American History Continued

American History Continued -  How ultimately serendipitous that an article from News360 discussed the issue of teaching American history. The article, maybe an op-ed piece, by Carol Markowicz, entitled, "Why Schools Have Stopped Teaching American History" provides an interesting insight into her findings and observations about American History instruction. See this link - ([ http://nypost.com/2017/01/22/why-schools-have-stopped-teaching-american-history/ ]Teaching History) She makes this initial claim "A 2014 report by the National Assessment of Educational Progress showed that an abysmal 18 percent of American high-school kids were proficient in US history. When colleges such as Stanford decline to require Western Civilization classes or high schools propose changing their curriculum so that history is taught only from 1877 onward (this happened in North Carolina), it’s merely a blip in our news cycle. " ([ http://nypost.com/2017/01/22/why-schools-have-stopped-teaching-american-history/ ]Teaching History) But more importantly, she goes on to write, "The reasons are varied. VanSledright found that teachers didn’t focus on history because the students aren’t tested on it at the state level. Why teach something you can’t test?" ([ http://nypost.com/2017/01/22/why-schools-have-stopped-teaching-american-history/ ]Teaching History) So, according to Markowicz, we don't teach history because we don't' test history. Somehow that's all backwards. We should teach history because without it we loose democracy. Without it we loose the roots of Western Civilization. Rather than a test alone, we really should consider how the essence of American democratic traditions can be included in the daily fabric of the school. If as John Dewey suggests, that we "learn by doing," then every school should be doing history as much as testing history. In the New Classroom, American democratic traditions and learning are part of the daily fabric of learning.


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