1947: The Way We Were
Mindful of these limitations, let us begin examining the structure, concerns, and issues of NCSS in 1947. Erling Hunt, one of the founding fathers of NCSS, was editor of Social Education, a thin yellow journal containing forty-eight pages in each edition. The first five volumes for 1947 represented his final year as editor, and in the fall of that year after brief service by Ralph Adams Brown as Acting Editor, Lewis Paul Todd joined NCSS as a part-time editor who worked primarily from his home in New England. Merrill F. Hartshorn had joined NCSS as business manager and full-time employee in late 1943 (NCSS 1970). Together, these strong individuals were to leave their stamp on NCSS during the coming decades. Membership reached an all-time high in 1947 and was expected to reach 10,000 before the end of 1948 (Todd 1947). Slightly less than 1000 interested souls had attended the twenty-sixth annual meeting in Boston, the previous November (NCSS 1947). W. Linwood Chase, the President, held a professorship at Boston University, while Stanley Dimond, the first Vice-President, directed a nationally prominent citizenship project emphasizing intergroup relationships for the Detroit Public Schools. W. Francis English, the Second Vice-President, and a professor from the University of Missouri, rounded out the NCSS officers. Three university professors, four employees of public schools, two lab school teachers and an educational consultant who was a former NCSS President constituted the Board of Directors. These eight men and four women, assisted by Hartshorn, worked in conjunction with a business meeting open to all NCSS members attending the annual convention to direct the affairs of the organization.
The budget had climbed to $44,000 from $16,000 in the few years since 1943-1944. NCSS created student and contributing memberships, and dues were raised by 33 percent, from $3.00 to $4.00, effective March 1, 1948, to respond to increasing financial pressures caused primarily by growing costs for member services driven by accelerating inflation and increasing requirements for member services (NCSS 1970; NCSS 1948). Members of the Council received $6.00 to $8.00 worth of services for their $3.00 payment (Todd 1948). The financial relationship between NCSS and AHA for the publication of Social Education did not dissolve until 1955 (Vanaria 1970). During 1947, NCSS also moved into more spacious and better equipped quarters that NEA provided at no cost in its headquarters in Washington.
An analysis of the articles in the 1947 volumes of Social Education indicates that peace education and issues of international education easily comprised the single most popular topic. This finding deviates slightly from the work of Chapin and Gross (1970) when they analyzed the 1947-1948 volumes, but that may reflect the aggregation of U.S. and world history in their study as well as the fluctuations typically found between years. Likewise, these pages reflected a strong interest in and concern for citizenship and attention to race relations typically referred to as intergroup or intercultural relations. Several articles also dealt with the deplorable quality of teacher education, scholarly histories on a range of topics, a plethora of activities or program descriptions, and suggestions for improved evaluation and assessment.
It is worth noting the interest of Social Education and presumably, NCSS members in international issues and racial equity/civil rights. Titles such as "World Unity and the Social Studies" (Perdew 1947) and calls for international supervision of education across the globe (Kahn 1947) reflected a somewhat pollyannish view of the post-war world. But the recent horrors of World War II and the dawning of the atomic age loomed large in the minds of those who expressed these yearning hopes. Burr W. Phillips (1947), in his 1946 NCSS Presidential address, "Our Responsibilities and Obligations," captured a sense of a commonly held view of the challenges facing America when he remarked:
We see:The pages of Social Education continued for several years to express hope for the UN and a one-world perspective before they succumbed to a more nationalistic and stridently anti-communist perspective. By 1948, an increasing number of articles were turning attention to the threat of the U.S.S.R. with titles such as "What Shall We Teach About Russia?" The selection of Howard E. Wilson, a leading figure in NCSS, to be the NCSS representative on the United States Commission for UNESCO also revealed NCSS's support for a more peaceful post-war order. NCSS was one of seven groups invited to join the Commission, and the election of Wilson as one of fifteen members of the Commission's Executive Committee enhanced NCSS's visibility.
1. An America and a world moving into an uncharted future under new and often untried leadership, with but a vague direction and goals;
2. A world making one more attempt to set up an organization which will guarantee a righteous and permanent peace for generations to come, but a world that is at the same time bewildered by the implications of scientific advance that threatens to destroy the very genius that has produced it;
3. A world that wants peace with all of its heart, but a world in which empire is still set against empire, religion against religion, ideology against ideology, and race against race. Hatred, mutual fear, distrust, and intolerance are motivating forces at a time when forbearance and understanding are needed if civilization itself is to survive .... (32)
While international issues offered one area of interest for NCSS, race and intergroup relations provided another. A variety of articles on intergroup relations struck a tone similar to that asserted by Allen King (1947), a member of the Social Education Executive Board and leader in social studies education in Cleveland, when he wrote:
Intergroup relations is one of the most difficult as well as one of the most important matters with which the schools have to deal ... The removal of prejudice and intolerance from American life is not a task which will be achieved easily or quickly. (60) Concern for harmony and justice at the domestic and international levels appeared to be major components of the goal of social studies education. Linwood Chase (1948) in his 1947 presidential address, "Our Common Concern," suggested that social studies teachers had a common goal. "Stated simply, this goal is the development of intelligent, responsible citizens" (8).
The Social Studies
While no one argued with the goal of developing intelligent, responsible citizens, the range of topics in Social Education and philosophies underlying them implied that there was no clear agreement about what this goal meant or the best vehicles for achieving it. Resolutions passed at the 1947 St. Louis annual meeting called upon NCSS to deplore "... recurring instances of the denial of civil liberties and human rights to religious, racial, economic, and political minorities...and urge(d) our national and state governments to enact legislation effectively guaranteeing to each individual without discrimination: freedom to work, to express opinions, to hold meetings, to vote, and the opportunity to secure an education." A second resolution called for Congress to pass legislation providing "...federal aid to education as a necessary step toward the realization of the goal of equal educational opportunity for all." Another resolution called for academic freedom to study controversial issues and "...urge(d) administrators, public-spirited community citizens, acting as individuals and through organizations, to oppose the increasing upsurge of pressure groups seeking to restrict full and impartial discussion in the social studies classroom."
