⚡ Cynthia Enloe: Discrimination Against Women

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Cynthia Enloe: Discrimination Against Women



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Basic principles of curriculum and instruction. Wayne Ross The content of the social studies curriculum is the most inclusive of all school subjects. Given this, it is not surprising that social studies has been racked by intellectual battles over its purpose, content, and pedagogy since its inception as a school subject in the early part of the twentieth century: To top it off, even the historical accounts of the origins of the social stud- ies as a school subject are in dispute.

Three questions form the framework for this chapter: 1 What is the social studies curriculum? These may seem to be simple and straightforward questions, but as we shall see there is debate and controversy surrounding each. As each of the above questions is addressed, fundamental tensions and contradictions that underlie the social studies curriculum will be identi- fied. My intention is to present this series of tensions and contradictions as a heuristic for understanding the dynamic nature of the social studies. Wayne Ross the struggle over these contradictions that have shaped the nature of the social studies curriculum in the past and continue to fashion it today.

The first section of this chapter examines the origins and purposes of the social studies curriculum. The historical analysis presented in this sec- tion does not attempt to be exhaustive, but rather is intended as a context for understanding the contemporary social studies curriculum and cur- rent efforts to reform it. Both the contradictory origins of social studies in schools and the long-standing dispute over the relative emphasis of cul- tural transmission and critical thinking will be examined.

The following section examines the question of curricular control with particular em- phasis on the historical tensions between curriculum centralization and grassroots curriculum development in the social studies. The impact of standards-based, test-driven education reform on social studies curricu- lum is addressed in the next section.

Social studies curriculum and in- struction cannot be considered in isolation. The teacher is the most critical element in the improvement and transformation of the social studies curriculum. In the final section of this chapter, the role of the so- cial studies teacher in relation to the curriculum is examined. In this sec- tion, the role of teachers as curriculum conduits is contrasted with a more professional activist view of teachers as curriculum theorizers. What is the Social Studies Curriculum? Origins of Social Studies in School: Academic History, Social Improvement, Struggle for Justice Social studies in the broadest sense, that is, the preparation of young people so that they possess the knowledge, skills, and values necessary for active participation in society, has been a primary part of schooling in North America since colonial times.

The earliest laws establishing schools in the United States specified religious and moral instruction. In the Latin grammar schools of New England, instruction in catechism and Bible was the core of schooling, while geography and moral philosophy were also taught. Nationalistic education intended to develop loyal pa- triots replaced religion as the main purpose of social education following the American Revolution. As mentioned above, the origins of the contemporary social studies curricu- lum has recently become a flash point between advocates of a history-cen- tered social studies curriculum and those calling for a curriculum based on the interdisciplinary study of current social studies see Evans, Whelan suggests that both sides e.

Nonetheless, the contemporary social studies curriculum does have at least two sources: academic history and social im- provement. The tensions and contradictions inherent in the establish- ment of social studies in schools, while perhaps not as extreme as represented by some scholars, may still, however, help to explain the in- ternal conflict that has shaped the field since its beginnings. Disagree- ment over curricular issues in social studies has characterized the field since its birth and these disagreements and diversities of opinion regard- ing the nature, purpose, and organization of social studies have served to energize the field. Social educators have another history, one not directly connected to the emergence of social science disciplines and not launched by a series of committees.

Rather than highlighting a vested interest in the emer- gence of a professional group, there are voices in our history, which re- flect the struggle for social justice in and through education, often focusing on citizens in the midst of social struggle. Wayne Ross Noffke argues that debates over social studies have failed to acknowledge the widening gap between haves and have-nots and the racialized and gendered patterns of privilege and oppression, which to a large degree form the basis of U. Counts , sets out the social studies project as creating a new social order, one based on democracy and economic justice. The construction of social studies curricu- lum cannot be accomplished by a focusing on a universal, individual child.

Woodson, and W. DuBois, and in communities engaged in struggle for democracy and economic justice e. As Marker and Mehlinger note in their review of research on the social studies curriculum: [T]he apparent consensus on behalf of citizenship education is almost meaningless. Behind that totem to which nearly all social studies re- searchers pay homage lies continuous and rancorous debate about the purposes of social studies. The most influential of these was worked out by Barr, Barth, and Shermis , who grouped the various positions on the social studies curriculum into three themes: citizenship or cultural transmission, social science, and re- flective inquiry.

