Taking On 'Half-Baked History'

At Penn State, an education professor wants to inspire his students to teach America's past the old-fashioned way

David W. Saxe was mixing potato salad for a Fourth of July picnic last summer when he was interrupted by a telephone call from a Pennsylvania legislator. Lawmakers, Mr. Saxe learned, had just approved $500,000 to help him start a new center on civic education and America's founding.

Mr. Saxe, an associate professor of education at Pennsylvania State University's main