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Theory and research in social education
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THEORY AND RESEARCH in Social Education Vol III t No 1 t December 1975 van Manen t An exploration of Alternative Research Orientations in Social Education Larkins t Critique of Alternative Research Orientations van Manen t Rebuttal to Larkins Critique Lindsey t Reflective Inquiry into Mental Illness Hospitalized Adolescents Feely t Predicting Students' Use of Evidence Jones t Evaluating Student Involvement as a Technique for Improving Citizenship Education a journal to stimulate and communicate systematic thinking and research in social education


Theory and Research in Social Education Statement of Purposes and Style for Manuscripts Theory and Research in Social Education is designed to stimulate and communicate systematic research and thinking in social education The purpose is to foster the creation and exchange of ideas and research findings that will expand knowledge about purposes, conditions, and effects of schooling and education about society and social relations Conceptualizations and research from all of the social sciences, philosophy, history and the arts are needed in clarifying thinking and practice in social education Manuscripts are welcomed on topics such as those that follow : Purposes of social education ; Models, theories, and related frameworks concerning the development, diffusion, and adoption of curricular materials ; Instructional strategies ; The relation of the social sciences, philosophy, history and/or the arts to social education ; The politics, economics, sociology, social psychology, psychology, anthropology, philosophy, and/or the history of social education ; Alternative social organizations and utilizations of the school for social education ; Comparative studies of alternative models of social education ; Models of and research on alternative schemas for student participation and social action ; Relationship of different preand in-service patterns of teacher training to social education ; Models of the utilization of objectives in social education and related research findings ; Implications of learning theory, child development research, socialization and political socialization research for the purposes and practice of social education ; The relationship of different independent, explanatory variables to educational achievement in the area of learning about society and social relations ; The social organization, climate, cohesion of schools and other school characteristics as independent, explanatory variables predicting to general educational achievement Form for Submission of Manuscripts In order to facilitate the processing of manuscripts, authors are asked to follow the procedures noted below : 1) Manuscripts should be typed with a dark black ribbon, clearly mimeographed or multilithed Authors should avoid submitting ditto copies of articles unless clearly legible Some corrections in dark ink will be accepted Copies containing numerous corrections will be returned for retyping 2) Three copies of each manuscript should be submitted This will speed up the reviewing process and guard against loss of manuscripts


3) Everything should be double-spaced including footnotes and references 4) Since manuscripts will be sent out anonymously for reviewing and due to the fact that the abstracts will be published, the author's name and affiliations along with an abstract of approximately 150 words in length not exceeding 200 words should appear on a separate covering page Information identifying the author, position, and institutional affiliation should appear on a separate page 5) No responsibility is assumed for loss or injury to manuscripts submitted for publication Manuscript Style 1) When citations are made, the author's name, publication date, and page (where necessary) should be enclosed in parentheses and located directly in the text The complete reference will be included in a "References" section at the end of the article For example, "Another problem arises if inductive methods are used to teach a generalization The generalization may be reified, treated as a fact, when all generalizations, empirical or theoretical, are, as Popper argues, only corroborated for the time being (Popper 1959) ." 2) Do not cite references by means of footnotes 3) Only substantive footnotes should be sequentially numbered within the text and located at the end of the manuscript 4) References should be alphabetized and located at the end of the manuscript They should take one of the following forms : Hanna, Paul R ., and Lee, John R ., "Generalizations from the Social Sciences," in Louis J Hebert and William Murphy (eds .), Structure in the Social Studies (Washington : National Council for the Social Studies, 1968) Kaltsounis, Theodore, "Swing Toward Decision-Making," Instructor, 80 (April, 1971), 45-56 Kaplan, Abraham, The Conduct gflnquiry (San Francisco : Chandler Publishing Company, 1964) Reston, James, "Primary and Secondary Questions," New York Times, February 14, 1971, E-11 5) Each table should be placed on a separate page and placed in a separate section at the end of the manuscript Arabic numbers should be used for numbering tables ; they should be numbered consecutively throughout the manuscript Show where they belong in the text by the following note : Table One About Here 6) Figures should be submitted in their final form Use India ink and place them on separate pages in a separate section at the end of the manuscript Number them and locate them in the text in the same way as tables 7) Send Manuscripts to : Professor Lee Ehman, Editor Theory and Research in Social Education Social Studies Development Center S13 North Park Avenue Indiana University Bloomington, Indiana 47401


THEORY AND RESEARCH IN SOCIAL EDUCATION the official journal of the college and university faculty assembly of the national council for the social studies Theory and Research in Social Education is the official journal of the College and University Faculty Assembly of the National Council for the Social Studies It is a general review open to all social studies educators, social scientists, historians, and philosophers A general statement of purposes and style for manuscripts may be found on the inside front and back covers A subscription to Theory and Research in Social Education may be obtained by membership in the College and University Faculty Assembly of the National Council for the Social Studies Single issues may be obtained for $3 .50 each and institutional subscriptions are $9 .00 per year Copyright 1975 by the College and University Faculty assembly of the National Council for the Social Studies All rights reserved Volume III Number I December 1975 CONTENTS From the Editors Articles van Manen An Exploration of Alternative Research Orientations in Social Education 1 Larkins Critique of Alternative Research Orientations 29 van Manen Rebuttal to Larkins Critique 37 Lindsey Reflective Inquiry into Mental Illness by Hospitalized Adolescents 43 Feely Predicting Students' Use of Evidence 63 Jones Evaluating Student Involvement as a Technique for Improving Citizenship Education 73


FROM THE EDITORS This is the last issue for which we will be handling the processing of manuscripts, printing, mailing,, etc The new editor is Professor Lee Ehman, Indiana University The assistant editor is Professor Judith Gillespie, Indiana University In the future, manuscripts, correspondence, subscriptions, etc should be addressed to : Professor Lee Ehman Social Studies Development Center 513 North Park Avenue Indiana University Bloomington, Indiana 47401 This is our third issue Some manuscripts for a fourth issue have already been accepted Our venture seems to have answered a few questions concerning our profession A number of quality manuscripts dealing with theory and research in social education are being generated It is also clear that the manuscripts that we have published are not, for the most part, suitable for publication in Social Education as it is now constituted The size of CUFA is the current, major restriction on the number of issues that can be published This will probably, gradually cease to be a problem During our tenure we received and reviewed forty-one manuscripts We express our appreciation to our editorial assistants Gene Vert and Paul Kirschner Finally a hearty thanks to all of the following who referred manuscripts : Paul Abramson Gary Manson Michael Scriven Dale Brubaker Robin McKeown Floyd Stoner Jack Frankael Howard Mehlinger Judith Torney Judith Gillespie Lawrence Metcalf Jan Tucker Emily Girault John Michaelis Scott Vaughn H Michael Hartoonian Jack Nelson Stanley Wronski Maurice Hunt Fred Newmann David Ziblatt Richard K Jantz Anna Ochoa Ruth Jones Richard Remy Bruce Joyce Marion J Rice Guy Larkins James Shaver Cleo H Cherryholmes Jack Nelson


AN EXPLORATION OF ALTERNATIVE RESEARCH ORIENTATIONS IN SOCIAL EDUCATION 1 M J Max van Manen The Ontario Institute for Studies in Education The present essay is a take-off from "Research on Teaching Social Studies" by James Shaver and Guy Larkins (1973) 2 In this article these authors have raised a number of issues and made recommendations regarding research and theory development in social studies teaching, which should be an invitation for supportive as well as for critical debate and appraisals One of these recommendations is being addressed, namely the need for "a different conception of research from the classical statistical approach" (p 1254) A study of research involves the use of theory on at least two levels : on the level of educational research and on the meta-level of research into research Educational theory is concerned with inquiry into the how, what, why, etc of teaching social studies Metatheory (theoretical inquiry intQ theorizing) or metaresearch (research into research) is an epistemological activity ; investigating theoretical and practical possibilities and implications .of scientific inquiry This may seem rather irrelevant for the practical researchh oriented educator However, metatheory is useful when it manages to identify neglected areas of research, suggests alternative research possibilities or when it succeeds to make explicit the epistemological suppositions which form a basis for motivating new inquiry Thus, epistemological research may serve the purpose of Shaver and Larkins in providing "basic" research considerations with potential for making a conti ibution to the knowledge about teaching social studies curriculum ." Shaver and Larkins have presented a comprehensive set of challenging considerations and opinions which encourages the conceptualization of a "broader view" and a more rigorous foundation for doing research in social studies education Specifically they suggest that research should be done within the context of scientific theory However, the "broader view" which Shaver and Larkins explicate, especially in the context of introducing Smith's classroom ethnographic approach is still a limited view in a contemporary social science sense It is true that Smith's application of ethnographic methodology moves beyond traditional statistical methodology in, for example, adopting a holistic approach rather than a piece-meal gathering ofa limited sample of behavioral data (Smith, 1968) But from the perspective of epistemology or metatheory it would seem that classroom ethnography in the way it has been described in the Shaver/Larkins paper does not achieve a mode of cognition or awareness of the teaching-learning process which is different from the empirical-analytic orientation For 1


example, the knowledge outcomes of Smith's ethnographic research still serve the function of empirical-analytic science : (causal) explanation, prediction, and control "Raw data" such as "positive feelings by students toward the teacher" are not analyzed, e .g ., for their interpretive or communicative significance Instead these descriptions are treated as concepts which are sought to "join" other such concepts in "propositions hypothesizing causal links-for example, `Increased teacher awareness leads to increased pupil esteem .' And such propositions can be linked to other concepts in further propositions, such as, `Increased pupil esteem leads to increased classroom control .' Shaver and Larkins have admirably described the need for valid and relevant theory construction in social studies research, employing a concept of theory which remains allied to the logical framework and aims of empirical-analytic social science It would seem legitimate, however, to pursue further the idea of a "broader view," beyond the orientation of empirical-analytic science This is done in the next part of the present paper In part II a special theory of critical inquiry is examined in some more detail since it illustrates how new developments in social theorizing and research may be potentially interesting for education and particularly for directions of citizenship education or political education in social studies I TOWARD A BROADER VIEW OF SOCIAL STUDIES RESEARCH AND THEORY DEVELOPMENT It is quite apparent from the Shaver/Larkins discussion that theorists in education have not yet recognized or explored sufficiently the potential contributions which may be made by alternative methods and paradigms of contemporary science This seems to be surprising especially in social studies research since social science represents an important source and reference frame for social studies curriculum Freire (1970) has termed it a "limitsituation" when a person is not aware that there are other options beyond the taken-for-granted practices of the familiar scene What is needed in social studies research, therefore, is a recognition of the epistemological limitsituation in which current research finds itself, i .e ., a reflective awareness that existent inquiry has had a limiting and, to some extent distorting effect on the possibilities of theory and practice in social education In the following pages I wish to make an attempt to outline some potential social education research orientations Such an attempt necessitates a clarification of some of the epistemological principles upon which many current research approaches are based The search for alternative research orientations requires inquiry into the epistemology of science (for an excellent and scholarly source see 2


Radnitzky, 1973) as well as a careful study of contemporary social theory Those forms of social theory which are rooted in epistemological paradigms other than the positivist or the empirical-analytic one, tend to be based upon different conceptions of objectivity and validity in social inquiry, what it means to explain social phenomena ; how to link theory and practice, and how to construct the framework and procedures of research designs What is needed is a comprehensive epistemology which makes possible inquiry into research orientations beyond the logic-in-use of the empirical-analytic approach and which may help to guard against unconvincing research accounts, ill-directed research routes and inappropriate translation of theory into practice Such epistemological inquiry may be relevant for actual research if it helps to serve Peirce's ideal "to help unblock the roads of inquiry ." In his introduction to the first issue of Theory and Society, Alvin Gouldner (1974) takes note of a phenomenon among researchers of the social sciences which has obvious implications for educational research as well A new epistemological infrastructure is created which reflects a contemporary consciousness for the emergence of new criteria of objectivity in social science and social theory Objectivity is less seen as something absolute, resting on observational/empirical evidence Instead it is recognized as arising from the interpretation of the meaning of this evidence, which leads to the construction of consensus or truth by means of convincing accounts, acceptable in the intersubjective community of theorists and social scientists In Gouldner's view the conventional infrastructure of objectivity in social science equates social research with a form of theory construction, associated with the methodology and techniques of the physical and behavioral sciences In the domain of social inquiry the behavioral or natural science paradigms are losing their positions of dominance over the field and are increasingly being challenged and supplemented by competing paradigms : by critical theory, ethnomethodology, cognitive sociology, the neo-Marxisms, languagesensitive theory, structuralism, hermeneutics, and phenomenology The growing interest in epistemological thought within social theory is associated with an emerging awareness among social scientists that all knowledge production, thinking, and acting are based on certain sociocultural presuppositions which Plattel (1972) calls "source ideas ." Source ideas are those taken-for-granted sediments of knowledge and relevancies (in the sense of Schutz, 1973) which permeate the consciousness of an entire culture Roszak (1969) has demonstrated the objectifying characteristics and the mythical nature of this scientific consciousness and the way in which it impregnates social life and the perceptions of public issues Making explicit the source ideas which thus function on the level of unreflected pretheoretical thought is an epistemological activity 3


The search for new orientations is not happenstance From the epistemological perspectives of men such as Radnitzky (1973), Kockelmans (1967), Ricoeur (1973, 1974) and Schroyer (1973) it would appear that the variety of contemporary research orientations can be divided into three main streams : empirical-analytic, interpretive and critical inquiry The division among these three main streams of theorizing have a long tradition They exemplify the broad cultural differences of Western thought between the predominantly dialectical/hermeneutic theorizing and the more behavioral research orientations Radnitzky refers to the former as the Continental school and the latter as the Anglo-Saxon stream of researchers Further distinctions are not without controversy For example, the particular relationships between critical theory of the Franfurter tradition and ethnomethodology 3 in North America or between hermeneutics and behavioral social science currently are being debated Moreover, critical theory as elaborated by Habermas, Wellmer, and others, rests to a large extent on both empirical-analytic and interpretive methodology and at the same time critical inquiry seems to be characterized by methodological elements which possess something extra It is not my intention to address such epistemological issues in these pages In the schema depicted in Table 1 some outstanding epistemological features of the logics-in-use of the three orientations of contemporary social theorizing and research have been outlined in a comprehensive framework Any particular theory of man and society may integrate to some extent these orientations but even within a single identifiable theory (such as the cognitive sociology of Cicourel (1973), the analytical ethnomethodology of McHugh et al (1974), or the experiential theory of instruction by Torbert (1972) ), the dominant inquiry modes, their characteristic view of "social phenomena," and their implicit concept of "practical significance," and what it means to "explain things," remain visible The three forms of social inquiry are distinctive in terms of their logics-in-use : their methodologies and techniques, their ways of looking at man and society, the forms of knowledge they produce, and the uses to which this knowledge can be put No one social science will tell the whole story about man and his social world Thus, within the context of this paper social inquiry may be viewed comprehensively as the exploration of social reality for the purpose of (1) understanding in an authentic or experiential sense, the meaningful phenomena of the human world ; (2) discovering social laws, generalizations or facts which enable explanation, prediction, and technical control ; and (3) being able to investigate critically social issues and phenomena, and having the ability to deal with such issues in a normative emancipatory framework The schema of dominant orientations of social theory shows three systems of doing scientific research : (a) interpretive, (b) empirical-analytic, and (c) critical inquiry Each of these systems is characterized by an internally 4


E m a M Y O E type of system t pretheoretical t unit of t validation t telic mode t the meaning of t general t practical significance & science t category t analysis t procedure t or aim t explanation t theoretical t or applicative (1) t (2) t (3) t (4) t (5) t (6) t orientation & t significance social theories E 4 A U G d V N u C 0 m € t intentional experiential € t behavior meanings of d purposes motives, etc (a) G (c) disturbed and distorted communicative/ instrumental behavior values, practical communications, discourse and instrumental actions TABLE 1 Epistemology of Dominant Inquiry Modes in the Social Sciences constructing t sense-making t establishing t action theory t humanistic : inter-subject "resonance" or t hermeneutics, t acquiring insights into tively shared t "striking a ret language t human experiences, understandings t sponsive chord t analysis, t facilitating communicaby clarifying t ethnomethodt tion enabling meaningful motives, authent ology, phenomt interactions, seeking a tic experiences, t enology, t continuity of cultural common t analytical t traditions, providing meanings t sociology t commonalities of understanding `P_ t observable t observable and t corroborative t nomological t causal, t behavioral theory t technical : U1 t € t behavior t inferrable t empirical t explanation, t functional, or t S-R and S-O-R t behavior t modification, m € ? t behavior t observation t prediction t hypotheticot theories of t human engineering and control t deductive argut learning, t systems analysis applied '0 = t ments, involving t cybernetics, t to cultural, social and ~ L c d t (b) t natural laws or t systems theory, t institutional systems, e .g scientific t dialectical t in instructional design generalizations t materialism, t and programming structuralfunctionalism (?) process of tracing back critical theory emancipatory : enlightenment to underlying, neo-Marxism, humanization and hidden or psychoanalysis, social change, emancipation t unreflected t critical t theory, t therapy aspects of t analytical social life t ethnomethodology (?)


