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Teaching Goes Its Own Way, 1925–1940

Teaching Goes Its Own Way, 1925–1940

(p.167) Chapter Nine Teaching Goes Its Own Way, 1925–1940
History's Babel
Robert B. Townsend
University of Chicago Press

The “research men” and those who considered themselves teachers, diverged professionally as the professional literature and networks became more distinct and as they coexisted amid the growing number of competing voices from the education community and the other teaching disciplines. The American Historical Association (AHA) formed a Commission on the Social Studies in an attempt to define the role of history teaching the classroom and the professional employment of teachers. However, the initiative was beset with problems from the start and this forced the AHA leaders to cede most of this area of the historical enterprise to the education community. In 1924 Waldo Leland, the secretary of the American Council of Learned Societies, called on the AHA Council to engage with social studies once more. By the time the AHA’s Commission on the Social Studies completed its work, social studies teachers had already assumed a professional identity that was distinct and separate from that of history teachers.

Keywords:   research, American Historical Association, Commission on the Social Studies, history, history teachers, historical enterprise, history teaching, Waldo Leland, social studies, professional identity

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