chapter  15
Teaching American History: Observations from the Fringes
Pages 18

Th is chapter is not about my experiences directing a model Teaching American History (TAH) project, or, for that matter about any single or group of the projects that this program has funded. Instead I intend to examine the Teaching American History project as a whole from the perspective of a historian. For this reason this chapter will be diff erent from the other essays in this collection. Th is will be a historical piece that will refl ect the thoughts and experiences of an individual who has danced around the fringes of the program, almost from its inception, and who has strong opinions about the program, both its strengths and weaknesses, and who has explored the history of the program. Th is chapter will provide an intimate but outsider’s history of the program. beginning with a discussion of the original intent(s) from the perspective of both Congress and the U.S Department of Education, continuing with an examination of the evolution of the program and the degree to which the program fulfi lled its original expectations or met other expectations, and concluding with a discussion of the program’s strengths and weaknesses, successes and failures, again from the perspective of someone who has observed the program “up close.”