Four themes seem to highlight the activities of NCSS members who made special efforts to further the professionalization of the social studies field from 1968 to 1982. During this period, members of NCSS worked (1) to constitute a more professional organization, (2) to establish the hallmarks of a profession for the field of social studies, (3) to find and exercise a professional voice on social studies-related issues, and (4) ultimately to forge a professional identity for social studies educators.
Building A More Professional Organization
From 1968 to 1982, NCSS members endeavored to constitute a more professional organization that was increasingly responsive to its membership. NCSS at first altered and later severed its affiliation with the National Education Association (NEA). It revised its committee structure, amended its constitution, and expanded its other activities.
Like other professional organizations such as the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD) and the American Association of School Administrators (AASA), NCSS was affiliated as a department of NEA early in its history (Hartshorn 1969). Until 1960, NEA by-laws had mandated membership in NEA for department members, but the measure was never enforced. In 1960, NEA by-laws were amended to require membership only of department officers. In the mid-1960s some quarters of NEA began lobbying for the reinstatement of the original provision requiring NEA membership for all department members; such an amendment was narrowly defeated by the NEA Representative Assembly in 1967. This was an issue of some gravity for NCSS because at the time roughly 50 percent of NCSS members enjoyed concomitant membership with NEA and mandatory membership for all was seen as possibly having a dire impact on NCSS membership (Hartshorn, 1968, "Report of the Executive Secretary to the House of Delegates, 1968"). Indeed, at its November 1968 meeting in Washington, DC, the House of Delegates passed a motion reaffirming its opposition to the compulsory membership of NCSS members in NEA ("Summary of Minutes of NCSS Twelfth Delegate Assembly, 1968").
In 1968 the NEA Representative Assembly adopted an amendment that provided for three types of relationships with NEA: Department, National Affiliate, and Associated Organization. At its April 1969 meeting, the NCSS Board of Directors approved a change of NCSS status from a Department to a National Affiliate of NEA. A proposed constitutional amendment was read at the 1969 Business Meeting in Houston and approved at the 1970 Business Meeting in New York (NCSS, Series 6, Box 1). The resulting amendment changed Article III, Section 7, of the NCSS Constitution to declare NCSS a National Affiliate of NEA and stated that NCSS, in accordance with NEA policy, would merely "encourage" its members to hold membership with NEA. In 1975 two amendments to the NCSS Constitution severed NCSS affiliation with and obligations to NEA and, finally, the 1977 revision to the NCSS Constitution removed the provision that elective officers hold membership with NEA. Fifty-six years after its founding, NCSS became an independent professional organization.
In 1968, NCSS revised its committee structure with the result of providing increased representation for and responsiveness to members in Council decision making and activities. Standing Committees became Advisory Committees and were "enlarged in the interest of wider representation and included a Board member in the interest of better communication," as NCSS President Ralph W. Cordier put it ("Report of the President to the House of Delegates, 1968"). In May 1977 the Board of Directors added Special Interest Groups (SIGs) to its recognized affiliates in an effort to provide an institutional mechanism for members "to deal with their own special subject-matter interest-for example, psychology, geography, sociology" ("Minutes of the 20th Delegate Assembly," 447). By the end of the era, then, NCSS had constituted an organization that included Operational Committees to perform basic organizational functions, Advisory Committees to advise the House of Delegates on social studies-related issues, Ad Hoc Committees for special tasks, Affiliates such as the Social Studies Supervisors Assoication, known as SSSA (founded in 1968), the College and University FacultyAssembly (CUFA), the Council of State Social Studies Supervisors (CS4), and Special Interest Groups (SIGs).
Concern with institutional efficacy and responsiveness is indicated by the relatively heavy activity to amend the NCSS Constitution during the period 1968 to 1982. Between its inception in 1921 and 1965, the NCSS Constitution had undergone one substantial revision and six amendments; between 1968 and 1978 the NCSS Constitution underwent one major revision and five amendments ("The Constitution of the National Council for the Social Studies" 1978).
The three constitutional amendments approved in 1968 had the effect of removing the editor of Social Education from the Board of Directors and designating that the business meeting run in conjunction with the House of Delegates meeting. The 1970 amendment, mentioned above, revised the status of NCSS from a Department to a National Affiliate of NEA. Amendments approved in 1971 provided for comprehensive and student memberships, stipulated that the composition of the Board of Directors represent the various professional membership categories, and identified procedures for electing Board members. Two amendments approved in 1975 finally severed NCSS affiliation with and obligations to NEA, and changed the title of Executive Secretary to Executive Director. The major revision of the NCSS Constitution in 1977 warrants greater attention not only because of the relative magnitude of the changes, but also because of implications of these changes.
The 1977 revision was initiated by President Stanley Wronski in 1974 and provided for input from all constituents of NCSS. Among the principal concerns that prompted the revisions were the following (Mehlinger 1977, 4): (1) redefining the term "social studies"; (2) increasing the influence of the House of Delegates; (3) increasing the involvement of classroom teachers (who accounted for over half of NCSS membership); (4) eliminating sexist language; (5) deleting references to NEA; and (6) providing increased continuity on the Board of Directors. These changes clearly were motivated by a desire to improve the organization's responsiveness to its members and to culminate the process of distancing the Council from NEA begun a decade earlier.