Other resolutions called for non-partisan support for the European Recovery Program, congressional efforts to counteract inflation, a plan allowing displaced persons to enter the country, and rejection of universal military training. Additional resolutions called upon Council members to intensify attempts to support UNESCO, the Commission for Educational Reconstruction, and the Overseas Teacher-Relief Fund, for cooperation with "...the World Organization of the Teaching Profession to help promote understanding and unity among educators..." and for the Council and members to act as leaders in advancing peace and world understanding by working with other professional organizations, encouraging teacher and student exchanges, and urging at all levels the inclusion of curricular materials that advanced world understanding and cooperation. Finally, there was an appeal to institutions of higher education to improve the quality of their teacher preparation programs (Todd 1948, 6).
The picture of NCSS in 1947 that emerges from these sources is one of an expanding professional educational organization suffering financial growth pains, an organization that engaged from a liberal perspective the domestic, international, and educational issues of the day and that had ties to the discipline-based professional organizations in its field as well as to broader educational organizations such as NEA. A loosely defined civic/citizenship education that included behavioral and social sciences with a strong and occasionally contradictory emphasis on history and solving contemporary issues provided a wobbly pole star for the organization, which included members with diverse views on what social studies is and should do.
A Decade of Curricular Drift, Democratization, and Protecting Democratic Principles
During the late 1940s and early 1950s the patterns seen in 1947 continued. NCSS continued to participate in UNESCO and cooperated with the UNESCO Relations Staff of the Department of State. In 1950 NCSS worked with UNESCO in developing "The Treatment of International Agencies of Cooperation in World and U.S. History Textbooks." NCSS agreed to participate in the U.S. German textbook study. In 1956, NCSS secured funding from William L. Breese and launched a multiyear curriculum and staff development project, the Field Study in Education for International Relations, in Glens Falls, New York. This project generated significant interest in international relations and provided a focus for numerous articles in Social Education.
As tension with the Soviets increased, some responded with increased calls for educating world citizens (Schneideman 1948). Articles on the UN, peace, and citizenship abounded. Other articles, however, included a cold-war perspective in their rationale for studying non-Western regions. No longer was the focus simply on peace, good will and international understanding. Instead, as territories escaped from the yoke of colonialism, competition with the Soviets and national security demanded greater knowledge of these newly emerging nations so that the U.S. could act in a more informed and intelligent manner (Todd 1958).
Not only did the Cold War influence interest in world affairs, it also stirred ultra-patriotism at home. In the late 1940s, the vanguard of McCarthyism was afoot, and the response within NCSS was swift. Academic freedom increasingly concerned NCSS. In October of 1948, the editor called for renewed vigilance in defense of academic freedom (Todd 1948b). The Executive Secretary reported that "... a good deal of time this year (1949) went into combating attacks on teaching materials" (Hartshorn 1950, 82). The specter of communism, especially communism in the schools, loomed ever larger. In April of 1950, Lewis Paul Todd penned an introduction to the journal in which he defended the annual report of the U.S. Commissioner of Education that unequivocally recommended that communists not be employed in schools (Todd 1950a). In November of that year the NCSS Board approved a strong statement in favor of academic freedom in "The Public School and the American Heritage" (NCSS 1951).
The problem of academic freedom, if anything, grew and in 1952 Social Education published a bibliography of references that provided information about attacks on teachers and teaching materials (NCSS 1952). And in 1953 the Board asked the president to organize a "watch dog" committee to help the Council's Committee on Academic Freedom by collecting information about situations where freedom to teach had been threatened or restricted. In cooperation with ASCD, AASA and NAASP, NCSS distributed a kit of materials designed for use with critics of public education. In December of 1956, the NCSS Committee on Academic Freedom published in Social Education a position statement entitled "Action to Uphold Freedom to Learn and Freedom to Teach." Virtually every year, NCSS adopted one or more resolutions supporting academic freedom. Despite the best efforts of NCSS, however, the fear of controversy had a chilling impact on treatment of contemporary issues (Starr 1994). Moreover, the long-standing emphasis on social studies as the guardian and promoter of enlightened citizenship encouraged the belief that education had a vital role to play in guarding against censorship (Fisher 1958).
Intergroup relations remained a major area of concern within NCSS. In 1949, NCSS received grants of $4,900 from the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith and $2,400 from the American Jewish Committee to prepare and print two publications, America's Stake in Human Rights and Improving Human Relations (NCSS 1950). These documents were strong testimony to NCSS's commitment to defending human dignity. NCSS took another major step in this area when it conducted its first annual meeting south of the border states in 1952 after receiving assurances that hotel facilities in Dallas would not be segregated. In the wake of the 1954 Brown vs. the Board of Education Supreme Court case and the resulting national uproar, NCSS supported the position of NEA and called for recognition
"... that integration of all groups is more than an idea. It is a process that concerns every state and territory in our nation. All citizens are urged to approach this matter of integration in the public schools with the spirit of fair play and goodwill which has always been an outstanding characteristic of the American people. It is our conviction that all problems of integration in our school are capable of solution by citizens of intelligence and reasonableness working together in the interest of national unity for the common good of alquot; (Hartshorn 1955a, 127). In 1955, NCSS adopted an even more strongly worded resolution calling upon "...teachers and the public to use the opportunity to study the meaning of democracy and its applications to the implementation of the Supreme Court rulings" (Todd 1956, 53). Social Education continued to provide coverage of civil rights Supreme Court cases and clearly reflected NCSS's support for equal rights (U. S. Supreme Court 1958). The strong position taken by NCSS on civil rights was adopted at significant threat to the organization, because southern members, while supportive, warned that if NCSS adopted too strong a position, they would lose funding to attend national meetings (Starr 1994).
The Social Studies
The diverse range of topics addressed in the pages of Social Education each month confirmed the absence of any sharp conception of the field of social studies. Lewis Paul Todd, in his "Editor's Page" in May 1950, made explicit the lack of a clear and broadly accepted view of social studies when he wrote, "But all would readily admit that we are the victims of a great and growing confusion. We are suffering from intellectual indigestion, the result, if we may say so, of gulping our food too quickly... One of the pressing issues that concerns all of us is the place of history and other 'content' courses in a social studies program that has become as broad as life itself" (Todd 1950b, 195). President John Haefner, reflecting on the era, recalled that social studies was plagued by the "creeping curriculum." "At this time anything that didn't fit anywhere else got dumped into the social studies. I objected to the fact that we were having to absorb things that weren't necessarily within our field" (Haefner, interview). The old rubric of citizenship seemed to provide a vague, over-arching umbrella that offered some unity, and exciting civic education projects like the one at Columbia garnered much attention.
