Theory and research in social education

Theory and research in social education

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Theory and research in social education
National Council for the Social Studies -- College and University Faculty Assembly
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Theory and research in social education.
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in Social Educa Volume 8 t Number 3 t Fall 1980


Theory and Research in Social Education Volume 8 t Number 3 t Fall 1980 TRSE is the official journal of the College and University Faculty Assembly of the National Council for the Social Studies Published quarterly, it is a general review open to all social studies educators, social scientists, historians and philosophers A general statement of purpose, and submission, subscription and advertising information may be found at the end of the journal € 1980 by the College and University Faculty Assembly of the National Council for the Social Studies All rights reserved


Editor : Thomas S Popkewitz, University of Wisconsin-Madison Associate Editor : B Robert Tabachnick, University of Wisconsin-Madison Editorial Assistant : Paula M Bozoian, University of Wisconsin-Madison Accounts Executive : Donna Schleicher Book Review Editor : Jack Nelson, Rutgers State UniversityNew Brunswick Editorial Board : James Akenson Tennessee Tech University Beverly Armento Georgia State University Millard Clements New York University Catherine Cornbleth University of Pittsburgh Lee H Ehman Indiana University Carole L Hahn Emory University Robin McKeown University of California Murry Nelson Penn State University Richard F Newton Temple University Paul Robinson University of Arizona JoAnn Sweeney University of Texas Gary Wehlage University of Wisconsin-Madison Jane White University of Maryland-Baltimore County Foreign Consultant to Journal : Geoff Whitty University of Bath, England The College and University Faculty Assembly Executive Committee 1979-80 : Chairperson : Paul Robinson University of Arizona Secretary : Beverly Armento Georgia State University Treasurer : Gerald Marker Indiana University 1980 Program Co-Chairs : Robert W Johns Emily A Melvin Auburn University James Eckenrod University of San Francisco Janet Eyler Peabody College Lynda Falkenstein Portland State University Allen Glenn University of Minnesota Mary Hepburn University of Georgia John Napier University of Georgia Ann Stoddard Univ of North Florida Officers of the National Council for the Social Studies 1979-80 : President : Todd Clark Constitutional Rights Foundation Los Angeles, California President-Elect : Theodore Kaltsounis University of Washington Publications Board Chairperson : Carole L Hahn Emory University


Contents Articles 1 The Political Context of the Social Studies : Creating a Constituency for Municipal Reform Michael Lybarger The 1916 reports of the Committee on the Social Studies were published near the end of a twenty-year period marked by some of the most sweeping political reforms the country ever witnessed On the federal level, the years between 1913 and 1920 saw the adoption of four constitutional amendments A number of states adopted practices such as the direct primary, initiative and referendum, and workingmen's compensation all aimed at enhancing democracy as well as bringing greater economic and social security to the people American cities developed new charters, started municipal research bureaus, initiated civil service reform, and hired city managers instead of electing mayors This research is an endeavor to place the recommendations of the Committee on the Social Studies in the context of progressive reform with particular attention paid to the reformation of city governments The study is especially concerned with the work of the Municipal League First, because ten members of the Committee on the Social Studies were members of the National Municipal League ; second, because very early in the League's history its members viewed education as an important means for gaining acceptance for reform recommendations Z9 Nineteenth Century Origins of the Social Studies Movement : Understanding the Continuity Between Older and Contemporary Civic and U .S History Textbooks James L Barth and S Samuel Shermis The current debate on social studies textbooks as reflected in the writings of FitzGerald, Weisberger and Roselle center around the alleged dullness, vacuity and intellectual sterility of social studies texts The debate is hardly new However, when one compares U .S history and civics texts of the last century with those written in the last twenty years, and attempts to relate both to the writings of social studies educators, the debate vanishes into irrelevance It would appear that the social studies founding fathers modeled many of their major ideas after the assumptions of 19th century positivist social science One can trace this relationship in the famous 1916 Social Studies Committee report Writers of this report (1) related social studies to a conception of citizenship, (2) perceived the data of social science as shedding light on natural laws, (3) assumed that social scientist would select the "social problems" that students ought to study, (4) believed that use of social science data would lead inevitably toward gradual social improvement and amelioration An examination of these assumptions as well as their historical contexts suggests that they are still employed and that social studies texts can be understood only by understanding their continuity with the past iii


1 Social Studies : Something Old, Something New, and All Borrowed Murry R Nelson This paper dicusses how four trends of New Social Studies 1) social sciences v social studies, 2) inquiry, 3) ethnic and global perspectives, and 4) attention to the future have historical roots, even if those roots are largely unknown to social studies educators By examining some of these foundations of social studies and sources or data, we can improve our field The history of the social studies can serve as a guidepost for decision making in the future of the field 5 The Conventional Historians of the Social Studies Paul Robinson This paper inquires into the historiography of the social studies curriculum in the United States It appears that three educators Henry Johnson, Rolla Tryon, and Edgar Wesley whose primary works were published within five-year period during the Depression, were responsible for forming a pervasive insiders' view of the development of the social studies This view remains influential orthodoxy today The paper examines the historical bases for this conventional interpretation, discusses the men who fostered it, describes its leading characteristics, and suggests its incapacity for resolving key questions related to curriculum history .9 Problems of Democracy : The Revisionist Plan for Social Studies Education H Wells Singleton Revisionists have played an important role in the development of the social studies curriculum The problems of democracy course provided the means to establish a comprehensive citizenship education model The historical study provides a degree of insight into the movement from 1916-1970 in which revisionists consistently attempted to promote citizenship education through the problems of democracy course P5 The Collegiate Influence on the Early Social Studies Curriculum : A Reassessment of the Role of Historians Oliver M Keels, Jr The traditional view of the early social studies curriculum has been to see it as the product of an all powerful collegiate pressure, one embodied solely in those most directly concerned with the social studies historians As a result, there has been a tendency to ignore other aspects of the collegiate influence, and to create far too simplistic a picture of the founding of the social studies curriculum This examination attempts to reassess the role of historians in shaping the form and organization of the secondary social studies in the period 1890-1911 Special attention is given to the importance of the broader institutional relationships of high schools and colleges and the changing nature of both higher education and social science Book Reviews Promoting Moral Growth, From Piaget to Kohlberg, by Richard R Hersch, Diana Pritchard Paplitto, and Joseph Reimer Reviewed by Lynne S Schwab ;9 iv


Theory and Research in Social Education Fall 1980, Volume 8, Number 3, pp 1-28 € by The College and University Faculty Assembly of The National Council for the Social Studies The Political Context of the Social Studies : Creating a' Constituency for Municipal Reform Michael Lybarger Edgewood College The 1916 reports of the Committee on the Social Studies, with which most readers are by now familiar, were published near the end of a twentyyear period marked by some of the most sweeping political reforms the country ever witnessed On the federal level, the years between 1913 and 1920 saw the adoption of four constitutional amendments The direct election of United States Senators and the enfranchisement of women increased both the number of offices at the disposal of the electorate, and nearly doubled the number of eligible votes The ratification of the sixteenth amendment promised significant changes in the economic structure of American life, while the ratification of the eighteenth amendment represented an endeavor to remake American social life -for good or ill All the changes in American politics were not confined to the national government Following the lead of Wisconsin and Oregon, a number of states adopted practices such as the direct primary, initiative and referendum, and workmen's compensation -all armed at enhancing democracy as well as bringing greater economic and social security to the people Nor did reform stop at the state level American cities, whose government Lord Bryce only 20 years earlier had characterised as "a conspicious failure," developed new charters, started municipal research bureaus, initiated civil service reform, and hired city managers instead of electing mayors This research is an endeavor to place the recommendations of the Committee on the Social Studies in the context of progressive reform with particular attention paid to the reformation of city government We will be 1


especially concerned with the work of the National Municipal League First, because ten members of the Committee on the Social Studies (James Lynn Barnard, George Bechtel, Eugene C Bramson, Henry Burch, F W Carrier, Thomas Jesse Jones, Clarence Kingsley, William T Morrey, and William A Wheatley) were members of the National Municipal League Indeed, more members of the Committee on the Social Studies were active in the work of the National Municipal League than were enrolled in the National Education Association Finally, the National Municipal League paid part of the salary of Arthur W Dunn, the Secretary of the Committee on the Social Studies while Dunn was at the Bureau of Education as a specialist in Civic Education The membership of so large a part of the Committee on the Social Studies in the National Municipal League is one reason to look for the influence of the latter in the reports of the former A second reason lies in the fact that very early in the organization's history, its members viewed education as an important means of gaining acceptance for reform recommendations Before turning to these recommendations and the idea of education and citizenship they embody, we should, if only briefly, consider the origins of municipal reform in the United States Cities and Immigrants, Bosses and Reformers While it is indeed true that it was not until the 1920 census that more than 50'o of the American people were found to reside in cities, the growth of city populations was visible and remarkable as early as 1890 By 1890 the populations of New York and Chicago had doubled in the previous 10 years ; smaller cities experienced an even greater rate of increase Milwaukee's numbers increased more than three-fold The population of Detroit and St Louis more than quadrupled (Schlesinger, 1933, pp LXXXIV-LXXXV) A significant factor in the growth of city populations, and in the eyes of many closely associated with urban problems, was the influx of immigrants The mid 1880's witnessed the onset of a new and-compared with earlier immigrations a more massive wave of newcomers The suddeness and dimension of this influx was alarming to many persons The foreign-born population of Chicago in 1890, for example, exceeded the entire population of the city in 1880 (Schlesinger, 1933, p LXXXVI) By 1902 Jane Addams could find men, women, and children from eighteen different nations within walking distance of Hull House (Addams, 1960, p 127) As the size and character of city populations changed, the problems faced by city governments appeared to observers to become more pressing Lord Bryce quoted Seth Low, the reform mayor of New York, who viewed inexperience as the root of American urban problems : . the problem in America has been to make a great city in a few years out of nothing" (Bryce, II, 1887, pp 418-19) While inexperience may have been at the root of urban problems, the most obvious manifestations of this inexperience were public corruption and 2


private immorality Reformers in a host of cities, large ones like New York and Chicago and smaller ones like Boston and Milwaukee, struggled with only limited success against official graft and corruption The fight against private sinning was less successful During the first six years of its existence, the Civic Federation of Chicago claimed to have assailed : public gambling, the social evil, payroll stuffing, fraudulent street paving and sweeping, filthy bakeries, impure ice, corruption in the water department, registration frauds, frauds at the primaries, frauds at the polls, crooked assessors and collectors, sellers of obscene literature, opium dens, mortgage sharks, and numerous other municipal evils (Civic Fed ., 1899, p 4) Not all civic corruption was entirely for private gain Jane Addams observed that Hull House's chief rival as a benefactor of the poor in her neighborhod was alderman Johnny Powers Powers and his colleagues on the Chicago City Council were reputed to give to the poor one half of all they managed to steal Because of this beneficence, the efforts of the women of Hull House, even when ranged with some of the faculty of the University of Chicago, to unseat Powers were unsuccessful (Addams, 1899, pp 875-81) Many Americans were concerned about the relationship between the immigrant and the boss Francis Parkman, the historian and scion of an old New England family, feared for American institutions Writing in the Nation in 1878, Parkman warned his readers that "two enemies, unknown before, have risen like spirits of darkness on our social and political horizon-an ignorant proletariat and a half taught plutocracy ." The first of these Parkman considered the greater danger Workers and foreigners, Parkman charged, think "liberty means license and politics means plunder ." These same groups consider . the public good nothing and their own trivial interest everything [and] they love their country for what they can get out of it ." The blame for this state of affairs Parkman laid at the feet of universal suffrage which permitted "barbers, butchers, and dishwashers" access to positions of importance and power These "ignorant elements," Parkman mournfully concluded, have shouldered aside "the better class of citizens" who then abandoned politics in disgust (Parkman, 1878, pp 19-20) Many American citizens writing of immigrants at the close of the 19th century echoed Parkman "The immigrant," wrote Robert A Woods, a Boston social worker and reformer, "lacks the faculty of abstraction He thinks not of the welfare of the community but of himself" (Woods, 1902, p 87) Edward A Ross went still further, characterizing the immigrants as . squalid, beaten members of beaten races ." Ross charged that the newcomers with their large families held down the wages of "decent Americans [who] are struggling to uphold a decent standard of living by having only two or three children" (Quoted in Goldman, 1958, p 60) Not all Americans were as harsh as Parkman, Woods and Ross in their judgment of the political activity of immigrants They were, however, at 3


least as concerned about the effect of immigrants on republican institutions Jane Addams, who was by no means unsympathetic toward immigrants and their plight, still considered their presence a serious problem Surveying the neighborhood around Hull House, Addams concluded : The idea underlying our self government breaks down in such a ward The streets are indescribably filthy, the number of schools inadequate, sanitary legislation unenforced, street lighting bad . and the stables foul beyond description . The older and richer inhabitants seem anxious to move away as soon as they can afford it They make room for newly arrived immigrants who are densely ignorant of their civil duties (Addams, 1960, pp 98-9) Edwin Godkin, reformer and editor of the Nation, was also concerned about the effect large numbers of immigrants had upon city politics Like Parkman, Godkin thought that the power of the boss rested upon the votes of ignorant immigrants Unlike the patrician historian, however, Godkin was not prepared to abandon universal manhood suffrage The solution, according to Godkin, lay in making universal suffrage "less dangerous ." To secure a less dangerous ballot, Godkin suggested four reforms First, the date of city elections could be changed so that they did not coincide with the national elections which attracted more voters Second, the power of the immigrant vote could be undermined while the vote of the wealthier classes enhanced by placing city officers on a non-partisan ballot Adoption of the non-partisan ballot would unite the "respectable classes" in cities who were divided by partisan considerations on national political issues While non-partisanship and separate city elections would confront the bosses in the polling place and defeat them, these would not prevent new bosses from arising Godkin's third reform was aimed at preventing new bosses from arising by depriving them of sources of patronage This could be effected by what Godkin called "the separation of politics from administration" or what we today call civil service reform Civil service reform would insure that the day-to-day business of the city would be transacted efficiently with no advantage to vested interests either commercial or political (Godkin, 1884, pp 26-27) Akin to civil service reform was Godkin's fourth recommendation, the adoption of the short ballot, which meant reducing the number of elective offices on any city ballot to no more than five In practice this meant that many previously elected officials would hold office through appointment by the executive or by passing a civil service examination (Godkin, 1884, p 28) According to Godkin, then, the way to municipal reform lies in the adoption of four procedures which will go far toward breaking the fell grip of the boss upon American cities Godkin's was not the only voice raised against municipal corruption As early as the late 1880's, residents of cities began to associate themselves in support of municipal reform During the first half of the 1890's over 60 organizations devoted to the reform of city government appeared The names of these organizations were various ; "city club," "civic federation," 4


"municipal league," "reform league," and "good government club" were the most common (Shaw, 1895, p 423) The municipal reform movement reached a high point in 1893 when the Philadelphia Municipal League and the City Club of New York issued a joint call for a national conference on good city government On January 25 and 26, 1894, approximately 150 representatives from 29 organizations in 21 cities and 13 states assembled in Philadelphia The delegates heard papers dealing with conditions in different cities, civil service reform, the separation of city from other elections, the role of churches in municipal reform and other problems of municipal reform Before adjourning, the delegates adopted a resolution calling for the formation and organization of a "National Municipal League ." By May of 1894, 19 civic reform organizations had affiliated themselves as the National Municipal League (Stewart, 1950, pp 8-17) We should not assume that members of the National Municipal League anticipated that the reformation of city government would be accomplished through the intrinsic appeal of the measures they advocated Many league members-perhaps most of them-were convinced that the regeneration of American cities awaited a regenerated citizenry To secure this regeneration, members of the League, like many reformers before them, looked to the schools In 1903, Clinton Rogers Woodruff, founder and secretary of the National Municipal League, told members : Wherever we go we find this situation confronting us : new generations of our own and foreign born children coming up to take their place as American citizens . How necessary it is, then, that these children should receive the proper impulse toward civic improvement and should be guided aright in their education, so that they may be fully equipped to do their whole duty to the people The school continues to be the great factor for the creation and fostering of civic virtue ; for the molding of good citizens .(Woodruff, 1903, p 434) 'Prior to 1912, material about the educational work of the National Municipal League is contained in the Proceedings of the annual meetings The Proceedings are in two parts There is a transcript of the meeting which records the discussions of the different papers presented to the membership The papers are printed in full at the conclusion of the transcript of the meeting It is possible then to quote one person in the discussion of a paper, and then in the body of the paper When this happens there is often a gap of several hundred pages in remarks by one individual on one subject On the other hand many people are quoted in the discussion who did not present a paper In this paper, I have supplied the title "Comments" to indicate that the material quoted appears in the transcript of the meeting and is not part of a paper presented to the meeting After 1912, accounts of the annual meetings of the National Municipal League are found in the League's journal, The National Municipal Review In some cases a paper presented to the meeting does not appear in the National Municipal Review until the following year In these cases I use the year the article appeared in the National Municipal Review in the citation while in the body of this paper I cite the year the talk was presented Thus Arthur W Dunn, for example, addressed the 1914 meeting of the National Municipal League but the abstract of Dunn's address did not appear in the National Municipal Review until 1915 The copies of the Proceedings of the National Municipal League held by the University of Wisconsin Libraries have minor variations in their titles Sometimes the year of the meeting appears in the title and not at other times Clinton Rogers Woodruff is sometimes listed as the editor of the Proceedings and not at other times, I have endeavored to give the citation exactly as it appears on the title page for the particular volume under consideration 5


Woodruff s speech was only the first in a series of speeches, discussions, and exhortations heard at meetings of the National Municipal League between 1896 and 1916 Proposals for new city charters, municipal home rule, at-large and non-partisan election, and civil service reform were usually accompanied by pleas that schools instruct children in the necessity of supporting these measures Before examining the extent to which the National Municipal League's vision of municipal reform was embodied in the reports of the Committee on Social Studies, we need to consider that there were significant changes in the League membership's view of the purpose and nature of municipal reform as well as the role of the citizen in securing that reform Changing Conceptions of Municipal Reform : 1896-1916 Any consideration of the reforms advocated by the National Municipal League ought begin with an examination of the Model Municipal Programs published under the auspices of the League The League has adopted and published six of these programs from its founding to the present For the purposes of this research, we will be concerned with only two : the First Model Municipal Program adopted and published by the League in 1897, and the Second Model Municipal Program adopted and published in 1915 The First Model Municipal Program reflected the conviction that the influence of the boss in municipal affairs could be eliminated if honest folk united and elected a few "good men ." These good men would, first, "throw the rascals out" and, second, enact reforms like the short ballot and civil service, which would, third, prevent the advent of new bosses The Second Model Municipal Program does not reflect the confidence characteristic of the First Model Municipal Program, that fair elections, honest officials, and good procedures would of themselves be adequate to achieve municipal reform This lack of confidence is represented by changes in emphasis in the Second Model Municipal Progam One manifestation of a lack of confidence may be found in National Municipal League members' declining faith in the ballot as a means of effecting municipal reform This decline was exemplified in League members' growing conception of the city as a business concern One of the best examples of this may be found in a speech John H Patterson, the president of the National Cash Register Company, delivered to the League in 1897 A modern city, according to Patterson is a . great business enterprise whose shareholders are the people ." If this is the case, Patterson continued, then . municipal affairs should be placed on a strict business basis and . directed, not by Democrats and Republicans, but by men skilled in business management and social science" (Quoted in Weinstein, 1968, p 93) Viewing the city as a business permitted members of the National Municipal League to argue that the secret of city government lay in the application of business methods It was, however, not likely that folk with the requisite business and social science knowledge could be obtained through elections Therefore, the League concluded that a more businesslike way of running a city would be to find skilled folk and to isolate them 6


from the necessity of facing the voters in election, thus permitting them to apply their expertise full time to the city's business-with efficiency their only criteria The 1915 Model Municipal Program demonstrated that members of the National Municipal League were willing to accept the bureaucratization of city goverment in the name of making it more business-like and efficient Behind this acceptance of bureaucracy is the tacit assumption that municipal reform is best achieved by administrative fiat not political debate What Godkin called "the separation of politics and administration" in 1884 had become by 1915 what one historian has called the "radical separation of means and ends ." "Ends," or what folks wish their leaders to be and do, lie within the realm of politics and hence are the subject of debate and voting Once the numbers had been taken, however, the National Municipal League members called for . the leadership of the educated and competent and for the creation of a realm in government where conflicting purposes will disappear and be replaced by questions of efficiency" (Harber, 1964, p 104) The working out of the public will the 1915 Model Municipal Program left to college-trained administrators enjoying long tenure and broad powers The reforms advocated by the National Municipal League go considerably beyond the separation of politics and administration Indeed, adoption of the reforms advocated by the National Municipal League would subordinate politics to administration The extent of this subordination may be seen in William H Allen's description of part of the role of the city manager According to Allen, the Director of the New York Bureau of Municipal Research, one task of the city manager is . taking the public gently by the hand and helping it to understand what it really wants" (quoted in Harber, 1964, p 104) It could be argued that Allen, since he was a professional administrator, spoke from self interest He was, however, supported by academic social scientists Statements by two of these academicans, one a sociologist and the other an economist, and both Progressives, indicate the large role which turn of the century academicans granted and experts played in matters of civic reform In the first number of the American Journal of Sociology appeared an article by Albion W Small, University of Chicago sociologist and member of the Civic Federation of Chicago, about that organization's work in reforming Chicago Small attributed the success of the Civic Federation to . the unusual degree to which the aggressive work of the Federation was assigned to people who might be called experts If," Small continued, . the efforts of the Civic Federation were successful [it was] because they were superintended by people fitted by talent and experience" (Small, 1896, pp 101-102) John R Commons, the University of Wisconsin economist, associate of Robert LaFollette, and labor arbitrator noted in his autobiography : I now see that all my assumptions for legislation in the state and 7


nation have turned on the assumption of a non-partisan administration by specially qualified appointees . I made administration more important than legislation Legislation furnished the authorizations Administration was legislation in action (Commons, 1963, p 64) The tendency of urban reformers after 1900 to look to experts and business folk for help in creating better city governments illustrates a major change taking place in reform thought after 1900, a change well underway when members of the Committee on Social Studies joined the National Municipal League League members around 1897 considered that municipal reform would follow upon the adoption of a few elementary rules and procedures By 1915, these rules and procedures had, according to Robert Wiebe, "become encased in a fairly elaborate administrative apparatus" (Wiebe, 1967, p 149) By 1915, the regeneration of city politics had become the providence, not of the citizens, but of expert administrators-men and women skilled in business methods, conversant with a quasi-scientific terminology, and less accountable to the people they served This collapse of politics into administration was reflected in the recommendations the National Municipal League made for civic education It is to these and the political ideals they embodied that we now turn Civic Education and the National Municipal League After 1900 part of every annual meeting of the National Municipal League was given to a consideration of some aspect of civic education, featuring a discussion of civic education, a report on a civic education project, or a formal address on civic education An examination of the record of these meetings reveals three common objectives the League had for civic education All of these objectives found their way into the reports of the Committee on the Social Studies First, an adequate civic education would insure acquaintance with and conformity to the rules of city and work life Second, an adequate civic education would assure that city residents, and especially the immigrants among them, would adopt American political values and life styles Finally, an adequate civic education would secure the support of city residents for the reforms advocated by the National Municipal League Each of these objectives was related to advancing the municipal reforms advocated by members of the League Many of the discussions of civic education at meetings of the National Municipal League were marked by a concern to secure observance of city codes, especially those dealing with sanitation and health In 1903 Franklin Henry Giddings, a Columbia sociologist, considered that one source of municipal evils lay in the "infirmity of character" of many city residents According to Giddings, this infirmity permitted men to . care more for the privilege of obstructing a sidewalk with his own merchandise than for the impartial enforcement of building ordinances . and to care more for an improper concession from the building department . than to have their streets cleaned from physical filth and cleared of vicious characters" (Giddings, 1900, p 240) Giddings' position was held by other speakers who appeared before meetings of the National Municipal League Julia Richmond, a pioneer 8


social worker, told League members that it was easier to teach the "old" civics, and more difficult to teach the "new" civics While teachers of the old civics could teach the oath of allegiance, teachers of the new civics must "teach the community to keep the fire escapes free from incumberances ." While teachers of the old civics had to prepare patriotic programs and teach the "Star Spangled Banner," teachers of the new civics had to "secure from a tenement house population proper respect for tenement house laws and . .1o teach them to separate ashes from garbage as required in large cities" (Richman, 1905, p 117) Another social worker and an early advocate of vocational guidance, Meyer Bloomfield (Lazerson, 1971, pp 194-95) addressed the City Club of Chicago on the topic of the "new citizenship" and the schools' role in its development In words similar to Richmond's, Bloomfield argued that teachers should teach students to . see the ash barrel, and see the building inspector" rather than "see the flag" or "see the governor" (Bloomfield, 1910, pp 98a-98k) In teaching geography, Bloomfield recommended that city children be informed about the work opportunities available across the country Instead of asking children to . see the mountains and see the forests," Bloomfield counseled teachers to ask their charges to "see the mines . and see the smelters" (Bloomfield, 191 .0, pp 98c-98d) In addition to acquainting students with the occupational, health and welfare resources of their country, some civic education programs of the National Municipal League sought to engage children more directly in improving the living conditions of their neighborhoods In New York the civics club at Wadley High School organized its members into block units to encourage the observance of ordinances in regard to waste disposal When students found decaying sidewalks or waste accumulating in the streets, they reported these conditions to local merchants who then contacted the authorities (National Municipal Review, 1909, p 269) In Boston High School of Commerce, students were recruited into the "City Guard ." Members of the guard reported "conditions which made them unhappy" to members of the local merchants' association and the good government club, either of which contacted the proper authorities It is not without significance that, in both Boston and New York, students were counseled to look to local merchants and businessmen for assistance in alleviating bad conditions By associating businessmen and merchants with securing better civic conditions, municipal reformers might be able to undermine the influence of the bosses with future voters Not all efforts at involving school children in the improvement of living conditions were successful In Philadelphia, the City Club sponsored a "swat the fly" campaign Children were encouraged to kill flies and bring them to school in jars A prize would be awarded to the child killing the most flies This prize was never awarded The contest was terminated abruptly when sponsors discovered that some children had taken to breeding flies, killing them and bringing the results to school, in order to win the contest (Barnard, 1916, p 32) 9


In addition to involving school children in efforts to eliminate unsafe and unhealthy conditions in their neighborhoods and communities, local civic associations often provided students with information about reforms advocated by the National Municipal League In New York, for example, the New York Women's Civic League had printed 100,000 pamphlets on civil service reform and distributed these to over 1,300 schools across the country The women undertook this work because of their . belief that when every child in the United States is grounded in civil service reform principles, the spoils system will be condemned by public opinion and cease to exist ." In both New York and Massachusetts, the state Women's Civic Leagues sponsored essay contests on civil service reform (Decker, 1906, pp 199-200) In addition to teaching acquaintance with and allowing students to practice conforming to municipal ordinances, most civic education activities of the National Municipal League held that it was important that students in city schools become acquainted with and adopt "American" political values and life styles While the committee never defined what specifically "American" values were, it is possible to understand what members of the National Municipal League considered inappropriate values Members of the National Municipal League considered the practices of city political machines un-American Robert A Woods, a pioneer social worker in Boston, often spoke to local reform organizations Woods summarized an account of a party caucus in the immigrant quarter of Boston, This unconscionable affair-which occurs at a point within fifteen minutes walk of the Public Library and Trinity Church-is at once the climax and resume of local politics It is calculated to arouse sober reflections ; for under the American System the primary election is the nesting place of our liberties (Woods, 1902, pp 146-7) Woods concluded his discussion of immigrant politics by pointing to the necessity of civic education for immigrant children by arguing that, without such education, the boss will not "passaway until he has drilled leaders of continental immigrants in ways that are subversive of the American party system, not to speak of every holy tradition of our free republic" (Woods, 1902, p 189) While members of the National Municipal League considered boss rule un-American, many were convinced that the growing electoral strength of the Socialist Party was more dangerous It is worth remembering that while the National Municipal League was considering civic education at length, the Socialist Party was experiencing rapid growth By 1912, the party could claim 118,000 members, and support 323 publications, with the party's official paper the Appeal to Reason enjoying a circulation of 761,747 The party also did well in elections Between the elections of 1900 and 1912, the vote for the party's presidential nominee, Eugene Debs, climbed to 6 percent of the total vote cast In local elections, the party was even more successful ; over 1,200 officials held office in 24 states, including 79 mayors, 32 state legislators, and 6 congressmen (Diggins, 1973, p 27) 1 0


This growing strength of the Socialist Party was not ignored by members of the National Municipal League Most League members considered that the most important source of support for the Socialist Party was to be found among immigrants In a discussion of civic education for immigrants at the 1909 meeting of the League, Grace Abbot argued that the Socialist Party was especially active among immigrants in Cincinnati, with newspapers available in every immigrant language The result, according to Abbot was that immigrants were kept informed about socialist activity, but remained ignorant of non-socialist activity Thus these men and women, Abbot concluded, . are hearing little but destructive denunciation of existing institutions and conditions" (Abbot, 1909, p 43) Presumably, if the schoolspresented to the children of immigrants government in its more beneficient aspects, this might serve to counteract the influence of socialism upon their parents Perhaps this is what Joseph Bell of Milwaukee meant in commenting upon Abbot's paper : . many of us in Milwaukee have regretted time and time again that the socialists seem to have a monopoly of the whole Italian work[ing] class and work amongst that class of people It does seem a pity that the attitude of the government and other parties has not been made more plain to those people so that they may understand the true situation better (Bell, 1905, p 51) Some local reform clubs considered affiliation with the Socialist Party sufficient reason to deny political support to otherwise qualified candidates The City Club of Milwaukee, for example, refused to endorse any socialist for any political office In withholding support from Victor Berger and Daniel Hoan, the club noted that both men possessed excellent qualifications and records, but concluded that "this organization can never lend its support to men whose loyality is not to the entire city but to a fictitious `working class"' (City Club Papers, Milwaukee, Box 2) The concern which members of the National Municipal League held for the influence of the socialist and the boss is reflected in civic education programs discussed at League meetings The emphasis upon matters of health and welfare found in those civic education programs was probably intended to diminish the boss as a figure of social service Oscar Handlin has argued that "urban political organization was an integral part of community life expressing its needs and goals ." The political machine then met not only city residents' immediate needs like jobs and financial and, legal assistance but, Handlin concludes, . provided one of the few avenues to success and public recognition available to the immigrants" (Handlin, 1951, p 57) Civic education programs discussed at meetings of the National Municipal League did more than denounce bosses and seek to eliminate the influence of socialists Most of these programs sought to promote the municipal reforms sought by the League Hence the discussion of municipal evils and their remedy in these programs is less than unbiased Two examples of civic education programs discussed and praised at League meetings will support this contention 1 1


At Detroit Northern High School, where George Bechtel, a member of the Committee on the Social Studies, taught, a course called American Political Institutions was introduced in 1901 Teachers in the course devoted two-thirds of the available time to the study of local institutions and municipal government Pupils in American Political Institutions considered the "chief evils facing American cities and their causes ." The evil conditions were shown . as not only threatening cities themselves with ruin, but menacing the welfare of the state and nation ." With each municipal evil, the class also considered the appropriate remedies ; all of which were found in the First and Second Model Municipal Programs (viz, civil service reform, time and manner of holding elections, at large election of councils and boards, and the increased power and responsibility of the mayor) According to Jesse Davis, the purpose of the course was . not simply to teach forms of government, but to add to this a critical appreciation of measures to better it and, as far as possible, to create a lasting desire for cleanliness and purity in public life" (Davis, 1903, pp 229-34) We can better support the contention that the civic education programs of the National Municipal League were designed to create a constituency for municipal reform by considering the course in municipal civics taught at the New York High School of Commerce The course was developed by James Sheppard, the principal of the school and member of the National Municipal League Education Committee, and was subsequently adopted as a model municipal civics course by the Civic Education Committee of the League According to Sheppard, the course was intended to develop a more discriminating electorate Sheppard criticized the candidates for mayor in a recent New York election for assuming that . the average voter is more interested in personalities than policies ." If the electorate, Sheppard continued . had even an elementary appreciation of the direct bearing upon its personal interests of an honest and efficient administration of the city's affairs," such a campaign would have been impossible One aim of the municipal civics course Sheppard described was to make similar campaigns impossible in the future by "equipping the voters of tomorrow with training in affairs touching their personal interest ." One way to do this, Sheppard held, was for civics courses to . establish firmly in the minds of students just the one fact that party labels are of no importance in municipal matters . ." (Maxwell and Sheppard, 1909, pp 367-68) The non partisan ballot was not the only National Municipal League sponsored reform advocated in Sheppard's civics course Two examples ought suffice here When students studied the city street, they learned that the constant tearing up of the street to lay trolley-tracks represented a waste of municipal resources as well as cost merchants money in lost business At this point in the course students would learn that a much more efficient use of the streets may be had by the construction of subways At the time the course was being developed, the New York affiliate of the National Municipal League was conducting a campaign for subway rather than surface transportation (Maxwell and Sheppard, 1909, p 363) Another reform sought by the City Club of New York also found its 1 2


way into the civics course at the New York High School of Commerce From 1908 to 1910 the Club was endeavoring to get New York City to institute the executive budget This would centralize the budget-making function in the hands of the mayor According to Sheppard, students in the municipal civics course would contrast the executive budget with current practices : "Under proper guidance [the student] will come to realize how extravagant and inefficient government affects him personally, [and] how honest and economic government has a money value to every citizen" (Maxwell and Sheppard, 1909, p 377) One further civic education program considered at meetings of the National Municipal League warrants our attention here because it was the brain child of Arthur William Dunn, who was to become secretary of the Committee on the Social Studies and one of the authors of The Teaching of Community Civics Dunn held that one purpose of schooling was explicitly reformist School children, according to Dunn, ought help . bring about the reforms that more responsible citizens have failed to accomplish" (Dunn, 1914, I, p 32) While teaching civics in the public schools of Indianapolis, Dunn sought to bring about the "closest cooperation" between civic groups in both the community and the school To secure this cooperation Dunn's students worked "hand in glove" with the Indianapolis Commercial Club (the equivalent of the Chamber of Commerce) seeking to improve city conditions Dunn's students observed things like unshoveled sidewalks, unsanitary buildings and conditions, and other details of municipal housekeeping Students then reported the results of their observations to members of the Commercial Club, who would see to their remedy These activities, Dunn told the 1914 meeting of the National Municipal League, trained children to . . participate with commercial bodies in affairs of importance in the community life" (Dunn, 1914, pp 31-32) This examination of the civic education programs presented to or discussed at meetings of the National Municipal League reveals a number of common features which were incorporated into the reports of the Committee on the Social Studies Before turning to the influence of the civic education work of the National Municipal League upon the reports of the committee on Social Studies, it might be well to note these common elements Most of the civic education proposals relied upon the business community to assist in the civic education of children We can recall that the City Guard in Boston, the Civics Club at Wadley High School in New York, and the Civics Course at the New York High School of Commerce sought to have students inspect sidewalks, etc In all cases, students were to report their findings, not to the appropriate municipal agency, but to the local commercial club or merchants' association The civics course encouraged students upon graduation to work through commercial associations A second common feature found in most civic education discussions before meetings of the National Municipal League is the emphasis placed upon the functions and not the structure of city government As early as 1901, D L Granger, the reform mayor of Providence Rhode island, counseled members of the Civic Education Committee of the League to 1 3


look . a little bit to the practical men, the men who have had practice in municipal administration, however poor their success may have been ." Granger dismissed an earlier discussion of municipal ownership by a college teacher as . thorough but [containing] nothing practical . I hardly think an ordinary workingman would have been able to follow his study" (Granger, 1901, p 19) The emphasis upon the functions of government rather than its machinery or structure characterized nearly every discussion of civic education at meetings of the National Municipal League In 1897 L S Rowe, a colleague of James Lynn Barnard at the University of Pennsylvania, held that even college level courses on civil government ought emphasize "the facts of our political life" (Rowe, 1897, p 78) In 1903 John Fairlie, the Chairman of the League's Civic Education Committee, held that the emphasis in introductory civics courses . must be laid not on the forms of government but on the function of officials and on the responsibilities and duties of citizenship" (Fairlie, 1903, pp 223-24) Fairlie's point was reinforced in 1906 by William C Langdon, who told the League meeting that . The good citizen is the man who does things . and the chief duty of training for citizenship is to see that he has this quality" (Langdon, 1906, pp 412-13) A third common element in the civic education courses discussed at meetings of the National Municipal League was the emphasis placed upon the economic value derived from a reformed city government Teachers of civics at the New York High School of Commerce, we can recall, sought to convince students that "honest and economic government has a money value for every citizen ." In the discussion of street repairs, the same course pointed out "the importance of good paving to business interests" ; and, this was one of the reasons presented in favor of the expansion of subways (Sheppard, 1909, p 101) William C Langdon, whom we quoted earlier, urged teachers to . see to it that the student has in mind the benefits that come to him personally from efficient government and his reciprocal obligations" (Langdon, 1906, pp 414-15) A fourth common element in the civic education proposals of the National Municipal League warrants listing here Most civic education programs discussed by the League placed little emphasis on voting Charles A Beard, one of the first editors of the National Municipal Review, approved of this de-emphasis Calling the civic education programs presented by League members "historical" because they presented government as revolutionary, Beard stated that "they will give more attention to a railway tariff sheet than to a tally sheet . more pages to franchises than ballot legislation . these programs will seek to interest students and . trust that they will find their way to polling booths on election day" (Beard, 1909, pp 49-50) This brief survey of the civic education work of the National Municipal League lends support to James Weinstein's contention that members of the League were "able to identify the future of their cities with that of their own business interests" (Weinstein, 1968, pp 95-96) Rationalizing city 1 4


administration by separating it from politics would have three benefits for business folk First, a more attractive and efficiently-run city could mean more business for local enterprises Secondly, while municipal services had always been expensive, and became more expensive as cities dramatically increased in size, the application of business methods to the operation of a city promised to hold increases in municipal expenses to a minimum Finally, the management of city government bybusiness methods promised local entrepreneurs a friendly hearing in city hall, where now both administrator and business folk spoke the same language The Political Aim of Civic Education Thus far we have examined the work of the National Municipal League in civic education We have isolated several common elements in that work and have concluded that an important aspect of the League's educational work was the development of a constituency for municipal reform It remains for us to examine the political implications of the work of the National Municipal League and then consider the extent to which that work was formative of the recommendations of the Committee on the Social Studies The work of the National Municipal League cannot be considered apart from the rest of the progressive movement There are, moreover, at least four different historical analyses of progressivism Historians like Richard Hofstader, George Mowry ; and Daniel Aron hold that progressives were conservative, rather than radical or even liberal reformers Other historians such as Roy Lubove and Andrew Scott credit the progressives with establishing a new political ethic which involved greater government responsibility for social unity In this sense the progressives were, if not revolutionaries, at least the prophets of a richer and better future A third group of historians represented by men like Paul Glad, Arthur Link, and Eric Goldman stand between our first two groups Refusing to concede that progressivism was all either liberal or conservative, prophetic or reactionary, our third group of historians divides progressives into two groups -one tied to the past, the other to the future, or one rural and the other urban A fourth group of historians, represented by James Weinstein, Gabriel Kolko, and others, endeavors to understand progressivism as part of a successful endeavor by the holders of great economic and political power to enact the minimum of reforms to insure the social and political stability necessary to maintaining their power At the risk of oversimplyfing an exceedingly complex and interesting historiographical controversy, we might argue that progressivism had at least two and probably three aspects : one liberal, humane, and democratic ; the other conservative oppressive, and reactionary ; and a third lying somewhere between the first two If this is the case, then we need to ask which aspect of progressivism was represented in the political activity of members of the National Municipal League and is embodied in the educational works of the League Part of the difficulty in determining what aspect of progressivism was 1 5


embodied in the educational works of the National Municipal League is a result of the success of the League's program It is difficult from the vantage point of 1980 in Madison, Wisconsin, to imagine a time when the everyday verities of our political life -nonpartisan elections, civil service systems, at-large elections, etc -were neither everyday nor verities Nonetheless, when the members of the National Municipal League were discussing civic education and the Committee on the Social Studies was preparing its reports, the argument that . a scientific business like government" was ipso facto more democratic did not meet with anything like universal acceptance In city after city, municipal reformers were charged by their tance In city after city, municipal reformers were charged by their opponents-most often working people and socialists-with endeavoring to create a government "of, by, and for businessmen ." One reason socialists opposed at-large representation and favored ward representation was that the former made the election of workingclass candidates much more difficult, since candidates were often unable to raise the money or develop the organization to wage a citywide campaign Where, before the institution of at-large election, the socialist and other minority parties succeeded in electing some of their members to office, the abolition of the ward system made this much more difficult Dayton, Ohio, is a good example In 1911 (before the institution of at-large election) Dayton socialists received 25% of the vote and elected two councilmen and three assessors In 1913, after the adoption of at-large election, the socialists received 35% of the vote but elected no one In 1917 the socialists again increased their share of the vote, this time to 44%, and still elected no one (Weinstein, 1968, pp 109-11) At-large election was one way to counter the effect of the working class voters The adoption of business methods in running a city made it difficult for successful working class candidates to be effective office holders Richard Childs, a New York reformer, conceded that in order to be effective administrators, municipal officers "have practically got to belong to the employer class" (quoted in Weinstein, 1968, pp 109-10) When the voters of Wichita, Kansas elected a street laborer to the city Board of Commissioners, one local reformer conceded that being a street laborer was an "honest calling," and agreed that working people were entitled some representation in the discussion of city affairs A more important question was . does being a street laborer give a man quite the preparation for managing one of the departments of this city?" (quoted in Weinstein, 1968, pp 110-111) The opposition to the reform proposals developed and advocated by members of the National Municipal League is understandable if we view the League's work as part of an attempt (ultimately successful) to develop and legitimate an alternative system of political decision-making approaches to city government, exemplified by the ward system which reflected and grew out of representive government on the national level This earlier approach afforded the latitude and offered the opportunity for . the expression of grass roots impulses and the involvement of individuals in the process" 1 6