The concern for revising the definition of the term "social studies" spoke to the wider issue of developing a professional identity. Until this time, the NCSS Constitution had read: "The term 'social studies' is used to include history, economics, sociology, civics, geography, and all modifications or combinations of subjects whose content as well as aim is predominantly social." The revised Constitution read as follows:
The term "social studies" is used to include the social science disciplines and those areas of inquiry which relate to the role of the individual in a democratic society designed to protect his and her integrity and dignity and are concerned with the understanding and solution of problems dealing with social issues and human relationships. (Mehlinger 1977, 4)
At the end of the 21st Assembly of the House of Delegates an amendment was proposed that suggested an editorial change to the definition of social studies which resulted in Article I, Sec. 1, which was approved in 1979, reading as follows:
The term "social studies" is used to include the social science disciplines and those areas of inquiry which relate to the role of the individual in a democratic society. The social studies are designed to protect the individual's dignity; they are concerned with the understanding and solution of problems dealing with social issues and human relationships.
The revised definition is notable for at least four reasons: (1) it abandoned the singular focus of the earlier definition on curriculum organization; (2) insofar as it substitutes the term "social science disciplines" for a list of specific disciplines, it reduces the emphasis on the separate subjects; (3) it implies that subject disciplines are important insofar as they relate to the protection of individual rights in the context of democratic society; and (4) it implies that subject matter need be applied to understanding and resolving societal problems. It is possible that this revised definition of the social studies marked the beginning of a trend toward a more progressive conception of the field and away from a traditional academic definition.
Wider Role for the House of Delegates
A recurrent theme in the debates surrounding the changes in committee structure and the various amendments to the NCSS Constitution was the issue of the relationship between the House of Delegates and the Board of Directors. The former was founded in 1957 to facilitate communication between the Board and affiliates. Composed of representatives from the affiliates, it can be considered the body most directly representative of the wider membership. According to the NCSS charter, the function of the House of Delegates is to advise the Board of Directors on matters of Council business and policy. Members of the House occasionally lobbied for greater input into Council decisions and, despite the occasional effort that superseded the charter and subsequently failed, the trend during this period was toward increased influence of the House in Council affairs.
Other Membership Services
Other specific activities aimed at serving the membership and therefore leading to an increasingly professional organization can also be cited. Examples include the introduction of the council's official newsletter, The Social Studies Professional, in October 1968 and the creation in the late 1970s of the Field Services Board to assist NCSS affiliates. As the flagship journal of the organization, Social Education served as the primary vehicle for catering to membership needs and interests. The range of features presented in Social Education during this time period-including a section reserved for elementary social studies, periodic research supplements, the inauguration of the Classroom Teachers' Idea Notebook in 1970, and the introduction of Notable Children's Tradebooks-indicated not only a commitment to meeting diverse membership needs, but also reflected and represented an effort to appeal to both researchers and practitioners on all grade levels. Together, these activities suggested a special concern to make the organization increasingly responsive to its membership.
This effort did not guarantee the development of a professional identity for the social studies field. James P. Shaver defined this dilemma in a letter to Social Education editor Daniel Roselle (January 2, 1975), in which he expressed the sense "that Social Education, with the occasional appearance of the Research Supplement, has become devoted to classroom application and a representation of social science or other 'pure' material that might be of use to classroom teachers" [emphasis in original]. Shaver suggested that the move "toward the 'practical,' nitty-gritty bits of teaching and toward articles by specialists outside of social studies education providing content of use to social studies teachers" would possibly lead the field to lose sight of "questions of purpose and impact." Did efforts to serve a wide range of interests strengthen the field or contribute to the fragmentation of its variegated constituents? Did these efforts cater to specialized interests at the expense of establishing a cohesive professional identity?
A Professional Membership
During the period 1968 to 1982, members of NCSS engaged in activities that had the effect of establishing several hallmarks of a social studies profession. At this time, widely accepted criteria for a profession included: (1) an identifiable and unique public service; (2) an advanced program of specialized knowledge; (3) the application of skills at a high cognitive level; (4) a high level of responsibility and latitude in decision making; and (5) a self-regulating membership abiding by a code of ethics (Lieberman 1956). Council activities that served to address these criteria included developing professional standards for teachers, formulating a code of ethics for teachers, establishing guidelines for social studies curriculum, and issuing position statements on a variety of social studies-related issues.
