ERIC Number: ED382493
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1994-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Response to the Proposed United States History Standards from Reconstruction through the Present.
This paper presents the position of the Organization of History Teachers (OHT) regarding the development of national history standards by the National Standards Project. The OHT position suggests that the Project should recognize that standards aiming for excellence in precollege history teaching require changes in the education of teachers, the retraining of current practitioners, the rewriting of textbooks, and heightened expectations for student achievement. The OHT recognizes the inherent political volatility of fashioning a single set of history standards in the ethnically diverse culture of the United States. But the organization warns that the existing void in instructional guidance in history and the social sciences, the inequalities in educational opportunities for U.S. children, the persistent gaps in the historical knowledge of U.S. students, and the inadequacy of teacher training in history infuse the effort with a special sense of urgency. The OHT strongly recommends that themes be included in the standards that would help draw together and make connections between historical epochs as well as between vast amounts of disparate information. Suggested themes include: (1) the tension between the individual the community; (2) the ever-broadening definitions of freedom and equality; (3) the impact of money and banking on the economy; (4) war and social change; (5) the role of geography and the environment; (6) the contribution of immigration to U.S. culture; (7) regionalism in the United States life, not just North/South, but East/West, and the tension between the common culture and various regional subcultures; and (8) the central role of the Constitution in every period of U.S. history. (DK)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Policymakers; Teachers; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: Organization of History Teachers, Chicago, IL.
Identifiers: National History Standards; Organization of History Teachers
Note: Prepared by the United States History Focus Committee.