Course Details

Course offered Spring 2021

HONORS 232 C: Truth and Power In the History of Education (SSc, DIV, W)

HONORS 232 C: Truth and Power In the History of Education (SSc, DIV, W)

SLN 15115 (View UW registration info »)

Nancy Beadie (Education)
Office: 303D Miller
Phone: Phone +1 206-2

Credits: 5
Limit: 25 students

Honors Credit Type

A central aim of education in the United States since at least the revolution has been to equip citizens to effectively bear witness to truth in the face of corruption and abuses of power. And yet, as we know, truth itself is multiple and highly contested. Nor does it speak for itself. It depends, instead, on the voices and actions of those who have been educated to it. For these reasons, education has also been a central site of social and political conflict.

In this course we examine multiple historical attempts to negotiate tensions between the reality of falsehood and the plurality of truth in the history of education. We begin by posing two overarching questions about the role of education in history and of history in education. We then proceed to analyze examples of how particular historical actors have understood the implications of such questions in their own lives and times, from the early national period to the late 20th century. To conclude, students use the history we’ve examined to engage the question of how historical knowledge can and should inform education for civic agency in our own time.