Professional Standards and Code of Ethics
At the 1968 meeting of the House of Delegates the Committee on Standards for Social Studies Teachers expressed concerns about the "low quality of some of the individuals who are presently teaching social studies" and recommended that the Executive Committee create an ad hoc committee to generate professional standards for social studies teachers (Minutes of the 13th Delegate Assembly, 482). In 1969 the Board of Directors appointed such a committee, consisting entirely of teachers, that presented its document to the Steering Committee of the House of Delegates, which endorsed and approved the new standards in March of 1971 and published them in the December 1971 issue of Social Education (847-52)
The standards outlined nine areas of professional concern to social studies teachers: professional preparation programs; qualifications of teacher educators; the screening of applicants to preservice teacher education programs; certification; recruitment and assignment; aspects of teaching; the role of the teacher in the local community; favorable conditions for teaching and learning; and the "teacher as a professional person." Ironically, while the standards sought to provide a sense of commonality among social studies educators, they could have had the effect of maintaining, if not emphasizing, differences as well. Regarding professional preparation programs, for example, the standards identified requirements in the areas of general education, academic specialization, and professional education, emphasizing the second area by calling for knowledge of three social sciences and research experience in one of them for secondary teachers. Similarly, the standards stipulated that teacher educators should be "subject-matter specialists rather than generalists." While these provisions may well have contributed to the fragmentation of the social studies field, the standards clearly were a stab at both promoting a professional membership and fostering a sense of professional identity for the field.
A number of years later, the Advisory Committee on Professional Ethics generated "A Code of Ethics for the Social Studies Profession," which was based on the work of the Ad Hoc Committee on Professional Ethics. Published in the October 1981 issue of Social Education, the preface to this document recognized that "the adequate functioning of the social studies profession requires that its members (1) establish, publish, and disseminate a code of ethics that makes explicit the ethical principles by which the profession is guided in its practice, and (2) explain, interpret, and justify those principles to the society served." The Code of Ethics enumerated six ethical principles for the social studies that emphasized issues of quality instruction, reaching every student, upholding the civil rights explicated in the U.S. Constitution, the "free contest of ideas" in classrooms, scholarship in teachers' work, and the teacher's role in the school and community. The development of both the Code of Ethics for the Social Studies Profession and the Standards for Social Studies Teachers were self-conscious efforts to enhance the professionalism of the social studies field.
Guidelines for Social Studies Curriculum
In addition to establishing professional standards and a professional code of ethics, NCSS members attempted to identify a professional body of knowledge for the social studies. In 1969, the Board of Directors charged a task force with the responsibility of generating curriculum guidelines for the social studies. The first version of the Social Studies Curriculum Guidelines was published concomitantly with the Standards for Social Studies Teachers in Social Education in December 1971. "One of the important responsibilities of professional organizations," wrote NCSSPresident John Jarolimek, "is that of articulating and clarifying precisely what constitute soundly based professional practices." Again, however, the effort to provide cohesiveness to the field was potentially undermined by a recognition of its existing fragmentation. As the document attempted to identify common curriculum guidelines, it issued the caveat that "diversity in social studies education is healthy and productive" (854). The document presented a rationale for social studies education in terms of the knowledge, abilities, values, and social participation required of citizens in a democracy, presented eight guidelines for evaluating social studies programs, and included a checklist.
A second, revised version of the Curriculum Guidelines was published in the March 1979 issue of Social Education and was notable for the addition of a ninth guideline: "Social studies education should receive vigorous support as a vital and responsible part of the school program," apparently reflecting the impact of the basics or minimum competency movement on the social studies.
Position Statements on Social Studies Issues
During the period 1968 to 1982, various committees of NCSS produced position statements on a variety of social studies-related issues. These statements can be seen to have had the cumulative effect of elaborating the content presented in the Curriculum Guidelines and contributing to the identification of a professional body of knowledge essential to the achievement of a sense of identity for the field of social studies. Paradoxically, the elaboration also involved increased specification which, while arguably contributing to the depth of the field's body of knowledge, may well have contributed to the continued fragmentation of the field as well.
A Professional Voice
During the period spanning 1968 to 1982, members of NCSS exercised a professional voice on a range of social and educational issues that related to the social studies. This was achieved through House of Delegates resolutions, Social Education features, NCSS involvement with educational issues, particularly pertaining to the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) and the Essentials statements, and through efforts to create a political action arm of the Council.
House of Delegates Resolutions
Every year, in addition to Council-related business, the House of Delegates considers resolutions pertaining to timely social and educational issues. As noted earlier, the House of Delegates is the body most directly representative of the wider NCSS membership, since it is composed of delegates from the affiliates. While no statistics on the proportions of delegates who were school teachers and who were university professors were available, it is probably reasonably accurate to presume that a considerable majority of delegates were classroom teachers and/or department chair people and supervisors, since state affiliates obviously contribute the overwhelming number and proportion of delegates to the House and usually are dominated by school teachers. If this is true, it is interesting to examine the resolutions that pertained to social issues that the House carried during this period, a representative sample of which is presented in Table 1. Virtually all of these resolutions represent political positions that would be characterized as liberal. No resolution pertaining to a social issue passed during this era can be said to represent a conservative viewpoint. Resolutions pertaining to educational issues belie a decidedly liberal bias as well (see Table 2).
It is also instructive to examine proposed resolutions pertaining to social issues that failed to win support of a majority of delegates. During the period 1968 to 1982, three such resolutions failed, and one was tabled in 1980 and then carried in 1981. The latter involved opposing Nesteacute; Corporation's advertising in professional journals; reasons for the delay of its adoption (in identical form) were not apparent from archival materials. In 1977, an emergency resolution which put the Council "on record in opposition to discrimination in the employment of school personnel based upon individual and private sexual preferences ... failed to merit consideration for lack of a two-thirds vote" ("Minutes of the 21st Delegate Assembly," 415, 418).
