Publication Date

January 1, 1990

Perspectives Section


AHA Topic

Teaching & Learning

The National Commission on Social Studies in the Schools published in late November the report of its Curriculum Task Force, Charting a Course: Social Studies for the 21st Century. The cochairs of the task force and authors of the report are former AHA president William H. McNeill and Jean Craven, Albuquerque Public Schools. The report provides a model for the reform of the social studies curriculum; a discussion of the context of developmental and cognitive research; and a series of essays prepared by representatives of social science professional associations. The last section includes an essay by Professor McNeill on world history and one on U.S. history by Professor Thomas C. Holt, University of Chicago.

The initial push for the establishment of this commission came in 1984 from within the AHA, when then-AHA President Arthur Link called for a concerted effort to reorder and strengthen history education in the schools. The following year the AHA and the National Council for the Social Studies joined forces to organize the commission. The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Organization of American Historians joined the coalition shortly thereafter. Forty-seven individuals, including social studies educators, university scholars, and public figures, serve on the commission.

Copies of Charting a Course will be distributed without additional charge to subscribers of the AHA Institutional Services Program. Individuals may order copies for $7.00 from the AHA Publication Sales Department, 400 A St., SE, Washington, DC 20003; 202/544-2422.