject in the secondary school, and that civil government by and large should be treated historically. This handed over instruction about civil government and the Constitution largely to history. Throughout the Conference's report the usual terms became "history and kindred subjects," or "history and allied subjects," or "history and related subjects.

The predominance of an historical outlook is explained in part by the composition of the Madison Conference. Four members were historians, including Charles K. Adams (European history), president of the University of Wisconsin and chairman of the Conference; James Harvey Robinson, European historian at Pennsylvania; and Albert Bushnell Hart, American historian at Harvard, secretary of the Conference. In addition they were counseled by two of Wisconsin's most noted historians: Frederick Jackson Turner, American history; and Charles H. Haskins, European history. Three members represented political science and political economy, including a Princeton professor by the name of Woodrow Wilson. Three members were secondary school headmasters or principals.

As it turned out, the Madison Conference report did not make citizenship as explicit in the purposes of history teaching as did Frederick Jackson Turner in the 1891 Wisconsin Journal of Education, the year before the Conference report was drawn up:

I must conclude my remarks [on "The Significance of History"] with a few words upon the utility of history as affording a training for good citizenship. Doubtless good citizenship is the end for which the public schools exist.... History... is more than past literature, more than past politics, more than past economics.... History has a unity and continuity; the present needs the past to explain it; and local history must be read as part of world history.... But perhaps its most practical utility to us, as public school teachers, is its service in fostering good citizenship.... We must make history living instead of allowing it to seem mere literature, a mere narration of events that might have occurred on the moon. We must teach the history of a few countries thoroughly rather than that of many countries superficially.  10 
Agreeing with the committees of all the other subjects, the Madison Conference argued that there should be no distinction in the aims or content of history and kindred studies for those students who were going on to college and those who were not. The purposes were a strong intellectual discipline for future citizens, namely, to "...broaden and cultivate the mind;...counteract a narrow and provincial spirit;...prepare the pupil in an eminent degree for enlightened and intellectual enjoyment in later years;...and...assist him to exercise a salutary influence upon the affairs of his country."  11 

The Conference came back to this theme time and again: "...history and its allied branches are better adapted than any other studies to promote the invaluable mental power which we call the judgment." It also gave a passing bow to history as "the best training in patriotism," and even very important for "moral training," but the training of the judgment was above all history's finest role in the preparation of citizens:

To sum up, one object of historical study is the acquirement of useful facts; but the chief object is the training of the judgment, in selecting the grounds of an opinion, in putting things together, in generalizing upon facts, in estimating character, in applying the lessons of history, to current events, and in accustoming children to state their conclusions in their own words.  12 
Thus, the Conference recommended that history and kindred subjects ought to be studied in every one of the years of the grammar school (grades 5-8) and of the high school (grades 9-12). Attention to civil Government is specified in the U.S. History course in the 7th grade and again in U.S. History in the 11th grade. While oral stories of biography and mythology could dominate grades 5-6, systematic history should be taught thereafter:

Whether the eminent historians of the Madison Conference ever really expected the schools of the nation to give so much attention to chronological history is uncertain, but they nevertheless made the case for a prominent role for history throughout the middle and upper grades of common schooling. The overall Committee of Ten, however, could find room in their models for no more than 6-10 units out of a total of 80 during the four high school years.

When it came to civil government as such, the Madison Conference found that not more than one grammar school in six offered such study, but possibly one high school in three did so. In most cases, civil government consisted of a textbook studied during part of a year and seldom associated with history. And the Conference did not, for whatever reasons, think it necessary to recommend precise grounds to be covered by civil government. It simply mentioned that several approaches could be made: start with local government and proceed outward to the national government; or begin with the most attractive aspects of national government such as the post office, army, or navy; or associate practical ethics or rules of conduct with government.

The Conference contented itself by urging that the teaching of civil government be made more practical and functional than the rote memorizing or clause-by-clause analysis that seemed to be encouraged by most of the civil government and Constitution manuals produced prior to 1890. It resolved that

... civil government in the high schools should be taught by using a text-book as a basis, with collateral reading and topical work, and observation and instruction in the government of the city, or town, and State in which the pupils live, and with comparisons between foreign and American systems of government.  13 
Again, with rather obvious disdain for the textbooks that treated the Constitution in great detail, the Conference summed up its views on civil government as follows:

Your Conference...would express the belief that the theoretical questions of government, such as the origin and nature of the state, the doctrine of sovereignty, the theory of the separation of powers, etc., are very difficult to teach to children.... On the other hand the simple principles underlying the laws which regulate the relations of individuals with the state, may be taught by specific instances and illustrations; and the machinery of government, such as systems of voting, may be constantly illustrated by the practice of the communities in which the children live.  14 
It seems clear that the predominant tilt of the Conference was not only toward studying civil government and the Constitution as a part of history, but within civil government itself to stress the values of sending children to observe local, and possibly state, government in action, to visit local courts and city councils, and to engage in mock town meetings and legislatures as well as encouraging them to write papers on the local institutions near to them.  15  In any case, systematic and sustained study of the text or the principles underlying the Constitution was not high on the agenda of the Madison Conference or the Committee of Ten.

This early alliance between the academic enthusiasts within the National Education Association and within the recently organized American Historical Association (1894) thus served the purposes of promoting history in the school curriculum as a prime agency for preparing good citizens. Then, additional support came from the historical profession itself in a series of its own committee reports sponsored by the American Historical Association around the turn of the century. Probably the most important of these was the Committee of Seven appointed in 1896 and reporting in 1899.  16  There was much continuity with the arguments and views of the Madison Conference, especially through the memberships of A. B. Hart and C. H. Haskins. This time the American historians were more evenly balanced with the European historians: three American historians (Andrew C. McLaughlin of Michigan, chairman, along with Hart and Herbert B. Adams of Johns Hopkins) and three European Historians (Haskins, Lucy Salmon of Vassar, and H. Morse Stephens of Cornell).

