Resources for debate on world history standards

From a dialog on World-L, January-February 1998

Subject: price/address, National Standards
To: Multiple recipients of list WORLD-L (

From different posts I collate the following information on the price and address for obtaining the controversial publication WORLD HISTORY: EXPLORING PATHS TO THE PRESENT, issued under the auspirces of the National Council on History Standards: price, $18.95 plus $5 shipping and handling; address: National Center for History in the Schools UCLA 10880 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 761 Los Angeles, CA 90024-4108 PS: some of the attacks on EXPLORING PATHS, which was prepared for teachers in K-12, seem to target the whole concept of teaching world history at any level or at least a world history that is not taught as the West and the rest.

David Fahey (Miami Univ., Oxford, OH 45056, USA)

Date: Sat, 19 Nov 1994 11:20:54 PCT
Subject: U.K. History Curriculum
To: Multiple recipients of list H-WORLD (
FROM: Douglas Mark Peers (
Department of History, University of Calgary

For anyone wishing to look into the debate in Britain over the national curriculum in history, you might want to get hold of the following collection of essays that were originally published as part of the debate in History Today. They are gathered together in a book edited by Juliet Gardiner, ‘The History Debate’, London; Collins & Brown, 1990. It is available in pbk and was commissioned by History Today. The ISBN is 1-85585-076-1

From Haines Brown (

It has long struck me that the tension between standards that are conservatory and aim to create and perpetuate a national identify or cohesion and standards that encourage the student to look at that tradition critically is paralleled by the issue of whether world history, other than simply as a projection of Western power and values, has legitimacy. I think the debate between advocates of Western Civilization and World History reveals this very clearly, and it is nicely exemplified in Joseph W. Konvitz, editor. What Americans Should Know: Western Civilization or World History. Proceedings of a Conference Held at Michigan State University. April 21-23, 1985. East Lansing: Michigan State University, 1985.

The contradiction between conservation and criticism can also be seen historically, for at a certain point in US history, the ideological atmosphere of World War II that ended by crushing all opposition gave way in the ‘60s to a more critical attitude that is itself now being challenged. An important document in the earlier reversal (and still valuable for the problem of the conceptualization of world history) is Shirley H. Engle, editor. New Perspectives in World History. Thirty-Fourth Yearbook of the National Council for the Social Studies. Washington D.C.: National Council for the Social Studies, 1964. It is important to note that the National Council for the Social Studies is part of the National Education Association.

From: rdunn@sciences.SDSU.Edu (Ross E. Dunn)

I would like to recommend two excellent articles that focus on the process of writing national history standards. Carol Gluck, “Let the Debate Continue,” NEW YORK TIMES (Op-Ed), Nov. 19, 1994. Keith Henderson, “The Making of History Standards,” THE CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR, Nov. 18, 1994. The Nov. 19 NEW YORK TIMES also carries a piece by John Patrick Diggins defending study of the “great men.”