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   Bradley Commission on History in Schools Records, 1982-1992

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Preferred Citation

Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Bradley Commission on History in Schools Records; Box and Folder; Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.

COinS Metadata available (e.g., for Zotero).

Summary Information

At a Glance

Call No.:MS#1448
Bib ID:6618221 View CLIO record
Creator(s):Bradley Commission on History in Schools
Title:Bradley Commission on History in Schools Records, 1982-1992
Physical description:9 linear feet (7 record storage cartons and 1 manuscript box)
Language(s):English.
Access: This collection has no restrictions. This collection is located off-site. You will need to request this material at least two business days in advance to use the collection in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room.  More information »

Arrangement

Arrangement

The papers were retained in the physical order in which they arrived. This collection is arranged in three series:

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Description

Scope and Content

The Bradley Commission on History in Schools Records contain the commission’s administrative records and materials related to the process of creating and sharing guidelines for elementary and secondary school history education in the United States from 1982-1992. Many of these materials were created by Elaine Wrisley Reed, administrative director, Kenneth Jackson, chair, and the sixteen members of the commission. They include files related to the planning, staffing, and funding of the commission as well as correspondence and meeting minutes. The papers also contain surveys the commission drafted and distributed to teachers to collect data for the project. Teachers were surveyed on the history requirements at their school, the obstacles they faced, and recommendations to improve their field. The results of those surveys and the commission’s conclusions are documented with drafts and final versions of two publications, as well as videos and other materials from two associated conferences.

Series I: Administration, 1982-1990

Series I documents the management and organization of the Bradley Commission from its inception in the mid-1980s through the publication and publicity of its guidelines for history education. The series includes all incoming and outgoing correspondence as well as internal memos, funding applications, and meeting minutes. It also contains articles on relevant topics that the commissioners used as background materials and models for their work.

Series II: Surveys, 1987-1989

Series II contains the surveys that the commission sent to hundreds of elementary and secondary social studies and history teachers. They asked teachers about their experiences in teacher training, how much history instruction their students received, the obstacles they faced, and their recommendations for future improvements in the field. The series also includes the results of the survey and reports and presentations of the data.

Series III: Publications and Presentations, 1985-1992

Series III documents the results of the Bradley Commission’s project through materials related to its publications, press, and symposia at which its results were discussed. There were two main publications from the commission, which are represented in the collection. Their 1988 guidelines for history education were the formal results of their investigation. The collection includes those published guidelines alongside drafts, reports, and reviews. In 1989 they also published a book titled Historical Literacy: The Case for American Education with essays from most of the commissioners. Drafts of each chapter, and the final publication, are contained in the collection as well. The commission also publicized its recommendations through two symposia in 1990, one for World History and one for American History. These are documented through administrative planning materials and videos of the conference sessions. In addition to these materials, series III contains press clippings about the commission and its work. Materials from specific publications or events are grouped together.

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Using the Collection

Offsite

Access Restrictions

This collection has no restrictions.

 This collection is located off-site. You will need to request this material at least two business days in advance to use the collection in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room.

Restrictions on Use

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. The RBML maintains ownership of the physical material only. Copyright remains with the creator and his/her heirs. The responsibility to secure copyright permission rests with the patron.

Preferred Citation

Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Bradley Commission on History in Schools Records; Box and Folder; Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.

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About the Finding Aid / Processing Information

Columbia University Libraries. Rare Book and Manuscript Library; machine readable finding aid created by Columbia University Libraries Digital Library Program Division

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Rachel Klepper. Finding aid written by Rachel Klepper in September 2018.

The papers were retained in the physical order in which they arrived and unfoldered materials were provided with folders and titles. Duplicate publications were removed.

Machine readable finding aid generated from MARC-AMC source via XSLT conversion October 2, 2018 Finding aid written in English.
    2018-10-02 XML document instance created by Celeste Brewer.

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Subject Headings

The subject headings listed below are found in this collection. Links below allow searches at Columbia University through the Archival Collections Portal and through CLIO, the catalog for Columbia University Libraries, as well as ArchiveGRID, a catalog that allows users to search the holdings of multiple research libraries and archives.

All links open new windows.

Genre/Form

HeadingCUL Archives:
Portal
CUL Collections:
CLIO
Nat'l / Int'l Archives:
ArchiveGRID
ArticlesPortalCLIOArchiveGRID
CorrespondencePortalCLIOArchiveGRID
First draftsPortalCLIOArchiveGRID
ReportsPortalCLIOArchiveGRID
ReportsPortalCLIOArchiveGRID
guidelinesPortalCLIOArchiveGRID
minutes (administrative records)PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
symposia (conferences)PortalCLIOArchiveGRID

Subjects

HeadingCUL Archives:
Portal
CUL Collections:
CLIO
Nat'l / Int'l Archives:
ArchiveGRID
Bradley Commission on History in SchoolsPortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Education--CurriculaPortalCLIOArchiveGRID
History--TeachingPortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Jackson, Kenneth T,PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
United States--History--TeachingPortalCLIOArchiveGRID

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History / Biographical Note

Historical Note

The Bradley Commission on History in Schools was created in 1987 in response to the perceived inadequacy of historical education in American elementary and secondary classrooms. Elaine Wrisley Reed, a teacher and curriculum specialist, and Joe Ribar, a non-profit consultant, initiated the planning process and joined with the Educational Excellence Network of Teachers College, Columbia University to receive funding from the Bradley Foundation, a conservative organization based in Milwaukee. The commission was led by Columbia University History professor Kenneth T. Jackson, and was comprised of sixteen history scholars and elementary and secondary school teachers who examined social studies and history curricula in the United States and the requirements for high school graduation in each state. The inclusion of classroom teachers on the commission was at the urging of Jackson’s wife, Barbara Jackson, a teacher. The two of them co-wrote a chapter of the Bradley Commission publication, "Historical Literacy: The Case for American Education." The commission did not issue a specified curriculum, but rather published a set of guidelines emphasizing the importance of history education for democratic citizenship and for personal and intellectual growth. They recommended that all states require history coursework as a prerequisite for high school graduation and that elementary and middle school social studies curricula be primarily focused on history. They also recommended that history education include United States, Western, and World history, and that it be based around broad themes rather than facts and dates. The commission’s report was endorsed by the Organization of History Teachers, the American Historical Association, and the Organization of American Historians.

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