Earlier in 1970, two resolutions failed to carry the House. The essence of one read as follows: "The NCSS stands opposed to such a foreign policy which serves the interests of a small corporate elite at the expense of millions of human beings ... [and] ... will launch an intensive educational program through its publications and conventions to expose its members to the real purpose of current U.S. foreign policy." The other maintained that "sexism is manifested in our curricula's lack of attention to the historic struggle and importance of women, and in the predetermined subservient societal roles our teaching system dictates for them" and that "racism is manifested in our white and middle-class-oriented curriculum; [and] in the ethnocentrically determined standards of satisfactory performance and in the lack of community control in our schools." It further maintained that "these processes are not mistakes but rather serve the interests of privileged sectors of our society in whose interests it is to perpetuate a society with such a racist and sexist nature." This resolution called upon NCSS to "allocate resources to develop an intensive series of programs or workshops at the next NCSS convention to investigate the historical and contemporary role of women in creating not only equality for women but a new society" ("Minutes of the 14th Delegate Assembly," 330).
Significantly, these failed resolutions represent positions well to the left of the generally liberal resolutions carried by the House during the period. It seems reasonable to conclude, then, that the House of Delegates typically struck a political posture that can be characterized as moderate-liberal. This conclusion is inconsistent with Leming's hypothesis (1988) that, while the professoriate is liberal in its perspectives on education and society, the practitioner culture of the social studies field is distinctly more conservative. Even if we grant that the House of Delegates was representative of the wider NCSS membership, however, it may not be safe to presume, of course, that NCSS membership is representive of all practicing social studies educators. These resolutions may simply also reflect the sociopolitical climate of the day. Nevertheless, the inconsistency between the House of Delegates resolutions and Leming's thesis may warrant further examination.
Social Education Features
NCSS also exercised a professional voice on a wide range of contemporary social and educational issues through special features in Social Education. They represented a high-profile effort to provide social studies educators with information, perspectives, and resources that would help them grapple with these issues in their local settings. Some of these issues are discussed below.
Professional Influence and Activism
While the Council exercised a professional voice on a variety of social issues, it reserved most of its resources for speaking to educational issues that were viewed as vitally connected to the social studies and, therefore, to the efficacy of NCSS as a professional organization. Several notable examples of NCSS activity during this period will illustrate this tendency.
NCSS and NAEP. NCSS sought to impact aspects of the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) on two occasions during this period. In 1972 the Council submitted a proposal to the Education Commission of the States (ECS) to interpret data from the 1969-70 and 1970-71 NAEP instruments, and consider the utility of NAEP programs as models for local assessment efforts. The proposal reflected educators' concerns about the prospect of NAEP leading to a national curriculum and about possible irresponsible uses of "raw" data, maintaining that, "What is most needed at this time is interpretive reporting with educational implications and not simply dissemination of assessment raw data and statistical information" ("A Proposal ...," 1972, 2). With minor amendments, the proposal was accepted by ECS.
Jean Fair, who chaired the Steering Committee for the project, noted in her July 16, 1973, quarterly report that all of the tasks were proceeding on schedule except for those that involved analyses of social studies test data that had yet to be released to NCSS by NAEP. By the fall of 1973 data had still not been released, and NAEP officials had apparently subtly attempted to influence NCSS's independent judgments of the measures and data (Fair to Steering Committee, October 26, 1973). By mid-May, Fair estimated that NAEP had yet to release one-half to three-quarters of the data it had promised (Fair to Hartshorn, May 31, 1974). Meanwhile, a series of articles representing the work of the project's investigators was published in the May 1974 issue of Social Education, without the data analysis of Benjamin Cox, who had been assigned the responsibility of analyzing the data on behalf of NCSS. Less than two weeks later, an NAEP official advised Cox that they were unable to forward any further data and that they wished to terminate NCSS's contract as of June 30, 1974. In her letter to Hartshorn, Fair expressed apprehensions about the feasibility of arriving at substantive interpretations working with incomplete data.
The second encounter with NAEP occurred in the late 1970s. Anna Ochoa advised the Board of Directors that legislation passed in 1978 would require testing every five years in basic skills and in other areas "as the need arises" (Ochoa to Board, August 1, 1979). She reported that the director of NAEP was recommending that the social studies-related section run only every eight years, with basic skills assessed every four years. The result was that the Citizenship/Social Studies Committee would have to negotiate with the Math Advisory Committee for a portion of NAEP resources. Ochoa added that she thought that "this situation represents a back seat status for social studies." She noted that these developments reflected "how poorly NCSS [had] fought the 'basics battle,' " and cited the situation as evidence of "how desperately we need a government relations arm."