Morrissett and Haas used the categories of conser- vative cultural continuity, the intellectual aspects of history and the social sciences, and process of thinking reflectively. They argue that the key element in the dispute over the purpose of social studies in the school curriculum in- volves the relative emphasis given to cultural transmission or to critical or reflective thinking. When cultural transmission is emphasized, the intent is to use the social studies curriculum to promote social adaptation. The emphasis is on teaching content, behaviors, and values that reflect views accepted by the traditional, dominant society.

This approach is politically conservative, valuing stability and common standards of thought and be- havior. When critical or reflective thinking is emphasized the intent is to use the social studies curriculum to promote social transformation. The emphasis is on teaching content, behaviors, and values that question and critique standard views accepted by the dominant society. Wayne Ross action to lead to the reconstruction of society e. It is within the context of the tensions between the relative emphasis on transmission of the cultural heritage of the dominant society or the development of critical thought that the social studies curriculum has had a mixed history—predominately conservative in its purposes, but also at times incorporating progressive and even radical purposes.

Stan- ley and Nelson organize the variations in social studies curriculum and instruction into three broad and not necessarily opposing categories: subject-centered social studies, civics-centered social studies, and issues- centered social studies. Subject-centered approaches argue that the social studies curriculum derives its content and purposes from disciplines taught in higher educa- tion. Some advocates would limit social studies curriculum to the study of traditional history and geography while others would also include the tra- ditional social sciences e. The glue holding these various curricular views together is that each seeks to derive an organizing framework for the so- cial studies curriculum based upon disciplinary knowledge from higher education.

Some subject-centered advocates argue for cultural transmis- sion, without multiculturalism e. For both groups subject matter knowl- edge is paramount. Civics-centered social studies is concerned with individual and social attitudes and behaviors more than with subject matter knowledge. As within the subject-centered approach, there are a wide spectrum of views from in- culcating cultural traditions to promoting social action.

Views differ on the relative emphasis that should be given to uncritical loyalty, socially approved behaviors, and to social criticism and improvement, but they share the view that social studies is more than subject matter study and must be tied to civic competence e. Issues-centered approaches propose that social studies is the exami- nation of specific issues.

Social as well as personal problems and contro- versies are the primary content of the curriculum. The views in this category range from personal development to social problems as the pur- pose of the social studies curriculum. Some advocates argue that social criticism or activism is the main reason for studying issues e. The three approaches to social studies described by Stanley and Nel- son are not necessarily separate or opposing.

Knowledge from the disci- plines is used in each; none disagrees that one purpose of the social studies is citizenship education; and each accepts social studies as a valuable con- struct. Who Controls the Social Studies Curriculum? Any response to this question hinges on a conception of curriculum. Indeed, even the curriculum commissions of the late nineteenth century recognized the crucial role of social studies teachers in achieving curricular goals. The formal curriculum is the explicit or official curriculum, embodied in published courses or study, state frameworks, textbooks, tests, and cur- riculum standards efforts e. Wayne Ross harbored a tension between approaches that rely on centralized efforts leading to a standard curriculum and grassroots democratic efforts that provide greater involvement for teachers, parents, students, and other local curriculum leaders in determining what is worthwhile to know and experience.

Curriculum centralization has resulted from three major in- fluences: legal decisions; policy efforts by governments, professional asso- ciations, and foundations; and published materials. Examples of the latter two influences will be sketched below. Educational reform efforts in s attempted to define the nature of the school curriculum and featured efforts by both intellec- tual traditionalists e. Harris and Charles Eliot and developmen- talists e. The social studies curriculum has been heavily influenced by policies of curriculum centralization.

The current pattern of topics and courses for secondary social studies is largely the result of recommen- dations of the Committee see Marker, chapter 4 in this volume. Despite the changing demographics of school attendance the pat- tern of course offerings have remained relatively unchanged: K. Self, school, community, home 1. Families 2. Neighborhoods 3. Communities 4. State history, geographic regions 5. United States history 6. World cultures, Western hemisphere 7. World geography or world history 8. United States history 9. World history United States history. American government Efforts to centralize the curriculum through government mandates also have a long history.

