The predictable result of this failure is the increasing inability of Americans to deal positively with people of differing views. If we lose our ability to recognize a common identity with our “loyal opposition”, the American Republic shall certainly fall.
At its heart, the Western tradition is the story of how we develop from societies that punish all deviation from royal & religious orthodoxy into a Republic where Americans can disagree about everything, except for the legitimacy of our Constitution. The West’s story is how we have expanded the definition of a fully-enfranchised and valued human being from a single Egyptian God-King to now include every person without exception.
Western history is simply too nuanced to be grasped by most Middle-Schoolers. It is more detailed than can be properly covered in a single year. It is more coherent than “Global Studies” or “World History”. Idaho’s Content Standards should be revised as follows.
Standard 5: Western Civilization, “…(to) build an understanding of our society’s traditions and perspective in comparison with others and how diverse human cultures interact”.
Ancient & Medieval Western Civilization
Modern Western Civilization (> ~AD 1450)
United States History & Government I (or A. P. U. S. History)
United States History & Government II (or A. P. U. S. Government & Politics)
*Economics should be available as Electives