consistent set of interpretive devices : (1) for viewing the human or social system, (2) for conceptualizing the epistemological nature of the social systems behavior, i .e ., the processes to be studied, (3) for selecting appropriate system elements for scientific research, (4) for its own verification and validation procedures Each system has its inherent goal directed mode (5) And associated with each of the inquiry orientations is a certain concept of what constitutes an explanation (6) In the last two columns of the schema the dominant theoretical orientation of each action system is matched up, for purposes of illustration, with some specific social theories And the practical significance of each theoretic mode of the three action systems is described in some more concrete and detailed terms A The Interpretive Orientation By the interpretive orientation I refer to all inquiry which has as its main concern a systematic search for a "deep understanding" of the ways in which man subjectively experiences (perceives, interprets, plans, acts, feels, values, construes) the social world Interpretive research is different from empiricalanalytic research in the sense that the former studies man as "subject" whereas the latter studies man as "object ." Of course empirical-analytic inquiry also searches for an understanding of man But in this case the form of understanding is of a more "detached," predictive, explanatory kind, which involves functional relationships among social phenomena, that express hypothetical causal links, such as "if x then y ." Such expressions occur in the scholarly journals of educational research but also in the everyday common sense theories which teachers hold about the successful operations of the classroom In fact, many of our professional development activities for teachers consist in making available research findings which help them gain better control over the teaching-learning process (see part B) The contemporary conceptualization of the epistemological difference between the interpretive sciences and the empirical-analytic sciences refers back to Dilthey's logical distinction between interpretation and understanding in the human sciences, and observation and formal explanation in the natural sciences Dilthey's thematic analysis of the "cycle of interpretation" has been pursued further in contemporary social philosophy, notably by Gadamer and Ricoeur (see Palmer, 1969) And the recognition of the characteristic epistemological orientation of interpretive science has led to programmatic formulations of social theory, such as phenomenological sociology by Schutz (1970, 1972, 1973), Berger and Luckman (1967), ethnomethodology by Garfinkel (1967), cognitive sociology by Cicourel (1973), and symbolic interactionism by Blumer (1969) For a good introduction into such literature see Filmer et al (1972) and Douglas (1970 a) Interpretive science has a research-guiding concept which aims to clarify, authenticate, uncover, or to bring the meaning structures expressed by the 6


forces of the cultural process into full human awareness A research problem for interpretive science is identified when the need arises for an experientially meaningful, historically original, or authentically human understanding of some aspect of an interactive or communicative human cultural system The inherent aim is understanding (Veistelien) €a spects of the human life world, in the sense of gaining insights into the processes and results (objectivations) of human cultural activity These are texts or text analogues (social happenings), expressing life projects, sense-making and interpretive practices, human actions and intentions, and the ways in which man meaningfully experiences, and emotionally and intellectually appropriates the world In sociology good methodological as well as applied studies have been provided by Cicourel (1964, 1974) and Douglas (1970 b, 1972) In the epistemological debates (insofar as debates have taken place) between logical empiricism and phenomenology the demand for more rigorous scientific explanations has been countered by arguments that the social world is expressive of meanings which are inaccessible to empiricalanalytic, science and which are in need of explanations of an interpretive kind offered by disciplines such as ethnomethodology, phenomenology, and hermeneutics The phenomenology of social understanding may involve methodological investigation and analysis on at least three distinct levels 4 These levels require analytical procedures of increased reflectivity First, on the level of taken-for-granted reality (Schutz, 1973), the sense making practices of the everyday social life world have become the object of study for ethnomethodology Secondly, contemporary hermeneutics is concerned with the more ambiguous or less clear cultural activities of man These activities require a more reflective interpretive approach so that an authentic human understanding of their cultural, original or historical meanings might be achieved In this sense all ethnographical or historical interpretation is hermeneutics And thirdly, on the level of human activity where sensemaking practices and practical normative social life are seen to be systematically suppressed or distorted (in the sense of Freud or Habermas), critical method makes available analytical tools and emancipatory or normative thinking skills which aim at "demystification" (Plattel, 1972) of false consciousness and reorientation of misguided practice Hermeneutics, defined as the science of interpretation or as the phenomenology of social understanding (Gadamer, 1970 ; Misgeld, 1975) has as its object of study some text or text analogue (Taylor, 1971) embodied in a social situation or social phenomenon which in some way or another is confused, incomplete, cloudy, seemingly contradictory, or unclear Within a hermeneutical framework social education might be seen as a dialogical series of sense-making activities on the part of teacher and student Teaching as sense making finds its focus (a) in the learner, i .e ., in the way the teacher interprets the concrete nature of the transactional learning 7


processes which are themselves sense making activities ; (b) in the teachinglearning interactions, i .e ., in the way the teacher interprets the meanings embodied in the experiential encounters of the teacher himself and his students ; and (c) in the curriculum decision making practices which take place before, during, and after the instructional episodes in the context of centralized or decentralized planning sessions Learning as sense making by the learner is situated in the interpretive moments in which the learner transacts with (a) the subject matter or the object of teaching in the form of some text, or some social phenomenon or event ; (b) the teacher and the way in which the learner interprets the intentions of the teacher or the aim of the learning process ; and (c) the self or ego of the learner, that is, the manner in which the learner sees himself and the way in which he sees himself meaningfully transacting with the content, the teacher, and his self More concretely what is involved in the use of interpretive research methodologies of the classroom may be gleaned, for example, from studies of "cross-modal communication" in the classroom by Cicourel (1964) His intent was to bring to the surface the hidden, but always present, creative activities of everyday social interpretive interactions in the communicative process Ethnomethodological research has shown that everyday communicative practices are invariably "contingent productions" embedded in emergent, context-sensitive, informative environments Using video-taping technology, Cicourel has focused on the verbal and nonverbal activities of the classroom setting for understanding the child's grasp of the teacher's educational goals His special interest was to clarify the operation of the context within which the teaching-learning dialogue generated unexplicated and seemingly invisible "interpretive procedures," presumably at work on the part of the learner, the teacher, and the on-looker (the researcher) in their sense making practice of the shared dialogue In the teaching-learning of social studies there are various ways of gaining insight into the sense making procedures which teachers and learners utilize in the transactive and interactive processes Contemporary social scientists consider the various context-dependent and context-free modes of expression The language activity itself, is an important field of inquiry It provides access to the structure, form, and content of social reality Indeed, language use is seen as the foundation of a world-constructing enterprise In a recent study on language use and school performance, Hugh Mehan (1975) reports on a videotaped analysis of the manner in which teacher and students operate in "accomplishing classroom lessons ." This idea of social actors "accomplishing a situation" refers to the social scientist's way of inquiring into the manner in which interacting agents negotiate in bringing about a particular situation Mehan is interested in clarifying how teacher's expressions are essentially incomplete, 8


"all the information the child needs to follow the teacher's instruction is not found in the instruction itself The child must locate this needed information in such contextually provided features such as the teacher's non-verbal behavior, teaching materials, the previous course of this lesson,' his 'past' experience The child must use interpretive practices like imitating, cohort production, and search to interpret teacher's instructions ." (p 126) The work of researchers like MacKay (1974) and Mehan permits a more systematic understanding of the common place that the reality of teachinglearning does not adequately correspond to a static curriculum description Such description presumes that the meaning of instructions and objectives is clear at the outset of a teaching-learning exchange and remains constant throughout However, the planning, interactive and evaluative phases of teaching and of learning processes display context-bound interpretive practices which have consequences for traditional research and theory development Mehan makes use of interpretive methodology in studying the interpretive practices which teachers and students employ in the give-andtake of the teaching-learning process Thus, the interpretive mode of sense making becomes the research vehicle as well as the research object of study The videotaping technique is a variation of participant observation in a sociological or ethnographic sense In the herefore-mentioned studies of Cicourel, MacKay and Mehan it is being used to examine how interpretations in everyday educational encounters are made The construction and validation of knowledge of teaching and curriculum thus achieved, depends in part at least on the dialogical character of the interpretive inquiry mode The reader or co-investigator is invited to partake in the sense making process That is why Mehan says "I locate my analysis in transcribed materials so that the reader can have access to the grounds of my analysis With these materials available, the reader can criticize my interpretation and construct alternative interpretations The construction of alternative interpretations uncovers the interpretive process itself, which is the ultimate concern of this study ." (p 77) With respect to the instructional aspect of the social studies curriculum, phenomenology, hermeneutics, and related interpretive sciences are of imminent significance The recommendation made to traditional minded social studies, history, or geography teachers to involve their students in less intellectualizing and more of a valuing orientation acquires strong theoretical support-and simultaneously quite a different meaning-in the exploration of the implications of hermeneutics for social education Taking the insights of hermeneutics seriously produces an increased awareness of the crucial demand for authenticating and articulating phenomenologically the 9


ideas embedded in the teaching-learning experiences of the social studies curriculum Hitherto, the importance of relating to the experiences of the students, that is to render the knowledge experientially meaningful with respect to the life-world of the learner, has been seen as relevant mainly for reasons of "motivating" the students, "awakening their interests" in a social studies topic to be studied However, hermeneutic understanding of the "real meanings" of the social life world must be an aim of itself in social education Reconstructing authentic structures of social life, in the formal setting of the school, would require interpretive devices beyond an occasional role-playing or simulation-gaming activity I am suggesting that development and evaluation research in this area would have to be based on a fundamental grasp of what is involved in acquiring something that, for example, ethnomethodologists refer to as "scenic understanding" (i .e ., understanding of the world known in common and taken-for-granted) Of course such research also would require an explicit and appropriate (but rigorous) concept of truth and validation procedures in a phenomenological sense Gadamer develops an idea of "human understanding," which, in the apprehension of social (and physical) reality, is seen to be historical, linguistic, and dialetical (see Palmer, 1969) Over and against the idea of purely conceptual and verifiable knowing and affective states, Gadamer places a concept of the structure of experience and of dialetical hermeneutic experience which, on the one hand, might greatly enrich the idea of knowledge acquisition in the social studies teaching-learning process, and which, on the other hand, should throw a new light on the on-going debate of the meaning and place of taxonomic devices such as those of Bloom, Krathwohl, and Popham, in monitoring the teaching-learning process Various educators such as Dewey and more recently Whilhelms (1972) and Rogers (1961) have attempted to put forward a concept of "understanding" and "truth" which is reminiscent of a more existential or Heideggerian idea of cognition A phenomenology of social understanding examines the nature of knowledge in consciousness and the conditions which make possible truth experiences, fundamental insights ("seeing") and what it means to "really" understand something If social education is to be seen as serving and enriching the on-going life experiences of students, then it must reconceptualize its informational content to contribute to a larger aim of social studies, encompassing a view of the learner as acquiring something which Gadamer refers to as social wisdom This involves a process of a largely nonobjectifiable accumulation of "understandings ." It is something like non-conceptual learning For example, non-conceptual understanding may occur in the truth-experience of some "striking" art form Similarly the truth-experience of some moral situations may not be translatable one-to-one into the objectifying language of behavioral knowledge taxonomies Rogers calls such learning process "consequential" learning, and Whilhelms speaks 1 0


of "associative" learning that affects the very core of our being Whereas in the instructional objectives curriculum the teacher attends to the "measurables" or the directly observable changes that occur in the student's understandings and skills ; iii a curriculum which emphasizes "deep" understandings the "output" of the learning process cannot be behaviorized and measured easily Instead of assessing learning in terms of "input" and "output" such understandings probably require a process of slow germination which eventually may make a fundamental difference in the student's awareness, sensitivities and ability to cope in a mature way with the knowledge of social life One way of dealing with the problem of measurement and evaluation might be to focus away from learner behavior and toward teacher activities Rather than checking whether the student actually has changed one may check whether in the teaching process the teacher has provided for such change For example, if the teacher has "empathic competency" in mind as a purpose of the curriculum, one would attempt to determine whether in the process of teaching-learning empathic sensitivities, understandings and skills have been provided for Such reconceptualization of social education opens up new realms of research possibilities, making accessible to educators the insights and logics-in-use of interpretive social science A related question is, what should be the place of the dominant inquiry methodologies in an integrated knowledge curriculum, and how should the social studies teacher conceptualize the relationship of his hermeneutic interests to the curriculum of the humanities, i .e ., literature, the arts? Whilhelms points out that we have been formed far more than we know by the occasional poem, play or motion picture that spoke to the center of our being (1972, p 35) And this is all the more important since interpretive social theory increasingly tends to make use of the sources, the products and the approaches of various art forms in the investigation of social reality The aim of much of phenomenological investigation is to create meaningful accounts of cultural phenomena, of institutions, and of social activities, which do not aim at presenting generalizations or statistical indices Instead, phenomenological research activities aim at making visible aspects of social reality and society through devices such as dialogue, and the generation of typifying examples of social phenomena and events, in the sense of Max Weber A collection of essays on selected social science concepts such as "motive," "bias," "travel," "evaluation," "snubs," etc ., by McHugh, Raffel, Foss, and Blum (1974) demonstrates the use of dialogical method in interpretive social inquiry Here "truth" and "understanding" is not seen as something that corresponds to the authority of social facts of external reality or to the authority of the established rules and procedures of science In searching for an understanding of e .g ., "motive" these authors are not interested primarily 1 1


in providing descriptions, examples, or causal generalizations about the concept motive But rather, in a contemporary interpretation of Socratic method, McHugh and colleagues attempt to break through the surface of the common meanings and activities of social life Their concept of "auspices" or "deep structures" is reminiscent of Plato's notion of Forms and analogues to Chomsky's use of the linguistic concept of grammar Grammar is the deep structure of language which makes intelligible speech possible One might say that grammar itself cannot be seen but indirectly it can be made visible in the concrete language of everyday talk By attending to the surface features of speech acts, projected into the taken-for-granted reality of ordinary life, we may gain access, just like Plato's metaphorical prisoners of the cave, to the unspeakable auspices or grammar which makes the talk comprehensible The idea of grammar or auspices is as elusive as Plato's Forms But the point is, that this fact of elusiveness is already a feature of the grammar of our culture which tends to concretize or reify objects of thought Grammar is not something that can be thus conceptualized in propositional terms Instead, analytical inquiry into the ideas of "motive," "travel," or "evaluation" aims at providing for the resonances which enables one person to convey the auspices of "motive" to another person For example, it makes visible how "motive" is a way of referring to a type of person or a way of referring to methods of sense making which social agents use to make the social world intelligible What emerges from the interpretive research of these men is an awareness of the large extent to which Western thinking, and especially the thinking of social scientists, is ingrained with a postivist orientation In our desire to understand teaching-learning processes and to intervene in curriculum activities, the constant concern of research and development work is to produce "principles," "methodological steps," "techniques," and "measurable inputs and outputs" which concretize and objectify the teaching-learning process Is this inevitable? It is quite probable that our way of talking, for example, about "basic knowledge" in education would have been rather incomprehensible by a less scientific culture Thus, attending to the way educators speak about "the basics" in the curriculum is making visible the methods educators use in organizing their classroom activities and ideas into an externalized and objectified world where one can talk about the learner as having or lacking basic knowledge For a further discussion along this line see Van Manen (1975a) B The Empirical-Analytic Orientation This section of the paper is meant to contrast with the preceding account of inquiry The empirical-analytic approach reflects an attitude and an epistemology which, I feel, is programmatic of much of contemporary research and theorizing the study of social education 1 2


Research problems for empirical-analytic or behavioral social science are identified as the lack of having "discovered" the natural constraints, lawlike generalizations, causal principles, or controls of a (social) system This type of system has been termed pseudo-natural because the essential parameters of social systems, including teaching-learning environments, educational institutions, and even the minds of learners, have not been shown to be equally immutable and determinate as physical or natural systems The inherent aim of natural social science is to be able to explain, predict, and control social phenomena in a technological or instrumental sense The underlying or pretheoretical assumption is that social behavior is indeed natural, i .e subject to natural "constraints" which can be discovered and ultimately brought under control In social education this attitude is reflected in research studies which externalize and objectify the world of human teaching-learning experiences in terms of behavioral, measurable, or quantifiable performances, and cybernetic, input-output instructional designs A decade ago, in an article entitled "Theories of Teaching," Gage (1964) drew attention to the fact that problems of classroom instruction need be not only theories of learning but also theories of teaching He stated that "theories of teaching deal with the way in which a person influences an organism to learn" (p 268) Within the context of selected teaching paradigms, Gage is interested in the "inherent order and lawfulness that can be subjected to theoretical analysis" (p 270) The theory founded on this paradigm sees the teacher as manipulating the cognitive field in accordance with "laws of cognition ." Learning, then, is to be regarded as the consequence of some causal sequence The learner, according to Gage, "can no more avoid learning in this instance than he can avoid seeing the phiphenomenon under proper conditions" (p 278) By manipulating principles of cognitive structure in the same manner as he would manipulate stimuli, the teacher can "compel" his students to achieve the curriculum learning objectives This objectifying attitude toward the study of teaching is continued in the first Handbook of Research on Teaching where Gage (1963) urges a type of research that is conducted within the framework of genuine theory What is meant by genuine theory? In Gage's words, research and theory of teaching possess similar aims : "increasing our power to understand, predict, and control [learning] events of a certain kind" (p 96) A further development of this same emphasis on constructing scientific theories of teaching is to be found in the pamphlet "Criteria for Theories of Instruction" prepared by the ASCD Commission on Instructional Theory (Gordon, 1968) In this document the term "theory" has been redefined for educators to give it the meaning "as it is used in the natural sciences ." In doing, this, the Commission has deliberately and explicitly adopted "the physical science m odel a s their ideal . [since] it does indicate a direction toward precision in theorizing about instruction which we believe is required" (p 4) Furthermore, the Commission is of the opinion that 1 3