(Weinstein, 1968, pp 79-80) The twentieth century alternative advocated by members of the National Municipal League, as well as other progressive organizations, was based upon the marriage of corporate methods and ideals with science and technology In this alternative, . decisions arose from expert analysis, and flowed from fewer and smaller centers outward to the rest of society" (Hays, 1964, pp 168-69) As might be anticipated, those city residents favoring the : traditional approach to municipal politics looked with fear upon the loss of influence which the adoption of progressive reforms entailed On the other hand, reformers looked with distain upon the waste, inefficiency and corruption which they held were part and parcel of the old political system The civic education proposals of the National Municipal League, then, emerged in the context of a debate over the nature, ends, and function of city government in the United States Members of the National Municipal League, moreover, were usually found supporting those reforms which tended to remove political issues from the purview of the electorate and place them at the disposal of trained administrators Furthermore, League members often claimed the mantles of "business-like" or "efficient" as sanctions for their reforms By the second decade of this century municipal reformers and civic educators also laid claim to the sanction of science for what were essentially procedural modifications in the institutions of selfgovernment For example, Edgar Dawson, a respected civic educator and member of the National Municipal League, counseled teachers always to present their students with . the best and most definite results of political science ." What might these results be? Dawson cited three, all part of the program of the National Municipal League : "First," Dawson asserted, "is it not safe to say that all political scientists accept the principle of the short ballot as no longer disputable? Is not the same true," Dawson continued, "for municipal home rule and the executive budget ." According to Dawson, the lesson for educators and reformers was clear : "We must put into the school those principles which we wish to see adopted" (Dawson, 1910, p 77-79) Political science was thus drafted to invest the procedures of city politics with the mantle of science One historian has argued that adoption of the League's reforms would . reshape city government in such a way to centralize power in the hands of a small segment of the population . [and] would guarantee that most of the people most of the time would rule hardly at all" (Hays, 1964, pp 156-58) The Work of the National Municipal League on the Reports of the Committee on Social Studies We have now reached the point where we need to determine the extent to which the ideas of civic education discussed at meetings of the National Municipal League found expression in the reports of the Committee on the Social Studies The available evidence suggests that the work of the National Municipal League exercised both direct and indirect influence upon recommendations contained in the Social Studies in Secondary Education We need to consider each in turn The fact that at least 10 members of the Committee on Social Studies 1 7


were members of the National Municipal League is persuasive evidence for the direct influence of the latter upon the work of the former Furthermore, two members of the Committee on the Social Studies, James L Barnard and Arthur W Dunn, served on the Civic Education Committee of the National Municipal League while members of the Committee on the Social Studies The person most responsible for developing a direct tie between the work of the National Municipal League and the reports of the Committee on Social Studies was Arthur William Dunn, a League member and one of the pioneers in the development of community civics In 1913, Dunn addressed the Toronto meeting of the National Municipal League Dunn explained his work in community civics and advocated closer co-operation between the National Municipal League, the Bureau of Education in Washington, state and local educational officials and teachers Dunn also suggested that the League institute an advisory committee on civic education with a full-time paid secretary This was done (Dunn, 1914, p 178 : Stewart, 1951, pp 107-08) Dunn's committee immediately began to make contacts with local and state educational officials as well as the United States Commissioner of Education, Philander P Caxton In early 1914, Dunn was appointed a "collaborator in the Bureau of Education and specialist in civic education" with a salary of $10 .00 per diem The Executive Committee of the National Municipal League underwrote the balance of Dunn's pay Reporting to the 1914 meeting of the National Municipal League about his work with the advisory committee, Dunn told members that : . affiliation with the Bureau of Education was the most important part of its [the advisory committee's] work . for it has allowed us to more nearly realize the work of a clearing house than ever before School men who were not inclined to listen to a private group, are accepting our suggestions now that they have the sanction of the bureau (Dunn, 1914, p 112) While at the Bureau of Education, Dunn no doubt became acquainted with Thomas Jesse Jones, also a collaborator with the Bureau and the Chairman of the Committee on the Social Studies Shortly after joining the Bureau, Dunn became Secretary of the Committee on the Social Studies and may have assumed some of Jones' duties while the latter was completing his Negro Education It is not impossible that Jones and Dunn together wrote The Social Studies in Secondary Education ; Dunn is listed as the compiler of the report, but both Jones and Dunn claimed authorship at different times Regardless of the authorship of The Social Studies in Secondary Education, there is no question that Dunn's association with the Bureau of Education (which he retained after leaving his post as Secretary of the League's Civic Education Committee) allowed him (and through him the National Municipal League) to exercise a significant influence upon the reports of the Committee on the Social Studies The best way to demonstrate this influence is to consider the features common to both the reports of the Committee on the Social Studies and the discussions of civic educa1 8


tion proposals at meetings of the National Municipal League Our earlier consideration of the different approaches to civic education discussed at meetings of the National Municipal League revealed six important features common to all Among these were : first, an emphasis upon local as distinct from national government ; second, a consideration of the functions as distinct from the structure of government ; third, a focus upon the duties as distinct from the rights of citizens ; fourth, the suggestion that students look to business folk rather than politicians for assistance in making government work more effectively ; fifth, the idea that a major object of instruction in the social studies wag the physical and moral welfare of the community ; and finally, the enlistment of school children in community betterment projects The remainder of this paper will be given to a discussion of the extent to which the reports of the Committee on the Social Studies reflect the features listed above We will be concerned with indicating as clearly as possible the function of these common features In The Social Studies in Secondary Education we find an emphasis upon local government and its functions nearly identical to that which we encountered in discussions of civic education at the meetings of the National Municipal League The study of the near-at-hand and the concrete was urged by the Committee on the Social Studies for all of the social sciences For example, in discussing the directions the Problems of American Democracy course might take, the Committee urged prospective teachers of this course to present to the class "actual problems," under "concrete conditions ." The Committee urged that all social studies courses use two criteria for the selection of topics All material in social studies classes, the Committee urged, should include problems "of vital importance to society" as well as of "immediate interest to the class" (Committee on the Social Studies, 1916, pp 52-54) Both the National Municipal League and the Committee on the Social Studies had similar reasons for studying the near-at-hand and the concrete According to the National Municipal League, the study of local government should demonstrate to the student . the benefits which come to him peresonally . and his reciprocal obligations" (Liqueer, 1904, p 258) According to the Committee on Social Studies, community civics instead of history should be taught in the upper elementary grades because . it is easier for the child, as for any citizen to realize his membership in the local community, to feel a sense of personal responsibility for it, and to enter into actual co-operation with it, than is the case with the national community" (Barnard et al ., 1915, pp 22-23) Closely related to the study of local government are two other elements common to both the civic education proposals of the National Municipal League and recommendations of the Committee on the Social Studies The recommendations for civic education stressed the study of the functions of government as distinct from its structure As early as 1901 a member of the Civic Education Committee of the National Municipal League held that civics courses should . present the machinery of government in vital connection with as many concrete functions that it performs as the boy has 1 9


basis in experience and observation to understand -to see the machinery of government as merely the means by which the people of the whole country do work for themselves" (Langdon, 1906, p 12) According to The Social Studies in Secondary Education, one result of the study of community civics would be that students . would learn the social agencies, governmental and private that exist to secure the elements of community welfare . and to respond to them by appropriate action" (Committee on the Social Studies, 1916, p 23) Closely related to the study of the functions of government is the emphasis both the Committee on Social Studies and the Civic Education Committee of the National Municipal League placed upon government's concern with serving the health and welfare needs of the community In the civic education work of the National Municipal League, this concern is reflected in the attention given to securing conformity with city building and health codes In The Social Studies in Secondary Education, classes were enjoined to discuss different methods of municipal waste disposal in smaller communities Among questions considered by the classes were : "How is garbage in your home disposed of? . Is garbage removed in a way to protect health and avoid annoyance to your family and neighbors?" (Committee on the Social Studies, 1916, p 31) Another similarity between the work of the National Municipal League and the recommendations found in The Social Studies in Secondary Education is worth noting here Both stress the responsibilities of citizenship and neither gives more than scant attention to the rights of citizenship The most obvious manifestation of this emphasis is found in the lack of attention given to voting Readers will not find any extended discussion of voting, constitutional rights, or political participation in either The Social Studies in Secondary Education or the civic education proposals developed by members of the National Municipal League The only mention of political activity may be found in the municipal civics course developed at the New York High School of Commerce Here students were enjoined to work for "honest business-like reform by joining an association of businessmen or commercial club" (Maxwell and Sheppard, 1909, pp 78-79) While neither the civic education work of the National Municipal League nor the proposals in The Social Studies in Secondary Education give much attention to the rights of citizenship, both programs none-the-less assert that the student is a citizen "Children are citizens now, voters by and by," was the slogan of Boston's Civic Guard In The Social Studies in Secondary Education, we read "the pupil is a young citizen with real personal interests at stake . his sense of responsibility, his desire to act, and his knowledge have to be developed" (Committee on the Social Studies, 1916 99 pp 24-25) The idea of the student as an active citizen provides a perspective upon the political status both the National Municipal League civics courses and the reports of the Committee on the Social Studies afforded business folk The municipal civics course at New York High School of Commerce, Dunn's community civics course in Indianapolis, and organizations like the 2 0


Civic Guard in Boston all recommended that civics students work with commercial clubs and merchants' associations in seeking to better their community The reports of the Committee on the Social Studies also considered business folk as exemplars for students to imitate In The Teaching of Community Civics, we find statements like, "opportunity for the highest possible type of good citizenship is more abundant in business than in any other activity of life" (Barnard et al ., 1,915, pp 36-37) Associating students and business folk in civic education afforded advantages for educators, the business community, and political reformers Educators could gain business support for civic education if it could be demonstrated that such education held both long and short term advantages for the business community In the short term, merchants could enjoy the advantages which a well-kept and law-abiding community afforded In the long run, a civic education which established the criteria of "efficient" and "business-like" as the marks of good government would guarantee not only a favorable political, economic and social climate for business, but also would serve to hold government expenditures to a minimum The emphasis upon welfare in both the National Municipal League civics courses and in The Social Studies in Secondary Education had both philanthropic and political ends Clearly, the city poor were served by enforcing health and building codes A healthier city population would also insure a more efficient work force The discussions of community welfare in both the reports of the Committee on the Social Studies as well as the civic education work of the National Municipal League served the political end of reducing the power of the boss, who usually provided not only many of the immediate needs of city residents such as shelter and food, but also served as legal advisor and sometimes as an employment agency for new arrivals Where civic education programs could successfully demonstrate to urban children and their parents that services previously available from the boss could be provided more efficiently by other public and private groups, an important source of the boss's strength might be undermined The emphasis upon welfare and the individual's role in securing it served political ends in at least two other ways Both are worth indicating here One of the earliest critics of the tendency of civic education programs was Raymand Moley, the future member of Roosevelt's brain trust In a review of Citizenship in Philadelphia, written by committee members James L Barnard and Jesse C Evans, Moley argued that the "overwhelming attention" Barnard and Evans gave to "community housekeeping" might serve to deflect students' interest from more important matters : It is easy to see that if citizens can be kept busy picking up waste paper and swatting flies they will have little time for the study of economic questions and the exercise of those faculties of democratic government by which citizens may in orderly fashion secure economic and social justice (Moley, 1917, pp 250-51) 2 1


The emphasis upon welfare and students' responsibility in helping to assure it might serve to make students less impatient about possible injustices in society If students could be brought to an understanding of the slow but none-the-less progressive improvement in living and working conditions, they might be able to overcome that feeling of helplessness which usually overtakes the well meaning citizen when he endeavors to secure some improvement in civic conditions . Instead of being impatient of results, the student tends to appreciate the fact that civic improvement is necessarily slow, and that progress is measured in lifetimes rather than years (Rowe, 1897, p 88) Welfare and the student's role in helping to secure it shaped the ends of civic education for both the National Municipal League and the Committee on the Social Studies William C Langdon told members of the National Municipal League that the part of the citizen is not that of a student but that of an active, a very active participant working with his fellows . the good citizen is the man who does things and . the chief duty of training for citizenship is to see that he has this quality (Langdon, 1906, pp 412-13) A very similar idea of citizenship may be found in The Social Studies in Secondary Education According to the Committee on the Social Studies, the good citizen is the "thoroughly efficient member [of the community .]" Such a member, according to the Committee, has . the intelligence and will to participate effectively in the promotion of the social well-being" (Committee on the Social Studies, 1916, p 9) Conclusions and Implications of this Research We can draw four conclusions from this discussion of the relationship between the civic education work of the National Municipal League and the recommendations found in The Teaching of Community Civics and the Social Studies in Secondary Education First, the social studies as they were understood by members of the Committee on Social Studies reflected much of the political program of the National Municipal League Second, the civic education work of the National Municipal League was directed, in part at least, toward developing a constituency in support of its members' view of municipal reform, a view which did not at the time it was articulated enjoy anything like unanimous, or even majority, support Third, the idea of citizenship embodied in the civic education work of the National Municipal League and adopted by the Committee on Social Studies was more partisan than we knew previously Finally, we see now with almost painful clarity how powerful individuals and groups were able to shape the ends and content of the early social studies There are important implications in these conclusions for teachers, students, and the public The possibility that the recommendations of the Committee on Social Studies reflected both a political program and the attempt to create a con2 2


stituency in support of that program is disquieting in view of present day social studies educators' oft-asserted (and more often cherished) claims to "present both sides" and "to be nonpartisan and objective ." Those claims, this research suggests, emerged as part of an effort to advance the values of expertise, efficiency, and non-partisanship In modern social studies curricula these same values are all the more powerful because their political content has been obscured by the success of the program they sanctioned Now the foregoing is not to argue that the work of the Committee on Social Studies represented an endeavor to impose a program of political reform upon unsuspecting school children and their immigrant parents There is more than ample evidence indicating that American government from the local to the federal level between 1900 and 1920 needed reform That same evidence indicates that governments at every level in those years stood in need of efficiency and expertise The problem for the modern social studies educators and modern citizens (be they teachers, students, or adults) is to determine whether or not the values of efficiency, expertise, and non-partisanship -important as they might be-are what governments stand in need of today Efficiency, expertise, and non-partisanship, considered as the criteria of good government and embodied in social studies curricula, mean that educators think a good government is "efficient . etc ." But these are not the only ways of judging governments For example, how might citizens in 1916 use the criteria above to judge Senator LaFollette's charges that the United States was being led into war by banking and commercial interests in this country and Great Britain? Or, more recently, how might the criteria discussed above be used to evaluate the role of our government in Vietnam? Finally, how might a government reformed along the lines advocated by the National Municipal League and members of the Committee on Social Studies have served workers in shops and factories across the land -whose lot Committee member James Harvey Robinson conceded was worse than that of Roman slaves -to understand and better their position An important question raised by this paper cannot be addressed here Put simply, that question asks how did it happen that these early social studies educators came to hold the view of government they did We have shown here that such a view represented good politics Elsewhere I argue that the reports of the Committee on Social Studies represented not only Committee members' view of what constituted good politics, but also what constituted good social science, good sociology, and good social work Moreover, all these others had important political implications 2 2 1n my dissertation Origins and Rationale of the Social Studies Curriculum : 1900-1916, I discuss the social, professional, political, and educational background of members of the Committee on Social Studies and endeavor to indicate the extent to which this background may have influenced the recommendations of the committee members 2 3


References Abbot, Grace "The Immigrant and Municipal Politics ." Proceedings of the Cincinnati Conference for Good City Government Ed by Clinton Rogers Woodruff Philadelphia : National Municipal League, 1909 "Abstract of the Report of Arthur W Dunn Secretary of the Committee on Civic Education On the Work of His Committee During the Past Year ." National Municipal Review IV (Jan, 1915) pp 178-79 Addams, Jane "Recent Immigration : A Field Neglected by the Scholar ." Educational Review XXIX (1907) pp 245 Addams, Jane Twenty Years at Hull House New York : New American Library, 1960 Addams, Jane "Why the Ward Boss Rules ." Outlook, LVIII (1899), pp 875-81 Ames, Edgar W "A Method of Teaching Municipal Government ." The History Teachers' Magazine III (April 1912) pp 84-86 Baker, Ray Starmard "Problems of Citizenship ." Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science XLIX (Sept ., 1913), pp 93-105 Barnard, J Lynn, F .W Carrier, Arthur William Dunn, and Clarence D Kingsley The Teaching of Community Civics (United States Bureau of Education Bulletin, 1915, No 23) Washington Government Printing Office, 1915 Barnard J Lynn "Training in the Schools for Civic Efficiency ." Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science LXVII (Sept ., 1916), pp 26-33 Beard, Charles A "The Use of Sources in Instruction in Government and Politics ." The History Teacher's Magazine I (Nov 1909), pp 49-50 Bell, Joseph ["Comments"] Proceedings of the Cincinnati Conference for Good City Government Edited by Clinton Rogers Woodruff Philadelphia : National Municipal League, 1909, pp 48-49 Bloomfield, Meyer "The Civic Education of New Americans ." City Club Bulletin, II, (March, 1910) 98a-98k Bryce, James The American Commonwealth 2 vols New York : Macmillan, 1887 Burch, Henry American Economic Life in Its Civic and Social Aspects New York : Macmillan, 1921 City Club of Milwaukee The City Club Recommends Pamphlet (n .d .) In City Club Papers, State Historical Society of Wisconsin, Box 2 "Civic Education and the National Bureau of Education ." National Municipal Review III (April, 1914), pp 346-47 Civic Federation of Chicago "The Work of the Civic Federation ." Chicago : 1899 n .p Committee on the Social Studies The Social Studies in Secondary Education, (United States Bureau of Education Bulletin No 28) Washington : Government Printing Office, 1916 Commons, John Myself University of Wisconsin Press, 1963 "Community Civics in Cincinnati ." The History Teacher's Magazine VI, (May 1915), p 155 Connolly, Louise "Some Methods of Civic Education ." National Municipal Review III (April 1914) pp 340-45 2 4


Crocheron, B .H "Manual Labor and the Achievement of National Ideals ." Annals of American Academy of Political and Social Science LXVI (1916) pp 77-81 Davis, Jesse B "Report on High School Programs ." Proceedings of the New York Conference for Good City Government : 1905 Ed by Clinton Rogers Woodruff Harrisburg : National Municipal League, 1905 Davis, Jesse B "The Teaching of Municipal Government in the High Schools of Our Large Cities ." Proceedings of the Detroit Conference for Good City Government Ed by Clinton Rogers Woodruff Philadelphia : National Municipal League, 1903, pp 231-36 Dawson, Edgar "Beginnings in Political Education ." Historical Outlook IX (Nov 1918) pp 439-441 Decker,'Sarah S Platt "The Meaning of the Women's Club Movement ." Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science XXVIII (1906), pp 199-204 Diggins, John P The American Left in the Twentieth Century New York : Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Inc ., 1973 Dunn, Arthur William "The Trend of Civic Education ." Report of the Commissioner of Education, I Washington : Government Printing Office, 1915 Dunn, Arthur William "By What Standard Shall We Judge the Value of Civic Education ." History Teachers' Magazine, VI (1915), pp 99-103 Dunn, Arthur William "Is History in the High School a Snap? If So, Why" Educational Review XXIX (April 1905), pp 410-18 Fairlie, John A "Instruction in Municipal Government ." Proceedings of the Detroit Conference for Good City Government and the Ninth Annual Meeting of the National Municipal League Philadelphia : National Municipal League, 1903 Feinberg, Walter "Progressive Education and Social Planning ." Teacher's College Record, May, 1072 Giddings, Franklin Henry Democracy and Empire New York : The Macmillan Company ., 1900 Godkin, E L "Why the City Government Is Bad ." Nation 38 (Jan 10, 1884) : 26-27 Godkin, E L "A Key to Municipal Reform "NAR 151 (Oct ., 1980) : 422-3 1 Goldman, E .F Rendezvous With Destiny New York : Random House, 1958 Granger, D L ["Comments"] Proceedings of the Philadelphia Conference for Good City Government : 1901 Edited by Clinton Rogers Woodruff Philadelphia : National Municipal League, 1901, p 19 Handlin, Oscar The Uprooted Boston : Little, Brown, and Company, 1951 Harber, Samuel Efficiency and Uplift Chicago : University of Chicago Press, 1964 Hays, Samuel P "The Politics of Reform in Municipal Government in the Progressive Era ." Pacific Northwest Quarterly, LV (October, 1964), pp 157-69 Hill, H .C "Twenty Years of Civics ." Historical Outlook XX (Dec ., 1929), pp . 375-80 Howerth, J .W "A Programme for Social Study ." American Journal of, Sociology II (1896-97), pp 852-72 Jones, Thomas Jesse Social Studies in the Hampton Curriculum Hampton, Va ., Hampton Institute Press, 1908 2 5


Langdon, William Chauncy "A Fundamental Principle in Civic Education ." Proceedings of the Atlantic City Conference for Good City Government (1906), Philadelphia : National Municipal League, 1906 Lazerson, Marvin The Origins of the Urban School : Public Education in Massachusetts Cambridge : Harvard University Press, 1971 Liqueer, Frederec L "A Tenetative Program for the Teaching of Municipal Government and of Civics in the Elementary School ." Proceedings of The Chicago Conference for Good City Government : 1904 ( e d b y Clinton Rogers Woodruff), Philadelphia, National Municipal League, 1904, pp 249-282 Levine, Daniel Varieties of Reform Thought Madison : The State Historical Society of Wisconsin, 1964 MacVeagh, Franklin, "The Business Man in Municipal Politics ." Proceedings of the Louisville Conference, 3rd Annual Meeting, National Municipal League, May, 1897, pp 133-44 Maxwell, William H and J .J Sheppard "Instruction in Municipal Government in Secondary and Elementary Schools ." Proceedings of the New York Conference for Good City Government : 1905 Ed by Clinton Rogers Woodruff Harrisburg, Pa : National Municipal League, 1905 Moley, Raymond "Review of Citizenship in Philadelphia ." National Municipal Review, III, (1917), pp 250-51 Parkman, Francis "The Failure of Universal Sufferage ." North American Review CXX VII (1878) pp 1-21 Preliminary Statements by Chairmen of Committees of the Commission of the NEA on the Reorganization of Secondary Education Washington : Government Printing Office, 1913 Bureau of Education Bulletin ffl41 Richman, Julia "The Immigrant Child ." Journal of Proceedings and Addresses of the Forth-Fourth Annual Meeting (N .E .A .) (1905) Chicago : University of Chicago Press, 1905, pp 113-21 Rowe, Leo S "American Political Ideas and Institutions in Their Relation to the Problem of City Government ." Proceedings of the Louisville Conference, 3rd Annual Meeting, National Municipal League, 1897, pp 75-88 Rowe, L .S "University and Collegiate Research in Municipal Government ." Proceedings of the Chicago Conference for Good City Government : 1904, ( e d b y Clinton Rogers Woodruff), Philadelphia : National Municipal League, 1904 Sheppard, James J "Municipal Civics in Elementary School ." History Teachers' Magazine, I (Jan 1910), pp 99-102 Schiesl, Martin J The Politics of Efficiency : Municipal Administration and Reform in America Berkeley : University of California Press, 1977 Schlesinger, Arthur M The Rise of the City New York : Harper, 1933 Schwendinger, Herman and Julia R Schwendinger The Sociologists of the Chair New York : Basic Books, Inc ., 1974 Shaw, Albert "Our Civic Renaissance ." Review of Reviews, XL, (1895) pp 416-27 Sterne, Simon "The Administration of American Cities ." International Review IV (Sept ., 1877) pp 631-37 Small, Albion "The Civic Federation of Chicago ." American Journal of Sociology I (1896) pp 79-103 2 6


Stewart, Frank Mann A Half Century of Municipal Reform : The History of the National Municipal League Berkeley : University of California Press, 1951 Ward, Mary Alden "The Influence of Women's Clubs in New England and the Middle Eastern States ." Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science XXVIII (1906), pp 205-226 Weinstein, James The Corporate Ideal in the Liberal State Boston : Beacon Press 1968 White, Andrew "The Government of American Cities ." Forum X (Dec 1890), pp 366-371 White, Morton Social Thought in America : The Revolt Against Formalism Boston : 1957 Wiebe, Robert The Search for Order : 1877-1920 New York : Hill and Wang, 1967 Woodruff, Clinton Rogers "A Corrupt School System ." Educational Review, XXVI (December, 1903), pp 433-39 Woods, Robert A Americans in Process Boston : Houghton Mifflin & Co ., 1902 Woods, Robert A "Some Present Civic and Social Issues in Boston City Club Bulletin, I, (March, 1907), pp 73-78 2 7


Theory and Research in Social Education Fall 1980, Volume 8, Number 3, pp 29-50 by The College and University Faculty Assembly of The National Council for the Social Studies Nineteenth Century Origins of the Social Studies Movement : Understanding the Continuity Between Older and Contemporary Civic and U .S History Textbooks James L Barth Purdue University S Samuel Shermis Purdue University Introduction The debate begins to heat up again, as it has in the past Frances FitzGerald' assaults social studies textbooks for having . maintained a fairly consistent level of dullness ever since the nineteen-thirties ." Textbooks are not only dull and vacuous but mindless and heartless "The textbook substitute for intellectural history has always been editorializing and moralizing" (1979 b, p .49) A collection of empty, passionless, thoughtless platitudes, even with their improvements social studies texts are a sad disappointment Yes, says Weisberger : This is because they are not so much written as blended by a crew of editors and educational specialists (which may or may not include the author of record) whose task it is to prune them of all words and sentences officially deemed too difficult for their `age level' and likewise to excise any ideas that are likely to prove offensive to community prejudices almost anywhere (1979, p 101) No, not at all, answers Daniel Roselle Textbooks are not "blandly neutral" (1980, p .6) And in any event, what is wrong with neutrality when the intention is . to be objective or to present all sides of an issue with a minimum of emotion?" Textbooks, not all of them but certainly the good 'Both in America Revised Boston : Little Brown and Company, 1979, and "Rewriting American History III," The New Yorker (March 12, 1979) 2 9


ones used by good teachers, . can provide needed information, organize details into meaningful patterns, show relationships, and yes, even stimulate thinking (1980, p 6) The argument sounds familiar to those of us who were born in this century At other times, in slightly different language, we have heard FitzGerald's assertion that social studies texts are heartless and mindless, written with neither intellectual structure nor passion We have heard Weisberger's argument that texts are bland, homogenized and similar as any other mass-produced item And we have heard defenses as impassioned as Dan Roselle's rebuttal that texts are improving, that they are written in consultation with scholars, that they strive toward accuracy, objectivity and relevance and that they do attempt to deal with underlying social issues We will not take sides on the issue in the terms in which it is now being debated This is not because we wish to avoid conflict but because our concerns, based on our investigation over the last fifteen years, have required us to examine the foundations of the social studies and our terms are quite different from the textbooks-are-dull-and-dumb-no-they-are-not debate Our concern now and in the past has been with defining the field, identifying the meaning of social studies in our culture and providing a more fruitful context in which debate can take place We assert that debate over teacher preparation, textbooks, methods, strategies and purposes will not prove productive if it concentrates exclusively on the present We need to examine the cultural and philosophical past We need to look at the 19th and early 20th century origins of the social studies And if we do, we anticpate that we will find persisting patterns and that an understanding of these patterns can only deepen our understanding of what exists today and why Our interest in this past, on the meaning of the social studies two, three and four generations ago, has led us to examine a large number of early and contemporary American U .S history and civics texts We have also noted the thinking of social scientists and historians who were present at the founding of the social studies movement, and finally we have seen some largely unacknowledged influences on social studies educators 2 Our procedures involved, first, the identification of about twenty textbooks in U .S history and civics written between the years 1874 and 1927, for the most part before one would expect to see the influence of the social studies movement We then identified approximately the same number of works on the same topics written between 1960 and 1980 after the movement had been established and after one could reasonably expect to see recommendations of the various NEA and AHA national committees imple'The present work is taken from an unpublished monograph by both authors approximately 100 pages, entitled "The Persistence of Citizenship Transmission," Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, 1980 Those who are motivated to examine our evidence may write the authors for a copy of this work Also a recent article by Jean Anyon, "Ideology and United States History Textbooks," Harvard Educational Review 39 (August, 1979), is particularly pertinent for it lends additional support to the notion that "Citizenship Transmission" is persistent "Her findings reveal that the content of the textbooks reflect an ideology that serves the interests of particular groups in society to the exclusion of others ." p 361 3 0


mented 3 At the same time, we examined with the considerable assistance of research by Michael Lybarger, to whom we are most indebted the 19th century intellectual origins of social scientist 4 and also scrutinized the writings and recommendations of 20th century social studies educators What we concluded we have already been persuaded in the last few years is that the issues now being debated center around for the most part different meanings of three terms : problem, problem-solving and social problem Rather than participate in a debate which revolves around the questions of whether social studies texts are dull, vacuous, intellectually empty and unstimulating, we should like to ask the following questions : What patterns which exist today can we find in the past? Are these patterns the result of happenstance or do they reflect some cultural or intellectual consensus and if so what? Do social studies textbooks now and in the past reflect a particular conception of problem and social problem and if so what conception? Part I : Selected U .S History and Civics Texts from 1874 to 1927 Identical Content The content of most U .S history texts written in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, is, if not identical, as close to identical as could be imagined Essentially the same can be said of civics works A comparison of chapter titles as well as major concepts treated reveals that all early U .S history texts began with a chapter such as "Early Discovery and Settlements," "Before Columbus" or "Discovery and Naming of America ." 5 A similar comparison of civic .texts 6 reveals all are essentially the same mixture of British Consititutional history and American Constitutional law and a description of the structure and function of formal governmental decision-making institutions The structure-function approach to civics emphasized an allegedly neutral and objective description of the organization and operations of formal decison-making agencies of the government 3 We chose to study textbooks because "The findings of recent research studies emphatically point out that certain curriculum materials, especially commercially published textbooks, are the central tool for teaching social studies ." Donald P Superka, Sharryl Hawke, and Irving Morrissett, "The Current and Future Status of the Social Studies," Social Education 44 (May, 1980) p 363 For those who are looking for analysis and summary of national studies on textbooks we suggest the above article 4 Michael Lybarger, "The Origins of Modern Social Studies," a doctoral dissertation in manuscript form, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin, Chapter III, "The Intellectual Antecedents of the Social Studies I : Social Science and the Movement to Establish Authority," and Chapter IV, "The Intellectual Antecedents of the Social Studies II : Sociology and the Science of Society ." We are most appreciative of the valuable insights of Professor Lybarger 5 The three texts, of the dozen or so U .S history works that we have compared at this point are : D H Montgomery, The Leading Facts of American History Boston : Ginn and Company, 1896 ; Wilbur F Gordy, A History of the United States for Schools New York : Charles Scribner's Sons, 1911 ; and anonymous, A Brief History of the United States for Schools New York : A S Barnes and Company, 1877 'The three civics texts we are examining at this point include : J T McCleary Studies in Civics New York : American Book Company, 1895 ; George H Martin A Text Book on Civil Government in the United States New York : A S Barnes and Company, 1875 ; C Ellis Stevens Sources of the Constitution of the United States Considered in Relation to Colonial and English History New York : Macmillan, 1894 3 1