Smith-Hughes fostered the transformation of the American high school from an elite institution into one for the masses by mandating that the states specify training needs, program prescriptions, standards and means for monitoring progress. The dual system of education created by Smith-Hughes was reconceptualized in with the passage of the Perkins Vocational and Applied Technology Act, which provided incen- tives for the development of work education programs that integrate aca- demic and vocational studies. This is an example of how local grassroots initiatives of people who know best the needs and characteristics of economically distressed communities can be effectively supported Wirth, Regents Examinations in New York State are one of the oldest examples of this approach.

These curriculum frameworks are intended to influence textbook pub- lishers and establish standards by which students, teachers, and schools will be assessed. Wayne Ross I have just hinted at the large-scale centralizing influence of educa- tion policies on curriculum. Resistance to curriculum centralization has always existed Ross, , c. There is a strong tradition of local school control in the U. Dewey argued that acquaintance with centralized knowledge must derive from situational concerns; that is, disciplinary knowledge must be attained by the inquiring student in ways that have meaning for her or him. William H. In the project method, students and teachers took on a greater role in determining the curriculum because they were deemed in the best position to understand the personal and contextual foundations from which a meaningful and relevant curriculum could be constructed.

Projects were pursued in small groups or as whole class experiences. Knowledge from the disciplines would be brought to bear on the pro- ject when it was perceived as relevant. The essence of the project re- quired that teachers and students develop the idea together. If students were fascinated by zoos, for instance all subjects traditional and mod- ern could be related to a deepened understanding of zoos. Schubert, , p. For more than seventy years teachers have relied on textbooks as a pri- mary instructional tool. In , Bagley found that American students spent a significant portion of their school day in formal mastery of text materials Bagley, cited in McCutcheon, The textbook industry is highly competitive and the industry is dominated by a small number of large corporations; as a result, textbook companies modify their products to qualify for adoption in one of these states.

James W. Loewen illustrates this at length in his analysis of U. For example, in a discussion of how history textbooks make white racism invisible, Loewen notes: Although textbook authors no longer sugarcoat how slavery affected African Americans, they minimize white complicity in it. They present slavery virtually as uncaused, a tragedy, rather than a wrong perpetrated by some people on others. However, in the way the textbooks structure their discussion, most of them inadvertently still take a white supremacist viewpoint. The archetype of African Americans as dependent on others begins. In reality, white violence, not black ignorance, was the key prob- lem during Reconstruction. Loewen, , p. That year the National Defense Education Act helped to import disciplinary specialists to design curriculum packages for schools.

In the social studies, these cur- riculum innovations were collectively called the New Social Studies. Although social studies specialists helped in the development of New Social Studies materials, the curricular focus was on the academic disciplines. Wayne Ross experts in academic disciplines, viewed teachers as implementers not active partners in the creation of classroom curriculum. While the development and dissemination of the curriculum pro- jects in the s were well funded, they failed to make a major impact on classroom practices. In contrast, proponents of grassroots democracy in curriculum offered the expla- nation that the failure was due to the blatant disregard of teachers and students in curriculum decision making. This is especially ironic inas- much as those who promoted inquiry methods with the young ne- glected to allow inquiry by teachers and students about matters most fundamental to their growing lives, that is, inquiry about that which is most worthwhile to know and experience.

Curriculum Standards It is clear that government-driven curriculum centralization efforts i. The standards movement is a massive effort at curriculum centralization. Virtually all of the subject- matter-based professional education groups have undertaken the creation of curriculum standards. Encouraged by the positive response to the de- velopment of standards for the mathematics curriculum and the availabil- ity of federal funding for such projects, social studies educators have taken up the development of curriculum standards with unparalleled zeal. The Struggle for the Social Studies Curriculum 29 Because the aim of these projects is to create a national educational system with uniform content and goals the ongoing debates and divisions within the field of social studies has intensified.

The standards-based cur- riculum movement is a rationalized managerial approach to issues of curriculum development and teaching that attempts to define curricular goals, design assessment tasks based on these goals, set standards for the content of subject matter areas and grade level, and test students and re- port the results to the public. The intent is to establish standards for con- tent and student performance levels. The primary tension in curriculum reform efforts, today and histori- cally, is between centralized and grassroots decision making. When there are multiple participants and competing interests in the curriculum- making process, the question arises, where does control reside?

The standards-based curriculum movement in social studies represents an effort by policy elites to standardize the content and much of the practice of education e. Operationally curriculum- standards projects in social studies are anti-democratic because they se- verely restrict the legitimate role of teachers and other educational pro- fessionals, as well as members of the public, from participating in the conversation about the origin, nature and ethics of knowledge taught in the social studies curriculum.