"when persons in education become active in building theories of instruction in the tradition of the natural sciences, the power of the theories that are developed will rapidly surpass the rule-of-thumb approach of the layman or the practitioner ." (p 4) Within the empirical-analytical reference frame, instruction is viewed as "the process whereby the environment of an individual is deliberately manipulated to enable him to learn to emit or engage in specific behaviors under specified conditions or as responses to specified situations ." (Corey, p 130) In the words of Merrill, instructional design is the "process of specifying and producing particular environmental situations which cause the learner to interact in such a way that a specified change occurs in his behavior ." (Merrill, p 170) In the work of these educational theorists the search is for nomological theory construction in the sense of empirical-analytic social science The success of empirical-analytic theory development in economics leads Suppes (1974) to pose the question in education : "how we can develop a deeper running theory for the efficient allocation of resources to increase productivity and, at the same time, to develop a better theory for the measurements of input and output and the construction of production functions . It is natural to ask how we can measure the output of an elementary school, for example ." (Suppes, p 5) Typically, in this context the contemporary educational researcher tends to employ the characteristic systems language borrowed from cybernetics and mathematical models of, for example, economics or biological theory Learning processes are described in terms of natural, adaptive, structureincreasing systems behavior (Merrill, 1971 ; Ryans, 1964) and teaching is viewed as reflectively intervening in the learner's adaptive responses to his relevant environment Thus, the social reality of teaching-learning has become a natural reality, not unlike that of the world of physical objects and events The trajectories of learning behavior are likened to the causal path of an object in physical space The same recent article by Suppes on theory development in educational research serves to illustrate the empiricalanalytic mode : "What we have been able to do is to derive from plausible qualitative assumptions a stochastic differential equation describing the trajectory of students through the curriculum, with the constants of the solution of the differential equation corresponding to unique parameters of each individual student . .I think we can now speak with confidence in this area of student trajectories in the 1 4


same spirit that we speak of trajectories of bodies in the solar system ." (Suppes, p 8) Of course, Suppes' optimistic and hard-nosed (in a positivist sense) attitude toward the role of natural scientific theory construction in curriculum and instruction must meet the difficulties and reservations expressed by other social scientists The simple fact of the matter is that to date little teachinglearning theory has been developed which has the predictive, explanatory, and practical-technological significance of physical theory The empirical-analytic attitude is not only prevalent in the study of teaching acts, it also dominates frequently the programmatic aspects of the curriculum which is taught through the various inquiry, problem solving and issues approaches, and of those social studies curricula which place central the concepts and findings of contemporary social science Inquiry teaching is generally understood as assisting the student in generating problems and hypotheses, pursuing tentative solutions and concluding or testing his generalizations Compare, for example, the similarities among the inquiry models of Beyer, Massialas, Cox, Fenton, and others In addition to facing questions which have been raised for example by Herron (1969) regarding the adequacy of inquiry models in the way they reflect the true nature and inquiry patterns of the everyday practices of scientists, social studies educators probably should pursue more deliberately and rigorously a broader epistemological concept of inquiry teaching than is practiced currently (e .g Van Manen, 1975) Of course to some extent this broadening of the concept of social inquiry has evolved already in the development of new forms of value education, of teaching approaches, and of curriculum materials such as the Schools Council Integrated Studies which engaged teacher and students in an analysis of e .g the communicative, interpretive and sense making aspects of the function of, for example, language, art and music Another example of this empirical-analytic attitude in social education is the sharp distinction that is sometimes made between "facts" and "values ." This dichotomizing orientation is a distinguishing feature, characteristic of the various forms of values teaching and valuing activities which are being explored currently and developed in social studies school curricula The interpretive and the critical sciences do not share necessarily the recognition of such a sharp distinction Or at any rate, the lines drawn between facts and values do not cast necessarily value and moral questions outside social research and theorizing In the social theories of Schroyer, Habermas and Wellmer a special form of practical or normative reasoning involves a "cognition" of values and moral issues, rather than perceiving these to belong to an affective or irrational domain of social thought (see Part II of this paper) 1 5


C The Critical Orientation A third major form of inquiry or research is represented by critical social inquiry Critical inquiry can be seen as uncovering or making explicit, in the sense of bringing to consciousness, the hidden, underlying forces behind phenomena A methodological prototype of critical inquiry is the psychoanalytical technique of identifying pathological behavior (including deformations of language such as rationalizations, compulsive sterotyping, etc .) and of tracing such symptoms to subconscious, or repressed motives Critical social theories of men such as Freud, Marx, Fromm and Marcuse have as a guiding concept to emancipate man from blind, asymmetrical, dominating, nondialogical, and oppressive forces on the level of societal, institutional, or personal life The critical orientation promotes theories of man and society that are rooted in the moral attitude of emancipation or liberation from coercive and dominating forms of social control As the academic fear of the recognition of Marx's contribution to a science of history and society subsides, educators too have become interested more in the ideas of radical-minded authors such as Kozol, Illich, Marcuse, and Freire However, in North America critical social science has encouraged very few research studies in social education, perhaps for ideological reasons The point is that a radical curriculum program in social studies may constitute a serious threat to the inherent order and the taken-for-granted values and practices of school and society Furthermore, the writings of the so-called "romantic critics" of education, and even an Illich or Freire, lack the theoretical strength, perhaps, to rationalize and conceptualize rigorous research into the developmental structure and the instructional dynamics, necessary for a critical foundation of social studies curriculum The writings of Illich and Freire are concerned more immediately with the politics and practice of education Chances are, however, that the stepped-up rate of translations and publications of the thoughts of contemporary social scientists and social philosophers who are working under this theoretic paradigm will have some influence on new directions in research practices and possibly on the attempts toward significant reconceptualizations of, for example, citizenship education and political education in the social studies Social education seen as a critical activity would encourage new types of research, involving a reflexive and an emancipatory interest in man and society, and providing social studies with a fundamentally relevant connection to the practices, concerns, and problems of the conditions of ordinary social life Apart from, for example, developing feasible models of emancipatory curricula, or investigating the forms and prerequisites of dialogical pedagogy, critical social theory provides a basis for reconceptualizing the concept of "critical thinking" and what it means to talk about the learner as realizing a major aim of social education, by becoming a socially aware critical actor Thus far, critical thinking has been synonymous more or less 1 6


with cognitive skills represented by terms such as "good thinking," "thinking straight," "logical (non-fallacious) reasoning," or more specifically with the problem-solving skills involved in social studies curricula which place central the inquiry techniques of empirical-analytic social science, as evidenced in the writings on critical thinking in the social studies by Starr and Chausow The competency to think critically has been associated, in a general way, with the thought processes and procedures of logic and valid reasoning, with the teaching of inductive thinking abilities, group problem solving skills, reflective thinking, intuitive thinking, procedures for the training of developmental inquiry competencies And critical thinking has been associated with inductive and deductive scientific inquiry skills, with social problem solving and societal reconstruction, and the jurisprudential resolution of public issues Although the various "thinking skills" promoted by the existent concepts of critical thinking are very worthwhile indeed, from the present perspective of critical social inquiry these concepts-in-use lack a more reflective reference frame The theoretical base of empirical-analytic science is too narrow, not taking into account a more complete concept of social science inquiry, and it is inappropriate simply for reasons that it is essentially not critical in a more emancipatory sense Emancipatory awareness leads to the possibility of self-determination with some degree of freedom from blind psychological, political or economic compulsions Some authors have used the notion of "meta-critique," "critique of knowledge," or "critique of ideology" to refer to critical thought Critical inquiry, in this sense, is not accomplished by an appropriate use of "rules of logic" or "procedures of scientific method," as in most social studies' concepts of critical thinking Instead, critical thought consists in the questioning of these very rules or principles It involves inquiry into the social origins, consequences, and functions of knowledge In other words, the term "critical" is used here to refer to the human potentiality for self-conscious reflection and self-determination vis-a-vis the "seemingly" natural forces of social "nature" in personal, societal, and cultural history How the seemingly natural forces are at work in pseudonatural systems can be seen, for example, in the way that institutions "constrain" (control) their members Operating like natural systems, institutions "cause" certain patterns of behavior and interactions among their constituent parts-individuals, social or political groups, etc Although they are produced humanly, once they are there, institutions acquire an invisible compulsion of their own, turning into "objective reality" as it were, and induce (socialize) in man the culturally specific patterns of behavior In the words of Berger and Luckman (1967), once an institution has been "externalized" it is "objectivated" and becomes "internalized" ; these are the three phases in the social "life" of institutions Thus, through reification of produced social systems the social world of institutions appears to merge 1 7


with the world of nature The social system acquires the characteristics of a natural system The higher the degree of institutionalization of human activity, the more "predictable" and the more "controllable" men will become To the extent that pseudo-natural systems constrain their members and just like natural systems "cause" certain patterns of behavior and interactions among the constituent parts of the system, to such extent individuals are involuntarily coerced into nonreflective courses of action and interaction However, unlike a truly natural (physical) system such as a stone rolling down a slope, man has the potentiality to (self-) reflect upon the forces that "move" him and that may "cause" distorted patterns of social behavior In this process of fundamental reflection lies the moment of "enlightenment" and the act of emancipation : in realizing the compelling or oppressive forces of his social environment man can decide to strategically act upon those forces in order to change them in accord with his needs Through a reflective grasp of his culture, its social order, and those who maintain charge of it, man can gain enlightened insight into the conditioning aspects of his personal and social life The similarities between individual and social pathologies have been discussed by Fromm (1962), Brown (1973), Laing (1967) and others These authors stress the need for coming to terms with the repressive and dehumanizing elements of every day life which man has to face on the level of his social life For example, in his personal life the object of reflection may be the "rationalizations" which speak for his actions and their underlying repressed motives, and on the level of society the object of reflection may be the "ideology" which speaks for the social practices and policies of society at large, thus "covering up" the coercive forces which give rise to these activities In this context, Fromm (1962) speaks of the "individual unconscious" which Freud has dealt with and the "social unconscious" which became the object of study for Marx Both kinds of unconscious, Fromm says, constitute "chains" which prevent man freely to think for himself about practical questions Habermas also has explicated a correspondence between rationalizations and ideologies : both are rooted in unreflected motives or interests Rationalizations refer to unreflected interests on the level of personal action, while ideology serves to "cover" the "real" but unreflected interests of the collective action of members of a society In this sense thinking critically consists of recovering or uncovering the "real" meaning rather than the "false" causes for some given social conditions 1 8


II, CRITICAL SOCIAL THEORY . AND EPISTEMOLOGY AS SOCIAL THEORY Contemporary developments of critical social thought, notably in the .writings of social theorists such As Trerit -Schroyer, Albrecht Wellmer, and particularly in the work of Jurgen Habermas and his predecessors at the Frankfurter school, permit a form of practical reasoning rooted in an emancipatory concern for man and society Therefore, I will venture a brief expose of some of their theoretical and meta-theoretical ideas with a special view of its relevance to social studies education The essential components of Habermas' critical theory of man and society are his concepts of "systematically distorted communication," the criticalpractical norms derived from the sociolinguistic idea of "communicative competence" and the related analytical concept of "ideal speech" or "ideal situation of discourse ." The concept of "distorted communication" has acquired such a theoretical significance that it increasingly has become thematic in the literature of related social sciences : in sociolinguistics and political science (e .g ., Mueller, 1973), in anthropology (e .g ., Scholte, 1974), in sociology (e .g ., Schroyer, 1973), in moral theorizing (e .g ., Ricoeur, 1974), and in social philosophy (e .g ., Wellmer, 1971) The analytical opposite of distorted communication is implicit in the emancipatory idea of pure communicative interaction, which, in turn, presupposes a symmetricality in the inter-subjective relations of human actors Habermas speaks of "pure inter-subjectivity ." Undistorted communication and reaching true consensus is possible only in principle in the context of complete and unlimited interchangeability of dialogue roles, where no situation of privilege or condition of dominance places unequal weight among the participants of the communicative process (Habermas, 1970, p 143) Habermas points out that all human communication implicitly is oriented toward the relation of intersubjective symmetry and reciprocity in the practice of dialogue roles On the level of metatheory, Habermas founds his theory of ideal speech on the supposition that the base of all actions is organized linguistically The concept of ideal speech is clearly an idealization, but the importance of the idea is that it can be grasped reflectively by every person in virtue of the fact that every speaker or user of language possesses a practical understanding of the idea of communicative competence Reaching an understanding is a normative concept ; everyone who speaks a natural language has intuitive knowledge of it, and, therefore, is confident of being able, to distinguish in principle, true consensus from a false one The notion of ideal situation of discourse in Habermas' theory of communication becomes some sort of practical social norm which, on the one hand, sets a standard for the organization of institutions, social interactions and decision making processes And, on the 1 9


other hand, the ideal situation of discourse provides a general concept which serves as a practical norm for detecting distorting and alienating factors in the human condition Concretely, ideal speech can come about only if the constraints inherent in the structural features of the communicative system do not lead to systematic distortions Thus, Habermas suggests that the concept of ideal speech may be used in concrete instances for emancipatory social analysis This is an item of practical or research relevancy of critical inquiry, namely, that it provides a means for detecting social issues and societal problems in the existence of distorted communicative practices Distortions are generated by institutionalized social structures on the basis of asymmetries or uneven distribution in the performance of dialogue roles (p 144) The fundamental point is that without such symmetry and reciprocity undistorted communication, promoted by social actions, motives, purposes, and intentions, is not possible Habermas' critical theory is important especially for contemporary social thought in that it is put forward not only as a social theory of man and society, but also on a meta level, as an epistemology of research practice and theory development in social science (Schroyer, 1973) Epistemology as social theory rests upon the theory of cognitive interests, expressing "anthropologically deep-seated interests, which direct our knowledge and which have a quasi-transcendental status ." (Habermas, 1974, p 9) By means of special elaborations of contemporary developments of a theory of linguistics and communication Habermas is capable of linking in a unique way, theory with practice ; knowledge with action, and subject with object In his famous inaugural lecture Habermas does this by means of the idea of human interests which are seen to underlie every theoretical and non-theoretical knowledge orientation Each form of human interest governs an associated form of human activity characterized by a certain view of man and his world in the appropriation of social phenomena, and in the selection, formulation, and solution of practical/theoretical problems With respect to the practical significance of knowledge Habermas argues that owning knowledge (like owning wealth) inadvertently invests the proprietor with the practical interests inherent in the functions of that knowledge Cognitive interests "guide" all human actions, including scientific research and theory development Furthermore, each form of human interest commands a distinct and internally consistent orientation of social science partly along the traditional lines of the dominant streams of theorizing as elaborated in the first part of this paper Thus, Habermas relates the three kinds of science to three conceptually distinguishable species -specific human activities : work, language or communication and self-reflection What Habermas attempts to do is to provide a philosophical anthropology of human knowledge and human learning Work is the activity that relates man to his natural environment, language or communication is the activity that relates man to 2 0


man and self-reflection relates man to his internal (personal and cultural) environment In our culture the institutions of work or production have generated the sophisticated knowledge systems of the physical and behavioral sciences And the institutions which mainly serve the' communicative function (such as the : farnily religion, friendship, art, philosophy) have led to language and to interpretive and communicative systems of knowledge The cognitive interest of self-reflection is served by what Habermas calls "emancipatory" or "practical" social action Like Fromm (1962), Brown (1973), and others, he employs the model of therapeutic discourse and the critical process of achieving self-knowledge as an illustration of the emancipatory nature of self-reflection According to Habermas, the methodology of practical social inquiry is mediated by the two lower cognitive interests of instrumental action and -communicative interaction Once a practical problem has been identified in the tension between some "given" (factual) and the "ideal" (contrafactual) state, a thorough knowledge of interpretive science and of empirical-analytic research and theory development must be available to the critical social actor in order to move the "existing" or "given" state of affairs toward the "possible" 'or more "ideal" state Thus, "practical" thinking both on the level of personal and societal experiences, has an inherent emancipatory interest, so says Habermas ; The "practical" consequence of self-reflection is that the analytic insights into the selfformative process (of man and society) tends to intervene in life In other words, once an individual or social group is prepared to examine critically the manner in which some repressive or restraining condition of social life historically has come about, then it must be assumed, says Habermas, that this action of self-reflection or self-understanding is at least in its original intent aimed at improving the social condition by removing the repressive circumstance In the context of education Freire has made similar claims To all knowledge, whether illusory or true knowledge, sooner or later ; an action corresponds (Freire, 1970,1973) It is with reference to such questions as the relationship between critical reflection, self=knowledge and practical action that the terms of argumentation between the hermeneutics of Gadamer and the critical theory of Habermas becomes of interest Gadamer believes that hermeneutics too is corrective and that it, therefore, can be emancipatory in the sense of gaining insights which make personal and social change possible For probing debates and further references along these lines see Misgeld (1975) It is impossible in a few paragraphs to do justice to the scope and meaning of critical theory The purpose of this part of the paper simply has been to provide some rough sketches of the nature of critical theory in the hope that it may entice prospective investigators to examine more carefully the problems and possibilities of the implicit research orientation for social 2 1


studies education I wish to make a start with such an endeavor by the few comments and suggestions in the following final paragraphs Critical inquiry in education can be traced back to the writings of the classical progressives and more recently to educational critics from a variety of orientations : from the authentic civil rights proponents to the liberal/radical romantic critics, and from faddish counter-cultural groups to representatives of the more establishment-minded educators However, critical approaches have been of limited value in education and of little consequence in so far as social studies is concerned And this probably is due to the fact that no systematic attempt has been made to link research to existing and emerging critical social theories It would appear that the normative interests inherent in many contemporary concepts of social studies, such as citizenship education and values education, would lend themselves most invitingly to critical research and emancipatory theorizing Simmons has argued in a recent position paper on the rationale for the founding of a Center for Critical Studies in Education, that much research in education (although not necessarily invalid or irrelevant) is piece-meal, focusing on limited aspects of teaching-learning or on narrowly conceived curriculum issues What is necessary for educational theory is a mode of thought that is concerned with the larger framework of socio-political and cultural influence on the expression of human nature and which does consider the constraining effects of institutions on the realization of human possibilities Research orientations are needed which reflect upon issues of curriculum and teaching-learning, and which simultaneously, by means of the appropriate logics-in-use of social science relate such issues to theories of culture, society, institutions, human communication and interaction In a recent paper, Van € Manen (1975b) has made an attempt to reconceptualize the concept of critical thinking by contrasting it with current concepts in social studies education In that paper it was argued that emancipatory learning and the competency to think critically raises the question of content selection and what knowledge is most worthwhile Who is to decide what learnings are worthwhile? The teacher? The parents? Or society? The view was taken that emancipatory learning should aim at assisting the student increasingly to raise the question of worthwhileness of knowledge his or herself In other words, critical thinking commits one to the view that the student and not some authority (such as teacher, parent or society) should gain control over the function of knowledge in learning for living On the one hand this involves the awareness that knowledge itself becomes a blind authority, unless one acquires an awareness of how social understandings are achieved, what are the sources of knowledge, and how truth comes about And on the other hand, it involves an awareness of how various forms of knowledge can make a difference in the daily conduct of living and in the student's planning and choice making of future life styles 2 2


CONCLUSION What are the implications of an epistemological awareness of the main streams of contemporary social inquiry for the study of social education? It would seem that a metatheoretical view permits one to make explicit how the source ideas for doing research unwittingly animate the perceptions and formulations of the relevant problems in the theory and practice of social studies curriculum and instruction to which the investigator applies his research Much contemporary curriculum thinking and educational theorizing is motivated by a research-guiding motive which is practical in a technical or managerial sense That is to say, the use function of principled knowledge of cause and effect relationships, of functional and determinate relations of teaching-learning is situated in their rational-technological manipulability In a sense learners and teaching-learning processes are objectivated and defined in terms of natural or pseudo-natural systems and systems behavior Thus, theoretical knowledge of how a learning system naturally operates is converted into practical knowledge by determining how the system can be made to operate This technological attitude is reflected in teacher education programs where the need for "practical relevancy" is defined in terms of how best to increase "teacher competency," i .e ., for the teacher to be able to apply a variety of techniques to the learning process so that a predetermined set of objectives can be "produced" most efficiently and most effectively The increase in competency in social studies teaching is viewed as advancing the educator's stock of practical insights in the form of principled techniques, know-hows, etc ., derived from research that is based on nomological propositional theory construction It is very difficult for educators not to invest knowledge and research with technical significance The question is almost automatically : how can this knowledge make teaching more effective, more efficient or more productive? The point is not that these are bad questions but that there are other questions to be asked In 'this paper I have attempted to argue for a broader view of research and theory development of teaching and social studies curriculum Social studies stands in need of knowledge which aims, for example, at getting more insights into the "inside stories" of teaching events and learning events, or at a deeper awareness of how a child is experientially and meaningfully involved in a situation of knowledge, etc Thus far the writings of Kozol (1967), and Holt (1964) are among the few examples of such studies The critical orientation in research and theory development is highly complex in some of its contemporary elaborations As a result many of these studies may not translate themselves easily in a study of teaching or in a study of the possible forms and contents of the social studies curriculum However, those who make a serious attempt to unravel the logic and aims of critical attitude may find important implications and possibilities for research into political education, critical thinking, emancipatory learning or other guiding concepts of social studies education 2 3