The Committee of Seven reaffirmed the importance of "historical thinking" as a basic preparation for citizenship and the special value of studying civil government from a historical point of view, but it moved closer than the Madison Conference had done to giving special treatment to civil government as a formal study in its own right. The general goals were clear:

... the most essential result of secondary education is acquaintance with political and social environment, some appreciation of the nature of the state and society, some sense of the duties and responsibilities of citizenship, some capacity in dealing with political and governmental questions, something of the broad and tolerant spirit which is bred by the study of past times and conditions.  17 
In view of the deep interests in political and constitutional history of McLaughlin, Adams, and Hart, it is not surprising that the study of political ideas and institutions should play a leading role in their views of history:

In the study of American history it is especially desirable that the development of the political organizations be clearly brought forth. Nothing should be allowed to obscure the leading features of our constitutional system. The pupil must see the characteristics of American political life and know the forms and methods, as well as the principles of political activity. He must have knowledge of the ideals of American life, and must study the principles of American society as they have expressed themselves in institutions and embodied themselves in civic forms.  18 
The Committee proposed a continuous series of courses each a year long during the four years of high school:

  1. Ancient History
  2. Medieval and Modern European History
  3. English History (with considerable emphasis on political and constitutional institutions)
  4. American History and Civil Government
When it came to the fourth year, the Committee reaffirmed the value of studying history and civil Government together, but it did allow, somewhat reluctantly, that it might be advisable to give special attention to the study of civil government and the Constitution if the best of circumstances obtained:

In any complete and thorough secondary course in these subjects there must be, probably, a separate study of civil government, in which may be discussed such topics as municipal government, state institutions, the nature and origin of civil society, some fundamental notions of law and justice, and like matters; and it may even be necessary, if the teacher desires to give a complete course and can command the time, to supplement work in American history with a formal study of the Constitution and the workings of the national government. But we repeat that a great deal of what is called civil government can best be studied as a port of history. To know the present form of our institutions well, we should see whence they came and how they developed;...  19  [italics added]
The key to the Seven's emphasis on history as an agent for civic education was that it developed the art of historical thinking among pupils, not so much the art of historical investigation. This was a disapproval of a movement that had appeared in the 1890s to stress analysis of documents and the use of primary sources as a means of training pupils to search for historical materials, weigh evidence, and draw conclusions. In place of this "source method" the Seven preferred a good textbook that would dearly show sequence and relationships, after which documents like the Constitution and the Declaration could be studied. But too often the study of actual documents was admitted to be dull and unrewarding. In any case, American history textbooks of the era and thereafter almost universally carried the text of the Constitution and some considerable narrative concerning its origin and basic ideas during its framing and adoption. It was usually treated with utmost deference and respect.  20 

But the historians could not keep civil government largely to themselves and to the study of history. An A.H.A. Committee of Eight on history in the elementary schools conceded in 1910 that there should be a separate civics course in the 8th grade; and their Committee of Five later admitted that special treatment should be given to civil government in the 12th grade course, recommending two-fifths of the year to government and three-fifths to American history.

The pressures from outside as well as within the academic profession were building up to give much more separate and special attention to the study of government apart from history, but, as we shall see in Chapter 2, these pressures did not necessarily result in more explicit attention to the study of the Constitution. In fact, a combination of rising professional aggressiveness on the part of the new American Political Science Association (1902-03), the political reform measures promoted by the National Municipal League (1901), and the progressive educational and social reform impetus in the National Education Association were all involved.

The point is that when history became a separate, identifiable, and important subject in the secondary school curriculum toward the end of the 19th century, it was promoted by many professional historians as a disciplinary subject purporting to be equal in value to the classics and mathematics for training the mind as the prime means of civic education. Later, when progressive historians and social scientists of the early 20th century urged the reform of secondary education, they viewed the cultivation of good citizenship from a different perspective but still in the forefront of the goals of the social studies and of history itself. The two most influential exponents of this view were the leading American historians, James Harvey Robinson and Charles A. Beard.  21 They argued for a kind of history that would primarily "speak to the present" and be seen as related to the present life interests of students, and to the contemporary concerns of educated citizens in general. They also argued for an alliance between the new social sciences and the new history as a key to the civic mission of education.

The generally liberal and progressive view of the New Deal tended to permeate the reports of the Commission on the Social Studies of the American Historical Association, supported from 1929 to 1934 by the Carnegie Corporation. Seventeen volumes were issued between 1932 and 1937. The dominant tone of the most widely read volumes (such as those by Charles A. Beard, George S. Counts, Merle Curti, and Charles E. Merriam) was reflected in the Conclusions and Recommendations of the Commission: the age of excessive individualism and laissez-faire in the economy and government was closing and a new collectivity requiring more social planning and governmental regulation was emerging. The reasons sound familiar today: deprivation in the midst of plenty, inequality in income, widespread unemployment, wasted natural resources, rising crime and violence, subordination of public welfare to private interest, and international struggle for the world's raw materials. A particular curriculum was not promulgated, but it was clear that the Commission hoped that their reformist view of political and economic life would guide specific curriculum-making for civic education programs. The clear implication was that youth should be taught the values of economic collectivity and interdependence in place of laissez-faire while still valuing personal freedom and cultural pluralism.  22 

Then, in the 1960s and early 1970s a strange combination of influences served to dilute the civic purposes of the school curriculum in general and the social studies in particular. The growth of specialized research in history and in the social sciences diverted the attention of teachers away from history as a molder of political judgment. On top of this, the wave of protests and campus unrest attendant upon Vietnam and Watergate led to a distaste for an allegedly irrelevant study of the past as well as rejection of the role of education in developing anything that sounded so chauvinistic or old-fashioned as "civic virtue." The "New Social Studies" of the 1960s and 1970s were largely ahistorical, if not antihistorical, and largely indifferent to the civic mission of education. Hazel Hertzberg summed up the new social studies view as follows:

Citizenship education—as represented by the traditional civics, government, and "problems of democracy" courses—was ignored, or assumed to take care of itself when intellectually able and inquiring citizens were produced. The new social studies were unified by a shared approach and shared methodologies, not by a conception of shared content or shared civic purposes. Clearly something had to give. History, it was agreed, had to move over.  23 

B. What Role for History in the Social Studies?

So, we come to the mid-1970s. It is clear that in the past decade the educational profession in general and the social studies profession in particular have begun to reassert more forcefully than for nearly half a century the argument that education for citizenship is the fundamental purpose of universal education in American society. Several signs of this revival of the civic mission of education are apparent, but the nagging question will not go away: Will history teaching become a significant element in this revival, or will the revival be left to civics/government, law-related education, moral and ethical education, and other off-shoots of the social sciences and humanities?

For the past dozen years, the chorus of voices on the citizenship theme has been rising and the stated consensus among professional educators has been widening both outside and inside the social studies. Again, I can mention only a few instances. In 1975, the board of directors of the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) resolved that citizenship education should again become the main focus of social studies. In 1977, Barr, Earth, and Shermis asserted: "After decades of disagreement, there is now general agreement that the primary, overriding purpose of the social studies is citizenship education." In 1979, the governing boards of twelve professional education associations (including NCSS) endorsed a statement on The Essentials of Education which claimed flatly: "Educators agree that the overarching goal of education is to develop informed, thinking citizens capable of participating in both domestic and world affairs. The 1979 Revision of the NCSS Social Studies Curriculum Guidelines stated: "The basic goal of social studies education is to prepare young people to be humane, rational, participating citizens in a world that is becoming increasingly interdependent."  24 

In 1980 the NCSS Essentials of Social Studies went so far as to enumerate the democratic beliefs that should permeate exemplary social studies programs and listed them under the unadorned heading "Democratic Beliefs:"

Fundamental beliefs drawn from the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution with its Bill of Rights form the basic principles of our democratic constitutional order. Exemplary school programs do not indoctrinate students to accept these ideas blindly, but present knowledge about their historical derivation and contemporary application essential to understanding our society and its institutions. Not only should such ideas be discussed as they relate to the curriculum and to current affairs, they should also be mirrored by teachers in their classroom and embodied in the school's daily operations.
These democratic beliefs depend upon such practices as due process, equal protection and civic participation, and are rooted in the concepts of
Privacy  25 
In 1983 the NCSS Task Force on Scope and Sequence echoed the Essentials statement almost word for word, adding to the heading "Democratic Values and Beliefs" [italics added] and to the list of concepts:

Rule of Law
International Human Rights  26 
In these and many other statements of the general goals of social studies, history of the United States and of the world usually leads the lists of areas of knowledge which should be taught as the means whereby social studies achieves the goal of knowledge, democratic values, and the skills of thinking and participation.

These statements emanating from national organizations and from NCSS were echoed in the California History-Social Science Framework of 1981:

The central purpose of history/social science education is to prepare students to be humane, rational, understanding, and participating citizens in a diverse society and in an increasingly interdependent world – students who will preserve and continue to advance progress toward a just society.  27 
Let me underline the key words of consensus in these statements:

The primary, overriding purpose...
The overarching goal...
The basic goal...
The central purpose...
These are strong and important adjectives with which to describe the priority role of citizenship education in American schools in general and in the social studies in particular. I believe that it is both timely and extremely important that the profession and the public take these statements more seriously than ever and that they be applied to history as well as to the social sciences. But the question is whether the courses, the textbooks, and the teachers of history will take the generalities seriously. For many reasons the task will not be easy. On one side, there are those who argue for a value-neutral approach to the social studies in the schools as well as to the social sciences in universities; and, on the other, those in the excellence movement who campaign for reinstating chronological history as the central core of what they disparage as a jumble of incoherence called "social studies."

The academic profession has long been uneasy about the whole question of "values" in teaching the social and political sciences. This has sprung from a genuine belief in value-free or value-neutral behavioral science and in empirical scientific methods as well as a fear of indoctrination, censorship, and partisan interference in the educative process. The experiences of the late 1960s and early 1970s with Vietnam, Watergate, and campus unrest made many, if not most, teachers wary or even hostile toward espousing anything that approached a flag-waving patriotism. The very phrase "Be a good citizen" often brought forth ironic laughter or jeers.

Thus, many social studies teachers felt comfortable with a "New Social Studies" that stressed the structure and methods of the social science disciplines, or with an "inquiry method" that skirted questions of indoctrination or inculcation of values. "Competency-based behavioral objectives" were transferred to citizenship competencies with little or no mention of values. And even when values were directly confronted, it was often with a stress upon the process of valuing rather than upon substantive study of the value concepts basic to a democratic society.

In this connection, I only mention one article on values clarification addressed to social studies teachers in which a leader of these views, Sidney Simon, said:

In place of indoctrination, my associates and I are substituting a process approach to the entire area of dealing with values in the schools, which focuses on the process of valuing, not on the transmission of the "right" set of values. We call this approach values-clarification, and it is based on the premise that none of us has the "right" set of values to pass on to other people's children.  28 
Elements of this non-evaluative point of view on "valuing" are clearly present in the earlier NCSS Curriculum Guidelines of 1971 and 1979 and in the California Framework for Social Sciences of 1975. But my point is that an important momentum in the profession, in the academic world, and in the public is now stressing that mere process in "valuing" will no longer do in an increasingly fragmented and fractionated society. Within the social studies profession itself, as I have just said, the calls for greater and closer attention to democratic values have been growing during the past decade. The question is whether the excellence movement's stress on "returning" to chronological history will take the generalization about civic values as seriously. There is both good news and ambiguous news.