While the pages of Social Education continued to address familiar topics, the organizational patterns and issues reflected both continuity and change. Membership grew, inching toward 5,000 in 1948, when 1,500 attended the annual conference. By 1955, membership had grown to 6,000 (Hartshorn 1955b). A strong membership base grew in the West, and in 1951 Julian Aldrich became the first NCSS President to visit western councils on a speaking tour. NCSS had truly become a national organization. The first Who's Who in Social Studies rolled off the presses in 1951 to encourage greater communications within the growing social studies family. NCSS continued the tradition of cooperation by engaging in joint presentations and other cooperative ventures with a variety of professional organizations including AHA, APSA, NEA, AEA, NCGT, NCTE, ASCD, NAASP, the Mississippi Valley Historical Assn., and AASA.
As NCSS grew, so did concerns for making the organization more accessible and democratic (Hartshorn 1955b). NCSS abolished single-candidate elections for the vice-presidential position in favor of competitive elections. No longer were the top positions within the organization viewed as just rewards for long years of service. Julian Aldrich, the 1952 President, was the first president to reach office through this competitive process. In addition, in 1949 the Board appointed a Committee on Election Procedures to review NCSS election processes. In 1952, after years of discussion and debate, the Board released the Committee's report, which called for a constitutional amendment to conduct elections through mail ballots rather than as part of the business meeting. This proposed change, though rejected, was a direct attempt to ensure broader input from all members and to reduce the disproportionate influence of members living in the vicinity of the annual meeting (Dimond 1953).
Another Committee on Election Procedures was immediately appointed, and the 1954 Board adopted election criteria intended to promote geographic and gender distribution and the involvement of classroom teachers. These criteria applied to the nomination of officers for 1956 and reflected a concern with maintaining balanced representation and avoiding a disproportionate impact from states close to the annual meeting. These criteria barred anyone residing in the state or states adjacent to where the annual meeting was held from being nominated for second Vice-President (Hartshorn 1955c).
Another attempt at democratization could be seen in the change in procedures for introducing resolutions. Prior to 1954 all resolutions were supposed to be drafted and presented at the business meeting. After 1954, a committee was appointed to receive resolutions from all members, including those unable to attend the annual meeting, and to prepare and present them at the business meeting. Equally significant, after years of discussion and sometimes strenuous debate, in 1955 an amendment to create a House of Delegates reached the floor of the annual business meeting. The new House was established, and contained representatives of state, local, and regional councils. Representation initially was granted for any council having ten members who also belonged to NCSS. Subsequent representatives would be appointed for each 100 members who also enrolled in NCSS. The amendment eventually passed, and the first House of Delegates convened at the 1957 annual meeting in Pittsburgh. Its powers were limited to being an advisory body to the Board of Directors, who set its agenda.
The 1955 meeting was the first that involved all officers of NCSS in the increasingly demanding planning process instead of the latter simply being the task of the vice-president alone. Committees were reorganized into three categories: Committees of the Board, Standing Committees, and Ad Hoc Committees. A Membership Planning Committee was created as a committee of the Board in 1951, and a Resolution Committee was created in 1950. The Ad Hoc Committee for Relations of State and Local Councils to NCSS became a standing committee in 1951. Other committees that appeared to address special projects and needs were those for Business Sponsored Materials, a Commission on a Policy Statement for NCSS (1950), an Election Procedures Committee (1947), and committees for Relations with Other Societies, Student Exchanges Within the U.S. (1950) and the Study of German Textbooks (1950). The creation of committees for Resolutions, Election Procedures, and Relations of State and Local Councils to NCSS clearly reflected the concern about Council governance becoming increasingly unwieldy as the organization grew.
Despite these attempts to increase participation, remarks in John Haefner's presidential report suggested that NCSS continued to have difficulty reaching classroom practitioners. He stressed, "We must make every effort to close the gap between the National Council and the classroom teacher, who is already struggling with these formidable problems. There is an attitude abroad that the National Council is, after all, a relatively small elite, composed largely of supervisors and college people engaged in teacher education. That it is a closed corporation whose officialdom reproduces itself by the process of mitosis... That much of what the Council advocates is so hopelessly beyond what many classroom teachers can do that frustration inevitably sets in" (Haefner 1954, 53).
Thus, an expanded and increasingly democratized NCSS and its journal, Social Education, moved into the beginning of the middle decades of the twentieth century, mixing child-centered bits of progressive education with esoteric articles about steamboats on the western rivers and Bavarian blue laws, calls for critical thinking with techniques for group guidance and the core curriculum. An unstable mix of academic, child-centered, and social efficiency models of education competed to define the curriculum (Jenness 1990). The organization responded to domestic and international events by being a staunch advocate for civil rights, aggressively defending First Amendment rights and academic freedom, and supporting expanded knowledge of the world as a first line of defense for democracy.
The Renaissance of the New Social Studies: Organizational Response and Development for Professionalization
The Social Studies
During the early 1950s an increasing chorus of voices began to demand change in American education (Hertzberg 1981; Haas 1977). Frequently cast in terms of the Cold War, criticisms were expressed that the U. S. was falling behind the Soviets because of an inadequate educational system. An NCSS resolution of November, 1957, expressed this linkage by observing, "The American people are confronted today with the grave issue of the survival of our civilization and possibly of mankind itself. To meet this challenge, many proposals are being advanced for altering the content of American education" (NCSS 1958, 53). Although the reformers directed their ire initially toward math, science and reading programs, social studies soon became a target. Critics derided progressive education as a mishmash of feel-good, life adjustment instruction that left students deficient in basic knowledge of content. Even within the leadership of NCSS there existed a feeling that the current curriculum was dated. Future NCSS President Samuel McCutchen noted that NCSS in 1955 had established a Committee on Concepts and Values to "...prepare a guide to the selection of content in the social studies. The effort was fully due, for it had been nearly a generation since the Commission on the Social Studies of the American Historical Association had issued its 16-volume report" (McCutchen 1958, 73). A future NCSS President captured the degree of this lack of focus when he described the social studies curriculum as, "...Man, we don't know where we're going, but we're sure on our way" (Wronski 1959, 215).
