Historical Literacy: The Case for History in American Education

Paul Gagnon, Author, Bradley Commission On History In Schools, With MacMillan Publishing Company $24.95 (338p) ISBN 978-0-02-542111-0
The decline of history in the American secondary-school curriculum and the rise of the supposedly more utilitarian discipline of ``social studies'' has often been noted and deplored in recent times. The Bradley Commission on History in Schools, a program of Vanderbilt Univ. created in 1987, sets out to answer the concerns of educators and parents in the face of this educational shift. The commission's report, published here with essays from 16 leading historians--Gordon Craig, William McNeill, Diane Ravitch et al.--provides a reasoned approach to a task of enormous dimensions: how to strengthen a compromised field of study. Assuming the importance for citizens to have knowledge of history to understand current events, the authors address issues ranging from creative classroom instruction at all levels to conditions that encourage effective teaching. Their call for change echoes a national need for improvement in education, and University of Massachusetts history professor Gagnon masterminds a welcome resource to that end. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 11/01/1989
Release date: 11/01/1989
Paperback - 338 pages - 978-0-395-57040-1
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