The Impact of the Excellence Movement

The ambiguous news is illustrated in the arguments for reinstating chronological history as the staple and core of the social studies. Some of these calls do indeed rely on citizenship as a basic justification for teaching history, but it is not dear that they will necessarily make civic values an explicit element in the substance and content of chronological history study.

Let me be clear. I believe in chronological history. I taught history chronologically for 40 years. The basic issue to my mind is what should be taught and learned chronologically. Historians and teachers must make selections from the infinite range and scope of facts, events, institutions, and ideas that are available for teaching and learning in school history. I am proposing that civic values become the major principle of selection in one or more required history courses.

It is not clear to me how much emphasis the advocates of restoring history to the center of the curriculum would put on civic values. Often, the excellence leaders preferred to speak of history, civics, and geography rather than "social studies." This seems to imply that the civic values should be allocated to civics or government and that history should be primarily concerned with broad civilizational narrative, aimed at the cultivation of intellectual and cultural enrichment appropriate to the study of the humanities.

For example, in the conclusion of the book they edited in 1984, Chester E. Finn, Jr. and Diane Ravitch state the case for the role of the humanities in civic education as follows:

As a society, we have understood that every citizen must have the education that is necessary for him to be free, to choose wisely for himself how to live responsibly and well.... Well taught and well learned, the humanities are the strongest democratizing force that formal education can muster.  29 
Finn and Ravitch offer twelve recommendations for upgrading the quality of teaching the humanities in the schools, stressing their contributions to implanting values, reliance on the scholarly disciplines, sustenance of an active intellectual life, and higher standards of achievement and preparation of teachers. In their recommendations for the curriculum in the social studies they said this:

...the phrase "social studies" should be banished from the high school curriculum. What should be taught and learned is history, and this must consist fundamentally of the history of the United States, the enveloping history of Western civilization, and the parallel history of non-Western civilizations. By history we do not mean only—or primarily—the memorization of dates and facts or the identification of wars and political leaders, though these have their place. Properly conceived, history includes the history of ideas, cultural developments, and social, political, and economic movements. It includes the evolution of diverse cultures and the changing relationships among peoples, races, religions, and beliefs. Everything worth learning that is commonly found under the rubric of "social studies" can be taught and learned as history, but only if it is taught and learned in an essentially chronological framework can the student emerge with a sense of how he and his society came to be what they are and where they are at the present time. And only with that understanding of the past can the student reasonably hope to know where and how he would like himself and his society to be in the future—or what is entailed in getting there.  30 
It is difficult for me to ascertain whether in this view the interest in history as civic education is as strong as the interest in reestablishing narrative chronological history as the linchpin of social studies in the schools. The answer could well be that they must go together, by repeating the argument that history is "the strongest democratizing force that formal education can muster." The correlative seems to be that social studies not only are not, but cannot be, as strong a democratizing force as history is or can be.

At any rate, the case for reinstating history at the center of social studies has been espoused more often and in more public forums than is usually accorded to such matters of curriculum and pedagogy. William J. Bennett carried this message in many speeches and publications as chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities before 1985 and as Secretary of Education after 1985. More than once his theme was that American schools are failing to transmit adequately our democratic heritage and a major reason is that social studies have been dominated by a cultural and moral relativism. And history is in danger of becoming absorbed in the "smorgasbord of this and that known as social studies." The cure? Teach chronological history:

How then are we to restore the American faith in the principles of liberal democracy? A good way to begin, it seems to me, would be by recognizing the importance and the value of the study of history and by taking the necessary steps to strengthen history as a subject taught in the schools.... By studying American history, and yes, celebrating its heroes explicitly for each generation, and noting its achievements as well as its failures, our students are invited to grasp the values of our political tradition ... our schools should treat history as an autonomous discipline, related to, but distinct from, the social studies.  31 
For more than a decade similar calls began to emanate from academic and professional spokesmen urging that history be restored to a preeminent place in the curriculum. In the mid-1970s the Organization of American Historians lamented the decline in the teaching of history in the face of the fragmentation of the central core of social studies and the proliferation of elective courses in psychology, economics, consumer education, environmental studies, and multicultural studies of minority groups. By the mid-1980s the mandates for increased attention to history were extending from major articles in The New York Times and other publications to legislatures and boards of education, which were increasing requirements for high school graduation.  32  Some of these calls for more history stressed the political and civic role of history; most did not do more than give passing reference to citizenship.

One widely circulated statement that closely linked history and the civic mission of schools was issued in May 1987 by the American Federation of Teachers joined by the Educational Excellence Network and Freedom House. It was signed by 150 persons from many walks of public life, representing a wide spectrum of political and educational ideology. It focused directly on using history as the principal means whereby schools can impart to all students the knowledge and commitment necessary to achieve the ideals of a free and democratic society. The 22-page statement of principles on education for democracy frankly assumed that democracy is the worthiest form of human governance and affirmed that:

...democracy's survival depends upon our transmitting to each new generation the political vision of liberty and equality that unites us as Americans—and a deep loyalty to the political institutions our founders put together to fulfill that vision.  33 
The statement rejects propagandistic instruction, "knee-jerk patriotic drill," "pious texts," and censorship. It calls for balanced, objective, scholarly treatment of the fundamental ideas of our constitutional order, its achievements and failures over time. And it concludes with a reaffirmation of the study of history "as the chief subject in education for democracy." It does not, however, reject the idea of social studies as a basic flaw in the curriculum, but instead installs history as the central core and integrative element around which geography, civics, the humanities, and world studies would revolve.

