Social studies, depressingly, is the course American students do not want to take. Beginning in the 1970s--and in an apparently irreversible trend--the education establishment downsized history and the like into dull-witted subjects, gutted of all passion and focused on seemingly value-free events. Heroes? Pooh! Nationalism? Bah! Western civilization? You've gotta be kidding!
Yet the Sept. 11 attacks may have changed all that. A nation at war--one compelled to ask existential questions of itself and of others--has begun to rediscover the courage, the conviction and the energy long said to be dead in America.
Tireless reformers have long sought to get back to the basics in the teaching of history, civics and geography; but there's a sense of urgency now, one that has brought us "Where Did Social Studies Go Wrong?"--a collection of essays recently published by the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation. Liberal educators should take this book as a warning: The groundwork for reform is now being laid. Their pedagogical world--complacent in its unchallenged political correctness--may be about to be shaken up.
Read this entire editorial on the Wall Street Journal website.