Understanding the achievements of the American Revolution is essential for understanding American history. Ensuring that Americans understand and appreciate those achievements is a central purpose of the American Revolution Institute.
History education varies widely from state to state, and some schools are doing a much better job teaching history than others, but the broad patterns are clear. The time devoted to history is dwindling. History is being crowded out of the curriculum by other subjects. What time remains is committed, in many schools, to history courses dealing with global or trans-national themes. These themes are worthy of attention, but devoting such a large share of the available time to them leaves students with little time to learn about their own nation’s history. To make matters worse, in many schools American history is presented as a story of unrelieved exploitation and oppression, devoid of high ideals.
The American Revolution Institute is working to persuade school systems and individual schools to devote more time and resources to history. We are advocating for more time and resources for American history—particularly the American Revolution, the central event in our national history.
While we advocate for more time, we are working to support teachers in making the best use of the limited time available to teach their students about the American Revolution. This means focusing on the constructive achievements of the Revolution—our independence, our republic, our national identity and ideals of liberty, equality, natural and civil rights, and responsible citizenship.
The country is blessed with talented, resourceful teachers. The American Revolution Institute appreciates and values their work and seeks to provide them with tools to help them share the remarkable story of the American Revolution in their classrooms and with opportunities to enrich their own knowledge and appreciation of that vast event.
At the heart of our work is the American Revolution Institute Curriculum—a focused approach to teaching students about the constructive achievements of the Revolution. All of the tools and materials the Institute offers are, or will be, designed to support that approach.