Teaching the Love of History 'Political Correctness' Is Not the Motive for US History Standards

By Ross E. Dunn. Ross E. Dunn is professor of history the National Standards . | The Christian Science Monitor, September 21, 1995 | Go to article overview

Teaching the Love of History 'Political Correctness' Is Not the Motive for US History Standards


Ross E. Dunn. Ross E. Dunn is professor of history the National Standards ., The Christian Science Monitor


IT has been just a year now since the publication of the National Standards for History. There are two contrasting stories to tell about these controversial guidelines. The first story began last October when Lynne Cheney, former head of the National Endowment for the Humanities, blasted the standards in the Wall Street Journal. Academic liberals and multiculturalists, she argued, had "hijacked" the project in order to produce guidelines that were revisionist and "politically correct." Ms. Cheney sifted through the US history standards to find a phrase here, an omitted name there that might be construed as undermining traditional American values and achievements. She charged, for example, "that not a single one of the 31 standards mentions the Constitution." All she was actually saying is that the word "constitution" does not appear in a particular topic heading. In fact the standards include a major section on the Continental Congress, Constitution, and Bill of Rights, a feature the American Legal and Constitutional Society has lauded. Mrs. Cheney complained that George Washington "makes only a fleeting appearance." In reality the guidelines encourage children at all grade levels to study his life through stories, biographies, documents, national symbols, and library research. The gap is indeed immense between the Cheney version of the standards and the actual documents. Yet pundits and talk show hosts quickly picked up her allegations and for many months repeated them. This summer, Pat Buchanan and Newt Gingrich joined in. On Labor Day Sen. Bob Dole (R) of Kansas attacked the standards in a speech to the American Legion, denouncing them as threatening Americans "as surely as any foreign power ever has." None of these political figures made a thoughtful critique of the guidelines. They merely repeated the phrases Mrs. Cheney had uttered months before. In other words, the political controversy over the standards has degenerated into a ritualized recitation of charges suitable for preelection speeches to sympathetic audiences. There is, however, a second story to tell about the events of the past year. This is the story of the thousands of history teachers, school officials, and parents who have been studying the standards, discussing them responsibly, and quietly putting them to work in social studies classrooms. Across the nation, teachers, on the lookout for good resource material, are squeezing the standards for all they are worth, trying out the hundreds of rich teaching activities they offer, drawing on them for new curricular designs, and largely ignoring the political invective. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Teaching the Love of History 'Political Correctness' Is Not the Motive for US History Standards
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    New feature

    It is estimated that 1 in 10 people have dyslexia, and in an effort to make Questia easier to use for those people, we have added a new choice of font to the Reader. That font is called OpenDyslexic, and has been designed to help with some of the symptoms of dyslexia. For more information on this font, please visit OpenDyslexic.org.

    To use OpenDyslexic, choose it from the Typeface list in Font settings.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.