Terms of Inclusion: Unity and Diversity in Public Education
In this review essay, Harvey Kantor and Robert Lowe explore the history of the culture wars in public education in the United States. Drawing on three books — David Tyack’s Seeking Common Ground, Jonathan Zimmerman’s Whose America? and Amy Binder’s Contentious Curricula— Kantor and Lowe review the history of struggles over the content of history texts and over the place of religion and religious values in the classroom. They suggest that while these struggles have been partially successful in freeing public education from the racial and ethno-religious particularisms that informed its origins, the more inclusive curriculum that resulted from these efforts has been rendered largely symbolic by the persistence of segregation and the inequality of resources that accompanies it.