Responding to the critics, the National Science Foundation by 1957 was supporting six major national projects to improve instruction in math and science, and more received funding in subsequent years (Haas 1977). These discipline-based projects stressed the concepts, generalizations, theories, and methodologies-the structure-of the disciplines. These academically oriented efforts fit well with the demands of Arthur Bestor, a leading critic of U.S. education, who called for training in the scholarly disciplines for all students. He particularly endorsed the study of history as an antidote to what he saw as the contemporary focus of social studies (Alilunas 1958, 238-40; Jenness 1990, 125; Hertzberg 1981, 90). The launching of Sputnik in 1957 only amplified the expression of concern and seemed to provide proof that U.S. education was inferior to that in other nations. The editor of Social Education captured the depth of this concern when he wrote, "...the battle for the free world is being fought this very minute in the schools of the United States and may very well be won or lost in America's classrooms" (Todd 1959a). Despite the rising chorus of demands for change in social studies, the 1958 National Defense Education Act (NDEA) ignored the social studies.
The drive for reform received a major impetus in 1960 when Jerome Bruner published The Process of Education, a report of a 1959 NSF-funded meeting of university scientists, government agencies, and private foundations at Wood's Hole. Bruner identified the basic principles underlying the reform movement in math and science and provided guidelines for university, governmental, and foundation reformers interested in the social studies (Bruner 1960). Professors of education, classroom teachers and NCSS remained peripheral to the gathering national forces of reform.
The New Social Studies
The critics of the social studies and the burgeoning reform movement soon engulfed the social studies and engendered momentous changes that promised to redirect the field. During the late 1950s Dr. Edwin Fenton, a recent Harvard history Ph.D. graduate then teaching at Carnegie Institute of Technology, and Lawrence Senesh, a recognized economist at Purdue University, began piloting new instructional content and strategies with public schools (Haas 1977, 20-21). Using rich discipline-based original sources, inquiry strategies, an emphasis on concepts, and higher level thinking skills, these pioneers laid the foundation for what was to be known as the New Social Studies.
These ground-breaking works were paralleled by developments within NCSS. By the late 1950s articles were appearing in Social Education that advocated conceptual teaching, teaching the methodology of each discipline, and other hallmarks of the New Social Studies (Dimond 1958; Wronski 1959). Charles R. Keller, Director of the John Hays Fellows Program, provided additional impetus to this movement in 1961 when he called for a revolution in social studies in an article in the Saturday Review (Keller 1961).
The early efforts quickly were joined by a plethora of curriculum development projects. Beginning in 1961 the National Science Foundation had funded two projects in anthropology and sociology. In the fall of 1962 the U.S. Office of Education launched Project Social Studies and solicited and funded diverse proposals. By 1963 seven new curriculum centers had been established with three to five years of funding at universities, and more were proposed for the next year. By 1965 the number had risen to twelve, and by 1967 there were more than fifty national curriculum development projects and countless efforts underway at the district level (Haas, 58). Most national projects were university and discipline-based and led by academic scholars who had established reputations in their field and power bases in their professional organizations, although the two conferences funded in the initial Project Social Studies cycle included papers by noted educators and some NCSS leaders (Smith 1963; Fenton 1994; Dante 1994; Turner 1994). NCSS was not at the center of either the curriculum development or the teacher training that supported it and had little direct influence on the direction in which these projects were driving the field (interview with Edwin Fenton by author; also letter from Gerald Marker to Lewis Paul Todd, Marker 1966).
NCSS and NDEA
Although much of the initial impetus for reform came from outside of NCSS, the organization continued to respond in myriad ways to the loud calls for academically rigorous reform. These responses not only facilitated and interacted with the New Social Studies, but they frequently accelerated the professionalization of social studies. First, NCSS became a vocal advocate for according social studies the same level of priority given to math and science. At the annual meeting in Cleveland, in 1957, only a month after the launching of Sputnik, NCSS passed a resolution requesting increased attention to social science and humanities education. The resolution argued that while math and science certainly deserved improved instruction for national security reasons, "the most serious issues of our time lie in the field of human affairs. For solutions to these problems, we must look to the social sciences and the humanities ... sustained and vigorous attention must be given to the role of the social sciences in the education of American youth" (NCSS 1957). Similar appeals for federal funding for social studies were issued again in 1958, 1960, 1962 and 1963, and for international education in 1967.
In 1961 the 1958 National Defense Education Act came up for renewal in Congress. The administration had recommended the addition of English and physical education, but social studies remained absent. In response, NCSS launched an intensive effort to get the social studies included (Hartshorn 1961). NCSS argued that "...in the current crisis confronting our country, sustained and vigorous attention must be given to the fundamental role of the social studies in the education of American youth; ... a most vital ingredient in our educational program for our defense calls for an informed body of citizens, loyal to our traditions, who possess the ability to think clearly, and who can choose wise courses of action on the issues confronting our nation" (296-97). But once again the decisionmakers in Washington did not think that social studies was a priority. In 1964 when NDEA legislation was to expire once more, NCSS launched another concerted effort to have social studies included. Testimony was given before House and Senate Committees, and members were urged to write to their Congressmen. Moreover, the House of Delegates appointed a group to draft a resolution opposing other legislation that would have extended the existing NDEA program (NCSS 1970). When the legislation was reauthorized, it included funds for materials and teacher training in history, geography, and civics, a development that has striking parallels to the current federal involvement in standards.
The reauthorized NDEA also included funds for hiring state social studies coordinators. These funds, together with all of the interest generated by the New Social Studies, provided a foundation for the creation of the Council of State Social Studies Supervisors (CS4), an organization that since the mid-1960s has consistently exerted a leadership function within NCSS. The increase from seven or eight state social studies specialists in 1960 to almost thirty in 1965 demonstrates the importance of NDEA money in creating CS4 (Hartshorn 1965a).
In addition to calling for funding to improve social studies, NCSS's support for the developing professionalization of social studies instruction meshed nicely with attempts to promote discipline-based academic rigor. NCSS continued its long-standing endorsement of having well-trained and qualified instructors in social studies classrooms. The Committee on Policy Statement in 1958 in Social Education advocated efforts to strengthen the quality of teachers (Hartshorn 1962a). In 1963 the Board passed a resolution calling upon local districts to have only certified teachers in social studies classes. The House of Delegates raised the issues of teacher standards again in 1967 (Hartshorn 1968).
