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AMERICAN HISTORY / AMERICAN STUDIES



On January 10, 2013, the National Association of Scholars (NAS) issued the following press release regarding its most recent findings regarding history instruction in America's colleges and universities:

U.S. history courses at American colleges and universities downplay the nation's economic, military, and political history and dramatically overemphasize the role of race. So finds a new study by the Texas Association of Scholars (TAS) and Center for the Study of the Curriculum at the National Association of Scholars (NAS).

The study focused on the University of Texas at Austin [UT] and Texas A&M as representative institutions because Texas law requires all students at public universities to take a year of American history and for universities to post course syllabi and faculty credentials online. The researchers found that many important topics received scant attention while more than half the faculty members focused on race, class, and gender (RCG) in their courses.  Among the topics that were often crowded out were America's diplomatic, philosophical, religious, and scientific history.

The report, Recasting History: Are Race, Class, and Gender Dominating American History?, finds: 

  • High emphasis on race, class, and gender in reading assignments: 78 percent of UT faculty members were high assigners of RCG readings; 50 percent of A&M faculty members were high assigners of RCG readings.    
  • An absence of significant primary source documents and key concepts: Tocqueville's Democracy in America and the Gettysburg Address, for instance, were rarely assigned, and numerous political documents, such as the Mayflower Compact and Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address, were not assigned in any American history courses.   
  • High level of race, class, and gender [RCG] research interests among faculty members teaching these courses: 78 percent of UT faculty members had special research interests in RCG; 64 percent of A&M faculty members had special research interests in RCG.
"The failure of these major universities to present a broader picture of the American story shortchanges students," said Peter Wood, president of the National Association of Scholars. "It also puts at risk the nation's civic literacy."

"The patterns we uncovered at UT and A&M reflect national trends in the discipline. To turn this around history departments must review their curricula, keep broad courses broad, hire less-narrowly-specialized faculty members, and diversify graduate programs."

(To view the full NAS report, click here.)

This section of Discover The Networks features resources that explore this topic in greater depth.

 

Recasting History: Are Race, Class, and Gender Dominating American History?
By The National Association of Scholars
January 2013

Rating College History Textbooks, Part I
By HistoryHalf.com
March 20, 2011

Rating College History Textbooks, Part II
By HistoryHalf.com
April 3, 2011

Rating College History Textbooks, Part III
By HistoryHalf.com
April 17, 2011

How the College Board Politicized U.S. History
By Stanley Kurtz
August 25, 2014

The Left’s Attempt to Institutionalize the Rewriting of US History: A New Step Forward Through Their “Long March Through the Existing Institutions”
By Ronald Radosh
August 30, 2014

Hell-Bent on Rewriting America's Past
By Dean Kalahar
October 9, 2014

American Studies: A Sad Tale of Academic Decline
By Charles Kupfer
December 28, 2016


LINK

HistoryHalf.com ("American History They Don't Teach in College")


BOOK

48 Liberal Lies About American History: (That You Probably Learned in School)
By Larry Schweikart

 

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