April 21, 2008
By Jesse Pierce
The U.S Department of Education’s Teaching American History (TAH) grants specify that they are for "traditional American history," however, all history undeniably takes place within a world context. To assess how the TAH grants incorporate the world, AHA staff surveyed the winning grant applications and found the rest of the world appeared in one in five award recipients from 2001 to 2007.
By reviewing the abstracts of grants from 2000 to 2007, one can get a sense of the many different ways TAH grant recipients are approaching the subject of “America and the World”.
Many grant abstracts planned to look at the emergence, establishment, and development of America as a world power, while others had more specific themes. In an application submitted in 2002, West Virginia’s Regional Education Services Agency I intended to look at “America and the world before and after 9/11,” while Louisiana’s Tangipahoa Parish School System was set to examine the “U.S. in a Global, Technological Age,” in 2004. In 2003, the Throp school district of Washington addressed “interactions within our borders and throughout the world (1945-2005).” United States foreign policy and international relations was an often-repeated theme that schools in New York, North Carolina, Nebraska, New Jersey, Texas, California, Florida, Oregon, and Virginia all explored.
As the figure below indicates, the number of applications that include world history fell sharply in the last couple of years.