Post-it notes of various colors on a gray/green wall. Photo by Patrick Perkins via Unsplash.

Call for K–12 and Postsecondary History Educators to Discuss "Divisive Concepts" Challenges

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To date, at least 14 states have passed legislation prohibiting the teaching of concepts associated with race and slavery in the United States. At least another 16 states have similar bills currently going through the legislative process.[1]

Some of this legislation goes as far as to ban the teaching of “any doctrine or theory promoting a negative account or representation of the founding and history of the United States of America.”[2] 

The American Historical Association (AHA) and the Gardner Institute want to create resources that might help teachers concerned about the tension between the professional integrity of US history instruction and the potential implications of these laws and regulations.

To do this, we need first to hear about the challenges history educators are experiencing in states where this kind of legislation exists or is being advanced, and in school districts where boards of education are establishing comparable restrictions.

Our goal would be to offer strategies and sets of resources to help history educators in these contexts do their work effectively and honestly. These online materials and web-based workshops will be provided at no cost and in time for the fall term.

We invite you to register for one of two upcoming discussions—one for K–12 teachers and administrators, another for postsecondary teachers and administrators. Use the following links:

  • Register to Participate in Listening to K–12 History Educators Using This Link
    • March 28, 2022, 2:00pm EDT
  • Register to Participate in Listening to Postsecondary History Educators Using This Link
    • April 5, 2022, 3:00pm EDT
  • Register to Participate in Listening to K–12 History Educators Using This Link
    • April 11, 2022, 5:30 pm EDT

The AHA and Gardner Institute look forward to learning from and engaging with our colleagues on the front lines to help them continue to teach history with dignity and integrity.

[1]https://www.edweek.org/policy-politics/map-where-critical-race-theory-is-under-attack/2021/06

[2]https://legiscan.com/NH/text/HB1255/2022


The AHA is partnering with the John N. Gardner Institute for Excellence in Undergraduate Education and 11 institutional partners to lead “History Gateways,” an evaluation and substantial revision of introductory college-level history courses to better serve students from all backgrounds and align more effectively with the future needs of a complex society. History Gateways launched in January of 2019 and will continue until December of 2022.