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  • Originally published 07/12/2018

    Whose Medieval Studies?

    Medieval studies groups say a major conference is trying to limit the number of diverse voices and topics. The debate is part of a bigger fight over whether medieval studies should remain a fundamentally European field.

  • Originally published 07/09/2018

    Where Historians Work

    The American Historical Association this week launches Where Historians Work an online tool tracking career outcomes for the more than 8,500 historians who earned their Ph.D.s at U.S. institutions between 2004 and 2014.

  • Originally published 06/20/2018

    Rejecting AP Courses

    Eight private schools in Washington area -- including St. Albans and Sidwell Friends -- announce they will stop offering Advanced Placement courses.

  • Originally published 04/17/2018

    Class Dismissed

    Steve Fraser

    Class Conflict in Red State America

  • Originally published 04/09/2018

    Textbook Racism

    Donald Yacovone

    How scholars sustained white supremacy.

  • Originally published 01/06/2018

    Teaching Conservatism in the Age of Trump

    Historians who teach U.S. conservatism say their jobs got a lot harder last year but that Trump's presidency also provides new opportunities for student engagement.

  • Originally published 12/14/2017

    Apparent Relief for Grad Students

    Reports indicate congressional negotiators have dropped repeal of tax-exempt tuition waivers for graduate students and other provisions affecting higher ed from final tax-reform bill.

  • Originally published 12/04/2017

    When the Robots Take Our Jobs

    Greta de Jong

    Majoring in STEM fields might teach students how to build robots, but studying history will teach them what to do when the robots take their jobs.

  • Originally published 11/07/2017

    Anti-Semitism Isn’t Rampant on College Campuses

    Barry Trachtenberg

    Students who engage in speech critical of Israeli policy are largely motivated by their concern for Palestinian human rights. They are not motivated by anti-Semitic hate.

  • Originally published 10/27/2017

    Your High School Wasn’t Like This!

    Mike McQuillan

    A unique New York City school sends teens citywide seeking answers to questions involving social justice issues.

  • Originally published 09/15/2017

    Textbook featuring Israeli flag raises ire in Egypt

    Study book for eight graders shows the Israeli flag instead of the Palestinian one on a map of the Middle East, causing the Education Ministry in the country to order the removal of the controversial page from the book and bar it from further distribution while it investigates the matter.

  • Originally published 06/05/2017

    Humanities Majors Drop

    Among majors within the humanities, the largest declines were among English and history -- disciplines that are traditionally the most popular in the humanities. They saw a combined drop of 10 percent in 2015 and a 16 percent drop from 2012 to 2015.

  • Originally published 01/18/2017

    Arizona scuttles bill that took aim at whiteness studies

    Arizona lawmakers' failed proposed ban on “divisive” college courses signals new criticism of white studies. Similar courses -- though common -- have become controversial elsewhere. Those who teach them say the classes are being distorted.

  • Originally published 01/12/2017

    Conflicting Signals in the Academic Job Market for History

    The data point to continuing challenges for recent PhDs seeking academic appointments, with dozens of applicants competing for every entry-­level job and unpredictable fluctuations in field-specific openings from year to year.

  • Originally published 01/03/2017

    Get Rich. Major in History?

    Jennifer Freilach

    It’s not as far-fetched as it sounds if you follow the path of these students who became college presidents.

  • Originally published 12/26/2016

    Textbook wars hit India

    India drops a section of a textbook that described how female members of the lower caste were forced to pay a tax if they chose in the early 1800s to cover their breasts.

  • Originally published 11/29/2016

    Amid Scandal, South Korean Officials Retreat on Controversial Textbook Plan

    The South Korean government indicated on Monday that it was rolling back its plan to require schools to use only state-issued history textbooks, an apparent shift for a signature project of President Park Geun-hye as she faces a corruption scandal and an escalating public backlash.

  • Originally published 05/10/2016

    In defense of the humanities

    Ken Burns

    In his 2016 Jefferson Lecture Ken Burns says "the humanities have been needlessly scapegoated in our country by those who continually benefit from division and obfuscation."

  • Originally published 03/09/2016

    Why Historians Should Teach the Future

    Peter Bishop, David Hochfelder, Joe Sears, and David Staley

    "We teach about the past, don’t we? Why can’t we teach about the future?”

  • Originally published 02/05/2016

    History Jobs Drop

    Openings are down and the number of new Ph.D.s in the field far outpaces available positions, report finds.

  • Originally published 01/11/2016

    Are students pampered louts?

    Jim Sleeper and Rosemary Bechler

    Jim Sleeper puts the student protests in historical perspective.

  • Originally published 12/04/2015

    Transforming Higher Education

    Steven M. Gillon

    We face a paradox in the 21st century: We desperately need an educated workforce to fill jobs that are increasingly skilled and technological; yet we are making earning a college degree less attainable.

  • Originally published 10/21/2015

    How Texas Teaches History

    Ellen Bresler Rockmore

    Grammar matters, especially when textbooks tackle the subject of slavery.