In some cases, the structure-function description is not as long as the treatment of the Constitution and in other cases it is somewhat longer In all cases, the texts look very much as if someone had glued together chapter titles from different 19th century works called Moral Philosophy, Constitutional History and the Nature and Operations of the Tripartite Government with Brief Consideration of States and Local Government All civics and history text authors seem to assume that, outside of our English ancestry and perhaps some contributions from French philosopher, other societies were unimportant in our development All texts make essentially the same points and use pretty much the same language There are differences, as for instance, the inclusion of a chapter on "Commercial Law" in one text But outside of this, one is struck by the similar appearance on the average 5'/z by 7'/z inches, with a dark, plain cover of all books and by the unvarying content within Celebration Another obvious pattern one sees is what we shall call "overt celebration ." That is, text authors had not the slightest inhibition in editorializing, slanting and recommending American institutions while simultaneously denigrating non-American, i .e ., European, African, American Indian peoples and customs The celebration may be quite overt and open, e .g ., the description of the senatorial six-year term as giving "dignity and independence," "assurance of stability in the national council," and securing for senators "confidence at home and respect abroad" (McCleary, 1895, p 135) At other times, the celebration is somewhat more covert, as the customary criticism of British behavior as . depriving us in many cases of the benefits of trial by jury," and of . transporting us beyond the seas to be tried for pretended offences," with the suggestion that the British were merely being unfair (Stevens, 1894, p 237) In some cases the celebration of American institutions requires the text author to distort and falsify in terms that are unmistakable For instance, after describing the rise of "Civil Service Reform Systems," the author concludes with "All political parties are interested in helping forward this great reform" (Montgomery, 1896, p 364) In light of what we know to be the case that newspapers and journals were for years loud in their denunciation of political patronage, corrupt political influence and outright fraud and that political parties battened on the Spoils System this statement is extraordinary By the same token, another textbook describes the lynch attempt on William Lloyd Garrison, the controversial editor and abolitionist, which was made "not out of hatred to the negro" but out of fear that Mr Garrison "was putting the country in peril ." In a transparent example of special pleading, the author invokes the names of Daniel Webster and Abraham Lincoln who believed that . it was better to save the union with slavery than to deliberately destroy it for the sake of liberating the negro" (Montgomery, 1896, p .238) The special pleading to buttress a conviction, the selection of emotionally toned words and the more covert name-calling and denigration fill the texts of this time The authors were either unaware of the distinction 3 2


between philosophical objectivity and concealed persuasion or they conceived of their function as convincing readers that our system is good, was always good and is gradually getting better ; or, as we suspect, both statements are true God and Natural Law Given the growing awareness of the "wall" between church and state, contemporary text writers strive toward neutral secularism Their ancestors, however, had no such inhibitions for references to God, the divine law, His will, providence, etc ., are sprinkled throughout the text In a number of cases in which presumably both the' authors and God were Protestant, references are oblique but unmistakably clear Thus, in one civics text we learn that "the divine government is the control exercised given by the Creator" (Martin, 1875, p .19) and, "We do not inherit rights ; they are inherent ; God creates them in every person ." 7 The references to the Deity, we believe, are neither idiosyncratic nor without purpose One must see them in the context of a 19th century rural America whose school texts were written largely by believing Protestants for an audience that was presumed to consist largely of other believing Protestants (Recall, please, that Catholics persisted in their parochial schools after Protestants had created a public school system for themselves There were not enough Jews to worry about and those who did arrive in the late 19th century tended to embrace the public school system enthusiastically and uncritically Hence, the statement above about Protestants writing texts for other Protestants, we believe, is historically accurate .) We must also understand the references to God in the fullest context, that is it was assumed that God created North America for his purpose and guided the hand of man toward the creation of a moral exemplar for the rest of the world To summarize : the abundance of rights and freedoms, the material plenty and the blessings of the United States are neither an historical accident nor the result of happenstance, as perceived by the textbook authors In His providence, the Lord caused Englishmen to found this society in which His revealed religion undistinguished from the tenets of political democracy and laissez faire captalism would form the core values What our people had undergone reveals the benevolence of God, by Whose will the United States was created and preserved so that it might become the last best hope of mankind 'Frances Newton Thorpe The Government of the Nation A Course in Civil Government based on The Government of the People of the United States Revised Edition Philadelphia : Eldredge and Brothers, 1914, p 17 This is an exceedingly curious work It appears that a Rawles revised the original work, written by Professor Thorpe The second half of this work is actually another completely different book, with a different table of contents, preface, frontispiece, etc We gather that when the publishers decided to have Rawles revise Thorpe's book, they simply added another work of Rawles to the revision and placed both under the same cover 3 3


Racism Scattered throughout the homage to God's will is a good deal of antagonism directed less toward blacks than to native American Indians As regards collective human beings, there is a law which . bids them organize and govern," and if society does not do this, like the Indians, they . become prey of some other society ." 8 That is, the Indians who were assumed to have sunk as far as people can sink were simply the victims of their own stupidity and inability to follow natural law Racism towards the Indian pervades most of the U .S history texts Thus the Indians who succeeded the pre-Columbia "Mound Builders" were . by far their inferiors in civilization" (Sadler, p .3) The Squaw was victimized by her masters and made into a drudge : Woman was considered by them a degraded being in fact, a slave She did all the drudgery, raised the crops and carried the burdens . Here, as eleswhere, Christianity first raised women to her rightful position [Indian religion] was a species of devil-worship . No word in any Indian dialect had an equivalent for the word God . (Sadler, p .5) A book of questions and answers designed to be given by superintendents to students carries this question and suggested answer a better example of racist hatred not having been created by the mind of man : 9 3 (question) Give a brief description of the American Indians as they have manifested themselves to the whites 3 (answer) The Indians are cruel, treacherous, revengeful and though boastful of their willingness for war, have every shown themselves, as race, cowardly in open battle They are lazy and improvident . the lessons of famine teaching them nothing for the future The women are degraded, and regarded by the men as only fit to bear the burden of their lords and provide for their daily wants The attitudes toward blacks are considerably different, although doubtless the differences will not be appreciated by blacks today David S Muzzey whose American history text was similar to the Magruder civics in that it was probably the most widely adopted text of all describes the considerable improvement of race relations in the South, although he con'Sadler's History of the United States Excelsior Series For the Use of Schools and Colleges This book is damaged but what information we can observe suggests tht there was no listed author but that it was one of a series of works Other internal evidence suggests that the work was published toward the end of the 1890's It was not at all unusual for a particular textbook to have no author nor does the reference to "For the Use of Schools and Colleges" make this text unique Publishers then and now tend to blur the designation of the audience for whom it is intended, thereby hoping to include as wide a readership as possible Thus, it would not be especially strange for a publisher to hope for adoption by secondary schools, academies, colleges and universities 'Ralph H Brown and Charles Walter Brown Common School Examiner and Review A Collection of Questions used by State, County and City Superintendnts, in the Examination of Teachers and Pupils ; Answered in the Clearest and Briefest Manner Designed for Examiners, Teachers, Pupils and Institute Conductors Chicago : A Flanigan Company, 1898 The question appears on page 175 and the answers on page 195 3 4


demns the "denial of civic justice to the negro" which has resulted in the South having been "disgraced by lynchings and race riots" (Muzzey, 1911, p .621) There are some "noble Southern gentlemen" who realize that "neither cruelty nor repression is going to make citizens of the negro," and to them must go considerable thanks for the "peace and progress" of the South Muzzey concludes his public avowal of thanks to the noble gentlemen by saying that . while the races must always be kept distinct socially, the dominance of the white man can and must be the dominance of the elder and stronger brother who educates, protects, and encourages the weaker (1911, p .621) In general, however, there is very little about blacks in American history texts ; ordinarily the only mention of blacks is their importance to the British colonies as slaves in 1619 (generally one sentence) and their description as a "cause" of the Civil War and a problem during Reconstrution However, the overt racism directed towards Indians and the covert condescension toward blacks follows the general pattern of either lack of awareness or hostility directed against all but white, male, Protestant, Anglo-Saxon adults Issues and Problems What is missing from the U .S history and civics texts is virtually any mention of conflicts, issues or social problems Although even in the late 19th century, before we could talk about a social studies movement, there is evidence aplenty that the text writers envisioned a connection between the study of civics and history and social participation One of many such statements is, "The pertinent question here as elsewhere is : Does the fact serve to give the pupil clear ideas of the past as an interpreter of the present" (Gordy, 1911, p ix) The popular newspapers of the day, serious books and liberal intellectual journals are full of editorials, features and lengthy stories on immigration, the presence of great wealth and abject poverty side by side, economic cycles, crime, squalor and prostitution in large cities, the power of railroads, the rigging of the stock markets, religious conflicts between Protestant and Catholic, violence directed against blacks and Indians, the industrial blight which even then polluted waterways and left strip mining scars, and the venality of local politicians and corruption on an even larger scale in the U .S Congress But one looks in vain for any mention of these in either civics or history texts When something resembling a problem is mentioned, it is hurried and muted For instance, with regard to a "panic" one author says that . there had been a money panic in the spring which was followed by many disastrous failures" (Montgomery, 1896, p .362) And the issue is then dropped Reconstruction is treated, similarly, in a brief fashion with but fleeting mention of Black Codes, the KKK, lynching, etc One text, for instance, deals with the Klan in three lines : Finally, lawabiding citizens of both parties, aided by the National Government, united to put down the disorder, and by the close of 1871, had succeeded (Gordy, 1911, p .361) 3 5


The Klan, racial intimidation and the like, we are left to believe, simply ceased to exist In brief, one finds only the briefest and most shallow description of the tumult that had descended upon the United States following the Civil War Committed to celebration of British and American Constitutional development, the praise of American heroes and American institutions, text writers simply did not see their role as social critic This will have changed by the mid-20th century, but not as has generally held to be by either supporters or critics of social studies texts Mental Discipline and Patriotic Inculcation Our conclusion not dissimilar to those we reached a decade ago (Barth and Shermis, 1970) is that one can identify two underlying purposes or aims of text writers, neither having to do very much with such avowed aims as "furnish a standard by which to test the various governments that have existed" (Martin, 1895, p .37), . study things in a scientific spirit" (Fiske, 1890, p vii), or, as we have seen, . give the pupil clear ideas of the past as an interpreter of the present" (Gordy, 1911, p .ix) Rather it seems to us that the real aims of the writers had to do with, first, inculcation of patrotic beliefs and sentiments and, second, mental discipline The first point has been made by virtually all critics of the social studies from Dewey and his colleagues of the teens and 20's to the contemporary Martin Mayer, Jonathan Kozol and Lawrence Metcalf and every other critic in between Most critics of the social studies 10 have taken the position that the celebratory function of text writers and teachers has generally crowded out analysis of social problems for it is obviously impossible to commend, praise and extol Washington, Hamilton, democracy and free enterprise and simultaneously indicate problems, point out defects or question success The mental disciplinary function is also evident not only by reading the texts themselves but also by observation of the yellowed, crumbling copy paper that we frequently find slipped between the pages The assignments, notes, etc ., written on the copy paper (as well as horrors! on the flyleaf) are invariably names and lists One finds names of English kings, lists of the causes of the War of 1812, accounts of battles and provisions of what appears to be a Homestead Act Similarly, after the chapter questions are richly suggestive of the motivation of the authors : while there are occasionally Bloom Level II, comprehension questions, the overwhelming preponderance of questions are Bloom Level I, rote recall The function, as Wynne (1963) has pointed out, was apparently to develop the faculty of will and memory to the end that the individual would be disciplined in precisely the ancient and medieval meaning of the term : having submitted oneself to external discipline, having deferred gratification for so many hours, having been tested year after year, one would then have internalized traits of good character 10 For a still interesting and valid look into the issue of critics and criticisms, see Mary Anne Raywid The Ax-Grinders : Critics of Our Public Schools New York : Macmillan, 1962 3 6


In Sum What, in a few sentences, summarizes the purpose and content of the older social studies texts? The purpose seems to have been to instill both discipline and patriotism, defined essentially as uncritical and wholehearted acceptance of societal institutions To accomplish this, the text writers left the reader with a number of related ideas, first and foremost of which is the' belief that the United States, its origins, people and institutions, are basically good These were divinely ordained in the past and have been gradually and inexorably improving Our people have defended them against those who would defeat us, as we shall probably have to defend them again because most of the rest of the world is either savage and barbarous or effete, corrupt and depraved The former are represented by Africans, Indians and others and the latter by Europeans from whom we had providently escaped In short, having forgotten the leaden mass of names, places, dates, wars, political institutions, bills and laws, what will remain with the citizen is the product of all this discipline That is such training is to produce an adult citizen of character, one who reposes faith in American institutions, who is obedient to laws and to authority Indeed, so strong is this faith that the adult will clearly perceive the essential goodness of his country and believe in the importance of protecting it against barbarians from without and corruption from within We turn now to Part II which will consider two components : the historical context and philosophical assumptions of 19th century social scientists ; their translation into a new field of studies, the social studies, by educators whom we designate "the social studies founding fathers ." Let us turn our attention, then, to the intellectual origins of the social studies movement Part II : The 19th Century Origins of the Social Studies Movement in the United States Introduction The questions we intend to ask are based upon two assumptions which, while they seem to us to be routine, seem not to have attracted the attention they deserve First, we make an assumption that it is social scientists to whom we must turn to find the context, frames of reference and critical ideas that the social studies founding father employed Second, we assume that the social scientists of the 19th century did not spring into existence like Athena out of the head of Zeus There is a social context in which social scientists operated, and it is to this context we turn first, asking the following questions : What is the nature of the founding fathers thought? To whom are they primarily indebted for their ideas? What are the assumptions held by both social scientists and social studies educators? What recommendations are made, for whom, and to what end? Out of what social studies context did important ideas evolve? It is with the last question that we begin The Historical Context As literally all historians point out, this period was one of radical and often distressing change The American people saw 3 7


the rapid transition from a rural, Anglo-Saxon dominated, agrarian-based society into a pluralistic urban one The three factors we find most influential in understanding the period are immigration, urbanization and industrialization Immigration, Urbanization and Industrialization For a variety of complex reasons, the predominantly British-German immigration rapidly gave way to a trickle then a flood of immigrants from Southern and Eastern Europe Many of these persons Italians, Slovenians, Roumanians, Russians, Poles, Hungarians, Greeks and Jews from the so-called Pale of Settlement descended upon the east coast cities, already enlarged from the post-Civil War industrialism Their presence was, in the words of the King of Siam, a puzzlement to older Americans and already assimilated immigrants Not only was the babble of language incomprehensible, but so, too, was the welter of dietary customs, religions and folkways Some immigrants brought with them menacing ideas, picked up from different varieties of European socialism focusing on "workers," "bourgeoisie," "exploitation," "class" and worst of all "revolution ." To the presence of many immigrants in cities parts of which were filled so rapidly and with so little planning that they immediately became "slums" one could also add the strains of management-labor conflict, the growth of a largely unregulated stock market, the discontent of midwestern farmers, the plight of the newly enfranchised black, and bewildering ethnic and religious conflict Reading the newspapers and journals of the time, the dominant reaction was a mixture of confusion, despair, anger and hope What, many wanted to know, could be done? Who would educate and train the newcomers? How would they learn about elementary sanitation and health, the structure of governments, and the basic documents that speak of liberty and freedom? What about crime and prostitution that accompanied the new "masses"? What would replace the obviously inadequate and squalid tenements of, for example, New York's lower east side? Given this environment and these questions, we can now make some sense of the existence of the new entity, that strange combination of research and reformer, the social scientist Social Scientists Although there had been those who taught history, philosophy, classical economics and political theory in colleges for many years, the 19th century saw both a rapid increase in the number of people who called themselves "social scientists" and a profound shift in their concern Coming as most did from a rural, small-town, agrarian background, the new social scientist approached this field with a dualistic outlook Some social scientists regarded themselves as researchers whose efforts needed no external rationale or support, who gathered data for the sake of gathering data Others came to the field with a social service background from the clergy and from social work, fields with an altruistic motivation and they saw themselves as participating in an essentially humanitarian endeavor Others, of course, combined the two orientations And still others were able to select one of the two orientations and insist 3 8


upon it to the exclusion of the other In any event, it seems clear that sociologists perceived "a social problem" from two different orientations both of which were probably strongly tinged by a rural outlook Positivism and the Social Scientist The philosophical beliefs of a good many Positivist philosophers most prominent among whom were Comte, Taine, Buckle and J .S Mill begin with a metaphysical assertion : there is a natural order and it is knowable, not by mystical intuition but through science, i, e ., that method of knowing which begins with hypotheses, proceeds through systematic observation and makes extensive use of mathematics and statistics for verification What we call "the natural order" is not a series of random events but rather a set of cause-and-effect relationships which occur in ways that are so regular, symmetrical and predictable that they must be governed by law Since human beings are part of the natural order, and since we can also observe regular patterns in all human societies, then human behavior must follow laws If there are laws of chemistry, physics, astronomy, etc ., then there must also be laws which govern human society If there is a Law of Gravity, why not speak of sociological or historical laws? Why not laws of culture? Why not as Thorndike argued at the turn of the century Four Laws of Learning? Whatever their specific discipline, most Positivists assumed these laws to have an independent ontological existence, that is the external reality existed in a manner that was unaffected by human perception, feeling or will In sum, and using Michael Lybarger's words, . all accepted the task of sociology as the search for and discovery of scientific laws the natural laws governing the physical universe 2 11 A second Positivist axiom revolved around the equation of "change" with "progress" such that the social order was taken to be in a constant state of flux and leading inevitably in the direction of improvement For instance, in a chapter called significantly "Speeding Up Social Progress," the author discusses social change by saying that . it is dynamic, full of drive, energy, motion . ." (Ross, 1927, p 187) Such an equation is not Darwinian ; it belongs rather to the heirs of Darwin who believed that history is the record of slow change In Lybarger's words, all social scientists regarded . social change as evolutionary and all to a greater or lesser extent regarded this change as progress in the direction of a better-society (n .d ., p 15) It follows, then, that those who uncovered scientific law were responsible for using the knowledge so won to improve society In sum, knowledge was to be put to the purpose of making society more enlightened, humanitarian, fair and just This conception not only influenced social scientists to the present, it became, as we shall see, the cornerstone of some I'Lybarger, "The Intellectual Antecedents of the Social Studies II," op cit ., p 15 For a brief but excellent summary of Positivism, see pages 102-104 in Clarence J Karier, Man, Society, and Education A History of American Educational Ideas New York : Scott, Foresman and Company, 1967 3 9


social studies educators from the early 20th century to the present The social scientists after whom social studies attempted to build a model of social studies inherited a variety of philosophical assumptions They believed that the world, both physical and social, was governed by laws and that their task was to uncover or discover these laws They thought that knowledge so gained would be put to essentially humanitarian, nonrevolutionary use Society was assumed to have changed, evolved and progressed and therefore knowledge, to simplify only slightly, would be used to cooperate with inevitable progress This essentially Positivistic core was combined with a perception of social problem not in clear and sophisticated theoretical terms but rather simply as a self-evident departure from a cherished and necessary social value What would be gained as data on social problems could be useful for the gradual amelioration and improvement of society With this too brief summary of the intellectual stock of the early social scientists, we are ready now to describe, also briefly, that most important organization, the ASSA The American Social Science Association, formed before the Civil War, was at first an association of scholars, most of whom had backgrounds in the professions, e .g ., law and medicine, or were educators or social scientists Eventually, the ASSA would dissolve, having served its initial function From this parent body came a large variety of scholarly societies, e .g ., the American Historical Association, the American Sociological Association and others Of particular prominence was the American Historical Association (AHA) which was founded in 1884 at the annual meeting of the ASSA As we know the AHA was particularly significant during the next thirty years in sponsoring, at times with other professional organizations, committees that prompted their own version of the social studies curriculum Though the historians were prominent in their declared preference for the teaching of a particular content and structure of history, it was the sociologists who seemed to have been especially influential on the NEA 1914-16 Committee on Social Studies on the Reorganization of Secondary Education Here, according to Lybarger, they could approach the task with the notion that social development . could be accelerated by direct intervention using knowledge of sociological laws" (n .d ., p 15) And here also, they could implement another Positivist theoretical notion-efficiency-as a major philosophical goal This goal was made immensely popular in 1912 through the writings of managerial and "efficiency" experts, such as Frederick W Taylor and Frank Gilbreth The idea, reduced to its simplist, is that the supreme goal was the greatest production with the least expenditure of time, money, and materials As a number of authors have pointed out, this conception, which related very closely to the learning theory and curriculum of E L Thorndike, had much to do with structuring the public schools throughout the 20th century .' 2 2 For a good, brief treatment of E L Thorndike, see Ernest E Bayles and Bruce L Hood, Growth of American Educational Thought and Practice New York : Harper and Row, 1966 See Chapter 10, "Thorndike and the Specific-Objectivist Movement ." 4 0


Of course not all educators and not all textbooks followed the model we have described Our own reading of John Dewey, for instance, suggests that by 1900 he had moved far away from his early, essentially Positivistic framework Dewey's conception of scientific thinking, especially as he had refined it by 1938 (in Logic the Theory of Inquiry and Essays in Experimental Logic), was closer to what has since become known as HypotheticoDeductivism and removed from the simpler Newtonian inductivism of 19th century scientific philosophers One con also point to a social studies series such as that edited by Harold and Earl Rugg as conspicuous exceptions to our generalization (It will be recalled that the Ruggs used not social scientists to define social problems but rather individuals in different fields whom they labeled "Frontier Thinkers ." These Frontier Thinkers defined social problems along lines which were essentially intuitive and did not follow the natural law framework of Positivists .) In addition to the epistemological framework that we have seen, Positivists also bequeathed an important philosophical notion The knowledge that was yielded by Positivistic inquiry into society would eventually be used for improving the welfare of the American people The Social Studies Movement The NEA Committee report is replete with clear illustrations of ideas taken from Positivist 19th century social scientists The Committee refers to organization of . instruction, not on the basis of the formal social sciences but on the basis of concrete problems of vital importance to society and of immediate interest to the pupil "13 In the preliminary report made in 1914, there is a most clear and unambiguous statement that : Facts, conditions, theories and activities that do contribute rather directly to an understanding of the methods of human betterment have no claim for inclusion in the social studies (Jones, 1913, pp 16-17) Briefly, then, the social scientists left a considerable legacy to social studies educators, not only in their philosophical presuppositions concerning natural law, society, knowledge and progress but in their very perception of social problems and assumption that the social problems selected by social scientists would, when rendered appropriate, become the substance of the social studies curriculum Writing in 1937, in his famous Teaching the Social Studies, Edgar Bruce Wesley gave his simple but most durable definition : "The social studies are the social sciences simplified for pedagogical purposes" (italics in original) explaining that "the fundamental tests of the social sciences are scholarship and eventual utility, whereas the fundamental test of the social studies is instructional utility ." 14 We believe that for Wesley and many others the 3 This is taken from a section of the 1914-16 report in I James Quillen and Lavone A Hanna Education for Social Competence Curriculum and Instruction in Secondary-School Social Studies Chicago : Scott, Foresman and Company, 1984, pp 4-8 14 Edgar Bruce Wesley, Teaching Social Studies in High Schools Boston : D C Heath and Company, 1937, p 4 We also made use of the Third Edition of the work copyrighted 1950 4 1


social sciences meant (1) topics and problems selected by the social sciences, (2) with the understanding that these problems would relate in some wider sense to the gradual amelioration of social problems Clearly the social scientists and historians, from their thirty years of committee reports from the late 1900's to the 1920's, thought that social studies was not to be social science Social studies was to be something related, but different The methods and the structure of the disciplines were not appropriate for general education which social studies was conceived to be Yet the concepts, problems, and perceptions of social science were appropriate for elementary and secondary school So a different, a "new social studies," as some were to call it in 1915, had to be created to account for the new knowledge that was rapidly being won by the social scientists and historians It was to be a social study of society that was different from social science With this summary of the social science movement, its relationship to the assumptions of social studies educators, and the conceptions of both which were translated into curriculum known as "social studies," we are ready for Part III Recall in Part I, "Selected U .S History and Civics Texts from 1874 to 1927," we examined common characteristics of those twenty essentially pre-social studies movement texts We now turn to approximately the same number of works on the same topics written between 1960 and 1980 to note what influence the social studies movement has had on the writing of texts Part III : Contemporary Social Studies Texts Introduction On the basis of only appearance the changes between texts of 50 to 100 years ago and those of today is striking-and deceptive Current texts are larger, averaging 8 by 10 inches and between 500-600 pages The "grandfather" of civics works, the venerable Magruder, however, was in 1972 a few pages shy of 800 In terms of typography, modern texts are frequently visual feasts, triumphs of the graphic artists' skill Unlike the plain covered, somber texts with their spidery line drawings, contemporary civics and U .S history works are stuffed with every manner of "teaching aid," color photograph, picture, woodcut, calligraphy, chart and graph Even the names of more recent texts are strikingly different Whereas older works were given straightforward if unimaginative titles such as A History of the United States for Schools or a Text Book on Civil Government in the United States, modern books are endowed with names that connote action and excitement : American Government in Action, United States Government : The People Decide, Decisions in United States History and The Search for Identity However, a closer examination of the contents reminds one of the ancient Jewish Sayings of the Fathers : "Do not look at the flask but at what it contains : a new flask may be full of old wine and an old flask may not even contain new wine ."' S "Reprinted in Central Conference of American Rabbis, Gates of Prayer New York : CCAR, 1975 This work is also commonly known as Ethics of the Fathers and Wisdom of the Fathers 4 2


Contents With the exception of the Graff-Bohannan work (1978), U .S history texts are similar in organization and content to their precursors Most continue to be arranged chronologically, beginning with the European background, pre-Columbian cultures, exploration, colonization, etc ., and work their way along well-trodden pathways to the present Although one may find occasional forays into intellectual, labor, technological or agricultural history, the core of U .S history texts continues to be diplomatic, political and military events This last statement is perhaps a bit confusing since texts often contain imaginatively written chapter or section titles, such as "Making the Dream Work" or `The Dream Expands," but a closer look reveals that the former deals with expansion roughly from 1800 to the articulation of the Manifest Destiny Doctrine (Smith, 1980) Some, as with the work just cited, give a good deal of attention to the immediate past, but most continue the practice of dividing all historical epochs into so many even numbered chapters-with this exception : the more recent the period is, the less space is likely to be accorded to it The Graff-Bohannan work, as is true of several civics texts, departs from tradition The chapters are organized around such topics as technology, ethnic conflicts, belief structures, "The Risks of Power," and "The Changing World of Work"-what may be recognized as the topics and concerns of sociologists and anthropologists The work by Weisberger (1976), one of the visual feasts we have noted, contains some extremely extensive treatments of what might be called "the dark side of American history," e .g ., Reconstruction, the traumas of immigration, the Depression, etc But it, too, is organized essentially as are most other texts The contents of the civics book reveals, in our judgment, even fewer changes over the years than those in history Civics texts, too, are physically quite different than the older works and often twice as large The most important substantive difference we can easily document is a shift away from a detailed description of English and American Constitutional history and toward civics defined essentially as painstakingly detailed description of the structure and function of national, state and local government Once again, one needs to be careful about confusing the appearance suggested by the titles with the reality of the content For instance, compare the Magruder (McClenaghan, 1969, 1972) work, which makes no bones about its structure-function approach, with another work The Magruder text's last nine chapters are as follows : 35 State Constitutions 36 State Legislatures 37 The Governorship and State Administrations 38 State Court Systems 39 State Courts in Action 40 Financing State and Local Governments 41 Rural Local Government 42 Municipal Government 43 Municipal Government in Action Here, then, in utterly unambiguous form is the archetypical function-and4 3


structure emphasis But Exploring American Citizenship (O'Connor and Goldberg, 1980), which is a mere 439 pages, uses such titles as : State Governments -More Alike Than Different State Governments -Their Problems Local Governments -Do They Serve People's Needs? City Governments -Beset With Problems Where Local Governments Get Their Income However, a sentence by sentence comparison reveals that the content of both is nearly identical Outside of the chapter title, there are no needs in "Local Governments -Do They Serve People's Needs?" Outside of one paragraph on Proposition 13 in California, there are no "problems" in "State Governments-Their Problems ." This work, as is true of most others, is a description of the formal decision-making structures of government, organized around the tripartite system Problem Avoidance With exceptions to be duly noted, U .S history and civics texts continue to take a circumspect attitude toward whatever one might define as "social problems ."' 6 The exceptions, in addition to the Graff-Bohannan work just discussed, include the Mehlinger-Patrick (1977) and the Gillespie-Lazarus (1979) texts on civics These two organize their tables of contents around the problems and methods of data-gathering, identified by sociologists and political scientists For instance, the former work contains a sophisticated treatment of such concepts as judgments, opinions, conclusions, and facts Chapter IV deals exclusively with datagathering instruments and the verification process The Gillespie-Lazarus work, similarly, contains a chapter on "The Skill of Gathering Evidence," and one entitled "What is Political Activity?" has little to do with the descriptive structure-function approach but is rather an invitation to examine problems from the social scientists' perspective With the possible exception, however, of one other work we examined" it is defensible to assert that most texts avoid controversial issues, and what does exist is shallow, without context and inherently confusing One text, for instance, makes the observation that "in the 1950's and 1960's, the issue of equal civil rights for American Negroes became one of the most important problems facing the United States" (Hartley and Vincent, 1967) First, the statement suggests that the issue began in the 1950's Second, it confines civil rights to one race, ignoring Indians, MexicanAmericans, advocates of unpopular causes, political radicals and others who discovered that their First Amendment rights could be abridged if there were sufficiently inflamed sentiment .' 8 By the same token, the treatment of t 6 See two works by both authors : "We All Know What A Problem Is, Don't We?" Peabody Journal of Education 47 (April, 1978) pp 388-341 and "Defining Social Problems," Theory and Research in Social Education 7 (Spring, 1979) pp 1-19 "It is difficult to classify Denis B Hale, Marc K Landy, Peter H Dublin, Robert M Harrington, Betty L S Bardige, and Jacqueline H Walsh, United States Government : The People Decide Science Research Associates 1979 This work includes chapters whose titles are fairly conventional However, first, there is a considerable reliance upon data from American history Second, much of it fits into our prior descriptions of the Social Science tradition "We can now add Iranians in this country to this list 4 4


the long-recognized problems of seniority in national ational and state legislatures is another illustration of problem avoidance Seniority, when listed at all in the index, is treated typically in from two sentences to a half page The treatment of race, racial relations and related matters is another case in point With a very few exceptions, the typical treatment consists of a mention of blacks as slaves imported in 1619, a brief discussion of blacks as an issue in the slavery debate, a more extensive treatment in the chapter on Reconstruction and another one in the chapter on Civil Rights which ordinarily is assumed to begin in the 1950's In between there is usually no mention whatsoever of blacks The only impression that students could possibly derive is that first blacks existed, then they did not ; that they sprang into existence again and then out of existence ; and finally they are part of the Civil Rights "problem ." Needless to say, typically the Civil Rights "problem" does not usually include Jews, Chinese, women or others It is indeed extremely doubtful whether a high school graduate who had taken civics and U .S history would relate the Bill of Rights, treated in civics class, with the Palmer Raids, treated in U .S history 19 Summary Despite the differences in size and in emphasis, stress and the typographer's art, U .S history and civics texts of the present are essentially what they have always been Authors continue to share the same fundamental assumptions History is taken to be a record, unaffected by human passion or self-interest, of events as they actually happened, precisely as Von Ranke defined history It is a series of events, in linear order, revolving around major political, military, and diplomatic events and featuring individuals who tend to function as exemplars, idealized, bigger-than-life heroes History texts are therefore not analysis or interpretation but rather celebrations of great men, great events and a great destiny Although there are certainly differences between a 1960-1980 U .S history text and one written 75 years ago, the differences are, in our judgment, quantitative Recent works are larger, deal with some issues, although usually in a superficial manner, often contain primary historical documents and sometimes include Bloom's upper level taxonomic questions But, the conception of U .S history, the guiding assumptions about the reporting of history and the underlying motivation-to celebrate the greatness of a society-has not changed While, as we have documented, the change in civics texts is, in one sense, more striking than in history texts, the underlying purposes and assumptions appear to be the same We have seen that older works were essentially combinations of British and American Constitutional history with much celebration of American institutions and some descriptive 19 Anyon (1979) analyzed content areas in school history textbooks on "economic and labor union developments during the period of rapid industrialization and social change from the Civil War to World War I," p 364 In conclusion she suggests, "The analysis of history textbooks here suggests that the priorities of specific groups now powerful in the United States industrial hierachy are expressed as well by a hidden structure of interests in the social studies curriculum," p 382 Her analysis, we believe, supports our notion that the texts are basically designed to avoid problems by transmitting a particular set of values 4 5


material on tripartite governmental forms and formal decision-making structures The Constitutional history has vanished, for the most part, and most civics texts-with the exceptions as noted-are confined to description of structure and function But the celebration of American institutions is what is always has been Conclusions If we are correct in our argument that patterns which existed in the last century persist today essentially unchanged, we need to ask ourselves why this is the case In brief, the conception of social studies as the social sciences fitted neatly with the imperatives of the culture The notion that one could translate the findings of social scientists into something appropriate while at the same time leaving the essential structure of society unchanged must have been a source of comfort and encouragement to all concerned Let us elaborate on this theme What had been a fairly undisguised celebration of society with only the external trappings of scholarship -that is to say, the typical 19th century U .S history and civics text-lent itself to being transmuted into a 20th century social science text What had been celebration of a divine origin, a great destiny, heroic leaders and a steadily improving society was not essentially altered by the addition of 19th century Positivism With but very little change it was possible to superimpose the language and assumptions of 19th century social science on 20th century textbooks to create a basically unaltered textbook Furthermore, the self-confidence, indeed certitude, of a social science was itself a source of comfort What could have been more comforting than knowing that the information students were required to learn had received the blessings of scientists? If "science" had transformed a primitive and agrarian pre-Civil War America into the industrial juggernaut that it was fast becoming, why could not the same "science" address itself to "social problems ." And, of course, the choice of "social problems" was in itself a source of some comfort Students were-as far as we can tell-never encouraged to define problems Rather the problems were those selected by social scientists and these were defined as "poverty," "drug use," "crime," "alcoholism" and a variety of other not well related phenomena, all of which, it was assumed, must soon yield to the progress that was inherent in our social order Further, with only a bit of semantic transubstantiation the "concepts" and "topics" of the previous era could become the "problems" of the present And, in fact, this is what happened : one is continually struck by the simple exchange of the word "problem" for what had hitherto simply been a "question" or a "topic ." But there is one important change which has taken place In the past, social studies educators had accepted an essentially 19th century social science approach to social problems, with the assumption that social studies 4 6


teachers would translate both the definition of a social problem and the accompanying data into usable curriculum Contemporary social scientists in education emphasize the acquisition of the process-by which they mean the terminology, data-gathering methods and epistemological assumptionsof individual social science disciplines The changes urged by the 1914-1916 Social Studies Committee had the most beneficialeffect of not disturbing the existing power distribution It was, in a sense, possible to have one's cake and eat it, too One could easily admit that the radical socialist's criticism of poverty, exploitation and injustice was, to some extent, valid without accepting the radical socialists' solution An evolutionary impetus within that mixture of Protestantism, laissez faire capitalism and democracy would, in time, rectify all inequities Thus, while the rest of the world degenerated before our saddened eyes into some version of state socialism, the United States, alone, was able to keep its primary institutions, most especially private property, intact One final point, with regard to what we have designated the exceptions, the two civics texts and the one history work : what we have in the past labeled "Social Studies Taught as Social Science" appears still to be valid However, it is now clear to us that whereas past generations of social studies educators had accepted the 19th century social scientists' definition of social problem and their solutions, contemporary social scientists in the social studies emphasize not the products but rather the process and the various conceptions of structure within the social science disciplines We think that Mehlinger, Senesh, Shaver, Gillespie, Lazarus, Morrissett, Fenton, etc begin with the assumption that the body politic is essentially healthy and needs but enlightened and active participation to sustain and improve it Finally, back to Roselle, FitzGerald and Weisberger It is not, we argue, that one is right and the other wrong, that social studies texts are or are not bland, neutral, homogenized, objective or what have you It is rather that if one wishes to understand how social studies texts came to be what they are, one must understand the 19th century historical background One must understand the persistence of a set of assumptions from philosophical Positivists, social scientists and social studies educators And if this is the more important reality, then the present debate is beside the point 4 7


References A Brief History of the United States for Schools (New York : A .S Barnes, 1877) Anyon, Jean "Ideology and United States History Textbooks ." Harvard Educational Review, 39 (August, 1979), 361-386 Barth, James L & Shermis, S Samuel "Defining the Social Problems ." Theory and Research in Social Education, 7 (Spring, 1979), 1-19 Barth, James L & Shermis, S Samuel "Defining the Social Studies : An Exploration of Three Traditions ." Social Education, 34 (November, 1970), 743-751 Barth, James L & Shermis, S Samuel "The Persistence of Citizenship TransMission," unpublished monograph, (Purdue University, 1980) Barth, James L & Shermis, S Samuel "We All Know What A Problem Is, Don't We?" Peabody Journal of Education, 47 (April, 1978), 338-341 Bayles, Ernest E & Hood, Bruce L Growth of American Educational Thought and Practice (New York : Harper and Row, 1966) Brown, Ralph H & Brown, Charles W Common School Examiner and Review (Chicago : A Flanigan, 1898) Fiske, John Civil Government in the United States Considered With Some Reference to Its Origins (Boston : Houghton, Mifflin, 1890) FitzGerald, Frances America Revised (Boston : Little, Brown 1979) FitzGerald, Frances "Rewriting American History, III ." The New Yorker, (March 12, 1979) Gates of Prayer (New York : Central Conference of American Rabbis, 1975) Gillespie, Judith & Lazarus, Stuart American Government Comparing Political Experiences (Englewood Cliffs : Prentice-Hall, 1979) Gordy, Wilbur F A History of the United States for Schools (New York : Charles Scribner's Sons, 1911) Graff, Henry F & Bohannan, Paul The Promise of Democracy (Chicago : Rand McNally, 1978) Hale, Denis B Landy, Marc K ., Dublin, Peter H ., Harrington, Robert M ., Bardige, Betty L .S ., Walsh, Jacqueline H United States Government : The People Decide (Science Research Associates, 1979) Harley, William H & Vincent, William S American Civics (New York : Harcourt, Brace, 1967) Jones, Thomas J "Statement of the Chairman of the Committee on the Social Studies ." Preliminary Statement by Chairman of Committees of the National Education Association on the Reorganization of Secondary Education (Washington : N .E .A ., 1813) Karier, Clarence J Man, Society, and Education : A History of American Educational Ideas (New York : Scott, Foresman and Company, 1967) Lybarger, Michael "The Origins of Modern Social Studies," doctoral dissertation in manuscript form, (University of Wisconsin) Martin, George H A Text Book on Civil Government in the United States (New York : A .S Barnes, 1875) McCleary, J .T Studies in Civics (New York : American Book, 1895) 4 8


