Hillsdale College is a small institution with lofty values: “Goodness, Truth, and Beauty.” Now, the college is expanding its pursuit of the truth to grade schools with an American history curriculum for grades K-12, “offered for free to all who wish to learn.”
“This curriculum is a work of education,” Hillsdale College President Larry P. Arnn said. “It seeks to teach the truth of American history and to cultivate in students the knowledge and virtue necessary to live good lives as citizens.”
An abiding truth. That’s what you’ll find in Hillsdale’s free and downloadable 1776 Curriculum—the ideas, words, deeds, and events that have most significantly shaped the world into which we were born and thus form the fabric of America. Download today! https://t.co/z4tI4AZcVM pic.twitter.com/JNSVHWNk69
— Hillsdale College (@Hillsdale) July 21, 2021
The curriculum is a response to the now de-commissioned 1776 Commission, which called for an honest restoration of American history. Arnn chaired the commission and Matthew Spalding, vice president of Hillsdale’s Van Andel Graduate School of Government in Washington, D.C., served as its executive director.
Created to secure and celebrate founding principles found in the Declaration of Independence, the 1776 Commission was de-funded on President Joe Biden’s first day in office for a small note in its appendix that deemed identity politics “fundamentally incompatible with the principle of equality enshrined in the Declaration of Independence.”
Combatting critical race theory, the popularized anti-American and racist curriculum that has permeated institutions across the country, is not the purpose of Hillsdale’s latest curriculum. The 20-unit curriculum aims to strengthen civic understanding through detailed lesson plans with initial units including American history, middle school Civics courses, and high school Government and Politics courses.
Encouraging true American education is not new for Hillsdale. For decades, one of Hillsdale’s outreach programs the Barney Charter School Initiative (BCSI) has partnered with the college to advance good education. The initiative has resulted in 24 schools in 11 states, all employing Hillsdale’s well-developed K-12 liberal arts curriculum.
Kathleen O’Toole, assistant provost for K-12 education of the BCSI, noted many truths that grounded the curriculum. A few are listed
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