Public Opinion and the Teaching of History in the United States

Public Opinion and the Teaching of History in the United States

Public Opinion and the Teaching of History in the United States

Public Opinion and the Teaching of History in the United States

Excerpt

Many influences have conditioned the teaching of history in the public schools -- local and national, statutory and constitutional, ephemeral and enduring, religious, educational, racial and patriotic.

It is the purpose of this study to give an historical account of some of the attempts to control the teaching of history in the public schools. The first four chapters trace the legislative control that has been exerted in all periods of our history, beginning with the educational enactments of the early colonies and following the development of the curriculum to the present time.

Such statutory control falls into fairly definite periods. The first embraces the earliest statutes relating to public education. During this period history was introduced into the school curriculum as a separate subject specified by law. The next stage, 1860 to 1900, was characterized by the influences set in motion by the Civil War and the Economic Revolution. In the years from 1900 to 1917, the history curriculum reflected the new interest of the American people in the social and economic conditions that had developed. From 1917 to the present, the dominant note has been a dynamic patriotism growing out of the World War.

Besides the legislative aspects of the subject, I have endeavored to set forth the propagandist influences on textbook-making exerted by religious, patriotic, racial and . . .

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