McClenaghan, William A Magruder's American Government Revised, (Boston : Allyn and Bacon, 1969, 1972) Mehlinger, Howard D & Patrick, John J American Political Behavior Revised Edition (Lexington : Ginn, 1977) Montgomery, D .F The Leading Facts of American History (Boston : Ginn, 1896) Muzzey, David S American History (Boston : Ginn, 1911) O'Connor, John R & Goldberg, Robert M Exploring American Citizenship (New York : Globe Book, 1980) Quillen, I James & Hanna, Lavone A Education for Social Competence Curriculum-and Instruction in Secondary-School Social Studies (Chicago : Scott, Foresman, 1948) Raywid, Mary Anne The Ax-Grinders : Critics of Our Public Schools (New York : Macmillan, 1962) Roselle, Daniel "Frances FitzGerald Gives Her All (Also Her Always, Wholly and Evermore) ." Social Education, 44 (January, 1980), 6-7 Ross, Edward A Civic Sociology : A Textbook in Social and Civic Problems for Young Americans (New York : World Book, 1927) Sadler's History of the United States Smith, Lew The American Dream (Glenview : Scott, Foresman, 1980) Stevens, C Ellis Sources of the Constitution of the United States, Considered in Relation to Colonial and English History (New York : Macmillan, 1894) Superka, Donald P ., Hawke, Sharryl & Morrissett, Irving "The Current and Future Status of the Social Studies ." Social Education, 44 (May, 1980) Thorpe, Frances, N The Government of the Nation A Course in Civil Government based on The Government of the People of the United States, Revised Edition (Philadelphia : Eldredge and Bros ., 1914) Weisberger, Bernard "Homogenized History .' American Heritage, 31 (December 1979), 101-103 Weisberger, Bernard The Impact of Our Past A History of the United States, Second Edition (New York : McGraw-Hill, 1976) Wesley, Edgar B Teaching Social Studies in High Schools (Boston : D .C Heath, 1937) Third Edition, 1950) Wynne, John Theories of Education (New York : Harper and Row, 1963) 4 9


Theory and Research in Social Education Fall 1980, Volume 8, Number 3, pp 51-64 by The College and University Faculty Assembly of The National Council for the Social Studies Social Studies : Something Old, Something New, and All Borrowed Murry R Nelson Pennsylvania State University Does social studies really make any sense? That may seem a presumptuous way to begin, but it is a question that people all over the country seem to be asking A colleague who is chairman of a social studies department in a northern California high school recently described to me the proposal of an administrator in a neighboring school district Because of the increased pressure on stretching the school dollar (since Proposition 13 passed), this administrator decided to re-examine requirements in the curriculum If some could be eliminated so could some teachers, and money could be recovered One of the first proposals was to eliminate all social studies requirements in the high school, reduce the number of offerings, and make them all electives Another colleague in Colorado, also a high school department head, wrote to me and asked if I had any recent literature that justified the existence of social studies in the schools Her district was seriously questioning the rationale for a social studies program at all Actions like this are not exceptional today, and thus the question that I initially offered is, I believe, quite legitimate If the goals of social studies were understood by people within and outside the field ; the threats to social studies' continued well-being would be considerably abated Social studies educators are becoming complacent ; they no longer feel that they must justify social studies in the curriculum Many, I would assert, could not do so if pressed 5 1


We in social studies run the risk (if indeed it is a risk) of seeing our field become a subgroup of groups with larger educational foci whose interest in social studies may be ancillary At the 1979 National Council for the Social Studies annual meeting in Portland, Paul Purta, Executive Secretary of NCSS, spoke to the Social Studies Supervisors Association concerning the efforts the National Education Association was making in the area of social studies Purta did not pose these efforts as a threat ; he merely thought that NCSS members should know of them in order to decide what course of action, if any, ought to be taken The irony of all of these anecdotes and incidents is their marked resemblance to previous events in social studies When my friend in Colorado wanted references concerning a strong rationale for social studies, I had to confess that the best arguments for such a rationale had been written in the period 1915-1930 In the striving for "progress" in the field of social studies, the past has been conveniently forgotten The extreme irony, of course, is that the field of social studies is replete with historians of various types Too often, however, the historians are more interested in fields other than their own The question of knowledge creation and utilization in social studies has become incidental Is it any wonder then that the public (or even a social studies educator) has a hard time clarifying what this field actually stands for? Is it possible to justify the inclusion of every popular movement in the social studies curriculum? Mortimer Adler once scored Harold Rugg and the progressives for seeking the best education for the time (the 1930's) while Adler and the perennialist educators sought what they thought was the best education for all time (Adler, 1939) What Adler was relying on for his righteousness was the accepted greatness of classical works throughout history Even if one disagrees with the classical humanist approach to the curriculum, the attractiveness of a historical foundation is undeniable It is a lesson that we in the field of social studies have not learned well despite our work every day with history As Paul Robinson has noted, "Educators in this field will continue to have great difficulty convincing anyone of the worth of historical inquiry if they are unwilling to explore the uses of their own past" (Robinson, 1980, p 5) Unless we as social studies educators can defend our field in more than one-dimensional ways, our credibility will be continually questioned and eroded In a sense this means that we should get back to basics What I don't mean, however, is a simplistic skill oriented approach, though there is a place for such a proposal What I am concerned with is a more philosophical justification of curriculum content and development through the use of historical inquiry If that can be more fully disseminated and appreciated, I am convinced that social studies educators will be able to stand on the foundational underpinnings of the field for the content of today rather than feel mired in a miasma of contemporary issues that arouse public truculence rather than understanding During the past twenty years a movement commonly referred to as the New Social Studies produced a spate of materials, many of them excellent 5 2


Nevertheless, "most were developed in almost total ignorance or previous work done" (Nelson, 1980, p 6) Despite that ignorance, these projects do have historical roots How can many of the new social studies characteristics be justified historically? Taking five trends in new social studies, I will attempt, in this essay, to develop historical antecedents and/or patterns of the reemergence of these trends in the 1960's and 1970's 1 Those five trends are '1) attention to the argument of social sciences v social studies ; 2) a broader attention to ethnicity in the U .S ., including an examination of the role of women in our history ; 3) global education (in one limited view) ; 4) the process of inquiry and the methodology implied therein ; and 5) a concern with the future of the field of social studies This last point is not usually seen as one of the enduring concerns of new social studies, but concern for the future is implied by continuous re-examination of the field Neither this essay nor this issue of Theory and Research in Social Education can be viewed as a history of the field of social studies They are a start, however, and will lead to improved understanding It is anticipated that the goals, practices and intentions of the field of social studies over the past fifty years will alleviate, in some sense, the feeling of helplessness that many social studies educators have expressed in the earlier anecdotes This knowledge will not totally mollify the sniping the field of social studies may suffer It will, however, allow for strength in the realization that social studies has had a number of enduring thrusts over the years that are still vital This dynamic view of tradition is important in at least two respects On the one hand it is built on tradition, a conservative "buzzword" in one sense, but a cultural pillar in the broader sense On the other hand the dynamic quality allows educators to draw from the past experiences in the field and reshape those experiences towards the improvement of education Social studies has, like many intellectual fields, been characterized by a history of conflict and there are those who see this as endemic to all social organisms 2 Certainly the most enduring conflict in our field has concerned the existence of social studies rather than social sciences, or history for that matter Boozer notes this tension in summarizing the work of the eleven American History Association Committees on the curriculum between 1896 and 1953 The variations in the names of these committees have reflected the changes of emphasis in the school social studies curriculum ; beginning with the Committee on the Study of History in Schools, there followed in due course the Committee on History and Education for Citizenship in the Schools, the Commission on the Social Studies, and finally the Committee on Teaching The journal for teachers of history and the social studies, with which the Association has been in'"The Pennsylvania State Department of Education has identified twelve trends of the new social studies as acceptable These include values, inquiry, processes of social science investigations, innovative teaching strategies, a variety of educational media and multimedia, behavioral objectives, case studies, raw social science data, etc ." (Searles and Nelson, 1976, p 256n) 2 See Applebaum, Richard, Theories of Social Change (Chicago : Markham Publishing Co ., 1970) His Chapter Four concerns conflict Theory 5 3


volved in varying degrees since 1911, in its titles has also reflected the changed emphases over the years : The History Teacher's Magazine (1909), The Historical Outlook (1918), The Social Studies (1934), and (since 1937) Social Education (Boozer, 1960, p .361) The earliest conflicts between history, social science and social studies have been examined and discussed by Boozer (1960), Vanaria (1958), Barr, Barth and Shermis (1977), Lybarger (1980) and Robinson (1980) Lybarger, in particular, has sought the roots of such disagreements by examining the earliest writings and ideas on social studies that other social scientists (nonhistorians) were wrestling with in the late 19th, early 20th century Boozer has examined and traced the AHA and its role in the school curriculum from the inception of the organization in 1884 At the American Historical Association's Madison Conference (1892) sponsored by the Committee on Secondary School Studies (appointed by the NEA), commonly referred to as the Committee of Ten, the point of equal status for history in the schools was raised The general feeling was that history should get equal prestige and stature with English languages and geography Concern was expressed over the historical knowledge of students not going to college and the committe "felt anxious about the qualifications of the teachers of history, urging that persons who had special training be employed to teach these subjects" (Boozer, 1960, pp 47-48) This fear of unqualifed teachers in various aspects of social studies has reappeared regularly since it was first expressed in 1892 Boozer reviews all the committees and reports which Lybarger, Robinson and others have also done Some comments on the reports are needed, however One of the controversial reports was that of the Committee of Eight on History in the Elementary School (1904) Henry Johnson said that the report "approached in influence a ruling document" in the elementary schools of the country (Johnson, 1940, p 60) Rolla Tryon agreed, noting that courses of study for elementary school history were soon developed which were "almost verbatim duplicates" of it (Tryon, 1935, p 31) ; Edgar Wesley, though, said it contained little else new but for the grade six offerings (Wesley, 1942) The early 1900's saw a re-examination by historians of what history content should include James Harvey Robinson, the so-called father of the New History (and part of what Harold Rugg saw as the first New Social Studies in the 1920's), felt that "The emphasis in history teaching at the turn of the century was on political, military and diplomatic history, with relatively little attention to the social, cultural and intellectual activities and achievements of man" (Hendricks, 1946, p vii) Despite altering that situation somewhat over the past fifty years, the struggle has been arduous and we have never solidly entrenched Robinson's view The effects on schools and schooling can be more accurately appraised by examining some school reports and surveys of the time These can be compared with the theoretical pursuits and suggestions of the various committees The School Committee of Brookline, Massachusetts (1917), noted, 5 4


indirectly, how difficult it would have been for the committee recommendations to be adopted because of the training of the faculty The Committee noted that : teachers don't know enough history ; thus many chosen [history] selections may focus on `insignificant topics' or less important lives . . They were wasting time upon facts and events having little educational value In some classes there was not enough made of the ethical amplifications of the facts studied The teachers, in such cases did not seem to realize that they were interpreters for their pupils, . that through the study and knowledge of such [great] men the pupil is to come to understand his own life as it is related to the lives of other human beings (Brookline School Committee', 1917, pp 269-70) The Committee went on to suggest that a course of study might change these problems and should not hamper a teacher's individuality or freedom The course outlined by the Committee of Eight of the AHA might be supplied, they felt, at small expense This lack of meaning and understanding that the Brookline,Survey Committee observed was also noted by a survey team examing the public schools of Springfield, Illinois, in 1914 They were clearly amazed by the fact that history and geography were filled with absurd, useless data The team tested ten prominent citizens in the community on the high school history and geography tests and not one came close to passing This team also proposed a new course of study in these areas A .B Meredith, surveying the St Louis Public Schools, observed that history was not contributing to the social education of young Americans, as the survey team in Brookline had also recommended The point of view of the ancient history and of the later European history should be shifted from the study of the historical facts for their own sake, to a study which shall marshall material so as to bear upon the solution of present day curriculum and economic problems In a pubic school, whose purpose is to assist in the training of young people for effective citizenship, the social studies should have immediate and practical bearing upon the problems of the present, whether these problems be civic, social or economic (Meredith, 1918, pp 327-328) Meredith's point of view was reflected in the creation of the Problems of Democracy course and Harold Rugg's Social Science series but the prevailing view in most schools was one of confusion The plethora of reports that often contradicted one another left school people uncertain where to turn Part of the blame for adoption of forecful goals in social studies teaching may lie with the poor quality of teaching education Judd had noted that a course in social problems was important but felt that "the schools of the county in general [are] filled with teachers who are so ignorant of social 3 The School Survey Committee consisted of ten outside educators including James Van Sickle, May Ayres and George Drayton Strayer 5 5


problems that they think there are no such problems" (Judd, 1923, p 29) This point was important in perpetuating the political and often puerile fighting over social studies or history and geography in schools Lybarger, Robinson and others have made much of this disputation but it is my contention that neither faction paid close enough attention to social studies teacher training to realize that most teachers were intellectually incapable of implementing either side's recommendations in the spirit that they were intended "The recommendations became a sort of Holy Grail and far too little was done of an experimental nature using the recommendations as a base to begin from Instead, these suggestions became ends in themselves" (Nelson, 1974, p 25) It should not be assumed that experimentation in social studies was not occuring between 1900 and 1980, only that such experimentation was not the dominant mode (but then it never is) Though social sciences such as sociology, anthropology and economics were being mostly ignored as separate disciplines, the lack of attention was not total In 1920, for example, the American Sociological Society had published "Tentative Report of the Committee on Teaching of Sociology in the Grade and High Schools of America ." The Committee reported the results of a recent study that H H Moore had done for the U .S Bureau of Education in which he surveyed the offerings of 5054 high schools in the United States The committee was pleased that 431 schools reported that sociology was taught in their high school but cautioned, "It is very doubtful whether the subject matter taught would justify the use of the word, `sociology"' (American Sociological Society, 1919, p 244) Boozer notes that "articles concerning the social sciences in general and such subjects as geography, anthropology, civics, current events, and citizenship were appearing with increasing frequency in the professional literature in the period immediately following 1900 (Boozer, 1960, p 110) Despite occasional articles like Pugh's "Local Industries as Basis for an Introductory Course in Economics" (1909), Dawson noted that "such facts of industrial and economic evolution as were suitable for secondary school instruction could best be incorporated in history courses" (Dawson, 1924, p 242) Dawson went on to note that sociologists were slower to enter into the competition for social studies curriculum "So far as the record shows, the sociologists as a group like the economists have generally not insisted on separate courses in their subject" (Dawson, 1924, p 242) The question of anthropology teaching in the secondary schools was addressed as early as 1903 by Frank Russell in an article that was primarily questioning the direction of anthropology in schools at all levels, secondary and above Russell claimed that anthropology "is now taught at one of the long established private secondary schools of Massachusetts and so far as may be judged at this early day it is proving to be popular and successful" (Russell, 1903, p 530) Russell went on to state, "I may assume that we are agreed that anthropology is at least equal to some of the branches now taught in secondary schools, either as a disciplinary or as an information 5 6


study ." He questioned, however, "is it expedient to add Anthropology to an already crowded curriculum?" (Russell, 1903, p 530) Russell felt that it was expedient but his view did not prevail and the same questions were raised sixty years later by social science educators unfamiliar and seemingly unconcerned with earlier, identical arguments Despite anthropology's inability to prevail, the social studies faction prevailed for a time over the disparate disciplinary views The triumph, as it were, was short-lived In the 1940's similar questions were raised concerning the existence of social studies The subject was equated with unAmericanism and many critics espoused a return to basic history, geography and civics This concern with purported basics may be reflective of the recent "attacks" on social studies, generally, and particular curricula like MACOS and the Holt Databank System (New York Times, 1979) The basic existence of a social studies is still not overwhelmingly accepted by Americans as an integral part of American public education Part of the blame for this state of affairs lies in the teacher training institutions Much more time is spent on how to teach sociology, economics, et al than why teach these disciplines Self-serving excuses like "these are the key concepts in the field" have replaced the more considered process of deliberation' in schools Methods professors may believe in an interdisciplinary approach to social studies but they somehow neglect to transmit that belief accurately Many social studies teachers identify themselves as history teachers or economics teachers and undo, consciously or unwittingly, the labors of social studies educators like the Rugg brothers, Tryon and others Preservice teachers must spend more time considering and analyzing the intentions of the social studies field Without that the methodology is truly "form without substance ." Utimately, content itself may become subsumed by "rituals and _ceremonies" as the emphasis is on form as substance (Popkewitz, 1980) Teachers and students can easily fall into this mode, especially when certain social contexts that Popkewitz illustrates are prevalent Ethnic and Global Studies A part of the new social studies that seems to have been accepted is ethnic studies A cynical view of educational history over the past seventy-five years might lead one to conclude that the public educational system makes small concessions with large commitments In the famous Cleveland Survey, one entire volume concerned The School and the Immigrant Herbert Miller examined, discussed and provided insight on 17 national groups' efforts to preserve their language and characteristics despite "Americanization" in the Cleveland schools These groups included Bohemians, Finns, Croatians, Servians, Germans, Jews, Hungarians and Slovaks Miller was not against "Americanizing" these people, i, e ., trying to get them to adapt to more mainstream American understandings This denial of cultural pride which led to laws like those in Southwestern states forbidding the use of Spanish in schools was finally recognized by educators amidst the throes of the black power and civil rights movements 5 7


To pursue both the path of Americanization and cultural pride, school people must first understand these groups "In order to understand the social and educational problems of the different foreign groups it is necessary to study their origin and history The necessity for some special knowledge of this sort is indicated by the fact that may of the immigrants speak the language of one country but come from a different country" (Miller, 1916, p 54) Ten years before, Thomas Jesse Jones had offered quite a number of ways to study the "Negro in America" (Jones, 1906-08) and both Horace Mann Bond and Carter Woodson were advocates in the 30's of what would be termed today Black Studies Also at the time, the State of Alabama recognized the need to study about blacks and ultimately "to improve racial attitudes" (State of Alabama, 1938, p 3) Thus, the educational system gives only when threatened and, when the threat is abated, so is the initiative toward ethnicity The recent spate of racially related incidents in the New York City suburbs may be indicative of the development of a more "conservative" racial attitude that may culminate in the diminution of may ethnic studies programs in schools The pattern of such growth and shrinkage can be seen in the 40's and 50's (Nelson, 1977) Related to the growth in ethnic study is the broader scope of global studies Just as ethnic studies seeks to promote cultural pride and cooperation through understanding, so global education seeks to reduce the differences among nations and peoples by stressing interdependence, the oneness of our earth's inhabitants The Rugg Social Studies Curriculum of the 1920's and 30's stressed such interdependence, but the series has become merely another chapter of unread social studies history Recently teams of American social studies educators have examined or are examining the treatment of Americans in Soviet and Japanese textbooks Soviet and Japanese educators are reciprocating Again this thrust toward international understanding and world peace has roots at least fifty years old Jonathon Scott studied the characterizations of England and Germany in French texts, of France and England in German texts and of German, France and the U .S in British textbooks He observed that "each nation indulges in extravaganzas of self praise Each tends to assert loudly its superiority to the rest Each is conscious of its own rectitude as a nation, but fears the evil intentions and diabolical cunning of some other or others" (Scott, 1927, p 14) Scott went on to indict education as the "one great force militating against that enlightened public opinion which constitutes the most effective guarantee of peace . . To the international idea some lip service is paid ; but there is little real enthusiasm for it where it appears to conflict with some cherished national prejudice Thus what should be a training for world culture and as international point of view becomes education in compartments" (Scott, 1927, pp 16-17) Might the various teams of recent educators have been helped by Scott's study? That is difficult to answer, but it could not have hurt and they may have benefited from a historical view of the proposals Scott offered in 1927 These included an idea to "let the publishers of textbooks in history, 5 8


geography and literature in all countries submit one copy of each text published to the Committee on Intellectual Cooperation of the League of Nations, the Committee to pick out and recommend those freest from prejudice" (Scott, 1927, p 210) The difficutly of achieving international peace through education was not lost on Scott In the appendix he included a letter from a schoolteacher in Berlin who claimed "no one [of the new reading books and texts] breathes a pronounced pacifist spirit . . Nevertheless, if there were one who did so, he would find no publisher and, above all, no government who would permit their introduction into actual instruction" (Scott, p 215) Might we, as global educators, not benefit from such previous efforts at global understanding? Today, global education, despite institutional support from the federal government, still remains mired in uncertainty The nation is aware of a need for international cooperation, but a feeling of distrust toward other nations makes the "selling" of global awareness difficult Perhaps the use of the historical mode to show that today's social studies educators are not creating a new field to suck the life from U .S history courses would be in order Inquiry "One of the most salient aspect of the new social studies movement has been its advocacy of inquiry as both content and method" (Cornbleth, 1980, p 1) Cornbleth analyzed early educational theorists for inquiry method and cited the work done by Barr (1969) in tracing such method from the 1890's to the 1960's Their work was quite thorough, but I find it useful to add some data to their accumulation The earliest articles in History Teacher's Magazine discussed this "new" mode of teaching Fling said that "personally I am in hearty sympathy with the new educational theory that attributes more importance to method than to matter . . It is because we have not emphasized the method, because we have not required our candidates for positions as teachers to know how to investigate . that we have so much absolutely impossible history teaching" (Fling, 1909, pp 5-6) There is evidence that school teachers, at least in some systems, did understand this method Mirick observed lessons in geography as part of his work on the survey team of the St Louis public schools He noted inquiry lessons occuring and offered prominent qualities of such instruction (a) The lessons were discussions rather than recitations (b) There was an abundance of wall maps, and they were freely and skillfully used (k) Material furnished by the Educational Museum was much in evidence type pictures of geographical regions, raw materials, specimens of birds, fur animals, minerals, woods, etc (Mirick, 1918, pp 61-62) Mirick also provided a rationale for inquiry that has continued to reappear over the past sixty years : "It is clear to the onlooker that in the Teacher-Subject-Pupil type of lesson, the pupil begins to think when the teacher has asked a question and stops thinking when the question is 5 9


answered to the satisfaction of the teacher . "(Mirick, 1918, p 53) Inquiry, then, has a solid, historical base that should be more skillfully drawn upon when educators are met with the "back to basics" argument in social studies Why has inquiry continued to be "rediscovered" then? Again much of the blame must go to teacher training courses that cry "do as I do, not as I say ." Preservice teachers do not internalize a tenuous belief that inquiry teaching is both vital and necessary Many see it as an "either-or" situation and opt for making sure that they disseminate the right content Some fear introducing inquiry "right away" and effectively preclude the chance ever to introduce it As teachers routinize their classrooms, inquiry becomes the subject of academic discourse, no longer a process for actual classroom use Reaffirming the rooted strength of inquiry can possibly recapture practicing teachers who weren't sure if inquiry was another passing fad to reject later The Future One area that has been largely ignored in the New Social Studies was the Future of Social Studies What was social studies to look like twenty-five years later? Too often concern was only focused on today, neither drawing on yesterday nor planning for tomorrow This is an area clearly deficient today in our field Again we can use the work of the past fifty years to compare predictions and hopes to realities and by that be able to plan more accurately for the future of social studies education The work of Harold Rugg in the 1920's and 30's exemplified this concern for the future The Rugg series contained innumerable questions for student consideration that focused on the future of American society, resources, politics, etc The Building America series, edited by Paul Hanna and James Mendenhall, also caused students to reexamine topics in future as well as contemporary modes This futurist or social reconstructionist method of planning was not unique to the progressive era Many progressives, however, were more candid and clear in their direction As I shall note more fully below, most social studies educators today seem to espouse similar views, but seldom realize that these views are the norm in the field, not the exception This says something about our lack of ability or desire to communicate with one another concerning the most basic questions in social studies This has not always been so One volume that promoted such dialogue and was clearly future oriented was an NCSS publication edited by James A Michener (yes, that James A Michener) in 1939 Entitled The Future of the Social Studies it was volume one of an anticipated NCSS Curriculum Series that either never emerged or has been lost The Michener volume is almost never referred to in research, this despite the array of prominent social studies educators who contributed to it (These included Howard Anderson, Roy Hatch, Mary Kelty, A C Krey, L C Marshall, I James Quillen, Earley Rugg, Harold Rugg and Howard E Wilson .) In his introductory chapter, Michener raises a point that has been 6 0


discussed and examined in many recent articles on social studies, that of the proliferation of courses in social studies Michener claimed that "some alarm has been felt because one western state reported thirty-seven different social studies courses being taught in the last three years of high school . . The continued multiplicity of social studies courses raised several questions One must admit there is needless duplication" (Michener, 1939, p 3) Michener also noted that new research and materials are constantly ignored by many social studies teachers and thus consigned to obscurity or misuse Studies of the implementation of the New Social Studies have indicated similar problems Again the field might have been better served by planning our future using past experimentation in social studies education The remainder of the Michener NCSS volume wrestled with the problem of what a social studies curriculum should look like State, local and national curriculum developers can still use the insights and suggestions of these earlier social studies educators in planning a social studies curriculum for the 80's The futuristic thrust reappeared in the 1963 Cubberley Conference held at Stanford University From that conference came The Social Studies : Curriculum Proposals for, the Future (Sowards et al 1963) Peter Odegard, Paul Hanna, James Quillen, Arno Bellack and Ralph Tyler contributed to this volume and drew heavily on the history of social studies for disccusion as to its future Quillen's paper is particularly noteworthy in that respect The message was clear ; no future of the social studies can be planned without an understanding of the foundational underpinnings of the field Many (if not most) social studies educators seem to be of the futurist or social reconstructionist bent Our concerns are toward improvement of a society through education A natural corollary of such a view should be reflected in how we view our professional field We need our past for our future Much more attention should be paid to projecting our field's adaption/ adoption of scientific, social scientific and aesthetic advancements in areas both inside and outside the schooling process In order to explore how to incorporate these changes in the hope of institutionalizing or even rejecting them, it would seem expeditious to see how other educators have wrestled with their own versions of "future shock ." This paper was originally intended to trace the origins of new social studies in a sequential, historical manner That proved impossible since so many ideas have been borrowed without any apparent knowledge of previous development and experimentation in the field Can we as educators expect teachers to listen and heed our recommendation when we do not even listen to ourselves? I think not We can alter this view however The documents are there ; all we lack is the commitment 6 1


This use of these documents must be viewed as a legitimate and important educational enterprise The creation of new knowledge can only be based on what is already known Kuhn's use of paradigms for evolution in science recognizes that new paradigms can only be created by viewing knowledge in wholly different ways This does not mean rejecting past knowledge, but selectively reassessing it Social Studies education has far too long ignored this realization 6 2


References Adler, Mortimer, Review of American Life and the School in Commonweal, XXIX, March 17, 1939, pp 581-583 Alabama State Board of Education, Guide to Improvement of Curriculum, Montgomery, AL, 1938 American Sociological Society, Papers and proceedings, American Sociological Society, Chicago, 1919 Ayres, Leonard, The Public Schools of Springfield, Illinois, New York, Russell Sage Foundation, 19194 Barr, Robert "The Changing Role of History in the American Public Schools ." Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Purdue University, 1969 Barr, Robert, James Barth and Sam Shermis, Defining,the Social Studies, Bulletin 51, Washington, D .C NCSS, 1977 Bobbitt, J F ., "The Curriculum Situation" in Charles Judd, Survey of the St Louis Public Schools, Yonkers on Hudson, NY, World Book Co ., 1908 Boozer, Howard R ., "The American Historical Association and the Schools, 18841956" Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Washington University, 1960 Brookline School Committee, Educational Survey of the Public Schools of Brookline, Massachusetts, 1917 Cornbleth, Catherine, "Planning for Thinking : Inquiry Theory and Social Studies Curriculum Project Materials" in Murry Nelson, Ed ., Toward a History of the Social Studies, Texan House, 1980 Dawson, Edgar, "The History Inquiry," Historical Outlook, June 1924, p 242 "Educators Oppose Course on Cultures," New York Times, April 17, 1979, p B4 Fling, Fred, "One Use of Sources in the Teaching of History" History Teacher's Magazine, 1(1), September 1909, pp 5-7 Hendricks, Luther V ., James Harvey Robinson, Teacher of History, Morningside Heights, NY, King's Crown Press, 1946 Johnson, Henry, Teaching of History in Elementary and Secondary Schools with Applications to Allied Studies, New York, MacMillan Co ., 1940 Jones, Thomas Jesse, "Social Studies in the Hampton Curriculum" The Southern Workman (Series of articles) 1906-08 Judd, Charles, "Introducing Social Studies into the School Curriculum" in the Twenty-Second Yearbook of the National Society for the Study of Education, Part II, Bloomington, Illinois, Public School Publishing Co ., 1923 L Judd, Charles, Survey of the St Louis Public Schools, Yonkers on Hudson, NY, World Book Company, 1918 Kuhn, Thomas, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 2d, 1970 Lybarger, Michael, "Selected Bibliography Foundations of the Social Studies," nd Meredith, A B ., "High Schools" in Charles Judd, Survey of the St Louis Public Schools, Yonkers on Hudson, NY, World Book Company, 1918 Michener, James A ., The Future of the Social Studies, Cambridge, Mass ., NCSS, 1939 6 3


Miller, F ., The School and the Immigrant, Cleveland, Ohio, The Survey Committee of the Cleveland Foundation, 1917 Mirick, George, "Observations of Elementary School Instruction" in Charles Judd, Survey of the St Louis Public Schools, Yonkers on Hudson, NY, World Book Company, 1918 Nelson, Murry, "The Junior High Social Studies Curriculum," unpublished manuscript, 1974 Nelson, Murry, "Historical Antecedents of Ethnic Studies Programs" The Social Studies, Vol 68, No 3, pp 104-108, May 1977 Nelson, Murry, "Is There a Future to the History of the Social Studies?" in M Nelson, Ed Toward a History of the Social Studies, Austin, TX Texan House, 1980 Popkewitz, Thomas, "The Social Contexts of Schooling, Change and Educational Research," Wisconsin Research and Development Center for Individualized Schooling, Mimeo, May, 1980 Pugh, Alexander, "The Study of Local Industries" History Teacher's Magazine, 1(4), December 1909, pp 76-77 Robinson, Paul, "Reinterpreting the History of the Social Studies" in Murry Nelson, Ed Toward a History of the Social Studies, Texan House, 1980 Russell, Frank, "Anthropology in American Schools and After," Education, 23(9), May 1903, pp 530-537 Searles, John and Murry Nelson, "The State of the New Social Studies in One State," The Social Studies, 68, Nov .-Dec 1976, pp 354-57 Sowards, Wesley, Ed ., The Social Studies : Curriculum Proposals for the Future, Chicago, Scott Foresman and Co ., 1963 Tryon, Rolla, The Social Sciences as School Subjects, Report on the Commission on the Social Studies of the American History Association, New York, NY Charles Scribner's Sons, 1935 Vanaria, Louis M ., "The NCSS : A voluntary Organization for Professional Service, Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Columbia University, 1958 Wesley, Edgar, Teaching the Social Studies, Boston, D C Heath and Co ., 1942 6 4


Theory and Research in Social Education Fall, 1980, Volume 8, Number 3, pp 65-88 € by The College and University Faculty Assembly of The National Council for the Social Studies The Conventional Historians of the Social Studies Paul Robinson The University of Arizona Over the past several years a modest surge of interest has developed in what we might call the history-or more broadly, the foundations-of the social studies as a curriculum field Barth and Shermis have led the way with their studies of traditions in the social studies, and others have followed A special interest group devoted to foundational studies has been formed within the National Council for the Social Studies Sharing in this recent interest, I became curious about what existed previously, what constituted the historical interpretations of the social studies prior to the 1970s This interest was spurred on by a passage written by Hazel Hertzberg (1971, p 2), in which she claimed that the social studies are extraordinarily poor in historical accounts and interpretations The evolution of the social studies has remained largely neglected as a subject of historical inquiry And so I was led into a study of the historiography of the field In the review of a broad range of historical social studies literature -including methods textbooks, research monographs, the views of social studies educators as expressed through journal articles, bibliographies, "great books" lists, and so forth, as well as interpretations found in general educational histories-it became apparent that three men were most responsible for establishing the framework within which we have conceived the social studies The primary works of these three educators, Henry Johnson, Rolla Tryon, and Edgar Wesley, were published (or in Johnson's case, revised) L 6 5


within a five-year period during the Depression years and formed a pervasive insiders' view which has yet to be superceded Their conventional view, as I have termed it, has persisted over several decades without successful challenge The intent of this paper is to portray briefly the men who fostered the conventional interpretation and the extent of their influence, to describe the interpretation's characteristics and its purposes, to trace its story line, and to analyze its capacity for resolving key questions in the curriculum's development The Historians Born Henrik Johnson in 1867 in Sweden, Johnson moved with his family to Sauk Centre, Minnesota, where his teacher "Americanized" his name at age nine Before ending up at Columbia University, he interspersed his own education with teaching at various levels Under the influence of James Harvey Robinson, he devoted himself to historical study and finally accepted a position as Professor of History at Teachers College, Columbia University, even though he decided to forego his doctor's degree Under the inspiration and on the invitation of President Nicholas Murray Butler, Johnson wrote his textbook on the teaching of history, published in 1915, and with Butler's encouragement, completed a revised edition twenty-five years later Much influenced by Robinson and by four months' of rigorous study at the Sorbonne with Professors Langlois and Seignobos, he believed that "the greatest contribution which history could make to education was to be found in the ideals of historical scholarship" (Johnson, 1943, p 201) Rolla Milton Tryon was born in 1875 in Knox County, Indiana, and lived out his life in Indiana and Illinois He graduated from Indiana State Normal School in 1902 and earned his Doctor of Philosophy degree at the University of Chicago thirteen years later In the interim he worked as an elementary and secondary school principal and high school history teacher He spent his academic career as Professor of the Teaching of History at the University of Chicago Having been appointed chairman of an advisory curriculum committee to the American Historical Association's Commission on the Social Studies in the Schools, Tryon was the logical choice to undertake the study of curricular organization which was published in 1935 as The Social Sciences as School Subjects The third and perhaps most influential historical interpreter of the social studies has been Edgar B Wesley Born in 1891 in the hills of Kentucky, he too, like Johnson and Tryon, interspersed his education with stints of teaching in high schools and academies After receiving his doctor's degree in history in 1929, he was hired by A C Krey, Director of the American Historical Association's Investigation of the Social Studies in the Schools, to work on test construction for the Commission Krey subsequently recommended Wesley to the Dean of Education at the University of Minnesota, who hired him as a Professor of Education While at the University of Minnesota, he wrote his text for the teaching of social studies methods courses in colleges and universities In addition to his textbook writing Wesley has also written varied works in history and the history of education and has 6 6


served as a long-time guiding force in the National Council for the Social Studies (Heiss, 1967) .Until recently the only book-length inquiries into the history of the social studies were Henry Johnson's An Introduction to the History of the Social Sciences in Schools (1932) and Rolla M Tryon's The Social Sciences as School Subjects (1935), both sponsored by the American Historical Association's Commission on the Social Studies The other major source of interpretation has been the summaries of the field's development offered as background material in methods textbooks Clearly the most influential of these in the past half century have been Henry Johnson's Teaching of History in Elementary and Secondary Schools (1915, 1940) and Edgar B Wesley's Teaching the Social Studies (1937) Patterns of Influence Other men and other works have played important roles in forming the meaning of the social studies and in the historiography of the field Paul Hanna, Erling Hunt, and National Society for the Study of Education yearbooks come readily to mind What evidence then exists that a conventional interpretation, largely shaped by Johnson, Tryon and Wesley has in fact characterized the evolution of the social studies? In the material examined, it is these three men who have consistently received generous recognition for their work, from each other as well as from others When Johnson's 1915 volume appeared, it received generally favorable comment Professor Wayland J Chase (1915, pp 265-66) wrote that "more than any other American writer he [Johnson] has'acquainted himself with the long history of the teaching of history, and his breadth of learning in this field gives unique value to the book . His work . clearly takes front rank in this field of professional literature ." Another reviewer found it to be "the most important contribution to the voluminous literature of historical pedagogy which has appeared since the publication of Professor H E Bourne's The Teaching of History and Civics in 1902" (McKinley, 1916, p 333) More recently, Ralph Adams Brown (1970, p 818) claimed that when the book first appeared "Henry Johnson possessed more knowledge and understanding of both the past and the current problems and developments of social studies teaching than any living American ." Brown quoted a 1941 review of the revised edition : The wide range of the author's knowledge of the history of the teaching of social studies is evident in every paragraph, and, he is able to clarify our present condition by a perspective that is immensely useful in, trying to understand where we are now and where we are headed . All of the new book is infused with a subtle, wry humor that those who know Henry Johnson will recognize as an essential part of the personality of a truly great teacher (p 818) Wesley (1970, p 815) considered Johnson's 1915 volume an outstanding and enduring social studies book, "even though Johnson never accepted the field of the social studies ." 6 7


