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ERIC Number: ED168915
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979-Apr
Pages: 30
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
Distortion in the Historiography of American Education: The Problem of Silence.
Clifford, Geraldine Joncich
The history of American education is incomplete. This problem is the result of (1) historical scholars being influenced more by concerns of their own time than by issues of the past, (2) the belief that what is written and said about education is an acceptable representation of what education is, (3) the assumption that educational leaders are spokesmen for the entire educational enterprise, and (4) the presumption that the history of education is solely the history of how education has been imparted. These misconceptions have led educational historiographers to largely ignore accounts of students, parents, and teachers throughout the history of American education. Experiences of the silent majority, or common individuals, should be researched to provide a more complete perspective. Sources of such information include diaries, personal letters, personal papers, and slave narratives. However, this approach presents problems because personal literature is vast, difficult to locate and work with, and may contain bias. Nevertheless, historical research on education should consult these sources in order to identify patterns to be explored through statistical analysis and to help interpret relationships that appear in the statistical data of current research. (AV)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: N/A