Resources that might have been directed to assisting teachers to become better decision makers have instead been channeled into a program dedicated to the de- velopment of schemes for preventing teachers from making curricular de- cisions. The circumstances described above leads to the final question addressed in this chapter. A fundamental assumption of most cur- riculum-centralization efforts is that means instruction can be separated from the ends curricular goals and objectives.

Many teachers have inter- nalized the means-ends distinction between their pedagogy and the cur- riculum. As a result, they view their professional role as instructional decision makers not as curriculum developers Thornton, Wayne Ross What is clear from studies of teacher decision making, however, is that teachers do much more than select teaching methods to implement formally adopted curricular goals. As Thornton argues, teacher beliefs about social studies subject matter and student thinking in social studies, as well as planning and instructional strategies, together function to cre- ate the enacted curriculum of the classroom—the day-to-day interactions among students, teachers and subject matter.

The difference between the publicly declared formal curriculum and the curriculum experienced by students in social studies classrooms is considerable. This is not to say that social studies classes are not affected by factors such as the characteristics of the students enrolled, but only to emphasize that the teacher plays the primary structuring role. Teachers are actively in- volved in shaping the culture of schooling.

This example illustrates the importance of focusing on the develop- ment of the enacted curriculum instead of the formal curriculum. There are three possible roles for teachers in curriculum implemen- tation Ben-Peretz, This view of teachers was adopted at the turn of the twentieth century as history was becoming established as a school subject. Arthur Schlesinger Sr. This is clearly not a desirable role for professional teachers. The New Social Studies is an exemplar of this role for the teacher. Teachers were viewed as active implementers but not as full partners in the creation of the curriculum.

A third and most desirable role for teachers is as curriculum user- developers. From this perspective teachers are assumed to be full part- ners in development of the enacted curriculum. Teacher inquiry is a key element in the success of the curriculum because it is inquiry directed at discovering curriculum potential that leads to the change and transfor- mation of formal curriculum materials, and most importantly the devel- opment of new alternatives that are best suited for circumstances the teacher is working within. The current standards-based curriculum movement highlights the contradiction between the views of teachers as active implementers or as user-developers.

Ultimately, however, curriculum improvement depends on teachers being more thoughtful about their work see Cornett et al. The most effective means of improving the curriculum is to improve the education and professional development afforded teachers. Teachers need to be better prepared to exercise the curricular decision-making re- sponsibilities that are an inherent part of instructional practice.

Early in this century John Dewey identified the intellectual subservience of teach- ers as a central problem facing progressive educators in their efforts to im- prove the curriculum. Dewey saw the solution to the problem as the development of teaching as professional work. Prospective teachers, Dewey argued: should be given to understand that they not only are permitted to act on their own initiative, but that they are expected to do so and that their ability to take hold of a situation for themselves would be a more important factor in judging them than their following any particular set methods or scheme. Dewey, , pp. Conclusion In this chapter I have posed three fundamental questions about the social studies curriculum: 1 What is the social studies curriculum?

In responding to these ques- tions I identified a series of tensions and contradiction that have shaped the field of social studies historically and that still affect it today. In response to the first question I identified the tension between the study of academic history and efforts of social meliorists as setting the stage for a long-standing conflict between advocates of subject-centered and civics- or issue-centered social studies. In addition, it was argued that the purposes of the social studies curriculum have essentially been de- fined by the relative emphasis given to cultural transmission or critical thinking in the curriculum.

The second question led to an examination of the long-standing ten- sions between curriculum centralization and grassroots curriculum de- velopment. The recent standards-based curriculum movement was discussed in this section and used as a bridge to the consideration of the final question regarding the role of the social studies teacher in relation to the curriculum. In the closing section I argued that teachers are the key element in curriculum improvement and that curriculum change in the social studies will only be achieved through the improved education and professional development opportunities for teachers.

My intention has been to present this series of tensions and contra- dictions as a heuristic for understanding the dynamic nature of the social studies. It would be a mistake to treat them as definitive oppositionals, however; it is the struggles over these contradictions that have shaped the nature of the social studies curriculum in the past and continues to define it today. Notes 1. The balance of this section draws directly upon Ross, E. I am indebted to the work of William H. Schubert for the historical analysis in this sec- tion. See Schubert, W. Historical perspective on centralizing the cur- riculum. Klein Ed. This section draws upon Ross, E. Teachers and texts. New York: Routledge. Apple, M. The politics of the textbook. Barr, R. Defining the social studies.