Edwin Carr (1965, p 2n) credits Tryon with the "best single account of the development of the social studies curriculum up to about 1930," and acknowledges that his own account "draws heavily" on Tryon's book Gross and Cruikshanks (1958, p 82) describe it as "the most valuable single reference on the history of the social studies curriculum up to the 1930's ." Contemporary reviews indicate the flavor of its reception : "It is a painstaking and clear exposition of data collected from many sources ." "It assembles and organizes a vast array of information ." "Developments are generally summarized objectively rather than explained and interpreted . Though we are left with a picture of confusion, the analysis of a mass of sources . put students of history and social-science teaching much in Tryon's debt ." "In this volume, unlike many others in the Report of the Commission on the Social Studies, there is little place for controversy The method used in the preparation of the book is historical . [S]ince the author of the volume was chosen because of this leadership in the field and since the book is an individually signed volume, the author might well have assumed the role of critic and teacher in addition to that of narrator ." The tendency of the reviewers, in short, was to express appreciation for the monumental labor involved in gathering the material, but to chide Tryon for not contributing more interpretation or analysis of his own Quillen and Hanna's popular textbook (1948, p 481) praises Tryon's book for providing a comprehensive history of the teaching of the social studies in American schools A 1938 article in Review of Educational Research similarly appreciated Tryon's work (Wilson, 1938, p 69) Johnson's bibliographic notation on The Social Sciences as School Subjects was : "Historical account of the contributions in the United States Throws new light on the early teaching of history in America Contains an exhaustive description of committee reports" (1940, p 403) Wesley (1946, pp 35, 133) thought the book to be a "detailed and extensive history of the social studies curriculum, . the authoritative history of the social studies curriculum ." Reaching an influential audience of educators, the first edition of the Encyclopedia of Educational Research (1941, pp 1155, 1131) contained an article on the social studies co-authored by Wesley in which he contributed the section on the development of the social studies and acknowledged that it was "based mainly on Tryon ." Through its widespread adoption by colleges and universities, Wesley's methods textbook has probably reached more people than either Johnson's text or Tryon's history Even other methods texts cite Wesley on the history of the social studies curriculum Erling M Hunt's review (1938, p 137) concluded that "the background and present status of the social studies are, then, effectively presented . Dr Wesley makes no pretense of breaking new ground . He has, however, very effectively surveyed and synthesized the very numerous and scattered writings on the social studies ." One reviewer judged that "a comparison with the treatment of similar topics in such well-known works as those of Johnson, Tryon, and Bining does not reveal any such striking additions or improvement as to justify the supersession of those works" (Abraham, 1938, p 135) But it did outsell them, 6 8


so that by 1951 it had become "long the standard textbook in the field" (Carr, 1965, p 100) Tryon's review of Teaching the Social Studies found it to be a "wellbalanced volume written by a well-known author-a volume that will do much to restore sanity in a field heavily encumbered with pet notions and unbalanced schemes" (1950, pp 630-31) Johnson (1940, pp 402, 414) considered the book an "able and very comprehensive treatise . Encyclopedic in scope, thoroughly well-informed, critical, but eminently fair ." The mutually supporting works of Johnson, Tryon, and Wesley, then, became the commonly accepted basis upon which professional notions of the social studies' historical development have rested Characteristics of the Conventional View The conventional perspective became so commonly accepted that its structure has tended to dominate the perception of historical development and to modulate background assumptions wherever social studies is discussed Its discernible characteristics include the following : (1) it tends to break down the field by means of the individual social sciences and to examine each one's chronological development and inclusion in the school curriculum in turn ; (2) its chief sources of data are the reports of national organizations and scholarly surveys ; (3) by and large its analysis is one of internal development and only incidentally of relation to a broader historical framework ; (4) progress is typically understood in terms of increased rationalization and systematization of curricular organization ; and (5) the primary purposes ascribed to the social studies evince a persistent tension between citizenship goals and intellectual aims Johnson, Wesley, and Tryon's histories were written so that any changes in curriculum would rest upon a "clear and comprehensive statement" of past practice as a base Furthermore, constructing a history of social studies development helped to create a collective sense of the past, a reigning ideology, which social studies educators believed was quite necessary to assist in stabilizing a curriculum area which they perceived as frequently distended, chaotic, and insecure The social studies was to be considered a part of the patterned, evolutionary advance of American education which Cubberley had described earlier in the century Finally, in addition to background and identification, the conventional view Johnson, Tryon, and Wesley developed provided inspiration and professional uplift for workers within the field Expanding curriculum, growing professionalism, increasingly scientific adjustment to the needs of both students and society, and acceptance as a "mainline" subject marked the history of the social studies The very term was found to be rife with positive meaning by Wesley : "It indicates a wealth of materials, a breadth of interest, an adaptation to pupil needs, a sort of humble approachability that have gradually endeared it to the teacher" (1937, p 5) Johnson, Wesley and Tryon were able to track the origins of the social studies back to the early nineteenth century, and to discover even earlier traces in school curricula For them the story falls roughly into three 6 9


periods The early history of the social studies, lasting until the early 1890s, was an account of how history and the individual social sciences first entered and established themselves in the schools as separate subjects The period from the 1890s to approximately 1920 constituted the era of national committee reports For these social studies educators writing in the late 1930s, the post-World War I years formed a third, distinctive period The Early Period Within the early period of the nineteenth century the growth of the social studies was found to be sporadic and closely tied to two factors : the appearance of textbooks and the influence of college entrance requirements As for the nature of the curriculum itself, they agreed that the subject of history-in particular, political and military history -dominated the textbooks and that textbooks were the curriculum in the nineteenth century It was not uncommon, for example, to find writers of school reports simply listing "Willson's History of the United States" or "Quackenbos' American History for Schools" as the course of study Political science materials and government courses were gradually introduced, but . it is within the bounds of truth to say that the history of the social sciences other than history and civics as subjects of study in the elementary and high schools begins about 1916" (Tryon, 1935, p 334) The development of school subjects during the nineteenth century was difficult for scholars to trace, partially because there was no prominent national institution providing a single curricular model and conceptual scheme upon which to focus, and partially because a consensus concerning what was to be taught seems to have existed and did not have to be made explicit (Elson, 1959 ; Brownscombe, 1908) It was not until the last decade of the century that the emergence of professional academic organizations led to the promotion of social studies programs that were rationally patterned and national in scope The Era of National Committee Reports For the conventional historians the 1890s ushered in a "period of genuine curriculum development" in contrast to the haphazard efforts of the preceding decades Growth of professional interest in secondary education culminated in the committee activity of this period Wesley (1937) outlined the process : Beginning in 1892, various organizations of national scope started the practice of surveying existing curricula, deciding upon desirable modifications, and recommending a more or less specific program to the schools . These national organizations usually appointed a committee to study a particular problem or aspect of the curriculum The report of the committee was then accepted and published by the organization In this manner the National Education Association, the American Historical Association, and the American Political Science Association have exerted tremendous influence on the social studies curriculum (pp 89-90) Thus, for a generation after 1890, making curriculum involved a "meeting 7 0


of scholars and the recording of what they thought children should study" (Wesley, 1968, p 99) "The efforts in behalf of the social sciences as school subjects of certain educational, professional, academic, and welfare societies, associations, and leagues of national scope have been both continuous and strenuous for the past forty years," reported Tryon (1935, p 4) "The results of these efforts have been by no means meager ." It should be noted, however, that from these historians' point of view, the seizure of the social studies by organizations of national scope was by no means an unalloyed advance Tryon and Wesley both reacted vigorously : "So it was during these years [1890s]," said Tryon (1935, p 162), "that the courses in history in the high schools of the country began to be handed down from above, something from which the schools have been trying to escape ever since ." "The humiliating delusion of the 1890s that the historians knew what history should be taught and at what grade level each course should be given has descended upon us again with all the vitality of error," said Wesley (1967, p 6) In fact, Wesley saw the development of the social studies from 1916 on as in large part the displacement of academics by practicing teachers taking control of curriculum-making (1946, pp 127, 131) Since one of the organizations involved in these "continuous and strenuous" efforts, the American Historical Association, was sponsoring the entire series of which Tryon's book was one volume, it seemed appropriate to him to devote the first substantial section of his book to a consideration of the Association's (and other organizations') labor in behalf of social sciences In an earlier book Tryon had claimed that a "knowledge of [each of the reports of the five committees which had appeared in the field of history since 1893] is necessary to an adequate understanding of the states through which the present course of study in the elementary and secondary schools have gone" (1921, p 279) Some present-day social studies educators who press for various reforms contend that the high school social studies program still is largely shaped by the recommendations of the 1892, 1899, Sand 1916 committee reports (Quillen, 1966, p 279) The two principal organizations interested in this sort of work were the National Education Association and the American Historical Association The N .E .A entered the field first, and its two most prominent reportsboth parts of more general secondary school curriculum studies-serve to bracket this middle period of curriculum history At its 1892 meeting the National Education Association appointed a Committee of Ten to undertake an extensive, formal study of secondary school curricula-the first such major, national review in American education The Committee in turn called a series of nine conferences in different curriculum areas The Conference on History, Civil Government, and Political Economy met at its first and only session in Madison, Wisconsin, in December, 1892 Its recommendations were incorporated in the Report of the Committee of Ten on Secondary School Subjects, which was published by the United States Bureau of Education in 1893 and by the 7 1


American Book Company in the following year All the conferences were asked to respond to a set of questions dealing with different aspects of the subject matter and the relation of school subjects to college entrance requirements, a controversial issue at the time The history conference asked for eight consecutive years of history in an effort to put the subject on a par with other branches of school learning, but had to be satisfied with a lesser amount The other eight conferences also claimed substantial amounts of instructional time Still, according to Johnson (1940, pp 58, 136), the Committee's report "placed before the general educational public for the first time in America a history program approaching in completeness programs for more than fifty years familiar in Europe," and it "indicated clearly the possibility of more history for the high school ." From Wesley's point of view, it served to strengthen the educational leadership of the National Education Association and had some specific effects upon the curriculum (Wesley, 1937, p 91) Tryon found in the report "the beginning of a great deal that now exists in elementary and secondary history" (1935, p 279) He collected a "small amount of objective evidence which indicates that the proposals of the Conference were favorably received" (1935, p 12) Following the sponsorship of two less influential committee reports only peripherally related to the social studies, the National Education Association was "content to leave to other groups active and constructive work on content and method in elementary and secondary education" (Tryon, 1935, p 15) Wesley assessed this contentment somewhat more negatively : "The promising beginning of 1892 was lost and the National Educational Association forfeited its leadership in the social studies to the American Historical Association for nearly twenty years" (1937, p 92) Barely a decade old, the AHA began in 1896 to sponsor committees to report on the teaching of history in the schools Its Committee of Seven, appointed in that year, made a comprehensive study of history in the secondary schools here and in Europe and submitted its report in 1898 It was published the next year as The Study of History in Schools and was reprinted nine times by 1915 The Committee of Seven recommended four blocks of history as the suitable program for all high school students : Ancient History, Medieval and Modern European History, English History, and American History and Civil Government The document discussed values of historical study, proper methods, and related topics as well For the chroniclers of the social studies, this report overshadowed all previous ones in importance Johnson (1940, p 59) declared it to be "the ablest document relating to history for schools that had ever been produced in America ." Wesley (1937, p 93) waxed even more eulogistically that "the most influential report ever prepared in the field of the social studies curriculum was published in 1899 . ." The Committee of Seven's report exerted a massive influence on the high school social studies curriculum for nearly a quarter of a century "The blocks recommended by the Committee of Seven became, within a few years, the units most generally recognized both in high school courses of study and in requirements for entrance to college . textbooks writers 7 2


almost universally adopted the regular blocks, and most teachers, of necessity, followed the textbooks" (Johnson, 1915, pp 146, 147) Tryon (1935, p 22 ; 1921, p 279) reported that "for at least two decades after its appearance, high-school courses in history in the United States were almost 100 per cent dictated by it In fact even today [1935], more than a generation after the publication of the report, its influence is dominant in probably one-third of the high schools of the country ." In the American Historical Association's 1917 Annual Report, Tryon attributed the Committee's influence to its lengthy devotion to its task : "The work of the Committee of Seven amounted to something because the members devoted four or five years to the work ; that is why its work has been so influential" (p 231) For Wesley (1937, pp 96-7), "the National Education Association appears almost to have abdicated its leadership in the field of the social studies during the period from 1897 to 1916 In 1912, however, it reasserted its leadership by taking steps toward the creation of the Commission on the Reorganization of Secondary Education ." One of the seventeen committees comprising the Commission was the Committee on Social Studies It issued three small documents : a preliminary statement by its chairman in 1913 ; a pamphlet on the teaching of community civics in 1915 ; and its final report, which appeared in 1916 as a United States Bureau of Education Bulletin, The Social Studies in Secondary Education The Committee's recommendations resist simple summary They were, in contrast to previous reports, adjustable with respect to grade placement and allotment The Committee drew heavily on the historical perspective of Professor James Harvey Robinson, a member of the Committee, and on the psychological and educational viewpoints of John Dewey Johnson, writing in 1915, observed on the basis of the preliminary report that the Committee on Social Studies had been "called into being" by a "movement" just then reaching fruition Although he expressed frequent disapproval of the lack of a historical sense in the final report, he conceded in 1940 that "what the trend of the times demanded seemed to be correctly interpreted by the Committee on Social Studies" (p 63) Tryon was of the opinion that "it would be difficult to overstate the influence of the report" : . Three practices now very common may be traced directly to it One of these is the practice in a multitude of present-day schools of offering a course in problems of American democracy Another relates to the common use of the expression"social studies ." While the Committee did not originate this expression, it did give it respectability, thus assuring it a place in the vocabulary of a great many school people The third is the one-year course in early European history (1935, pp 20-21) "Perhaps the history of American education," averred Wesley, "affords no other instance in which so unpretentious a booklet [as the final report] has wielded so great an influence upon the curriculum ." He went on to summarize the report's effects : 7 3


It restored the National Education Association to a position of leadership It gave currency and respectability to the phrase "social studies ." It went far toward destroying the notion that school subjects must faithfully and fully reflect the scholarly bodies of materials from which they are drawn It did much to popularize the needs of pupils and to emphasize the desirability of providing for pupil growth rather than of merely storing up information for the future It demonstrated that a national committee could safely recommend new and relatively untried courses And it had considerable effect in loosening the rigid control which the colleges exercised over the high schools by means of entrance requirements (1937, p 98) The focus had shifted from the scholar and the university to the pupil and the school Johnson, Tryon, and Wesley advanced a number of explanations for the development of the social studies curriculum as sketched above and for the influence commanded by these associational reports Wesley offered a rather thorough, if generalized, list of "factors and influences" : Past and current educational theories and practices, philosophies of education, psychological theories, moral and religious beliefs, customs and traditions, social ideas and ideals, economic theories, political doctrines, textbooks, statutory requirements, standards of scholarship, national ideals, and the pronounced opinions of leaders are some of the factors that affect the content of the curriculum While some of these factors are the specific concern of certain groups, most of them, prior to 1892, operated in more or less unorganized and unformulated freedom, finding sporadic expression through various channels . Since [the organizations which began sponsoring the committee reports in 1892] were, for the most part, composed of serious and professionally minded persons, their reports soon came to be highly respected and widely accepted (1937, p 89) In addition to the personal qualities of the organizations' members, Wesley also attributed the success of these reports (in particular, the Committee of Ten Report) to three factors : "(1) the inclusive scope of their problem, namely, the secondary field, (2) the specificity of their recommendations, and (3) the availability of their report" (1937, p 92) Further on (p 125), Wesley concluded, "Reports of learned organizations were received somewhat willingly and appreciatively by school people Appearing before the scientific movement in education had reached any great proportions, these reports found a receptive hearing ." Thus the formula for success might be summarized as follows : Prominent scholars, seeking to keep the school curriculum in touch with what they see as dominant educational trends, supported by prominent professional sponsoring groups, treating a curriculum area broadly and thoroughly, and making the results widely available to an audience hungry for orderly development will exert a tremendous influence on the development of that curriculum area 7 4


"The Revolt from the Status Quo" The 1916 report and the movement it represented were viewed by the three, historians as opening a new period in the history of the social studies It led to a fragmentation of development, a return to rather sporadic, chaotic, local curriculum-making (Wesley, 1968, pp 16-17) It signalled the beginning of history's demise within the social studies curriculum and the ascendency of educators over social scientists and historians (Johnson, 1940, p 74) The confused era which followed was further marked by increased emphasis on the social nature of schooling and by concerted attempts to objectify the curriculum As Tryon (1935, pp 54-55) reported it, "the small snowball of objectivity" in determining minimum essentials in history, which began in 1915, became by 1925 "a huge mass of incoherent factual material ." Johnson (1940, p 72) saw the post-war development proceeding in unfortunate directions "The social studies movement acquired new force and soon led to a confusion greater than that reported by the Committee of Seven in 1899 . School programs in the social studies actually approximated chaos both in their diversity of labels and in their widely different combination of materials ." Tryon captioned the section of his study on the period after 1920, "The Revolt from the Status Quo : The Period of Experimentation, Diversity, and Confusion ." He determined that : . after the year 1916, the chief question among those in charge of history in the secondary school was, "Shall we join the revolters or stand pat on the four-block system of the Committee of Seven?" Needless to say, some joined the revolters ; some stood pat ; and a few even dared to do a little thinking of their own, setting up experiments in fields that had never been recommended by a committee representing a learned society-for example, world history (1935, p 208) Tryon documented a similar revolution occurring in the "subject-matter spirit, and method" of civics (p 297) Although Wesley held a more favorable attitude than Johnson toward the social studies movement in general and the 1916 report in particular, he could agree with Johnson's "confusion and chaos" characterization for the post-war period The Commission on the Social Studies was formed by the American Historical Association in the mid-twenties in response to "many disquieting facts about social studies teaching" revealed in an inquiry directed by Edgar Dawson in 1924 (Wesley, 1937, p 106) According to Wesley (1937, p 125), "the Report [of this Commission] appeared during a period of educational diversity amounting almost to confusion The lack of any accepted standards for the social studies curriculum had caused many to hope for rather definitive pronouncements by the Commission and subsequent clarification of the situation ." Unlike earlier groups, however, the Commission declined to recommend a definite social studies program for the schools Speaking of earlier reports, Wesley (1937, p 90) argued that "the wisdom of occasional inventories and proposed programs has been generally recognized throughout the educational world They are likely to 7 5


continue until some more expeditious procedure has been devised ." However, no more expeditious procedure was devised, and as it became clear that national committee reports could no longer command the attention or the following of the 1892, 1899, and 1916 reports, Wesley's prediction was dropped in the 1950 edition of his textbook While there had been repeated calls over the years for some sort of renewed national effort to develop a social studies curriculum, no such attempt has matched the stature or influence of the reports just described Analysis of the Conventional View The facts presented in Johnson's, Tryon's, and Wesley's accounts, which have been summarized in the preceding pages, are not in question Filtered through these historians' frame of reference, they form one means of understanding the social studies' development This conventional view, however, is not all-inclusive It makes some assumptions and denies others It examines and incorporates a wide range of evidence but ignores other sources Like all history it was written in the spirit of its own time If a historical interpretation of a curriculum area is to aid our understanding satisfactorily, it must address itself at least to several interconnected questions relating to context and control, purpose, and consequences A historical account of an institution or cultural artifact can only construct myths if it ignores the social order within which such phenomena arose What were the cultural circumstances which prompted the development of a national conception of the social studies? Who was to be involved in making decisions about the curriculum? What goals was the social studies to serve? What outcomes resulted from the growth of the social studies? The Social Context of the Social Studies In general, the scope of the conventional viewpoint has been too narrow to incorporate an analysis of the relations of the developing social studies to its educational and social context The historians tended to mention a few factors in such relationships without detailing the nature of the interactions For example, one important set of issues in the early twentieth century was the reforms called for by changes in the number and character of the student population In 1890 there were two hundred thousand pupils attending high school A decade later there were more than half a million By 1912 over one million pupils were enrolled in high schools Johnson (1940, p 85) noted in passing that complications for the question of what to teach in the secondary schools were caused by their rapidly multiplying enrollment But he neither explained the nature of the complications nor clarified whether it was the sheer increase in numbers or the further diversity of the newcomers which caused complications Elsewhere Johnson alluded to America's democratic ideology as restraining the program in school history He found European nations' history programs superior to American programs for several reasons, among which he included : 7 6


In Europe programs for secondary schools can be formulated on the assumption that pupils are qualified for serious study Those who lack either taste or ability for learning will presumably not be encouraged to remain Our general theory has been that classes and masses do not exist, that there should be one kind of instruction good alike for those who have the desire and the ability to learn and for those who have not, good alike for boys and for girls, good alike for those who drop out at the end of the elementary period or earlier, and for those who go on to the high school (1915, pp 157-58) The implication was that by ignoring the existence of "classes and masses" educators were failing to differentiate what to teach on the basis of perfectly rational criteria which properly subdivided pupils He may have been referring to the Committee of Ten Report at this point, for one of the important questions the Committee asked its subject-matter conferences to respond to was the possibility of class education But Johnson at no point discussed the issue clearly and directly Burgeoning enrollment was not the only change in education which, Johnson believed, had forced changes in the social studies program He also included the continuing adjustments sought between the schools and colleges and internal changes in school organization, for example, the development of the junior high school in the 1910s (1940, pp 56, 63) Johnson was unsympathetic to the Progressives' notion of schools and of the social sciences as important mechanisms in the process of reform Although he was aware that training for social efficiency had become a dominant aim of educational reformers by the second decade of the twentieth century, he scorned the idea of "education through and for the immediate social environment to a degree which subjected history as history to severe questioning ." His subtle, wry humor buffeted reformers who seemed "to carry on life very comfortably with ideas which have been put many times before" (1940, p 62-63) He found it more amenable to cudgel reformers who were attempting to respond to vastly altered conditions of life but who did not share his sense of historical precedent, than to work out for himself new ways for the social studies to foster citizens' participation in the swirl of urban life Above all, Johnson was concerned that the effort to make history and the social studies practical, to make them relevant to existing social and educational conditions, would of necessity plunge them back into the chaos and disorganization from which, in his view, they had recently emerged For him the Committee of Ten had been important for supporting complete history programs and "the vital principle of consecutive study ." Less than a quarter of a century later, "the trends of the times," as he found them correctly interpreted by the Committee on Social Studies, were demanding that "the content of history, like the content of other social studies . be determined by present problems, a bit here and a bit there, taken out as circumstances might call for it ." The results of such wrongheadedness were inevitable : . the social studies movement acquired new force and soon led to a confusion greater than that reported by the Committee of Seven in 7 7


1899 ." By the late 1920s, "leadership had plainly passed to militant educational reformers largely unhampered by scholarship in any of the social studies, apparently unaware of educational precedents, and armed with old principles which were assumed to be original and new and which to a large educational public seemed original, new, and incontrovertible" (1940, pp 62, 58, 65, 72) Tryon's paramount interest, "what has been and is in the realm of the social sciences as school subjects" (1935, p ix), permitted little room for discussion of "why" questions, as several of his reviewers pointed out The "dictates of the scientific method" seemed in this scholar's case to preclude a serious attempt to place the facts he had gathered within a broader historical framework Only in his sections discussing the values claimed for the social sciences as school subjects did he move beyond numbers and per cents to relate his topic to the social order Wesley's stated purpose in writing history was to "trace the main outlines of the growth of the social studies" (1937, p 59) He attributed the popularity of United States history in the first half of the nineteenth century to "a natural expression of the heightening national consciousness of the times," but growth of the history curriculum since that time he reported without explanation (1937, p 62) Wesley's list of factors affecting the curriculum, quoted previously, had the virtue of all-inclusiveness as well as its attendent defects No weights were assigned to any factors, thereby discouraging judgments of relative influence Psychological theories, extant textbooks, standards of scholarship, customs and traditions, philosophies, beliefs-all these and more were pooled together Wesley's point here seemed to be not so much that we should be able to sort out these myriad factors for ourselves, but that we should recognize their problematic character Only when reputable professional organizations entered the field could such unorganized, unfocused, even unrecognized factors be given proper consideration (1937, p 106) As demonstrated by their concentration on the reports of national committees, these historians found them to be the critical factor in influencing the development of the social studies Educational reform comes about through committed leadership taking action, ran the argument, and it was bodies like the National Education Association and the American Historical Association which led the way So, according to the conventional view, the social studies emerged predominantly through the study and work done by learned societies and other groups of a national scope in producing recommendations which subsequently persuaded individual districts, schools, and teachers to modify their practices to conform to the most recent professional wisdom Whatever other educational and social factors might be operative, it was through the medium of professional committees that their impact was articulated, focused, and applied From reading these historians' accounts we gain no sense of the accelerated changes in social and educational thought and in the conditions of ordinary life which might help explain the development of the social studies ; we do, however, discover the mechanism through which these changes were actually thought to impinge upon social studies programs 7 8


Decision-Making in the Curriculum Who controlled the development of the social studies? Wesley (1937, pp 162, 160) wrote that "the schools can hardly set up a program or maintain ideals which are unsanctioned by the society of which they are a part . Educational objectives consist of those purposes which society approves but which can no longer be expeditiously achieved by the home or other social agencies ." But how did Wesley conceive society? Writers, editors, speakers, public officials, advertisers, legislators, textbook writers, boards of education, committees, pressure groups, and all kinds of organizations join, consciously or unconsciously, in the process [of determining objectives] The sum total of these groups equals society Naturally, the more articulate and strategically situated persons exercise the most noticeable influence, but in the long run they, without the approval and sanction of a considerable proportion of the people, are quite powerless to select educational objectives (1937, p 169) In the most general sense, then, the body politic controlled the social studies At a more concrete level, that is in the classroom, it was the teacher who, faced with the realities of the educational process, selected day-by-day objectives and made the multitude of pedagogical decisions which determined what purposes would be realized in practice (Wesley, 1937, p 169) So the professional committees acted as intermediaries, interpreting the ideals and goals of social groups, understanding the intrinsic demands of their subject field, and more or less incorporating the possibilities and limitations presented by school and classroom conditions Ultimately, in the conventional view, this position as a nexus conferred upon the committees power and control over the social studies curriculum While the locus of control seemed to reside in national professional bodies and their committees, Johnson and Wesley noted a major power transfer taking place The period from 1890 to 1920 witnessed the transfer of power from historians as a professional body to school people The earlier committees had been dominated by university professors ; by 1916 those in public school work were in the majority Johnson thought the consequences of such a shift to be unhappy ones "The Report of the Committee on the Social Studies in 1916," he lamented, expressed so well the discontent of the time and gauged so accurately the directions in which relief from "scholarly domination" was being sought, that it marks a turning point in the making of programs and ranks in influence with the Report of the Committee of Seven . The whole framework set up by the Committee for the social studies was in fact an application of the spirit and point of view of community civics, the special field of the compiler of the Report [Arthur William Dunn] (1940, pp 113, 114) 7 9


Wesley, on the other hand, felt the appropriate people had won control : This brief review of the development of the social studies program reveals a prolonged conflict between the proponents of formal, organized content of an adult type and the defenders of children The educators and teachers are winning the battle The era during which a group of scholars could meet for a conference and draw up a program for pupils has passed The teacher has assumed the responsibility of writing the program (1946, p 131) Purposes for the Social Studies Richard Gross has stated that "conditions in the nation favored the acceptance of the social studies," and that the untypically rapid acceptance of the social studies by the country's schools "reflects the urgent need for these learnings" (Encyclopedia of Educational Research, 3d ed ., p 1298) But what were these urgently needed learnings which the social studies was to promote? This question in turn raises the issue of purpose Toward what ends was the social studies to be directed? The historians of the conventional view devoted a good deal of space to the topic of the historically ascribed purposes of the developing social studies Statements of purpose, expressed in terms of aims and objectives, were found to be anchored in the values for education which the social sciences as school subjects were thought to possess Tryon in particular traced the values claimed for the social sciences He determined that an important factor in replacing traditional values for history with newer ones after the turn of the century was the downfall of one school of psychology, faculty psychology, and the acceptance by many people in the field of education of what was then referred to as specific-habit psychology In place of earlier claims for history as a discipliner of the mind, advanced by the Committee of Ten and the Committee of Seven, came comprehensive claims for citizenship and social utility expressed in the 1916 Report Johnson too acknowledged the altered temper of purpose by the 1910s a strenuous push to make citizenship the distinctive aim of the social studies ; a rush to satisfy the "felt needs of the child" ; the doctrine of education through and for the immediate social environment ; in sum, education for social usefulness-but he refused to submit to it He and the others were sensitive to the fact that by 1910 the aims publicly stated for the social sciences tended to be too numerous, too undifferentiated in importance, too often unreachable, and too closely identifiable with general educational objectives to allow a useful assessment of their proper role in the schools Johnson agreed that claims for the value of historical instruction had become exaggerated Yet his argument for history in the schools, while ultimately functional, rested on a carefully reasoned discussion of the enduring values of history regardless of questions of immediate social relevance (1940, pp 117-18) History had for Johnson a valuable method and a concept (the idea of development) to offer To the extent that the various committee reports approached the question of purpose and value from this side of history, he found them progressive To the extent they approached 8 0


the question from the side of pupil interest and social environment -to the extent controlling aims were determined by psychology and educational philosophy, to the extent the value of history was judged in relation to serving extrinsic, predetermined aims-they were retrograde Wesley's treatment of the purpose of the social studies concentrated on the relation of social objectives to educational objectives Educational objectives had to be in the long run "in conformity with but not necessarily identical with social objectives . Society decides what shall be taught . Public education implies a public investment for public good . We too must adapt ourselves, willy-nilly, to changing ideals and purposes" (1937, pp 162, 163, 165) Tryon applied Wesley's argument to a consideration of the chief values claimed over time for history as a school subject He demonstrated that the claims were "products of the time in which they arose" (1935, p 86) The values of the social sciences were malleable enough to serve whatever purposes the prevailing sentiment required For example, there had not existed in nineteenth-century educational literature a strong tie between school history and citizenship Tryon determined, however, that the claim of citizenship-value for history in the late 1800s "greatly enhanced its prospects as a school subject at a time When it needed vigorous support to make substantial headway While no one seemed to be able to specify the qualities of a good citizen, it was felt that in some unexplainable way history had large value in the making of something of which no one knew the chief characteristics" (Tryon, 1935, pp 83-4) "Just as in Gilbert and Sullivan's comic opera `The Mikado,' the punishment of offenders was made to fit the crime, so it was with the values of history between 1900 and 1920 They were made to fit the time" (Tryon, 1935, p 87) Tryon made similar demonstrations for the other social sciences The social studies may have contained intrinsic merit such as Johnson imputed to historical instruction, but in its development it was found to be a chameleon, adjusting its attributed values to the temporally discovered purposes required by its surroundings Consequences of the Social Studies When we study any event or movement in history we naturally ask what were its consequences, the results of its appearance From the conventional historians' point of view, what were the results of rapidly forging a curriculum area in which great numbers of young people came to receive instruction? To be sure, this is a most difficult and complex question, intimately connected to the question of purpose On the one hand it could be asked how well the social studies achieved its stated purposes ; on the other, inquiry could be conducted into any consequences not foreseen or intended by the developers Or the problem could be broken down by trying to sort out the effects of emerging social studies programs on teachers, schools, social scientists, students, community, and society However historians might decide to deal with such questions, the problem of assessing results appeared insurmountable Tryon maintained that : 8 1


No one to date has ever been able to prove by means of objective data that history has any value in the education of youth To secure objective data on a problem of such a subjective nature seems beyond the ingenuity of investigators Before one could demonstrate quantitatively the contributions of history, for example, to the making of good citizens, one would have to secure data on two groups of citizens -one that had never been exposed to history as a school subject and one that had been Granting that an investigator could secure two such groups, he would still face the problem of determining objectively the qualities of a good citizen Could these qualities be determined, he would still be confronted with the elusive question of the contributions of history to the good citizen's qualities There seems to be no limit to the difficulties that one would encounter in his efforts to determine objectively the specific values of history in the education of youth (1935, p 76) Wesley forthrightly stated the situation : public education implies a public investment for public good : If this "great investment" is to pay dividends, they must show up in a generation of adults who have acquired, partly because of the work of the schools, a keener social consciousness In fact, free public schools were established, not to facilitate the success of individuals as individuals, but to strengthen and promote the larger social good (1937, p 163) Unhappily, though, these dividends in the form of a generation's keener social consciousness seemed to be as untraceable to social studies education as the making of good citizens was to the study of history Toward the end of the nineteenth century the content of social studies courses still consisted of information about society, overwhelmingly information about the past The purposes of social studies courses concentrated on personal objectives leading toward ethical conduct on the part of the individual Yet the relationship between ethical conduct and acquiring information about society remained obscure Professor Adams, a member of the Committee of Seven, complained at a regional professional meeting that You all know very well how our entire system of school training breaks down when it comes into contact with actual life What lawless anarchists schoolboys and college boys are when they break loose in this city of New York! Boys who have been studying the constitutional history of England and the United States seem to know nothing of any system of restraint (Association of Colleges and Preparatory Schools of the Middle States and Maryland, 1898, p 170) Did changes in the social studies which were brought about in the opening years of the twentieth century-expanding offerings, organizing their content and method more rationally, training their teachers more thoroughly-make any difference in the learning and behavior of pupils? There appeared to be no manageable way of finding out Did the "training 8 2


for effective citizenship" which suffused the social studies after 1910 have any effect upon American youth? The success attending these efforts was by no means astounding The fact that it was easier to state high sounding values of a subject of study than to achieve them in actual practice became evident to many "To do" was by no means as easy as "knowing what was best to do ." Indeed, had it been so, desirable changes in many phases of social living would have occurred over night (Tryon, 1935, p 247) Because of the great difficulties involved in measuring the impact of the social studies on students and society, the historians opted in general for modesty and a low profile Eschewing the ambitious and countless goals found in the literature, they were willing to settle for a humbler set of expectations, hedged about with qualifications Wesley put it this way : The social studies probably more than other subjects, have suffered from exaggerated statements of objectives Some of the proponents have claimed that a study of them would do everything from "teaching one to think clearly" to the "reform of the banking system ." The alliterative connection between social problems and social studies has apparently raised in some persons the fond notion that a study of the latter in schools will necessarily lead to the solution of the former Teachers of the social studies need to be aware of those who expect that the mere study of their subjects will effect large social reforms Only reasonable statements, ones which conform to at least potential accomplishments, should be made, for it is certain that the present popularity of the social studies cannot last if the public builds up exaggerated notions of their efficacy (1937, pp 173-4) The historians could locate meager evidence for the effects of the social studies on students and society, but they found a more congenial task in examining the growth of the field itself Quantifiable data were readily obtainable from United States Bureau of Education publications, school reports, and scholarly surveys They all demonstrated the rapid spread of the social studies, whether or not objective estimations of its effects could be made More than sixty-five tables of figures, per cents, lists of textbooks, and any other enumerable materials which had been generated on the social sciences as school subjects filled the, pages of Tryon's volume Although the social studies grew because there seemed to be an urgent need for its learnings, it turned out to be an act of faith that the field was actually conveying such learning Wesley pointed out that research in social studies from the 1890s to around 1916 was characterized by "emphasis upon theories, formal methods, curriculum proposals, statements of general and somewhat unrealistic objectives, and descriptions of extant curriculums" (Encyclopedia of Educational Research, 1st ed ., p 1131) Having discovered the difficulty of making connections between the presentation of information about society and the subsequent social behavior of individuals or groups, those interested in research turned to more congenial efforts They theorized, formalized, or else counted up the considerable quantitative curricular gains the social studies had made from 1890 to 1920 8 3