A variety of other signs of growing professionalization were also congruent with the reform movement. The 1961 House of Delegates discussed social studies classroom standards and equipment and called on NCSS to issue a How To Do It bulletin describing the required planning, organization and equipment. And in 1963 the NCSS President engaged in preliminary discussions with AASA and NASSP about the formation of a joint committee to work on how to raise standards for social studies instruction.
Not only was NCSS concerned about the quality of teachers and resources in the classroom, but it recognized that the conditions in which those teachers worked also impacted the quality of social studies instruction. In 1963 the Board passed a resolution calling for all social studies teachers to have a minimum of one hour daily free from teaching or supervisory duties to be used for instructional preparation (Hartshorn 1964, 157). It called for adherence to accreditation standards for class size and recommended that in any event classes not exceed thirty students.
In addition, NCSS sought to introduce teachers to the latest academic scholarship. The 1958 yearbook, New Viewpoints in the Social Sciences, provided only one indication of this approach (Hertzberg 1981). In another attempt to bolster academic quality, NCSS launched in 1958 a joint project with the American Council of Learned Societies to identify the essential knowledge that a high school graduate should have in each social science discipline. Jack Allen, NCSS President during 1957, indicated that he and Merrill Hartshorn were able to get NCSS leaders to coordinate visits to Washington in order to begin planning, but there seemed to be little active participation by members of learned societies (Allen 1976; NCSS 1970, 809). Dr. Howard Wilson, during the 1958 Annual Meeting in San Francisco, called on the Board to form a National Commission on the Social Studies to make recommendations about the social studies curriculum. The Board responded favorably, resolving to "...attempt to involve the scholarly social science organizations on the strongest basis possible, aiming toward joint sponsorship if that can be obtained, and to move ahead with all possible speed" (Hartshorn 1960, 78). The NCSS Board directed the Executive Secretary to approach the American Council of Learned Societies. The result, The Social Sciences and the Social Studies, was published in 1962 and offered a helpful guide to the social science disciplines, but did little to clarify the ultimate purpose of social studies education, reflected little understanding of the historical evolution of the social studies, and seemed unaware of the realities of schools, according to some critics (Hertzberg 1981; Jenness 1990). Others were more positive and even saw in these efforts the beginning of the New Social Studies (Allen 1976; NCSS 1970, 809).
Defining Goals: Citizenship Education vs.
Efforts to define the field more clearly continued. In 1958, the Committee on Concepts and Values published a summary of its report in Social Education that sought to identify key social studies learning, but it contained a curious blend of clear discipline-based goals with others that seemed more child centered or oriented toward social efficiency (McCutcheon 1958). The 1963 House of Delegates provided additional evidence of the ongoing concern for clarity of focus when it passed a resolution requesting that the President of the United States be asked to appoint a National Commission on the Social Studies (Hartshorn 1964, 159).
By 1959, articles were calling for a "...radical shift in emphasis in social studies from the what of the social sciences to the how of the social scientist" (Wronski 1959, 215). The drive for discipline-based social science instruction, however, did not go unchallenged. In 1958 Social Education published "A Statement on the Social Studies," a product of the Statement of the Committee on Policy that was established in 1951 to produce a sequel to the previous statement, "The Social Studies Looks Beyond the War." This document reflected the new internationalism when it declared that the task before social studies was "to avoid the provincialism of evaluating other peoples solely on the basis of our own values and experiences" (Wronski 1958, 66).
The appointment of an Ad Hoc Advisory Committee on Citizenship Education in 1958 also suggested that citizenship education, rather than individual disciplines, remained a primary concern of the organization. The theme of citizenship received additional emphasis in Shirley Engle's classic "Decision Making: The Heart of Social Studies Instruction" (Engle 1960). Jack Allen's 1958 presidential address, "Of Teaching and Social Intelligence," while recognizing the appropriateness of disciplinary instruction to achieve some objectives, generally called for integration. "To achieve other objectives, the boundaries need to give way to interrelationships. The end is social understanding, the means disciplinary knowledge fashioned in a variety of ways" (Allen 1959, 201-2). The 1962 NCSS President, Samuel McCutchen, joined the debate in his presidential address, "A Discipline for the Social Studies," in which he argued that the centrifugal forces atomizing the field boded ill for the future. He predicted a power struggle for curricular space with the best funded victors capturing the high school curriculum. Instead of an infinite fragmentation and its accompanying conflict and lack of focus, McCutchen passionately argued for a discipline of social studies. Not only did McCutchen fear competition among the disciplines, he also opposed the fragmentary, discipline-specific goals suggested by a social science orientation (McCutchen 1963).
The 1962 NCSS annual meeting reflected the hurricane of change buffeting the field. According to the post-conference report, "What we have is a multitude of pressures and proposals that are leading in many directions. The social studies are in a crisis, and some sort of revolution is coming, but no one can yet say what is going to happen or even what should happen" (NCSS 1963, 85). The confusion reigned not only over the content of the field and how it should be taught; it reached into the very heart of NCSS. Because much of the leadership for social studies reform came from academics in universities, NCSS lacked a clear role in the curriculum development that was occurring throughout the country. The 1962 Board authorized the creation of a Project Planning Committee "...to clarify the role of NCSS in curriculum development" (NCSS 1963, 87).
The discussion continued in earnest in the April 1963 edition of Social Education as social studies educators examined various issues related to the new trends. Shirley Engle suggested a curriculum organized around key, recurring concepts, while Byron Massialas provided an inquiry model to help students develop those concepts. Lawrence Metcalf critiqued traditional social studies and called for a problem-centered approach that would emphasize critical examination of closed areas of American society. Paul Hanna responded to the lack of articulation in the traditional curriculum by offering an expanding horizons model to determine scope and sequence. The final contributor, Thomas C. Mendenhall, outlined problems confronting the field, cautioned against rapid and drastic responses, and advocated a gradual integration of social science concepts into a historical and anthropological curricular framework.
The November 1963 issue of Social Education included a report on the seven Project Social Studies Centers that were funded in the initial round, and the entire issue of Social Education of April 1965 was devoted to reports from the original Project Social Studies Centers and an overview of the Centers established in 1964. This issue provoked a series of responses, generally critical, in the October 1965 issue. While the discipline-oriented, process-oriented, intellectually rigorous characteristics of many of the New Social Studies projects had captured the interest of many NCSS members, they had not persuaded all. William Cartwright predicted that history would have a salient place in the curriculum, although contemporary social sciences would make inroads; that broad general courses, narrowly focused courses, integrated and interdisciplinary courses would be tried and fail (Cartwright 1966).