Three months later Ochoa reported that the Citizenship/Social Studies component would receive half of 40 test packages and math the other half (Ochoa to Board, November 15, 1979). Given that 32 packages were required for something resembling a "comprehensive" assessment (one package equals 45 minutes of test time), and that the Citizenship/Social Studies objectives had never been comprehensively assessed while math had, Ochoa regarded this as anything but the "equitable" distribution of test packages in which NAEP representatives had voiced an interest. Ochoa also held serious reservations about NAEP's decision-making process in these matters. Ochoa commented that "the committees seem to be window-dressing on a process where I witnessed rubberstamping of the NAEP staff recommendation." In response to Ochoa's report, NCSS President George G. Watson, Jr., wrote to Roy Forbes, Director of NAEP (November 30, 1979), expressing disappointment for the partial (versus comprehensive) assessment for social studies and in the decision-making process that appeared biased in favor of NAEP staff at the neglect of advisory committee input. It seems reasonable to conclude that were it not for Ochoa's persistence and the correspondence from the Board of Directors to NAEP that resulted from her reporting, the Citizenship/Social Studies assessment might well have been dropped, thus altering the position of social studies in educational policy from low status to no status.
NCSS and MACOS. While the nature of the NAEP assessments held clear ramifications for social studies education, no issue of the era seemed to shake the NCSS leadership as much as the "Man: A Course Study" (MACOS) controversy did. Perusing issues of Social Education from the period, one gets the sense that there was considerable commitment to and no little excitement about the national curriculum projects sponsored by NSF on the part of social studies educators. In May 1974, for example, Social Education included five articles about MACOS in its "Social Studies and the Elementary Teacher" feature.
The controversies that ultimately swarmed around MACOS were reflected in the October 1975 issue of Social Education, in which a "Pro/Con Forum" was devoted to the curriculum project. Congressman John B. Conlan depicted MACOS as "an assault on cherished attitudes and values regarding morals, social behavior, religion, and our unique American economic and political lifestyle" (388). He alleged that MACOS was an elitist propaganda instrument that foisted relative values on children, threatened local control, and presaged the undesirable movement toward a national curriculum. (Conlan's objection and allegations clearly resemble present-day grassroots attacks on Outcome Based Education.) Peter Dow, who had played key leadership roles in the development of the MACOS curriculum, attempted to offer constructive, straightforward answers to commonly asked questions about MACOS. The February 1976 issue of Social Education printed a handful of letters about MACOS by social studies educators. The latter did not take issue with any controversial aspect of the project, but rather praised its critical examination of social science concepts.
The assault on MACOS hit close enough to home for NCSS leaders to prepare a position statement on MACOS for submission to the House Science and Technology Committee Science Review Group in June 1975 (Larkin to Moudy, June 20, 1975). In his letter of transmittal, Executive Director Brian Larkin assured Committee Chair James Moudy that NCSS "does not endorse any specific curriculum, textbook, project, or other instructional materials." Prepared by Larkin with input from the Executive Committee and the Board of Directors, the NCSS position statement on MACOS was clearly a plea to maintain federal funding of curriculum development projects. The statement defended MACOS by identifying the prominent social scientists whose research served as the foundation of the project's content, indicating endorsement of the project by the American Educational Research Association (AERA) and the American Educational Publishers' Institute, and citing the favorable response to the project in a survey of teachers about national curriculum projects. Throughout, the statement emphasized the right, indeed the obligation of local community members and teachers to choose curriculum materials consistent with local goals and objectives. The statement defended federally funded curriculum development projects by suggesting, among other things, that without such support, curriculum reform would not be likely to happen in local schools.
Political Action Arm. In November 1975 Executive Director Brian Larkin proposed the formation of a "political action arm" of NCSS to the Board of Directors. This proposal came in the wake of the MACOS controversy and immediately prior to a flurry of efforts on the part of NCSS to establish citizenship education as a priority for American schools ("A Proposal to Establish...," 1977). The Executive Committee consisted of Howard Mehlinger, Anna Ochoa, and Brian Larkin in an ex-officio capacity, with Jack Risher serving as chair. In October 1976, it presented a report on the feasibility of such a body (J. P. Shaver to J. Risher, May 14, 1976).
In its October 1976 report, the Committee to Explore the Feasibility of Establishing a "Political Action Arm" for NCSS explained that the Council's 501 c(3) tax classification prevented it from devoting more than 20 percent of its budget to lobbying and to seeking to influence the outcome of an election. The Committee cited the Council's relatively small size and proportionally small influence, the prospect of provoking an IRS investigation, and the possibilities of ultimately politicizing the organization and alienating some members as reasons not to alter NCSS's tax classification to 501 c(6), which would permit substantial political lobbying. Recognizing that effective lobbying requires a singularity of focus and a significant financial commitment, the Committee recommended that the Council could pursue sufficient lobbying by either (1) establishing a "professional liaison program" and employing a full-time lobbyist familiar with the Washington, DC, scene modeled after similar efforts by AERA, or (2) redefining an existing staff position to include lobbying responsibilities.
The minutes of the Board's November 1976 meeting reveal that the direction of the report was "accepted and that a professional governmental liaison [was to] be established within the existing structure of the organization. It was decided," the minutes read, "that the ramifications of creating a new organization would be too risky and costly at this point, but that NCSS should try to influence legislation at the national level." The Board commissioned an implementation plan at the time, which was presented one year later ("A Proposal to Establish...," November, 1977). The plan called for the Board of Directors to establish a Governmental Relations Board as an operational committee and a national network of 50 state and 435 district representatives. Minutes of the 1977 Executive Committee meeting indicate favorable reception of the "legislative liaison program" with the provision that NCSS would ask the state councils to support communications costs. It is unclear from archival materials what came of this plan; an Ad Hoc Committee on Government Relations was, however, listed in Social Education in 1980 and 1981, after which time the journal no longer listed Council committees.