REFERENCES Anderson, Gunnar, "Anglo-Saxon and Continental Schools of Metascience," Continuum, Vol 8, 1970, pp 102-110 Berger, Peter L and Thomas Luckmann, The Social Construction of Reality, New York : Doubleday & Co ., Inc ., 1967 Blumer, H ., Symbolic Interactionism, New Jersey : Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, 1969 Brown, Bruce, Marx, Freud, and the Critique of Everyday Life, New York : Monthly Review Press, 1973 Chausow, Hymen M ., "Evaluation of Critical Thinking in the Social Studies," ed ., Harry D Berg, Evaluation in Social Studies, Thirty-fifth Yearbook, Washington : National Council for the Social Studies, 1965 Cicourel, Aaron V ., Method and Measurement in Sociology, New York : The Free Press, 1964 Cicourel, Aaron V ., Cognitive Sociology, Baltimore : Penquin Books Inc ., 1973 Cicourel, Aaron V ., Kenneth H Jennings, Sybillyn H M Jennings, Kenneth C W Leiter, Robert MacKay, Hugh Mehan, and David R Roth, Language Use and School Performance, Academic Press, Inc ., 1974 Corey, Stephen M ., "The Nature of Instruction," ed M David Merrill, Instructional Design : Readings, Englewood Cliffs, N .J : Prentice-Hall, Inc ., 1971 Douglas, Jack D (ed .), Understanding Everyday Life, Chicago : Aldine Publishing Co ., 1970a Douglas, Jack D (ed .), Observations of Deviance, New York : Random House, 1970b Douglas, Jack D (ed .), Research on Deviance, New York : Random House, 1972 Dreitzel, Hans Peter (ed .), Recent Sociology No 2 Patterns of Communicative Behavior, New York : The MacMillan Company, 1970 Filmer, Paul, Michael Phillipson, David Silverman, and David Walsh, New Directions in Sociological Theory, London : Collier-Macmillan, 1972 Freire, Paulo, Pedagogy of the Oppressed, New York : Herder and Herder, 1970 Freire, Paulo, Education for Critical Consciousness, New York : The Seabury Press, 1973 2 4


Fromm, Erich, Beyond the Chains of Illusion, New York : Simon and Schuster, 1962 Gadamer, Hans-Georg, "On the Scope and Function of Hermeneutical Reflection," Continuum, Vol 8, 1970, pp 77-95 Gage, N L ., "Paradigms for Research on Teaching," ed N L Gage, Handbook of Research on Teaching, Chicago : Rand McNally and Co ., 1963 Gage, N L ., "Theories of Teaching," eds Earnest Hilgard and Herman Richey, Theories ofLearning and Instruction, The Sixty-third Yearbook of the National Society for the Study of Education, Chicago : The University of Chicago Press, 1964 Garfinkel, Harold, Studies in Ethnomethodology, Englewood Cliffs, N .J : Prentice-Hall, Inc ., 1967 Gordon, Ira J (ed .), Theories of Instruction, Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, NEA, 1968 Gouldner, Alvin W ., "Toward the New Objectivity," Theory and Society, Renewal and Critique in Social Theory, Amsterdam : Elsevier, Volume I, 1974, pp i-v Habermas, Jurgen, "Zur Logik der Sozialwissenschaften," Hans-Georg Gadamer and Helmut Kuhn, Philosophische Runedschau, Beiheft 5, Tubingen : J C B Mohr, February 1967 Habermas, Jurgen, "Toward a Theory of Communicative Competence," ed ., Dreitzel, Hans Peter, Recent Sociology No 2, New York : The MacMillan Co ., 1970, pp 114-148 Habermas, Jurgen, Knowledge and Human Interests, Boston : Beacon Press, 1972 Habermas, Jurgen, Theory and Practice, London : Heinemann, 1974 Herron, Marshall D ., "Nature of Science : Panacea or Pandora's Box," Journal of Research in Science Teaching, Vol 6, 1969, pp 108-113 Holt, John, How Children Fail, New York : Pitman, 1964 Kockelmans, Joseph L (ed .), Phenomenology, New York : Doubleday and Co ., Inc ., 1967 Kozol, Jonathan, Death at an Early Age : The Destruction of the Hearts and Minds of Negro Children in the Boston Public Schools, New York : Houghton-Mifflin, 1967 Laing, Ronald D ., The Politics of Experience, Harmondsworth : Penguin Books, 1967 2 5


Mackay, Robert W ., "Conceptions of Children and Models of Socialization," ed ., Roy Turner, Ethnomethodology, Baltimore : Penguin Books Inc ., 1974, pp 180-193 McHugh, Peter, Stanley Raffel, Daniel C Foss, and Alan F Blum, On the Beginning of Social Inquiry, London : Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1974 Merrill, M David (ed .), Instructional Design : Readings, Englewood Cliffs, N .J : Prenctice-Hall, Inc ., 1971 Metcalf, Lawrence E ., "Research on Teaching the Social Studies," ed ., N L Gage, Handbook of Research on Teaching, Chicago : Rand McNally, 1963, pp 929-965 Misgeld, Dieter, "Critical Theory and Hermeneutics : The Debate Between Gadamer and Habermas," Background Paper No 6-Practical Reasoning Project, Max van Manen (Principal Investigator) and Dieter Misgeld (Co-investigator) An Informal Publication of the Department of Curriculum, The Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, Toronto, 1975 Mueller, Claus, The Politics of Communication, New York : Oxford University Press, 1973 Palmer, Richard E ., Hermeneutics, Evanston : Northwestern University Press, 1969 Plattel, Martin G ., Utopian and Critical Thinking, Pittsburgh, Pa : Duquesne University Press, 1972 Postman, Neil and Charles Weingartner, Teaching as a Subversive Activity, New York : Dell Publishing Co ., 1969 Radnitzky, G ., Contemporary Schools of Metascience, Chicago : H Regnery, 1973 Ricoeur, Paul, History and Truth, Evanston : Northwestern University Press, 1965 Ricoeur, Paul, "The Task of Hermeneutics," Philosophy Today, Vol 17, Summer 1973, pp 112-128 Ricoeur, Paul, Political and Social Essays, Athens : Ohio University Press, 1974 Rogers, Carl, On Becoming a Person, Boston : Houghton Mifflin Co ., 1961 Roszak, Theodore, The Making of a Counter Culture, New York : Doubleday & Co ., Inc ., 1969 Ryans, David G ., "A Model of Instruction Based on Information System Concepts," Theories of Instruction, Papers from the ASCD Ninth Curriculum Research Institute, San Francisco, December 1962 2 6


Scholte, Bob, "Toward a Reflexive and Critical Anthropology," ed ., Del Hymes, Reinventing Anthropology, New York : Random House, 1974 Schroyer, Trent, The Critique of Domination, New York : George Braziller, 1973 Schutz, Alfred, On Phenomenology and Social Relations, Chicago : The University of Chicago Press, 1970 Schutz, Alfred, The Phenomenology of the Social World, London : Heineman, 1972 Schutz, Alfred, Collected Papers Vols I, II, III, The Hague : Martinus Nijhoff, 1973 Shaver, James P and A Guy Larkins, "Research on Teaching Social Studies," ed ., Travers, Robert M W ., Second Handbook of Research on Teaching, Chicago : Rand McNally and Co ., 1973, pp 1243-1262 Simmons, Michael L ., Jr ., "Center for Critical Studies in Education," (unpublished monograph), State University of New York at Buffalo, Faculty of Educational Studies, Department of Social Foundations Smith, Louis M ., The Complexities of an Urban Classroom An Analysis Toward a General Theory of Teaching, New York : Holt, Rinehart and Winston, Inc ., 1968 Suppes, Patrick, "The Place of Theory in Educational Research," Educational Researcher, The American Educational Research Association, Vol 3, No 6, 1974, pp 3-10 Starr, Isidore, "The Nature of Critical Thinking and its Application in the Social Studies," ed ., Helen McCracken Carpenter, Skill Development in Social Studies, Thirty-Third Yearbook, Washington : National Council for the Social Studies, 1963, pp 35-52 Taylor, Charles, "Interpretation and the Sciences of Man," The Review of Metaphysics, Vol XXV, No 1, September 1971, pp : 3-51 Torbert, William R ., Learning from Experience, New York : Columbia University Press, 1972 Turner, Roy (ed .), Ethnomethodology, Harmondsworth : Penguin Books, 1974 Van Manen, M J Max, "Do the Traditional Disciplines Provide "The Basics" for Tomorrow's Canadian Citizens?", presented at the Needs Assessment Conference, sponsored by The Ontario Teachers' Federation, The Ontario Ministry of Education, and The Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, held at OISE, Toronto, May 1, 2, 3, 1975a 2 7


Van Manen, M J Max, "Critical-Practical Thinking and Emancipatory Learning in Social Education," Background Paper No 3-Practical Reasoning Project, Max van Manen (Principal Investigator) and Dieter Misgeld (Co-investigator) An Informal Publication of the Department of Curriculum, The Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, Toronto, 1975b Wellmer, Albrecht, Critical Theory of Society, New York : Herder and Herder, 1971 Wilhelms, Fred, "What Should the Schools Teach?", Phi Delta Kappa Fastback, No 13, Bloomington, Indiana : The Phi Delta Kappa Educational Foundation, 1972 FOOTNOTES 1 The writer wishes to acknowledge his indebtedness to Ted Aoki who encouraged him in his doctoral work to explore the significance of phenomenology, critical thinking and systems theory for social education The writer further wishes to acknowledge that in the presentation of the original paper he has benefitted from discussions with Dieter Misgeld who drew his attention to some of the sources mentioned here ?An earlier version of this paper was originally presented at the College and University Faculty Assembly, Research Advisory Committee Session at the National Council for the Social Studies, Annual Meeting, Chicago, Ill ., November 26, 27, 1974 3 Ethnomethodology may be described as the systematic investigation (logos) into the everyday methodical practices (method) of social groups (ethnos) Ethnomethodological inquiry treats social facts as accomplishments This implies a persistent attempt to see process where others might see "things," "givens," or "facts of life" (see especially Turner, 1974) 4 This distinction has been suggested to me by Dieter Misgeld 2 8


CRITIQUE OF ALTERNATIVE RESEARCH ORIENTATIONS A Guy Larkins University of Georgia That many of the comments which follow are negative might lead some readers to believe that I generally disapprove of Van Manen's exploration of three traditions in social research The opposite is true Though I disagree with several aspects of his paper, my overall reaction is strongly positive, for the following reasons Van Manen rightly contends that educational researchers are caught in a limit situation In my experience, most professors of education are not familiar with research frames of reference other than the empirical-analytic In fact, most of those I know do not even understand the assumptions underlying their empiricist commitment They are empiricists because those who trained them were, but do not know why nor what it means to be one We should not be surprised to find that our doctoral candidates are following the same path Although we are giving them better training in statistics, research design and computer techniques, our students know little, if anything, of the philosophy of science During the past ten years, I have known perhaps three or four doctoral candidates in education who had some clear notion of what it means to construct or verify social science theory And of those, the one student who seemed to genuinely know what he was doing was consistently frustrated by the fact that his professors had no vision of the nature of empirical theory and did not care He was an isolate Van Manen also rightly contends that metatheory might improve educational research by identifying neglected areas of research, by suggesting alternative research possibilities, and by making explicit the epistemological suppositions underlying research Each of these seem to be ways in which metatheory could free us a bit from our current limit situation The following is an example of how metatheory might suggest alternative research strategies A colleague, whom I hold in high personal and professional esteem, has directed several dissertations in the area of mastery learning Those studies have employed typical achievement measures, experimental designs and statistical analyses And each has produced non-significant differences between control and experimental groups, which is inconsistent with previously published research Why the non-significant differences? At this point the researchers can only respond with hunches But suppose that in each of those studies the actors had been viewed not just as objects of research, but as subjects Suppose that the researchers had attempted to 2 9


measure not just the external behaviors of the children in the projects, but tried to penetrate the "inner life" of those students and teachers as they interacted in a social context which was shaped in part by the imposition of a mastery learning model The meaning which mastery learning had for them may have suggested more complete explanations for the failure of the mastery treatment It may even have suggested some ways in which the treatment was successful After talking to the doctoral candidates who gathered the mastery learning data, I have been left with the strong impression that there was a world of important meaning in those projects, and that the world of meaning was not tapped by the traditional empiricalanalytic frame of reference I recognize that the above example attempts to utilize interpretive research to answer empirical-analytic questions I do not mean to imply that the questions "native" to interpretative research are not worth answering At the same time, I am strongly convinced that the notion of research triangulation (Webb, Campbell, Swartz and Sechrest, 1969 ; Denzin, 1970) might be usefully extended by converging empirical-analytic, interpretive, and critical approaches on a single research problem Naturally, the kinds of problems which occupy my interest are those which grow out of the empirical-analytic tradition Two more examples : For several years, those of us who have identified with the Oliver-Shaver approach to teaching public issues have taught students that value disputes can be handled rationally But, to my knowledge, none of us have encouraged our graduate students to define research problems in terms of ethical issues involving value conflicts and to rationally analyze those conflicts as part of their scholarly inquiry Van Manen's exposition of critical theory suggests that we have been short-sighted in limiting our research activities to questions of fact Similarly, many of us who have been involved in curriculum development have recognized that students cannot reach adequate social understandings by being presented only with hardnosed social science data It has become common practice to enrich our social studies texts with an abundance of contextual material-descriptive narrative, fiction, poetry-which allows for the "deeper" understandings suggested by Van Manen's discussion of interpretative research Nevertheless it has generally not occurred to us that it might be important to include interpretive materials as part of our scholarly research into social reality Again, we appear to have been caught in a limit situation Despite the general high quality of Van Manen's attempt at clarification, some aspects of his paper should be called into question One of those aspects is the biased use of language, some examples of which are not original with Van Manen-they simply reflect the biases in some of the sources he cites In taking this approach, I am aware that criticism which 3 0


focuses on disputes over language can be misleading in the sense of distracting from the central thrust of a manuscript Focus on language, however, can also elucidate genuine substantive differences which would otherwise be masked by unnoticed shifts in meaning, or by undetected emotive loading Furthermore,-,if Van -Manen's claim is correct that "language is seen as the foundation of a world-constructing enterprise" we ought to pay close attention to the way language is used to clarify important research postures The emotive loadings of key terms in Van Manen's paper are interesting Social science in the empirical-analytic sense is psuedo-natural But interpretive research leads to authentic meanings and deep understandings Research with a Marxist-Freudian bent is critical inquiry It is a moral/therapeutic system which leads to emancipation from oppression through the demystification of false consciousness and reorientation of misguided practice Although it is interesting to note how the distribution of positive or negative emotive loadings stacks the deck for or against the three research positions explicated by Van Manen, it may be more important to note how emotive loading is coupled with unexplained shifts in meaning The shifts in question are not switches in meaning from one place to another within the body of Van Manen's paper, but they are shifts away from the way some terms are most commonly used The word "science" is an example Science generally implies, at this time within our culture, a commitment to empiricalanalytic inquiry And to be scientific is to be something good ; it has positive emotive loading Van Manen, however, shifts away from the commonly accepted meaning by calling all modes of inquiry discussed within his paper "scientific ." I am not claiming that Van Manen is using a key term incorrectly ; words have no God-given meanings The point is that shifts away from the conventional meanings which are most likely to be understood by an audience ought to be explained and justified For instance, are all scholarly modes of inquiry scientific, or only those three discussed by Van Manen? If there are differences between scientific and non-scientific scholarship, what are they? If there are no differences, then isn't the word "science" useless in the sense that it does not help to make distinctions among types of inquiry? And isn't Van Manen's term "scientific research" redundant? Perhaps the real function of "scientific" in his paper is not to add substantive meaning to non-empirical modes of inquiry, but to lend them a certain positive emotive aura Use of the words "critical," "oppressive," and "emancipatory" are also interesting The emotive loading is obvious, but my major concern in this case is not with emotive loading or substantive meaning but with the factual and value claims which seem to underlie the application of those terms in the context of critical inquiry 3 1


