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American Educator
Winter 2001


Table of Contents

A National Anthem Is Born
By Irvin Molotsky

A momentous train of events, which included the defeat of the American army and the burning of Washington, led to the moment when Francis Scott Key, jubilant at seeing our flag still flying over Fort McHenry, drew a letter out of his pocket and began to write.

Eloquent Images
Using Art to Teach American History
By Debra Michlewitz

A picture may not be worth a thousand words, but artists' images offer rich commentaries on history. And when students learn to question these images and "read" them, their understanding of the people and events of history is sharpened and refined.

A Confrontation with the Past
The Japanese Textbook Dispute
By Burton Bollag

Writing national history involves a lot more than arranging facts and dates. That's why, more than 50 years after the close of World War II, the Japanese are still arguing about what happened and how to present it.

Why Science Should Warm Our Hearts
By Colin Tudge

The nature of science, an eminent science writer tells us, is often badly misunderstood by scientists as well as by laypeople. Far from being a forbidding edifice of arcane laws, science is an unfinished landscape painting that changes every time a new detail is added.

Making Standards Matter, 2001

The AFT's sixth state-by-state analysis of the standards movement documents progress on several fronts. It also points to serious problems that could compromise standards-based reform, and it suggests steps that states should take to keep the reform on track.

Something There Is That Doesn't Love a List
By Carol Jago

Why is it that we are always ready to take issue with lists of "best" or should-read books? One of the makers of California's latest recommended reading list says she is not surprised. In fact, that's precisely the reaction we should have.

Why Students Do It and How We Can Help Them Stop
By Donald McCabe

A longtime expert on academic honesty—and dishonesty—reviews some of the latest research, including his own, and talks about the special responsibility that adults have to help kids deal with this seemingly intractable problem.

Playing the Synonym Game
By Ken Bresler

There's no harm in repeating a word—if it's the right one. That's why writers who want to be precise—and avoid being ridiculous—should forget about trying to find ten different ways to say "banana."

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About American Educator

American Educator is a quarterly journal of educational research and ideas published by the American Federation of Teachers. Recent articles have focused on such topics as reducing the achievement gap between poor and affluent students, heading off student discipline problems, teaching an appreciation and understanding of democracy, the benefits of a common coherent curriculum, and other issues affecting children and education here and abroad. Total circulation, as of our most recent issue, is over 900,000.

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