Debate raged over whether social studies meant the integration of the social science disciplines or merely provided an umbrella under which the disciplines could function independently. The practical impact of these discussions frequently was the replacement of interdisciplinary courses such as POD with courses like discipline-based economics, sociology, or government (Alilunas 1964). Despite criticism and on-going debate, by 1967 the New Social Studies dominated social studies reform efforts, but not everyone had climbed on the reform bandwagon (Hertzberg 1981, 115; Starr 1994). The forces that sought to harness the latest discipline-based research and methods in the service of an interdisciplinary education for civic participation and problem solving continued to press their case in the pages of Social Education (Powell 1963; Engle 1965; Shaver 1967).
Although curricular reform dominated much of the discussion in social studies, NCSS continued to develop as a professional organization. Late in 1957, an assistant to the Executive Secretary, Ernest Baum, Jr., was hired to work with local associations and the Committee on Professional Relations, and to promote the activities of the Council (Hartshorn 1958a). Finances strained by higher printing costs and declining revenue from publications continued to be a problem (Hartshorn 1958b). By 1958 membership had climbed to 6,866 from 6,146 the previous year, and by 1960 had risen to almost 8,000 (Hartshorn 1959a, 1961b). The year 1960 also witnessed a 25 percent increase in joint membership dues received through affiliated councils that the Executive Secretary attributed to intensive work by the local and state councils (Hartshorn 1961b). Membership continued to climb, reaching 9,980 for fiscal year 1961-62. By 1966 membership and subscribers to Social Education had risen to over 20,000 (Hartshorn 1967). Slightly more than 3,000 educators flocked to Chicago to attend the 1961 Annual Meeting, and subsequent meetings during the 1960s consistently reported attendance around 3,000 (Hartshorn 1962b). The 1966 meeting in Cleveland was the largest to date with 3,265, and the impact of the New Social Studies was visible in the increase to 150 in the number of exhibitors who attended (Hartshorn 1967). By 1967, NCSS had undertaken a revision of the agenda of the annual meeting. An early week set of activities, including school visits and historical and cultural tours, was added as well as time for CS4, CUFA, local social studies specialists (the future SSSA), the NCSS Board and NCSS Resolutions Committee (NCSS 1967). Not only did membership and conferences expand, but the size of Social Education grew as well. In 1961 a typical issue contained 48 pages, but by 1965 it had swelled to 74, and some issues reached over 100 pages (Hartshorn 1966a).
The relationship with NEA required NCSS to propose a constitutional amendment in 1960. Prior to 1960, NEA bylaws required that members of any NEA department also be members of NEA, but the provision was not enforced. Debate raged in NEA concerning membership requirements for NEA departments, and the bylaws were changed to allow each department the right to establish membership qualifications, if the elected officers of that department were NEA members. In response, NCSS proposed to modify its constitution to require elected officers to be NEA members and to encourage all members to join NEA (Hartshorn 1961b). In 1967 NEA again rejected a requirement for members of departments to be NEA members, but in 1968 did require departments to select within a year one of three classifications of affiliation, department, national affiliate, or associated organization (Hartshorn 1969).
Other technical amendments to the Constitution and the Articles of Incorporation occurred in 1964 in order to meet IRS non-profit guidelines. The purpose of NCSS was defined as being to "...promote the study of the problems of teaching the social studies to the best advantage to the students in the classroom; to encourage research, experimentation, and investigation in these fields; to hold public discussions and programs; to sponsor the publication of desirable articles, reports, and surveys; and to integrate the efforts and activities of all those who have similar purposes through the efforts and activities of its members and their cooperative activities with others interested in the advancement of education in the social studies" (Hartshorn 1965b, 100).
Initiated in response to a growing and more widely dispersed membership, the early post-World War II attempts at democratization and efforts to provide opportunities for greater member involvement did not easily lead to additional advances. The failure in 1954 to adopt a constitutional amendment that would have created a mail ballot electoral system that allowed members who did not attend the annual conference to vote continued to pose a barrier to democratic operation of NCSS. In 1958, NCSS began again to address the topic by creating an ad hoc committee to review procedures for the nomination and election of officers. In 1961, the committee's recommendation to adopt a constitutional amendment to conduct elections by mail was approved, and the amendment was presented to the membership (Hartshorn 1961b, 106). The first election by mail was conducted in 1963 and produced a return rate of 27 percent (Hartshorn 1964, 155).
The establishment of the House of Delegates also posed numerous problems, and the Board of Directors met for over 30 hours during the 1957 meeting. The Board expressed concern over the number of resolutions being introduced and decided to set an example by introducing only one resolution (Hartshorn 1958b, 82-83). The movement toward expanded participation by members received formal recognition when the 1958 House of Delegates adopted a manual on the operation and functioning of the House of Delegates. In 1965, the House also appointed an ad hoc committee to study apportionment of delegates, and in 1966, the Committee reported to the House. Representation, as then distributed, meant that large councils were under-represented while small ones were over-represented. The committee recommended that the current system be retained, but to ensure continuity delegates should serve three-year terms. Another resolution created a House of Delegates Steering Committee to help organize and facilitate its meetings. By 1967, the operations of the House took another step when a parliamentarian and professional secretary were added.
As the House of Delegates worked to establish operating procedures and institutional mechanisms, it also struggled to define its relationship with the Board. By 1961, the Board felt compelled to remind the House of Delegates that it was an advisory body that had no legislative authority and that its resolutions were not binding unless the Board concurred. In 1964 a delegate introduced a resolution to make the House of Delegates the "supreme policy-making body of NCSS," during the national convention, but the discussion ended after an agreement to support Board decisions and to call for an ad hoc committee to study ways to expand the responsibilities of the House of Delegates (Hartshorn 1965c, 174). In 1966, another amendment to have the House assume responsibility for conducting the business meeting failed, as did a proposal to require the House and Board to meet jointly. At the 1967 meeting the Executive Secretary explained the board was making changes that would qualify the annual House of Delegates meetings as NCSS annual business meetings, but that constitutionally the House of Delegates could not assume control of the business meeting for two years (Hartshorn 1968, 283-86). What is clear is that the House continued to experience growing pains as it tried to carve out a more assertive role within NCSS.
