It is our pleasure and privilege to introduce ourselves as the new editors of History Matters!, effective September 2018. We extend our sincere thanks and gratitude both to the leadership of the National Council for History Education (NCHE) for extending the honor and responsibility and to the former editors of the publication for their commitment and excellent work over the years.
We believe that History Matters! represents a critical dimension of NCHE’s mission to promote excellence in history education. Guided by the understanding that an education in history prepares youngsters to understand not only their own society, but other societies and civilizations around the world, the publication provides an outlet for sustained conversation, innovation, and reform in the field that extends beyond our organization’s annual meetings and professional development activities. Moreover, History Matters! serves as an important link for a diversity of history education professionals in that effort, a space where teachers of history, teacher educators, historians, educational researchers, and others might work together as equals who educate each other in the larger effort to sustain and improve the teaching of history. To the readership of History Matters!, our commitment is to ensure that the publication’s quality is preserved and that the range of materials and perspectives published throughout the year hold utility for the widest audience possible over time. To that end, we intend our editorship to be nonpartisan; that is, the views and ideas expressed are not necessarily our own, but rather a collective representation of the diverse range of perspectives held by the larger community of history educators. We are encouraged by many of the developments and conversations taking place in field, we appreciate your engagement in the ongoing process of history education reform, and we very much look forward to serving you through History Matters!
The September issue of History Matters! is focused on “historical thinking” and we present two contributions broadly examining this important subject. The first article, written by Margaret S. Crocco, Anne-Lise Halvorsen, Avner Segall, and Erin Bronstein, offers a timely and provocative appraisal of curriculum development in the field of history education, one which critically explores the players involved in decision-making processes. The second article, by John H. Bickford III, focuses on the controversial issue of Confederate monuments, through which he provides an inquiry-focused lesson idea which secondary practitioners could adapt as a guide for the classroom.
We encourage readers to review the call for proposals and the thematic focus for each of the upcoming issues. If there are questions regarding submission or general questions and comments, please contact the editors. We can be reached by email at the following addresses: firstname.lastname@example.org
Charles Elfer currently serves as Associate Professor of History Education at Clayton State University in Morrow, GA. He teaches courses on historical geography, Sub-Saharan Africa, history and social studies methods, and educational foundations. Among other service roles, he has served as the Coordinator of Secondary History Education and MAT History Programs, as co-Coordinator for the National History Day programming in the South Metropolitan Atlanta area, and as a trustee for the Georgia Council for the Social Studies. A former high school teacher, he received his doctorate from the University of Georgia in social studies education in 2011. His primary research interests include curriculum history, place-based education, and history/social studies methods.