I believe this Statement of Principles on teaching democracy in the schools struck a high point in public discussion of civic values in the educational reform movement of the mid 1980s. It gained a good deal of attention among columnists and op ed writers of both liberal and conservative persuasion. But it did not meet with as much universal approbation among social studies professionals themselves, some of whom did not wish to see history given such a high priority in the field and some who suspected a hidden conservative political and pedagogical agenda in its publication, despite the broad spectrum of views among the signatories.  34 

I, too, had some misgivings concerning one or two examples of charging social studies teachers with bias toward "moral relativism" as cited in the document, which were purported to be typical of a "social studies" approach in general. But, on the whole, I supported the general position that the historical perspective is necessary for informed citizenship and that it cannot be achieved solely by a disjointed "problems" approach to social studies. Still, I would argue that only that kind of narrative or chronological history which deals explicitly with civic problems and civic concepts will provide the kind of historical perspective that citizens need. Just any kind of narrative history will not do.

The case for reinstating chronological and narrative history (and literature) as the core of the humanities in the schools was carried to new heights by two reports in 1987, both of which received wide publicity and attention in the public as well as the professional press. They both evoked some of the sentiments of the Madison Conference, the Committee of Ten, and the AHA Committee of Seven, if not their recommendations for the details of historical content. Both continued to downgrade the role of social studies in favor of chronological and narrative history and thus to irritate social studies professionals, and even to elicit the criticism of academic historians.

The first report to appear (by 11 days) was issued by Lynne V. Cheney, chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities. The second was by Diane Ravitch and Chester Finn. Despite a momentary flap over who scooped whom and by what authority did they reveal the results of a National Assessment study, the two reports served to reinforce each other. They echoed the points of view regarding the humanities as earlier stated by Ravitch and Finn and by William Bennett, Cheney's predecessor at N.E.H. Cheney's slim pamphlet said almost nothing explicit about citizenship except in the broadest references to the satisfactions of mature thought, an attachment to abiding concerns, and a perspective on human existence to be achieved by studying our heritage.  35 

For their part, Ravitch and Finn went into considerable detail concerning the tests of knowledge of history and literature produced by the National Assessment of Educational Progress. They were alarmed that a large sample of 17-year-olds was so ignorant of so many important things that young adults should know. They concluded that the younger generation and "generations to follow are at risk of being gravely handicapped by that ignorance upon entry into adulthood, citizenship, and parenthood."  36 

Ravitch and Finn made it clear that the 141 items on the test embraced not only chronology of events, geography, important people (including women), science and technology, labor and industry, demography, and international affairs, but also 19 questions on the Constitution and 21 questions on civil rights. The students' average performance on these explicitly civic questions approximated their "overall performance on the entire history assessment, which is to say it is unsatisfactory."  37  Thereupon, Ravitch and Finn made their strongest affirmation of the importance of history in civic learning:

These questions [on the Constitution] are gathered into a duster not only because we happen to be observing the two hundredth anniversary of the U. S. Constitution, but also because they represent perhaps the strongest single reason for studying and knowing American history. More is involved than antiquarian interest or intellectual gymnastics. The system by which we govern ourselves today is comprehensible only if its history is understood. Otherwise it is a pastiche of seemingly random rules and capricious practices. Moreover, many of the most profound issues of contemporary society—having to do with civil and individual liberties, equality of opportunity, the tensions between freedom and order, and the relationships between majority rule and minority rights—have their origins and their defining events in the evolving drama of the Constitution. Yet our youngsters do not know enough about that drama, either in general or in specific terms, to reflect on or think critically about its meaning.  38 
Yet, when Ravitch and Finn come to their concluding chapter and make their specific recommendations for improving the teaching and learning of history and for the education of teachers, this strong affirmation of the civic purpose of history is strangely muted except in the generalizations of the final paragraphs on why study history. There, it is clear that the elements of cultural literacy should be at the disposal and command of all young people, not just the children of the elite.  39 

The report, the analysis, and recommendations by Ravitch and Finn received a great deal of commendation for urging more and better teaching of history in the schools and in teacher education. But they also elicited a good deal of criticism. This might be expected to come from several social studies professionals, and it did.  40  But it also came from such an astute observer as Harold Howe II, formerly U. S. Commissioner of Education and now at Harvard's Graduate School of Education.  41  And most surprising, perhaps, was the critique by historian Stephen R. Graubard, editor of Daedalus, the journal of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, in an op ed piece in The New York Times, entitled "Alarmist Critics Who Cry Beowulf." Arguing that we need to attend to fundamental problems like the values we espouse in families, communities, and the media rather than simply to factual recognition of events in history, he said:

These problems are not likely to be resolved by sounding the tocsin, even less by administering tests that reflect little more than a nostalgia for a past learning that cannot be recaptured and that would, if reinvented, render most Americans unfit for the world they are required to live in.

A more deliberate effort is called for—one that is more judicious in its weighing of educational gains and losses in recent decades and that takes into account why our nation today is not the one that Teddy Roosevelt once governed, and why there may even be reason to be grateful that it is not.  42 

So, even if we admit with Ravitch and Finn and the NAEP test results that there are "yawning gaps" in students' knowledge of historical events, persons, chronology, and geography, then what? The next question will be—or should be—what do we fill the gaps with? More political history? More economic history? More social history? More intellectual history? More biography? More family history? More minority and women's history? More constitutional history? More religious history? More traditional values? And if more of any of these, how much less of what else? What principles of selection shall we use to answer these questions?

Surveys of History Textbooks

A number of studies and surveys of popularly used history textbooks in the mid-1980s came up with varying answers. Ellis Katz of Temple University found that U.S. history texts neglected the history of federalism, and he proposed more.  43  Three different projects found that U.S. history texts neglected the history of religion and they all proposed more—but quite different—attention to religion, one stressing its positive and beneficial influences in our history, the two others stressing the values of freedom of religion and the separation of church and state.  44 

Paul C. Vitz, psychologist at New York University, attributed the neglect of religion to the prior decades of liberal bias against Christian morality and traditional family values, arguing that these should be portrayed more positively and favorably in school textbooks. Surveys by Charles C. Haynes of the Americans United Research Foundation and by a panel of experts for People for the American Way argued that much more attention should be devoted in our history books to the values of religious diversity, religious freedom versus religious intolerance, and the role of religion in fueling social movements as different as abolition, prohibition, and civil rights. The latter attributes the neglect of religion not to liberal bias, but to the fear of publishers of trodding on the sensitive toes of religious groups protective of their particular beliefs. In any case, publishers and authors will probably try to approach the difficult and complex story of religion in history and society. The California State Board of Education adopted in July 1987 a Framework for History/Social Science, which explicitly calls for new textbooks to carry such material.

