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ERIC Number: EJ765208
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Nov
Pages: 9
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0018-2745
James Conant's Uncompleted Revolution: Methods Faculty and the Historical Profession, 1978-2004
Olwell, Russell B.
History Teacher, v39 n1 p33-41 Nov 2005
When James Conant, former president of Harvard University, took on the topic of teacher preparation in his 1963 report "The Education of American Teachers," he demanded sweeping change. Conant's reform agenda, which focused on reshaping the educational establishment in America, took on the National Education Association and National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education. He sought to end the monopoly of colleges of education and locate more teacher preparation coursework in subject matter departments, such as history, in colleges of arts and sciences. Conant insisted that teacher preparation was an "all university responsibility" with roles for an education faculty, psychology professors, college of arts and sciences departments, and "clinical" faculty members who specialized in training teachers. Since Conant's book was published, many external factors have pushed history departments into educational fields. These developments, while promising greater attention to history teaching, miss Conant's aim. He believed that academic departments and disciplines needed to be involved in teacher preparation for reasons of intrinsic motivation--to better train the next generation of secondary teachers, and to increase student achievement in K-12 schools. Revolutionary change was needed and for this change to be accomplished, adopting a new commitment to training teachers by departments was essential. In order to quantify the extent to which this revolutionary change in the profession has taken place, the author looked for a way to measure the number of history departments with methods teachers and the status of these faculty within their departments. For lack of a more sophisticated tool, he turned to four volumes of the American Historical Association's "Directory of History Departments and Organizations in the United States and Canada"--1978, 1988, 1998 and 2004. This article discusses the extent of Conant's influence as shown by the data from this source. (Contains 6 notes.)
Society for History Education. California State University, Long Beach, 1250 Bellflower Blvd, Long Beach, CA 90840-1601. Tel: 562-985-2573; Fax: 562-985-5431; Web site:
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States