Pam Mazanec Should Have Taken AP US History Before Trying to Revise It

I’ve been following the story out of Colorado surrounding the Board of Education’s concerns about the revised AP United States History curriculum. Earlier today and following protests by both teachers and students the board backed off from any plans to challenge the curriculum in the classroom. From the beginning it was clear that the position of the board had little to do with history education, but, rather, a perception that the revised curriculum does not deliver a narrative that frames our history around the concept of American Exceptionalism. As I suggested before, it is likely that most of the critics of the new curriculum have not read it or even the version of the course it supplants. Continue reading “Pam Mazanec Should Have Taken AP US History Before Trying to Revise It”

The Exceptionalism of American Slavery

As I continue to make my way through Edward Baptist’s book, The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism, I can’t help but think about its implications for the way we think about the idea of American Exceptionalism. It’s a timely issue given the recent debates about the revised AP US History curriculum. Continue reading “The Exceptionalism of American Slavery”

Is This Text Appropriate for the Classroom?

I consider myself lucky to work in a History Department that reflects seriously on pedagogy and has command of their respective subject areas. Today I decided to share the opening of chapter 7 in Edward Baptists new book, which as you know I’ve been reading and commenting on over the past few weeks. We talked quite a bit about it and at one point the question of whether it is appropriate for our classrooms arose. Continue reading “Is This Text Appropriate for the Classroom?”