Curriculum Wars in Recent American History

Lecture Description

The curriculum of the public schools served as one of the primary fronts in the culture wars, those shouting matches over values that dominated headlines in the decades following the polarizing 1960s. Placed in the long historical context of American educational politics, Andrew Hartman will examine recent curriculum wars from three distinct angles: the lens of Christian conservatives who resisted secular curriculum reform at the grassroots; the perspective of neoconservatives who sought to overturn educational trends by taking hold of the commanding heights of the state; and the position of professional educators who believed their liberal curricular innovations represented objective knowledge. What emerges from this three-pronged approach is a vexing yet clear picture of why the knowledge taught to young Americans has long been such a hot button political issue, and why it is only getting hotter with continued controversies about theTexas state history curriculum and the United States Advanced Placement exam. The curriculum is a crucible for American modernity.


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