For all three historians the key ingredient in their writing was the national development of thinking about the social studies "Genuine curriculum development" meant a national effort led by a newly formed and distinct sub-specialty of professionals called social studies educators In effect these historians were describing the growth of specialists like themselves and the changes in rhetoric about their field The actual determinants of curriculum policy-making are varied and difficult to pin down Curriculum theorists are only one set of actors-often not very powerful ones-in the politics of curriculum And yet the chief sources for these historians were the efforts of the national associations and their committees This conventional view of the social studies has provided a conception quite satisfying to most educators Tryon, Wesley, and Johnson wrote of an era marked by occupational groups reaching for professionalization, specialization, rationalization, and national identity In these terms the conventional view portrayed the success of the social studies educators in the same manner that Ellwood P Cubberley portrayed the victory of public schooling in America Conclusion The conventional historians served their field and their time well and honorably They provided a sense of identity, mission, and coherence which had not previously existed But their perspective is no longer adequate by itself Recent work in educational history, broadly labeled as revisionist, has called into question many of the comfortable assumptions and judgments once accepted The writings of Michael Katz, Clarence Karier, and Marvin Lazerson, among others, have revealed a different, more problematic set of meanings which can be fairly applied to the words and actions of late nineteenth and early twentieth century educators The writings of these revisionist historians, however, have focused with much greater intensity on school structure and governance, and on relations between public schooling and the social order, than they have on the meaning and development of specific school curriculum Such scrutiny remains to be done We as teachers and scholars of the social studies share widely held views of the possibilities, limitations, and influence of our field, views formed by the conventional historians to a degree we have not yet plumbed If new interpretations are to enhance our understanding and enrich our moral sense of the purposes and constraints of the social studies, they must readdress the interconnected questions relating to context and control, purposes and consequences What were the cultural circumstances which prompted the development of a national conception of the social studies? Who was to be involved in making decisions about the curriculum? What goals were the social studies to serve? What outcomes resulted from the growth of the social studies? Finding unsatisfactory answers to these questions in the writings of the conventional historians should activate the search for alternative models of understanding 8 4


References Abraham, Herbert J ., Review of Teaching the Social Studies, by Edgar Wesley, in Social Studies, 29 (March, 1938), 135 Alilunas, Leo J ., "The Evolution of the American Secondary-School Social Studies Movement of 1916," Educational Administration and Supervision, 33 (November, 1947), 411-17 Association of Colleges and Preparatory Schools of the Middle States and Maryland, Proceedings of the 12th Annual Convention, (November, 1898), n .p Beard, Charles A ., "The Trend in Social Studies," Historicla Outlook, 20 (December, 1929), 369-72 Brown, Ralph Adams, Review of Teaching of History, by Henry Johnson, Rev ed ., in Social Education, 34, (November, 1970), 818 Brownscombe, Fred J ., State Control of Courses of Study (New York : Silver, Burdett, 1908) t Carr, Edwin R ., The Social Studies (New York : The Center for Applied Research in Education, 1965) Chase, Wayland J ., Review of Teaching of History, by Henry Johnson, in History Teacher's Magazine, 6 (October, 1915), 265-66 Cremin, Lawrence A ., The Wonderful World of Ellwood Patterson Cubberley : An Essay on the Historiography of American Education (New York : Bureau of Publications, Teachers College, Columbia, 1965) Elson, Ruth Miller, "American Schoolbooks and `Culture' in the Nineteenth Century," Mississippi Valley Historical Review, 46 (December, 1959), 411-34 Gross, Richard E ., and Cruickshanks, A Norman, "Development of the Social Studies Curriculum," in Richard E Gross and Leslie D Zeleny (eds .), Educating Citizens for Democracy : Curriculum and Instruction in Secondary Social Studies (New York : Oxford University Press, 1958) Heiss, George D ., "Edgar Bruce Wesley and the Social Studies," Ed .D dissertation, Rutgers-The State University, 1967 Hertzberg, Hazel W ., Historical Parallels for the Sixties and Seventies : Primary Sources and Core Curriculum Revisited Interpretive Series No 1 of the ERIC Clearinghouse for Social Studies/Social Science Education (Boulder, Colorado : Social Science Education Consortium, 1971) Hiner, Norville Ray, Jr ., "The Changing Role of History and Social Sciences in the Schools, 1892-1918," Ph .D dissertation, George Peabody College for Teachers, 1967 Hunt, Erling M ., Review of Teachng the Social Studies, By Edgar B Wesley, in Social Education 2 (February, 1938), 137 Johnson, Henry, Teaching of History in Elementary and Secondary Schools (New York : Macmillan, 1915) Johnson, Henry, An Introduction to the History of the Social Sciences in Schools Report of the Commission on the Social Studies, Part II (New York : Charles Scribner's Sons, 1932) Johnson, Henry, Teaching of History in Elementary and Secondary Schools with Applications to Allied Studies Rev ed (New York : Macmillan, 1940) 8 5


8 6 Johnson Henry, The Other Side of Main Street A History Teacher From Sauk Centre (New York : Columbia University Press, 1943) Jones, Thomas Jesse, "Statement of Chairman of Committee on Social Studies," Preliminary Statements by Chairmen of Committees of the Commission of the National Education Association on the Reorganization of Secondary Education U S Bureau of Education Bulletin 1913, No 41 (Washington, D .C : Government Printing Office, 1913) Krug, Edward A ., The Shaping of the American High School, 1880-1920 (Madison : University of Wisconsin Press, 1969) Lybarger, Michael B ., "Origins and Rationale of the Early Social Studies Curriculum : 1900-1916," Paper presented to the College and University Faculty Assembly of the National Council for the Social Studies, Atlanta, Georgia, November, 1975 McKinley, A E ., Review of Teaching of History, by Henry Johnson, in American Historical Review 21 (January, 1916), 333 National Education Associatin, Report of the Committee of Ten on Secondary School Studies (New York : Ameircan Book Co ., 1894) Quillen, I James, "The Social Studies Program in the Secondary School in the Twentieth Century," in Jonathan C McLendon (ed .), Readings on Social Studies in Secondary Education (New York : Macmillan, 1966) Quillen, I James, and Hanna, Lavone E ., Education for Social Competence : Curriculum and Instruction in Secondary-School Social Studies (Chicago : Scott, Foresman, 1948) The Study of History in Schools Report to the American Historical Association by the Committee of Seven (New York : Macmillan, 1899) Tryon, Rolla M ., The Social Sciences as School Subjects Report of the Commission on the Social Studies, Part XI (New York : Charles Scribner's Sons, 1935) Tryon, Rolla M ., Review of Teaching the Social Studies, by Edgar B Wesley, in Elementary School Journal 38 (April, 1938), 630-31 United States Bureau of Education, The Teaching of Community Civics Bulletin 1915, No 23 (Washington, D .C : Government Printing Office, 1915) United States Bureau of Education, The Social Studies in Secondary Education : A Six Year Program Adapted Both to the 6-3-3 and 8-4 Plans of Organization Report of the Committee on Social Studies of the Commission on the Reorganization of Secondary Education of the National Education Association Arthur William Dunn, complier Bulletin 1916, No 28 (Washingotn, D .C : Government Printing Office, 1916) Wesley, Edgar B ., Teaching the Social Studies (Boston : D C Heath, 1937) (Subsequent editions in 1942, 1950, 1958, 1964 and 1973) Wesley, Edgar B ., with the advice and assistance of Mary A Adams, Teaching the Social Studies in Elementary Schools (Boston : D C Heath, 1946 ; Rev ed ., 1952 ; 3rd ed ., 1968) Wesley, Edgar B ., "Let's Abolish History Courses," Phi Delta Kappan 48 (September, 1967), 3-8 Wesley, Edgar B ., Review of Teaching of History, by Henry Johnson, in Social Education 34 (November, 1970), 815


Wiebe, Robert H ., The Search for Order, 1877-1920 (New York : Hill and Wang, 1967) Wilson, Howard E ., "Social Studies," Review of Educational Research 8 (February, 1938), 67-73 8 7


Theory and Research in Social Education Fall 1980, Volume 8, Number 3, pp 89-104 by The College and University Faculty Assembly of The National Council for the Social Studies Problems of Democracy : The Revisionist Plan for Social Studies Education H Wells Singleton The University of Toledo Introduction The evolution of the social studies was promoted and sustained by revisionists who sought major changes in the direction of the social science curriculum Both individually and collectively revisionists actively attempted to focus attention on the need for change in the traditional curriculum The views held by revisionists generally focused on the actual study of society as a means of preparing young people in citizenship education Revisionists created a new course, problems of democracy, which became a vehicle to bring about desired changes in the social studies curriculum Throughout the comparatively short history of the social studies curriculum revisionists espoused viewpoints which provided the thrust necessary to sustain the problems of democracy course and the social studies curriculum during times of controversy and waning interest Two main events precipitated the development of the social studies curriculum, the changing role of historians and changes made in college entrance requirements Revisionist Plans for the Study of History Prior to the turn of the century the social science curriculum was dominated by history Course content was dictated by college entrance requirements which demanded strict adherence to traditional history offerings Usually, world history, study of civilization and American history were required for college entrance The American Historical Association was recognized as the organization which possessed the authority to change the high school curriculum, since most prominent historians were members of 8 9


the Association Thus, the high school offerings in history relied on the AHA for support and direction The AHA membership had advocated a traditional, one-dimensional approach to the teaching of history The prevalent view was that historians were chroniclers of history and the chief means of transferring the chronicles was the textbook The historian-as-chronicler view was seriously challenged during the early part of the century by a small but articulate group of historians and public school administrators Perhaps the most articulate advocate of this "new history" was James Harvey Robinson While Robinson was primarily a university teacher specializing in the field of European history, he was a respected scholar capable of exerting significant influence on his colleagues at the college level as well as on the public school teacher That Robinson was a revisionist there is little doubt He confirmed it himself in an issue of The Nation in 1922 when he issued a plea for an educational and social period when minds able to solve the problems of the times would be produced "Robinson's beliefs centered on three sources : his desire to improve the teaching of history, his own careful historical investigation, and lastly his belief that the historian should apply, on behalf of social betterment, the vast quantities of new knowledge being revealed by the allied science of man" (Hendricks, 1946 ; pp 21-22) Robinson focused attention on the historian role when he recommended the teaching of a division of world history "from a European standpoint since the middle of the eighteenth century . designed to first and foremost explain the great problems of the present" (Robinson, 1905 ; p 37) He further advocated a rearrangement of history offerings to permit the study of recent history to include some attention to problems of the present Robinson attempted to move educators away from a total reliance on the textbook and into the community He stressed the use of history to examine the present As Hendricks has stated : Robinson emphasized the fact that history was not investable but rather a subject that should be changed to suit the needs and requirements of our present age Therefore, educators should abandon the traditional concepts of history in developing a program of historical study and should aim to present those facts from the past which help the students understand the present Moreover, historical study should attempt to interpret the past for the benefit of the present and for the high purpose of aiding social progress (Hendricks, 1946 ; p 51) Robinson served on the key committee charged with the responsibility of closely examining the curriculum and college entrance requirements ; he served on or otherwise directly influenced the several committees concerned with history offerings during the period 1893-1920 His influence was widespread Closely paralleling Robinson's ideas for history as a relevant subject were the ideas of a practitioner in the field When Thomas Jesse Jones, another early revisionist, first coined the term "the social studies" at the turn of the century, he had a vision of some magnitude for his students at Hampton Institute In his work with Indian 9 0


and black students, Jones stated that Hampton Institute was . much more influenced by the actual need of the students than by any theoretical or traditional ideas in education" (Jones, 1905 ; p 688) Hampton was well ahead of its time in establishing a curriculum in social studies rather than the traditional social sciences and histories Where most institutions of higher education relied on a basic curriculum with heavy historical emphasis, Hampton stepped forward under the capable guidance of Jones, with the needs of students in mind, to investigate current societal needs and problems (Jones, 1906 ; p 49) Revisionist Ideas in Committees for School Reform The revisionists were linked in 1916 with the appointment of Robinson to the Bureau of Education social studies committee chaired by Jones Twelve of the nineteen committee members were public school personnel, particularly central office decision-makers The roots of the committee membership are significant in light of the then-heated controversy raging between public school officials and college admissions personnel ; the former were attempting to release themselves and their curriculum from the shackles imposed by the latter group regarding college admission requirements Much of the secondary school curriculum was directly affected by college entrance requirements Any changes in the secondary school curriculum would of necessity either have to conform to the existing college entrance requirements or attempt to change the requirements in order to add some credibility to the courses Thus, most of the committees organized prior to 1900 dealt almost exclusively with the high school curriculum and its relationship to college entrance requirements The Committee of Ten was organized by the National Education Association and charged with the responsibility of organizing conferences to discuss the various subjects that entered . into the requirements for admission to college" (NEA Report, 1893 ; p 46) The Conference on History, Civil Government, and Political Economy met at Madison, Wisconsin, in December, 1892 The Madison Conference, as it was popularly called, issued its report which, in the words of one favorably impressed recorder, . placed before the general educational public for the first time in America, a history program approaching in completeness programs for more than fifty years familiar in Europe" (Johnson, 1940 ; p 58) The conference recommended eight consecutive years of history which would be divided equally between the elementary and secondary schools Several other committees attempted to revamp the history curriculum by examining and subsequently seeking changes in the college entrance requirements Entrance requirements differed so widely that it became rapidly impossible to develop any cohesiveness unless some uniformity was encouraged and accepted by both secondary schools and colleges In response to the call for additional cooperative efforts, the American Historical Association, in 1896, appointed the Committee of Seven, which all but ignored the college entrance requirement question of why history 9 1


should be taught and what history was of most importance in the schools The Report of the Committee of Seven provided a significant beginning for the actual incorporation of social issues into the curriculum The chairman stated in the opening remarks the crux of the Committee's involvement in the investigation of the place of history in the curriculum (Committee of Seven, 1899 ; p 3) : Before we began our work, it was plain that there was an awakening interest in this whole subject, and the time seemed to be at hand when a systematic effort would meet with response and produce results . There was no recognized consensus of opinion in the country at large, not one generally accepted judgement, not even one wellknown point of agreement, which would serve as a beginning for or consideration of the place of history in the high school curriculum In its deliberations the Committee came to the conclusion that . it is perfectly plain that the old rote system is going by the board" (Committee of Seven, 1899 ; p 7) The Committee began to delve into the various aspects of the history curriculum to determine a rationale for its continued inclusion in the curriculum The American Historical Association's Committee of Seven recommendation that a program in "Civil Government" be taught in conjunction with American History at the fourth year of secondary schooling, in effect, opened the curriculum door for the revisionist views The Revisionist Plan The revisionists, under the expert guidance of Jones, Robinson and Arthur Dunn (secretary to the Social Studies Committee), stepped into the vacuum created by the American Historical Association The die was cast to develop a new social studies Treading cautiously but methodically on sacred curricular soil, the social studies committee provided a first hint of the future direction in a preliminary report issued in 1913 In its preliminary report the Committee recommended the study of contemporary issues at the twelfth grade level The 1913 preliminary report alluded to contemporary problems in recommending a twelfth grade program devoted to "economics and civic theory and practice" (National Education Association, 1913 ; p 18) The preliminary report provided enough information to whet the practitioners' appetite for additional clarity With the encouragement of professionals and the wave of popular support for changes in the curriculum, the Committee continued to forge ahead with new ideas The ensuing three years saw a continued revisionist emphasis on using the past to examine problems of the present It was during this period and the resultant committee report in 1916 that the true intent of the revisionists could be seen Not only were practitioners asked to reconstruct the curriculum completely, but as a price for breaking the admission policy maintained by colleges, public school personnel were asked to reconstruct their thinking regarding methodology The true nature of the revisionist thought was contained in a bold plan for involving the student in current issues 9 2


through a culminating course known as problems of democracy The Committee stated (National Education Association, 1916 ; p 52) : It is generally agreed that there should be a culminating course of social study in the last years of the high school with the purpose of giving a more definite, comprehensive and deeper knowledge of some of the vital problems of social life and thus of securing a more intelligent and active citizenship Like the preceding courses, it should provide for the pupil's needs of present growth and should be founded upon what has preceded in the pupil's education, especially through the subjects of civics and history While some were dismayed that the Committee on Social Studies did not reconvene following its 1916 report, the revisionists were prepared to begin construction of a new social studies program based on the platform established in 1916 The Committee provided as much official direction as they could and stopped just short of mandating a complete social studies curriculum Such a national curriculum would, if proposed, have met with stiff opposition As it was, the new proposals offered social studies teachers considerable opportunities to debate Revisionist Strategies for Acceptance of Problems of Democracy The new focus for the social studies curriculum hinged on the acceptance of the twelfth grade offering in problems of democracy One of the first organizations to raise a pessimistic note was the American Historical Association Despite previous endorsement, it balked at accepting a course with a primary focus on principles of economics, sociology, and political science and an emphasis on present day problems In refusing to adopt the recommendation of its subcommittee, the historians set the stage for a continuing struggle to define the place of the problems course in the social studies curriculum While the historians moved to block the adoption of the problems of democracy course, the sociologists and political scientists moved quickly to endorse the offering, particularly since those disciplines had for some time sought a niche in the curriculum To the sociologists and political scientists, the problems course represented a crack in the history-dominated curriculum ; therefore, each discipline willingly voiced official approval for the course While the problems of democracy course was being debated among the professional organizations, revisionists wasted little time in taking their proposals directly to the school-house doors Just as Jones and Robinson provided the initial impetus for the ideas and philosophy underlying the proposed course, other revisionists, such as Barnard and Rugg,vigorously moved the offering forward to acceptance by practitioners as well as state and local agencies Rugg emphasized the need to deal with making decisions as opposed to learning facts in social studies From Rugg's point of view, a social studies curriculum which stressed knowledge as a base without considering decision making would provide little direction toward citizenship A 9 3


problems approach was advocated by Rugg when he stated (1923, p 20) : Not the learning of texts, but the solving of problems is what we need . For the pupil to think, he first must be mentally blocked and thwarted until he is obsessed with a desire to clean up the matter ; he must also have at hand data, the facts on all sides of the issue, before he can think constructively on it ; and third, he must be practiced in deliberations on situations that are somewhat similar Even though Rugg called for the development of problem-solving skills throughout the social studies curriculum, the problems of democracy course advocated by the revisionists would provide a means to accomplish the ends toward which Rugg and others were aiming Barnard, a member of the 1916 Social Studies Committee, successfully engineered the adoption of the problems of democracy course in Pennsylvania and admonished educators that (Barnard, 1922 ; p 38) : The stand is taken that the pupil of the secondary school-the people's college-has no right, from a social standpoint, to send young men and women into the world lacking specific training in the problems of American Democracy-the problems whose solutions will soon be in their hands Longer to side-step this all-important function is to reap the whirlwind In 1920, New Jersey followed rapidly by Ohio and Virginia (all with representatives on the original committee) mandated through legislative action the inclusion of the problems of democracy course at the twelfth grade level While the problems of democracy course was required through legislation in some states, still others introduced the course through either local or state educational agencies That by 1924 problems of democracy courses were taught in more schools than medieval history, world history, English history, or sociology is evidence of the gains made by the revisionists Only civics, United States history and economics were more frequently offered than the problems of democracy course (Dawson, 1927) Brown (1926) found the problems of democracy course offered in twelve of the thirty states polled A later study by Taylor (1929) showed that the course was recommended in twenty-three states In summarizing the phenomenal growth of the problems of democracy course following its beginnings in 1923, evidence showed that "by 1928 the course was being offered in more than 12,000 high schools in every state to more than a half a million pupils, and among the social studies courses it ranked in enrollment second only to the American history offering" (Hunt, 1941 ; p 507) Seldom in the annals of curriculum has a course offering which theoretically represents a drastic departure from tradition received such widespread adoption During the 1930's the problems of democracy course received added impetus through the ideas of the progressives The Depression affected virtually every aspect of life in America and the vast majority of Americans were caught up in the throes of economic issues Many were moved to echo Dewey's warning, "The sense of unsolved social problems is all about us unless education prepares future citizens to deal effectively with these great 9 4


questions, our civilization may collapse" (Dewey, 1931 ; p 581) Armed with this warning and similar cues for a presentand future-oriented curriculum, revisionists among the social studies educators wasted little time in advocating the problems of democracy course as a means to avoid the repetition of those economic and social problems which led to the Depression Internal and External Pressures While changes in the curriculum could be legislated, it was another matter to change classroom practices Because the revisionists chose to provide only an outline of the course and left the development of its platform to the practitioners, little direction was provided concerning -the actual content of the problems course Herein lay the problem in ensuing deliberations Some critics charged that the course as proposed was too general and that the subject matter was not well -organized in those schools which had implemented the course Other critics felt that the increased emphasis on student interest as a focus for the selection of topics would be a detriment to both the curriculum and the pupil Much of the argument centered on what one experienced teacher expressed as a "butterfly education" in which a student would meander through an unstructured curriculum with no apparent plan or purpose (Shields, 1922) Further compounding the dilemma confronting the practitioner was a lack of adequate textbooks devoted to the 'problems of democracy course While the Social Studies Committee in 1916 may have assumed that teachers would be able to develop materials to fit the problems course, such tailored approaches rarely occurred Unfortunately, social studies instruction relied heavily on textbook approaches and texts devoted exclusively to the problems course were non-existent prior to 1922 Those charged with implementation, therefore, were left floundering € as they searched for suitable materials By 1932 eleven texts were available, all purporting to deal exclusively with the problems course In reality, however, many classroom teachers were aware of the extensive overlapping of problems materials with the standard United States history fare-a fact which severely limited the usefulness of the texts in the problems of democracy course (Floyd, 1928) The focus to be taken by the problems course posed yet another dilemma for practitioners While some experts attempted to distinguish the most and least worthy problems for study, others stressed the importance of helping students adjust to the rapidly changing events of socity The adolescent of the first world war years was welcomed into adult life as a potentially productive worker and was often encouraged and actually romanticized During the Depression years however, the reverse was true as jobs were not available and the acceptance of adolescents into the adult world represented an increase in hardship for adults who sought employment Hence, young people were buffeted between adolescence and adulthood Nowhere was the quandary more evident than in the content of the problems of democracy course Teachers, often struggling with the problems brought on by the Depression themselves, were not equipped emo9 5


tionally or educationally to deal with student involvement in the same problems Undeniably, the social studies teacher was confronted with a wide range of issues to take before the problems of democracy class This in itself posed almost insurmountable difficulties as the practitioner attempted to distinguish bona fide problems from those problems with little lasting effect In some isolated instances teachers attempted, with limited success, to establish workable guidelines for the selection of appropriate problems Such selection rested in the teachers' ability to identify basic, continuing problems as opposed to short-range, surface issues The selection process also meant that the problems would often change from year to year Hence, the social studies teacher was annually confronted with the task of building a new program -a task not relished by those dependent upon a set format prescribed by a textbook Much of the struggle to develop a program embodying the ideals of its proponents was waged during a period of severe external stress Pressure groups both large and small were increasing in number and activity during the 1930's Lobbyists gained significant influence in legislatures following the first world war and, later, the Depression Such movements as Communism, Fascism, and National Socialism gained prominence and influence Of prime concern to many groups was a fear of radical groups overthrowing the government As a result, social studies teachers who dared to become involved in discussions of anything other than a purely democratic, patriotic nature were subject to close scrutiny by many of the so-called patriot groups From New York to California social studies teachers were fired, transferred, browbeaten and otherwise harassed for attempting to deal with social problems in their classrooms (Beale, 1936) There can be little wonder that problems of democracy teachers were reluctant to probe sensitive problem areas For to become involved in even a cursory investigation of such emotion-charged areas could lead to severe punitive action by pressure groups Revisionist Leadership It was into this atmosphere of teacher confusion and repression that the revisionists once again offered leadership in establishing directions for the social studies curriculum The situation was serious enough to prompt the usually conservative National Education Association to issue a strong statement in 1934 to serve as a rallying point for educators reluctant to take a stand (Beale, 1936 ; p 197) : We reaffirm that teachers are citizens and should have the rights of citizens and, as educated men and women, should make every effort to be informed on the pressing social and economic problems and should furnish the leadership so vitally needed in their respective communities Simultaneously, the National Council for the Social Studies became a medium for strengthening the profession Early yearbooks served to influence social studies educators by providing information on curricular programs which were in successful operation Innovative problems of 9 6


democracy courses were featured in 1934 and 1936 editions of the Council Yearbooks In addition, the National Council produced several guides and monographs intended to provide added impetus for classroom teachers Further support for teachers was provided with the early editions of Social Education, the National Council's official journal, which began publication in 1937 Other organizations, such as the prestigious American Historical Association, Commission on the Social Studies and the Department of Superintendence, did much to bolster the courage of social studies teachers in pursuing principles of academic freedom The dividends reaped by the efforts of support groups were evidenced by a significant increase in the number of schools offering problems of democracy courses during the period 1930-1940 The United States entry into World War II raised a cry for some retrenchment in curriculum, and education suffered as a result Dewey had warned of such a movement in 1938 when he stated, "Every movement in the direction of a new order of ideas and activities directed by them calls out, sooner or later, a return to what appears to be simpler and more fundamental ideas and practices of the past" (Dewey, 1938 ; Preface) With public emotion running high over issues associated with the war and American patriotism, any program which chose to examine controversies related to such volatile topics was virtually guaranteed close scrutiny and possible demands for justification Even a justification of such programs, however, was often ignored in favor of a return to the "tried and true" traditional approaches of preaching democracy Defining a Problem Hunt (1941) isolated and examined four factors which contributed to confusion regarding the problems of democracy course The first area of concern was teaching a "watered down version of problems, or worse, completely ignoring controversial issues, which resulted in an unrealistic presentation The second area of concern was the inadequately trained teacher who was unable to deal effectively with problems and issues Such a teacher had to rely upon a textbook to present a sterile approach devoid of student involvement The third area of critical affect according to Hunt was an over-emphasis upon the evils of society or, "the pathology of society ." The fourth area of concern was the amount of material and the imagined obligation to cover everything Such beliefs often led to a teaching of content only, rather than a concern for process and methods A diet of all information and facts would do a great injustice to the original tenets of the course In some regions and cities, the problems of democracy course dealt with personal problems of youth at the expense of dealing with problems of citizenship The basic question of what constituted problems of democracy course persisted in defying acceptable answers Perhaps the most revolutionary stand on problem identification and the purpose of the problems of democracy course was taken by Engle (1947) when he identified a social problem as one which : 9 7

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. . exists when people, knowing the full implications of a particular or alternative course of action, disagree as to whether it should be followed The disagreement is in the purpose of goals which different people think to be desirable The idea of differing goals as the crux of the social problem pushes us back inevitably to the values that people hold and to their consequent beliefs about facts as the real object of study in the problems course (p 167) For the first time a values approach to the discussion and investigations of problems was recommended Engle pointed out three means of resolving social problems The first involved the susceptibility of Americans to factual information Even though Americans may misuse factual information through misinterpretation or misconception, the society still relies on such information As Engle stated, "Despite these shortcomings of the factual approach, we have a level of great potential usefulness in this approach to the evaluation of our beliefs and values" (1947, p 168) The second means concerned consistency Engle saw that the individual strove unceasingly for some consistency in thinking and, "the more this process of resolving conflict can be pushed out into the conscious endeavor of the individual, the more effective it becomes as an approach to and analysis and evaluation of our beliefs and values" (Engle, 1947 ; p 1968) The third area involved the strivings of human beings for consistency in individual and group interaction and relations The individual is always aware of his/her rapport with the group and will seek to align him/herself with the popular feelings of the group ; this results in some alteration of views and compromises by many, if not all, members of the group Engle described a process whereby students could be encouraged to form random generalizations concerning a controversial topic The generalizations would then be critically examined in light of a series of quetions encompassing the ideas of personal beliefs and the use of the scientific method of analysis The final step in Engle's proposed methodology included the practical application of tentative solutions agreed to by class consensus While the method advanced by Engle was not revolutionary and had been advocated in various forms of the scientific method to problem solving, his use of values clarification did represent a departure from the usual content oriented approach Reflective Thought Engle's revisionist view refocused attention on problem solving by utilizing reflective thinking as expressed by Dewey (1933), who clearly stated his meaning for reflective thought as : "Active, persistent and careful considerations of any belief or supposed form of knowledge in the light of the grounds that support it and the further conclusions to which it tends constitutes reflective thought" (p 9) The basis for reflective thought, according to Hunt and Metcalf (1955), is "grounded and tested belief" (p 65) While reflective thought and scientific method are similar, reflective thought implies something other than precise measurement and controlled experimentation Reflection . 9 8

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refers to the essential but non-gadgetlike feature of science, and to an attitude of mind and a generalized set of mental operations with which to approach all problems, whether social or physical in nature" (p 67) Revisionists who espoused the ideas of Dewey and his reflective thought concept continued to promote social studies as an integration of the social sciences While there were numerous advocates of the problems approach, Maurice Hunt and Lawrence Metcalf (1955) expressed the revisionist ideas best with their view of how to teach reflective inquiry The idea of investigating problems often glossed over or ignored in the regular curriculum combined the best of Dewey's ideas and the integration of the social sciences to focus on citizenship education Revisionists and Problems of Democracy Fight for Survival During the period 1940-1960 the problems of democracy course took on various faces depending on the forces that held sway in education The problems of democracy course was directly affected by forces influencing the social studies in general just as it had been in the years prior to World War II As special interest groups grew in strength and attempted to legislate, and thereby control, what was taught in schools, the social studies, particularly the problems of democracy courses, were continuously placed in an untenable position Caught between those who fervently fought to eliminate the danger of moral corruption by schools and those who ardently defended the teacher's right to academic freedom, the problems of democracy course was used as a means to accommodate all interests r At the same time a movement was underway to reassess the social studies in light of a basic curriculum-one in which fundamental approaches were advocated The teaching of more history and government was strongly advocated Bolstered by a series of studies, reformers urged that the social sciences as individual disciplines be stressed The period is best summed up by Barr, Barth and Shermis (1977) : "Thus, between 1940 and 1960 a trend continued at the theoretical level toward developing more sophisticated and practical ways of integrating the social sciences for the purpose of citizenship education Meanwhile, away from the scholars' thoughtful deliberation, a storm was raging over both the nature and effects of the social studies" (p 37) It was against this backdrop of controversy that the problems course fought for academic survival Yet, in spite of the controversy surrounding the social studies (or, perhaps because of it), the problems course continued to broaden its scope Life adjustment and internationalism units found permanent places in problem texts while few, if any, of the so-called standard problems were dropped-a situation which tended to exasperate the alreadycrowded course content of many problems of democracy classes At issue was the question of what should be taught in a problems of democracy course While most agreed that problems ought to be the core of the course, few could find agreement on what constituted a "legitimate" problem Rather than confront the issue, many teachers and curriculum planners ignored it as best they could and continued to add topics to the problems of democracy syllabus 09

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Revisionists Call for Refocusing as a Final Thrust In 1960 Engle clarified the aim of social studies decision making He attempted to provide a framework within which social studies teachers could deal with decision making . in teaching the social studies, we should emphasize decision making as against mere remembering We would emphasize decision making at two levels, at the level of deciding what a group of descriptive data means, how these data may be summarized or generalized, what principles they suggest ; and also decision making at the level of policy determination, which requires a synthesis of facts, principles, and values usually not all found on one side of any question (p 301) Engle methodically examined the issue of the social sciences versus the social studies He showed the usefulness of the former to a research orientation while the social studies aimed at the education of citizens Good citizenship to Engle necessitated decision making which as a skill demanded the attention of social studies education Decision making also necessitated a close examination of the process of assessing dilemmas Decision making also meant in-depth studies about situations, problems and events Engle called for the use of materials and sources other than the textbook in order to avoid any superficial coverage of important topics Engle's revisionist view called for a refocusing of ideas about the social studies While Engle's 1960 statement contained elements of earlier ideas like reflective thinking, citizenship and inquiry, his point of view also called for a retooling of the approaches to be used Engle's benchmark statement sought to integrate the social sciences in a way that would revolutionize the discipline In the revisionist spirit he asked that social studies professionals concentrate on citizenship with a focus on decision making Although the Engle proposal was applauded in some circles, it was too radical for many It called for the elimination of history and government sacred cows of the curriculum Even though the tenets of Engle's proposal included history and government as well as other disciplines, some viewed the proposal as tantamount to the eliminaiton of all structure Engle's proposal fell on deaf ears in the public sector, where the demand for retrenchment in the discipline was strong Tradition held ; the social sciences in the form of separate disciplines remained the mainstay of the curriculum, and methodology remained tied to a textbook orientation The revisionist approach was destined to go no further in a quest for acceptance of the problems approach The problems of democracy course was linked to the social studies debates of the sixties as problems of democracy epitomized the thrust advocated by revisionist a variety of materials and sources, decisionmaking as a focal point for citizenship, real life situations and dilemmas for curriculum content and the incorporation of several disciplines in one approach The problems of democracy course was caught in the debates between the intellectuals, who favored the social studies with emphasis on decision making, citizenship and reflective thinking, and the practitioners and 1 0 0

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special interest groups, who lobbied vigorously in the public press for traditional approaches through the separate social sciences Engle's 1960 statement was the final thrust by the revisionists As Cox states : . by the early sixties, Federal money, and lots of it, was on the way to give the tradition one more hurrah It was a clever scheme ; the revolutionaries were out-maneuvered By the end of the decade, the revolution was aborted Only its rhetoric lived on in an outpouring of methods books, monographs, and journal articles that tasted the glories of "Shirley's simple theme," while in the classroom, the old bones, painted and polished to look like new, rattled triumphantly (1978, p 17) The revisionist hopes, while not completely eliminated, have faded until only the skeleton remains in the form of the problems of democracy course Recent studies (Jarolimek, 1977 ; Gross, 1977) indicate a loss of organized perspective for the social studies curriculum in general and the problems of democracy course in particular There is little doubt that the social studies curriculum is foundering The issues are clouded, directions are not clear and controversy continues to permeate the air As in times of past confusion, leaders have stepped forward to promote citizenship as the unifying thread for social studies education Again, as in the past, the time is right for advocates of citizenship education to provide leadership Perhaps it is time to turn again to the 1916 model of citizenship education and examine the proposal made then in light of our current needs The problems of democracy course could serve today as a focal point for establishing citizenship education as a viable part of the social studies curriculum The problems of democracy course could provide the central framework for a citizenship oriented social studies curriculum Through the use of contemporary problems the curriculum could become a relevant means for preparing students to deal effectively with problems of society The problems of democracy course as envisioned in 1916 continues to hold promise for today The needs of society remain the same, as do the problems in citizenship education 1 0 1

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References Babcock, C The twelfth grade course in contemporary problems in American high schools Doctoral dissertation, Stanford University, 1949 Barnard, J Pennsylvania program for the social studies Historical Outlook, December 1922 Barr, R ., Barth, J ., & Shermis, S Defining the social studies Arlington, Virginia : National Council for the Social Studies, 1977 Beale, H Are American teachers free? New York : Charles Schribner's Sons, 1936 Brown, W Analysis of state courses of study for the social studies Masters thesis, University of Chicago, 1926 The Committee of Seven of the American Historical Association The study of history in schools New York : The MacMillan Co ., 1899 Cox, C Shirley's simple theme : A critique of Engle's decision-making, the heart of social studies instruction Decision-Making : The Heart of Social Studies Instruction, occasional paper number 1 Bloomington, Indiana : Indiana University Social Studies Development Center, 1978 Dawson E Teaching the social studies New York : MacMillan, 1927 Dewey, J Experience and education New York : Collier Books, 1938 t How we think New York : D C Heath, 1933 Some aspects of modern education School and society, October 1931 Engle, S Decision-making : The heart of social studies instruction Social Education, November 1960 t Factors in the teaching of our pertinent modern problems Social Education, April 1947 Floyd, O Overlapping between the senior high school courses in problems of democracy and American history The Historical Outlook, October 1932 Gross, R The status of the social studies in the public schools of the Unted States : Facts and impressions of a national survey Social Education, March 1977 Hendricks, Luther V James Harvey Robinson teacher of history New York : King's Crown Press, 1946 Hunt, E Twenty-five years of problems of democracy Social Education, November 1941 Hunt, M & Metcalf, L Teaching high school social studies New York : Harper and Row, 1955 Jarolimek, J The status of social studies education : Six case studies Social Education, November-December 1977 Johnson, H Teaching of history New York : MacMillan Co ., 1940 Jones, T Social studies in the Hampton curriculum Southern Workman, December 1906 National education association report of the committee of ten on secondary school studies Washington : Government Printing Office, 1893 Nelson, M Rugg on Rugg : His theories and his curriculum Curriculum Inquiry, 8, Summer 1978 1 0 2

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Preliminary statements by chairmen of committees of the commission on the reorganization of secondary education (National Education Association,, Office of Education Bulletin No .,41) Washington : Government Printing Office, 1913 Robinson, J Minutes of the second annual meeting Association of History Teachers of the Middle States and Maryland, March 11-12, 1905 Rugg, H National society fort the study of education twenty-second yearbook Bloomington, Illinois : Public School Publishing Co ., 1923 Shields, A The social studies in development Teachers College Record, March 1922 Singleton, H Factors affecting the development of the problems of democracy course Doctoral dissertation, Stanford University, 1975 Taylor, F Problems of democracy as a high school subject Masters thesis, University of Chicago, 1929 The social studies in secondary education (National Education Association Committee on the Social Studies, Bulletin No 28) Washingto : Government Printing Office, 1916) 1 0 3

