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ERIC Number: EJ779675
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 31
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0889-0293
What of History? Historical Knowledge within a System of Standards and Accountability
Kelly, Timothy; Meuwissen, Kevin; Vansledright, Bruce
International Journal of Social Education, v22 n1 p115-145 2007
In this essay, the authors explore the structures, processes, and messages that accountability reforms communicate about the goals and means of coming to know history. In other words, how do existing history standards and formal curricula officialize certain orientations toward historical knowledge and traditions through which that knowledge is taught? Specifically, they begin by examining the "National History Standards" and the "History and Social Science Standards of Learning for Virginia Public Schools." These standards documents are viewed through several overlapping lenses, including a typology of historical knowledge, a conceptual framework of teaching and learning history, as well as research, philosophy, and criticism related to the domain. They utilize these conceptual frameworks for their analytic, organizational, and pedagogical power, not because they represent reality in some undistorted way. The progression of their analysis, from a set of national standards to state-level standards, aims to address particular patterns of coherence "and" variability among these systems of reform. The inferences that can be drawn from a comparison of these documents and the contexts in which they were created, will call attention to examples of processes by which official school knowledge gets constituted. By examining the conceptions of history forwarded by these policy instruments, they explore the intersection of knowledge, culture, politics, and the institutional structures of school organization and practice. Ultimately, the authors are interested in how students and teachers interpret and interact with these systems of accountability and the conceptions of history they forward. They eventually narrow their focus even further to a specific local context, Fairfax County, Virginia, concentrating their analysis on a modern world history curriculum and related instructional materials designed to prepare students for the "Virginia Standards of Learning Assessments." (Contains 50 endnotes.)
International Journal of Social Education. Ball State University, Department of History, Muncie, IN 47306. Tel: 765-285-8700; Fax: 765-285-5612; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Virginia