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Teaching the New Deal, 1932-1941

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Edited By Jenice L. View and Andrea Guiden Pittman

This volume provides pre-service teachers, in- service teachers, social studies methods teachers, and college level social studies content faculty a variety of resources for teaching and learning about the New Deal Era. Written with teachers in mind, each chapter introduces content that both addresses and disrupts master narratives concerning the historical significance of the New Deal era, while offering a creative pedagogical approach to reconciling instructional challenges. The book offers teachers a variety of ways to engage middle and high school students in economic and political arguments about American capitalism and the role of the federal government in defining and sustaining capitalism, as sparked by President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal policies. Among the significant actors in the chapters are women, Indigenous/Native, African-descended, Latinx, Asian Pacific Island and LGBTQ+ people. The New Deal generation included farmers, sharecroppers, industrial workers, and homemakers who were more willing than ever to question the capitalists and politicians in official leadership, and also willing to demand an economy and government that served the working and middle classes, as well as the wealthy. Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal offered such a promise. For some, he was considered a class traitor who went too far. To others, he was considered a coward who did not go far enough. The legacies of the New Deal inform much of the public debate of the early 21st century and are, therefore, relevant for classroom examination.

Jenice L. View is Associate Professor Emerita at George Mason University. Her 15-year academic career followed 20 years in the non-governmental sector, and a stint as a middle school teacher. She holds degrees from Syracuse University, Princeton University, and the Union Institute and University.

Andrea Guiden Pittman is an historian of education, Senior Researcher with the American Institutes for Research, and adjunct instructor at George Mason University. A former award winning classroom teacher, she holds degrees from George Mason University, the University of North Florida, and Oral Roberts University.