ERIC Number: EJ725406
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005
Reference Count: 61
Delimiting Democratic Debate: The Fordham Institute's Attack on Democratic Values
Leahey, Christopher R.
Social Studies, v96 n5 p206 Sep-Oct 2005
Reflecting on the current debate on how to teach about the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and the subsequent U.S. invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, this article examines Thomas B. Fordham Institute's Terrorists, Despots, and Democracy: What Our Children Need to Know, one of the several publications produced by the Fordham Institute that are designed to influence social studies instruction. This collection of twenty-eight brief essays is prescriptive in its approach as it identifies the appropriate documents, articulates appropriate perspectives, and outlines the appropriate methods that should be drawn on when one is teaching about September 11 and the U.S. invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. The short essays featured in this collection consist of four problematic themes, which when taken together, serve to stifle debate about the meaning and causes of September 11, the legitimacy of the war in Iraq, and the Bush doctrine of preemption. In conclusion, the author, suggests that rather than following the prescriptions offered by the Fordham Institute, teachers might turn to the National Council for the Social Studies' Standards for Excellence and Progress (1994) for guidance in developing appropriate instructional methods to teach about international terrorism and war. In supporting students in constructing a global perspective, NCSS suggests that teachers design curricular experiences for students that enable them "to conceptualize contexts of issues or phenomena; to consider causality; to inquire about the validity of explanations; and to create new explanations and models for grappling with persistent and/or recurring issues." In the end, it is the act of free inquiry itself that supports students in developing the knowledge, values, and experiences required for democratic citizenship.
Descriptors: Social Studies, Politics of Education, Terrorism, Political Attitudes, Foreign Countries, Teaching Methods, United States History, Democratic Values, Western Civilization, Islamic Culture, Foreign Policy, War, History Instruction
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Afghanistan; Iraq