Document Type


Publication Date



History and policy, while often connected, also frequently clash with one another, especially in urban spaces. This chapter outlines three types of conflicting questions posed by historians and policymakers on the topic of urban education. The first, conflicting orientations on past, present and future, explores the most basic differences in thought between historians and policy makers. The second, conflicting purposes of historical interpretation, considers the different contexts shape conceptualization and use of history. The third, conflicting views on historical understanding versus policy action, focusing on the fundamental differences in the roles of these two groups. This chapter draws on examples from historical research and policy discussions in Hartford, Connecticut while also reflecting on the writings of other scholars.


Submitted as part of the Cities, Suburbs, and Schools project for the On The Line web-book by Jack Dougherty and colleagues.

Included in

Education Commons



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.