Two major surveys of history textbooks undertaken around 1985-86 produced interesting but somewhat contradictory results. The first to be published was sponsored by People for the American Way and conducted by a panel of teachers and professors of history, chaired by O. L. Davis, Jr. of the University of Texas at Austin. The panel employed eight criteria in their evaluation of 31 U.S. history textbooks widely used in the 8th and 10th or 11th grades. Six of the criteria had to do with the quality of the books in living up to the canons of historical scholarship and historiography; and two had to do with their appeal in engaging the involvement of students in their own learning and the quality of their writing.  45 

Despite inadequacies that still remain in the treatment of minorities, literary quality, and avoidance of religion, the panel found that most of the texts were very good and some were excellent on the criteria used in evaluation. In general, the panel believed that most of these 1986 texts were considerably improved, in contrast to the public and professional condemnations of "dumbed-down" texts that had become so popular. The watering down trend was being reversed. This judgment of the panel was affirmed in the Preface by Joan Hoff-Wilson, executive secretary of the Organization of American Historians, who bespoke the support of the O.A.H. in the review.

Of particular interest here is the fact that both Professors Hoff-Wilson and Davis gave special point to the civic as well as the intellectual purposes of teaching U.S. History. In summarizing, Davis virtually denied that the books reflected a moral or political relativism:

The United States of America is presented in a positive light by all of the textbooks that were studied. At the same time, these books do not attempt to obscure recognizable blemishes on the story of our nation's continuing progress. This generation of U.S. history textbooks, obviously, has walked the razor's edge, promoting history narratives that are both positive toward our country and include episodes and interpretations that reveal our history as truly human and believable....

The textbooks follow traditional intentions to aid student's acquisition of fundamental and shared sentiments about our country and national life. The authors recognize their obligation to stress intellectual understanding of major principles and concepts and common loyalties in our nation's heritage, but they do not indoctrinate.  46 

In looking to the future on a similar note, Professor Hoff-Wilson expressed the hope that

...with the bicentennial of the U.S. Constitution in 1987, it is quite conceivable that textbooks for the next decade should place more emphasis than before on the significance and interpretation of key passages of, and amendments to, this hallowed document in American history.  47 
I found these generalizations to be encouraging signs for improving history's role in civic education.

A second major evaluation of history textbooks turned out to be not so encouraging. Under the sponsorship of the American Federation of Teachers, the Educational Excellence Network, and Freedom House, Paul Gagnon, professor of modern European history and chairman of the history department at the University of Massachusetts at Boston, undertook to study several world history textbooks. In contrast to the general evaluation criteria used by the Davis panel, Gagnon zeroed in on judging how well several widely used texts told the story of democracy in Western and American history.

Gagnon based his evaluation on the AFT Statement of Principles just described, the principal drafts of which he also wrote. Although he found some good things to say about the five world history texts, which he analyzed in depth, his general conclusion is as follows:

These world history texts leave the story of democracy largely untold. Its ideas and principles are left unclear, incomplete. Its origins, adventures, needs, and significance are nowhere systematically presented. Relying on such books alone, teachers cannot teach, and students cannot grasp, the compelling story of people's struggles for freedom, self-government, and justice on earth.

With certain exceptions... the textbooks lose chance after chance to develop the political sophistication of students. From the very start, students find little reason for the study of history or the connection its study might have with intelligent citizenship. The texts do not tell them, and the same is true, as we shall later see, of schoolbooks in United States history and even in American government. The uses of history are neither explicit nor implicit as the narrative proceeds. Although each period, from ancient Greece to our time, could offer vital lessons to democratic citizens, such lessons are for the most part absent.  48 

I would not attempt to appraise the critical evaluation that Gagnon made of each book as it deals with his 13 chronological periods of mainly Western history from the Greeks to the present. I have no doubt that the respective authors and advocates of non-Western history or social history will have plenty to say. But I believe that the general intent to make the study of history contribute more explicitly to the development of intelligent and informed citizenship is directly on the mark and that the questions he asked of the books are the right questions:

...what do the texts contribute to the students' knowledge of political democracy? As basic materials in the social studies curriculum for civic education, do they make clear the essential ideas and elements of a free society? Are the contrasts between free and unfree governments set forth? Are democracy's origins, development, and present situation in the world made dear? Will students find the facts and explanations they need to comprehend those forces that have nourished democracy—and those that have opposed and frustrated it?

On the other hand, are the sources, ideas, and institutions of authoritarian and totalitarian societies, past and present, equally clear? Is the coverage honest and balanced? Are all societies past and present, put into reasonable perspective and all, including our own, judged by coherent and consistent standards? Finally, are major themes and questions set forth and the relevant facts, ideas, and explanations offered in ways likely to engage the student and facilitate the teacher's work?  49 

Gagnon concludes his analysis by suggesting that there might be other themes that could well be used to overcome the encyclopedism and blandness of history texts. He mentions such themes as modernization (the transition from traditional to modern societies), the role of influential religions and ideologies, the interactions of major civilizations upon one another, or the story of human progress. I believe that these are all good suggestions and have even used them in my own writings on the history of education. But I now urge what is the theme of this book. If our goal in teaching history is the improvement of citizenship, why not make the ideas, concepts, practices, successes, and failures of citizenship an explicit, or the explicit, theme in the writing and teaching of history?

