History for a Democracy:
Reflections on the AP History Controversy


Wilfred M. McClay
Professor of History, University of Oklahoma

Friday, July 10, 2015—12:00 p.m.
AWC Family Foundation Lecture

The discipline of history is in serious decline, both as an academic pursuit and as a crucial element in the health of our democracy. The danger of losing a sense of vital connection to our past is evident in the 2014 Framework for the Advanced Placement Examination in U.S. History, in which the College Board deemphasizes the ideas and institutions that bind Americans together in favor of the many particular identities that separate us. We fail our students when we forget that the teaching of history has a civic purpose, and that history therefore needs to be the possession of all of us, and not merely of credentialed professionals.

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