Essentials Versus Basics. During the late 1970s NCSS became involved in a multiorganizational effort to formulate a professional statement on the proper essentials of the social studies. The essentials effort was primarily a political maneuver. This is evident from (1) the fact that the extant NCSS files on the Essentials Task Force (NCSS, 840925, Box 18) document largely successful efforts of the multi-association Task Force to recruit organizational endorsements of the Essentials of Education statement (although, ironically, most of this material pertains to other organizations, leaving the exact role of NCSS officials unclear), and (2) a document titled "The Essentials of Education - A Campaign Concept Paper" authored by Steve Hallmark of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (an association known a decade later for leading the way in the development of curriculum "standards").
Hallmark observed that although the Essentials statement had received a favorable reception in educational circles, it remained largely unknown and uninfluential beyond those circles. Hallmark outlined goals for the campaign, proposed an organizational structure, and offered illustrative activities. Hallmark identified the forthcoming 1980 presidential election campaign as an opportunity to put the Essentials on the national agenda, an opportunity "we should exploit to the hilt," as he put it.
In summary, during the period 1968 to 1982, NCSS members exercised a professional voice on a range of issues and through a variety of vehicles. Such activities can be seen not only as an effort to establish a presence in educational policymaking, but also as an assertion of a professional identity.
A Professional Identity
Arguably, virtually all of the developments discussed above contributed to a developing professional identity for the field of social studies. Three NCSS-supported initiatives, however, seem to illustrate further how during the period 1968 to 1982 the development of a professional identity for the field was a high priority for social studies leaders, and for NCSS.
Defining the Field
A notable effort to arrive at a sense of professional identity for the social studies field was represented in NCSS Bulletin 51, prepared by Robert D. Barr, James L. Barth, and S. Samuel Shermis (1977) and aptly titled Defining the Social Studies. In his foreword to the volume, NCSS President Howard Mehlinger frankly proclaimed, "Social studies has an identity crisis." Similarly, Barr, Barth, and Shermis (1977) opened their discussion with the observation, "The field of social studies is so caught up in ambiguity, inconsistency, and contradiction that it represents a complex educational enigma" (1). They proceeded to provide a synopsis of the history of the social studies and to identify three basic traditions in social studies education: social studies as transmission, as social science, and as reflective inquiry. Ultimately, they offered a new, synthetic definition of social studies: "The social studies is an integration of experience and knowledge concerning human relations for the purpose of citizenship education" (69).
Profiling the Profession
The search for a professional identity for the social studies that characterized Council activities during the 1970s was reflected in an identifiable interest in arriving at an understanding of the status of social studies in the schools with respect both to the nature of professionals and of their practices. Four such efforts are notable in this regard. The first was a survey of social studies teachers conducted in 1975-76 by Richard Gross and published in the March 1977 issue of Social Education. The second was a set of six regional case studies conducted in 1976-77 under the direction of John Jarolimek and published in the November-December issue of Social Education. NCSS had also contracted to analyze the results of three studies initiated in 1976 by NSF and reported its impressions in the February 1979 issue of Social Education. Finally, between October 1978 and October 1980 the Social Science Education Consortium conducted the SPAN study, officially titled "Social Studies/Social Science Education:Priorities, Practices and Needs." The study was also sponsored by NSF, and its results were published in the May and November-December 1980 issues of Social Education, as well as in book form by ASCD (Morrissett, n.d.). While NCSS did not officially endorse the views represented in these various studies, the fact that Council leaders were clearly committed to an airing of the findings probably reflects a widespread concern about the status and identity of the profession.
Consolidating the Curriculum
In an April 30, 1979, memo to the Board of Directors, Anna Ochoa maintained that the "variety of new and separate thrusts" of the 1970s, each of which "is tugging at the social studies curriculum for a piece of that diminishing pie," had led to a curriculum "confusion" that "creates a cacophony that defies description." She identified the need to "clarify the relationship of each of these separate thrusts to the social studies," and recommended that the President create a task force or ad hoc committee to generate three or four "alternative K-12 scope and sequence outlines that would be published in Social Education." Her hope was that these alternative scope and sequences would serve as points of departure for a professional dialogue that would lead to an "organizing" of the social studies.
At its November 24, 1979, meeting the Board approved a proposal to develop a scope and sequence for social studies. After the Board directed NCSS President Todd Clark to pursue this initiative, Howard Mehlinger wrote to Clark describing the kind of project he envisioned. Mehlinger commented, "At the present time, social studies is in general disarray," and cited the impact of the minimum basic competency movement on lowering the status of the social studies. Mehlinger proposed a national commission of twelve to fifteen members representing various sectors of society, including education, business, labor, media, and government, chaired by "a prestigious American," and "called into being by a combination of professional organizations." Mehlinger called for an ambitious undertaking, "a mixture of scholarship, politics, and public relations" that "could be the most exciting, intellectual development in the field of social studies since the Beard Commission," as he optimistically put it.