Ben-Peretz, M. The teacher-curriculum encounter. Black, H. The American schoolbook. New York: William Morrow. Bowler, M. The making of a textbook. Learning, 6, 38— Brooks, M. Centralized curriculum: Effects on the local school level. American Historical Association. The study of his- tory in schools. National Education Association. Report of the committee on secondary school studies. The so- cial studies in secondary education. Cornbleth, C. The great speckled bird.

New York: St. Cornett, J. W Cornett, and G. Mc- Cutcheon Eds. Counts, G. Dare the school build a new social order. New York: John Day. The relation of theory to practice in education, In The relation of theory to practice in the education of teachers: Third yearbook of the National Soci- ety for the Scientific Study of Education, part I. Engle, S. Decision making: The heart of social studies instruction. Social Education, 24 7 , —, Education for democratic citizenship: Decision making in the social studies. Fullinwider, R. Philosophical inquiry and social studies.

Gabbard, D. Defending public schools: Education under the security state. Westport, CT: Praeger. Hunt, M. Teaching high school social studies: Problems in reflective thinking and social understanding. Wayne Ross Hursh, D. Democratic social education: Social stud- ies for social change. Kesson, K. Kilpatrick, W. The project method. Kincheloe, J. Cultural studies and democratically aware teacher education: Post-Fordism, civics, and the worker-citizen.

Kleibard, H. The struggle for the American — 3rd Ed. Kohlberg, L. Moral development and the new social studies. Social Edu- cation, 14 1 , 35— The cognitive-developmental approach to moral education. Phi Delta Kappan, 56 10 , — Krug, E. The shaping of the American high school, — Madison: University of Wisconsin Press. Leming, J. Where did social studies go wrong? Washington, DC: Thomas B. Fordham Foundation. Loewen, J. Lies my teacher told me. New York: New Press. Longstreet, W. Citizenship: The phantom core of social studies cur- riculum. Theory and Research in Social Education, 13 2 , 21— W Jackson Ed. Mathison, S. Implementing curricular change through state-mandated testing: Ethical issues.

Journal of Curriculum and Supervision, 6, — Defending public schools: The nature and limits of standards-based reform and assessment. McCutchen, S. A discipline for the social studies. Social Education, 52, — McCutcheon, G. Developing the curriculum. White Plains, NY: Longman. Morrissett, I. Rationales, goals, and objective in social stud- ies.

National Council for the Social Studies. Expectations of excellence: Curricu- lum standards for social studies. Washington, DC: Author. Newmann, F. Clarifying public controversy: An Approach to teaching social stud- ies. Boston: Little, Brown. Noffke, S. Oliver, D. Teaching public issues in the high school. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. Parker, W. Theory and Research in Social Education, 15, 1— Bricolage: Teachers do it daily. Ravitch, D. Multiculturalism, E pluribus plure. American Scholar Summer , — The plight of history in American schools.

International Journal of Social Education, 7, 83— Resisting test mania. Theory and Research in Social Education, 27 2 , — Diverting democracy: The curriculum standards movement and social studies education. Originally published in the International Journal of Social Education Social studies education. Gabbard Ed. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum. The spectacle of standards and summits. Theory and Research in Social Education, 27 4 , — Negotiating the politics of citizenship education. PS: Political Science and Politics, 37 2 , — Theory and Research in Education 33 1 , — The Social Studies 96 4—5. Saxe, D. Social studies in schools: A history of the early years.

Schlesinger, A. The disuniting of America. Schubert, W. Historical perspective on centralizing curriculum. Shaver, J. The task of rationale-building for citizenship education. Wayne Ross studies. In What are the needs in precollege science, mathematics, and social studies education. Stanley, W. The foundations of social education in his- torical context. Martusewicz and W. Reynolds Eds. Recent research in the foundations of social education: — Stanley Ed. Superka, D. Social roles: A focus for social studies in the s. Tabachnick, B. Social studies: Elementary-school programs. Lewy Ed. Oxford: Pergamon. New York; Macmillan.