First comes the question of which sorts of thinking are not critical, which are critical, and which are more critical I propose that any idea or form of thinking which enables people to examine the previously unexamined forces which impinge on human thought and behavior may be part of critical thinking Van Manen seems to suggest that those ideas or modes of inquiry are not limited to Marx, neo-Marx, Freud, or the new or old left Knowledge from a broad range of sources-history, philosophy, sociology, psychology, etc .-provides people with the ability to better understand human thought and behavior But Van Manen seems to believe that some modes of inquiry are "more reflective" than others, that they go farther in challenging the commonly assumed roots of human behavior and understanding But in that sense is Freud more critical than Skinner? Is Marx more critical than the logical positivists who claim that ethics is nonsense? If not, then why isn't a broader range of challenging views included under the rubric "critical inquiry"? Is it that the critical theorists are caught in the limit-situation of their own ideological commitments? If so, why reserve the word "critical" for their frame of reference? One of the reasons Van Manen gives for viewing critical theory as more insightful than other schools of critical thinking is that the latter seem to be committed to an empirical-analytic epistemology which distinguishes sharply between questions of fact and value, and that values are placed outside the realm of rational analysis Unfortunately, only part of that claim is correct Although it is true that most approaches to critical thinking rely on empirical-analytic assumptions, and it is true that many critical thinking rationales distinguish between value and factual claims, it does not follow that value disputes are automatically labeled as non-rational discourse That certainly is not the position taken by Hunt and Metcalf (1955), Metcalf (1971), Oliver and Shaver (1966), Newman and Oliver (1970), or Shaver and Berlak (1968) as authors of college texts Nor is it the view taught in the public schools through the curricula of Oliver and Newman (1967) or Shaver and Larkins (1973) Nor is it the position taken by NCSS (Manson, Marker, Ochoa and Tucker, 1971) Besides objecting to an overly restrictive use of the term "critical inquiry," equally important questions to be asked of the critical theorists are : What is oppression? What is emancipation? Some human conditions are clearly oppressive-famine to the hungry, plague to the ill and fire-bombing to the maimed But is oppression in many other social-moral senses so clear-cut? If not, is critical insight always emancipatory? I think not Take for instance the case of a devout Christian who comes to understand that the roots of his or her beliefs are lodged in deep and powerful sociological forces and psychological needs Is that new-found critical insight emancipatory? Or is it oppressive? Of course, you ask : What was the Christian's reaction to this insight? And that is just the point Oppression and emancipation are largely 3 2


relative Moral reality does not consist simply of the oppressed and the free, good guys and bad, the one true path and misguided efforts Critical theorists seem not to share that view The above comments should not be taken to mean that Marxists and Fruedians should not do educational research, nor that their frames of reference might not aid critical thinking I do doubt that any frame of reference is automatically emancipatory, or that so-called critical theory is clearly more insightful concerning the human condition than are more frames which appear to be repugnant to critical theoriest As stated in the opening paragraphs of this critique, my general reaction to Van Manen's paper is strongly positive Hopefully, his presentation will help expand the frames of reference of educational researchers But there are at least two reasons why it might not First, the paper may seem intelligible and important only to those readers who are familiar with the positions which Van Manen attempts to summarize That some of the ideas may seem unintelligible upon initial reading is not necessarily Van Manen's fault, but a natural consequence of the fact that he is summarizing frames of reference with which we are genuinely unfamiliar Those readers who want more than superficial understanding of what his paper has to say may have to dig into Van Manen's bibliography Even then, it will take a dedicated reader to wade through the convoluted language of authors such as Habermas (1973) Unfortunately some of the authors who are relatively easy to read, such as Brown (1973) and Freire (1970) exhibit unscholarly biases which may offend the sensibilities of some readers A second reason why Van Manen's paper may not have the desired impact is that it does not give concrete suggestions for doing research in the interpretive and critical traditions 1 This may not be the author's fault ; only so much content can be crammed into a single journal article Dedicated readers may be able to remedy the problem by digging into these publications which Van Manen cites as appropriate examples of the different research traditions Besides wanting to know more about the research procedures which are appropriate for interpretive and critical research, some readers will raise a related but more fundamental question : Are these traditions guided by acceptable standards of validity and scholarly rigor? Van Manen assures us that they are However, after reading fourteen of the references cited in Van Manen's bibliography, the best answer I could give is that each of these research postures seem to be backed by extensive scholarly traditions But I could not identify the standards of those traditions nor the nuts and bolts procedures which I assume are the embodiment of those standards 2 I may have drawn an inappropriate sample of Van Manen's references At any rate, a clear-cut statement of scholarly standards and some practical suggestions for research practice would be welcome 3 3


REFERENCES Barr, A S (Ed .) Wisconsin Studies of the Measurement and Predication of Teacher Effectiveness Journal of Experimental Education, 1961, 30, 5156 Brown, B Marx, Freud, and the Critique of Everyday Life New York : Monthly Review Press, 1973 Denzin, N K The Research Act Chicago : Aldine Publishing Company, 1970 Freire, P Pedagogy of the Oppressed New York : Herder and Herder, 1970 Habermas, J Theory and Practice Boston : Beacon Press, 1973 Hunt, M P and Metcalf, L E Teaching High School Social Studies New York : Harper and Row, Publishers, 1955 Manson, G ., Marker, G ., Ochoa, A ., and Tucker, J Social Studies Curriculum Guidelines Social Education, 1971, 35, 883-869 Metcalf, L E (Ed .) Values Education Washington, D .C : National Council for the Social Studies, 1971 Newman, F M and Oliver, D W Clarifying Public Controversy Boston : Little, Brown and Company, 1970 Oliver, D W and Newman, F M Taking a Stand Middletown, Conn : American Education Publications, 1970 Oliver, D W and Shaver, J P Teaching Public Issues in the High School Boston : Houghton Mifflin Company, 1966 Shaver, J P and Berlak, H (Ed .) Democracy, Pluralism and the Social Studies Boston : Houghton Mifflin Company, 1968 Shaver, J P and Larkins, A G Decision-Making in a Democracy Boston : Houghton-Mifflin Company, 1973 Webb, E J ., Campbell, D T ., Swartz, R D ., and Sechrest, L Unobstrusive Measures Chicago : Rand McNally and Company, 1969 3 4


FOOTNOTES 'One of the few research procedures recommended by Van Manen is that we might look at teacher behaviors rather than pupil outcomes in assessing the impact of curricula which incorporate interpretive or critical frames of reference The majority of studies in teacher effectiveness conducted between the 1920's and early 1960's used just that approach The result was a extensive tale of failure (Barr, 1961) 2 Perhaps many of the nuts and bolts procedures used in interpretive or critical research need not be radically different than those used in the empirical-analytic tradition For instance, one symbolic-interactionist (Denzin, 1970) has written a research text which is not totally foreign to students versed in more traditional approaches to sociological inquiry 3 5


REBUTTAL TO LARKINS' CRITIQUE Max van Manen Ontario Institute for Studies in Education Larkins has focussed much of his critique on terminology and language use For example, he argues that I have made unconventional use of the term "science" to refer to alternative research activities I agree with Larkins that in North America the term "science" conventionally has been reserved to refer to the work of behavioral research This convention seems to be changing, because of diversifying activities of scientists and partly as a result of the increasing influence of translaions of European works, in which the term "science" is used in a broader sense The conventional use of the term "science" is changing also as a result of an increasing emphasis of sociologists and anthropologists on a phenomenological orientation to study man and his world Yet, Larkins' comments are well-placed, and I admit that it would have been in order for me to place a footnote in the text explaining usage of the term "science ." Perhaps it is a disservice to conventional scientific research to broaden the usage of the term "science", and "research" to include alternative traditions of inquiry But this may benefit the field of social education more than the semantic confusion it might cause There is no doubt that the "power distribution" of the enquiry traditions weighs heavily in favour of the empirical-analytic mode Therefore, it was not my intention to argue the case of empirical-analytic research in social education Instead, I have attempted to show that empirical-analytic research can be seen as one of three main traditions of social inquiry I did this because I am convinced that an input from phenomenological and critical research traditions can be very rewarding to the field of social education The promissory note of phenomenological and crcql research is not only that it prevents research in social education of becoming a one-dimensional world It also may help the educator in the attempt to clarify systematically the pre-understandings of his own theoretical framework Many researchers who make use of an approach such as structuralism do not ever reflect on the epistemological claims of such approach This shows the value of the methodological doubt of phenomenological method It is seen in the attempt to "push off" systematically the pre-understandings one has of one's research perspective While the term "phenomenology" seems to gain an increasing popularity, of course this should not be interpreted as license to do in a sloppy way what ought to be done with the methodological care If a piece of research is aiming at hypothesis development or, hypothesis testing of the efficacy of certain classroom procedures or of selected curriculum approaches and materials, then it should employ appropriate empirical-analytic research 3 7


strategies best suited to the circumstances But it has not been my concern to answer the question whether the research strategy should be laboratory, or classroom experiment, or participant observation, etc The issue of alternative research strategies to pursue problems of empirical-analytic nature has been dealt with in the cited article by Shaver and Larkins in the Second Handbook of Research on Teaching One of the points I have attempted to make is that sometimes "understanding" in a phenomenological sense or "emancipatory change" in a critical theory sense may be important for social education This means that research may serve purposes other than the instrumental criteria of efficiency and productivity of conventional research But what about the question of "acceptable standards of validity and scholarly rigor" as outlined by Larkins? I think the answer is that the standards of exactness of phenomenological and emancipatory inquiry orientations essentially are different from the standards of exactness associated with the statistical procedures of empirical-analytic method Phenomemgical method seems to be more fluid As for scholarship I would argue that the standards of exactness of, for example, phenomenological method are so much more demanding since they are so much more difficult to formulate Indeed the very idea of knowledge must be reconceptualized in the shift from one research tradition to another There are no easy answers to questions of which procedures one should employ And I very much agree with Larkins that every researcher who wishes to explore alternative research orientations must get involved in the primary sources himself or herself This cannot be done within the scope of a single article or a limited text In several places Larkins makes reference to the emotive loading of some of the key terms used in the paper Now there is no doubt that I have attempted to push the interpretive and the critical paradigm in the limelight at the expense of the already dominant empirical-analytic paradigm But the terminology which Larkins points at is not at fault for this, I believe For example, when I use the term "pseudo-natural," I am referring not to social science but to the way in which the social scientist conceptualizes the social systems which he studies It merely means that a social system, representing a single individual or a social group, commonly has an element of "uncertainty" or "freedom" associated with its behavior which does not extend to the natural systems of physical nature In other words, social systems may display forms of (creative or spontaneous) behavior which we do not attribute to physical or natural systems If the term "pseudo-natural" carries negative emotive loading then this was unintentional On other points I agree with Larkins, that terms such as "emancipation," "liberation," "oppression," etc carry common day emotive loadings The question is, what does this imply? To say that the terms of an argument carry emotive loadings does not invalidate an argument Often it is effective rhetorically to call an argument emotive or emotional when the argument touches sensitive issues This strategy may stop a good argument dead in its 3 8


track For example, recently we have heard many arguments against hunting, and it is interesting to observe how anti-hunting debaters try to wriggle themselves out of accusations of using emotive language Obviously they take for granted that using emotive language is a bad thing It is not objective Of course, it is true that "killing" deer sounds less objective and less detached than "harvesting" deer However, if emotively laden terms are used appropriately then this does not invalidate an argument In fact, there sometimes is no choice It is in the nature of the critical reasoning process that terms such as "emancipation," "liberation," "distorting social relations," are being used The point is, that within the framework'of psychoanalysis or critical social theory these are the only words available to designate certain social phenomena Freudian and Marxist language logically is invested with emotive weight since its logic of inquiry involves the use of abstracted norms or values The abstracted norms or principles of the critical reasoning paradigm function to generate the more concrete norms or values by means of which everyday social behavior can be interpreted Only if these emotively laden terms are used out of context, or with the express purpose to sway people's opinion on dubitable grounds does emotive loading lead to a fallacious emotional argument Another quarrel of Larkins is with the distinction I have made between the conventional uses of the term "critical thining" and a broader (not narrower as Larkins suggests) based formulation of the term "critical," as it might be used to refer to social criticism of social critics such as I F Stone Thus, the label "critical" mindedness which was used to refer to the emancipatory inquiry orientation does include (not exclude) the skills of logical reasoning, deductive and inductive inquiry skills, etc Yet it also goes beyond the accepted usages of critical inquiry Larkins further questions whether it is possible to argue that some inquiry is more "reflective" than other forms of inquiry The language of positive social inquiry probably does not allow for such distinction Yet from an "interpretive" or "critical" orientation it makes good sense to talk about degrees of reflectiveness In normal social inquiry we reflect upon what we know but in, e .g ., a Freudian sense we also reflect upon what we do not know (such as repressed motives, rationalizations, and other cognitive and social substructures) Another way of saying this is that a form of inquiry is more reflective if it reflects upon reflections In my paper I have provided examples of "ideology critique" or "critique of knowledge ." And another example is the reflective reasoning process associated with post-conventional rationality, in the sense of Piaget or Kohlberg Post-conventional reasoning is more reflective than conventional reasoning since it reflects upon the norms or principles which generate social expectations and role behaviors This leads to a more general point of rebuttal There is a subtle inconsistency in Larkins' critique On the one hand he supports the position that value disputes can be settled by rational discourse Indeed, this is how we settle arguments of empirical nature Yet he persistently appears to adopt a more subjectivistic-relativistic attitude ("oppression and emancipation are 3 9


largely relative," etc .) Larkins provides an interesting example of a devout Christian who is forced to reinterpret the divine inspiration of his faith, since he has come to understand "that the roots of his beliefs are lodged in deep and powerful sociological forces and psychological needs ." Larkins asks, "Is that new-found critical insight emancipatory? Or'is it oppressive?" And then he adds, "Of course you ask : What was the Christian's reaction to this insight?" Well, let us suppose that the Christian's reaction to his new selfunderstanding is identity-frustration and loss of faith Little doubt such experience is psychologically unsettling But will it do to conclude that the Christian's new self-understanding actually is more oppressive than the subjectively more secure feelings of faith? I think not This would be like arguing, as some do, that a freed but frustrated slave is less "emancipated" than the slave in chains, who is not "oppressed" by the newly created anxieties of his personal freedom This line of argument creates a problem for the empirical-analytic tradition which takes a very superficial view of the "objectivity" of phenomena Suppose we would ask freed but unhappy slaves and unfree but happy slaves to complete a seven point scale questionnaire designed to measure their happiness in life Would we have to conclude that freed slaves are less happy than slaves who are not emancipated? Indeed it is here that psycho-analytic and critical social theory can contribute to our understanding of man and his relationship to society It also would help us to interpret Erich Fromm's reminder that emancipation and freedom may require suffering What the example of the devout Christian illustrates is, that critical reasoning, in the critical theory sense, is not a simple affair If these are issues one treats in the classroom then one must probe deeper under the surface phenomena of the Christian's frustrated self-identity, in order to make the questions of emancipation more analytical and less flippant From the perspective of critical theory one looks for the structural characteristics of institutions and of social relations that may give rise to distorted patterns of behavior It poses the question : What is structurally wrong with this society that makes individuals feel more secure in their imprisonment by real or illusory chains of social dependency? Of course, I am very pleased that Larkins has lent support to the main tenets of the paper, even though he disagrees with it in parts Yet in various places of his critique Larkins himself appears to be caught up in the epistemological framework, its guiding concepts and hidden presuppositions associated with the empirical-analytic research orientation For example, Larkins focusses on alternative research "strategies," i .e concrete "procedures" and techniques His concern reflects a preoccupation with the researcher's "tool-box rather than with the larger question of what practical function is served by the knowledge produced by alternative research orientations Naturally, one cannot and should not ask the same research questions within the different orientations Not only the "tool-box" but also the end-in-view is different if one adopts an interpretive or a phenomenological approach rather than an empirical-analytic one This, I think, does not sufficiently come through in Larkins' critique 4 0


No doubt my rebuttal does not address in sufficient depth all the issues which Larkins has identified He raised more questions about values education and about worthwhile research problems and procedures in social education Some of these questions simply could not be dealt with adequately in these few pages On the whole I appreciate Larkins' well-balanced critique and I wish to rejoin him by agreeing that important research should explore, and if possible integrate a range of theoretical and practical possibilities 4 1


REFLECTIVE INQUIRY INTO MENTAL ILLNESS BY HOSPITALIZED ADOLESCENTS Duncan Lindsey School of Social Work West Virginia University The author would like to acknowledge a large intellectual heritage introduced to him by Professors John R Lee and Stephan E Ellenwood He is grateful for the very helpful and thoughtful criticisms of Maurice Hunt on an earlier draft of this paper Social science education is fundamentally concerned with the design, implementation and evaluation of an, apparatus for the distribution of selected knowledge from the social sciences and history In this essay our project is the construction of a social science program tailored to the needs of young people in a state mental hospital The design and evaluation of this social science program requires : 1) the establishment of a set of objectives toward which the program should be directed ; 2) the construction of a curriculum and method of presentation to achieve the objectives and ; 3) the development of an evaluation procedure to measure the results of the program Our focus here is on an examination of the construction and evaluation of a social science program in accordance with the above procedures The young person confined in a state mental hospital is exposed to individual and group psychotherapy, he is administered chemotherapeutic agents and/or is enrolled in a behavior modification program All of these treatments are designed to achieve major psychological changes for the individual In this intensive treatment environment the young person has a critical need and right to understand his special circumstances and the various treatments which encompass him (Ginsberg, 1973) What follows is a discussion of the development of a program of "reflective inquiry into the closed area" of mental health care designed to achieve this understanding (Hunt and Metcalf, 1968) PROGRAM' OBJECTIVES The fundamental assumption of social science education is that the knowledge of the social sciences is useful in promoting an understanding of the social world W W Charters (1968) succinctly writes, "The conceptual 4 3


systems of the sciences can be made to converge on the actor to enlighten his understanding of the circumstances in which he finds himself and to free his intelligence from the constraints of ignorance and narrow perspective ." Underpinning this assumption is the background assumption which presupposes that confronted with social issues of wide significance the student is less effective in achieving productive solutions if he has a limited theoretical background within which to view these issues The theoretical formulations which form the core of the social sciences are interpretive frameworks within which to organize social science research, personal experience, beliefs, values, and alternative viewpoints (Bruner, 1961) The social sciences, it therefore follows, should provide the student with an empirical base and conceptual tools from which to organize and understand social issues which he confronts The purpose of social science education which emerges from these two assumptions is that of providing students with several of the important theoretical formulations developed by social science research This goal is not limited to the transference of certain preferred social science theoretical formulations but also includes the skills which gave rise to these theoriesreflective thinking In order to learn the theoretical formulations and the skills used in their development, a transference process which ignites the vicarious and active participation of the student is required The primary objective of social science education which emerges from these two assumptions is the development of the student's ability to carefully select solutions to social problems in accord with his desires and sentiments In brief, the thrust of social science education is directed toward acquainting the student with the social science knowledge and tools of inquiry in order to enhance his ability to obtain "maximum freedom of individual choice in shaping his own destiny" (Oliver, 1968) With our objectives outlined the next task is to develop a program for their effective achievement Since the major interwoven elements of a social science curriculum are content and method, we will proceed with a discussion of what content should be examined and in what manner REFLECTIVE INQUIRY INTO MENTAL HEALTH CARE In the selection of content, research has consistently demonstrated that the most effective way to encourage students to examine the knowledge of the social sciences is to have them examine issues which are relevant to their lives through the perspectives and formulations of the social sciences relevant to those issues In the special microcosm of a mental hospital there are several issues which arise from the uniqueness of this specific population which should prove especially useful in determining relevance Before examining the selection of content we will briefly discuss these issues 4 4


