All posts by history

Bailyn’s 1960 Declaration

“The development of this historical field (the history of American education) took place, consequently, in a special atmosphere of professional purpose. It grew in almost total isolation from the major influences and shaping minds of twentieth century historiography; and its isolation proved to be self-intensifying: the more parochial the subject became, the less capable it was of attracting the kind of scholars who could it give it broad relevance and bring it back into the public domain. It soon displayed the exaggeration of weakness and extravagance of emphasis that are the typical results of sustained inbreeding.”
Bernard Bailyn. Education in the Forming of American Society (NY: Norton, 1960.) pp.8-9.

Samuel Freedman on Reflection

A number of all-stars are quoted in this essay.

It concludes with Deborah Maier, who makes a great point:

“Why is the word ‘empowerment’ in proliferation when we’re actually taking more power away from teachers?” she said. “Maybe we’re talking so much about reflection because we have no time to reflect at all.”

The folks who are up in arms ought to be aware that reflection is the last thing someone struggling to prepare children for a high stakes test has time for…

Quote from J.M.Rice (1893)

John Mayer Rice’s 1893 expose on public school systems caused quite a stir. Here are some of his comments about Philadelphia:

The public schools of Philadelphia offer a striking example of the difficulties involved in advancing schools, when those in authority use their offices for selfish motives, whether political or other, instead of for the purpose of furthering the welfare of the children entrusted to their care. And these schools show again the evils consequent upon a school system conducted without a responsible head, a circumstance which gives rise to constant conflict among the hundreds of irresponsible heads, who, in struggling against each other for the purpose of preserving their own rights, forget that none of them has any rights; for all rights belong to the children for whom the schools exist.

A great history/methods text

Barton, Keith and Linda Levstik. Teaching history for the common good. Mahwah, NH.:Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2004.

Great stuff.

Several good quotes:

“a Democracy is more than a form of government; it is primarily a mode of associated living, of conjoint communicated experience.” John Dewey, D&E, p.87