  • Originally published 10/19/2015

    Why Tuition-Free College Makes Sense

    Lawrence S. Wittner

    We need to remember that until fairly recently, the United States had a free or virtually free system of public higher education.

  • Originally published 09/15/2015

    Teaching Slavery to Reluctant Listeners

    Edward E. Baptist

    Whenever we dredge up the past, we find that the rusty old chains we rake from the bottom are connected to some people’s present-­day pains and others’ contemporary privilege.

  • Originally published 09/14/2015

    Lawmakers fear Islamic 'indoctrination' in Tennessee classes

    The amount of time spent on a world history course studying "the world of Islam," and what students are actually learning during that time, has some lawmakers and parents in an uproar and the state planning to review standards.

  • Originally published 01/30/2015

    Why We Should Study the History of Western Civilization

    Donald Kagan

    We need to examine the older traditions of the West that came before the modern era and to take seriously the possibility that useful wisdom can be found there, especially among the Greeks who began it all.

  • Originally published 01/27/2015

    What countries teach children about the Holocaust varies hugely

    Chinese textbooks borrow the language and imagery of the Holocaust and apply them to the Nanjing massacres of 1937 by the Japanese army. Japanese textbooks likewise adopt the language of the Holocaust in presentations of the devastation of cities by atomic bombs at the end of World War II.

  • Originally published 01/09/2015

    The Roots of Obama’s Ambitious College Plan

    The roots of President Obama’s ambitious proposal for free community college can be found in a 2008 book by the economists Claudia Goldin and Lawrence Katz called “The Race Between Education and Technology.”

  • Originally published 07/08/2014

    Good Riddance to Common Core Testing

    Diane Ravitch

    So far, at least 17 states have backed away from using the federal tests this spring, and some are determined not to use them ever.

  • Originally published 05/24/2014

    Lost in the Past

    Timothy Egan

    Ask a high school senior what the Great War was all about and you’re likely to get a shrug or a stab based on a recent episode of “Game of Thrones.”

  • Originally published 01/16/2014

    The Secret Life of Teaching

    Horace Dewey

    The first in a series: In which we finesse the occupational hazard of keeping student names straight.

  • Originally published 09/10/2013

    The Great Stagnation of American Education

    Robert J. Gordon

    For most of American history, parents could expect that their children would, on average, be much better educated than they were. But that is no longer true.

  • Originally published 05/16/2013

    Kansas official stands by use of 'N-word'

    Kansas State Board of Education member Steve Roberts came under fire Tuesday for using the “N-word” at last month’s board meeting.Roberts, R-Overland Park, who used the word during a discussion of African-American history, stood by his choice of words “100 percent.”But board member Carolyn Campbell, D-Topeka, along with two members of the NAACP, called Roberts’ comments offensive.Roberts said the word on April 16 in the context of a vote on history standards....

  • Originally published 05/14/2013

    Hunt doubts Gove on history evidence

    Tristram Hunt, a Labour education spokesman and historian, has attacked Education Secretary Michael Gove over his use of evidence.It follows a Freedom of Information request showing Mr Gove's claim about children's lack of historical knowledge had been based on a UKTV Gold survey.Mr Gove had been setting out the need to raise standards in history.A Department for Education spokeswoman said: "There is plenty of other evidence to support this argument."Mr Hunt, taking up last week's attack by the education secretary on the use of Mr Men characters in teaching history, accused Mr Gove of being "Mr Sloppy"....

  • Originally published 05/10/2013

    Michael Gove attacks use of Mr Men in iGCSE history lessons

    The education secretary, Michael Gove, has attacked a "culture of low expectations" in English schools, criticising the use of Mr Men characters in teaching 15 and 16-year-olds about Hitler.Too many teachers were treating "young people on the verge of university study as though they have the attention span of infants," Gove said. He said worksheets, extracts and mind maps had replaced whole books, sources and conversation in history and other subject lessons."As long as there are people in education making excuses for failure, cursing future generations with a culture of low expectations, denying children access to the best that has been thought and written, because Nemo and the Mr Men are more relevant, the battle needs to be joined," Gove said.

  • Originally published 05/10/2013

    Jonathan Zimmerman: The Prom -- An American Relic

    Jonathan Zimmerman teaches history and education at New York University. He is writing a history of sex education around the world.In 1954, American Girl magazine published a book of beauty tips for young women. It included helpful suggestions about preparing for the ultimate American beauty contest: the high school prom.“This is the moment to slip into your dress . . . Put your hair in place again, fasten your necklace or bracelet, and step into your pumps,” the book advised. “And wheee! Look now! There really is another you in the mirror. A you that is practically exuding a subtle new fascination, a wonderful femininity.”I’ve been thinking about this passage as I watch my own daughter get ready for prom, which seems like a relic from another age. And maybe that’s the whole point of it. In a time of enormous flux and ambiguity in gender relations, this ritual returns us to a time when men were men and, yes, women were women.The first recorded reference to a prom is from a student at Amherst College, who wrote in 1884 about attending prom at nearby Smith. But as more Americans joined the middle class, prom left the elite precincts of private colleges and filtered into the nation’s burgeoning secondary schools....

