ERIC Number: EJ837205
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Jan
Reference Count: N/A
Looking Back, Looking Forward
Nash, Gary B.
History Teacher, v42 spec iss p57-62 Jan 2009
In this article, the author looks back at the time Charlotte Crabtree, longtime Professor of Education at UCLA with a special interest in elementary history-social studies curriculum, asked him to join her in applying for a million dollar grant to be awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), chaired by Lynne Cheney. Crabtree had written the proposal and only needed a member of the history department to sign on since the idea behind the grant was to build a bridge between two species of history educators--those who taught in the schools and those who inhabited the ivory tower with guild certificates commonly called Ph.D.s. The center at UCLA, the application promised, would launch a number of projects, each bringing history professors and history teachers in the schools together for interaction and collaboration. Among the projects were studies of exactly what history teachers taught in the schools and how much training they had; the creation of an institute of California K-12 teachers who would work with academic historians to create primary source-based teaching units; and the formation of an advisory council that would work to produce a book making the case for history and providing a scaffolding for teaching both history thinking skills and essential understandings of world and U.S. history. All of this was in the name of restoring history to the school curriculum and in the process to conquer historical illiteracy said to be rampant among young Americans. Some months later, NEH awarded the grant to UCLA, and he was now the Associate Director of the National Center for History in the Schools. It changed his life; it changed his understanding of what historical literacy means; it changed his professional priorities. The National Center for History in the Schools (which the ultraconservative lampooners of the history standards hoped to send into oblivion) still functions with new projects abounding. It co-directs or participates in many Teaching American History institutes; has mounted an online, free access curricular framework in World History called "World History for Us All;" works with the National Park Service on history programs; produces primary source-based curricular units in U.S. and world history with teacher-academic historian author partnerships; directs an American History Academy at Benjamin Franklin High School in Highland Park, California where the largely Latino student population has made giant steps forward in their studies; and many other projects.
Descriptors: History Instruction, College School Cooperation, National Standards, Academic Standards, Historians, College Faculty, Personal Narratives, Elementary Secondary Education, Higher Education
Society for History Education. California State University, Long Beach, 1250 Bellflower Boulevard, Long Beach, CA 90840-1601. Tel: 562-985-2573; Fax: 562-985-5431; Web site: http://www.thehistoryteacher.org/
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California