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ERIC Number: ED517519
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 331
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1240-0678-9
Turmoil, Tirades and Transformation: The Wars for the National History Standards 1991-2004
Henry, Phyllis Margaret
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Loyola University Chicago
This qualitative research study, in the format of an historical narrative, chronicles the issues, process of consensus, and the impact of the National History Standards Project (NHSP) on local policies and curricula in history education. The "culture wars" for the "National Standards for History" of 1994-1996 and quest for a further clarification of a national identity were also a part of two concomitant movements; the global standards movement in international education and also the domestic voluntary national standards movement in the core subjects (i.e., reading, mathematics, science and history) that was sponsored by governmental commissions and professional organizations. The acrimonious ideological and satirical rhetoric that was exchanged in the formation of the "National Standards for History" entangled historians, educators, curators, legislators, special interest groups, professional organizations, government agencies, think tanks and the media. In 1995, the contentious pathway eventually led to the censure of the "National Standards for History" in the United States Senate and with a process of consensus, a set of revised standards were issued and disseminated. In order to understand the prominence of the NHSP, a brief narrative overview is provided chronicling the seminal reform initiatives in history education beginning with the 1892 prestigious Committee of Ten. The need for the NHSP was precipitated by both the movement for national standards in learning and federal legislation that later impacted state and district curricula. Because the impact did not occur immediately, changes in local policies both with the Illinois Board of Education (ISBE) and the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) are chronicled to 2004, a decade after the "National Standards for History" were written. Topical issues in history education and accountability are also examined. Multiple sources of evidence were utilized in the research including oral history interviews (refer to Questionnaire, Appendix A) and documents and artifacts from the NHSP housed in the archives of the Charles E. Young Humanities Research Library at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA). Archival materials are also referenced from the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) and the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) which demonstrate the curricular applications of the "National Standards for History". According to Yin, the convergence of multiple sources of evidence including documents, archival records, open-ended interviews, primary and secondary sources provide an invaluable advantage in the case study strategy. Although a critical first step was the creation of the voluntary "National Standards for History" to establish clear goals for learning and achievement to raise the overall quality of history education, currently, the implementation process of the history standards is not uniform in all of the states' schools districts. Although generalizations are made to national trends and implications, this research study primarily focuses on the policies of ISBE and those of CPS. The conclusions reached in this qualitative study are: (1) that the "National Standards for History" impacted the ISBE history standards and those of CPS; (2) the state of history education is adversely affected by the "No Child Left Behind Act" (NCLB) (2001) legislation to fully implement the history standards effectively and (3) educational policies and funding must be changed to ameliorate the accountability measures in assessing the performance of students to achieve the intended content and skills of the history standards. The implications for teacher preparation and certification in history and the social sciences are also examined for the promotion and sustainability of highly qualified teachers to ensure the mastery of the history standards in instruction. The contemporary advocacy movement in history and social science education by professional organizations is also discussed as well as the role of government in educational policy making including the issues of accountability and assessment. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Illinois
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: No Child Left Behind Act 2001