NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
ERIC Number: ED115522
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1975-Nov
Pages: 25
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Demythologizing the Textbook President: Teaching About the President After Watergate.
Barger, Hal M.
In the wake of Watergate, this paper purports the need for a new approach to teaching about the American presidency. Traditionally, American government textbooks focus on institutional descriptions and constitutional arrangements of the presidency. This textbook approach to the presidency describes and values a chief executive who is generally benevolent, omnipotent, omniscient, and highly moral. The formal aspect is emphasized to the exclusion of any discussion about behavioral and policy aspects of the office. Recent research in student attitudes towards the presidency after Watergate indicates a significant loss of trust and affect in the president's honesty, trustworthiness, dedication to job, and responsiveness to people. What is needed now is for teachers and curricula developers to reconsider the president in four basic conceptual ways: (1) as an institution in the context of a more dynamic and conflict ridden political system than has been suggested thus far; (2) as a role of some historical and symbolic importance to our political culture; (3) as a unique personality occupying the role at any given time; and (4) as a political actor who has specific strengths and weaknesses in his role performance and who has successes and failures in his policy efforts. (Author/DE)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: N/A
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A