Throughout the history of the United States the treatment provided mental patients has been profoundly influenced by local, state and federal government bodies In his historical examination of the development of mental hospitals, David Rothman (1971) traces the impact of political ideology within institutions for the incompetent and burdensome Rothman's evidence demonstrates convincingly that the treatment programs (not extent, but method of treatment) of each historic-political epoch has been profoundly influenced by the political ideology of the day (see also Erikson, 1966) David Mechanic (1969) illustrates the continuing present-day influence of social policy on mental health programs Whereas the treatment programs of medical hospitals are, by and large, free of political influence, the same cannot be said of mental hospitals (Porter, 1970) Rather, the treatment mental patients receive is profoundly determined by political decisions which are made beyond the perimeters of the mental patient's enforced residence As with many other deviant minorities, mental patients are excluded from the moral legislative bodies which envelop their social world (Schur, 1965 ; Gusfield, 1967) More importantly, unlike other deviant minorities, mental patients are denied access to the body of research and opinion upon which decisions that affect their lives are based (Allen, e t .a l ., 1973) In this regard, mental patients form an unparalleled minority in our society Hence, the problems mental patients face require solutions which encompass this unique difficulty (Erikson, 1957) Dismantling Patienthood Human events are negotiated and constructed through symbolic interaction From this perspective researchers from the "psychiatric sociology" school have argued that mental hospital treatment programs are, paradoxically enough, instrumentally involved in the social construction of what they officially strike out against mental illness (Matza, 1969 ; Goffman, 1960 ; Scheff, 1974) At the mental hospital patients have available a limited variety of mental patient roles, at least one of which will explain and thus encompass their actions In this sense, the mortification process Erving Goffman speaks of in Asylums is principally the effort at the social construction of mental illness 1 To the extent that mental illness is a social construction, young people in the web of social forces which contribute to this construction should be allowed and encouraged to reflectively inquire into the operations and processes which impinge on their actions (Lindsey, 1975a) It is imperative that hospitalized adolescents acquire the conceptual tools and knowledge which would permit them to understand the social forces involved in the construction of a mental patient career so that those who select not to become 4 5


career mental patients would be better equipped to forge their actions in ways which lead away from a hospital career (Rogers and Buffalo, 1974 ; Rottenberg, 1974) Adolescent mental patients confront a special set of difficulties which demand educational, as well as therapeutic treatment (Mechanic, 1962) Nevertheless, there are many mental health professionals who presuppose that adolescent mental patients are too emotionally disturbed to be able to reflectively examine the controversial issues that surround mental patient care Accordingly, this belief assumes that the particular controversial issues, such as whether mental hospitals have negative, as well as positive, effects, if there is such a thing as mental illness, and others all demand a stable personality which is capable of reflective thinking (Winer, 1970 ; Mayer and Rosenblatt, 1974) Since it is presumed that most hospitalized adolescents have unstable personalities, an examination of these issues, the mental hygiene argument runs, would be cruelly burdensome and impossible Are emotionally disturbed adolescents able to cope with reflective examination of their social situation? The answer to this question can only be derived from a thorough examination of the overall responses of adolescent patients to material concerned with these issues In the second section of this essay we will examine the results from a quasi-experimental design used to evaluate the social science program developed herein Adolescents who find themselves in a mental hospital for the first time are confronted by an alien world, the likes of which they probably never knew existed (Lindsey, 1975b) In this situation it is obvious that the immediate objective of a social science program should be to acquaint the young person with the meaning and purpose of the special features of this new environment In accordance with this need the content of the course was selected with the following criteria in mind : 1 Provide an historical perspective on mental patient care 2 Clarify the purpose and technology of the various treatment programs 3 Report important research discoveries 4 Discuss the controversial issues in this "closed area ." After an extensive review of the literature in the social sciences and history on this topic, material was selected according to the above criteria The selected material was then translated to the comprehension level of the students involved in the program-fifth grade The material that was selected was then divided into two sections ; psychology and sociology A brief description of the content selected is found in the introductory sections of the workbook that was prepared It read as follows : 4 6


Psychology In chapter one we will study the change from early treatment programs of insane asylums to the modern treatment programs found in community mental health centers In chapter two our focus will be on the work of psycho-analysts in understanding the mind of man ; how it works, what causes it to breakdown and function poorly, and what can be done to restore the mind to normal processes once it has mal-functioned In chapter three we focus on the scientific study of behavior The main question of the behavioral psychologists is "what makes man act and behave the way he does?" Through their scientific study of man's behavior these psychologists have discovered rules and laws which govern man's future behavior Sociology In chapter four we will examine the viewpoint of Dr Thomas Szasz Although Dr Szasz is a psychiatrist by profession, his view of "mental illness' is sociological both in terms he uses and what he looks at Dr Szasz begins by arguing that the problems which mental patients have are not internal and medical but external and social He develops the term "problems in living with others" to replace "mental illness" and suggests that mental illness is only a myth which serves to cover over the real problems people face in getting along with each other Chapter five looks at the sociological theory of Being Mentally Ill developed by Thomas Scheff Viewing the problem of mental illness from a sociological perspective, Scheff uses the term career deviance and seeks to explain how society and groups control the behavior of those who are deviant His insights provide a clear understanding of the external and group forces (such as audience reaction) which come into play in the creation of career deviance Chapter six reviews the research of August Hollingshead and Fredrich Redlich on the relation of mental illness and social class Rich people and poor people come into contact with the mental health profession through different agencies The mental health profession offers different treatment to the rich and the poor The amount of the differences in types of referral and treatment different groups receive is shown in their research As outlined in the objective of the curriculum, the purpose of this content is to aid the student in understanding his social world This objective assumes that students are unable to achieve a clear and satisfactory understanding of 4 7


their social world without both the theoretical frameworks around which to organize data and procedures for examining the validity of different conflicting viewpoints Further, we have asserted that knowledge of the social science research available on various social issues improves effective decision making (Vellum, 1969 : 100-116) For adolescents interned in a state mental hospital the controversial issues surrounding mental health care have import which extends well beyond the perimeters of the academic gridiron If, as those of the "psychiatry sociology" viewpoint assert, mental illness is the paradoxical construction of mental hospital treatment, then these young people confront problematic issues which encompass more than their psychological difficulties To cope effectively with these social issues hospitalized adolescents must have the conceptual tools and knowledge necessary to an understanding of social forces which impinge upon the course of their hospital careers In this regard, the primary objective of the program advocated here is to maximize the freedom of the individual mental patient by improving his understanding of his social position and milieu METHOD In the preceding section the subject content of our social science program was selected This brings us to the second project of our essay which is to outline the classroom procedures and techniques to be utilized in order to convey this material to the students Since the vast array of teaching tools and procedures available to the classroom teacher is endless, our focus will be on the broad outlines of a method of instruction which both allows for the sharing and examination of different viewpoints and requires active student participation in the process of scientific inquiry (Lee, et al ., 1973) In Teaching High School Social Studies Maurice Hunt and Lawrence Metcalf lay out a complete method of instruction for handling issues in what they term "closed areas" through a reflective inquiry format Basically Hunt and Metcalf suggest that the teacher begin by examining a social issue which is of interest to the students (preferably beginning with a topic chosen by the students) In this respect the Hunt and Metcalf method is problem-centered However, their approach differs from other problem-centered methods in several important features To begin with these authors suggest that no area of concern to the student be closed Indeed, Hunt and Metcalf urge that it is in areas where controversial issues arise that shallow, emotional and stereotypic opinion dominate to the detriment of intelligent student examination Therefore, they argue, it is in just these areas that the most urgent efforts toward reflective inquiry should be made by social studies educators 4 8


The immediate roadblock which the Hunt and Metcalf approach encounters centers around its requirement that students examine 'the personal discrepancies in their own beliefs Instead of viewing this cognitive dissonance as a barrier, Hunt and Metcalf argue that the emotional energy aroused by the discovery of these discrepancies can be reconverted by an effective teacher to propel the reflective thinking process According to John Dewey (1909), the essential characteristic of reflective thinking is that it is guided by a problem To engage students in reflective inquiry Hunt and Metcalf, therefore, argue that we should begin by having students examine traditionally "closed areas" because here intrapersonal belief discrepancies would most often quickly surface and fuel reflective thought Reflective thinking into "closed areas" can turn into highly volatile symbolic and behavioral interaction ; after all, the issues under scrutiny often have strong personal, as well as, intellectual investments In this regard Hunt and Metcalf occupy the major portion of their text with providing a handbook to the teacher for the handling of the many subtle and delicate issues involved in the creation of a democratic climate in the classroom Time and space do not allow us to outline their extensive discussions of these topics Nonetheless, before an instructor ventures into a classroom to implement their instructional philosophy he would be well advised to examine carefully their coverage of the many issues which will arise in the course of reflective inquiry into "closed areas" (see also Lee, et al ., 1973) The exceptional nature of the subject matter content selected for this social science program presents an especially complex problem because of the highly emotionally charged nature of this partiuclar closed area with this particular population of young people All of the young people involved in the proposed social science program will be residents of a state mental hospital and will therefore be afflicted with an alleged mental or emotional difficulty The concern for us at this juncture thus becomes one of the extent to which such emotionally arousing topics can be dealt with within a social science program Richard Jones (1968) discusses the issue of confronting emotionally demanding material in the classroom from a blend of the psychiatric clinician's perspective with the cognitive psychologist's focus When emotionally charged issues are being examined in the classroom it is crucial to understand the impact this approach has on the isomorphic relationship between cognitive growth and underlying ego development (Jones, 1968) Essentially these two growth processes can 'and should complement each other Hence, according to Jones, social science educators are in an excellent position to bring about their convergent development When a student is utilizing his imaginative processes to cope with a significant issue he requires both guidance and companionship from his instructor and fellow students If an instructor is unable to furnish these 4 9


requirements then the inquisitive student is liable to become anxious before the flow of thoughts in his imagination Consequently Jones argues that clinical, as well as educational, anxiety or uncomfortable and destructive emotional energy derives from the student being alone and helpless before his imagination The task of the instructor in this situation is to assist the student with the confrontation of significant issues by both creating within the classroom a community where the student will not be alone before his imagination and through preparation, making sure that the student will be able to receive assistance when he needs it In this section of the essay we constructed a social science curriculum for the special microcosm of a high school in a state mental hospital The young people enrolled in this social science program would be able to supplement the inquiry into emotional problems begun within the therapeutic treatment programs In the state mental hospital, social science education is in an especially advantageous position to help these young people understand their new and different environment The social science program advanced herein, therefore, offers a clear and simple illustration of the way in which social science education might advance the freedom of choice of enrolled students by way of furthering their understanding of the social world Proposal for a Social Science Course If up to this juncture the main themes were abstract and perhaps even hard to follow, it is hoped that this section of the essay will clear things up In this concluding portion of the essay we will briefly discuss a social science course conducted at a high school in a midwestern State Mental Hospital which utilized the approach advocated in this paper The social studies course taught at the State hospital had twelve students enrolled in the class All of the students were academically capable young people Their ages ranged from fourteen through eighteen There were six boys and six girls All students at the hospital were on medication (mostly chlorpromazine, a major tranquilizer) The flatness of response of two of the girls clearly reflected the influence of medication All of the students responded and were quite attentive All of the students in the class came from broken homes None of the students had seriously deteriorated thought process (Lindsey, 1974b) Overall, their behavior in class was normal except, perhaps, for more indications of alienation All of the students lived on the wards in the hospital The reasons for their being in the hospital ranged from unmanageable to inappropriate behavior (Lindsey, 1974b) Most of the students had severe family problems and for several this was the reason for placement Most of these students eventually leave the hospital through discharge and perhaps several will develop careers as mental patients 5 0


The Hunt and Metcalf reflective inquiry method requires the students select a closed area of concern to them During the beginning of the course the instructor listed on the blackboard the following topics : law and crime, social class, basic economics, poverty, war, mental illness and the cities A sudden enthusiasm developed in the class when one girl asked, "How would you study mental illness?" In response the instructor replied that we could examine the history of mental hospitals, study the ideas of those who discovered and developed the concepts of mental illness, we could look into how different mental hospitals operate, how people get into them and out of them, et cetera The response of the class was an enthusiastic appeal to examine this closed area Social science research in the area of mental health care has been particularly productive (Scheff, 1974 ; Spitzer and Denzin, 1968) The pioneering research and theoretical formulations of the "psychiatric sociologists" have demonstrated the critical influence social factors have in the drift toward mental patient careers These developments are only slowly being incorporated into present group treatment programs because the central focus of the therapeutic treatment perspective has traditionally been on the individual and not his social setting The social science inquiry program proposed here was designed to supplement the individual biographical orientation of the therapeutic perspective within the wider scope of the sociological perspective In addition, for the adolescent to make maximum use of the hospital treatment programs he must have an understanding of them These treatment programs should prove quite useful in preparing the adolescent for discharge For the adolescent to fully engage these programs he must understand how they operate Failure in this regard often results in the adolescent developing unwarranted negative beliefs With the above in mind we constructed an experimental social studies course designed to have adolescent inpatients reflectively examine the "closed area of mental health care ." This inquiry involved an examination of the history of mental hospitals, several of the major therapeutic treatment modalities, the sociological conceptions of the problems mental patients face and the relationship between poverty, social class and mental illness The objective of the program was to have adolescents systematically develop theoretical concepts which would allow them to more effectively organize their understanding of the hospital experience Quantitative Analysis Precisely what can be said of students who have been exposed to a program of reflective inquiry into the closed area of mental health care? To measure the influence of the experimental social science program in terms of 5 1


measurable attitudinal change, we administered two scale measurements In this section we will assemble the data from these instruments into a quasiexperimental research design which permits a statistical analysis of the experimental program (Campbell and Stanley, 1964) Research Design Two groups of twelve students were matched according to achievement levels, age, grade level deficiency and sex Each group was located at a different state mental hospital within fifty miles of each other ; their catchment areas bordered The hospital of the experimental group was situated in a large urban area ; the control group was located in a hospital in an outlying semi-industrial area Both groups were enrolled in a social studies course at the school located within their respective hospitals (See Table 1) The social studies course of the control group consisted of individual instruction with aptitude level and topic approaching the adolescents' prehospitalized social studies program TABLE 1 Comparisons Between Experimental and Control Groups Experimental t Control Standard t Standard Mean t Deviation t Mean t Deviation Age t 16 .0 t 1 .477 t 15 .08 t 1 .624 Achievement t 7 .2 t 2 .297 t 6 .1 t 2 .852 Grade level deficiency t 2 .8 t 2 .689 t 2 .7 t 2 .566 Sex t Male t Female t Male t Female 6 t 6 t 5 t 7 The quasi-experimental design for the program was a simple two observation, two sample test (Campbell and Stanley, 1963 : 171-246) Both groups were administered two pretest observations : the Rosenberg scale of "self-esteem" (Rosenberg, 1965) and the Rotter "sense of control" battery (Rotter, 1966) At the end of a thirty-five day period both groups were administered the same two surveys (See Table 2 .) 5 2


Thirty-five days t Post Test Reflective inquiry into mental health care Standard social t + + + studies course TABLE 2 The Experimental Design Reflective Inquiry and Self Esteem Reflective inquiry into the social construction of mental illness negatively influences belief in the popular conceptions of mental illness We believe that in place of the popular conceptions a more sobering understanding of the problems of mental health patients is substituted Since the conceptions mental patients have about mental patients are conceptions they have of themselves, a more sobering understanding of the common characteristics of mental patients among mental patients should result in increased self esteem amongst this population (Lindsey, 1975b) The pretest and post test observations of self esteem of the two groups were collected in Tables 3 and 4 Since we have argued that reflective inquiry into the closed area of mental health care will lead to an improvement in self esteem for inpatient adolescents, we would expect to find a significant increase for those adolescents who were exposed to a course which reflectively examined this area In order to test this argument we developed the following hypothesis : 5 3 Pretest Experimental group + + + Control group + + +


TABLE 3 Pretest and Post Test Observations of Self Esteem in the Experimental Group X = 28 .667 t X = 33 .167 S D = 2 .640 t S D = 3 .538 TABLE 4 Pretest and Post Test Observations of Self Esteem in the Equivalent Control Group X = 27 .667 t X = 26 .167 S D = 4 .207 t S D = 4 .064 5 4 Pretest Post test Change E 1 27 36 + 9 E 2 27 27 0 E 3 27 33 +6 E 4 31 35 +4 E 5 26 39 +13 E 6 30 31 +1 E 7 26 29 +3 E 8 33 35 +2 E 9 30 33 +3 E10 25 36 +11 Ell 30 29 -1 E12 32 35 +3 Pretest Post test Change c 1 20 21 +1 C 2 28 24 -4 C 3 24 20 -4 C 4 33 25 -8 C 5 28 31 +3 C 6 26 32 +6 C 7 28 25 -3 C 8 28 30 +2 C 9 27 30 +3 C10 34 29 -5 C11 33 24 -0 C12 23 23 0


Hl : Exposure to a course that reflectively examines the closed area of mental health care results in significant increases in self esteem In order to test the validity of this hypothesis we in turn translate it into a null hypothesis H0 : The mean scores of self esteem for adolescents before and after exposure to a course that reflectively examines the closed area of mental health care are equal H0 : €l = €2 We decide to reject the null hypothesis if the mean scores differ at the ( .01) confidence level The sampling statistic "student's t" was used to test the null hypothesis calculated t = 3 .532 with d .f = 11 t = p > .01 t (Edwards, 1969 : 234) Since the probability value meets the criterion for significance, the null hypothesis is rejected Therefore, we conclude that adolescents exposed to a course that reflectively examines the closed area of mental health care will report significantly increased scores on self esteem Adolescents in the control group were administered pretest and post test observations on self esteem within a thirty-five day interval These adolescents were not exposed to a course that reflectively examined the social construction of mental illness As before, to test the alternative hypothesis for the control group we have to translate it into a null hypothesis : H0 :€=€2 We will reject the null hypothesis at the ( .01) confidence level The value calculated for t for the control group is : t = 1 .465 with d .f = 11 This value does not fall within the ( .01) confidence level so we are unable to reject the null hypothesis Therefore, for the control group, exposure to the treatment program of a state hospital seemed insufficient to cause an increase in self esteem In fact, for the control group there was a decrease over time in scores of self esteem, although not at a statistically significant level Since our population was small and in the interest of rigorous analysis, we reassembled the above data into a framework of statistical comparison between the experimental and control groups at both the pretest and post test observations At the pretest observation "t" tests revealed the groups not to be significantly different at the ( .01) confidence level At the post test interval the calculated "t" for both self esteem and sense of control revealed a significant difference between the groups at the ( .01) confidence level These findings are in accord with the analysis set forth in the above paragraphs and further strengthen the conclusions 5 5