  • Originally published 05/05/2013

    The Problem with School "Accountability"

    Robert L. Urzillo

    Image via Shutterstock.As we enter the second decade of the twenty-first century two seemingly mutually inclusive factors are becoming prominent in the debate about improving public education: the high-stakes testing movement and paying and retaining teachers based on test results. These "solutions" have become popular across the political spectrum and while it may sound logical to people outside of the education, those of us on the inside know that this is a simple answer to a complex problem.

  • Originally published 03/29/2013

    Civil Rights Groups: School Safety Not Dependent on Guns

    In a pre-emptive move against a school safety proposal from the National Rifle Association that is expected to include a call for more people trained and approved to carry guns at schools, a coalition of civil rights groups unveiled its own safety plan Thursday. It seeks the creation of positive school climates, thoughtful and comprehensive crisis plans, and improved safety features that don’t turn schools into fortresses....

  • Originally published 03/05/2013

    Adam Laats: Get In Line, David Barton

    Adam Laats researches and writes about conservative educational activism.What history books should American school children read?Most recently, the history darling-in-chief among many conservatives has been Wallbuilders’ David Barton.  Glenn Beck, Mike Huckabee, and other conservative politicians have praised Barton’s vision of American history.

  • Originally published 02/07/2013

    Educators push to bring Haiti’s native Creole language to the front of the class

    ...[L]ess than 10 percent of [Haiti]’s 10 million people speak French fluently, and in most schools, even the teachers don’t understand it very well although they’re asked to teach in it.The private Louverture Cleary School has already broken from that linguistic tradition and is instead emphasizing the Haitian Creole children speak at home. The school is also introducing students to Spanish from other parts of the Caribbean and the English they will likely need in the future....Haiti’s 1805 Constitution declared that tuition would be free and attendance compulsory for primary students. But the quality of education lagged through the years, and plunged during the 29-year-long dynasty of Francois “Papa Doc” Duvalier and his son Jean-Claude, or “Baby Doc,” which ended in 1986. Haiti’s professionals fled into exile to escape political repression, spawning a major brain drain the country has never bounced back from....

  • Originally published 01/30/2013

    Could We Actually Learn Something from '50s-Style Civics Education?

    Erik Christiansen

    During last year's presidential campaign, I asked a class of freshmen students to keep track of each candidate's references to history. They needed a basic knowledge of history -- enough to code each historical mention according to the time period referenced. I was prepared to be distressed by my students' ignorance of history, and I wasn't disappointed. I wasn't as prepared, however, for the much greater ignorance of and disinterest in the election. In September, few could name both presidential candidates; none could name a candidate for any other office; only two or three evinced much interest in civic life.

  • Originally published 01/09/2013

    How to Revitalize Public Education

    Mark Naison

    P.S. 9 in Brooklyn, New York. Credit: Flickr/calculat0r.I have a very different vision of what public schools should be doing than Bill Gates, Michelle Rhee, Jeb Bush, Arne Duncan, Michael Bloomberg and the current generation of “school reformers.” My vision involves making schools centers of community revitalization where young people's curiosity and creativity are nurtured, where student differences are recognized and respected, where the physical and emotional health of children is promoted, where teachers have long careers, and where parents and community members are welcome.

  • Originally published 05/22/2016

    The Secrets of the Woman in Hitler’s Bathtub

    Gil Troy

    Discovered for her beauty when she was almost run over, Lee Miller went on to have one of the greatest careers that was later undermined by the horror she saw and experienced.

  • Originally published 08/19/2014

    "He Wasn't A Regular Guy"

    Mark Byrnes's Facing Backwards

    The eagerness on the part of some people to embrace a narrative that suggests that Michael Brown "deserved it," before the facts are established, has a long and ugly history--and that fact may be far more significant and troubling than what happened that day in Ferguson.

  • Originally published 08/14/2014

    Devil is in the Details of the Campus Accountability and Safety Act

    Liberty and Power

    On Aug. 7, Hans Bader, a senior attorney at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, reported on one. CASA regulates how universities must approach sexual assault, including producing an annual survey of students' experiences, which will be published online. The penalties for non-compliance are massive: an initial penalty of up to 1 percent of the institution's operating budget and a potential $150,000 fine for each additional violation or misrepresentation — $150,000 per month if surveys are not completed to the standard required. Bader observed, "that [initial offense] would be a whopping $42 million for Harvard alone, since its budget is $4.2 billion."Even worse, "a provision ... lets the money be kept by the agency imposing the fine, the Education Department's (DOE) Office for Civil Rights (OCR)." This creates a huge incentive for OCR to be aggressively punitive or to accuse innocent universities of misrepresentation or substandard compliance. Even an inability to comply would not exempt institutions from fines. For example, they are required to enter into a "memorandum of understanding" with local law enforcement. If the latter refuses, then "[t]he Secretary of Education will then have the discretion to grant the waiver." Not the obligation but the discretion.