culture war

  • Debate and Controversy are Essential to History Education

    by Robert Cohen and Sonia Murrow

    Claims that critical perspectives on US history are "divisive" or "disruptive" or teach students to "hate America" were wrong in the 1980s, and are being repeated today. Educators must be free to serve the needs of students to compare, evaluate and debate. 

  • The Culture War Over Schools Is Worse Than Ever

    by Jonathan Zimmerman

    The 20th century pluralist strategy to resolve the "history wars" – including examples of heroes and leaders representing progressively more social groups – is no longer able to cover over fundamental conflicts over what America is and what students should learn about the nation. 

  • The Conspiracy Theorists Are Coming for Your Schools

    by Thomas Lecaque

    "Over the past year, as the conspiracy theorists have come together under one big apocalyptic tent we have seen organized campaigns of harassment, threats of violence, attempts to harm members of school administrations, and physical altercations at school board meetings when masks are mandated."

  • AHA and OAH Join Coalition to Protect Integrity of History Education

    by James Grossman and Beth English

    "Ongoing partisan agitation around this issue will continue, provoked and sustained by a shrewdly organized and amply funded crusade that seeks to replace evidence-based history instruction with a whitewashed version of patriotism."

  • Black American Educators: New Laws Silence Us

    Historians of education and civil rights suggest that Black teachers may be justified in fearing that new content-based restrictions on teaching history may subject them to more disciplinary action than their white colleagues. 

  • There's More War in the Classroom Than You Think

    by William Hitchcock and Meghan Herwig

    Whatever the causes of the decline in history enrollments, it's not because history departments have rejected the study of war and military history. 

  • The Pledge Our Students Deserve

    by Kevin M. Levin

    A widely circulated pledge for history teachers is right to resist efforts by state lawmakers to dictate curriculum and suppress ideas, but wrong to commit teachers to "truth" as a set of conclusions instead of an honest, open practice of inquiry.

  • NC Teacher: Don't Give In to GOP Politics of Fear

    by Anne P. Beatty

    "To retreat from open, honest discussions about race and history is the last thing we should do. To retreat is to give into the fear mongering of this bill. Its goal is our silence."

  • Arguments on the Left: US History

    The editors of Dissent present a collection of three essays by Barbara Ransby, Nikhil Pal Sing and Michael Kazin about how to frame the significance of racism in the nation's history and the prospects of fighting it. 

  • Critical Theory Opposes the Right Wing's Cancel Politics

    by Leah Allen and Pipa Marguerite

    Before Critical Race Theory, the Frankfurt School of social criticism was a preferred target of the right. Ironically, it is the right that has been most agressively and systematically moving to "cancel" ideas it opposes, and the Frankfurt School that shows how to resist. 

  • St. Louis Teachers: "Soul of History" at Stake in New History Wars

    “What’s happening in the classroom is not critical race theory, but giving space and giving voice to other perspectives,” said Joseph Kibler, a history teacher at Hazelwood West High School. “It’s just things that happened that weren’t taught before are being taught now.”

  • The School Culture Wars: ‘You Have Brought Division to Us’

    “Schools are particularly fraught spaces because they represent a potential challenge to the family and the authority of parents,” said Natalia Mehlman Petrzela, an associate professor of history at the New School in New York City.

  • "Be Paranoid": Will Administrators Back Faculty Teaching Controversial Topics?

    "Many faculty members across the country are concerned that in this politically polarized environment, some students or outside groups could come looking for trouble. The threat of students recording classroom conversations and posting snippets online out of context is not new, after all."

  • Win for Academic Freedom in Nebraska

    "Jeannette Eileen Jones, associate professor of history and ethnic studies at the flagship Lincoln campus, said it's "disingenuous" to paint discussions involving critical race theory or race in general as divisive or anti-American."

  • Hourlong Wisconsin Legislative Debate over "Critical Race Theory" and Teaching History

    "Teachers do not deliberately set out to make students feel bad about themselves. The problem this bill seems to identify, that Wisconsin's teachers intentionally or otherwise want to make students feel bad, is simply not real," said Jeremy Stoddard, a University of Wisconsin-Madison curriculum and instruction professor.