Skip to Content

Weintraub, Shelly. "'What's This New Crap? What's Wrong with the Old Crap?' Changing History Teaching in Oakland, California." In Knowing, Teaching, and Learning History: National and International Perspectives, edited by Peter N. Stearns, Peter Seixas and Sam Wineburg, 178-93. New York: New York University Press, 2000.


Shelly Weintraub discusses the process of integrating the principles of historical thinking into the history standards for the Oakland Unified School District in California.  As a teacher in the district, she experienced the contentious battle for choosing a history textbook in the 1990s, which left some grades without any central resource, and the subsequent development of the Historiography in-service series that bought historians and history education researchers together with history teachers to talk about the discipline of history.  Over a multiyear period, a group of educators had emerged as leaders through this series and began to develop a curriculum model that focused on the historians’ task of “layering” evidence to construct historical accounts integrated with State standards for history.  From this process, Weintraub reflects that a strong staff development program, curriculum materials with a historical inquiry focus, district standards for consistency, and standards-based assessment models, are key lessons they have learnt from developing these new standards.

Samantha Cutrara