What are high schools teaching about U.S. History?

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Image from The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History AP US History Study Guide Period 5_ 1844-1877.html

Two years ago, changes in the Advanced Placement U.S. History (APUSH) curriculum triggered nationwide criticism from conservatives in education and politics. Now the American Historical Association (AHA) is convening a roundtable in early January to address the controversy.

The two-year running battle for curriculum control affects nearly a half million students in APUSH courses, and spills over into college curricula. But it could also impact the four million 11th grade students required to take U.S. History every year. You can click here to see the entire AHA article announcing the roundtable discussion and discussing the two-year controversy. Meanwhile, here is a key excerpt from the AHA article announcing the roundtable discussion.

The historical profession has done very little since 2014 to grapple with the central issues of the controversy from the standpoint of teaching history, and that is what this panel intends to do. The new framework symbolizes a changing landscape in history education. Critics of the framework have focused on allegedly “left wing” content. Yet the framework might be most notable for its new approach to the intersection of pedagogy and content, which is of tremendous importance to the community of historians.

After all, the impact of the controversy over the new framework extends beyond history as taught in high schools. Due to the ubiquity of the APUSH class, debate over the AP framework also has repercussions for historians and history teachers at the university level. Most universities provide some form of credit for a “passing” score on the APUSH exam, which means that university students throughout the nation receive part of their university education in the APUSH course. And, of course, the intent of the APUSH class is to mirror the traditional US history course taught in universities and community colleges.

Historian/ educator Michael Hogan has taught APUSH courses for years, and now runs the AP Capstone program at the prestigious American School Foundation of Guadalajara. His latest book titled Abraham Lincoln and Mexico originated in his 2012-2013 APUSH classroom after students wanted to learn more about Lincoln’s views about Mexico than the standard textbooks offered. The new book is designed to supplement classroom material, and uses archival documents to examine the subject.

Dr. Hogan’s new  book forms the basis for the Lincoln and Mexico Project (LAMP), and he has a keen interest in the forthcoming roundtable discussion. We hope you will share this post about the roundtable discussion with others interested in the future of the U.S. history curriculum. And we hope you will also click to sign up and follow our blog, and perhaps help spread the word by sharing the link to the project. Thank you.

Author: LAMP

Co-founder of the Lincoln and Mexico Project. Email: lamp@lincolnandmexicoproject.org. USA: 619-246-4342. MX: +52-1-33-3676-5897

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