I hope that the surveys by the Davis panel and by Gagnon will prompt history writers of textbooks to give more attention to the citizenship theme. Unfortunately, to my mind, still another evaluation of history texts missed the opportunity to add its influence in this direction. The Educational Excellence Network asked an advisory review panel to assess eleven widely used textbooks dealing with American history at the elementary and secondary school level. The panel included several historians as well as Jack Beatty, senior editor of The Atlantic, and Robert Nisbet, emeritus professor of humanities at Columbia University. They were asked to judge the books primarily on the basis of literary and historiographical quality. Gilbert T. Sewall summarized the panel's assessment as follows:

It found that many of [the texts] lack a lively writing style, a strong narrative line, and voice. Too often texts are overwhelmed by graphics in a misguided attempt to catch and hold the attention of television-addicted children and adolescents. The report suggests that, as a result of the efforts of various pressure groups, key elements in the many-sided panorama of American history are watered down, distorted, or evaded entirely. The assessment encountered excellent writing and strong textbooks among those surveyed, especially at the eleventh-grade level. It also found compelling evidence of cowardice, commercialism, condescension, and crassness in the writing and publishing of far too many American history textbooks.  50 
So far, so good in the effort to improve the attractiveness and quality of textbooks. The recommendations follow from the guidelines given the panel: reduce the size and weight of textbooks, reduce the graphics and emphasize the text, hire better writers from among talented scholars and teachers (skip the social studies professionals and ghost writers), emphasize primary sources, put minority group issues into the mainstream historical context, and review textbooks for quality as is done for trade and scholarly books in journals and the press. No doubt such recommendations would improve the attractiveness of texts and enhance the interest to students. But sheer attention to literary content and historiography may not necessarily promote the improvement of civic understanding and commitment. If better citizenship is truly the goal of history, why not make it explicit as well as vivid and compelling?

Two major efforts were made in the mid-1980s to promote actual cooperating partnerships between history teachers in colleges and universities and history teachers in the secondary schools. Both gave considerable attention through in-service seminars to knowledge of civic and constitutional history. One was the National Coordinating Committee for the Promotion of History in collaboration with the Organization of American Historians.  51  The other was the History Teaching Alliance, a joint enterprise of the American Historical Association, the National Council for the Social Studies, and the Organization of American Historians. The years 1985-1987 concentrated on the history of the Constitution in the summer seminars and the recurrent seminars held during the academic years.  52 

I applaud these several attempts to highlight civic values in history teaching and history textbooks. I have noted that some very interesting achievements have already been made, although I have not made an elaborate survey. I have been impressed by two such books, in addition to the Patrick and Remy Lessons on the Constitution and the special text on the Constitution prepared by the Center for Civic Education for the Bicentennial competition (see Chapter 2). These are Law In American History by James G. Lengel and Gerald A. Danzer; and Reasoning with Democratic Values: Ethical Problems in United States History by Alan L. Lockwood and David E. Harris, both with accompanying teacher's manuals.  53  I hope this effort to deal directly and explicitly with civic values in the setting of chronological history in the schools will expand and thrive. I hope it draws strength from a heartening parallel movement toward dealing with civic values in the scholarly research and writing of history by academic historians themselves.

Continue to Chapter 1, Part C

1. Model Curriculum Standards; Grades Nine Through Twelve, Overview and Introduction (Sacramento: California State Department of Education, 1985), p. 1.  back 

2. See Bernard R. Gifford, ed., History in the Schools: What Shell We Teach? (New York: Macmillan, 1988). back  

3. Hazel Whitman Hertzberg, "The Teaching of History," in Michael Kammen, ed., The Past Before Us: Contemporary Historical Writing in the United States (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1980), p. 474.  back 

4. Ruth Miller Elson, Guardians of Tradition: American Schoolbooks of the Nineteenth Century (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1964), p. 195.  back 

5. Ibid., p. 282.  back 

6. Thomas Jefferson, "Notes of the State of Virginia," quoted in Gordon C. Lee, ed., Crusade Against Ignorance; Thomas Jefferson on Education (New York: Teachers College, Columbia University, 1961), p. 95.  back 

7. Ibid., pp. 96-97.  back 

8. See Elson, Guardians of Tradition, p. 338.  back 

9. In addition to Hertzberg, "The Teaching of History," in Kammen, The Past Before Us, see her Social Studies Reform (1880-1980) ED 211429 (Boulder, Cole.: Social Science Education Consortium, 1981) and "Students, Methods, and Materials of Instruction" in Matthew T. Downey, ed., History in the Schools (Washington, D.C.: National Council for the Social Studies, 1985), pp. 25-41. Also R. Freeman Butts, "Society's Expectations for School Instruction About the Constitution: An Historical Overview," in Howard D. Mehlinger, ed., Teaching About the Constitution in American Secondary Schools (Washington, D.C.: Project 87, 1981).  back 

10. Quoted by Hazel W. Hertzberg in Social Education, October 1987, p. 394.  back 

11. Report of the Committee of Ten on Secondary School Subjects (New York: American Book Co., 1894), p. 167.  back 

12. Ibid., p. 170.  back 

13. Ibid., p. 165.  back 

14. Ibid., p. 180.  back 

15. Ibid., p. 181.  back 

16. For an interesting analysis, see N. Ray Hiner, "Professions in Process: Changing Relations Between Historians and Educators," History of Education Quarterly, Spring 1972, pp. 34-56.  back 

17. American Historical Association, The Study of History in Schools (New York: Macmillan, 1899), p. 17.  back 

18. Ibid., p. 75.  back 

19. Ibid., pp. 81-82.  back 

20. See Micheline Fedyck, "Conceptions of Citizenship and Nationality in High School American History Textbooks, 1913-1977," Ph.D Dissertation, Teachers College, Columbia University, 1979.  back 