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Theory ad Research in Social Education Fall 1980, Volume 8, Number 3, pp 105-120 By The College and University Faculty Assembly of The National Council for the Social Studies The Collegiate Influence on the Early Social Studies Curriculum : A Reassessment of the Role of Historians Oliver M Keels, Jr Berea College Introduction There have been few periods in the history of American education characterized by such dramatic change as the span between the 1890's and the 1920's And, as the formative period for modern education in America, this period has received considerable attention from historians (see Cremin, 1971 ; Krug, 1969 ; and Sizer, 1964) Little of that attention, however, has been directed toward the beginnings of the social studies curriculum .' This lack of historical attention has occurred despite the fact that the social studies their place in the curriculum and the very nature of the field were central to many of the educational concerns of the era The reasons for this neglect are unclear, but one might logically assume that scholars merely have not seen as questionable those descriptions that do exist In the 1980's and early in the twentieth century, the efforts of those concerned with education were directed toward America's new insitution the high school As it was during this same period that the social studies cur'Inevitably semantic problems crop up when the term "social studies" is used It is not the purpose of this article to attempt to resolve the dilemma over definition that has plagued the field Nor do I wish to reflect a bias over what the definition should be in my use of the term as a collective noun meaning the social sciences in the schools Rather, it is used for simplicity sake in maintaining historical continuity A "social studies" curriculum, as social sciences in the public schools, existed before the popularization of the term As well, despite the intentions of the originators of the term, the predominate view that has come to be accepted is of it as the separate social sciences "subjectized" in the public school curriculum See Louis M Vanaria, "The National Council for the Social Studies : A Voluntary Organization for Professional Service (Unpublished Ph .D Dissertation, Columbia University, 1957) 1 0 5

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riculum came into existence, it has been largely associated with the secondary school Also, just as Cremin has noted that the high school was a "downward extension of the college" (1955, p 297), it has been the collegiate influence that has been characterized as most profoundly affecting the shape of the social studies curriculum And, this collegiate influence has been seen as emanating from that group whose professional concerns were directly tied to the social studies the historians 2 This impression was fostered by both historians and schoolmen of the period (see Shafer, 1921, and Tryon, 1935) Schoolmen, in survey after survey, claimed to base their social studies curriculum on the recommendations of the historians With such vociferous homage being paid to the historians, it is understandable that scholars have tended to view them as the single most influential voice in shaping the social studies curriculum By 1890 historians had managed to achieve acceptance within educational circles as the legitimate authority on matters affecting professional social science (Haskell, 1977, pp 24-25) It was an era characterized by growing amounts of professionalization, and American society was increasingly looking to professionals to define their area of expertise (see Bledstein, 1976, and Haskell, 1977) Through the American Historical Association, historians readily accepted this responsibility for defining what was to become the social studies As such, historians certainly exerted direct and immense influence upon the social studies field But was this influence primarily felt in determining the shape and form of the social studies curriculum in secondary schoools? That it was is the position that has traditionally been put forth by scholars in the social studies field In the years between 1890 and 1911, it was a given that the historians (through the American Historical Association) were the appropriate authority for making recommendations concerning the social studies and schools were claming that their curricula were based upon those recommendations ; there was, however, a surprising dissonance between what the schools were offering and what the historians called for Evidently the collegiate influence upon the founding of a social studies curriculum in secondary schools was considerably more complex than has been supposed As well as the subject area specialist (i .e ., the historian), there was also a growing body of education academicians, or educationists, who were striving for 2 The degree to which scholars have stressed this view has varied The most forceful was Rolla M Tryon, The Social Sciences as School Subjects, Part X1, Report of the Commission on the Social Studies of the American Historical Association (New York : Scribner's, 1935) His view has strongly influenced more recent views : very much so in Edgar Bruce Wesley, Teaching the Social Studies : Theory and Practice (New York : D C Heath and Company, 1937), Robert D Barr, James L Barth, and S Samuel Shermis, Defining the Social Studies (Arlington, Va : National Council for the Social Studies, 1977), and Vanaria, The National Council : less so in Leo J Alilunas, "Major Controversies over the `Social Studies' in American Secondary Education," The Harvard Educational Review Volume XIX (January-December, 1949) p 1-15 Henry Johnson, Teaching History in Elementary and Secondary Schools (New York : The MacMillan Co ., 1915) felt historians were very important, but he also stressed accrediting efforts as a powerful force With Albert Shiels, "The Social Studies in Development," Teachers College Record, Volume XXIII (March, 1922) p 126-145, one can see the beginnings of the assumption about the social studies curriculum being enacted on the pronouncement of historians 1 0 6

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recognition as the rightful authorities on matters affecting the schools Additionally, many commissions, associations, and foundations whose leadership was intimately tied to institutions of higher education were influencing the schools, And most importantly, there was the very powerful institutional relationship between the colleges and their preparatory institutions The collegiate influence involved much more than the pronouncements of historians And the social studies curriculum that evolved in the period, -1890-1911, was a product of a far more complicated and interrelated set of influences than previous studies have indicated This study, attempts to reassess this collegiate influence upon the founding of the social,studies curriculum -Special attention has, been given to the impact of historians -in their role as spokespersons for social science academia, and to those factors which attenuated their infuence in shaping that social studies curriculum Defining Higher Education It was the institutions of "higher education" that were the focus of the greatest concern in educational circles in America during the latter part of the nineteenth century These included not only college and university levels (between which distinctions,were only beginning to be drawn), but also the secondary schools academies, preparatory schools, and the new institution known as the high school In earlier periods of America's education history, the terms college, academy, and university were used quite loosely, and often interchangeably In fact, it was not really until early in the twentieth century that definitions which allowed differentiation among the various elements came into use One can, however, delineate by function two general categories of American erican higher education -the secondary school and the college The secondary schools in the nineteenth century were commonly referred to as academies until the term "high school" because popular later in the century These schools had two primary educative pruposes € The first and most common of these was a career education purpose, to provide instruction in practical and commercial studies (e .g ., navigation, surveying, and complementary subjects like higher mathematics and English) It was the secondary school which assumed the educative function that had formerly been served by the apprenticeship In an increasingly industrial and technologically advanced society, traditional methods of career preparation were no longer adequate The second major function of the secondary school was to prepare students for college, This function was certainly secondary and, -in some cases, was handled on an individual basis The occasional student who wished to prepare for a dmittance t o a particular college merely received instruction in those things specifically required for admission Usually this in= volved the memorization of Greek and Latin passages that the college had identified' in its bulletin, and perhaps the study of a specified text in ancient history and geography There were also, especially in the East, preparatory schools whose curricula were simply the entrance requirements of a nearby, associated college As America expanded westward, however, the number of 1 0 7

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colleges mushroomed and their demand greatly surpassed the ability of existing institutions to prepare students In response, most colleges created preparatory departments to prepare their own students, while proportionately fewer students prepared for college in secondary schools The result was to encourage a sense of the purposes of secondary schools as distinctly different from those of colleges Although out of necessity there was some relationship, it was not yet what it would become later in the century The secondary school, for the most part, was not an adjunct of the college As for that other aspect of American higher education, the college, its purposes were quite different It did not exist to serve the practical needs of society Instead, the "college was conceived of a social investment" (Rudolph, 1962, p 58) It would serve society through the creation of a dedicated, genteel leadership (see Rudolph, 1962, and Bledstein, 1976) It was not a leadership that was trained in fields of practical knowledge In fact, knowledge seemed unimportant Intellectual rigor was not a very important characteristic of the American collegiate experience Antiintellectualism seemed to be such a cornerstone of college life tht it was commonly held that "among the purposes of the American college was the purpose not to take learning very seriously" (Rudolph, 1962, p 48) Rather, the college would create a moral and civilized leadership through the disciplining inherent in the traditional curriculum This attitude seemed to dominate the thinking about college education for most of the nineteenth century, and it was forcefully advanced in one of the most influential single documents in the history of American education the Yale Report of 1828 This report by the Yale faculty set forth the proposition that the purpose of college was a liberal education, which meant the training of the faculties through rigorous study of the classics in their original Greek and Latin The popular learning theory of the day was a faculty psychology that viewed the mind as analogous to muscles, and the survival of the timeless classics had demonstrated their superior disciplining, or training, value Thus, even as secondary education became more common in the middle of the nineteenth century, its popularity was not directly related to any increased popularity of colleges It was only toward the end of the nineteenth century, as college education and the whole fabric of American intellectual life changed drastically, that the puposes of the secondary school became so indelibly linked to the colleges As Burton Bledstein has noted, the college became the central institution of the growing American middle class (1976, pp 121-126) Moreover, the new college of the late nineteenth century (which emulated what was being called the American university)' 'The term university had long been used in American education, but it had no specific, definable characteristic that allowed one to make any qualitative distinctions Some schools that were merely colleges called themselves universities, in part because they hoped that being different might attract more students Many began to change their names when they offered courses of study beyond, or in addition to, the classical course which awarded the B .A For proponents of the university movement of the late nineteenth century the crucial difference was that a university was directed toward graduate study They too were somewhat flexible, however, as the movement came to stress the increasing importance of intellectual rigor and 1 0 8

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rapidly began to reject liberal education as its purpose ; instead, it began to function primarily as a career oriented institution an institution devoted to a "culture of professionalism" (1976, p 121) Once the colleges assumed as their primary purpose that which had formally been the primary purpose of secondary schools, the two increasingly were seen in terms of their relationship to one another Concurrent with this change was another that had an equally profound impact, and which affected all aspects of American society It had many components, and finding the appropriate label has presented a considerable problem for historians It involved industrialization, urbanization, rapid expansion, the growth of a very strong sense of national identity, and a general faith in what, for want of a better term, is called modernism Concomitant was a change in American intellectual life, manifested in a growing faith in science and knowledge Robert Wiebe has noted about the purveyors of this new faith : "The theory's advocates were convinced that the process of becoming an expert, of immersing oneself in the scientific method, eradicated petty passions and narrow ambitions, just as it removed faults in reasoning" (1968, p 161) Out of this developed what Bledstein referred to as "the authority of the professional," an "authority derived from a special power over wordly experience, a command over the profundities of a discipline" (1976, p 90) Hence, American society demanded increasingly throughout the nineteenth century an educational emphasis upon science and scholarship To perform this task adequately, however, the functions of the particular institutions had to be delineated and standardized By 1890 the educational question of greatest concern to the newly recognized authorities was how to define and order the relationships of the two crucial components of American higher education the high school and the college And, since the university movement (characterized by more elective studies and greater equality between classical subjects and modern ones i, e ., disciplines such as the sciences, history, English, and modern languages-was being accepted as the desired direction for changes in collegiate education, the new "authorities" in shaping the curriculum of the high school were those associated with this university movement Social Science in America In the nineteenth century, social science in America was in its infancy In most cases it was more "social," with its emphasis on reform, than it was scientific What social science there was tended to revolve around theories of political economy, with a natural law, laissez-faire doctrine the core assumption (Furner, 1975, p 48) Only as German historicism came to be advocated by increasing numbers of young scholars fresh from Europe did the specialization of faculty Thus, the ideals of the university could be found increasingly in institutions that still called themselves colleges (e .g Princeton and Dartmouth) In fact, despite the emphasis on graduate study of early supporters of "universities," undergraduate education dominated the American collegiate scene My use of the term college is more in line with twentieth century usage, meaning both university and college 1 0 9

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social science take on a new look In economics it was characterized by the historical economist, who sought to prove that a nation's economic system was a product of its past, and that it was vulnerable to changes as the nation's people saw fit The "facts" of the past, not natural law, provided the proper course for a nation to follow (Furner, 1975, p 37) The other social sciences may not have been as developed as economics, but they all had one very basic similarity methodologically they were historical What differentiated them was a combination of the direction of their civic interest and their particular research concern As such, the distinctions that have been drawn in the twentieth century between history and social science are inappropriate in describing the less mature disciplines of the late nineteenth century In those early years the greatest distinction appeared to be whether one was directed toward social reform or toward professional scholarship The term social scientist was used quite loosely, and it had no universally accepted definition The concern among historians, economists and political scientists was not about which of them truly spoke for social science, but rather that social science be accepted as synonomous with professional scholarship 4 Concerns about the differences between the social sciences really only began to come to the fore at the turn of the century By that time, within educational circles, historians were accepted as the spokesperson for social science As well, there was an acceptance, no matter how much it may have been changing, that the methodology of social science was history In a joint session of the AHA and AEA in 1903, during the height of tension over differentiating the disciplines, sociology was examined In papers given by F .H Giddings and Albion W Small, it was suggested that history as it was being practiced was unscientific Whether political or economic "fact" was being discovered, it was sociology that gave historical fact meaning Charles H Haskins, AHA secretary, reported that the consensus among historians in rebuttal was that sociologists "ought not to be deluded into the supposition that their work is historical" (Haskins, 1904, p 35) Even this late, the essence of the argument was over "true history ." They were all professional scholars in the science of social understanding This was not disputed, and it gave rise to a perception of unity in social science This basic commonality may explain why historians managed to create a hegemony over matters concerning social science during the 1890's Through the oldest organization of professional scholars in social science, historians fostered an image of themselves as social scientists 4 See Jurgen Herbst, The German Historical School in American Scholarship : A Study in the Transfer of Culture (Ithaca : Cornell University Press, 1965) and John Higham with Leonard Krieger and Felix Gilbert, History (Englewood Cliffs, N .J : Prentree-Hall, Inc ., 1965) p 92-103 The dichotomy that I draw between social advocacy concerns and professional concerns are somewhat sharper than Furner, Advocacy and Objectivity, or Haskell, Emergence of the Social Sciences I do this largely because it was merely professional competence that was most important to the increasingly professionalized educators Therefore, as preceived by educators, historians were undoubtedly the spokesmen for social science because they were the group calling themselves social scientists who were most clearly professionalized 1 1 0

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From the very first, the AHA assumed a pre-eminent position in shaping social science Herbert Baxter Adams of John Hopkins, its first corresponding secretary and the person credited with building the association into an organization of national prominence, sought to bring all professional social sciences under the aegis of the AHA .S In his leadership role he took every opportunity to involve the AHA in issues concerning social science Adams was in the vanguard of those who sought to change the general public's conception of history as something akin to romantic literature To leaders in the early efforts to professionalize the discipline, history was science (Higham et al ., 1965, pp 98-101) Once this acceptance had been achieved, historians really did not have to stress that their science was a social science It was assumed And since they were the most, thoroughly organized of professional social science scholars, one can see how by 1890 the AHA was recognized as the appropriate authority for social science within educational circles 6 In addition to the activity of H .B Adams in spreading the influence of the AHA, there was the added voice which came from some eminent historians in positions as college presidents Most notable among these were Andrew Dickson White of Cornell, and Charles Kendall Adams of Cornell and later the University of Wisconsin Both White and Adams had studied in Europe, and they both worked to introduce German historical methodology to America Also, both as teachers and as college presidents, they favored a novel approach in American education-that of lecture by specialists, rather than reliance on recitation from textbooks As a matter of fact, for both of these historians, the vast majority of their research was for their lectures, and their major publications were these same lectures (Haines, 1977) Since they were associated with the progressive view of higher education (the university movement) through Cornell, they tended to represent historians among modernist leaders And as this group of leaders in the university movement was very close, history invariably was included as one of the subjects that made up the modern college disciplines This was so largely because of the respectability that men such as White and Adams brought to it The National Education Association and the Committee of Ten One characteristic of the great changes taking place in late nineteenth century America was the penchant for affiliation with national organizations It seemed to affect all elements of society ; and most certainly, it came to be an integral part of the process of professionalization (see Wiebe, 1968, and Bledstein, 1976) The term "profession" was rapidly coming to Turner, Advocacy and Objectivity, p 75 One might also want to see the letter of H B Adams to H C Adams, 12 March 1885, Henry Carter Adams MSS, Michigan Historical Collections, Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan 6 The American Economic Association, founded by historical economists, saw its political, social and intellectual function in a more narrow sense than did the AHA As well, the AEA was afflicted with considerable internal conflict over its nature as a social science Because of this conflict, it was probably less able to project itself as an authority in social science during the 1880's and 1890's See Furner, Advocacy and Objectivity 1 1 1

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refer to more than those of law, medicine and the ministry As a consequence, there was a subsequent tendency to look for solutions to problems on a national level, especially for those problems that related directly to a group's professional concern Professionals assumed that among their number were the "authorities" who could find solutions (see Wiebe, 1968, and Bledstein, 1976) And among groups in American society following this penchant, there were none more active than educators ; few professional organizations developed a national perspective so completely and so rapidly as did the National Education Association Founded in 1857 as the National Teachers Association, the organization was small and largely Eastern .' In 1883 it had only 300 in attendance at its annual convention (Krug, 1969, p 8) In the next decade, however, it grew at a rapid pace and became recognized as the appropriate forum for matters concerning the schools This included colleges as well as elementary and high schools, although the college department was never very large and had the active membership of few leaders in higher education Despite not being members, however, many college educators did use the organization as a forum to expound their educational views Charles Eliot of Harvard did this in the 1870's and 1880's, as did James Angel of Michigan, and James McCosh of Princeton Of course, this is understandable since they did represent important views on what had become the most important question dealt with by the NEA college and high school relations .' This concern over college and high school relations resulted in the naming by the NEA's National Council of Education of what came to be known as the Committee of Ten An earlier committee of the National Council under James Baker of Denver had studied the problem of secondary school and college relationships for four years, 1887-91, and had only reached the decision that a joint conference of colleges and schoolmen should meet The National Council agreed, and such a meeting took place in 1892 The leading organizer in this conference was Nicholas Murray Butler, who was beginning to achieve prominence in educational circles both as a professor at Columbia and as editor of his new journal, Educational Review It was Eliot who actually proposed the Committee, but it was Butler who determined the shape it would take Butler wanted the Committee to be truly influential on a national scale The ten Committee-members he selected were chosen because : "Only they could sway both colleges and secondary schools The reports of lesser men regardless of merit were not even given a reading by most educators outside of the NEA" (Sizer, 1964, p .76) In looking at the issue of high school courses of study and college admission the Committee chose a very broad, general perspective The complexity of the problem, noted by Baker in his efforts in the 1880's, and the very intense politics that surrounded all issues in higher education, served to 'It became the National Educational Association in 1870, and it took its present name in 1907 'The NEA became a leading forum for debate on the purposes of college, or the issue of the college versus the university Eliot was probably the most vocal, but McCosh and Porter of Yale were also active See Proceedings of the National Educational Association for Years 1875-1890 1 1 2

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make a final decision on what should be a unifo-'m high school course of study a virtual impossibility Instead, the Committee suggested four possible alternatives As such, the most important contribution of the Committee of Ten was not to establish a course of study, but rather to focus discussion From 1893 until 1918, nearly every proposal dealing with secondary education included some reference or response to the Committee of Ten (Krug, 1969, p 91) The report did hint at some new directions in secondary education, and indirectly initiated some other changes One was the idea of equivalency of studies, whether classical languages or modern history The Committee did not suggest that one field trained the mind better than another, only that they did so differently But it did suggest that no matter what the course of study, well prepared students should be admitted to college with equal standing The apparent contradiction in this was less the fault of the Committee than of the report's interpreters, who assumed that by training of the mind was meant the "mind as muscle" analogy of faculty psychology In fact, there was a general change taking place in the meaning of mental training As Krug has noted : "In their insistence of mental training as an object of education, the educational leaders were not clinging to a doctrine subsequently repudiated by psychological research" (Krug, 1969, pp 207-208) To these leaders, formal dicipline implied "that the mind can be trained to do well certain kinds of work, to follow certain methods of procedure" (Krug, 1969, pp 207-208) It was this view that Thorndike suggested in his early work ; and in his call for including psychology in the schools, he suggested its "training" capabilities (Krug, 1969, pp 207-208) The most important result to the fields of social studies of the report of the Committe of Ten, other than its desire for the inclusion of modern subjects, was mostly indirect The place of the subject area experts in determing the course of study for students at all levels had begun to be accepted And this gave recognition to the idea that subject area experts were on the college level Because Eliot saw fit, first, to include the whole range of disciplines in setting up the conferences and in giving each an equal place in the report and, then, to focus attention on the conference findings in the report, he set the precedent that encouraged the involvement of academicians and their professional associations in determining public school curriculum Therefore, from the standpoint of the founding of the social studies, it is not the general recommendations in the report (as to which of the social studies, and to what extent, they should be included in the curriculum) that are most important, but rather it is the report of the Conference on History, Civil Government, and Political Economy (the Madison Conference) and how it compared to subsequent recommendations that most need examination The Madison Conference The Conference that met at Madison, Wisconsin, was dominated by historians from the colleges, and almost all of its members were members of the AHA Despite this, however, they did not see as their task including in the secondary schools that which they taught at the colleges In fact, they 1 1 3

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were quite emphatic about developing a program for all students, especially those not going to college : "Hence our recommendations are in no way directed to building up the colleges, increasing the historical work which they are especially fitted to do" 9 In the minutes of the conferences it is clear that the historical work colleges were best fitted to do was scientific history (which was exactly how Woodrow Wilson referred to it) C .K Adams was of the opinion that history should not even be taught on the high school level because poor teaching caused a loss of interest, but this was overruled by the rest of the participants They chose instead to separate the question of history study from that of preparation for college .'  As they themselves were scientific historians, however, divorcing their background and training from the task was an impossibility They may have wanted all students to develop in their ability to discriminate in observation, to follow an argument logically from point to point, and to improve the process of comparison, but they proposed for secondary students precisely what they had their students in college do (NEA, 1893, p 168) That is, the student should learn those facts of most value (as determined by trained teachers) through lecture (but not the erudite discourse of a Turner or a White), through the textbook, through parallel reading, and through written exercises (NEA, 1893, pp 185-195) They were also strong advocates of what went generally by the name of correlation of subjects They felt that history instruction, in its readings and writing, should be closely related to instruction in English and other languages, an idea repudiated by later AHA committees (NEA, 1893, p 167) The one facet of the conference's report that most strongly reflected their college orientation was that which dealt with the training of teachers It was also the one aspect that was adopted with increasing vigor by subsequent committees of professional associations in the subject areas Actually, the Madison conference was rather moderate in their formal resolution (although their explanation was much more strongly worded :) "Resolution 19 : That in all schools it is desirable that history should be taught by teachers who have not only a fondness for historical study, but who also have paid special attention to effective methods of imparting instruction (NEA, 1893, p 165) They felt that there was an adequate supply of those trained in history to meet the needs of all school boards ; and for those already teaching, special courses could be arranged through neighboring universities They made note of the fact that teachers in Germany were specialists, and that this was the course that well-paying school districts should follow It was this idea that the qualified teacher in the high school should be a subject area specialist that came closest to making the high school "a downward extension of the college" (Cremin, 1955, p 295) 'Report of the Committee on Secondary School Studies of the National Educational Association, published under Reports of the Committees of Ten and Fifteen, U .S Bureau of Education (Washington Government Printing Office, 1893, separate publishing dates were given for each report) p 169 "Minutes of the Conference on History, Civil Government, and Political Economy, typescript submitted by Albert Bushnell Hart, secretary, Charles W Eliot Papers (Harvard University Archives, Cambridge, Mass .) cited in Krug, Shaping the High School, p 53-54 1 1 4

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Since a major purpose of the Committee of Ten dealt with college admission, the Madison conference had to deal with this issue They did not suggest a course of study for college preparation, however, as this was seen as antithetical to their primary goal, a course of study for life preparation Instead, they avoided the dilemma by attacking the mode of examination used in college They felt that the colleges had to take the lead in moving away from cramming for examination on a few dry texts The tests should examine the ability of students to make judgments based on general knowledge, not some bare facts ; and the students should submit written work as an example of study (NEA, 1893, pp 183-184) The real significance of the Madison conference's report was not that it provided a course of study for history and kindred subjects which schools readily adopted This was something that just did not happen It was, rather, simply that they set down the purposes of historical study (by which, it should be noted, they meant to include all the social sciences), that they insisted upon trained specialists, and that they established the historians as the appropriate' group to deal with this facet (the social sciences) of the social studies field Until the second decade of the twentieth century, this remained a given If there were one point on which the Madison Conference could be faulted it was their apparent naivete about the ability of the schools to change the quality of instruction The relegation of history and government instruction to those not trained in the fields remained a major criticism for years, and one well-founded ." It was of special concern to the historians, who devoted much attention to this problem in their reports in 1899 and 1911 The failure of the Committee of Ten to resolve the question of college and high school relations was due in large part to the complexity of the problem Before the report could serve as a basis for settlement, there had first to be a uniformly accepted standard, both with respect to what constituted a high school course, and for that matter, what shape the colleges were going to take As late as 1900, most students still attended colleges rather than universities The universities may have been more vocal and have held a larger place in the public eye, but they were still a long way from being the only accepted model for all of higher education The high schools took myriad shapes, anything from one room-one teacher rural schools to large urban schools with each subject taught by a specialist There was not yet even a standard for defining a period of study It is no wonder, then, that the report of the Committee of Ten aroused so much vituperative reaction The proponents of the traditional classics course for college were still quite numerous, and the report was anathema to them For those wanting equality of studies, the report did not go far enough .' 2 "Mrs Grace Kincaid Coster, Orleans High School class of 1908, Orleans, Indiana, told this writer that the sole method of history instruction was recitation from a text The Orleans program was an approved course of study in Indiana, and as such, its graduates were allowed admittance to Indiana University without examination This "hearing of lessons" approach was hardly what the Madison Conference envisioned "Reaction and counterpoint dominated discussion in educational circles following issuance of the Report See the issues of Education and Educational Review for the years 1893-1895, for a good cross section of opinion 1 1 5

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Therefore, one can understand how within a year of the report other groups were attempting to tackle the same problem Articulation of High School and College A solution to the problem of non-uniform college entrance requirements was sought by a variety of groups in education A very thorough study was undertaken by the National Education Association There were also attempts made by various associations of colleges and secondary schools (The penchant for organizational affiliation was as evident among institutions as individuals in this period .) In addition to these group efforts, there was also reform of entrance requirements by a number of prestigious colleges In 1895 a committee was set up by the Departments of Secondary and Higher Education of the NEA to deal with colleges entrance requirements It grew out of two separate proposals The Department of Higher Education called for a committee to enact the proposals of the Committee of Ten, while the Department of Secondary Education called for one to work toward better understanding between schools and colleges about entrance requirements They then agreed on the suggestion of the Department of Secondary Education, and the joint Committee on College-Entrance Requirements was begun (Krug, 1969, p 137) Unlike the Committee of Ten, this committee was made up of individuals representing a broad range of backgrounds The Nightingale Committee, as it came to be known (after its chairman A .F Nightingale), approached its task in a far more comprehensive manner than had the Committee of Ten Rather than naming special study committees, it requested professional academic associations to prepare their own comprehensive recommendations The most widely known of these was that of the AHA the report of the Committee of Seven In its final report in 1899 the Nightingale Committee accepted the same principle that the Committee of Ten had put forth, that a good program of life preparation was appropriate for all students, college bound or not The Nightingale Committee also approved of the principle of election of studies, but they did not believe in unlimited election (Krug, 1969, p 141) This was a view held by most of the moderate revisionists who dominated educational reform in the 1890's 13 They would not, however, attack the classics as being totally irrelevant ; but they did insist that the modern subjects be given an equal emphasis 14 As such, the committee gave full support to the report of the Committee of Seven, with only one provision, and one which the AHA was later willing to go along with : It [the committee] approves the courses of history recommended by the committee of the American Historical Association, with the 'The term "moderate revisionists" has come to be the most common term used by historians in referring educational reformers of the 1890's See Krug, Shaping the High School and Sizer, Secondary Schools 14 I have tried to be consistent throughout by referring to these subjects as "modern ." Basically, it refers to those subjects newly emphasized-English, sciences, modern languages, and history and government The term "modern" is sometimes used interchangeably with "content subjects" (versus disciplining subjects, i .e Latin) or "practical subjects ." 1 1 6

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following provision, namely : that it is highly desirable that one year of United States history and civil government should be furnished by the secondary schools, and be accepted as a requirement for admission by all colleges and universities (NEA, 1899, p 455) In addition to the Nightingale Committee, there was other work in progress in dealing with the lack of uniform admission policies In the East, the preferred method for admission' had always been via examination by each school As such, in reaching some method for creating uniform standards, examination was the route that was followed What finally came to fruition in 1899, as a resolution of the Middle States and Maryland Association of Colleges and Preparatory Schools, was the College Entrance Examination Board The idea was originally Eliot's, but it was Nicholas Murray Butler who succeeded in getting it adopted The member colleges then sent out notices to schools throughout the country and requested that their certificates of examination be accepted Many did so (Harvard was, surprisingly, not one of these original schools (Krug, 1969, pp 146-150 ; see also, Fuess, 1950) Since Eliot was so intimatley involved in the idea, Harvard's response is unexpected It could possibly have been an indication of the growing academic freedom of university faculties .) Another of the methods that associations were attempting was accreditation by certificate Since it basically was the plan that had first been introduced by Michigan and adopted by many midwestern states, the idea had greatest acceptance in the West They felt it was necessary to have a uniform standard for certificates through a more national organization because the individual states had such vastly differing requirements In 1901 the North Central Association appointed a study group, and' in 1902 a formal proposal was submitted It was approved, and the process of accreditation began By 1904 the Association was accrediting high schools In the first years there was some duplication of efforts, but gradually these problems were ironed out (Krug, 1969, pp 150-155) 15 Among the individual colleges that reformed their admission policies to conform to the changing view of the relationship between colleges and high schools was Harvard This one most certainly would expect, since Eliot was its president However, although the reforms at Harvard represented many of his views, the action was taken by the faculty relatively free of his influence .' 6 Rather than as a response to the elective study approach favored by Eliot, the actions of the Harvard faculty represented a rough compromise between what might be called the old American college and the new ''The process was conceived at Michigan in 1870, but it spread rapidly Within less than a year it was also suggested in Indiana See the catalogues of the University of Michigan, 1870-72, Michigan Historical Collections, Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan, and the catalogues of Indiana University, 1870-72, Indiana University 6 This was a major by-product of the changes in higher education The faculties were evolving into a powerful political entity, which made for a new kind of administration/faculty relationship See Furner, Advocacy and Objectivity Also one can see a good example of this change in the Phi Beta Kappa speech by Eliot in 1909 on Academic Freedom in which he stresses the new relationship 1 1 7

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American university The multi-discipline, departmentalized school, with a faculty of trained specialists, was the new order This fact alone necessitated that the admission policies reflect the needs of those specialities The residual influence of tradition retained the classics, but they were certainly nothing more than a shell of what had been the foundation of the old admission policy The reforms of 1899 were the culmination of thirty years of changes at Harvard ; none, however, were as extensive as these (Hart, 1899, pp 265-266) Basically, only English (itself a modern requirement) and elementary algebra remained absolute requirements (Hart, 1899, pp 270-271) Increasingly the Harvard example was adopted by schools throughout the country As the nineteenth century came to a close, the admission policies of colleges were pretty much in flux Most, of course, still admitted by use of their own tests Among the major schools, however, there was a definite trend toward new methods There was not, as yet, a predominant method, and schools therefore vacillated between the approaches and at times used combinations of them The standard admission policy that was sought, and which later in the century came into use, was basically a combination of accreditation of high school programs and College Board exams The Committee of Seven The document that had the greatest direct influence upon the early social studies in the schools during the 1890's and the first decades of the twentieth century was the report of the Committee of Seven of the American Historical Association It was from this report that the impression was gendered that the historians dominated the early social studies curriculum As noted above, this report was made at the behest of the Nightingale Committee, but the attention that it received was greater than the report of the committee requesting it According to Tryon, the impact of the report over school curriculum extended into the 1920's (Tryon, 1935, p 213) In many ways the report of the Committee of Seven differed little from that of the Madison Conference It did suggest less government but, like the Madison Conference, which called for history instruction to aid "in applying the lessons of history to current events" (NEA, 1893, p 170), the Committee of Seven saw themselves as having a modern emphasis Both adopted this basic tenet of historicism that the "facts" of history provided a basis for action in the present The Committee of Seven, however, were slightly more willing to allow "facts" from the modern period Basically, the Committee of Seven called for ancient history in the first year, medieval and modern history in the second year, English history in the third year, and American history and civil government in the fourth year (McLaughlin, 1899, p 134) Like the Madison Conference, they felt that government was best taught in conjunction with history, a view that meshed well with that of those who later became political scientists They also were emphatic about the need for trained teachers as an essential in improving the history curriculum : "As long as other subjects in the course are given to specialists, while history is distributed here and there to fill up interstices, there can be no great hope 1 1 8

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for its advancement" (McLaughlin, 1899, pp 113-114) There were, however, some very crucial ways that the report of the Committee of Seven differed from that of the Madison Conference First, unlike the Madison Conference, the Committee of Seven clearly saw their task to be the development of a college preparatory course of study That had been the mandate from the Nightingale Committee The idea that the modern subjects (or content disciplines versus the training disciplines dichotomy that was the legacy of arguments in higher education for the latter half of the nineteenth century) were of equal value in higher education had generally come to be accepted As well, the Committee of Seven could take as a given that their program would benefit all who experienced it, regardless of whether or not they attended college It was in regard to this point that the two reports showed a juxtaposition of priorities The Madison Conference felt that a program in history, devoted to life preparation, would also prepare students for college The Committee of Seven took the view that college preparation in history was life preparation This change in focus demonstrated that the virtually unceasing discussion in articulation of high school and college programs had had so pervasive an impact that the high school in 1900 was truly seen as a "downward extension of the college" (Cremin, 1955, p 297) Another difference between the two reports was over the place of scientific history The Madison Conference had attempted to separate history in the secondary schools from the scientific history in the colleges that was, as they put it, "The historical work which they [the colleges] are especially fitted to do" (NEA, 1893, p 168) In contrast to this view, the Committee of Seven took the position that to know history was to know its methodology : We do not argue that secondary pupils can be made constructive historians . But every study has its methods, its characteristic thinking, its own essential purpose ; and the pupil must be brought into some sympathy with the subject He must know history as history, just as he knows science as science (McLaughlin, 1899, pp 455-456) One contradiction in the beliefs of the scientific historians (and all social scientists for that matter), although they certainly did not see it as such, was the emphasis both on the methods, or process, of history and on facts The contradiction was basically a result on two counts of their own naivete First was the foundational tenet, the faith if you will, of historicism They believed not only that the historical facts were those actual events recorded in documentary evidence, but also that interpretations of the events which flowed logically from the evidence were thus fact as well It was this assumption that came under considerable criticism in the 1920's and 1930's in historical circles Unfortunately, however, it was one aspect of social scientific philosophy that educationists seemed to accept without questions ." The second aspect was that these "facts" could be self evident "In the years covered by this study the term "fact" was one of the most common in educational parlance And it was used more commonly in reference to the social studies field 1 1 9

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to the student It was assumed that inherent in knowing the facts was an understanding of the process of history Thus, scientific historians failed to see that their insistence upon good texts was related to the rote memorization in varying degrees of the text's facts, an occurrence that they constantly lamented Interestingly, in the report of the Committee of Seven, as well as in subsequent AHA reports, the argument against general history courses was that they tended to be "devoted to the dreary, and perhaps profitless, task of memorizing of facts" (McLaughlin, 1899, p 453) Therefore, it was argued, what was needed was greater exposure (four years) so that students "can be taught to group [their] facts" (McLaughlin, 1899, p 455) What this tended to do, however, was to weaken the argument against general history courses Thus, since general history courses were actually a cornerstone of the argument for four years of history, chronologically connected, little headway was made against the practice of having a one year general history course The report of the Committee of Seven represented the highpoint of direct influence by academic subject specialists on the secondary social studies curriculum Rolla Tryon probably overstated the case, but he does make a forceful statement on AHA influence : The four-block set-up for history proposed by the Committee of Seven in December, 1898, and published early in 1899 was rapidly accepted by the secondary schools of the country Those in charge of these schools had so much confidence and faith in the leadership of the American Historical Association that they almost ceased merely offering history, but required it instead (Tryon, 1935, p 176) There is evidence, however, that the picture was not so bright as Tryon suggested Henry Johnson noted that "There was from the very first some dissatisfaction with the blocks proposed by the Committee" (Johnson, 1915, p 147) Written in 1918, an editorial by Albert E McKinley of The History Teacher's Magazine noted : School administrators are willing to accept the judgment of historians upon the fields to be covered and the method of treatment . The administrators struggled manfully with the Report of the Committee of Seven, they tried to put it into effect, and their failure is not due to a lack of respect for the historical views of the committee, but solely to the impractical demands upon the school schedule (McKinley, 1918, p 123) In response to this type of dissatisfaction the AHA appointed another committee to study the issue in 1907 This body, the Committee of Five, had the same chairman as the Committee of Seven ; and there is strong evidence that he approached this new task with the idea of upholding the integrity of the earlier committee's report, especially against the onslaught of his fellow committee member James Harvey Robinson (see Hiner, 1972, and than for nearly any other Whether this was due to a general acceptance of "truths" of historical scholarship, or the lingering influence of recitation is hard to say The net impact on the social studies, however, was the same-memorization remained a cornerstone of experience 1 2 0

