ERIC Number: ED367555
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1991-May
Reference Count: N/A
Historical Literature and Democratic Education. Occasional Paper.
Scott, John Anthony
This document discusses the movement to bring original historical sources into the classroom. Because students of history need access to sources of information that provide direct or primary evidence about reality, teachers must show that realistic alternatives to the traditional history text exist. In the first section of this paper, efforts to make original sources available are traced to their origin in pamphlets distributed by the Old South Meeting House in Boston and based on a series of summer lectures delivered in 1883. The contributions of historians Edwin Doak Mead and Frederick Jackson Turner, who believed that the scholar's highest obligation in a democracy was to support and nourish public history education, is contrasted with the rift that set in later between history scholars and history teachers sometime in the 1930s. In the second section, the need to allow history teachers the freedom and time to seek out instructional materials and primary sources that emphasize themes and fill needs that these teachers have encountered in their classes is stressed. The third section illustrates the human and dramatic quality of literature in which ordinary people, especially young people, tell their own story, with examples of contemporary accounts of a young mother's survival of an Indian attack in Massachusetts in 1676, of a soldier in the American Revolution, and of a 92-year-old former slave woman. The paper suggests that such documents may illustrate different viewpoints and experiences, as well as the process of conflict and change in society. The fourth section lists different biographies and series of books that can be used. The fifth section suggests how changes can make primary source materials available. (DK)
Descriptors: Biographies, Citizenship Education, Democracy, Historiography, History Instruction, Instructional Materials, Primary Sources, Secondary Education, Social Studies
National Council for History Education, Inc., 26915 Westwood Rd., Suite A-2, Westlake, OH 44145-4656.
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Reference Materials - Bibliographies
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: National Council for History Education, Inc., Westlake, OH.