Review of Research in Education, 20, — Teaching social studies that matter: Curriculum for active learn- ing. Vinson, K. The traditions revisited: Instructional approach and high school social studies teachers. Theory and Research in Social Education, 26, 50— Pursuing authentic teaching in an age of standardization. Social education and standards-based re- form: A critique. Kincheloe, S. Weil Eds. Image and education: Teaching in the face of the new disciplinarity. New York: Peter Lang. Defending public schools: Curriculum con- tinuity and change in the 21st Century.

Westheimer, J. What Kind of Citizen? The Politics of Edu- cating for Democracy. American Educational Research Journal, 41 2 , — Whelan, M. History and the social studies: A response to the critics. The- ory and Research in Social Education, 20 1 , 2— Wirth, A. Education and work in the year San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. On the contrary, since social studies emerged as a school subject early in the twentieth century, its develop- ment has been characterized, and indeed often energized, by a diversity of opinion regarding its nature, its purposes, and, as a result, its most ap- propriate curriculum organization.

Fundamental questions—whether social studies is a unified field of study or a cluster of separate disciplines, for example—have been considered and contested for decades. In recent years, however, an ongoing debate between advocates of a history-centered approach to social studies education and those calling for curriculum based on the interdisciplinary study of current social issues has become so adversarial as to threaten the field with factionalism, thereby undermining the pluralism from which social studies has frequently bene- fited.

Furthermore, like many educational policy disputes, this debate has in- creasingly become an end in itself, and as such, of little practical conse- quence for social studies teachers. The central issue of this curriculum debate is addressed directly in this chapter, but hopefully, in a less contentious, more judicious manner. Unfortunately, many teachers re- spond to these sorts of questions with answers as predictable and familiar as the questions themselves. Which, in fact, there is. That is not to deny that history teaches lessons, but to acknowledge that it teaches so many as to make it all but impossible to determine with any certainty which apply to a given situa- tion.

During the run-up to the recent war with Iraq, for example, people in favor of and others opposed to military intervention confidently cited historical lessons in support of their respective, yet contradictory posi- tions: the former the lessons of Munich and the latter those of Vietnam. What is needed, therefore, if history is to real- ize its full and unique educational potential is greater clarity about its fundamental characteristics, both as a means of inquiry and a mode of understanding. Three issues are critical in this regard. First, teachers must dispel the most common misconception about the nature of history; that is, that it seeks simply to study the past, when in fact its locus of inquiry is the intricately complex relationship between the past and the present.

If the study of history focused solely on the past, it would be difficult indeed to justify its claim to a central place in the school curriculum. But that is not the case. Rather, the inquiries that his- tory makes of the past are made for reasons similar to those that other disciplines inquire into questions about causation; knowledge of the past can enlighten the present, much the way knowledge of a cause can en- lighten its effects. Things are the way they are, in other words, in large part because they were the way they were. Or stated more simply, the pre- sent is a product of the past, and this plain, yet profoundly significant truth should be the starting point for all historical study in schools.

Things only make sense in relationship to other things. This process has been aptly described by E. Carr , pp. And much the way many literary critics see neither reader nor text as necessarily controlling the process of constructing meaning, but emphasize instead the interac- tion between the two, so it is with historical interpretation. Albert Bushnell Hart , pp. This is not to question the dictum that every historical generalization must be grounded in factual evidence, but to affirm that history is something more than a mere condensation of facts, for facts in and of themselves are like formless, empty sacks, devoid of sub- stantial meaning.

They are necessary for historical generalization, but not sufficient. Meaning, that is, must be assigned. In this case, as in all others, that challenge requires the historian—and the student of history—to grap- ple with many complex questions about causation, characterization, and significance. Finally, many students—as well as many teachers—fail to understand that history is inherently an interdisciplinary subject. Even if historical study is limited to an investigation of political and military questions, as it too often is, especially in schools, it nevertheless necessitates one to draw upon ideas, theories, concepts, and methods of inquiry associated with many academic disciplines.

It is impossible, for example, to make sense of the oft-duplicitous policies of the United States toward so many other countries during the Cold War without this sort of interdisciplinary investigation. It is also impossible, to cite a more recent example, to dis- cern the multiple layers of causation and meaning involved in the cur- rent cultural debate about the rights of gays and lesbians without viewing this acrimonious debate through several disciplinary lenses Thornton, et al. Similarly, one need only briefly consider all of the many fac- tors involved in the changing patterns of wealth and income distribution in the United States during the past generation to understand the inher- ent interdisciplinary nature of historical inquiry.