Another indication of the continued efforts to democratize NCSS appeared in a constitutional amendment proposed in 1965 that any member in good standing had the right to engage in debate at any business meeting, but that only members of the House of Delegates had the right to vote. Likewise, the decision in 1967 that all committees would be required to publish in Social Education an annual report represented an attempt to inform and involve an increasingly dispersed membership. Finally, in 1966 the committee structure was reorganized to help the organization to be more responsive to changing needs. Standing committees were responsible for council "housekeeping," and advisory committees consisted of a small steering group that worked with an advisory group of members (NCSS 1970, 811).
The 1959 House of Delegates also continued earlier discussion of how to facilitate coordination among local, state, regional councils and NCSS (Hartshorn 1958c, 128; 1959b, 126). The Board approved a House recommendation that affiliation be extended to any council with ten members who were also NCSS members, but that ten percent of the members must be NCSS members within five years if affiliation was to be continued. But in 1960, the House asked the Board to postpone the ten percent membership requirement and requested that a committee develop revised affiliation plans before the 1961 conference (Hartshorn 1961c, 200).
In 1962 the NCSS President initiated a survey of affiliated councils. Sixty-six responded and recommended that NCSS work for better integration of efforts among the councils and improved communications between NCSS and its affiliates (Hartshorn 1963, 152). The 1963 House of Delegates made a series of suggestions ranging from making awards to recognize outstanding teachers to getting "air time" for educational media (Hartshorn 1964, 156). In 1964 the problem of bringing NCSS to local units was again raised, and President Isadore Starr told the House of Delegates that funds were currently available to allow NCSS officers to address local organizations (Hartshorn 1965c, 173).
NCSS Responds to National and International Developments
As NCSS continued to grow and adjust organizationally, it constantly found itself responding to the swirling currents of national and international events: the Cold War, continued international tensions, concerns for national security, and ultraconservative attempts to control teachers and the educational process. When the Cold War burst into the flames of Vietnam, NCSS was involved in responding to the conflict that tore American society asunder. At home, NCSS continued its tradition of staunchly defending First Amendment rights and academic freedom in a wide variety of contexts throughout this period.
Although the continuation of the Cold War during the late 1950s and 1960s fueled demands for educational reform, tension with the Soviet Union remained visible in NCSS. Its impact could be seen in both blatant and subtle ways in the pages of Social Education and in NCSS's response to academic freedom and First Amendment issues raised by ultraconservative attacks. Writing in the "Editor's Page" in January 1959, Todd repeated Dulles's warning that "the United States has never in its peacetime history faced a greater challenge than the one now confronting it in the war of trade and foreign aid that the Soviet Union is carrying on throughout the world" (Todd 1959b, 3). To counteract the Soviet threat, the editor exhorted schools and teachers to improve students' and citizens' understanding of U.S. foreign policy, foreign aid, and world economic issues (Steibel 1959). In 1960 at the 40th Convention, diverse scholars warned of Soviet threats to the Mediterranean, Africa, the world in general, and to the U.S. position in the U.N. (Bartlett 1961).
In addition to such frequent reminders that the freedom of the world was hanging in the balance, the expanded coverage of non-Western areas also indicated the growing importance of these areas as the super powers competed. For example, the entire April 1959 issue of Socia#16;Education examined the Far East, and Editor Todd decried the lack of attention to the Great Leap Forward (Tood 1959c). In 1961, one issue focused exclusively on the Middle East, while another was devoted to Africa. The November 1962 issue addressed peace through law, and the January 1966 issue dealt with International Cooperation Year. In addition, NCSS continued its involvement in the Glen Falls Project for teaching international affairs until the project ended in June of 1960. It continued to cosponsor the Washington-U.N. summer institute with NEA. A scanning of virtually any year of Socia#16;Education during the 1960s reveals scholarly articles on world areas, bibliographies, and occasional calls for increased attention to areas and issues outside of the U.S.
In 1966, Social Education published its first articles dealing with the emerging conflict in Vietnam. One critiqued U.S. policy while another provided a scholarly analysis of protest (Taylor 1966; Boulding 1966). These were followed in March with a rationale for U.S. intervention (Schwartz 1966). A second article in the same issue provided some general themes for helping students to understand crises in Asia (Wilson 1966). The October issue of Social Education provided details of government publications on Vietnam and information for conscientious objectors.
The domestic ramifications of the Cold War also influenced NCSS. McCreary captured the sentiments of the era and the essence of the problem when he wrote:
A serious crisis threatens American education, particularly social studies in secondary schools. The crisis springs from the national anxieties and frustrations of the Cold War and recalls previous periods of tension, such as the concern for teacher loyalty after World War I and the strictures of McCarthyism during the Korean War... The crisis can lead to a serious corruption of the curriculum, or, if handled wisely with courage and insight, may be a milestone of progress and growth... Americans are now an anxious and insecure people. They have suffered many frustrations and fears since World War II, though enjoying an unprecedented material prosperity. The Cold War occupies more and more of the emotional life of many people-even as it dominates an important part of our political and economic life and military posture... The average citizen is not only frustrated but puzzled and confused by the course of events. He feels helpless and inadequate-powerless to do anything to improve the situation... People who are unable to solve their most vexing problems try to ensure that the new generation will be better prepared to settle matters. Americans now seem justifiably concerned with how our schools can help to sustain our liberties and values... Certain extreme right-wing organizations, including the John Birch society, have frankly proclaimed their intention to infiltrate schools... and bring their point of view to the fore in classrooms. (McCreary 1962, 177-184)
Raymond Muessig and Vincent Rogers (1964) offer additional evidence that the fanatical attacks on schools continued in the cold war period and, if anything, seemed to become even more one-sided than before.
Mounting attacks on academic freedom took a variety of forms and led NCSS to continue its tradition of aggressive support for academic freedom. The Committee on Academic Freedom presented to the 1959 House of Delegates a resolution to protect the right of teachers to join any organization except those advocating the overthrow of the government. After debate and modification, the House urged Congress to enact the Murray-Metcalf Bill. This bill was a response to increasing state legislation that was requiring public employees to file an affidavit naming all organizations to which they belonged or contributed regularly. The Board also adopted this resolution.
