The history instruction of American middle and high school students is in need of a major overhaul. The 2018 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) in U.S. History (2020) found that only 15 percent of 8th grade students demonstrate Proficiency in the subject, a significant decline from the earlier low of 18 percent that demonstrated Proficiency in 2014.
Just a few years ago, the American Textbook Council (ATC) described the K-12 (non-AP) history textbook landscape as follows: “Textbook choice for teachers has in recent decades shrunk to almost nothing. Text-light picture books and easy readers are now almost universal.”
AAT is developing high quality U.S. history instructional units to be used in conjunction with historian Wilfred McClay’s new, highly engaging U.S. history textbook, Land of Hope (2019). As the core student instructional resource for AAT's units, Land of Hope is the best up-to-date textbook in American history. McClay returns to narrative history with a compelling story line and heroes worth emulating.
AAT's U.S. History instructional units include a carefully-selected group of historical documents that are central to its curriculum, including the U.S. Founding Documents, George Washington’s Farewell Address, and key speeches by Presidents such as Lincoln, Roosevelt and Reagan. Deep understanding and analysis of such original sources is a key element of AAT's instructional approach.
Through its ambitious and rigorously-designed history instructional materials, AAT aims to strengthen student excitement and interest in history and develop a healthy patriotism, abiding respect for American values, and more informed civil discourse.
AAT, a nonprofit organization, received a limited grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to begin work on the U.S. History instructional units for teachers. Completing the full curriculum will require additional support from citizens who believe in this mission. Consider visiting our Donations page and becoming a supporter of this critical project!