I don’t get out much. So when I was invited to participate in a panel at the annual meeting of the History of Education Society, I jumped at the chance. Especially when it gave me the chance to rub shoulders with some nerd all-stars.
Our panel will include four authors of books familiar to SAGLRROILYBYGTH. First, Jon Zimmerman will tell us something about global sex ed from his new book, Too Hot to Handle.
Then, Natalia Mehlman Petrzela will keep the sex-ed ball rolling while adding in some bilingual ed as she talks about her book, Classroom Wars.
Next, Andrew Hartman will share some insights about education and culture wars from his blockbuster War for the Soul of America.
Last, I’ll talk a little bit about what it has meant to be “conservative” when it comes to education, from my new book.
What will we talk about? Hard to say until we get there, but the theme that ties these books together is that of educational culture wars. What have Americans (and people worldwide) seen fit to teach their kids about touchy subjects such as sex and God? Who has been allowed to make decisions about school?
One disagreement we might have could be about the winners and losers. If there are such things as educational culture wars, we all have different conclusions about who has won. Jon Zimmerman argues that kids overall—especially in the United States—get very little sex ed, due to consistent activism against it. I think, too, that conservatives have been able to exert veto power over many big educational programs. Both Andrew and Natalia, though, say that by and large progressive ideas have come out the winner in these battles.
What do you think:
- Are there such things as educational culture wars?
- If so, are they all in the past?
- And, maybe most interesting to most people…who won?