ERIC Number: ED365600
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1992
Reference Count: N/A
Heritage Education in the School Curriculum: Defining and Avoiding the Pitfalls. Heritage Education Monograph Series.
Patrick, John J.
Heritage education is an approach to teaching, rather than an academic discipline or subject area. It draws on history, geography, literature, the arts, architecture, and the social and natural sciences to study the evidence of the past remaining in the natural and built environment, the material culture, written documents, and in community practices and traditions. Educators need to infuse the curriculum they have with the best content on history and culture, including exemplars of the built environment that embody and reflect the values, aspirations, and achievements of our ancestors. There are at least five pitfalls to avoid, if educators would make the most of their opportunities to infuse the best content into the core curriculum. These obstacles are: (1) elitism, (2) extreme pluralism, (3) localism, (4) romanticism, and (5) anti- intellectualism. Elitism is described as an overemphasis on the dominant political and social figures in the past and a corresponding underemphasis on the underside of the history of the ordinary peoples in the collective heritage. Elitism promotes a false sense of cultural uniformity. Extreme pluralism is an overemphasis on diversity that denies any common heritage. Localism is defined as an overriding concern with the history and culture of particular places to the neglect of the larger communities within which the local places fit. Romanticism is an indiscriminate and uncritical way of looking at history and culture, ignoring the negatives. Anti-intellectualism is an overemphasis on experiential learning to the exclusion of printed learning materials. (DK)
Descriptors: Built Environment, Citizenship Education, Cultural Background, Curriculum Design, Curriculum Development, Curriculum Problems, Elementary Secondary Education, Heritage Education, Historic Sites, Interdisciplinary Approach, Local History, Social Studies
National Trust for Historic Preservation, 1785 Massachusetts Ave., N.W., Washington, DC 20036.
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Guides - Non-Classroom; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: National Trust for Historic Preservation, Washington, DC.