21. See James Harvey Robinson, The New History (New York: Macmillan, 1912) and The Humanizing of Knowledge (New York: Doran, 1926); and Charles A. Beard, The Discussion of Human Affairs (New York: Macmillan, 1936).  back 

22. See especially the following Commission reports: Charles A. Beard, A Charter for the Social Sciences (New York: Scribner's, 1932); Rolla M. Tryon, The Social Sciences as School Subjects (New York: Scribner's 1935); Conclusions and Recommendations of the Commission (New York: Scribner's. 1934); and Charles E. Merriam, Civic Education in the United States (New York: Scribner's, 1934).  back 

23. Hertzberg, "The Teaching of History," p. 481.  back 

24. Robert D. Barr, James L. Earth, and S. Samuel Shermis, Defining the Social Studies (Washington, D.C.: National Council for the Social Studies, 1977), Bulletin 51, pp. 67-68; OOrganizationsfor the Essentials of Education, a statement of the governing boards of twelve professional education associations including the National Council for the Social Studies, 1979; and Social Education, April 1979, p. 262.  back 

25. Essentials of the Social Studies (Washington, D.C.: National Council for the Social Studies, 1980).  back 

26. "Report of the NCSS Task Force on Scope and Sequence in Social Studies," Social Education, April 1984, pp. 251-252.  back 

27. History-Social Science Framework for California Public Schools; Kindergarten Through Grade Twelve (Sacramento, Calif.: California State Department of Education, 1981), p. 3.  back 

28. Sidney Simon, "Values Clarification vs. Indoctrination," Social Education, December 1971, p. 902.  back 

29. Chester E. Finn, Jr., Diane Ravitch, and Robert T. Fancher, eds., Against Mediocrity; The Humanities in America's High Schools (New York: Holmes and Meier, 1984), pp. 240-241.  back 

30. Ibid., p. 260.  back 

31. William J. Bennett and Jeane Kirkpatrick, History, Geography, and Citizenship; The Teacher's Role (Washington, D.C.: Ethics and Public Policy Center, 1986), pp. 5 and 7.  back 

32. See, e.g., Diane Ravitch, "Decline and Fall of Teaching History," The New York Times Magazine, November 17, 1985, p. 50 ff.; Matthew T. Downey, ed., History in the Schools (Washington, D.C.: National Council for the Social Studies, 1985); Paul Gagnon, "Finding Who and Where We Are: Can American History Tell Us?" American Educator, Spring 1985; and Diane Ravitch, "Tot Sociology; or What Happened to History in the Grade Schools," The American Scholar, Summer 1987.  back 

33. Education for Democracy: A Statement of Principles; Guidelines for Strengthening the Teaching of Democratic Values (Washington, D.C.: American Federation of Teachers, 1987), p. 8.  back 

34. See, e.g., William R. Fernekes, "Education for Democracy Does Not Advance the Debate" and Paul Gagnon's "Reply," Social EEducation October 1987, pp. 396-405.  back 

35. Lynne V. Cheney, American Memory: A Report on the Humanities in the Nation's Public Schools (Washington, D.C.: National Endowment for the Humanities, n.d.).  back 

36. Diane Ravitch and Chester E. Finn, Jr., WWhatDo Our 17-Year-Olds Know? A Report on the First National Assessment of History and Literature (New York: Harper and Row, 1987), p. 201.  back 

37. Ibid., p. 56.  back 

38. Ibid., p. 58.  back 

39. Ibid., pp. 251-53.  back 

40. See, e.g., Education Week, September 16, 1987.  back 

41. "Howe Disputes Gloomy View of What 17-Year-Olds Know," Education Week, November 4, 1987. See also, e.g., Anne C. Lewis, "Kid Bashing Is In," Phi Delta Kappan, November 1987, pp. 180-181.  back 

42. Stephen R. Graubard, "Alarmist Critics Who Cry Beowulf," The New York Times, October 1, 1987.  back 

43. Ellis Katz, "Federalism in Secondary School American History and Government Textbooks" in Stephen L. SSchechter ed., Teaching About American Federal Democracy (Philadelphia: Temple University, 1984).  back 

44. Favoring more attention to traditional religious values: Paul C. Vitz, "Religion and Traditional Values in Public School Textbooks: An Empirical Study" (Part of Final Report: NIE-G84-0012; PProjectNo. 2-0012; Equity in Values Education, National Institute of Education, Washington, D.C., 1986). Favoring more attention to religious freedom and separation of church and state: Charles C. Haynes, Religious Freedom in America (Silver Spring, Md.: Americans United Research Foundation, 1986); and O.L. Davis, Jr. et al, Looking at History; A Review of Major U.S. History Textbooks (Washington, D.C.: People for the American Way, 1986).  back 

45. O.L. Davis, Looking At History, pp. 14-15.  back 

46. Ibid., p. 9.  back 

47. Ibid., pp. 5-6.  back 

48. Paul A. Gagnon, Democracy's Untold Story: What World History Textbooks Neglect (Washington, D.C.: American Federation of Teachers, 1987), p. 137.  back 

49. Ibid., p. 40.  back 

50. Gilbert T. Sewall, American History Textbooks; An Assessment of Quality (New York: Educational Excellence Network, 1987),p. 72.  back 

51. Page Putnam Miller, ed., Strengthening the Teaching of History in Secondary Schools; Resource Guide (Washington, D.C.: National Coordinating Committee for the Promotion of History, 1985).  back 

52. Kermit L. Hall, "The History Teaching Alliance," Perspectives, American Historical Association Newsletter, March 1985.  back 

53. James G. Lengel and Gerald A. Danzer, Law in American History (Glenview, Ill.: Scott, Foresman, 1983); and Alan L. Lockwood and David E. Harris, Reasoning With Democratic Values; Ethical Problems in United States History, 2 vols, (New York: Teachers College Press, 1985).  back 

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