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History's BabelScholarship, Professionalization, and the Historical Enterprise in the United States, 1880 - 1940$
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Robert B. Townsend

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780226923925

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226923949.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 01 August 2021

Defining a Profession of History Teaching

Defining a Profession of History Teaching

(p.55) Chapter ThreeDefining a Profession of History Teaching
History's Babel

Robert B. Townsend

University of Chicago Press

Teaching in schools was instrumental in establishing history as a profession. The impetus for the American Historical Association (AHA) arose in large part from the emergence of history after the Civil War as a discrete subject for teaching in secondary schools and in universities. In 1892, the National Education Association sponsored the first significant effort to develop a national curriculum that involved some of the AHA’s most distinguished academic members. This effort, known as the Committee of Ten report, combined two arguments for history teaching in the schools: support of the civic good and promotion of “mental discipline” under the notion of “training of the mind.” Although the connection between history and politics helped to establish history in the curricula, it was a very unstable foundation. The AHA also formed a Committee of Seven to further study history in schools. By 1910, the Committee of Seven report continued to set the standard for the discipline’s place in the school curriculum.

Keywords:   history, American Historical Association, history teaching, National Education Association, curriculum, Committee of Ten, politics, Committee of Seven, secondary schools, universities

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