History is uniquely predisposed, therefore, to synthesize subject matter from the full range of human knowledge. For this reason alone, history is the subject best suited to serve as the curric- ular core of social studies education Whelan, Not surprisingly, most of the misunderstandings about the nature of history discussed in this section tend to manifest themselves—and, unfortunately, perpetuate themselves—in the way history is typically taught, especially in schools. This situation, unfortunately, is similar to the way history is taught and studied in schools. Students are routinely put into consumer positions, from which it is natural, indeed all but inevitable, that they misunderstand the true nature of historical knowledge, seeing it as more replicable than inter- pretive, more exclusive than associative, and more narrowly focused on what was than on the relationship between what was and what is and is becoming.

As is often the case, however, the source of these problems suggests solutions, although solutions not easily implemented. Implementing a History-Centered Curriculum Teachers, more than anyone else, determine the curriculum that stu- dents experience. And if the myriad decisions that social studies teachers make in this regard are divided into two broad categories—instructional strategy decisions and decisions about curriculum content—research in- dicates that they feel more responsibility for the former than the latter Thornton, Compounding this problem, research also indicates that the instruc- tional strategies that social studies teachers tend to rely on most—that is, teacher-dominated, textbook-driven lecture and discussion—often fail to stimulate the high-level cognition among students that is needed to study history properly Thornton, , p.

Teachers must assume more responsibility for the content of the courses they teach and also alter classroom practice so that students regularly engage in activities that promote the sort of complex, critical thinking associated with interpreting—that is, assigning meaning to— factual information. Such reforms, at least according to some theorists Whelan, et al. History, these critical theorists maintain, is pe- culiarly predisposed to ineffective instructional practice and tends therefore to result in inappropriate educational experiences for stu- dents.

Ronald Evans Whelan, et al. Neither logic nor research supports such a conclusion. Curriculum reform, in other words, whether history-centered, issues- centered or otherwise, is highly unlikely by itself to transform the sterile, uninspiring instructional practices that many maintain are all too common among social studies educators Goodlad, Research, moreover, though sketchy, seems to confirm this deductive conclusion, indicating that social studies teachers have apparently varied their teaching styles very little, if at all, as curriculum emphases have changed through the years Cuban, Research about effective history instruction e. Such practice is grounded not only in sound pedagogical principle, but also entails intellectual skills and attitudes consistent with the nature of his- torical knowledge and the goal of active, enlightened citizenship.

Effective instructional practice, though necessary, is nevertheless insufficient. Thus, teachers, in light of their close personal contact with students, are the people best positioned to assume ultimate responsibility for the day-to-day curricu- lum content decisions about historical study at the classroom level. As they do, at least four interrelated curricular considerations should guide their decision making. Rather, students studying history must regularly ask questions of the past that help inform issues affecting their lives in the present.

As condi- tions in the present inevitably change, the topics teachers include in a his- tory-centered curriculum must change accordingly. Thus, a historical issue that may be essential for students to study today may just as well be a matter of mere antiquarian curiosity sometime in the future. The international crises that erupted over the Quemoy and Matsu islands during the s, a situation whose historical significance quickly diminished to that of footnote status only to take on renewed urgency in light of circumstances that developed in the s, is admittedly an extreme example, but one that nevertheless highlights the fundamental point: many curriculum de- cisions appropriate for one time or one group of students are not neces- sarily appropriate for all times or all students.

Such stan- dards, in all likelihood, will serve to restrict the curriculum flexibility that is so essential to a meaningful course of study. No single historical curriculum can possibly meet the needs of all students. The advice im- plicit in this observation is no less true today than it was when made by the Committee on Social Studies in p. Indeed, in the in- creasingly interrelated complexities of our modern, global existence, the more things change the more things change more. Thus, any effort to standardize the content of a history-centered curriculum, no matter how well-intentioned, assumes, but erroneously so, that all students will always need to ask the same questions of the past.

Although it may be worthwhile to consider adopting uniform standards with respect to the analytical skills and intellectual dispositions involved in asking and an- swering historical questions i. Decisions about what a particular group of students should or should not study are best left to classroom teachers, rather than some remote curriculum committee, no matter how well inten- tioned or esteemed its members. At least one generalization about curriculum content is appropriate, however. If a history-centered curriculum is to inform issues of present student concern it must include a wider range of topics than has long been the norm.