To briefly review, we have presented evidence that adolescents in state mental hospitals are particularly vulnerable to the popular conceptions and stereotypes of mental illness if for no other reason than they are both the subjects with and objects of these stereotypes The popular conceptions of mental illness are therefore an important topic which these adolescents should examine Further, study of this topic resulted in an increase of self esteem Reflective Inquiry and Sense of Control An examination of the closed area of mental health care should increase an adolescent inpatient's understanding of the new and alien world of the state hospital A complete examination of the closed area of mental health care would not only inquire into the social construction of mental illness but would also include an examination of the operations of the mental hospital It would examine the different treatment programs offered It would not be a ritual of glorification but a sympathetic and critical inquiry into the technology and goals of the various treatment programs Inquiry into the operation of the new and alien world of the mental hospital should result in inpatient adolescents more fully understanding the forces which operate in their environment If adolescents reflectively inquire into their social situation we would hypothesize a subsequent significant increase in their understanding of the social forces at work in their environment The experimental and control groups were administered Rotter's attitudinal survey of sense of control at both pretest and post test observations The data from these observations are displayed in Tables 5 and 6 5 6


TABLE S Pretest and Post Test Observations of Sense of Control for Experimental Group X = 9 .167 t X = 13 .167 S .D = 2 .443 t S .D = 1 .642 TABLE 6 Pretest and Post Test Observations of Sense of Control for the Control Group X = 9 .417 t .X = 9 .677 S D = 2 .999 t S D = 2 .425 5 7 Pretest Post Test Change E 1 4 15 +11 E 2 8 11 +3 E 3 10 14 +4 E 4 9 11 +2 E 5 12 16 +4 E 6 13 15 +2 E 7 8 12 +7 E 8 12 13 +1 E 9 8 14 +6 E10 8 13 +5 Ell 8 12 +4 E12 10 12 +2 Pretest Post Test Change C 1 11 11 0 C 2 11 8 -3 C 3 7 12 +5 C 4 10 8 -2 C 5 11 13 +2 C 6 12 11 -1 C 7 12 10 -2 C 8 5 11 +6 C 9 12 7 -5 C10 8 8 0 C11 3 5 +2 C12 11 12 +1


To test our argument we developed the following research hypothesis : H2 : Adolescent inpatients who are exposed to a course that reflectively examines the closed area of mental health care will exhibit a significant increase in their "sense of control" between pretest and post test observations of the course H2 : € 1 =~ € 2 H0 : Pretest and post test observations of "sense of control" for adolescents exposed to a course that reflectively examines the closed area of mental health care will be equal H0 : €1 = € 2 The sampling statistic "t" at the ( .01) confidence level was used to test the null hypothesis The value was calculated for the null hypothesis according to formula 2 t = 4 .707 with d .f = 11 From a table oft score values we determine that the t score is beyond the ( .01) probability region (Edwards, 1969 : 234) Since the probability value meets the criterion for significance, the null hypothesis is rejected in favor of the research hypothesis Thus we conclude that adolescent inpatients exposed to a course which reflectively examines the closed area of mental health care will significantly increase their sense of control The value calculated for t for the control group is : t = 1 .077 with d .f = 11 This value does not lie within our confidence level and thus we are prohibited from rejecting the null hypothesis We conclude that for the control group exposure to the daily activity of the hospital is insufficient to account for a significant increase in sense of control scores for inpatient adolescents Following the same data reanalysis procedure as before (p 18), we examined the above data for statistically significant intergroup difference at the pretest and post test observations At the pretest observation there was no significant difference between the experimental and control groups at the ( .01) confidence level (t = 2 .168, with d .f = 11) At the post test observation there was a significant difference between the experimental and control group scores well beyond the ( .01) probability region (t = 17 .823, with d .f = 11) This is further demonstration that exposure to the experimental course resulted in an increase in sense of control The limitations of this experimental analysis of the social education program require careful attention The experimental and matched control groups were small and not selected randomly Both groups were exposed to similar, but not the same social milieu A number of important variables (such as level of medication, frequency of home visits, et cetera) which could 5 8


have influenced the outcome were not and could not be controlled In the light of these limitations, the results should be viewed as suggestive of success and a challenge for further study and replication CONCLUSION Social studies inquiry is a vehicle for the transference of selected knowledge and skills from the social sciences and history for the purpose of maximizing the freedom of enrolled students In this essay we examined a social science curriculum for an inquiry to be conducted in the special microcosm of a high school in a state mental hospital In the state mental hospital, social science education is in an especially advantageous position to help these young people understand their new and different environment The social science program advanced herein, therefore, offers a clear and simple illustration of the way in which social science education might advance the freedom of choice of enrolled students by way of furthering their understanding of the social world Within the framework of an educational program adolescent mental patients would be able to, acquire the requisite conceptual tools and knowledge for an understanding of the social forces involved in the drift toward the development of a mental patient career Thus those young patients who select not to become career mental patients would be better equipped to forge their actions along paths which lead away from the development of a mental patient career REFERENCES Allen, R ., H Ruben, J Rappaport, and T Szasz "Silence is Golden, or is it?" Mental Hygiene 57 (1) : 21-27, 1973 Braginsky, Benjamin M ., Dorothea D Braginsky, and Kenneth Ring Methods of Madness : The Mental Hospital as a Last Resort New York : Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1973 Bruner, Jerome The Process of Education Cambridge, Mass : Harvard University Press, 1961 Campbell, Donald and Julian C Stanley Experimental and QuasiExperimental Designs for Research Chicago : Rand, McNally and Company, 1966 5 9


Charters, W W "Knowledge and Intelligent Behavior : A Framework for the Educational Process" in Democracy, Pluralism and the Social Studies James Shaver and Harold Berlak (eds .) ; Boston : Houghton-Mifflin (p 312), 1968 Dewey, John How We Think Boston : Heath, 1909 Edwards, Allen Statistical Analysis 3rd edition ; New York : Holt, Rinehart, 1969 Erikson, Kai T "Patient Role and Social Uncertainty ." Psychiatry 20 (August) : 263-274, 1957 Erikson, Kai T Wayward Puritans New York : John Wiley and Sons, 1966 Ginsberg, Leon H "An Examination of the Civil Rights of Mentally III Children," Child Welfare 52 (1) : 14-25, 1973 Gusfield, Joseph R "Moral Passage : The Symbolic Process in Public Designations of Deviance ." Social Problems 15 (Fall) : 175-188, 1967 Hawkins, Richard and Gary Tiedeman The Creation of Deviance Columbus, Ohio : Charles E Merrill Publishing Company, 1975 Hollingshead, August and Fredrich Redlich Social Class and Mental Illness New York : Wiley, 1958 Hunt, Maurice and Lawrence Metcalf Teaching High School Social Studies (Second Edition) New York : Harper and Row, 1968 Jones, Richard M Fantasy and Feeling in Education New York : New York University Press, 1968 Lee, John R ., Stephan E Ellenwood and Timothy Little Teaching Social Studies in the Secondary School New York : Free Press, 1973 Lindsey, Duncan "Reflective Inquiry into the Social Construction of Mental Illness by Hospitalized Adolescents ." Unpublished Ph .D dissertation, Northwestern University, 1973 Lindsey, Duncan "Social Studies Education : An Introduction to the Literature ." Social Studies Review 13 (2) : 53-63, 1974a Lindsey, Duncan "Adolescent Pathways to Residential Treatment : The Enforced Expedition ." Adolescence 9 (33) : 135-148, 1974b Lindsey, Duncan "Behavioral Technology and Human Subjectivity ." Corrective and Social Psychiatry 21 (2), 1975a Lindsey, Duncan "Informing the Patient : What Social Science Research Can Tell the Adolescent Mental Patient ." Journal of Youth and Adolescence 4 (3), 1975b 6 0


Mechanic, David Medical Sociology Appendix 2, New York : Free Press Mental Health and Social Policy Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey : Prentice-Hall, 1962 Oliver, Donald "The Selection of Content in the Social Studies ." in Democracy, Pluralism and the Social Studies, James Weaver and Harold Berlak (eds .) ; Boston : Houghton-Mifflin (p 28), 1968 Porter, Robert A "Community Mental Health Planning Ideology of Organizational Participants in the Model Cities Program ." Unpublished Ph .D dissertation, Brandeis University, 1970 Rogers, Joseph and M .D Buffalo "Fighting Back : Nine Modes of Adaptation to a Deviant Label ." Social Problems 22 (1) : 101-119, 1974 Rosenberg, Morris Society and the Adolescent Self Image Princeton, New Jersey Princeton University Press, 1965 Rosenhan, David "Being Sane in Insane Places," Science 179 : 250-258, 1973 Rothman, David The Discovery of the Asylum New York : Harper and Row, 1971 Rotenberg, Mordechai "Self-Labelling : A Missing Link in the `Societal Reaction' Theory of Deviance ." Sociological Review 23 (August) : 335354, 1974 Rotter, Julian B "Generalized Expectancies for Internal Versus External Control of Reinforcement ." Psychological Monographs 80 (Whole No 1), 1966 Scheff, Thomas Being Mentally Ill Chicago : Aldine, 1966 Scheff, Thomas "The Labelling Theory of Mental Illness ." American Sociological Review 39 (June) : 444-52, 1974 Schur, Edwin M Crimes Without Victims Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey : Prentice-Hall, 1965 Spitzer, Stephen P ., and Norman K Denzin The Mental Patient New York : McGraw-Hill, 1968 Szasz, Thomas The Myth of Mental Illness New York : Hoebert-Harper, 1961 Weiner, Irving B Psychological Disturbance in Adolescence New York : Wiley, 1970 6 1


PREDICTING STUDENTS' USE OF EVIDENCE : An Aspect of Critical Thinldng Ted Feely University of Delaware Trends and fads have come and gone, but for at least the past thirty years there has been a recurrent theme in the social studies literature that students must be taught to be independent, critical thinkers 1 Whether the term "problem solving," "reflective thinking," "critical thinking," "inductive approach," "discover," or "inquiry" was used, social studies educators have meant-at least in part-that students should learn to think on their own As the term is used here, critical thinking is defined as the evaluation of evidence or argument in the light of acceptable standards for the purpose of deciding whether to accept or reject a statement This definition is derived from the works of Smith and Ennis (Smith, 1953 ; Ennis, 1967) Just as arithmetic deals with tasks which require the operations such as combination and division, critical thinking in the social studies can be conceived as a group of tasks which require operations such as judging the relevance of evidence, judging the reliability of evidence, judging whether a statement follows from premises and identifying unstated assumptions The major question asked in this study was whether there are identifiable aptitudes and characteristics of students which enable prediction of their use of evidence in testing statements, or hypotheses More specifically, this study examined five characteristics of students as predictors : students' verbal ability, as measured by the "Wide Range Vocabulary Test" (Atwell and Wells, 1972), age, socio-economic status (SES), educational expectation and sex For each of these characteristics, this study used the question, "Does this characteristic of students enable us to predict performance in using evidence and what is the predictive power of each with others held constant?" As the term is used here, "evidence" is an indicator or datum which either supports or negates a purported fact The use of evidence to test statements helps set the critical thinker apart from both the blindly gullible and the blindly skeptical As such, perhaps as much as any other aspect of critical thinking, it is at the heart of the maturing "new" social studies Certainly it is at the heart of the curriculum revolution of the late sixties in which students were asked not just to memorize but to critically think about the content of social studies Yet, use of evidence has not been specifically and systematically investigated 2 6 3


METHOD Subjects Three hundred and four students from two schools took part in this research The schools were from a single school district in a growing small city of about 23,000 population in the Middle Atlantic States region The research made use of whole-class groups which were selected to provide a wide range of academic ability There were 113 7th grade pupils, 94 9th grade pupils and 9711th grade pupils The pupils were overwhelmingly white with blacks comprising no more than 10 percent of the sample Data Analysis Stepwise multivariate regression analyses were performed using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SES) program (Nie, Bent and Hull, 1970) Stepwise regression enables the entry of predictor variables into the analysis in a predetermined way such that each predictor variable entered operates as a covariant, or control variable, for each successive predictor variable 3 Both the separate and joint predictive effects were investigated for each of the predictor variables (Cohen, 1968) Statistical Significance Two criteria were employed to establish significant results Statistical significance was set at .05 In addition, no predictor contributing less than 5% of the total variance of the dependent variable was considered a significant result The latter level of significance is justified on the grounds that any predictor variable which contributes less than 5% of the variance of the dependent variable is one which cannot be expected to make any appreciable difference if it were taken into account in instructional or curriculum decision making VARIABLES Dependent Variable Students' use of evidence as measured by The Cornell Critical Thinking Test, Level X, Section I, Part A, (Ennis and Millman, 1971) was the dependent variable It was administered to the subjects by teachers in their social studies classes This part of the test includes twenty-three items plus two practice items The reliability of this instrument for all classes using the KR20 procedure of inter-item reliability was .754 6 4


Section I, Part A of the test measures students' performance in distinguishing evidence which is supportive, negative or irrelevant to a hypothesis This and other sections of the Cornell Critical Thinking Test, LevelX are ingenious in their use of a story line Students are introduced to a situation in which a rescue team has just landed on the fictitious planet of Nicoma in search of an earlier exploration team which has disappeared A member of the rescue team hypothesizes that all members of the previous group are dead As the story unfolds students are provided with pieces of information and they are asked to make use of this evidence to determine if it supports, negates or is irrelevant to the hypothesis that all members of the exploration team are dead For example, students are told that a member of the rescue team entered a hut apparently constructed by the exploration team and found a thick layer of dust covering everything Students are then asked to determine whether this evidence supports, negates or is irrelevant to the hypothesis that all members of the earlier exploration team are dead Independent Variables Verbal Ability Both theory and previous research findings (Furst, 1950 ; Hovland, 1959 ; Rust, Jones and Kaiser, 1962 ; Ennis, 1967 ; George & Deitz, 1968 ; Feely, 1974) point to the importance of students' verbal ability as an important predictor of their performance on verbal critical thinking tasks The measurement of verbal ability created a special problem in this study since students of such wide age differences were included as subjects The problem was handled by employing Psychological Corporation's Wide Range Vocabulary Test, Form C with the format altered to permit machine scoring This instrument proved highly reliable with KR20 coefficient of .92 for the 304 students tested Age A previous study done by this author (Feely, 1974) pointed to the heavy loading of verbal ability on students' performance of several critical thinking tasks In addition to several other variables to be discussed, this study was designed to examine the correlation of age with performance on the use of evidence A study of the performance of grade 4 through grade 12 students on logical tasks found a generally continuous increase in performance (Ennis & Paulus, 1965) Although age is not itself an explanatory variable, it is associated with general mental maturity and in the case of several developmental theories, notably that of Piaget, it is a consistent correlate of certain logical operations 6 5


Seventh, ninth, and eleventh graders were chosen for the study for two reasons Most importantly, there is evidence that the period of time between seventh and ninth grades is pivotal in terms of logical development Peel (1964) indicates that it is only at mid-adolescence that students demonstrate an ability to make coordinated judgments in the field of history and geography Thus, seventh and ninth graders were included in the study to provide data on this potentially important period of maturation Eleventh graders were included to provide data on young adults A second reason for including these age levels-and, not still younger pupils-was the difficulty of securing research instruments which would be suitable for a lower range of reading levels Age was self-reported by students in terms of their birth dates which were then translated into months Seventh graders had a mean age of 152 months, ninth graders a mean age of 176 months and eleventh graders a mean age of 198 months This translates to approximately 12 1/2, 14 1/2 and 16 1/2 years of age respectively Socio-Economic Status SES has been demonstrated to be highly correlated with educational achievement (Coleman, 1966) The measurement of SES was based on a single measure of students' self-report of father's occupation Responses were coded by a single coder employing the "Socio-economic Index" (Reiss, 1961) A second coder was employed to check the inter-rater reliability which was .90 Educational Expectation An index of students' expectation of educational attainment was generated by asking students to indicate the highest schooling they expect to complete This is a measure which might well be expected to correlate with both SES and verbal ability and is included as an indicator of students' perception of the extent of schooling in their future Sex Finally, a measure of sex was included Although this student characteristic has not been found to be an important correlate or covariant in previous critical thinking studies its very low cost warranted its inclusion RESULTS Before examining results of the stepwise regression analysis, a table of correlation coefficients should help us "get a feel" for the data Table 1 displays the correlation matrix for the predictor and criterion variables 6 6


TABLE 1 Correlation Matrix Among All Variables P < .05* t P < t .01** The results which are of most interest are found in the column farthest to the right in which each of the predictor variables is correlated with the criterion variable With the exception of sex, all of the predictors are correlated positively and significantly with use of evidence That is, with the exception of sex, all of the variables are positively related For example, the correlation of .39 between age and use of evidence indicates that as age increases performance on use of evidence tends to increase It must also be noted that the predictors correlated with one another For instance, the largest coefficient of correlation is between age and verbal ability There is also a statistically significant relationship between verbal ability and socio-economic status Thus, the important question which remains is how the mix of variables contributes to prediction of students' use of evidence To examine this, stepwise multiple regression was used 6 7 Age V .A SES Ed .Ex Sex Evidence Age .54** .03 .11* .02 .39** Verbal Ability .23** .17** .11* .51** SES .17** .04 .15** Educational Expectation .05 19** Sex .07 Use of Evidence


