“I think it’s pretty common now,” said Gary B. Nash, director of the National Center for History in the Schools. “Once you take a global approach, it makes sense not to make a dating system applicable only to a relative few.”
But not everyone takes that pluralistic view.
“I find it distressing; I don’t like it,” said Gilbert Sewall, director of the American Textbook Council, which finds politics intruding on instruction. He said changing terms accepted for centuries because of a current social movement could threaten other long-held principles.
Mr. Nash said most major textbook companies have adopted the new terms, which are part of the national world history standards. But even those standards have been called into question.
In a 2000 national resolution, the Southern Baptist Convention condemned the new terms as “the result of the secularization, anti-supernaturalism, religious pluralism, and political correctness pervasive in our society.”
“Is that some sort of the political correctness?” said Tim Callahan, of the Professional Association of Georgia Educators, an independent group with 60,000 educator members. “It sounds pretty silly to me.”