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McLaughlin in MSS) On the whole he did his task well, because for the most part it was "an able defense and justification of the report of the Committee of Seven" (Tryon, 1935, p 33) It appears that the 1911 report tended to have only a negligible influence upon school curricula The chairman of a later AHA committee, Joseph Shafer, felt that it had a negative impact : "[the recommendations of the Committee of Five] did not satisfy the demands of the schools or the people ; but they did serve to undermine the authority which the former committee's recommendations had acquired" (Shafer, 1921, p 89) The Influence of the Historians In assessing the impact of the AHA reports upon social studies curricula, one cannot help but be drawn to McKinley's comments about "the impractical demands upon the school schedule" (1918, p 123) Indeed, this has to be seen as one of the most significant factors that affected the field As noted above, by 1900 there still was no uniform standard for a high school's organization A movement to begin accrediting schools was in its formative stages ; and one force encouraging the adoption to the Committee of Seven's report was the accrediting process, because most of the associations accepted it as the basis for a history and government program Unfortunately, since accreditation dealt with much more than just history, the influence of the report was limited to what place the schools could give to the social studies field Therefore, accrediting did not force the schools into word for word adoption of the report This restrictive pressure was intensified by the actions of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching When the Carnegie Foundation began in 1905 the problem of definitions in higher education was acute Even college and university still had no fixed meaning Since a large effort of the Foundation was directed toward establishing a pension program for college professors, agreeing on what was a college wa$ important Also, since many institutions of high school quality were still being called colleges, the Foundation used this opportunity to exert influence over higher education in the broadest use of the term, meaning all that was post elementary In clarifying what was meant by four years of work in high school, the Foundation adopted the "unit," as had the Nightingale Committee At other times "points" (used by Harvard in its reforms) and "counts" had been used But it was the Carnegie Foundation that gave the impetus to a universal adoption of the term "unit ." This term came eventually to represent one-fourth of a year's work, a year being five days a week of at least thirty-four weeks in a year In addition, and much more importantly in its impact upon the social studies curriculum, the Foundation discouraged more than four full units per year (Krug, 1969, p 161) As this standard rapidly came to be adopted, the social studies were left with a much more limited potential for inclusion in~ the curriculum The fact that a year of study to the Committee of Seven did not necessarily mean the same thing that it had to the Carnegie Foundation presented the schools with a more difficult problem If school people had thought of a year's work as three class hours each week, they could claim adherence to the Committee of Seven's report without major scheduling problems But when a year of work in a subject meant one-fourth of all 1 2 1

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the student's time, there just was not room for the amount of history that the Committee of Seven had called for An even more important factor in limiting the influence of the report of the Committee of Seven was the series of actions taken by other committees, school associations, and individual colleges toward reforming college admission Like the Madison Conference, the Committee of Seven saws its program as one for all students, and it was seen as a required course, not a series of electives The program had to be followed in its entirety, with each year's work integrally related to previous and subsequent work Therefore, if a school were truly to accept the report, it would have to adopt as a requirement, either the four year block, or an approved shortened three year course Few did this Many claimed to accept the Committee of Seven's recommendations, in large part, but few required all the courses .' 8 Although data is quite sketchy on the offerings in history prior to 1900, Tryon noted that "Generally speaking the emphasis was on history in the first two years and social sciences other than history during the last two years" (Tryon, 1935, p 135) Yet one 1909 study (which used a sample of 136 midwestern schools) cited by Tryon as evidence of the influence of the report of the Committee of Seven found that the average school offered 3 .24 years, but required only 2 .31 years When one deducts the one-half year of civics that was included in both the offered and required totals, one then has an amount that can hardly be seen as an improvement (Tryon, 1935, p 177) In addition, it was found that, "for purposes of administration" (Tryon, 1935, p 177), Greek and Roman histories were combined into ancient history, creating with medieval and modern histories a series of onehalf year courses When there is added the fact that United States history had a full year, Tryon's conclusion that "In their offerings the history departments of these schools attempted to swallow the report of the Committee of Seven `hook, line, and sinker' (Tryon, 1935, p 177) is certainly not justified Evidently there was another influence affecting social studies offerings in the schools This is not to say that the report of the Committee of Seven had no influence-it did, but not in determining the form, content, and structure of social studies curriculum It would appear that the greatest influence in this direction was from the more subtle institutional pressures that came from the work toward uniformity in college entrance requirements .' 9 A more immediate influence can be noted in the actions of the colleges Again, Harvard was typical It required of all applicants that they take four points (courses) of English and two of algebra It also required courses within which applicants had some option ; and in history they required one 18 Tryon seems to have ignored this point See Tryon, Social Sciences, p 176-195 19 Many schools, as Tryon noted, claimed to base their offerings on the report of the Committee of Seven Also, it is important to note that the various accrediting associations suggested that history instruction should be based on this report However, as the different colleges had such diverse requirements, the associations could not insist upon strict adherence Thus, from the lip-service that the Committee of Seven received, it was evidently influential, but that influence was largely in a way other than in determining the curriculum 1 2 2

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point in American history, and another chosen from ancient or English history 20 Harvard in all likelihood approved of the report of the Committee of Seven, since the secretary of the reform committee, A B Hart, was also a member of the Committee of Seven But it could only accept for admission that which represented history's proportionate share Colleges simply did not adhere to its recommendations in any strict sense The 1912 report of Clarence Kingsley's Committee on the Articulation of High School and College indicated that of 203 colleges, 163 prescribed history for admission Of these, 130 required one unit, of which 102 allowed election from several and 12 specified ancient ; 27 required two units, of which 11 allowed election from several, while five specified ancient and United States history (Kingsley, 1913, p 108) There was no pressure from colleges to require a large amount of history of those students going to college The net result was that the high schools did not require it either The pressure from the colleges was toward a basic offering of at least two years, and schools responded by demanding this minimum Only the very large urban schools could offer the range of subjects called for by the Committee of Seven, and fewer yet required such a course of all students Conclusion It is not difficult to understand how earlier students of the social studies were led to believe that the social studies began as a direct result of the active influence of historians in the years prior to 1911 There was, of course, the evidence of history and government curriculum in a growing number of schools at the very time the AHA was most active And, as well, there were the numerous claims of administrators that they were basing their programs on the AHA recommendations As Edgar Dawson warned, however, . different types of administrators see the social studies from different points of view determined by different degrees of intimacy with them . ." (Dawson, 1924, p xxx) That certainly seemed the case as the social studies took shape The studies that were offered at most schools were at best a truncated version of the Committee of Seven's recommended course of study Clearly, the influence of historians upon the founding of the social studies curriculum was not nearly so great as has been suggested I do not wish to suggest that historians were totally without influence over the developing social studies curriculum, only that their influence was more subtle than previous studies have suggested They certainly established themselves in the 1890's as the subject area specialists whose advice was most needed in developing social studies curriculum It must be remembered, however, that they were no more than advisors When history was equated with social science they were seen as the appropriate advisors for all of the social studies But this changed, and paradoxically, it was in their most profound influence that the roots of this change were embedded The insistence of the historians that the social studies should be taught by 2 Olt should be noted that the "point" did not necessarily equate to a year of study It merely meant that an amount of subject matter (e .g ancient history, United States History) had been covered For most, this probably was met by having had recitations from a single text See Hart, "Harvard Reforms ." 1 2 3

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specialists was the beginning of a strict subject as discipline orientation in secondary social studies The historians were in the forefront of bringing about a conception of the social studies as social science They may have seen it as simplified social science, but social science none the less This view achieved almost universal acceptance as the nineteenth century came to a close In this view, however, were the seeds of a weakening relationship between historians and the social studies curriculum As the social sciences were increasingly breaking down into specialized fields, historians came to be seen less and less as speaking for all of the social sciences They came to be seen as subject area advisors for only history, not for social science in general Thus, social science was still equated with social studies, but history, instead of being equated as well, remained as only one part of each In fact, historians themselves began to reject the idea that history was a social science Whereas the early professionals in history were enthusiastic searchers for the "laws" of development that would make it a science, as they became established, they grew increasingly suspicious of such efforts As Higham has noted, their fear of the speculative nature of such general laws caused them to believe that "A systematic science of history threatened to subordinate history again to philosophy . ." (Higham et al ., 1965, p 99) By 1900 the mainstream of scientific history had come to view the "science" of history as the discovery of "facts ." Historians were more concerned with showing that history was not philosophy than that it was social science (Higham et al ., 1965, p 100) It was their rigid empiricism that fostered the rebellion that came to be the "New History ." The concern of historians for the social studies in the decades after 1910 was probably motivated less by a fear of the loss of history in the curriculum than it was by a perception of the public school curriculum as a battleground over the definition of history It has also to be noted that the impression, fostered in the 1880's and 1890's, that history was social science caused the creation of a corrollary -social studies was history Thus, as the new secondary school was taking shape, history assumed a predominate place in the newly developing social studies curriculum Of course, this did not lead to more history in the schools, as the historians wanted It did, however, create a situation where before there could be a drastic change in course offerings, there first had to be a drastic change in definition Many radical definitional changes were offered after 1910, but never was there anywhere near the concensus that had existed before 1900 Therefore, the offerings that were the curricula of schools became increasingly immune to the activity of subject area specialists, in history as well as the newly specialized social sciences The influence that was exerted by the educationists in shaping the early social studies curriculum (1893-1911) was even more indirect than that of 21 See George B Adams, "History and the Philosophy of History, "Annual Report of the American Historical Association for the Year 1908, Volume XIV (Washington, D .C : Government Printing Office, 1909) p 223-229, for a forceful expression of the rigid, non-interpretive view of mainstream history 1 2 4

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historians Although indirect, however, it was certainly very important The modernate revisionist position of leaders like Butler and Nightingale was the position that determined the form that secondary education took They were individuals who saw public education as a continuumelementary to university As such, the high school was linked from the very first to the college, and hence the curriculum of the high school reflected a college orientation In addition, their view of college education was in line with the university movement and, in turn, fostered the increased inclusion of modern subjects The social studies, therefore, were an indirect beneficiary of the profound influence that educationists exerted in general In the years following 1911, the social studies began to receive increased attention from educationists These "new educationists," viewing education as a social science and being guided by the doctrines of social control and efficiency, saw the social studies as the focal point of all education To them, since college was attended by so few, the high school should be the apex of an educational continuum The social studies, therefore, should be directed toward the broad goal of life preparation, not just for college They were not ; however, able to bring about the dramatic transformation of the social studies curriculum that was needed to make it reflect their views Since neither the historians, nor later educationists, were ever able to get general acceptance of their course of study, it is evident that other influences were being brought to bear upon the social studies curriculum It appears to this writer that those which were most influential were the institutional pressures The schools were college oriented in the period prior to 1918 Thus, the needs of the colleges were paramount The history and government that they demanded for entrance was what secondary schools offered For nearly every college it was much less than was recommended by the Committee of Seven The historians were unable to get greater attention to history at the college level than the total college community would allow ; and certainly they could get no more at the high school level than that for which the total curriculum allowed time Once the curriculum became established in these first two decades (1893-1911), it was in, essence institutionalized, virtually immutable Administrators readily admitted in the 1920's that greater attention had to be given to the other social sciences in the social studies curriculum, and at the expense of history They still gave the social studies only what could be called their proportionate share of time within the broader secondary school curriculum In short, this left room only for history and government, in roughly the same quantity, and of the same type as had been the case in the period prior to 1916 The high schools may well have ceased being a downward extension of the colleges in 1918, but the social studies that remained was clearly a product of that earlier period In the time when the secondary school as an institution was still in the process of taking shape, it was possible for substantial results to come from the efforts at influencing of the organiza1 2 5

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tions (albeit, not as much as they thought) Once their shape was determined, once they existed as standardized institutions, great change in their curriculum could only follow radical transformation of the institutions themselves This did not happen, and therefore, the social studies curriculum remained as it had evolved in the period 1893-1911 1 2 6

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References Adams, George B "History and the Philosophy of History ." Annual Report of the American Historical Association, 1908, Volume XIV (Washington, D .C : Government Printing Office, 1909) Adams, Herbert Baxter The Study of History in American Colleges and Universities Bureau of Education, Circular of Information, No 2, 1887 (Washington, D .C : Government Printing Office, 1887) American Historical Association Annual Reports for the American Historical Association 1885-1928 (Washington, D .C : The Association, 1885-1928) Alilunas, Leo J "Major Controversies over the `Social Studies' in American Secondary Education ." The Harvard Educational Review, XIX (January-December, 1949), 1-15 Barr, Robert D ., Barth, James L and Shermis, S Samual Defining the Social Studies (Arlington, Virginia : National Council for the Social Studies, 1977) Bledstein, Burton J The Culture of Professionalism : The Middle Class and the Development of Higher Education in America (New York : Norton, 1976) Cremin, Lawrence A "The Revolution in American Secondary Education, 1893-1918 ." Teachers College Record, 56 (March, 1955), 245-308 Cremin, Lawrence A The Transformation of the School (New York : Vintage Books, 1961) Dawson, Edgar "The History Inquiry ." Historical Outlook, XV (June, 1924), 239-272 Fuess, Claude M The College Board : Its First Fifty Years (New York : Columbia University Press, 1950) Furner, Mary O Advocacy and Objectivity : A Crisis in the Professionalization of American Social Science (Lexington, Kentucky : University of Kentucky Press, 1975) Haines, Deborah L "Scientific History as a Teaching Method : The Formative Years ." Journal of American History, LXIII (March, 1977), 892-912 Hart, Albert B "Harvard Reforms in Entrance Requirements ." Educational Review, 18 (October, 1899), 263-280 Haskell, Thomas L The Emergence of Professional Social Science : The American Social Science Association and the Nineteenth Century Crisis of Authority Urbana, Illinois : University of Illinois, Press, 1977) Herbst, Jurgen The German Historical School in American Scholarship : A Study in the Transfer of Culture (Ithaca : Cornell University Press, 1965) Hiner, N Ray "Professions in Process : Changing Relations Between Historians and Educators, 1896-1911 ." History of Education Quarterly, XII (Spring, 1972), 34-56 Higham, John, Krieger, Leonard, and Gilbert, Felix History (Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey : Prentice Hall, Inc ., 1965) Johnson, Henry Teaching History in Elementary and Secondary Schools (New York : The MacMillan Co ., 1915) Johnson, Henry An Introduction to the History of the Social Sciences in Schools, Part II Report of the Commission on the Social Studies of American Historical Association, (New York : C Scribners Sons, 1932) 1 2 7

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Kingsley, Clarence "Report Summary ." The History Teacher's Magazine, IV (April, 1913), 108 Krug, Edward A The Shaping of the American High School, 1880-1920 (Madison : University of Wisconsin Press, 1969) McKinley, Albert E "Editorial ." The History Teacher's Magazine, IX (March, 1918), 123 McLaughlin, A C (Manuscripts) Michigan Historical Collections, Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan McLaughlin, A C ., Chairman The Study of History in Schools : Report to the American Historical Association by the Committee of Seven (New York : The MacMillan Co ., 1899) National Educational Association Journal of Proceedings and Addresses, 1870-1915 Published by the Association National Educational Association Report of the Committee on Secondary School Studies of the National Educational Association (The Committee of Ten) U .S Bureau of Education, (Washington, D .C : Government Printing Office, 1893) Rudolph, Frederick The American College and University : A History (New York : Vintage Books, 1962) Schafer, Joseph, Chairman "Report of Committee on History and Education for Citizenship ." Historical Outlook, XII (March, 1921), 87-97 Shiels, Albert "The Social Studies in Development ." Teachers College Record, XXIII (March, 1922), 126-145 Sizer, Theodore R Secondary Schools at the Turn of the Century (New Haven : Yale University Press, 1964) Tryon, Rolla M The Social Sciences as School Subjects, Part XI Report of the Commission of Social Studies of the American Historical Association, (New York : Scribner's, 1935) Vanaria, Louis M "The National Council for the Social Studies : A Voluntary Organization for Professional Service ." Ph .D Dissertation, Columbia University, 1957 Veysey, Laurence R The Emergence of the American University (Chicago : University of Chicago Press, 1965) Wesley, Edgar Bruce Teaching the Social Studies : Theory and Practice (New York : D C Heath and Company, 1937) Wiebe, Robert H The Search for Order, 1877-1920 (New York : Hill and Wang, 1968) 1 2 8

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Theory and Research in Social Education Fall 1980, Volume 8, Number 3, pp 129-136 by The College and University Faculty Assembly of The National Council for the Social Studies Book Reviews Section Editor, Jack Nelson, Rutgers University Hersh, Richard H ., Diana Pritchard Paplitto and Joseph Reimer Promoting Moral Growth, From Piaget to Kohlberg New York : Longman, 1979 Reviewed by Lynne S Schwab, University of North Florida If this book is judged on the criteria of explaining a theory, its origins, and its implications for practice to practicing professionals, the book clearly is a success The authors state their purpose in the preface : . our work [with graduate classes at Harvard] . led us to recognize the need for a coherent explanation of Kohlberg's work from a practical and teaching perspective, [and] for a more adequate exposition of theoretical concepts and research data ." The authors have done an admirable job of showing the relationship between Piaget's and Kohlberg's theories and of providing fairly comprehensive examples of various practical strategies therein implied However, additional criteria also need to be considered R S Peters has written . some constructive comment is called for to protect Kohlberg against his own persuasiveness For he would be the first to admit that his theory covers only part of the process of moral development" (Peters, 1977, p 149) Probably the second to admit this and to encounter the same problem would be the authors of Promoting Moral Growth In their effective presentation of both the theory and the practice of Kohlberg's approach, their very clarity and persuasiveness are their biggest enemies Primarily this occurs because of omission rather than commission The commission, when it infrequently occurs, takes the form of phrases that imply Kolberg's theory has sufficient clearcut evidence : "His research has shown . that there are 6 stages, that the development and the sequence of growth through these stages exists in other cultures as well as our own . [Hersh, et al ., 1979, pp 13, 52] . teaching strategies prescribed by research results . [Hersh, et al ., 1979, p 14] [Since Kohlberg has been able to demonstrate that development of people's thinking is characterized by 4 criteria so he can] claim to have delineated cognitively based stages of moral judgment" (Hersh, et al ., 1979, p 53) (The four criteria are : qualitative differences between stages, each stage being a structured whole, invariant sequence, and hierarchical .) In cases such as these, the authors do not simultaneously raise the issue of whether these levels reflect cognitive developmental stages, or whether they might represent verbal plus cognitive ability or the values of an industrialized Western culture Nor do they initially mention that both Piaget's 129

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and Kohlberg's research included only male subjects (except 4 female subjects of Piaget's) Carol Gilligan has been studying females' responses Her work may show that when both female and male moral reasoning processes are analyzed, "justice" may not be the only nomination for highest value of all "Consideration" and "caring" may compete for top honors Peters has also flagged "consideration for others" as "fundamental to morality" (Peters, 1977, p 147) and therefore important to study This approach can compliment the work Kolberg has already done Both potential criticisms noted here are mentioned in a separate chapter But for this reader, their existence there does not adequately balance the initial impressions made by the strong language used throughout earlier chapters Early on, the authors do provide for readers a general caution against the bandwagon effect, stating that Kohlberg's "work is insufficient to encompass all of moral education, and, that it is not their intent" to provide the model of moral education (Hersh, et al ., 1977, p 15) While these cautions may be appropriate and go far enough, perceptually they may not have equal impact compared to the tone and language of the majority of the book The challenge on omission has three bases : 1) the title, which, by implication to a practicing professional might suggest this is the whole picture, i e ., Promoting Moral Growth, From [A to Z] ; 2) an incomplete, although perhaps justifiably so, response to critics of the theory ; and 3) the lack of a description of more alternatives, or the implication that none worthy exist Points #2 and #3 will be discussed later in this review Finally, regarding the specific practice of Moral Education, some sample concerns will be noted regarding making judgments and escape hatching When one asks about where a book like this goes and where it takes its readers, one is left with three basic questions : How well does Kohlberg's theory stand up to criticisms now that it's been further explicated and exemplified by this book? Then, how well does the book add to, what questions does it answer about, what we know and can do? That is, how does it relate to other previous and contemporary moral education approaches from both the United States and abroad, such as : analysis, action (both Superka et al .'s terms, 1976), social learning, behavioral, other cognitive developmental, humanist and transpersonal (Samples' term, 1978) And, finally, what questions does it leave unanswered or partially supported with evidence? Regarding the first, which questions that data base and logic of the theory, this book does not assume the comprehensive defense of Kohlberg as its purpose Assuming responsibility for an extended tightly constructed and thorough defense of Kohlberg's theory against each point of its critics would change the nature of the book and the type of reader to whom it is responding The intended reader is trying to get an overview of the critiques, not get into the heat of the battle Mostly the reader is trying to learn in what ways Piaget sees children developing, how Kohlberg continues to build upon that view, and what practical strategies might logically follow The authors' specified intent was to avoid "technical and involved" 1 3 0

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explanations, an approach which is appropriate for theory into practice material (Hersh, et al ., 1979, p 83) The authors do this well Their language flows easily and clearly throughout Due to this intent, then, when the authors run into difficult questions, they beg off explanation due to complexity, identify the issues (for example in one case, "for it is based on the philosophical concepts of reversibility and universibility"), quote from and cite an original reference (from Kohlberg in this case), and "suggest that the interested reader pursue the argument on his own" (Hersh, et al ., 1979, p 80) The approach the authors take, that of emphasizing how this theory and practice fit together, may be the best way initially to learn what Kohlberg and his followers are presenting Following that may be a better time to get thoroughly confused by all the critiques The authors do identify six core questions that have been raised, state basic-level answers, and cite original sources of both critique and justification for those who wish to go deeper into each of these questions The six questions include the issues of : 1) proof for one sequence for all people ; 2) later stages being a result of Westernization rather than developmental stages ; 3) higher stages implying more adequate structures of moral reasoning rather than more adequate, or more moral, people ; 4) reasoning vs real action ; 5) how much real data exists ; and 6) implications for the future The issue of whether justice is the highest value is discussed under the fifth issue regarding existence of conclusive data Carol Gilligan's work is cited in this section Although the book doesn't clarify points of debate well enough for the heavy-type reader, the book significantly adds to what the lightand moderate-dose types want to know about what Kohlberg is saying theoretically and practically The authors momentarily got carried away in the theoretical section when they wrote that Kohlberg "helped finish Piaget's unfinished work" (Hersh, et al ., 1979, p 45) But otherwise they provide the most clear and thorough explanation I have seen of how Kohlberg's theory is related to Piaget's For example, after a foreward by Kohlberg and an introductory chapter, the authors introduce Piaget's levels by showing how a child's perception of the game of softball is affected by the developmental level of the child They provide clear and detailed examples for each of three stages : egocentric imitation of others, literal playing by the rules, and cooperative adaptation of the rules (This is based upon a Piagetian example using the game of marbles .) Such examples are then followed by a chapter that introduces Kohlberg's stages in Piaget's language One example of how clearly the stages are differentiated is the comparison between stage 3 and 4 : Stage 3 Taking a third person's perspective proves crucial to the development of moral judgment, for it allows the person to perceive how the group will react to his dealings with other individuals Stage 4 Whereas stage 3 role taking is primarily characterized by the ability to take the third-person perspective of SIGNIFICANT 1 3 1

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others, stage 4 role taking is primarily characterized by the ability to take the shared point of view of the GENERALIZED other (Hersh, et al ., 1979, p 74) These descriptions are each followed by examples about situations such as moving in on another girl's date at a party and changing camp rules Having introduced Piaget's levels and Kohlberg's stages using Piaget's language, the next chapter is the one referred to earlier, that overviews six typical questions raised about Kohlberg's theory The practical half of the book contains a well written and comprehensive description of several strategies in chapters on the teacher's role, teacher curriculum construction (emphasizing the integration of subject content with skill content) and school governance, i .e ., the "just community ." (One might wonder if anyone is ever going to compare the theory and the practice of Kohlberg's just community, the American Political Science Association's Task Force on Education's approach and some Law-Related Education project's approach, ex Cottage Lane's, to student participation in the governance of schools .) As an example of the thoroughness of the practical half, the authors specify four functional categories of "initiating" questions and then also provide two examples of each category (Hersh, et al ., 1979, p 150) In another section the authors detail possible practical problems that no one would have faulted them for omitting, but that provide crucial, help-whenit-counts for the practioner All of these are illustrated with examples from elementary and secondary teachers using the theory in their classrooms However satisfying many of the strategies may be, some questions about the practical strategies remain after reading these descriptions For example is it helpful to encourage students to take a position rather quickly so they can caucus in their group and then debate with the other group, even though the position is tentative? Given reflective/analytic school assumptions about withholding judgments until alternatives and consequences can be carefully considered, couldn't this encourage impulsive, instead of reflective, decision making? Related to this caucus format, Fraenkel has raised questions about the relative merits of having students argue with each other as opposed to having them support each other He cites research that suggests that when students give support for each other in decision-making situations, conformity in students is decreased (Asch, 1952 and Milgram, 1974) If this is the case, a relevant question, then, is whether the caucus group vs caucus group approach results in students feeling more support or more challenge from others It may be an appropriate combination, but it needs to be evaluated carefully Secondly, there have been challenges against "either-or" dilemmas The authors, after suggesting a mix between hypothetical and realistic dilemmas, specifically caution teachers to make sure students choose between the "either" and the "or ." Students who try to create or construct a new or different alternative are said to be "escape hatching ." That is a catchy 1 3 2

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term-but one that's implication some apparently value while the authors feel it implies avoiding the real moral dilemma In this same vein, Pekarsky (1980) questions whether learning to compromise and to reduce head-on value conflicts also should be discouraged His further points merit consideration as well Regarding how the book relates to other previous and contemporary moral education approaches, the authors are somewhat vulnerable here, although again, that is not the major task they set out to accomplish Several papers have been presented and published, perhaps since the book went to press, that thoughtfully suggest a wide variety of approaches It is true, though, that none of these other approaches is as well developed and as widely used as those discussed in the book Some of these alternative approaches are recommended to be used by themselves, while others have been recommended to be used in various combinations with other approaches Some statement that combination approaches are being suggested, and studied, would have provided both more balance and more potential for research It is extremely important, when introducing moral growth literature to practicing professionals, to help them see overviews of alternatives in addition to giving them a full dose of one approach Unfortunately the authors of this book put up for consideration inculcation and values clarification as the only other schools of thought Inculcation was then discarded totally Yet some positive arguments do exist Johnson (1980) and Peters (1977) each make a strong argument for two categories of moral learning : conventional and principled They each explain that inculcation may be the best way for young children, who have not reached the Piagetian level where abstract thought and reasoning are possible, to learn conventional moral behavior Oldenquist (1980) also supports inculcation He argues that with inculcation children learn the basic values of their society, instead of beginning their moral education debating "controversial issues and exceptional cases which bewilder adults" (p 5) He states that any society that doesn't pass along basic values to its progeny could be considered suicidal The question he asks is, if societies have the right and the responsibility to punish those who do immoral things, why do they have to feel apologetic about teaching children which behavior is moral? Beyond these reasons, the power of social learning variables such as modeling need to be at least acknowledged as has Leming (1980) So there may be good reasons for our pluralistic culture to feel more comfortable with inculcation for some aspects of moral behavior than we typically have The authors did not write off values clarification They indicate Kohlberg's approach is "an alternative to and an extension of, values clarification" in that it helps students : 1) define the moral perspective supporting their values, 2) increase the awareness of moral reasoning in self and others and 3), stresses interaction for the development of moral reasoning (Hersh et al ., 1979, p 12) Approaches that were not presented include analysis and action 1 3 3

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approaches (using Superlca et al .'s terms) and humanistic and transpersonal approaches (using Samples' 1978 terms) Finally, and more importantly, the authors did not entertain the possibility of combinations of approaches, such as Peters, Leming, R W Wilson, Fraenkel, Samples and R Allen suggest R W Wilson, for example, takes the major step of defining a moral transaction and has designed a model to show how both social learning and cognitive developmentalists' theories may be interrelated in the development of moral growth The example that Peters provides supports using behaviorism for children too young to reason (1977), although he sees this as an intermediate step of conventioinal morality prior to the development of principled morality where reason is crucial R Allen would use different approaches for different purposes : Value Clarification for clarifying, Kohlberg for rationalizing and reasoning, Hunt and Metcalf for background theorizing, Shaver and Newmann for discussing and modeling for going out and assisting good exemplars in the community T Green would emphasize learning prudence, or the ability to go beyond saying something is not good, by adding an alternative that is better, and by so doing, successfully satisfy the claims of others Of course empathy is necessary so one can "acknowledge the legitimacy of others' interests, the reality of their conflict, and the problem of their adjustment" (T Green, 1980, p 31) A third skill is the ability to make "useful judgements about the weight to attach to certain interests" and the understanding that "any adjustment is likely to lead to the need for a fresh solution" (Green, 1980, p 32) Green also states that "rootedness" is necessary for these moral skills of public life to function Combinations of approaches to moral education like these, while not yet fully developed, nevertheless warrant consideration Having considered the first two questions, the adequacy of the authors' defense of Kohlberg, and the additional understanding this book provides about what we know and can do, the last question logically follows What's next? Since in this case the authors chose to write a book to explicate one specific approach for practicing professionals, what remains to be done is to explicate and clarify further 1) how that approach deals with critics' concerns ; 2) to describe how if at all it relates to and/or may be used in conjunction with, any other approaches (for example, is it similar to Bull's stages, or as in combination approaches such as J Wilson's moral components or as in R W Wilson's integrated model) ; and 3) how this theory on reasoning can be tied closer to those on thinking and behaving Work in this area is complex and time-consuming since on top of all of these questions is overlayed the additional research burden of testing each subject individually at least twice in each study In addition, the continuing task includes the study of alternative criteria perhaps used in combination One example of alternative criteria is reflected in Fraenkel's 1980 AERA paper based on the work of Asch (1952) and Milgram (1974) : The challenge, it would appear, is to engage students in activities which maximize their opportunities to work with and draw support from, yet not be able to diffuse responsibility to, others It is a 1 3 4

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challenge to which few, if any, social studies (or other) educators have as yet addressed themselves (p 18) We need to conduct further research to determine what our greatest challenges are, and then we need to develop some means to meet those challenges We need to continue the critical and careful review of the research that people like Lockwood, Gilligan, and Kurtines and Greif have been conducting Finally, we need to make sure that our efforts in moral education contribute to an increase in moral behavior rather than an increased ability to justify whatever behavior we choose Perhaps in the end, the persuasive, if not overgeneralizing styles of Kohlberg, Hersh, Paolitto and Reimer have been both their greatest enemy and moral education's greatest friend For without these potentially convincing styles, others with different ideas would not have been sufficiently emotionally and intellectually concerned to generate the immense quantity of research and discussion that Kohlberg has stimulated Hersh, Paolitto and Reimer's book is an excellent way to help graduate students understand what Kohlberg has to offer And other pieces cited therein can be studied to help these practicing professionals learn how to analyze thoughtfully and develop further this significant approach to moral growth 1 3 5

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References Allen, R In discussion at conference, Moral Education in a Pluralistic Society, Florida State University, March 1980 Asch, S E Social Psychology Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey : Prentice-Hall, 1952 Bull, N J Moral Education London : Routledge, 1969 Green, T "Can there be a secular moral education in a pluralistic society's public schools?," presented at conference, Moral Education in a Pluralistic Society, Florida State University, March 1980 Fraenkel, J "The relationship between moral thought and moral action : implications for social studies education," paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Education Research Association, Boston, Massachusetts, April 1980 Gilligan, C "Do we have an adequately pluralistic theory of moral education and moral development?" paper presented at conference, Moral Education in a Pluralistic Society, Florida State University, March 1980 Johnson, C "What is the morally educated person in a pluralistic society?" paper presented at conference, Moral Education in a Pluralistic Society, Florida State University, March 1980 Kurtines, W and Grief, E B "The development of moral thought : review and evaluation of Kohlberg's approach," Psychological Bulletin, 81, 8, August Leming, J S "On the limits of contemporary moral education : psychological and sociological perspectives," paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Boston, Massachusetts, April 1980 Lockwood, A L "The effects of values clarification and moral development curricula on school-age subjects : a critical review of recent research Review of Educational Research, 1978, 48, 325-364 Milgram, S Obedience to Authority New York : Harper and Row, 1974 Oldenquist, A "Should public schools have a role in promoting moral development?" paper presented at conference, Moral Education in a Pluralistic Society, Florida State University, March 1980 Pekarsky, D "Moral dilemmas and moral education," Theory and Research in Social Education, Spring 1980, 8, 1, 1-8 Peters, R S "The place of Kohlberg's theory in moral education," paper presented at an international conference on moral education and moral development, Leicester University, August 1977, Journal of Moral Education, 7, 3, 147-157 Samples, C "Psychology, thought, and morality : some limitations of Piaget and Kohlberg," in Readings in Moral Educatiion, Scharf, P (Ed .) Minneapolis : Winston Press, Inc ., 1978 Superka, D P ., Ahrens, C ., Hedstrom, J E ., with Ford, L J and Johnson, R L Values Education Sourcebook, Conceptual Approaches, Materials Analyses, and an Annotated Bibliography Boulder, Social Science Education Consortium/ERIC/ Clearinghouse for Social Studies/Social Science Education, 1976 Wilson, J et al Introduction to Moral Education Baltimore : Penguin Books, 1967 Wilson, R W "A new direction for the study of moral behavior," Journal of Moral Education, 7, 2, 122-13 1 1 3 6

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Subscription Information A subscription to Theory and Research in Social Education may be obtained by membership in the College and University Faculty Assembly of the National Council for'the Social Studies Membership information is available from the Membership Department, NCSS, 3615 Wisconsin Ave ., NW, Washington, D .C ., 20016 Institutional and non-CUFA subscriptions are $20 .00 per year, foreign subscriptions $30 .00 Write to the Editor for these orders Back Issues/Reprints Back issues may be obtained for $4 .00 each and reprints of individual articles (beginning with Volume 7) for .50 each Write to the Editor for these orders ; do not send payment until advised of availability of issue/reprint Change of Address/Missing Issues Send change of address notices and a recent mailing label to the Editor as soon as new address is known Also send queries about missing issues to the Editor Be sure to include a complete, proper address with such queries Advertising Information about advertising will be sent upon request Write to : Professor Murry Nelson Pennsylvania State University Division of Curriculum and Instruction 154 Chambers Building University Park, PA 16802 or Paula M Bozoian, Editorial Assistant Theory and Research in Social Education University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Curriculum and Instruction 225 North Mills Street Madison, WI 53706 Submission of Manuscripts In order to facilitate the processing and review of manuscripts, authors are asked to follow these procedures : 1 Manuscripts should be typed with a dark ribbon or clearly mimeographed, multilithed, or photocopied Some corrections in dark ink will be accepted 2 Four copies of each manuscript should be submitted 3 All text, references, and endnotes should be double-spaced 4 Only substantive endnotes should be sequentially numbered and inserted in the text Do not use endnotes to cite references When citations are 1 3 7

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made, the author's name, publication date and (if appropriate) page(s) should be enclosed in parentheses and located in the text The complete reference should be included in a References section at the end of the text References should be alphabetized and may take any standard form as long as they are internally consistent 5 Each table and/or figure should be on a separate page and placed in a section at the end of the manuscript Arabic numbers should be used for numbering both tables and figures, and their location in the text should be indicated by the following note : Table/Figure t About Here 6 Send manuscripts to : Professor Thomas Popkewitz Editor, TRSE Department of Curriculum and Instruction University of Wisconsin-Madison 225 North Mills Street Madison, WI 53706 No responsibility is assumed for loss or injury to manuscripts submitted for publication 1 3 8

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Theory and Research in Social Education is designed to stimulate and communicate systematic research and thinking in social education The purpose is to foster the creation and exchange of ideas and research findings that will expand knowledge about purposes, conditions, and effects of schooling and education about society and social relations Conceptualizations and research from all of the social sciences, philosophy, history and the arts are needed in clarifying thinking and practice in social education Manuscripts are welcomed on topics such as those that follow : Purposes of social education : Models, theories, and related frameworks concerning the development, diffusion, and adoption of curricular materials ; Instructional strategies ; The relation of the social sciences, philosophy, history and/or the arts to social education ; The politics, economics, sociology, social psychology, psychology, anthropology, philosophy, and/or the history of social education ; Alternative social organizations and utilizations of the school for social education ; Comparative studies of alternative models of social education ; Models of and research on alternative schemas for student participation and social action ; Relationship of different preand in-service patterns of teacher training to social education ; Models of the utilization of objectives in social education and related research findings ; Implications of learning theory, child development research, socialization and political socialization research for the purposes and practice of social education ; The relationship of different independent, explanatory variables to educational achievements in the area of learning about society and social relations ; The social organization, climate, cohesion of schools and other school characteristics as independent, explanatory variables predicting to general educational achievement 139

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140 010101 800-3 V 1 A005-80 Journal of Education Published by Boston University School of Education Winter 1980 Education, Ideology and the Hidden Curriculum With articles by Henry A Giroux, Thomas S Popkewitz, Michael W Apple, Jean Anyon, Madeleine R Grumet, Roger I Simon and John Willinsky, B Robert Tabachnick and Elizabeth Valiance Spring 1980 Respect for the Word : New Perspectives in Writing With articles by Donald Murray and Donald Graves, Richard Johannesen, J Mitchell Morse, Elie Wiesel, Benjamin Glassner, David Hamilton, Paul Smith and Philip Lopate Summer 1980 Education for the Eighties : Challenges and Strategies With articles by Maxine Greene, Paul Nash, Herbert Kohl, Stanley Aronowitz, Wilson Riles, Janet Emig and Jonathan Kozol Requests for subscriptions or single copies to : t Journal of Education Boston University Individual one year rate : $11 .00 t 765 Commonwealth Avenue Single issue price : t $ 4 .50 t Boston, Massachusetts 02215

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