ActiveHistory.ca is pleased to announce the publication of Jason Ellis’s paper The History of Education As “Active History”: A Cautionary Tale?
This paper looks at the long tradition of “active history” within the history of education field. It traces the active history of education’s influence on teacher preparation programs, on educational policymaking and reform, and on activism in education, from approximately 1890 to the present. The paper also examines some of the consequences of the active history of education. In the history of education field, right wing school reformers in the 1980s and 1990s used active histories written by New Left historians in the 1960s and 1970s to draw up and justify blueprints for market-based school reform and privatization. In 2012, some people see these reforms as imperilling the continued existence of the American public school system. Is the “active history” of education therefore a cautionary tale? What happens when active histories are used to further political goals that the authors of those histories may not have foreseen or intended?
Editors Note: In addition to our group blog, ActiveHistory.ca strives to provide timely, well-written and thoroughly researched papers on a variety of history-related topics. This is an area of our website that we would like to develop further. If you have a paper that you think resonates well with our mandate please consider submitting a paper to us. Expanded conference papers or short essays that introduce an upcoming book project are great starting points for the type of paper we publish. With a current readership of about 10,000 people per month we can assure that you will find an interested audience through our site.