In 1960 the Board tackled the latest infringement when it voted to urge the repeal of the 1958 Loyalty Affidavit for students obtaining loans under the 1958 National Defense Education Act. The discussion in the 1960 House of Delegates about how to respond to administrative and community pressure over the teaching of controversial issues offered additional evidence of the enduring and salient nature of this topic (Hartshorn 1961c). Another amendment supporting academic freedom was passed by the House of Delegates in 1961. Two years later, it called for a new statement on teaching controversial issues. At the same meeting, the Board passed a resolution that called for NCSS to "...establish a permanent committee with adequate financial and professional support whose function will be to go to the aid of social studies teachers whose academic freedom is under attack" (Hartshorn 1964, 158). In 1964, the House of Delegates, in an Academic Freedom Resolution jointly sponsored by NCSS and AHA, called for presenting an accurate and truthful picture of the past, for limiting the basis of criticism of teachers, textbooks and instructional materials to accuracy and scholarship, for seeing attempts to impose a single point of view as "hostile" to the goals of American education, and for the formation of Academic Freedom Committees in the local, state, and regional councils of NCSS. A second jointly sponsored resolution encouraged publishers to present controversial issues from diverse perspectives (Hartshorn 1965c, 174-75).
In 1961, racism and academic freedom issues combined in the case of teachers who faced termination for supporting desegregation. Social Education, as part of its ongoing series on salient Supreme Court cases, highlighted this issue in November of 1961 (Starr 1961). Additional issues of Social Education maintained NCSS's tradition of providing information about freedom of expression and assembly and academic freedom (Lunstrum, 1962a).
During the late 1950s and 1960s NCSS continued its energetic promotion of equal rights for all Americans. Surprisingly, given the salience of civil rights issues in U.S. society at this time, the coverage of civil rights issues and articles about instructional strategies or programs for promoting tolerance became less visible in Social Education. But Social Education continued to include articles that addressed issues of racism, although they were not as frequent as previously (Lundstrum 1962b; Franklin 1964; Cooke 1964; Cuban 1967, 478-82).
A review of the 1962 Annual Meeting describing the tone of the conference noted, "... social studies teachers have a special responsibility to awaken the American people to the need for further growth of freedom at home and cooperation with others in the extension of freedom abroad" (Wass 1963, 84). The 1963 Convention took an even more formal position on the matter, when the House and Board passed a resolution calling for "... textbooks and other instructional materials which deal frankly, accurately, and honestly with the historical development of minorities in our country..." (Hartshorn 1964, 158). And at the Annual Meeting in 1964, the House of Delegates passed a resolution calling for social studies teachers to "...accept the leadership and moral responsibility to espouse and teach that which is consistent with the democratic ideal and to urge full implementation of the civil rights law which was passed by the United States Congress" (Hartshorn 1965, 175).
This progression of resolutions in support of civil rights probably had its most significant practical impact in 1968, when the House passed a resolution concerning "star editions." These were edited versions of national textbooks that were intended for use in the South. They generally deleted positive references to Blacks and in other ways perpetuated Jim Crow views. The resolution criticized star editions "...as being opposed to the letter and spirit of democracy...," called upon NCSS members who authored texts to pledge that their materials would not be issued in star editions, requested that districts notify publishers that they would not purchase any text that was available in an integrated and nonintegrated version, and asked that the federal government withhold funds for the purchase of these materials (Hartshorn 1969, 483).
Between 1947 and 1967, NCSS epitomized the historians' twin pillars of continuity and change. In responding to the domestic and international issues of the day, NCSS consistently fought discrimination and ardently protected First Amendment rights and academic freedom. As Editor Dan Roselle noted, "As NCSS developed it did a beautiful job in these areas. These issues were addressed by NCSS in several ways" (Roselle 1993). In addition, NCSS acted as an advocate for social studies education. When Office of Education programs ignored social studies, NCSS was instrumental in securing funding for improvement in history, geography and government, although NCSS was unable to induce the Office of Education to see the field as an independent discipline that integrated the social sciences, perhaps, in part, because NCSS itself lacked consensus.
But organizationally, the NCSS of 1967 bore little resemblance to the NCSS of 1947. It was larger and had a national membership. In response to its increased size and geographic dispersal, it had developed slowly and painfully more democratic organizational structures and procedures. Throughout the period, however, some members expressed concern that classroom teachers, who constituted the bulk of social studies professionals, generally provided no more than half of the membership of NCSS, a situation that meant that university professors, curriculum coordinators, and department chairs, had a disproportionate representation. NCSS did ensure that classroom teachers had opportunities for representation on boards and committees and periodically launched recruiting efforts to induce teachers to join and become more active in the organization.
NCSS had taken steps to raise standards for social studies teachers, enhance their content and pedagogic knowledge, improve their working conditions, ensure that social studies garnered the support, attention and curricular space it deserved, and generally encourage professionalization of the field. These professional developments fit nicely with the academically based New Social Studies.
But at its heart, NCSS lacked clarity of purpose and a universally accepted definition of its field. The New Social Studies had brought forth once again the question of the definition of social studies, and there was still no consensus. Instead as Editor Roselle observed,
Now we were going to find a key that would unlock all doors and set us off from other disciplines. One social studies educator declared social studies should focus on decision-making. Another said the chief task of social studies should be making good citizens. Another said the social studies should concentrate on the development of critical thinking. Another said the primary job of the social studies must be to teach about values... Meanwhile I'm tempted to say outside in the real world most teachers continued to teach history or government or economics or geography or sociology or anthropology, although a few did present an integrated social studies course. And most important of all, many social studies teachers were also doing the very things that NCSS was nagging them to do. They were trying to get students to think, to have sound values, to be good citizens. But the demands of NCSS position statements written in esoteric language were most confusing to them. Many teachers simply did not understand what the National Council for Social Studies was. They still do not. Many didn't understand what the term social studies meant. They still do not. The enrollment in NCSS grew a little, but nowhere as rapidly as it should have. Today we should have 100,000 members. (Roselle 1993)
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-----. "The Role of Generalization in Teaching the Social Studies." Social Education 22, no. 5 (1958): 232-34.
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-----. "Notes and News." Social Education 33, no. 4 (1969b): 477-96.
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-----. "A Discipline for the Social Studies." Social Education 27, no. 2 (1963): 61-65.
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Dale Greenawald is an educational consultant based in Colorado. He has published extensively in the field of social studies education and recently served on the faculty of the University of Northern Colorado.