Results are summarized on Table 2 Verbal ability was entered as the first predictor Thus it served as a covariant for all later variables Other variables were selected automatically by the program in the order of their magnitude of prediction The table provides five values for each variable TABLE 2 Multiple Regression Analysis : Predicting Students' Use of Evidence P < .05* t P < .01** t P < .001*** Joint predictive effects were investigated for each pair of predictor variables and found insignificant Verbal ability, the first predictor to enter the analysis was statistically significant (p < .001) and a powerful predictor of students' performance in use of evidence (26%) That is, students' verbal ability predicts about onefourth of the information needed to predict scores on the Cornell subtest The F ratio for sex indicates that the findings are statistically significant ; however, sex accounts for only 1 .2 percent of the variance on the use of evidence The negative signs in front of the "B" and "Beta" columns indicate that females performed better than males As with sex, age is statistically significant, but contributes only 1 .7 percent of the information needed for a perfect prediction Educational expectation is, again, statistically significant, but contributes only 1 .9 percent of variance on the Cornell subtest Finally, socio-economic status did not make a statistically significant contribution to prediction Several results are notable Verbal ability contributes a sizable percentage in the prediction This result is certainly expected and is consistent with both theory and previous results What is most surprising is the negligible con6 8 Variable B Beta Std Error of B % of Variance F t Predicted Verbal Ability .087 .396 0 .016 31 .01*** 26 .0 Sex .819 .111 0 .423 3 .75** 1 .2 Age .035 .189 0 .013 7 .31** 1 .7 Educational Expectation .260 .134 0 .116 5 .01** 1 .9 Socio-Economic Status t -0 .015 -0 .043 0 .020 Insign Unreliable


tribution of age and SES to the prediction Age has more than a modest correlation ( .39) with the criterion variable, but that relationship is shared almost totally with verbal ability The weak predictive power of SES is not so easy to explain Its low correlation with the criterion variable ( .15) leads to several possible explanations The low correlation may have been due to subjects in the study who were relatively homogeneous with regard to SES and the restriction in range limited the size of the correlation that could be obtained The SocioEconomic Index scale used in this study has a range of values from 0 to 96 Seventh graders, ninth graders and eleventh graders in this study had a range of values of 86, 92 and 82 respectively The standard deviations of values were 22, 23 and 23 respectively Thus, this first potential explanation is not supported by the data The second potential explanation is that the values are not reliable There are at least two potential sources of unreliability The first flows from the fact that a single measure was employed That is, students were asked to report their father's occupation The second flows from the fact that a single rater translated reports of occupation into SES values To check this source of unreliability a second rater, operating independently rated occupations and inter-rater reliability of .90 was calculated Thus, it appears that coding was not a source of unreliability Of the remaining variables, both sex (favoring females) and educational expectation proved statistically significant ; however, neither contributed a sufficient percentage of variance to be considered a significant predictor Thus, of the five predictors of students' use of evidence, only verbal ability contributed significantly to prediction Joint effects among each pair of predictors and the criterion were tested and found to add nothing to the prediction IMPLICATIONS AND FURTHER RESEARCH In terms of curriculum decision making, the most significant findings are the relatively high predictive power of verbal ability as measured using the Wide Range Vocabulary Test (predicting 26% of variance) and the almost non-existent predictive power of age (about 2%) when verbal ability is the covariant These findings downplay the importance of age-and its correlate, maturation-as a variable in predicting students' use of evidence By inference these findings indicate that verbal ability may be a more important predictor than age of how well students will be able to interact with a curriculum that calls upon use of evidence It is important to note that this research does not purport to identify any fixed and immutable level of verbal ability below which students are incapable of using evidence Indeed, it may be possible to identify instructional 6 9


or curriculum practices which can help students overcome any weaknesses in ability to use evidence However, the research findings indicate that if a social studies department is interested in matching an evidentially based curriculum with students who can perform well in that curriculum, it is better to use verbal ability than age as a criterion The limitations within which it is reasonable to interpret results of this study point toward further potentially profitable studies First, it should be noted that this study operationalized the construct "Use of Evidence" in a very specific way The task given the students was verbal and given in a written format It dealt with what is for most people a relatively familiar set of meanings That is, it dealt with the concept of death and the implications of death-e .g ., that one is not around to disturb things, etc .-in short, all of these characteristics of the task might be expected to influence students' performance Other researchers might wish to operationalize the task in a different manner In particular, it would be informative to develop several additional instruments which follow the format of the Cornell instrument but which deal with content matter of differing levels of difficulty Second, it must be noted that this research examined 12 to 16 year olds and that results need to be interpreted in this light Further research might examine performance of younger students in using evidence The difficulty is, of course, in developing instruments which are valid for such subjects It might be useful to develop visual displays of evidence and oral interview instruments Third, further studies should examine predictors of student performance on other critical thinking tasks (The author is currently examining student ability to distinguish between causative and correlative explanations .) Fourth, it should be noted that the five predictors employed in this research were able to account for only about 31 percent of the variance in the criterion variable It would be very useful to know if there are any further predictors which enable us to enhance prediction Any increase in the reliability of instruments should increase the percentage of variance accounted for Fifth, a more rigorous examination of the predictive ability of SES is warranted given its consistent predictive power in other educational studies Multiple indicators of SES should be included Sixth, it should be profitable to examine students' performance on critical thinking tasks in the light of Piaget's work If Piaget is correct in his identification of logical development through stages which are largely independent of verbal ability, it should be possible to identify at least some critical thinking tasks in which Piagetian indicators predict a significant amount of variance beyond that predicted by verbal ability 7 0


REFERENCES Atwell, C .R and Wells, F .L ., Wide Range Vocabulary Tests, The Psychological Corporation, New York, N .Y ., (1945 & 1972) Cohen, Jacob, "Multiple Regression as'a' General Data-Analytic System," Psychological Bulletin, 70 (1968), 421-440 Coleman, James A ., et al, Equality of Educational Opportunity, (Washington, D .C : U .S Government Printing Office, 1966) Ennis, Robert H and Paulus, Pieter H ., Critical Thinking Readiness in Grades 1-12 (Phase I : Deductive Logic in Adolescence), (Cooperative 'Research Project No OE 1680), Ithaca, New York : School of Education, New York State College of Agriculture, Cornell University, 1965 Ennis, Robert H ., "A Concept of Critical Thinking : A Proposed Basis for Research in the Teaching and Evaluation of Critical Thinking Ability," B Paul Komisar and C .J .B MacMillan, (eds .), Psychological Concepts in Education, (Chicago : Rand McNally, 1967), 114-148 Ennis, Robert H and Milman, Jason, Cornell Critical Thinking Test, Level X Published by Critical Thinking Project, Education Building, University of Illinois, Urbana, Illinois 61801, (1971) Feely, Ted Jr ., "Performance of Ninth Grade Students on Two Related Critical Thinking Tasks," paper presented at the 1974 annual meeting of American Educational Research Association, April 15-19, 1974 Chicago, Illinois Furst, Edward J ., "Relationship Between Tests of Intelligence and Tests of Critical Thinking and of Knowledge," Journal of Educational Research, 43 (April 1950), 614-625 George, Kenneth and Dietz, Sister M ., "The Relationship of Teacher-Pupil Critical Thinking Ability," Science Education, 52 (December 1958), 426432 Glaser, Edward M ., An Experiment in the Development of Critical Thinking (New York : Teachers College, Columbia University, 1941) Hovland, Carl I ., "Review of the Watson-Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal, The Fifth Mental Measurements Yearbook, ed Oscar Buros, (Highland Park, New Jersey : The Gryphon Press, 1959), 797-799 Nie, Norman H ., Bent, Dale H ., and Hull, C Hadlai, Statistical Package for the Social Studies, New York : McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1970), 174195 7 1


Peel, E A ., "Learning and Thinking in the School Situation," in Richard E Ripple and Verne N Rockcastle (eds .) Piaget Rediscovered, A Report of the Conference on Cognitive Studies and Curriculum Development (Ithaca, New York : School of Education, Cornell University, March 1%4), 101-104 Reiss, Albert J Jr ., et al, Occupations and Social Status (New York : Free Press of Glencoe, 1961) Rust, Velma I ., Jones, Steward R and Kaiser, Henry F "A Factor-Analytic Study of Critical Thinking," The Journal of Educational Research 55 (March 1962), 253, 259 Smith, B 0 ., "The Improvement of Critical Thinking," Progressive Education 30 (March 1953), 129-134 Watson, Goodwin and Glaser, Edward Maynard Watson-Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal, Forms Am and Bm (Yonkers, New York : World Book Company, 1952) FOOTNOTES l A review of the social studies literature indicates that at least since the publication of Teaching Critical Thinking in the Social Studies, the thirteenth yearbook of the National Council for the Social Studies in 1942, there has been a steady stream of articles advocating critical thinking as a goal of social studies 2 The only study identified in a review of research which appears to deal specifically with use of evidence was that of Frederick Marcham, "Teaching Critical Thinking and the Use of Evidence," Quarterly Journal of Speech, 31 (October 1945), 362-368 In this study Marcham uses the term "evidence" in the broadest sense to include a wide variety of critical thinking operations The article is really a report of several teaching approaches and does not provide supporting data 3 For a discussion of regression analysis versus analysis of variance see Herbert J Walberg, "Generalized Regression Models in Educational Research," American Educational Research .Journal, 8 (January 1971), 71, 91 7 2


EVALUATING STUDENT INVOLVEMENT AS A TECHNIQUE FOR IMPROVING CITIZENSHIP EDUCATION Ruth S Jones University of Missouri-Saint Louis The emphasis on grass roots politics in the late 1960s, the enfranchising of 18-year olds, recent youth crusades for causes and candidates, and criticisms of present social studies education (Education Commission, 1974 ; Hess and Torney, 1967 ; Massialas, 1972 ; Langton and Jennings, 1968) have stimulated widespread interest in developing educational techniques to equip students with the knowledge, skills, and interests needed to fulfill their future roles as knowledgeable participants in a democratic society 1 To this end programs are being developed and implemented which purposively seek to get students involved in the ongoing concerns of the society The assumption of these involvement programs is that actual involvement and participation in community concerns will provide factual information about the socio-political system, assist the development of participatory skills, and stimulate interest in and commitment to fulfilling the roles of informed, active citizens of the polity What is often intuitively obvious, however, is not necessarily empirically substantiated Although the learning-by-doing approach has been a persistent theme in civic education, it should be carefully observed and evaluated before widespread adoption is advocated This paper reports on the influence of student community-involvement on raising the level of student interest in social and political activities The study poses two questions : Do students who become involved in a community activity through their social studies class become more interested in political concerns? Does an involvement experience have the same impact on different types of students? STUDY DESIGN To answer these questions, data were collected from a purposive sample (based on location, income, and racial characteristics of school districts) of social studies classes in the St Louis Metropolitan area Written, classadministered questionnaires were given in mid-September 1972 and early May 1973 The group of 214 students for which there were responses on both instruments was well-distributed among the various kinds of social studies classes (civics, history, sociology, etc .) ; there were slightly more females than males (59%-41%) ; and twice as many white as black students There was greatest concentration among students of the eighth and twelfth grades 7 3


although age distribution of students was slightly skewed toward the younger students In view of the demographics of the school population in the area and the state's structuring of social studies course requirements, this appears to be a reasonably typical subset of social studies students One measure of increased interest "Do you feel that your interest in community activity was increased because of this class?" provides an expression of how students feel they were influenced by their social studies class experiences A second measure of the change in attention students give to the political world asked students to respond on a four-point scale (a great deal, some, very little, one) to the question, "People pay attention to different kinds of things How much attention do you usually pay to what is going on in government and politics in . with local, state, national, and international politics being the specified levels of government A change score was then computed for each student by comparing the response at Time II with the Time I response and students were categorized as having increased attention, no change in attention level, or decreased attention during the year of social studies education The students' response to the question, "Did you personally explore or become involved in any social or political issues, projects or activities because of this class?" was used to categorize students as having been "involved" or "noninvolved ." Six conditional variables (age, sex, race, grade, type class, and school integration) were introduced to determine the influence of community involvement on different kinds of students or under different situations THE FINDINGS The students initially reported a rather high level of attention to political and governmental activities ; 2 both before and after the year of social studies education, students reported paying most attention to local activities and least to international events Looking simply at the aggregate responses of all students who answered both questionnaires, there was a very slight increase in the reported level of attention given to the four levels of political and governmental activities In the absence of a control group it is impossible to credit this increased sensitivity to the social studies class Maturation, a general rise in total citizen politicalization, the November election-all are viable alternative explanations The purpose of the paper, however, is to determine if the type of learning experience-involvement versus noninvolvement-was related to increase or decrease of level of student attention The comparison of these two social studies learning experiences indicates that student involvement has a distinct impact on changes in students' sensitivity to government However, as the data in Table 1 indicate, student involvement correlated with a very slight decrease in the amount of attention paid to various levels of government 7 4


although it was positively related to increased interest in community activity This apparently contradictory impact of involvement is susceptible to a variety of interpretations but it clearly raises questions about the use of student involvement as a technique for increasing student attention to political activities It also indicates the necessity for including both affective and behavior-oriented measures in program evaluations Seemingly students who get involved are more interested than before their involvement but are less likely to be attentive observers of events taking place in the sociopolitical arena One might expect that student involvement would increase attention paid to one level of government (probably local because most, student involvement is local) at the expense of another However, the data do not support such an hypothesis ; in fact local (and internationl) governmental events receive slightly less attention although there are no increases for national or state affairs Nor do the data support the assumption that some students have an encompassing predisposition toward politics or that political concerns involving spatially "closer" units of government will be most salient Students paid attention to one level of government but not to another, and attention seemed randomly distributed among various types of students Nor, at the end of the social studies class, did students who were involved in local community activities evidence a bias in the attention given to any one level of government But certain types of involved students seemed to become both more interested in and attentive to governmental activities than others Three factors-sex, grade, and racial integration of the school community-were particularly important to the effect of involvement The impact of involvement was quite mixed when age or race of the student was held constant The type of class (civics, history, etc .) had no consistent influence on how involved students differed from noninvolved students in changes of attention to politics Most obvious in its impact was the negative influence that involvement in the community had on the female students In each instance, the changes in level of attention and interest reported by the girls who participated in a community project were more negative than were the boys' changes In an era when emphasis is being given to making women full partners in political activity, many have argued that simply giving women opportunities to participate will enable them to catch up as well as catch on to the participatory citizen role This appears not to be the case for these adolescents When given the opportunity to participate, they became less interested and less attentive than girls who remained uninvolved Generally, involvement had less impact on the male students but the impact was also much less negative 7 5


There is modest evidence to suggest that involvement is a negative technique for sensitizing eighth grade students (although it does stimulate a perception of increased interest), it tends to be a neutral-to-modestly-positive technique for 9th grade education and, except for attention to local government, is most positive for 12th graders This pattern suggests that perhaps involvement-curriculum should be aimed at the more advanced students who may have more substantive background and developed skills plus maturity to bring to the involvement experience Introducing involvement to the junior high student seems to stimulate a perception of student self-interest in community activities but at the expense of decreasing the attention given to such phenomena-a rather high price to pay for initial stimulation which may be equally achieved through more traditional methods Although difficult to explain, it seems clear that student involvement in racially homogenous school districts (97% of one race) tends to have a negative impact on attention given to government but that involvement in an integrated community setting has a positive influence This is not simply a function of student's race because the attention-change pattern was quite different when race of student was controlled It may be that sociopolitical issues are more obvious and/or more immediate in integrated communities, that more is happening that students can identify with, or that the atmosphere is more amenable to positive impact from student involvement once the first step toward participation is taken For whatever the reason, if the positive impact of the involvement experience is greatest for students in integrated school districts, student participation programs might most profitably be encouraged and developed for these specific communities SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS If one is looking to the development and implementation of student involvement curricula to improve the civic education of American youth, these data are not very encouraging Measuring only increase in levels of attention to political activities and interest in community activity, these data suggest that getting students involved in a community activity or project might be counterproductive for many students While involvement stimulated student's perceptions of self-interest, it tended to decrease the amount of attention students paid to governmental or political activities Involvement clearly had a negative impact on female students and instead of narrowing the gap between male and female politicization, actually tended to increase it It would also appear that the more advanced students had the most beneficial experiences Eighth graders by and large were turned on but simultaneously tuned out ; if interest is to be accompanied by informed observation, student involvement is not a successful technique for educating the eighth grader for the role of "inquiring activist" (Massialas : 1972, 264) 7 6


Involvement was also a more profitable technique to use in an integrated school district than in one of great racial homogeneity-white or blackwhich suggests that if we continue to encourage involvement programs, they should focus on rather than avoid the racially integrated community Beyond these substantive findings, this study also cautions against using intuition as a primary guide in curriculum development and/or viewing one technique as the failsafe for educating all students The need for rigorous evaluation and continued research is once again obvious Until such research can be achieved, this limited evaluation suggests taking a slow, cautious approach to using student involvement as a general means of improving civics education Certainly it raises serious questions about student community involvement as a technique for increasing students' attention to political and governmental events TABLE 1 Correlation (gamma) Between Involvement and Change in Political Attentiveness : Overall and by Sex, Grade, and Type Community Self a Missing data on any of the dependent variables resulted in the respondent being dropped from the analysis bToo few cases for computing a reliable coefficient 7 7 International State National Local Interest Na Involved/Not Involved .23 .00 .04 .17 + .53 175 Sex Males .14 + .10 + .04 + .08 +86 75 Females .31 .09 .10 .32 .26 100 Grade 8th .57 .18 .17 .45 + .47 75 9th + .18 + .02 .13 + .30 + .22 30 10th ---b 15 11th 15 12th + .16 + .21 + .29 .46 +30 35 Community Black .40 .28 .00 .73 +50 45 White .58 .13 .44 + .17 +38 45 Integrated + .08 + .21 + .12 .00 +66 85


REFERENCES Education Commission of the States National Assessment of Educational Progress Newsletter, January-February 1974 Hess, Robert D and Torney, Judith V The Development of Political Attitudes in Children Chicago : Aldine Publishing Co ., 1967 Langton, Kenneth P and Jennings, M Kent "Political Socialization and the High School Civic Curriculum in the United States ." American Political Science Review, 1968, 62, 852-867 Massialas, Byron, ed Political Youth, Traditional Schools Englewood Cliffs, N .J : Prentice Hall, 1972 FOOTNOTES 1 There are several centers which work almost exclusively on developing and improving techniques of social science education Among them are the Cambridge Education Development Center's Social Studies Curriculum Program, Harvard University's Social Studies Curriculum Development Center, The Carnegie-Mellon Social Studies Curriculum Development Center and the Social Studies Development Center of Indiana University 2 It is highly relative to reports by the Survey Research Center of adult responses to similar questions Survey Research Center, 1968 American National Election Study Codebook, 251-252 7 8


Theory and Research in Social Education Department of Political Science Michigan State University East Lansing, Michigan 48824

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