Monday, July 26, 2004

Teaching about George Washington. ERIC Digest.

Teaching about George Washington. ERIC Digest. Here is a nice essay on teaching about George Washington from the former ERIC Clearinghouse for Social Studies/Social Science Education. I know most elementary schools in the USA teach about President Washington.

From the site:

No generation in American history has matched that of the founding era for its array of talented and influential political thinkers and actors. John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and George Washington all possessed certain traits of character and intellect that significantly shaped the new United States of America and its direction for generations that followed. Among these personalities, George Washington is the most difficult for students to know. Compared to Jefferson, Hamilton, or most other important historical figures, our common images of Washington--seen on the dollar bill and quarter, crossing the Delaware River, or enshrined in the impersonal Washington Monument--are cold and distant. Today's perceptions of Washington seem to validate Ralph Waldo Emerson's maxim, "Every hero becomes a bore at last."

Do most students understand the importance of George Washington as a military and political leader during a time that demanded extraordinary leadership? The bicentennial of Washington's death in 1999 is an appropriate time to reflect upon his role and place in the school curriculum.


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