The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 71, July 1967 - April, 1968 Page: 658
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
approach to history teaching is that stated by an eminent scholar,
Edgar B. Wesley, in an article entitled "Let's Abolish History Courses,"
which appeared in the September 1967 issue of the Phi Delta Kappan.
It is against this background of ferment and criticism that The
Teaching of History should be considered. It is a collection of some
sixteen essays, each written by a distinguished specialist, which pur-
ports to survey the recent trends of history teaching in the United
States and in other countries. The topics range from the philosophies
of history to teaching art history in relation to social history. Even
a chapter on teaching civics is included. Separate chapters are de-
voted to teaching the history of Europe, Russia, Asia, Africa, the
Middle East, and Latin America. Other chapters deal with teaching
history at various school levels from elementary to college.
The variety of topics treated insures appeal to a wide range of
possible readers who will find one or more chapters particularly
relevant to their specialty. It is doubtful whether many will want to
read much beyond those chapters which apply to their own special
interest and from which they may derive many useful suggestions
regarding trends and emphases. The volume contributes little to
resolving such thorny overall curriculum problems as: What history
should be taught? At what grade levels? For what purposes? It is
unfortunate that all chapters are rather specialized, each treating
only a fragment of history teaching. This reviewer would have pre-
ferred to see an attempt to synthesize the views presented and to
look at history teaching in a broader context.
If the place of history in the school curriculum is under attack
as indicated above, this collection of essays will make only a minor
contribution to its defense; but as the Introduction states, the purpose
of the volume is "to survey the recent trends." To discuss intelligently
what ought to be, it is first necessary to know what is, and it is on
this point that The Teaching of History makes its major contribution.
University of Texas at Austin
CLARK C. GILL
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 71, July 1967 - April, 1968, periodical, 1968; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117145/m1/724/: accessed June 29, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.