This recommendation is certainly not new. Again, the Committee on Social Studies p. Teaching History 45 Still, it was not until the last 30 years or so that historians have begun to generate the type of scholarship needed to make a more inclusive history curriculum a real possibility Foner , ; Kammen No longer must students focus so exclusively on questions about military and political matters, but may now consider a much wider spec- trum of social and cultural issues, many of much greater import to their present lives. Furthermore, this new historical scholarship often involves innova- tive interdisciplinary methods of inquiry and analysis.

In many cases, it also entails or encourages the consideration of historical phenomena from more than one point of view. In addition to helping students better understand a wider and more relevant range of historical issues, it may also help them grasp more fully the central role of interpretation in historical study, and, perhaps more important still, to appreciate the es- sential role that empathy and tolerance play in maintaining democratic institutions. Provision should be made therefore for students to become familiar with the content and methods of inquiry of this new historical scholarship.

To do so, a history-centered curriculum should include numerous opportunities for students to study nontraditional topics e. Provision should be made as well for students to study things that never happened. This may sound odd in a history-centered curriculum, but it is nevertheless important. That is, they should consider how things might have been, and not simply how they actually were. In many cases, however, political decisions and policy matters cannot be understood fully or evaluated fairly without considering the likely consequences of possible alternatives. But in fact counter-factual analysis can be very instructive. How, for example, is one to evaluate the policy decisions of Lincoln or Franklin Roosevelt without considering the range of possible options open to them at the time?

Or how is one to understand historical decisions about transportation, immigration, and weapons production, to cite but a few other examples, without asking questions about how these matters might have been decided differently? Choosing among alternatives on the basis of rational inquiry is the essence of democratic citizenship at its most basic level. The systematic study of such alternatives should therefore be an essential part of a his- tory-centered social studies curriculum. There is a still more fundamental understanding about the nature of human existence that the study of historical alternatives can illuminate, however, one that is often lost in the course of conventional history in- struction.

The past, students need to understand, was not preordained and could have unfolded very differently. It was determined to a great ex- tent, much the way the future will be determined, by decisions that peo- ple made or failed to make. Studying history without considering its possible alternatives can obscure this fundamental point, leaving stu- dents with the profoundly mistaken impression that the past was deter- mined apart from human volition and agency. Such an impression can contribute to feelings of alienation, powerlessness, and dissatisfaction, feelings clearly antithetical to the citizenship goals that social studies seeks to promote.

Finally, a history-centered curriculum should be organized around the study of historical conditions, and not simply historical events. Dis- proportionate attention to the latter can quickly degenerate into a dry, dreary regimen of superficial chronicling having little educative value or meaning. The interpretive analysis of the conditions underlying histori- cal events can lead quite naturally, however, to enlightening comparative studies of similar or analogous conditions in the present. The educational values involved in such comparative studies are sim- ilar in many ways to those involved in analyzing historical alternatives. Such comparisons, however, also help resolve a more practical curricu- lum problem in history education. Neither option is satisfactory.

Comparing social condi- tions through time is certainly preferable, for it provides students with a meaningful framework within which to consider current issues in their broad historical context on a regular basis. Chronology should not be abandoned in the interest of some crudely simplistic notion relevance, of course. To do so would be both unwise and unnecessary. All social is- sues, moreover, are historical phenomena and best studied therefore within a history-centered framework. To do otherwise, to study social is- sues in seriatim apart from their historical context—to study environ- mental issues during the first half of the tenth grade and issues about war and peace during the second half, for example—will only add to the in- authenticity of social studies education.

Each, on the contrary, is always part of a crowded social agenda and as such must compete with others for public attention and the allocation of scarce resources. Within this context, different issues, even those seemingly quite distinct, are in- evitably linked: decisions about one affect the range of possible decisions that can be made about others.

Each does, however, provide some Cynthia Enloe: Discrimination Against Women Starbucks Leadership Analysis of an anti-oppressive alternative or alternatives. Cynthia Enloe: Discrimination Against Women new American history. The third section of The Social Studies Curriculum: Purposes, Problems Fahrenheit 451 Critical Thinking Essay Possibilities examines the social studies Cynthia Enloe: Discrimination Against Women in practice. Stephen A. Peace Processes and Peace Accords. International Journal of Social Education, Cynthia Enloe: Discrimination Against Women, 83—

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