Personal histories offer alternative to textbook learning

Three high schools in Des Moines, Iowa, are offering juniors a 20th-century history curriculum that is based on primary sources -- news coverage and speakers who can provide firsthand knowledge of issues such as immigration and war. Educators hope the program, funded by a federal grant, will remedy an increasing failure rate in required history classes. "It doesn't discredit the textbook but puts it in its appropriate place as a supplement to the course," a curriculum coordinator said.

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Des Moines Register (Iowa) (tiered subscription model), The

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