Clark promptly called upon NCSS past Presidents from 1964 to 1979 for advice concerning such an endeavor. He received responses from twelve past presidents (see NCSS 840925, Box 18, Special Collections, Milbank Memorial Library, Teachers College, Columbia University, New York). Mehlinger's plan differed from Ochoa's, discussed above, chiefly in that he called for a national commission representing diverse interests. Past President Ochoa, who had discussed Mehlinger's version of the proposal with Shirley Engle, cautioned Clark that "before we plunge headlong into a National Commission [apparently of the kind Mehlinger proposed], we must get our own house in order." Employing particularly pointed language, Ochoa warned, "Without a thoughtful NCSS position, the social studies could be slaughtered when placed in dialogue with social scientists or representatives of other sectors" (Ochoa to Clark, January 31, 1980).
Although both Mehlinger's conception of the project and a Board resolution at the November 1979 meeting called for input from representatives of various organizations, this was not to be. The reason was apparently not because of Ochoa's warning. Operating with a limited budget, the Executive Committee charged the President to appoint a geographically based committee that would work "without subsidization" (Clark to Special Committee, March 17, 1980). Former NCSS President Jean Claugus assumed the responsibility of chairing the Special Committee on Essentials of the Social Studies/Scope and Sequence. It seems that by March 1980, the scope and sequence project had been combined with the development of a statement of the essentials of the social studies, the latter of which was an obligation the Council carried with its endorsement of the Essentials of Education statement. A statement on the Essentials of Social Studies was indeed published in the March 1981 issue of Social Education, but the contributors to that document were not identified there. A scope and sequence was published in the same place in April 1984, but the contributors to that document were not those named in Clark's March 1980 mailing list, and they hailed from a different, though nearby, region. In any event, it is apparent that the scope and sequence project attempted to address the fragmentation of the field, further established a professional voice and presence for the Council and the field, and can be considered to have been part and parcel of ongoing attempts to develop a distinct identity for the social studies.
The Paradox of Professionalization
The years 1968 to 1982 were an epoch notable for NCSS activities that can be construed as efforts to establish and disseminate a professional identity for the social studies field. Whether endeavoring to constitute a more professional organization, to establish the hallmarks of a profession for the social studies field, or to exercise a professional voice on social studies-related issues, during this episode of the Council's history, the activities of NCSS members can be understood as an effort to define an identity for the field. While the development of a professional identity may be implied in some activities, in others it was an express purpose. Yet there is certainly minimal evidence to suggest that anything like a long-term, concerted effort was made toward such an end, although such a vision may well have been on the minds of many of those who participated in these activities. In fact, most of the major Council activities discussed above were more reactive than proactive. Further, while each activity can be said to have made some contribution to the building of a professional identity for the social studies, it is not apparent that such an identity can be derived from the sum of these activities. Nor is it apparent that consensus could have been reached on exactly what would constitute such an identity.
There seems to have been a tension between a tendency toward fragmentation and attempts to establish a professional identity for the social education field. Many NCSS leaders referred to the fragmentation-cohesion dilemma in both public documents and internal memoranda, sometimes treating it cautiously, other times candidly warning of its possible consequences. But whether reflected in the attempt on the part of Social Education to appeal to various constituents of the membership, in the creation of SIGs to cater to specialized interests, in the dichotomy Hertzberg (1981) identified between the new social studies projects and what she somewhat derisively termed "the social problems/self-realization approaches" (139), or indeed among the various disciplines represented in the myriad NSF projects, the "diversity" of the field which contributed to its fragmentation was little mitigated by attempts to find common ground. It remains to be seen whether the diverse perspectives within the social studies can achieve anything resembling a professional identity for the entire field.
