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pedagogy, textbooks, history teaching


This presentation examined historical and contemporary textbooks from ISU Special Collections and the Teaching Materials Center in the context of current and emerging dialogs about identity politics in education.

The roots of modern American history curriculum can be traced back to ubiquitous stories that are intimately tied to a constructed national identity. This presentation critically examines the intersection of national imagination and history education by examining one narrative from early adoption in history education to today's textbooks.

Critically analyzing American history can feel contradictory to a foundational piece of American identity. As a result, constructing an inclusive curriculum can feel controversial. Our presentation reflects on historical context, past curricular changes, and possibilities for dialogue and resolution.


This presentation was delivered at the 2022 History Teaching Symposium at Illinois State University.



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