Acknowledgement: The author wishes to express his gratitude to David Ment and Claire McCurdy of the Department of Special Collections, Millbank Memorial Library, Teachers College, Columbia University, New York, for their invaluable assistance in locating documents."A Proposal to the Education Commission of the States: 'NAEP Findings in Citizenship and Social Studies: What do they mean?'" September 28, 1972 NCSS 850001, Box 12. Special Collections, Milbank Memorial Library, Teachers College, Columbia University, New York."A Proposal to Establish an NCSS Governmental Relations Program," November, 1977. NCSS 820912, Box 4. Special Collections, Milbank Memorial Library, Teachers College, Columbia University, New York.Barr, R. D., Barth, J. L., and Shermis, S. S. Defining the Social Studies. Bulletin 51. Washington, DC: NCSS, 1977.Todd Clark to NCSS Past Presidents, December 13, 1979. NCSS 840925, Box 18. Special Collections, Milbank Memorial Library, Teachers College, Columbia University, New York.Todd Clark to Special Committee on the Essentials of the Social Studies/Scope and Sequence, March 17, 1980. NCSS 840926, Box 18. Special Collections, Milbank Memorial Library, Teachers College, Columbia University, New York. "The Constitution of the National Council for the Social Studies," Social Education 44, no. 5 (1978): 416-417.Fair, J. "Quarterly Report on NCSS Review of National Assessment in Citizenship and Social Studies," July 16, 1973. NCSS 850001, Box 13. Special Collections, Milbank Memorial Library, Teachers College, Columbia University, New York.Fair J. "Quarterly Report on NCSS Review of National Assessment in Citizenship and Social Studies," October 15, 1973. NCSS 850001, Box 13. Special Collections, Milbank Memorial Library, Teachers College, Columbia University, New York.Jean Fair to Members of the [NAEP Project] Steering Committee and Investigators, October 26, 1973. NCSS 850001, Box 13. Special Collections, Milbank Memorial Library, Teachers College, Columbia University, New York.Jean Fair to Merrill Hartshorn, May 31, 1974. NCSS 850001, Box 13. Special Collections, Milbank Memorial Library, Teachers College, Columbia University, New York. Hallmark, S. "The Essentials of Education - A Campaign Concept Paper," December 10, 1979. NCSS 840925, Box 18. Special Collections, Milbank Memorial Library, Teachers College, Columbia University, New York.Hartshorn, M. F. "Notes and News." Social Education 32, no. 4 (1968): 389-395, 423.Hartshorn, M. F. "Announcements and Events." Social Education 33, no. 1 (1969): 89-90.Hertzberg, H. W. Social Studies Reform, 1880-1980. Boulder, Colo.: Social Science Education Consortium, 1981.Brian J. Larkin to James M. Moudy, June 20, 1975. NCSS 820912, Box 1. Special Collections, Milbank Memorial Library, Teachers College, Columbia University, New York.Leming, J. S. "The Two Cultures of Social Studies Education." Social Education 53, no. 6 (1989): 404-408.Lieberman, M. Education as a Profession. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall, 1956. "The MACOS Question: A Statement by the National Council for the Social Studies." June 20, 1975. NCSS 820912, Box 1. Special Collections, Milbank Memorial Library, Teachers College, Columbia University, New York. Mehlinger, H. "President's Message on Constitutional Revision." The Social Studies Professional 43 (May-June 1977): 2, 4-5. NCSS 830919, Box 6. Special Collections, Milbank Memorial Library, Teachers College, Columbia University, New York.Howard Mehlinger to Todd Clark, December 6, 1979. NCSS, Papers of Anna S. Ochoa, Box 8, Files 13-20. Special Collections, Milbank Memorial Library, Teachers College, Columbia University, New York."Minutes of the Board of Directors," November 1-6, 1976. NCSS 840925, Box 1. Special Collections, Milbank Memorial Library, Teachers College, Columbia University, New York."Minutes of the Executive Committee," November 1977. NCSS 850001, Box 12. Special Collections, Milbank Memorial Library, Teachers College, Columbia University, New York."Minutes of the 13th Delegate Assembly." Social Education 34, no. 4 (1969): 481-496."Minutes of the 14th Delegate Assembly." Social Education 37, no. 3 (1971): 327-330."Minutes of the 20th Delegate Assembly." Social Education 41, no. 5 (1977): 443-447."Minutes of the 21st Delegate Assembly." Social Education 42, no. 5 (1978): 414-418.Morrissett, I., ed. Social Studies in the 1980s: A Report of Project SPAN. Alexandria, Va.: ASCD, n.d.Anna S. Ochoa to Board of Directors, April 30, 1979. NCSS, Papers of Anna S. Ochoa, Box 8, Files 13-20. Special Collections, Milbank Memorial Library, Teachers College, Columbia University, New York.Anna S. Ochoa to NCSS Board of Directors, August 1, 1979. MG 17, Box 20. Special Collections, Milbank Memorial Library, Teachers College, Columbia University, New York.Anna S. Ochoa to NCSS Board of Directors, November 15, 1979. MG 17, Box 20. Special Collections, Milbank Memorial Library, Teachers College, Columbia University, New YorkAnna S. Ochoa to Todd Clark, January 31, 1980. NCSS, Papers of Anna S. Ochoa, Box 8, Files 13-20. Special Collections, Milbank Memorial Library, Teachers College, Columbia University, New York."Report of the Committee to Explore the Feasibility of Establishing a 'Political Action Arm' for the NCSS," October, 1976. NCSS 850001, Box 13. Special Collections, Milbank Memorial Library, Teachers College, Columbia University, New York."Report of the Executive Secretary to the House of Delegates, 1968." Social Education 33, no. 3(1969): 361-362."Report of the President to the House of Delegates, 1968." Social Education 33, no. 3 (1969): 360-361.James P. Shaver to Daniel Roselle, January 2, 1975. NCSS 820912, Box 2. Papers of James P. Shaver. Special Collections, Milbank Memorial Library, Teachers College, Columbia University, New York.James P. Shaver to Jack Risher. NCSS 820912, Box 2. Papers of James P. Shaver. Special Collections, Milbank Memorial Library, Teachers College, Columbia University, New York, May 14, 1976."Summary of Minutes of NCSS Twelfth Delegate Assembly, 1968." Social Education 33, no. 4 (1969): 481-484, 496.George G. Watson to Roy Forbes, November 30, 1979. MG 17, Box 20. Special Collections, Milbank Memorial Library, Teachers College, Columbia University, New York.
William G. Wraga is Assistant Professor in the Department of Educational Leadership of the University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia.