Theory and research in social education

Theory and research in social education

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Theory and research in social education
National Council for the Social Studies -- College and University Faculty Assembly
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Theory and Research in Social Education Volume 9 Number 1 Spring 1981 1 i


Theory and Research in Social Education Volume 9 t Number 1 t Spring 1981 TRSE is the official journal of the College and University Faculty Assembly of the National Council for the Social Studies Published quarterly, it is a general review open to all social studies educators, social scientists, historians and philosophers A general statement of purpose, and submission, subscription and advertising information may be found at the end of the journal € 1981 by the College and University Faculty Assembly of the National Council for the Social Studies All rights reserved


Editor : Thomas S Popkewitz, University of Wisconsin-Madison Associate Editor : B Robert Tabachnick, University of Wisconsin-Madison Editorial Assistant : Paula M Bozoian, University of Wisconsin-Madison Accounts Executive : Donna Schleicher Book Review Editor : Jack Nelson, Rutgers State UniversityNew Brunswick Editorial Board : James Akenson Tennessee Tech University Beverly Armento Georgia State University Millard Clements New York University Catherine Cornbleth University of Pittsburgh Lee H Ehman Indiana University Carole L Hahn Emory University Robin McKeown University of California Murry Nelson Penn State University Richard F Newton Temple University Paul Robinson University of Arizona JoAnn Sweeney University of Texas Gary Wehlage University of Wisconsin-Madison Jane White University of Maryland-Baltimore County Foreign Consultant to Journal : Geoff Whitty University of Bath, England 3


The College and University Faculty Assembly Executive Committee 1980-81 Chairperson : Beverly Armento Georgia State University Secretary : Allen Glenn University of Minnesota Treasurer : Murry Nelson Pennsylvania State University 1981 Program Co-Chairs : Jean Fair Wayne State University Tom Switzer University of Michigan Richard Diem University of Texas-San Antonio Janet Eyler Vanderbilt University Lynda Carl Falkenstein Portland State University Sharon Pray Muir Oklahoma State University John Napier University of Georgia Ann Stoddard University of North Florida Officers of the National Council for the Social Studies, 1980-81 President : Theodore Kaltsounis University of Washington President-Elect : James A Banks University of Washington Vice President : Carole Hahn Emory University 4


Contents Articles 7 On the Limits of Rational Moral Education James S Leming Contemporary approaches to moral education feature individual choice through rational decision making as the essential component of morality There is no research which indicates that these approaches significantly alter moral behavior This paper explores the reasons for moral education's ineffectiveness and offers an alternative perspective on the proper purpose and methods for moral education A review of the literature on the development of prosocial behavior found that social interactions during childhood are highly significant in the development of a morality From this research perspective rationality is not a major determinant of moral behavior The functionalist perspective of Emile Durkheim on the development of personal morality was also discussed This paper builds upon the above two perspectives to develop a broad conception of directive moral education which emphasizes modeling, induction, and the necessity of organizing the moral education curriculum around a gradient of rationality 35 Are the Critics Right about MACOS? Buckley Barnes, William Stallings, and Roberta Rivner Man : A Course of Study (MACOS) has been perhaps the most controversial curriculum in America's schools Critics have charged that MACOS contributes to an acceptance of practices repugnant to a large segment of the population These practices include : murder, senilicide, female infanticide, divorce, cannibalism, and cruelty to animals The present study investigated the effects of MACOS on the attitudes of 49 fourth-grade students toward these practices and compared them with the attitudes of 46 nonMACOS students A pre and posttest attitudinal inventory (with six subscales) was administered to both groups Hotelling's T was used to compare pretest-posttest differences between the two groups It was concluded that MACOS did not contribute to an acceptance of the six practices investigated i 45 Elementary School Teachers' Planning for Social Studies and Other Subjects Gail McCutcheon While we have evidence that people think and plan in different ways, the model of planning which dominates the educational literature is that of objectives-first activity This study is a report of a 1978 research project of four researchers and twelve teachers, a project which studies how those twelve teachers planned lessons in their elementary school classrooms The report discusses planning processes and influences of planning on the cur5


riculum, with a focus on social studies, influences on teachers' plans, and the implications of the study 67 Toward a Reconstruction of Social Education William B Stanley This is the second of two articles dealing with the reconstructionist rational for social education The first article provided an analysis of reconstructionism as expressed in the works of George Counts and Theodore Brameld (Stanley, 1981) These two authors developed a rationale for social education which differed significantly from those of their contemporaries who were often labeled as reconstructionists The Counts-Brameld rational will hereafter be referred to as radical reconstructionism The first article explained the basic tenets of radical reconstructionism and outlined the radical reconstructionist rationale for social education This article has two basic objectives First, it examines the extent to which the tenets of radical reconstructionism are reflected in five dominant rationales for modern social education Second, the basic tenets of radical reconstruction are used as criteria to analyze the adequacy of the five modern rationales 6


Theory and Research in Social Education Volume 9 Number 1 Spring 1981, pp 7-34 by the College and University Faculty Assembly of the National Council for the Social Studies On the Limits of Rational Moral Education James S Leming Southern Illinois University at Carbondale It is still very much an open question whether or not the interest in moral education over the past decade and one-half has in any significant way increased schools' ability to influence students' moral behavior Recent reviews of research by Lockwood (1978) and Leming (in press) on the two most visible and widely practiced approaches in the field, values clarification and cognitive development, suggest that student growth, which occurs as a result of these programs, is unrelated to social behavior There exists no evidence that values clarification has any significant impact on interpersonal behavior The consistent finding from the cognitive-developmental research indicates that, as a result of discussion of moral dilemmas over the course of a year, one can expect to find a modest gain in subjects' stage of moral reasoning : between 1 /4 and 3 /4 of a stage among 50 to 70 percent of the students It has not been found that shifts in the levels of reasoning found in public school students are associated with changes in social behavior I have the nagging suspicion that, should Hartshorne and May reappear today to conduct another Character Education Study, this time focusing on the impact of contemporary moral education curricula, the results would be just as discouraging as those found in the late 1920's Since the preponderance of current research on moral education is limited to verbal and written behavior, it is possible to hold out hope that, if only the correct variables could be identified and measured, positive results could be found regarding students' morally relevant social behavior I am 7


skeptical regarding this likelihood As I have read the available literature on moralization, namely with regard to the development of and relationship between thought and moral action, it has become increasingly obvious that in spite of the creative and significant efforts of Lawrence Kohlberg to bridge the gap between psychological knowledge and educational practice, there still remains a deep chasm between what is known regarding moralization and the assumptions underlying current conceptions of moral education Current educational practice in moral education pays little heed to currently available knowledge from the behavioral sciences regarding the influences and dynamics within the moralization process In this paper I will attempt to clarify some of the reasons for the failure of contemporary moral education to yield socially significant results First, I will examine the practices of contemporary moral education from the perspective of the development of prosocial behavior It will be argued that differences between what the behavioral sciences reveal about the development of prosocial behavior and the assumptions implicit in contemporary moral education are a significant factor in the failure of current moral education efforts Secondly, I will examine the assumptions of contemporary moral education from the perspective of Emile Durkheim (1973) In both comparisons I will attempt to show that the assumptions of contemporary moral education represent an unnecessarily narrow conception of morality In doing so, it will be argued that contemporary moral education programs ignore principles regarding the learning or moral behavior which can be derived from an analysis of the crucial areas where adult morality is forged Finally, I will attempt to sketch out what I see as a more viable approach to moral education which accords a significant role to the social basis of morality The Development of Prosocial Behavior and Contemporary Moral Education One of the major foci of moralization research is the development of prosocial behavior Prosocial behavior has been defined by Muessen and Eisenberg-Berg (1979) as . actions that are intended to aid or benefit another person or group of people without the actors' anticipation of external rewards" (p 3) Prosocial behavior represents only one of many possible character traits (virtues) which are an appropriate goal for moral education The discussion below assumes that other character traits, e .g ., honesty, would be learned according to similar psychological dynamics An examination of the psychological dynamics involved in the learning of prosocial behavior will provide a perspective for analyzing and evaluating the instructional strategies of contemporary moral education The Determinants of Prosocial Behavior What are the major determinants of prosocial behavior? What factors account for individual and group variation in prosocial behavior? Three clusters of variables, which are relevant with regard to understanding the limits and potentialities of moral education, have been shown to be significant antecedents of prosocial behavior .' 'The discussion which follows below draws heavily upon, but is not limited to, the recent summaries of research of the development of prosocial behavior by Muessen and Eisenberg-Berg (1977), Rushton (1980), Staub (1978), and Bar-Tal (1976) 8


Cultural influences In many cultures prosocial behavior is common, whereas in other cultures egoistic, selfish behavior is the norm The behavior of Ik children, as frighteningly described by Turmbull (1972), contrasted with the altruistic and group concern of the young children in the USSR (Bronfrenbrenner, 1970), illustrates well the wide variations found in different cultures Whiting and Whiting (1975), in one of the few studies to identify factors related to the occurrence of prosocial behavior across cultures, found that children are likely to engage in a high degree of prosocial behavior if : (1) the culture has a simple social and economic organization with the presence of the extended family ; (2) children are, at an early age, assigned tasks and responsibilities which contribute to family welfare ; (3) women perform important economic functions ; (4) consideration of others, group orientation, and sharing are stressed and rewarded by the major socialization agents Socialization influences Cultural influences do not produce a population uniform in its propensity to engage in prosocial behavior Significant within-group variance remains to be explained Socialization practices within cultures display significant variation and enhance or restrict the development of prosocial behavior Family members, especially parents, have been found to be the most significant agents of socialization Although few in-depth ethnographic studies exist which tie observations in the naturalistic setting of the early home environment to later social behavior, a variety of questionnaires and experimental reproductions of socialization experiences and practices have suggested that modeling, nurturance, disciplinary techniques, maturity demands and assignments of responsibility are significant factors in the development of prosocial behavior A variety of studies has repeatedly shown that modeling is a powerful factor in producing both short and lasting changes in social behavior These studies have typically involved contrived experimental situations (Rushton, 1975 ; Staub, 1971 ; White, 1972 ; Rice, 1975) or naturally occurring child rearing practices (Hoffman, 1963 ; Hoffman, 1975 ; Hoffman and Salzstein, 1967) The observation of a model performing prosocial acts is likely to raise the child's level of such behaviors as generosity, helping, and sharing, often for periods of long duration Bronfrenbrenner (1970) has identified seven characteristics of the model as being related to its potential effectiveness : 1 The potency of the model increases with the extent to which the model is perceived as possessing a high degree of competence, status and control over resources 2 The inductive power of the model increases with the degree of prior nurturance or regard exhibited by the model 3 The most "contagious" models for the child are likely to be those who are the major sources of support and control in the environment ; namely, parents, playmates, and older children and adults who play a prominent role in his/her everyday life 9


4 The inductive power of the model increases with the degree to which the person perceives the model as similar to him/herself 5 Several models, exhibiting similar behavior, are more powerful inducers of change than a single model 6 The potency of the model is enhanced when the behavior exhibited is a salient feature of the actions of a group of which the child already is or aspires to be a member 7 The power of the model to induce actual performance (as distinguished from acquisition) is strongly influenced by the observed consequences for the model of the exhibited behavior Nurturance, essentially a form of modeling where parents display characteristics such as consideration, kindness, and sympathy, has not been shown, by itself, to account for the development of prosocial behavior The evidence on the relationship between nurturance and prosocial behavior is equivocal (Hoffman, 1975 ; Rutherford and Mussen, 1968 ; Yarrow and Scott, 1972) Perhaps the most reasonable conclusion is that nurturance may be a significant factor in strengthening the predisposition to engage in prosocial behavior when it is a part of child rearing practices which involve the modeling of prosocial acts The way parents discipline influences their children's social behavior Two types of disciplinary techniques have been shown to be significant in this respect : (1) power assertion-control by physical power or material resources, e .g ., physical punishment or withdrawal of materials or privileges ; and (2) induction-reasoning with the child, especially explaining the painful consequences of the child's act for him/herself and for others Research has indicated that power assertion tends to diminish the child's propensity to engage in prosocial behavior while use of induction techniques facilitates the development of prosocial orientations (Hoffman, 1963 ; Hoffman and Salzstein, 1967) Maturity demands, parental maintenance of high standards, together with control and pressures on children to behave in mature ways, especially with respect to assuming responsibility for others, have a positive effect on prosocial behavior (Baumrind, 1971 ; Whiting and Whiting, 1975) Bronfrenbrenner's (1970) examination of child rearing and schooling in the USSR illustrates well the power of this mode of socialization It is obvious that parents and the early social environment of the child have a substantial impact on the development of children Two additional sources of socialization experiences of prosocial tendencies outside of the early home environment have been identified Peers have been shown to be a highly significant source of modeling behaviors of both antisocial and prosocial behaviors (Bandura, 1969 ; Bryan and Walbeck, 1970 ; Hartup and Coates, 1967) There is also indisputable evidence that the mass media, especially television, is a significant factor in socialization It has been 1 0


shown that tendencies toward aggressive and violent behavior (Liebert, Neale and Davidson, 1973 ; Eron, et al ., 1972), as well as tendencies toward prosocial behaviors such as gentleness, helping, and sharing (Coates, Pusser and Goodman, 1976 ; Friedrich and Stein, 1973), can be increased through television role models Strangely enough, given the amount of time children spend in formal school settings, there is little evidence concerning the nature and extent of the impact of teachers' modeling behavior on children Cognitive and Affective Influences Although one might assume that judgments and reasoning about moral issues would impact significantly on tendencies to engage in prosocial behavior, the evidence is less than compelling in this regard There is some evidence to suggest that level of moral judgment may be a regulator of an individual's propensity to engage in prosocial behavior ; however, -the evidence is neither strong nor consistent (see summary of research in Mussen and Eisenberg-Berg, 1977, pp 124126) The correlations discovered between level of moral judgment and prosocial behavior have demostrated that a relationship does exist ; however, the correlations have not had sufficient strength to permit accurate prediction of any particular individual's behavior Research on cognitive role taking, the ability to take the perspective of and accurately describe the feelings of others, has been found to be a significant antecedent of prosocial behavior (Flavell, 1968 ; Krebs and Sturrup, 1974) It appears that the ability to perceive others' interests and feelings accurately is a prerequisite to taking action to aid others One cannot decide to help others unless one can determine whether or not they are in need of help Empathy, emotional responses shared by the individual based on perceptions of others' feelings, has also been shown to a potent antecedent of prosocial behavior (Krebs, 1975) Studies have demonstrated that training in role taking and empathy can contribute significantly to lessening antisocial behavior and increasing prosocial behavior (Staub, 1971 ; Chandler, 1973) Cultural and social factors appear to be the most directly linked with the learning of prosocial behavior To the extent that the young child experiences models of, expectations for, and reinforcement of prosocial behavior, such behavior is likely to be learned Early on, the immediate family provides the nutriment for the learning of prosocial behavior As the social world of the child expands, other factors, especially interactions with peers and the expansion of potential models through the media, become increasingly important To the extent that these later influences are perceived as of high salience and also at variance with earlier learning, alterations in original dispositions may take place Additionally, a variety of cognitive and affective factors such as level of moral reasoning, role taking, and empathy have been shown to be related to the disposition to engage in prosocial be1 1


havior and to account for some of the interpersonal variations found in prosocial behavior However, it has not been shown that these cognitive and affective factors can, independent of social and cultural influences, account for the incidence of prosocial behavior These factors likely mediate existing dispositions Available evidence fails to implicate schools in any significant way in learning of prosocial behavior In fairness, it must be noted that social scientists have failed to expend any significant effort to identify possible inschool determinants of prosocial behavior This lack of evidence does not mean that one can conclude that schools play no role in the learning of prosocial behavior To the extent that schools constitute a significant dimension of the child's social and cultural environment, they likely do play a role However, it is still an open question as to the extent to which selected in-school variables such as teacher modeling behavior, classroom or school climate, or the cognitive outcomes of specific moral education curricula are differentially associated with variations in prosocial behavior Bronfrenbrenner's (1970) analysis of schooling in the USSR suggests that schooling has the potential to be, in consort with family and society, a significant influence in the moral learning of children However, the dynamics Bronfrenbrenner identifies as potentially significant in the moral development of youth stand in stark contrast to the assumptions and environment in which moral education is practiced in our society The Limits of Contemporary Moral Education From the Perspective of the Development of Prosocial Behavior A comparison of the practices of contemporary moral education with the processes involved in the learning of prosocial behavior may provide a key to understanding some of the reasons for the failure of explicit moral education to have a clearly discernable impact on moral behavior The first task is therefore to identify the major assumptions shared by current approaches to moral education concerning the nature of learning of moral behavior The field of moral education contains a wide variety of approaches The analysis in this section will be based on the three approaches which enjoy the widest notoriety and acceptance : the values clarification approach (Raths, Harmin, and Simon, 1978) ; the cognitive developmental approach of Kohlberg (Hersh, Paolitto, and Reimer, 1979) ; and the rational analysis approach (e .g ., Newmann, 1970 ; Fraenkel, 1977 ; Nelson, 1974 ; and Metcalf, 1971) Although each of the above approaches to moral education has a distinctive emphasis, they share a number of common perspectives concerning the goals of moral education, the nature of the learner, and the proper function of teachers and schools : 1) The purpose of moral education is seen as the development of the decision making skills and orientations Growth is to be fostered and outcomes to be evaluated within decision making contexts The content of the 1 2


decision making is problematic situations These situations may be either social in nature (welfare laws, ERA, abortion policies, etc .) or personal (lying to protect a friend, keeping a promise, etc .) 2) Moral education programs assume that reason plays a major role in motivating action That is, once individuals decide what their moral obligations are, they act in accordance with those rationally determined obligations Hence, the goal of moral education becomes to influence thought ; it is assumed that action will necessarily follow 3) Current moral education approaches assume that morally educated individuals are independent and autonomous, subordinate only to the dictates of their reason and certain higher order decision making principles 4) Contemporary moral education eschews advocating any specific moral content The outcome of contemporary programs is left open with regard to specific moral injunctions All of the approaches caution against moralizing Within each of the approaches, however, there is agreement that certain forms of deliberation are preferable over others That is, each of the approaches emphasizes certain ingredients of appropriate moral reasoning such as attention to facts, exploration of alternatives, following rules of evidence and reducing or eliminating inconsistency Non-rational methods of warranting statements of moral obligation are generally ignored or discouraged For example, divine revelation, astrology, the I-Ching' and the like are not included as a part of moral education curriculum 5) The teacher's role is primarily that of a facilitator of the deliberative process Within the context of the moral education lessons, teachers are urged to exercise extreme caution before advocating any specific moral content The teacher also has the responsibility to develop in the classroom an environment that is conducive to the free, open and nonjudgmental exchange of ideas 6) Moral education occurs as discrete lessons, planned by the teacher, occurring within the parameters of the existing curricula It takes place usually on a weekly or monthly basis within existing courses in the form of single classroom exercises 7) Students are not to be evaluated with either praise, disapproval, or grades concerning the correctness of their moral decisions Teachers evaluate students, if at all, only on the degree to which they have followed the prescribed decision making procedures The following differences exist between the dynamics of moralization in the development of prosocial behavior and the assumptions held by contemporary moral education programs In the moralization process examples are presented and specific social behaviors are learned in naturally occurring social contexts Reinforcement is generally immediate and derives from individuals perceived as significant In moral education social behavior is generally not rewarded or punished by the classroom teacher as a regular part 1 3


of the moral education curriculum Also, the salience of teachers is generally much lower than other figures in the child's environment Of course, teachers punish and praise for a variety of behaviors in schools, but the above approaches do not recommend teacher behavior of this sort as an integral part of their program The literature on moralization suggests that the learning of moral behavior is embedded within the child's social environment and that the behaviors learned by the child are tied directly to his/ her social life Moral education, on the other hand, focuses on hypothetical and/or problematic situations posed to the child, and the teacher is not encouraged, as part of the moral education program, to attempt to foster specific social behaviors In the moralization process thought oftentimes follows action That is, the reason is used to explain an action after that action is already an accomplished fact Reasoning frequently arises out of behavior to explain, interpret, or rationalize experience It has also been found that giving reasons for a certain act or policy is an effective means of influencing behavior Induction, explaining the painful consequences of an act for oneself or others, has been found to be a powerful factor in the moralization process (Hoffman and Salzstein, 1967 ; Hoffman, 1963 ; Dlugokinski and Firestone, 1974) Changes in behavior can result in changes in thought ; thought can give rise to new behavior To the extent that moral education focuses solely on the latter, it ignores a powerful means of moral education It would appear that contemporary moral education and the development of prosocial behavior are operating in different domains and under different assumptions The lack of evidence supporting current moral education efforts to have a significant impact on moral behavior can be attributed in part to the failure to develop and build upon a theoretical and methodological foundation consistent with available knowledge concerning the moralization process It may be that one ought not to expect too much regarding changes in social behavior as a result of shifts in rational functioning However, even if too much is commonly expected from efforts to improve moral thinking, it remains highly questionable whether moral education should continue to focus its efforts on thinking alone A major reason for moral education's inattention to the moralization process is to be found in the ethos underlying our current political system Respect for the freedom of individual citizens and our concern for human justice and dignity within a democratic context are commonly interpreted as meaning that rational inquiry and individual choice are the only legitimate means of social, political and moral education Decision making has become the sole focus of moral education In an attempt to develop a conception of moral education consistent with the democratic ethos and emphasizing free choice and rational decision making, positions have been developed which place severe limits on the potential effectiveness of contemporary moral education 1 4


The literature on the development of prosocial behavior suggests that the social environment in which the child develops contains the key for understanding both the process and content of moralization One of the major contributions to the understanding of the social basis of morality rests in the work of Emile Durkheim Durkheim's view of the functional role of morality and moral education in society offers a perspective which takes into account the social basis of the learning of morality while at the same time allows for the development of autonomous moral thought Contemporary moral education has failed to address adequately the apparent conflict between democratic societies' need for a populace which is at the same time loyal to the basic social norms of that society and also able to exercise independent judgment concerning responsibilities and obligations In the remainder of this paper I will present Durkheim's view of the function and dynamics of moral education, discuss the implications of this view for con, temporary moral education, and, finally, deal with some inevitable questions and objections likely to arise concerning such a position Contemporary Moral Education from the Structural-Functional' Perspective Durkheim (1975) holds that morality is essentially a social undertaking Society is the source of morality and its purpose is the collective interest of society In order to maintain a social environment, which protects the rights and welfare of its members, any society needs a comprehensive system of prohibitions whose objective is to limit the range within which individual behavior occurs Morality, therefore, consists of a socially accepted system of rules that predetermines conduct These rules state how one must act in given situations To behave properly is to follow these rules conscientiously These rules are ultimately justified by their efficacy in maintaining a stable environment in which the individual can live with dignity and freedom According to Durkheim, there are three essential elements involved in the concept of morality The first of these elements is discipline Discipline is the disposition that regularizes conduct within the totality of rtioral rules that operate within society It is the willful assent to conform to this order Essential to the concept of discipline is both man's propensity for regularity and, therefore, the need to yield to the moral order, and the need to restrict impulse or inclination That is, conduct must become orderly, follow social mores, and transcend impulse and suggestion Society requires that impulse be controlled In order for civic life to succeed, the individual must be free from the incessant search for appropriate conduct Discipline is the control'The structural-functional theory in sociology holds that social structure and dynamics are adaptive to the fulfill functions for personal needs and social requirements That is, existing forms of society serve an essential role in the maintenance of that society's equilibrium and continuing survival To understand any dimension of society, like morality and moral education, one looks for functional values of that institution for the society Emile Durkheim was one of the seminal writers associated with this perspective 1 5


ling of that impulse, the recognition of the authority of the moral law, and the willful subjugation of the individual to that law The second element of morality is attachment to the group Discipline and the collective ideal are two reflections of the same reality Since moral authority is social in origin, attachment to the group is society conceived as that which is desirable and good, that which attracts us Discipline, on the other hand, is society conceived as that which commands us The third element of morality is autonomy or self-determination One of the fundamental axioms of morality is that the human being is the "sacred thing par excellence ." As a result, it follows that any restriction on individual conscience is immoral since it violates individual autonomy Durkheim avoids the apparent contradiction between individual autonomy and the necessary subjugation of the individual to the collective interest by holding that the conformity embodied in morality in its mature form is not the result of physical restraint or external imposition Instead it is the result of individual reflection which deems conformity as good because it is judged that there exists no other alternative for social life This recognition is not one of resignation, but rather is based upon enlightened allegiance Liberation occurs through the willful assent to society and morality, recognizing that there is no other basis for either personal or social life The individual, through his/her reason, is able to check the extent to which the moral order is based upon the natural order of things and, to the extent that it is found as such, freely conform The Theory and Practice of Moral Education The goal of moral education is to develop in the child the elements of morality : dicipline, attachment to group and autonomy-the self-chosen sense of the good and one's duty Although Durkheim describes autonomy as essential to the concept of morality, he cautions against viewing morality as a personal artifact whose configurations, from childhood, are totally created by the individual Durkheim recognizes that the rational as well as the non-rational play significant roles in the moralization of the child Durkheim suggests that among the very young the teacher's role necessarily involves the use of some non-rational activities, for example, the use of his/her authority to convey rules in a powerful manner and the use of punishment to signal vigorous disapproval of the violation of moral rules Later in the child's development, when conceptual and reasoning powers are more fully developed, the role of reasoning becomes more of the teacher's province The process of moral education strives to shift gradually the initial deference to moral authority instilled in the early years toward an internal self-chosen moral orientation Durkheim does not make the mistake of assuming that what constitutes fullblown adult morality should define the practice of moral education with the very young Two attributes of young children, their suggestability and preference for regularity, should be used by the teacher to achieve the early goals of education Early on, according to Durkheim, the teacher must state orders regarding moral rules and social order, with firmness and resolution It 1 6


is through the teacher that the morality of the classroom (in effect, a social group with an existing moral code) is revealed to the child Since moral violation, the breaking of the moral code, undermines and diminishes the social morality, the teacher, in order to preserve the worth of the rule, must clearly and forcefully censure that act Vigorous disapproval is therefore the essence of punishment From the Durkheimian perspective the role of the teacher is to structure the class in such a way as to insure that moral sentiments develop and that they are reinforced through a sense of unity which grows out of common enterprise All children have altruistic sentiments Giving the child an idea of the groups that he/she belongs to, and attaching him/her to these groups through collective life andefforts, helps to insure that the altruistic will triumph over the egoistic and the impulsive The love of the collective life is to be developed in the young children through : (a) gradually broadening the consciousness of the child to infuse it with the ideals of the social groups to which he/she belongs, (b) linking these ideas with the greatest number of similar ideas and feelings, (c) communicating these group ideals and feelings with warmth and feeling, and (d) developing the power of moral action through exercise-group effort in the collective interest The classroom plays an important role in the moral education process because it represents an intermediary step between the affective morality of the family and the more-impartial morality of the society ; in it the child begins to lose some of his/her uniqueness by being treated more impartially than in the family This initial subjugation of the child to an impartial moral code is critical if the child is to develop and finally, upon reaching adulthood, function as a morally responsible manner The school can contribute to the moral development of children in a manner that the family cannot Within the family the bonds and sense of solidarity are developed from blood relationship and are reinforced by constant contact and interaction Political society, ideally constituted, is not predicated upon personal relationships The proper function of the school is to bridge the gap between the moral system of the home, based on love and intimacy, and the moral system of the society, impersonal and based on collective self-interest School is more than the transmission of knowledge and modes of thinking If society remains only an apprearance, a far off ideal to the child, then he/she is likely to call into question the devotion and sacrifice which is at the root of moral life-because the referent is unclear Society must be fleshed out to the child The knowledge of the social sciences and the humanities provides insights which allow the child to move to a mature morality Morality that is originally based upon a degree of fear and deference to powerful authority gradually broadens to include attachment to groups and finally, through reason and study, develops into autonomous selfacquiescence The Limitations of Contemporary Moral Education From the StructuralFunctional Perspective From the structural-functional perspective the 1 7


weaknesses of contemporary moral education are largely errors of omission that center around 1) the emphasis on fostering decision making processes rather than moral content, 2) the ignoring of the role of non-rational processes in moral learning, and 3) the inattention to the significant potential of the moral environment of the school in the moral education process Within the Durkheimian perspective rationality plays a significant role, for it is only through a reasoned examination of the contemporary moral life that one reaches the morally mature position of enlightened assent and conformity to those standards Durkheim realizes that there is always the possibility that the precise nature of one's obligations may be ambiguous or that the situation may be novel However, where contemporary moral education characterizes the individual's moral life as involving continual crisis and novelty, Durkheim conceives of moral life as governed primarily by routine and habit As a result of the emphasis on the novel and problematic, contemporary moral education avoids attempting to teach children concrete ways of behaving in specific situations Instead, contemporary moral education places the emphasis on open-ended questions concerning one's obligations in each specific situation The principles which contemporary moral education suggests we teach are what John Wilson (1967) has called second order principles, that is, skills necessary to make good reasonable moral decisions What has been omitted by contemporary moral education is the teaching of specific first order principles-principles containing the content of moral beliefs (e .g ., always tell the truth, never take what doesn't belong to you, etc ) Although there is recognition within contemporary moral education that certain general first order principles (e .g ., justice, freedom, human dignity) provide the ultimate basis for our deliberations, these principles are stated so generally that they do not suggest specific actions for specific situations Instruction involving only moral principles at this level of generality does not provide an adequate basis for the moral training of youth In order to develop moral habits and dispositions, specific duties in specific social contexts are required The literature on the development of prosocial behavior supports Durkheim's view that the child is not initially led to moral behavior through training in decision making processes This initial learning of one's duties, and the moral rules of society, necessarily occurs through non-rational means Peters (1963) notes that : . . given that it is desirable to develop people who conduct themselves rationally, intelligently and with a fair degree of spontaneity, the brute facts of child development reveal that at the most formative years of a child's development he is incapable of this form of life and impervious to the proper manner of passing it on (p 54) The challenge for moral education is to find means of instruction which initiate children into life in society governed by moral rules while at the same time do not close the door on the development of independent rational moral judgment at a later point in the child's development This task is one 1 8


about which there is little information in the psychological literature to guide educational practice and one in which current proponents of moral education take little interest Contemporary moral education takes a jaundiced view of any attempts to instill specific morals in children Teachers who present specific moral ideals to children are generally accused of "indoctrination," a sin of the utmost severity to most moral educators Cries concerning the respect for the individual, the pluralistic nature of our society, etc ., usually rain down on those who suggest that we ought to teach, explicitly or implicitly, specific first order moral principles The teaching of specific values has been disparagingly labeled the "bag of virtues" approach by the cognitive developmentalists Values learned in an unreflective manner have been seen as a major source of psychological malaise by the proponents of values clarification Through dismissing the non-rational in moralization so easily, contemporary moral education has overlooked a necessary and essential dimension in the moralization of youth To the extent that schooling is currently a significant factor in the learning of morality in children, it is the result of the social and moral climate of the schools, the peer interactions that take place there, and the non-curricular communications between teachers and students concerning school and community standards of right and wrong With the exception of occasional jeremiads against the hidden curriculum's potential for making children passive and unreflective, moral education has, until recently, failed to take a hard look at the potential of the hidden curriculum for moral education This reluctance is understandable in that the dynamics of the hidden curriculum in the learning of moral behavior are essentially non-reflective and indoctrinaire, which strike at the very heart of the tenets of current curriculum efforts If Durkheim is correct in his view of the proper method and content of moral education, then contemporary moral education presents an incomplete view on the moral education process It attempts to deal only with the end of the process (rational autonomy) and rejects its foundation To the extent that the rational approach advocated by contemporary moral education assists children and young adults in rationally recognizing the legitimacy of contemporary life and providing a means for deciding one's moral obligations in real life contexts, it has the potential to be a significant factor within the moral education process However, to the extent that it develops in the child the expectation that he/she exists independent of society with no restraints on his/her behavior other than what his/her reason dictates, it is dangerous to the child and to the society within which the child will live his/her adult life Morality, and hence moral education, is built on a foundation based on the rules of collective life within a given society There is no alternative to social life, and, to the extent that any approach to moral education fails to recognize the necessity of instilling adherence to the just moral rules in that society, it fails both the child and the society The hidden message that is conveyed to youth by contemporary moral education 1 9


curricula efforts is that all moral questions are open, there are no set rules, and it's up to each individual to decide each case for him/herself New Directions for the Practice of Moral Education In this section I will present a reformulation of the goals and practices of moral education This reformulation will not be a utopian vision Instead it will be based on the assumption that the basic configuration of life in schools for teachers and students will remain much as it has in the past ; that is, the subjects taught will remain constant, school boards and administrative staff will remain relatively conservative, and teachers will continue to face classes of approximately 30 students for 185 days a year In this reformulation I am ruling out such utopian visions as democratic schools and required or elective courses in moral education These are ruled out not because they might not be valuable, but rather because past history and current economic and social forces indicate that they are unlikely to occur to any great extent In making my suggestions, I will be drawing upon the empirical findings regarding the development of prosocial behavior and the Durkheimian analysis of the proper forms of moral education Attributes, skills and training of teachers Teachers have the potential to serve as significant role models for children in the area of moral education Given that the inductive power of models has been shown to be related to perceived attributes of the model such as status, power, homophily, and nurturance, teachers should be recruited not only on the basis of their ability to foster the intellectual development of children but, all things being equal, on the basis of personal characteristics which make them potentially significant role models for children There can be no doubt that potential teachers vary widely in how they are perceived by students and in their potential to model behavior effectively This capacity to model moral behavior effectively is a critical one for moral education and attention to the specific attributes of good role models is a crucial area for future inquiry in teacher education Teachers' visible prosocial behavior within the community and school provides one means by which students can gain moral insight and see potential behaviors for modeling The propensity to share with children the moral dimensions of one's life, within, of course, educationally sound limits, including the consequences involved for self and others, can broaden and strengthen the child's view of what it means to behave in a morally responsible manner Teachers have the potential to be more than neutral dispensers of knowledge ; and, all things being equal, the skill, commitment, and disposition for active involvement in the civic and moral life of society, along with the propensity to share these experiences with children, should be an important factor in recruitment and training of teachers Teachers should have a sophisticated and accurate knowledge of, and a strong personal commitment to, the moral rules which underpin our collective social 2 0


life 3 The teacher must be able to verbalize these rules to children effectively, interpret the rules as they apply to specific situations, and do so in a manner that conveys commitment The cognitive developmental approach to moral reasoning provides valuable insight into the need for attention to students' and teachers' levels of moral judgment with a view to obtaining the degree of congruence necessary to insure meaningful communication In addition to training teachers to utilize stages of moral reasoning to improve moral communication, prospective teachers should also receive training in the most effective means of using inductive techniques ; that is, effectively drawing childrens' attention to the consequences for themselves and others of potential and real actions One of the few encouraging findings of Hartshorne and May (1928 ) was that, with respect to the incidence of deceit, classroom differences were the rule rather than the exception (pp 324-329) These classroom differences persisted in student behavior even after a year They were not to be accounted for by differences in age, intelligence, or home background and were found regardless of the type of school (progressive or traditional) In other words, this research suggests that the personal attributes of the teacher and the climate established in the individual classroom have had a significant and lasting impact on one form of moral behavior The Atmosphere and Curriculum of the School In addition to the critical role of the teacher, the atmosphere of the school, the social experiences of the children in schools, and the subjects which children study are important factors in the moral education of youth The atmosphere of school, to the extent that it involves a collective group orientation, can provide two of the essential elements of morality identified by Durkheim Both attachment to the group and the spirit of discipline can be developed in school settings where group activity is valued and where groups work collectively toward shared goals Power and Reimer (1978) describe the moral atmosphere of the Cluster School where collective self-government provides such a common goal They describe how moral rules come into being and how role conceptions evolve Also important in their analysis is how discipline, in terms of behavior, follows out of the group activity Although the specifics of the Cluster School appear not to be easily transported to typical school settings, the dynamics involved and their apparent impact on student behavior offer a promising validation of Durkheim's theory and an exciting insight into individual moral development in cooperative social contexts Individuals, who in dramatic and appealing ways are involved in the care of others or in other ways represent action in the collective interest, 3 I concur with Oliver and Shaver (1966) in this regard : . the classroom is an inappropriate place to subvert the ideals of society . if the teacher cannot in good faith operate from the ideals of the society in which he lives, he should leave the society and teach somewhere else or attempt to influence the adult community to change its value structure" (p 10n) 2 1


should be brought into the school and allowed to share their experiences and convictions with children Creative strategies are also needed which will allow youth to involve themselves in collective action in the collective interest Interage grouping where older children care for and instruct younger children is one such possibility Curriculum such as Bronfrenbrenner's (1978) recommendation of a "curriculum for caring" where children engage in giving care under adult supervision is deserving of careful scrutiny The school cannot ignore the diverse sources of values to which the child is repeatedly exposed in the media, at home, and in the peer group It can be a confusing experience for the child and, if the school is to carry out its mandate for moral education, it must assist the child in making sense of these competing values in a manner that does not result in either slavish acceptance of any one view nor in transitory moral eclecticism The school, through its regular curriculum, can help the child to interpret and evaluate the competing moral positions presented in terms of the moral rules of society and such underlying core principles as justice and beneficence In classroom exercises, children can explore how specific behaviors are entailed by commitment to specific values The classroom can also be the place for fostering the cognitive development necessary for the full understanding of our social contractual democratic system of government There has been much work already done in the field of moral education which is useful to the cognitive dimensions of moral education, i .e ., understanding moral concepts, seeing relationships between choices and actions, following rules of reason, etc These approaches should continue to be utilized to the extent that they make a contribution to this cognitive dimension of moral education The content of curriculum, especially the social studies and the humanities, offers the opportunity for students to reflect upon, from a broad social and historical perspective, the fundamental necessities of collective life Through the study of morality, as revealed in history and literature, the individual can place his/her own personal experiences in a broader social context, explore alternative views, and begin to develop his/her own understanding of the necessity of morality in social existence The difference between what I am advocating here and how I see moral education as currently constituted is that education needs to stress that there are, within any society at any given point in history, necessary limits on individuals' socio-moral behavior Hogan and Schroeder (1980) make this point well when they state : . so-called freedom is not possible in a social context Nor in fact is unalloyed happiness and personal fulfillment Social living, which is built into our bones, confers certain powerful benefits and advantages-e .g ., it makes us `free from' predators, starvation, and loneliness But it insures that we are not `free to' engage in theft, reckless 2 2


self aggrandizement, or recreational sex with our neighbor's spouse or children-no matter how personally fulfilling that might be (p 7 ) I might add to this, also, no matter how well rationalized those actions might seem Current approaches to moral education with the emphasis primarily on decision making in problematic situations pay scant attention to developing an appreciation for the benefits conferred by morality in social life In fairness it should be noted that the three major approaches to moral education do not rule out the possibility of students deciding that enlightened conformity to the normative structure of society is desirable However, more frequently than not, through the selection of content, limitations imposed on student inquiry and moral biases in the instruction, students are led away from developing 'an appreciation for the necessity of rules in collective life (Bennett and Delattre, 1978 ; Stewart, 1978) Consensus and Clarity There is a prior task intricately involved with the process of moral education which needs to be addressed if effective moral education is to take place ; that is, a need to establish a continuing dialogue and .search for the exact nature of the moral rules which govern our social lives These rules need to be formulated to the extent possible, unambiguously and with the greatest probability for social consensus Those areas where no firm rules exist or where the correct application of a rule is unclear also need to be identified and honestly presented to children We live in a complex and rapidly evolving society and, although aspects of our moral rules appear to shift in response to broader shifts in society, there exists a stable base which underpins all our social life These rules need to be formulated in a manner that is understandable to teachers and students alike In turn these rules can provide the vehicle for sequence in curriculum as well as the perspective from which the individual comes to understand his obligations In other words, the content of moral education needs to be spelled out This content is not created by students, although they will necessarily interpret it in light of their experiences The task of identifying the content of moral education (i .e ., the principles to be taught) is at the same time both difficult and easy Before discussing this point further, however, the distinction made by W D Ross (1930) between prima facie and actual duties may be useful According to Ross, what is actually right or obligatory (or actual duty) is what we actually ought to do in a specific situation A prima facie duty is a duty, other things being equal That is, it would be an actual duty if other moral considerations did not intervene For example, we all may hold to the prima facie rule that we ought to keep our promises, yet it may not be an actual duty in a specific situation when, for example, another prima facie duty (don't cause suffering) intervenes in the situation With careful study and wide-spread dialogue it should be possible to agree on the nature of the prima facie moral duties embedded within the social matrix Certainly the vast majority of members of our society would 2 3


agree that one ought to shun violence in the pursuit of personal goals, one shouldn't steal that which does not belong to him/her, one should avoid incest, one should eschew the reckless endangerment of life, one should honor just contractual agreements, and the like It is vitally important for the potential success of a moral education program that there be significant community input and school/community agreement concerning the moral norms which are to be the focus of instruction Community/school task groups must be set up with a responsibility of specifying the focus and limits of the moral instruction which is to take place Both agreement and disagreement is likely The resulting program may reflect reasoned compromise between divergent positions or possibly a decision not to pursue moral education with regard to specific issues Regardless of the outcome of such school/community deliberations, alternatives such as not involving the community, implementing programs clandestinely or hiding moral education under more appealing labels (e .g ., citizenship education) do not establish a firm foundation for a long-term successful program Also, without broadbased school/community dialogue the potential exists for small vocal minorities to exert undue influence regarding single issues The widely held commitment to pluralism in the United States entails local community control of schools There are, however, limits on communities regarding the nature of the moral norms to be fostered and on the rights of majority versus minority positions within the community These limits are to be found in the root values embedded within the Constitution and specifically the Bill of Rights For example, public schools do not have the right, regardless of the extent of community agreement, to advocate racism or attempt to instill a sectarian religious perspective Such activities would on the one hand sanction racist behavior, which is immoral and illegal, and on the other hand involve the schools in activities which are clearly unconstitutional (the propagation of specific religious dogma in public schools) Ideally teachers will play a significant role in the formulation of the goals of the moral education program through their participation in the school/community dialogue Once the community's position is arrived at regarding the norms to be taught this does not mean that ambiguity has been removed from moral life It is highly unlikely that certainty can ever be reached in the moral dimension of human existence It is, however, for pedagogical purposes desirable to achieve the maximum clarity possible Despite the best of efforts uncertainty is likely to remain both in the identification and precise nature of specific moral norms and in the proper interpretation of the application of those norms to concrete situations However, in spite of the inevitable ambiguity in moral existence, it is socially preferable to have individuals approach social life deeply committed to specific norms and reluctant to break those norms (e .g ., not stealing, honoring contracts) than to have a citizenry capable of reaching elegant and refined decisions in situations of moral uncertainty but lacking any allegiance to a socially based morality 2 4


Ideally, the morally educated individual will exhibit both a commitment to agreed upon social norms and the ability, after cautious and thorough examination, to discern when not to engage in norm related behavior due to the presence of higher moral duties in specific situations Persisting Problems in Moral Education There are a variety of persisting and inescapable problems which doggedly pursue anyone involved in moral education In this final section I will address variants of those problems which seem especially salient for the functional perspective being advocated in this paper Rationality and indoctrination Adults do not have absolute rights over children ; however, they do have a responsibility to see that children grow into healthy adults with the capacity for a successful and happy life in society This responsibility includes the right to use force or compulsion with children and the right to condition their behavior to some extent The task for moral education is to carry out this responsibility for the nurturance of youth in a manner that does not do harm to the child's intelligence, capacity for rationality and future growth Forms of conditioning, which produce strong and irreversible irrational reactions to situations, cannot be a legitimate goal for any moral education program On the other hand, the giving of reasons by adults has limited effect on children's behavior before a given age, even if care is taken to insure that the reasons given are fully understood in the manner intended by adults The fallacy of existing efforts at moral education has been to assume that with young children, we can avoid the directive and non-rational in moral education and at the same time develop in children a spirit of deference to the moral basis of social existence To advocate the utilization of non-rational methods in moral education is not to endorse indoctrination Indoctrination refers to attempts to influence others which distort, through oversimplification, misrepresentation and/or one-sided presentation, a particular position or rule out fair and reasoned consideration of alternative positions A more accurate term for the position being advocated in this paper is directive moral education Directive moral education refers to teacher advocacy of specific moral norms This may be accomplished without distorting alternative positions or precluding the examination of alternatives Directive moral education does, however, forcefully assert in a reasoned manner what the right behavior may be for students in a specific moral context If it is accepted that the non-rational-that is, instructional methods whose purpose is not, to develop decision making skills in children, such as modeling behavior for children, discouraging certain forms of behavior with accompanying reasons, involving children in prosocial acts, praising selected acts, referring to morally exemplary behavior in community, media, or literature, etc .-is necessary to instill the required commitment and deference to the moral order, then the goal of moral education is to accomplish that important function in a manner which does not endanger the intelli2 5


gence of the child or his emerging capacity for reflective thought Approaches which produce strong, persisting, irrational reactions to moral life will obviously hinder the child's development toward mature morality Moral education, as presented in this paper, is premised on the concept of a "gradient of rationality ." Rationality should be constantly expanded as a part of the moral education curriculum over the child's life in schools Nonrational methods of instruction should be a constantly decreasing component of the child's schooling experience There is no "age of reason" per se when children become capable of reasoning about their moral experience As Piaget and Kohlberg have shown, the capacity for thinking about moral experience is common among children of all ages That which differentiates early from later practice in moral education is the decreasing emphasis on the teacher affirming specific moral standards, giving reasons for certain actions, drawing attention to aversive consequences, etc ., and the resultant shift to encouraging children to formulate actively their own understanding of their social and moral environment The non-rational should not be totally absent in the later stages of moral education nor should the rational be absent in very early education At all levels both will be present ; the precise balance is ultimately the domain of the informed and responsible judgment of the teacher Cultural pluralism and human rights When one adopts the position that the essence of moral life is to follow the specific moral rules which are embedded within a societal framework, inevitably there will arise questions concerning how one is to interpret the wide variety of rules which are found to exist both within and between societies As Durkheim (1973) points out, the diversity of moral codes themselves is subordinate to a more universal conception of morality : . the state must commit itself to the goal of realizing among its own people the general interests of humanity-committing itself to an access of justice and organizing itself in such a way that there is always a clear correspondence between the merit of its citizens and their conditions of life with an end of reducing or preventing individual suffering (p 77) In other words, the position taken is that there exist certain superordinate moral principles to which all groups and societies are committed (e .g ., the Universal Declaration of Human Rights) These norms serve the general interest of humanity, yet assume different forms at different times and places The actual duties of an individual within a society may vary To the extent that the actual duties presented to the members of a society by the society are not consistent with the larger prima facie duties, they ought not to be binding on that individual Children need to be taught not only their specific moral duties, but also an allegiance to the superordinate moral principles Making judgments concerning the consistency between the actual patterns of behavior in the child's smaller social setting and superordinate moral principles should be a component of the moral education process 2 6


Habit and novelty in moral life Any approach which emphasizes the routine and the rules which govern social life must recognize that at times individuals will be confronted with novel and unsettling situations to which one's moral code does not appear to apply clearly This is a significant area of concern for any approach to moral education, but it must not be lost sight of that in one's moral life most things are eventually reduced to habit and routine We cannot decide anew in every situation how we should act We must free ourselves from continual deliberation and introspection so that we can devote ourselves with energy to the crucial situations when they arise The application of moral rules to new and novel situations defines an important task of moral education, but does not, as many have advocated, define the entire enterprise Both the routine and the novel are a part of the same moral orientation ; in one case the application of rules to situations has become routine, in the other case the rules' application must be done on an ad hoc basis In both cases, however, the nature of the rules and the acquiescence to those rules lie at the foundation of the moral orientation The problem of past failures of direct moral instruction There can be no question that curricular efforts based on direct moral instruction-instruction aimed at getting students to accept specific norms and act in specific ways-have not met with great success The findings of Hartshorne and May (1928-30) in this regard have gone unchallenged over the past fifty years There are four major reasons for this failure These reasons both illustrate the limits and potential of any renewed efforts at direct moral instruction First, prior approaches have not, in terms of the psychoanalytic metaphor, allowed for the motivating power of irrational anxiety of the superego to steadily give way to the more rational purposes of the ego The previous directive approaches, by not shifting emphasis to accomodate the developmental changes in the child, have weakened their potential effectiveness Prior efforts have failed to devote sufficient attention to optimal match for understanding relative to the stages of moral reasoning utilized in communication between teachers and children A wide discrepancy between higher stage communication of a teacher and lower levels of moral development in the children insure a lack of meaningful communication It is reasonable to assume that among previous attempts at direct moral instruction such mismatches have occurred frequently Second, although there is evidence to indicate that teachers can make a difference in having an impact on moral behavior, there is little information concerning what attributes of classroom teachers, instructional methods, and classroom climates facilitate effective moral education Relevant findings from such areas as social learning theory, modeling behaviors, induction, etc ., have yet to be applied systematically to classroom settings and in a controlled manner In this area we have yet to build practice on available scientific knowledge Third, the rapidly changing and complex value systems to which children are exposed in a pluralistic, democratic society create unique problems 2 7


for moral education Consistency of values in the child's world makes instruction for those values a simple process and insures a high degree of success The task of the moral educator is much more difficult where the value messages received by the child from his/her environment are inconsistent Finally, the societal demand for self-chosen identity as the central task of adolescence necessarily involves a degree of moral redefinition with the emerging identity Such transformations in identity inevitably involve changes in previous moral learnings The first two factors referred to above are areas that are within the control of curriculum planning and teacher educators The last two areas are problems which will continue to make the task of direct moral instruction and other forms of moral education exceedingly difficult The previous failure of directive moral education is, therefore, the result of weaknesses within the method itself and larger societal forces A reexamination of the need for direct moral instruction, along with the advances realized by contemporary moral education, offers the hope for constructing a moral education program that produces a commitment to the moral life as well as the skills to live that life creatively in a complex and rapidly changing world Functionalist Theory, Social Justice and the Problem of Change As mentioned above, the social theory underlying the perspective on moral education presented in this paper is essentially functionalist in nature Functionalist theory focuses on the homeostatic mechanisms by which societies maintain a uniform state and contains a strong conservative bias toward the undesirability of any but adaptive change Any social theory which has implications for moral education must, in contemporary Western society, be able to address the issues of autonomy, basic human rights and the quest for social justice, for these concerns are deeply embedded within the sociomoral ethos of Western society Although it is beyond the scope of this paper to present a detailed defense of functional theory, I will present a brief discussion of what I see as some common misconceptions concerning the theory's implications for educational practice It is not the case that functionalist social theory entails the uncritical transmission of all existing contemporary moral standards It is a rather obvious example of the naturalistic fallacy to assume that moral norms ought to be perpetuated simply because they exist Durkheim provides two important qualifications in this regard As noted above he clearly states that the existing socio-moral-legal structure of society should be subordinate to the general interests of humanity Of clear concern to Durkheim is that the social system be just and exist ultimately to reduce human suffering I would add that in contemporary American society existing socio-moral-legal structures are more specifically subordinate to the rights guaranteed in our Constitution It is clearly possible for schools to teach for a commitment to the basic moral norms of society and at the same time identify examples of social practices within the system which are in violation of this normative structure and therefore constitute a threat to societal stability For exam2 8


ple, the still unfinished quest by blacks in American society for justice and the significant role in that quest played by Martin Luther King well illustrate how contemporary social practices may be challenged from a broader moral perspective, and how society can adaptively achieve social progress The quest for bringing the social reality in line with the moral ideal is a continuing process of social evolution which occurs through the dynamics of social stress and resultant adjustment A second misconception of functionalist theory is that the goal of the educative process is to develop in students a slavish and unreflective acceptance of current moral norms This interpretation is somewhat puzzling in light of the attention which Durkheim (1963) devotes to the importance of automony in moral education (pp 95-126) It is not enough that we blindly conform to the moral order The end state of moral development according to Durhkeim is enlightened allegiance to the moral order We liberate ourselves from slavish and blind conformity through understanding ; knowing the reasons for the moral order Durkheim (1963) states that . to teach morality is neither to preach nor indoctrinate ; it is to explain" (p 120) To the extent that children come to understand the necessity for socially imposed limits on their behavior they can freely conform But Durkheim does not assume that this conformity is reached uncritically, for to the extent that we understand we can also check the extent to which the moral order is founded in the nature of society-to what extent it is what it ought to be At this level the teachers' role will involve assisting youth to examine and evaluate the functional nature of the moral framework To summarize, the functional perspective of moral education suggests that schools should not only attempt to instill in students a commitment to the moral order through persuasive presentation of moral norms, but also should gradually develop in students an understanding of the need for a normative structure in society In addition, schools will be involved in having students compare the extent to which the moral norms contribute to thewell being of society and its members and evaluate the extent to which the moral norms of a society are consistent with the higher ideals of mankind Clearly this conception goes far beyond the easy characterization of slavish conformity as the end goal of Durkheimian moral education Functionalism rejects the social reconstructionist view that schools should play a central role in the social and moral transformation of society It is apparent from a reading of the history of education that schools respond to societal needs rather than instigate social change As Katz (1971) has observed from his study at efforts at educational reform, "Despite substantial financing and a captive audience, the schools have not been able to attain the goals set for them . They have been unable to do so because those goals have been impossible to fulfill They require fundamental social reform, not the sort of tinkering that educational change has represented" (p 141) 2 9


Conclusion In this paper I have attempted to identify what I see as the major weaknesses in contemporary moral education To place these weaknesses in perspective, I have compared the assumptions of moral education with the evidence regarding the development of prosocial behavior and with the perspective of Emile Durkheim I have argued that contemporary moral education, by emphasizing exclusively the fostering of individual rationality has both neglected the very real collective demands of social life and posited a restrictive view of the moralization process The development of reason cannot be the only goal of moral education A commitment to collective ends and the discipline necessary to function with collective life are also essential ingredients of moral life The position that the development of reason alone is insufficient to insure moral character is not a new argument Over two millenia ago Aristotle argued the same position in rebuttal to Plato Aristotle's position (Ross, 1969), which is similar to that of Durkheim, was that moral education is fundamentally political education, and moral and civil law represent a systematic and concrete expression of the moral idea ; that is, a tested conception of the good life Aristotle held that learning to act rightly can only be accomplished by habituation (ethismos) As R S Peters (1967) has succinctly noted, "The palace of reason has to be entered by courtyard of habit" (p 24) The goal of moral education is to transform the early emotional traits, developed through ethismos, into intelligent dispositions of good character This is accomplished through instruction in the principles of right action But this instruction will be successful only if students are first enamored with what is truly noble Mature moral character is reached only when habit (emotion) is united with and informed by principles of reason In this paper I have in effect argued for an Aristotelian view of moral education I have attempted to demonstrate that research into the development of prosocial behavior and structural-functional theory offer strong and persuasive evidence supporting this position Moral confusion, injustice, and rapidly changing social patterns confront the society of the child and the educator The challenge of moral education in these times is to redefine our societal commitment to the general welfare, justice, and human dignity in a way that is compatible with contemporary life so as to provide a stable basis for the moral nurturance of the young The weakness of current approaches to moral education is not in what they advocate, but rather in the failure to attempt to develop a commitment to the moral rules of society The trend among youth, and society at large, is toward egoism and withdrawal Unless the next generation possesses a commitment for the moral rules necessarily entailed in collective life, rather than for mere verbal skills, the future of our society is questionable Moral education needs 3 0


to redirect itself from the exclusive focus on rationality and strive for a program which balances instilling a commitment to moral rules accompanied with the rationality necessary to deal effectively with the moral crises of contemporary life 3 1


References Bandura, A Principles of Behavior Modification New York : Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, 1969 Bar-Tai, D Prosocial Behavior : Theory and Research New York : Hoisted Press, 1976 Baumrind, D Current patterns of parental authority Developmental Psychology Monographs, 1971, 1, pp 1-103 Bennett, W J and Delattre, E J Moral education in the schools The Public Interest, 1978, 50, pp 81-98 Bronfrenbrenner, U Who needs parent education? Teachers College Record, 1978, 79, pp 767e-787 Bronfrenbrenner, U Two Worlds of Childhood New York : Russell Sage Foundation, 1970 Bryan, J H and Walbeck, N Preaching and practicing generosity : Children's action and reactions Child Development, 1970, 41, pp 329-353 Chandler, M J Egocentrism and antisocial behavior : The assessment and training of social perspective-taking skills Developmental Psychology, 1973, 9, pp 326-332 Coates, B ., Pusser, H E ., and Goodman, I The influence of `Sesame Street' and `Mister Roger's Neighborhood' on children's social behavior in preschool Child Development, 1976, 47, pp 138-144 Dlugokinski, E and Firestone, I J Other centeredness and susceptibility to charitable appeals : Effects of perceived discipline Developmental Psychology, 1974, 10, pp 21-28 Durkheim, E Moral Education Glencoe, Illinois : The Free Press, 1973 Eron, L D ., Lefhowitz, M M ., Huesmann, L R ., and Walden, L O Does television violence cause agression? American Psychologist, 1972, 27, pp 253-262 Flavell, J The Development of Role Taking and Communication Skills New York : Wiley, 1968 Fraenkel, J R How to Teach About Values : An Analytical Approach Englewood Cliffs, N .J : Prentice-Hall, 1977 Friedrich, L K and Stein, A H Aggressive and prosocial television programs and the rational behavior of preschool children Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development, 1973, 38 (Serial No 151) Hartshorne, H and May, M Studies in the Nature of Character (Vol 1-Studies in Deceit) New York : MacMillan, 1928 Hartup, W W and Coates, B Imitation of a peer as a function of reinforcement from the peer group and rewardingness of the model Child Development, 1967, 38, pp 1003-1016 Hersh, R H ., Paolitto, D P ., and Reimer, J Promoting Moral Growth : From Paiget to Kohlberg New York : Longman, 1979 Hoffman, M L Parent discipline and the child's consideration for others Child Development, 1963, 34, pp 573-588 3 2


Hoffman, M L and Salzstein, H D Parent discipline and the child's moral development Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 1967, 5, pp 45-57 Hoffman, M L Altruistic behavior and the parent-child relationship Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 1975, 31, pp 937-943 Hogan, R and Schroeder, D Thejoy of sex and other modern fables Character, 1980, 1, pp 1-8 Katz, M Class Bureaucracy and Schools : The Illusion of Education Change in America New York : Praeger, 1971 Krebs, D Empathy and altruism Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 1975, 32, pp 1134-1146 Krebs, D and Sturrup, B Altruism, egocentricity and behavioral consistency in children Paper presented at annual meeting of American Psychological Association, New Orleans, 1974 Leming, J S Curricular effectiveness in moral/values education : A review of research Journal of Moral Education, 1981, 10, in press Liebert, R M ., Neale, J M and Davidson, E S The Early Window : Effects of Television in Children and Youth New York : Pergomon, 1973 Lockwood, A L The effects of values clarification and moral development curricular on school-age subjects : A critical review of recent research Review of Educational Research, 1978, 48, pp 325-364 Metcalf, L (Ed .) Values Education : Rationale, Strategies and Procedures Washington, D .C : National Council for the Social Studies, 1971 Muessen, P and Eisenberg-Berg, N Roots of Caring, Sharing and Helping € The Development of Prosocial Behavior in Children San Francisco : W H Freeman, 1977 Nelson, J Introduction to Value Inquiry : A Student Process Book Rochelle Park, N .J : Hayden, 1974 Newmann, F Clarifying Public Controversy Boston : Little Brown, 1970 Oliver, D W And Shaver, J P Teaching Public Issues in High School Boston : Houghton Mifflin, 1966 Peters, R S Ethics and Education Glenview, Illinois : Scott Foresman, 1967 Peters, R S Reason and habit : The paradox of moral education In Niblett, W R ., (Ed .) Moral Education in a Changing Society London : Faber and Faber, 1963 Power, C and Remier, J Moral atmosphere : An educational bridge between moral judgment and action New Directions for Child Development, 1978, 2, pp 105-116 Raths, L E ., Harmin, M ., and Simon, S B Values and Teaching (2nd ed .) Columbus, Ohio : Charles E Merrill, 1978 Rice, M E and Grusee, J E Saying and doing : Effects on observer performance Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 1975, 32, pp 584-593 Ross, W D The Right and the Good Oxford : Clarendon Press, 1930 Ross, D (trans .) The Nichomachean Ethics of Aristotle London : Oxford University Press, 1969 3 3


Rushton, J P Generosity in children : Immediate and long term effects of modeling, preaching and moral judgment Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 1975, 31, pp 459-466 Rushton, J P Altruism, Socialization and Society Englewood Cliffs, N .J : PrenticeHall, 1980 Rutherford, E and Mussen, P Generosity in nursery school boys Child Development, 1968, 39, pp 755-765 Staub, E A child in distress : The influence of nurturance and modeling on children's attempts to help Developmental Psychology, 1971, 5, pp 124-133 Staub, E Use of role playing and induction in training for prosocial behavior Child Development, 1971, 42, pp 805-816 Staub, E Positive Social Behavior and Morality : Social and Personal Influences New York : Academic Press, 1978 Stewart, J S Problems and contradictions of values clarification Phi Delta Kappan, 1975, 56, pp 684-687 Turmbull, C M The Mountain People New York : Simon and Schuster, 1972 White, G M Immediate and deferred effects of model observation and guided and unguided referral on donating and stealing Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 1972, 21, pp 139-148 Whiting, B B and Whiting, J W M Children of Six Cultures : A Psychological Analysis Cambridge, MA : Harvard University Press, 1975 Wilson, J ., et al Introduction to Moral Education Baltimore : Penguin Books, 1967 Yarrow, M R and Scott, R M Imitation of nuturant and non-nuturant models Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 1972, 23, pp 3 4


Theory and Research in Social Education Volume 9 Number 1 Spring 1981, pp 35-44 € by the College and University Faculty Assembly of the National Council for the Social Studies Are the Critics Right about MACOS ? Buckley Barnes William Stallings Roberta Rivner Georgia State University Man : A Course of Study (MACOS) is "one of the most important efforts of our time to relate research findings and theory in education psychology to the development of new and better instructional materials ." So said the American Textbook Publishers Institute and the American Educational Research Association in February 1969 when both groups coalesced to honor Jerome Bruner, former director of the MACOS project (Dow, 1975a, p 395) MACOS is "a godawful course," charged then-Congressman John B Conlon (R-Arizona) to the House Committee on Science and Technology in April 1975 Conlon, leader of the anti-MACOS forces, condemned its "abhorrent, repugnant, vulgar, morally sick content" (Nelkin, 1977, p 112) The Need for a New Kind of Curriculum Two unrelated events set the stage for the development of MACOS and other new social studies curricula Sputnik was the first Millions of federal dollars were pumped hurriedly into school mathematics and science programs in an effort to "catch up to the Russians ." Social studies was not far behind To project a new image of respectability (and to be in a better position to get curriculum development projects funded) social studies education gave way to a new, disciplinecentered ideology Social science education was born 3 5


The second event leading to social studies curriculum reform was the now-famous Woods Hole Conference In September 1959 a Who's Who of thirty-five scientists, scholars, and educators led by Jerome Bruner met to consider how the teaching of science, including social science, might be improved in the nation's schools Many of the conference recommendations found their way into the development of MACOS Jerome Bruner authored the conference report, a 92 page book entitled The Process of Education Relying heavily on the work of Piaget and Inhelder in his book, Bruner recommended that instruction be sequenced according to the spiral curriculum, in which concepts are introduced to the child at an early age then reconsidered in a more complex way later The goal of this approach, he suggested, is to "seek to create an ever more explicit and mature understanding . ." (Bruner, 1960, p 53) Three additional elements important in curriculum development, according to Bruner, are the roles of teaching aids, the teacher, and the students Teaching aids, he wrote, are useful in "extending the student's range of experience, in helping him to understand the underlying structure of the material he is learning, and in dramatizing the significance of what he is learning" (Bruner, 1960, p 84) [T] he principal aid in the teaching process as it is practiced in our schools," offered Bruner, is "the teacher" (Bruner, 1960, p 88) He elaborated that one of the teacher's major responsibilities is to ask questions of the students which will move them "to a deeper understanding of [the discipline's] principles" (Bruner, 1960, p 40) The student's role, according to Bruner, is threefold : to acquire new information, to transform or manipulate it so that it can be applied to new tasks, and to evaluate the extent to which manipulation is adequate and appropriate (Bruner, 1960, p 48) Application of Bruner's Theory to MACOS The opportunity to put his theory into practice came in 1964 when Bruner assumed the directorship of the MACOS development project Concerned about "the growing separation of first-rank scholars and scientists from the task of presenting their own subjects in primary and secondary schools" (Bruner, 1960, p 3), he collaborated with anthropologists, biologists, and social psychologists to develop the discipline-based curriculum "The goals of the program," wrote Peter Dow, MACOS director from 1966 until its completion, "are threefold : to give the students a set of models for thinking about the world, to provide them with some intellectual tools for investigating human behavior, and to evoke in children an appreciation of the common humanity that all human beings share" (Dow, 1975a, p 389) The influence of the discipline-centered scholars can clearly be seen in the goals of MACOS 3 6


Another application of Bruner's theory in the year-long MACOS program is the sequencing of concepts according to the spiral curriculum view The concepts of life cycle, parenting, innate and learned behavior, adaptation, language and communication, social organization, culture, environment, and values and belief systems are introduced simply at first then in a more complex way later as children study salmon, herring gulls, baboons, and finally, a human society-the Netsilik Eskimos Bruner's idea about the selection and use of teaching aids is also observable in MACOS Students' experiences are broadened by extensive use of a wide variety of media : booklets, films, sound recordings, simulation games, role playing, charts, maps, model building, and a field diary Teachers' guides suggest ways in which these materials can be used to help children understand concepts, ask questions, and generate a sense of excitement and discovery as the question "What makes people human?" is considered The teacher's role as communicator, model, and identification figure, as set forth by Bruner (1960, p 91), is elaborated on in MACOS teachers' guides To learn these roles teachers must take instruction in content, child development, learning theory, and teaching strategies Learning to ask appropriate questions is emphasized in the training Consistent with Bruner's theory, MACOS students go far beyond simply acquiring information They continually transform knowledge so that it applies to new settings Both intuitive and analytic thinking take place as students explore concepts The selection of a human society to include in MACOS was given careful consideration by its developers The Netsilik Eskimos of Northern Canada were chosen because their culture contrasts profoundly with that of the United States Such contrast was essential, thought the designers, so that students could begin to grasp the great divergence implicit within the concept of humankind Bruner and his colleagues were well aware that inclusion of the Netsilik case study was bound to precipitate controversy Rather than avoid the issue, they hoped that moral questions related to the life style and belief system of the Netsilik "could be dealt with in a spirit of open scientific inquiry free from prejudice and ignorance" (Nelkin, 1977, p 31) The nature and magnitude of protests against MACOS dashed such hopes Charges Against MACOS Does MACOS, which was federally funded until 1975 by the National Science Foundation, encourage children to accept values which are inconsistent with those of a large segment of American society? Does exposure to this curriculum cause children to become more accepting of cruelty to animals, divorce, cannibalism, murder, senilicide, and female infanticide? These and other charges have appeared not only in the popular press (Redbook, April 1976 ; The Reader's Digest, January 1976 ; Chicago Daily News, February 13, 1976 ; and The Atlanta Journal, April 3 7


8, 1976), but in the professional literature as well ( The Chronicle of Higher Education, March 31, 1975 ; APA Monitor, July 1975 ; Phi Delta Kappan, October 1975 ; and Social Education, October 1975) .' Purpose Because the charges against MACOS have tended to be based on opinion rather than research, the purpose of this study was to examine empirically the influence of MACOS on the attitudes of children toward six practices : cruelty to animals, divorce, cannibalism, murder, senilicide, and female infanticide Method The Sample and the Setting Ninety-five (95) fourth-grade students who attended the same school in a suburban, upper-middle class neighborhood near a major southeastern city participated in the study The students were predominantly white ; there were approximately equal numbers of boys and girls Because of school policy, the study was conducted with four intact social studies classes The two experimental (MACOS) classes were housed in a large, open-space classroom and were team taught by two teachers The actual teaching of MACOS was done by the teacher who had completed NSF-sponsored MACOS training at a nearby university Though MACOS was taught to the experimental group for the entire year, the treatment was limited only to the duration of the study of the Netsilik Eskimo The two control (non-MACOS) classes were located in a similar large, open space and were taught by two different teachers Neither teacher of the control group had received training in MACOS All teachers were in their third or fourth year of teaching ; none had earned any academic degree beyond the bachelor's The four participating classes consisted of heterogeneously grouped children There is no reason to believe that systematic differences existed between the groups that influenced the outcome of the study The Attitude Scale An 18-item attitudinal inventory was constructed by the investigators Items were constructed so as to relate to six of the practices most commonly noted by critics of MACOS as objectionable Sample items are presented in Table 1 2 'We have cited references by publication, rather than by author, to illustrate the breadth of the publication of the criticisms against MACOS However, they are listed by author on the reference page Me complete instrument is available upon request from the first author 3 8


Table 1 : Sample Items From the Attitudinal Inventory 1 A young couple had a baby girl who was born without arms Although the child was mentally normal the mother felt the child would not live a happy life So the mother killed the baby girl Do you agree with the mother that the girl was better off dead? (Female Infanticide) 2 Recently there appeared a television special about a couple who after 20 years of marriage got divorced When one of the five children was asked how she felt about her parents splitting up she replied, "the divorce was really a relief ." After seven years the arguing and fighting had finally stopped between the parents Do you agree with the daughter that it was right for this couple to get divorced? (Divorce) 3 A middle aged man fired his gun at two robbers who entered his home in the middle of the night When the police arrived they found the two robbers dead with a cash box containing $20 and a screwdriver next to the bodies on the floor Do you agree with the middle aged man that it was right to shoot and kill the robbers? (Murder) 4 Recently a famous person became concerned about a horse she found who had been neglected by his owner This horse had not been fed in days by the owner and was about to die Do you agree with the horse's owner that he did not have to feed the animal? (Cruelty to Animals) 5 The book Last Rights, by Mary Mannes, described the feelings of a daughter as she saw her father in the hospital "He's 80 years old with terminal cancer, cancer that cannot be cured and stuck full of tubes Of course he couldn't move or speak ." He needs the tubes to keep him alive Medical care is very expensive in the United States Sometimes families cannot afford to take care of the old and they must give up the things they need, such as food and clothing for their children Under these circumstances, do you agree that the old should be kept alive? (Senilicide) 6 A plane crashed in 1972 and efforts to find it were unsuccessful Unfortunately there were only 16 people on board the plane who survived High in the mountains where the plane crashed there was no food, such as plants or animals, in sight The people were very hungry and weak because they had not eaten for days One of the survivors was so hungry that he got the idea to eat the bodies of the people who died This source of meat and protein would provide them with strength to walk around and look for help He and the others were unsure what to do at first However, under such terrible and unusual conditions they had no other choice available to them if they wanted to stay alive In your opinion do you agree that under these circumstances this was the right thing to do? (Cannibalism) The development of the attitudinal inventory deserves further comment Obviously, the aspects of MACOS criticized in the popular and profes3 9


sional press are controversial topics Therefore, rather than have the students respond to attitude items such as "one should never abuse animals," we searched newspaper and magazine accounts, collections of fairy tales, and plots of then current movies for illustrations Initially, about 30 items were developed To insure that the items were getting at the target criticisms, a panel of judges (professors of education) independently categorized the items The 18 items in the final version of the instrument were those on which the judges had complete unanamity of categorization The process of exhaustively searching the literature for criticisms and of having judges match the items to the criticisms insured a high degree of content validity The attitudinal inventory was administered to a comparable group of fourth grade students in the same school who did not participate in the study Reliability was estimated by the test-retest approach to be .84 for the total score Care was taken to make certain that the vocabulary on the instrument was within the students' comprehension level Three questions were asked about each of the six practices that MACOS critics have focused on (murder, senilicide, etc .) All questions were randomly ordered For each "negatively" written item the possible responses and the corresponding numerical scoring were : strongly agree (1) ; agree (2) ; neutral (3) ; disagree (4) ; and strongly disagree (5) The weights were reversed for the "positively" stated items Items numbered 1, 2, 3, 4, and 6, which appear in Table 1, represent illustrations of "negatively" written items-items about which the respondents were asked their degree of agreement with practices the critics consider to be objectionable Item 5, included as a reliability check, was phrased so as to ask the students' degree of agreement with a practice the critics find to be acceptable Thus, larger scores are indicative of disagreement with "unacceptable" practices and of agreement with "acceptable" practices Apart from the attitudinal concerns of the present study, participating MACOS students were also administered a posttest of their cognitive achievement to ascertain whether or not they actually received the MACOS treatment On a 66 item test of knowledge, comprehension and application of facts and concepts, the MACOS group mean percentage score correct was 70 The standard deviation was 9 The Kuder-Richardson formula 20 reliability coefficient for this test was .91 Because of the constraint of working with intact groups, we adopted a Campbell and Stanley (1963) non-equivalent control-group quasi-experimental design All subjects were pretested with the 18 item attitudinal inventory prior to the time the experimental group began the study of the Netsilik Eskimo, the MACOS unit identified by its critics as a major source of their concerns 4 0


Treatment Following the pretest administration of the attitudinal inventory, the two experimental classes, which consisted of 49 students, studied 'the Netsilik Eskimos for seven weeks as part of their MACOS program MACOS materials were used in accordance with the suggestions provided in the teachers' manuals During the same seven week period, the two control classes, consisting of 46 students, studied their regular social studies curriculum which was based largely on the Level 4 text, Concepts and Values, Brandwein, et al ., published by Harcourt, Brace, and Jovanovich Results Pretest and posttest means and standard deviations for MACOS and control classes are presented in Table 2 Table 2 : Pretest and Posttest Means and Standard Deviations for MACOS and Control Classes The data were treated as if each of the six criticism subscales (three items per subscale) were a dependent variable Although not estimated, we assumed that the reliability of the 'subscales was low Since, however, our purpose was comparing groups and not making individual assessments, we believed that we were still on firm methodological ground (see Millman and Gowen, 1974, p 90) Additionally, scores on all 18 items were summed to give a total score 4 1 NON MACOS (N = 46) Pretest Posttest Criticism X SD X SD Animal Cruelty 11 .76 2 .36 12 .15 1 .90 Female Infanticide 13 .78 1 .85 13 .65 2 .06 Senilicide 10 .67 1 .98 10 .20 1 .39 Divorce 7 .96 1 .89 7 .63 2 .04 Murder 11 .46 1 .79 11 .65 1 .57 Cannibalism 11 .63 1 .71 11 .76 1 .27 Total, 67 .26 6 .09 66 .78 4 .35 MACOS (N = 49) Pretest t Posttest Criticism X SD X SD Animal Cruelty 11 .78 1 .77 11 .73 1 .89 Female Infanticide 13 .29 2 .58 13 .14 2 .20 Senilicide .10 .45 1 .78 10 .24 2 .05 Divorce 7 .65 2 .02 6 .79 2 .19 Murder 12 .02 1 .63 11 .43 1 .77 Cannibalism 11 .69 1 .65 11 .06 2 .06 Total 67 .10 5 .00 64 .16 5 .49


Independent t tests were computed to compare treatment and control groups With respect to the pretest, there were no significant differences at the .05 level between MACOS and control students on any of the six subscales or the total test This after-the-fact analysis strengthened our assumption that the two groups were equivalent To compare the possible differences in attitude changes between the MACOS and non-MACOS groups, a Hotelling's T 2 (a statistical procedure that is the multivariate generalization of the common t test) was computed The dependent variables were the six difference scores (post minus pre) for the subscales The comparison was not statistically significant (T 2 = 7 .094, F = 1 .19, df = 2, 88, p < .358) In addition, univariate independent is (MACOS vs non-MACOS) were computed for each subscale (post minus pre) None was significant (p > .05) Discussion In our experiment the study of MACOS produced no significant attitudinal change of children toward cruelty to animals, divorce, murder, senilicide, and female infanticide when each of these topics was tested separately or when they were grouped together Contrary to the charges of the critics, very little emphasis is placed on these topics in the MACOS program It might be worth observing that, although statistically insignificant, the MACOS group seemed to become slightly more tolerant of "repugnant" activities than did the non-MACOS group A reexamination of Table 2 shows that, for the MACOS group, posttest means were smaller than the corresponding pretest means (smaller scores reflect more accepting attitudes) By contrast, the pattern for the non-MACOS group is mixed (again, see Table 2) The values-neutral orientation of the scholars and scientists who contributed to the development of MACOS may account for these slightly divergent patterns The social science philosophy underlying the development of MACOS seeks to teach children what is, not what ought to be It was not the intent of the developers to inculcate in students the values of either the American or Netsilik societies Rather, they designed the curriculum in such a way that children could reflect and inquire, much as a social scientist does, into the nature of humankind within a conceptual framework A second hypothesis regarding the lack of major effects on the attitudes of MACOS students is that the treatment was too short to influence values An aspect of this hypothesis is the unavoidable confounding of teacher and treatment A third hypothesis is that the influence of family, church, and other societal institutions are so strong as to preclude any significant change by exposure to a given social studies curriculum 4 2


Were the critics right about MACOS? We think not Within the limitations of our study, we found no convincing empirical support for their charges Our appreciation is extended to John Neel and William Curlette for their assistance with the statistical analysis 4 3


References Boeffey, Phillip M ., "Social-Science Curriculum Under Fire in Congress," The Chronicle of Higher Education, March 31, 1975, 5 Brandwein, Paul F et al ., The Social Sciences : Concepts and Values, Level 4 (New York : Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich, 1970) Brecher, Edward M ., "Do You Know What Your Children are Learning in School?", Redbook, (April, 1976), 81-83 Bruner, Jerome S ., The Process of Education (New York : Vintage, 1960) Bush, Noel F ., "The Furor Over School Textbooks," The Reader's Digest, (January, 1976), 125-129 Campbell, D T ., and Stanley, J C Experimental and Quasi-Experimental Designs for Research (Chicago : Rand-McNally) (Reprint from Handbook of Research on Teaching Gage, N L (ed .), 1963) Conlan, John B ., and Dow, Peter B ., "The MACOS Controversy," Social Education, (October, 1975), 388-396 Cromie, William J ., "Behind the Fight Over Study-of-Man Course," Chicago Daily News, February 13, 1976, 3-29, 31 Cromie, William J ., "Primitive Societies Viewed : Course Angers Some," The Atlanta Journal, April 8, 1976, C-2 Dow, Peter B ., "MACOS Revisited : A Commentary on the Most Frequently Asked Questions About Man : A Course of Study," Social Education, (October, 1975), 388, 393-396 Dow, Peter B ., "The Case for Man : A Course of Study," Phi Delta Kappan, (October, 1975), 79-81 Educational Development Corporation, Talks to Teachers (Cambridge : 1969) Millman, J ., and Gowin, D B ., Appraising Educational Research : A Case Study Approach (Englewood Cliffs : Prentice-Hall, 1974) Nelkin, Dorothy, Science Textbook Controversies and the Politics of Equal Time (Cambridge : MIT Press, 1977) Schaar, Karen, "MACOS : The Controversy Continues," APA Monitor, 6 (July, 1975), 1, 5 Walsh, John, "NSF : How Much Responsibility for Course Content, Implementation?" Science, 190 (Novemeber 14, 1975), 644-646 4 4


Theory and Research in Social Education Volume 9 Number 1 Spring 1981, pp 45-66 € by the College and University Faculty Assembly of the National Council for the Social Studies Elementary School Teachers' Planning for Social Studies and Other Subjects Gail McCutcheon The Ohio State University When making plans about practical problems of life, such as what to have for dinner, where to plant vegetables in the garden, and the best order for running errands, people probably follow different patterns of planning We can conjecture that differences are probably due to the nature of the event or task to be planned as well as differences in styles of thinking among people For example, Mozart conceived of an entire piece of music before he wrote a score Clearly, he composed rapidly and with ease, for in barely thirty years, he composed over 600 pieces of music, including 41 symphonies, and 40 operas and masses Beethoven, although he was also prolific, approached his task quite differently He wrote a score several times, crossing out phrases or entire themes in various drafts of a score So, while Mozart planned the entire work mentally before putting pen to paper, Beethoven thought on paper and worked a piece out while in the act of scoring it (Gardner, 1980) This difference may be partly attributable to the times surrounding Mozart and Beethoven The former composed in an era of adherence to form, one which may have permitted him to plan a piece in his head ; Beethoven, living in an era where more experimentation was permitted, 'was able to alter his plans continually, revising and scratching out whole passages 4 5


Although we have evidence that people think and plan differently, one model of planning is presented in educational literature, with few exceptions Over the last twenty years or so, most of this literature has presented planning as an objectives-first activity That is, first, one is to specify the objective, then an activity for meeting that objective, and finally a way of assessing whether students have met the objective Teachers are to know in advance of an activity the specifics of what is to transpire, and to aim for the ends of that activity rather than concentrating on means or considering both However, increasing evidence indicates that many teachers do not naturally follow this objectives-first model of planning If they do, it is because principals require them to do so, and they follow along by using an objectives-first format when they write their plans in planbooks to please the powers-that-be But when they plan activities, the objectives-first model does not appear to enter into the thinking of many teachers For example, most teachers do not appear to begin their planning by considering the objectives or concepts ; rather, they begin by thinking about students and activities (Clark, 1978 ; Mann, 1975 ; Merriman, 1976 ; Taylor, 1970) or, in the case of art, the availability of materials (Kleinberg and Crozier, 1978) Many teachers also alter plans during their enactment for a variety of reasons Like Beethoven (only in action, rather than on paper), this alteration occurs on the spot as teachers perceive difficulties or better ways of engaging students The research reported here further indicates planning to be an almost simultaneous juggling of many practical considerations Perhaps the objectives-first model has persisted because it seems to curriculum theorists as if it should work Based on a view of idealized practice rather than on research, theorists may have conjured up a rational view of planning that does not describe practice The model may also appeal to those who believe we can and should rationally control the curriculum Additionally, since most descriptive studies of planning are less than a decade old, theorists may not yet have had time to incorporate findings from descriptive studies into models and theories about planning Cognitive psychologists' studies of thinking are also relatively recent, so ideas regarding various forms of thinking-left hemispheric and right, vertical and lateral, logical and metaphoric-may not as yet have been seen by curriculum theorists to have implications for how teachers plan Based on research, what do we know about planning for social studies and other subjects? When teachers plan, what do they consider? What influences their plans? What implications can we draw from the research for teacher education and for schools? 4 6


In 1978, a team of four researchers' and twelve teachers studied those twelve teachers' planning for lessons in all subjects in their elementary school classrooms The teachers represented three Virginia school systems (city, smaller city, and rural county), two schools from each system and two teachers from each school Care was taken to ensure the representation of all grade levels (first through sixth), but other than that criterion, we selected !the twelve teachers by flipping through central office personnel lists Researchers worked in each classroom for several hours weekly to study the planning process, the enactment of lessons emerging from the plans, and various factors influencing plans Information was collected from a variety of sources such as anecdotal records of observations in classrooms, notes based on informal interviews, administrative memos, transcripts of meetings with teachers and administrators, teachers' planbooks, teachers' guides to textbooks and children's daily work Teachers were interviewed about their planning processes and influences they perceived on their planning Classroom observations were made to discover the nature of lessons and to provide the basis for questions about planning In addition, administrators joined us for one meeting and the twelve teachers for another meeting to discuss issues about planning and our preliminary discoveries Teachers volunteered a great deal of information during our visits and during the meetings, raising salient issues as they became involved in wondering about how they planned and why they chose one activity over another Administrators also raised several questions about planning The study, then, employed ethnographic methods of observation and informal interview, but also involved teacher collaboration The first section of this paper discusses planning processes and influences of planning on the curriculum, with a focus on social studies The second section discusses influences on teachers' plans The final section discusses implications of the study In practice, the planning processes, the resultant curriculum, and influences on planning are not separate They flow into and influence one another However, for purposes of discussion, they have been separated Planning Processes Plans in the Planbook When we consider teachers' planning, we usually think about the notes they write in their planbooks In planbooks, teachers tended to list the activities, textbook, or teacher guide page numbers and perhaps a few words about concepts to be covered One teacher's plan for a reading group and a social studies lesson was written in this fashion : Reading Group B : p 134 suffixes er, est Seatwork-WB p 29 and ditto# 18 This project was supported by funding from The Ford Foundation (Project 785-0160) Assisting me in the research were Michael Bentley, Diane W Kyle, and Lee Mallen The teachers and school systems involved remain anonymous, however 4 7


& 19, completing sentences Read together 92-98 story, answer ?'s aloud in TG p 135 Social Studies pictures on 129-134 re t ransp i n diff cos Discuss transp here In plans such as these teachers listed topics, concepts, skills and activities to be sure to cover, written in abbreviated form The plans tended to focus on what the teacher or the children were to do rather than on what was to be learned Teachers glanced at plans before a lesson as a reminder of what to do As such, planbook plans resembled a shopping list and, like shopping lists, they functioned as a memory jogger As one teacher reflected, This is what I have to be sure to do each day in addition to all the other things I do each day that are fairly routine, like collecting lunch money and checking on overdue library books Just as we usually cross out items as we locate them when we shop, teachers usually checked off lessons as they were completed This sort of planning, then, was a reminder of the planned activities and changes in routines, such as those due to dismissal for snow days or unscheduled assemblies Teachers drew arrows from the old time slot to a new one, rescheduling the plans One teacher also noted concepts or activities she had not planned that arose during the course of the day As she reported, Some of these [unplanned topics] come from the kids Others I bring up as I see a natural tie-in with current events or with other things we're studying So I write them down so I don't forget what else we covered Her list, then, covered not only what she planned for the day, but also what transpired that she had not planned It was a history of her curriculum and had the advantage of reminding her of what occurred, rather than only what she planned in advance ; this permitted her to relate and build upon activities If she did not record the activities, she ran the risk of forgetting them Her planbook functioned, then, to remind her of what do do, but also to remind her of past events for her future planning Whether in social studies or in other lessons, teachers did not usually list objectives in their planbooks unless a principal had such a requirement In their views, this was unnecessary because objectives were listed in the teachers' guides and several teachers believed objectives were implicit in activities Some teachers also aimed for diverse outcomes among their students and did not want to focus on only one Most believed it was a waste of time and not helpful to list objectives 4 8


Principals required daily lesson plans, and all principals collected planbooks at some time, weekly or monthly Principals gave several reasons for requiring written plans : It clarifies the teachers' ideas about what they're going to do toNave to write it down It lets me know where the teachers are in what books If they're getting behind, I can check on it Lesson plans are needed for substitutes In the second comment, we can also see that at least one principal of the six desired to control what occurred in classrooms As one teacher responded, How can he tell where I should be? He doesn't live in the room I'm the one who can decide how fast to go through the books But he does tell us to go faster sometimes-never slower With regard to the final reason, most teachers (seven of twelve) reported they wrote separate plans for a substitute to follow rather than leaving the substitute with only a planbook ; two others left a folder to orient the substitute to routines Teachers wrote different plans for substitutes for several reasons If teachers considered a topic to be fundamental or highly important, or were beginning a topic or skill, they wanted to teach it themselves .They also reported that they planned activities for substitutes that were routine, not highly unusual, to minimize discipline problems They reported that since they did not know which substitute teacher would be sent, they could not tailor plans unless it was a long-term absence and continuity in the assignment of the substitute had been assured How did these twelve teachers arrive at the shorthand description in their planbook of what was to occur in a lesson? What thoughts entered the teachers' minds? What did they consider? Mental Planning Perhaps the richest form of teachers' planning we examined was the complex mental dialogue, the reflective thinking, many went through before writing these plans or teaching a lesson Part of this plan was outlined in planbooks, but much of it never appeared on paper Part of the mental dialogue resembled a rehearsal of the lesson, an envisioning of what teachers believed might happen And, part of the dialogue was a reflection on what happened previously during the year or what happened in other years when a similar lesson was taught Experienced teachers had a larger repertoire of past lessons to consider than did novice teachers Dewey (1922) could have been discussing teacher planning when he discussed deliberation : We begin with a summary assertion that deliberation is a dramatic rehearsal (in imagination) of various competing possible lines of ac4 9


tion . Deliberation is an experiment in finding out what the various lines of possible action are really like It is an experiment in making various combinations of selected elements of habits and impulses, to see what the resultant action would be like it if were entered upon But the trial is in imagination, not in overt fact . . An act overtly tried out is irrevocable, its consequences cannot be blotted out An act tried out in imagination is not final or fatal It is retrievable (p 190) Deliberation implies considering alternatives What alternatives did these twelve teachers consider when planning? Two teachers followed their own unit plans in social studies, and the other ten teachers derived their plans from texts All twelve relied on the textbook for all other subjects, with the exception of art ; plans for art were related to seasons or upcoming holidays and were drawn from suggestions in books that had been used in art education courses or from suggestions in teachers' journals such as The Instructor Because of this heavy reliance on texts, the alternatives usually considered when teachers planned revolved around practical questions such as whether to ask all the questions in the teachers' guide, whether to contrive other questions, and whether to use an alternative to the strategy suggested in the guide Often these questions were weighed by logistical considerations such as the amount of time available, the materials the teacher might use, and how easy the activity seemed to control, given the nature of the class As one teacher stated, Most of my decisions aren't really decisions because the textbooks are mandated, and we only have one text for each subject So I really haven't any choice in the matter In Virginia, as in several other states, school districts adopt one text for each subject ; the text is selected from a list developed at the state level Roughly half (24 of 50) of the states develop such a list (Bowler, 1978) Teachers appeared to make decisions about various lessons from textbooks based on answers to questions such as : Can I control this activity? Do I have enough materials for this lesson? Have similar activities worked for me in the past? Do these children need to learn this, or do they already know it? Will this activity fit into the amount of time I have? Could I ask better questions than the ones in the teacher's guide? How can I relate it to what they already know or experience in their daily lives and to other things they're doing? Could I do part of this activity as board work for one group while I work with another group? Are the children likely to be able to do it? Are there problems with the lesson, errors in the book? 5 0


These practical questions were considered almost simultaneously as teachers decided whether to use -a suggestion in the teachers' guide As one teacher said, The subconscious does a lot of sorting for you You can think of many thlings almost simultaneously The sorting is rapid, not logical or sequenced and is different for different lessons Units developed by the two teachers who did their own planning concerned' American Indians, Eskimos, transportation, and city living These units had been developed in their college courses, seven to ten years earlier Changes were made as teachers acquired new materials or as ideas they had relied on in the past did not seem to work well in practice, usually due to the answer to one of the above questions regarding textbook-related activities Many teachers reported they reflected about their classes,and thought of activities almost continuously at odd moments during their days While shopping for groceries, driving to school, watching television, or painting the living room, one part of their minds might have been considering How can I help George and Susan understand what a state is? They don't even understand what a map is, let alone the notion of a state And Lawrence passed his spelling test, but on his social studies paper, he spelled "country" wrong even though it was one of his spelling words What can I do? I wonder whether the reports the children are writing will be as good as last year's I have to remember to fill out the request for a field trip form At another odd moment, one teacher wondered how to relate social studies to the arts, because that teacher taught both subjects and wanted to integrate the two Whatever the setting, part of the teacher's mind reflected on the past and planned for the future, envisioning a lesson Perhaps this is one reason why teachers say they take school home with them and envy people in other vocations When teachers "take school home," it is because they reflect about what happened today and consider tomorrow Mental planning, then, is a reflection on the past and a consideration of what might work for a lesson ; frequently teachers envision that lesson as part of their planning It occurs throughout the day and ideas are considered almost simultaneously and in various orders Teachers may consider mental~ ~planning to be subconscious, partly because educational theorists have not recognized it as a form of planning When these twelve teachers learned about planning in preservice education courses, they reported, lesson planning was usually discussed as the plan written in the planbook ; the thought process leading up to the writing of the plan was not addressed Most teachers wrote their plans as Mozart wrote his musical works-the plan was fully conceived mentally before being written However, when enacting those plans, many teachers frequently altered them for various rea5 1


sons, such as changes in the schedule, the teacher's recognition that background material was necessary for the children to understand a concept, or the discussion of one topic would trigger thoughts about another What functions did mental planning serve? In several teachers' views, mentally rehearsing a lesson permitted them to alter a plan in their minds if they foresaw problems Mental rehearsal may also have provided psychological support by reassuring teachers that the lesson would run smoothly, leading to a feeling of comfort and that teachers could control the situation One teacher considered mental planning as a time to fill in the details and decide upon alternative strategies should her selected strategy fail Teachers said of mental planning : I think about what might go wrong so I can shortcircuit it before it happens I think about other things I might do if my plan doesn't work That way, I have other possibilities to work with if the plan goes wrong when I'm teaching It's hard to just plan on your feet-this way, I have some options I can also fill in all the little nooks and crannies in my plan before I'm standing up there in front of 26 children Whether it helps things go smoothly, I'm not sure But I do know it makes me feel better to have thought about it Influences on Teachers' Plans When teachers implemented a program-be it a textbook series, a kit, or a unit-several factors appeared to influence that implementation These are 1 teachers' skills and knowledge, 2 teachers' attitudes and beliefs, and 3 teachers' perceptions of features within the setting Clearly, the three factors influence one another and are not neatly separable Teachers' Skills and Knowledge Teachers involved in our study tended to plan lessons about subjects they knew and enjoyed rather than those subjects they knew less or disliked, unless a particular topic had been mandated For example, the two who had developed their own units and had taught them for seven to ten years had done so partly because the topics were interesting to them And, several teachers who enjoyed teaching art felt uncomfortable with it because certain activities were messy and they did not believe they were artists themselves As one teacher noted, I can teach children how to make things, but not about true art I'm just not creative I don't know how to draw and I don't know how artists work Her lessons were primarily pattern art, where children were to make something to look like hers did She said of social studies : Well, I feel more comfortable with that I have a series to use I really only had three courses in what you'd call social studies in college, and 5 2


I don't think I really understand it fully But I can imagine ways to make it more exciting, like projects and going on field trips I like social studies because we can do a lot of things, but we only have two half-hour periods a week for it on Tuesday and Friday after lunch I can't have very exciting projects or in-depth discussions in just half an hour Whether teachers feel at home in a discipline is important, for it affects whether they feel comfortable teaching that discipline and whether they represent or misrender concepts within it The problem is particularly salient when we consider elementary schools, where teachers are responsible for seven or eight subjects a week In elementary schools, teachers are expected to be "Renaissance people" and to know enough about each discipline to teach it well Yet, it is virtually impossible to expect this As one teacher lamented, I 'know so little about science it's ridiculous I go through the motions, using the book All I can hope is that next year, my kids will have [a certain teacher], because she loves science and knows a lot about it This is probably true of social studies as well, and may be one factor contributing to reliance on texts by many teachers Other examples of skills and knowledge affecting the social studies concern diverse ways of instructing children Managing groupwork, overseeing projects and asking varied sorts of questions may or may not be in a particular teacher's repertoire of skills ; and, such kinds of teacher behavior may be necessary to the social studies program adopted by a school system This may cause teachers to modify suggestions in a manual and thereby alter the nature of the program in rather substantial ways For instance, what was intended to be a process-oriented curriculum may become fact-oriented if teachers do not have the skills and knowledge necessary to implement the former approach And a discussion designed by the program developers to focus upon issues may be t ransformed t o focus upon facts if a teacher feels uncomfortable in handling such a discussion Another difficulty cited by two of the teachers and agreed upon by many was the lack of coursework-preservice or inservice-about planning Teachers reported the following : II had one course where unit planning was mentioned, and we each wrote one unit, but there wasn't any formal lecture or reading about planning a unit We learned about lesson planning-you know, writing objectives, materials concepts and so on-in two of my classes in undergraduate school This lack of having studied planning may have contributed to the disjointed, patchwork nature of the curriculum seen in ten of the twelve class5 3


rooms observed, where a thread of continuity from day to day was missing For example, these lessons followed one another consecutively in a fifthgrade social studies class : Monday : a film about the fishing industry followed by a discussion of why people along coasts fish and how it influences the economy Wednesday : a lesson in mapreading about longitude and latitude, demonstrated on a map in front of the room followed by a ditto regarding locating cities by degrees of longitude and latitude Monday : taking turns, reading aloud a section of the text dealing with the lumber industry While the three lessons could have been related, the teacher did not do so For ten of the twelve teachers, the criterion of continuity of lessons did not appear to enter into their planning Also apparent in teachers' reports was the problem that in teacher education courses planning was conceived of as what is written on paper, rather than as including mental planning Mental planning has the potential for being one of the most professional activities of teaching for, during mental planning, teachers can relate theory and research to the particulars they face and they can analyze what transpires in their classrooms Perhaps because mental planning is not discussed in teacher education, this is one reason why we did not find teachers relating research and theory (such as the need for continuity) to the particulars of their situations Continuity and integration entered only two of twelve teachers' planning as a daily concern A final example of the knowledge and skills of teachers relates to errors in textbooks Teachers in our study believed they could trust textbooks, for they believed they had been written by experts They tended to distrust themselves if they encountered a difficulty in the text rather than distrusting the text For example, a second grade teacher had just taught children that in single-syllable words ending in e, the preceding vowel is usually long Children read words such as "rose," "came," "hope," and "shape ." Unfortunately, the name of the main character in that day's story was "Jose ." This teacher noted how confusing this must be to children and believed many other names could have been employed, even names we characteristically associate with ethnic minorities Teachers also assumed textbooks incorporated in them some sort of continuity from one story, chapter, or skill to the next This assumption may be unwarranted, for as Bowler (1978, p 39) says, "textbooks are better described as assembled than as written" (emphases in original) The assumption regarding continuity could be explored through textbook analysis Teachers' belief that continuity was present in texts and apparent to children may also have contributed to the disjointed nature of the curriculum described above 5 4


Teachers' skills and knowledge, then, influenced the nature of planning and topics to be addressed Plans frequently transformed a program's intentions into a lesson the teacher felt more able to engineer in a classroom than the plan suggested in a manual accompanying a program Teachers' Attitudes and Beliefs Teachers' conceptions of problems such as the proper role for the teacher, how children's interests are to be incorporated into a lesson, what is basic for children to learn, and what constitutes an ideal learning environment also affected what teachers planned to do in a classroom It appears that many of these attitudes and beliefs are influenced by teachers' perceptions of what administrators and colleagues believe i For example, one teacher said, I think we have to think about how children get interested in something when we plan Just because it's in the book and some adult thought it was important doesn't mean kids will be naturally interested irk it Clearly, she believed children's interest was a necessary condition if learning ware to occur This teacher was one of the two who also tried to facilitate children's integrating ideas from various lessons One day, for example, during reading she said Remember last week when we studied mapreading in social studies? This story is about Magellan, and after you read it, we'll put his voyages on the project globe Facts of his voyages are in the story In her view, this introduction to the story permitted children to relate one lesson to another and may have created interest in it, for she had noted that most children were excited and successful in the mapreading activities Another teacher who had studied unit planning in her education courses developed a unit about Indians for her third graders Taught in six weeks, in three half-hour sessions per week, the unit glossed over the cultures of different groups of American Indians, and may have led children to believe that Indians live in wigwams, teepees, pueblos and long houses, hunt and gather food, and wear beads and deerskins, for it incorporated readings and activities oriented toward those facts rather than toward issues or concepts However, she taught about Indians because she believed third graders were naturally interested in them because of Western films Teachers' Perceptions of the Context When we consider influences of the context upon what teachers plan and do in classrooms, we can conceive of these influences as having two sources : the formal (written) policies of the school, and other events in the school that lead teachers to understand its covert policies Formal policies are issued in school manuals, on memoranda, and in teachers' meeting Teachers come to understand a school's covert policies by interpreting other teachers' behavior and the principal's 5 5


behavior, and through these the teacher forms a notion of what is expected or acceptable in that setting For example, when a principal's remarks about the noise level, the informal seating arrangement in a classroom, or what appears on a bulletin board, a teacher has an opportunity to understand whether what the principal saw was acceptable Practice may be modified for the principal's next visit Comments and actions by colleagues similarly affect teachers' practice Formal and covert policies can be viewed as establishing the limits within which teachers are able to plan in a particular setting These may support options, or they may constrain the options available to the teacher, and may be in harmony or in conflict with a particular teacher's beliefs Indeed, this influence of the setting may be one factor affecting whether a teacher is able to implement personal beliefs about the proper nature of schooling Formal Policies Scheduling In five of six elementary schools involved in this study the principal developed a central schedule to permit children to be grouped according to levels (usually for reading and mathematics), and to permit departmentalization This schedule followed the state-mandated guidelines for time allocations and affected the curriculum in several ways For one, teachers felt constrained to stay with the schedule ; whether they finished a lesson early, or had just gotten into an exciting discussion, children had to be dismissed on time because other teachers were dependent on punctual dismissal As one teacher remarked, Ability grouping tends to focus us more on the subject matter than on the children, which isn't natural to most elementary school teachers Also, it makes me adhere to the time schedule It's very rigid If a lesson is going very well, my normal inclination would be to continue it, but when we change classes I can't do that Secondly, this schedule reinforced a curriculum organized by a collection code (Bernstein, 1971) of academic subjects in all schools observed as part of this study That is, the curriculum was a collection of discrete subjects, and this separation was reinforced by naming the subjects as subjects on the schedule and allocating to each a particular time slot In some schools, teachers became subject matter experts as children changed classes to meet their ability groups in reading and mathematics and to meet the social studies, science, music, physical education or art teacher This limited the opportunity for teachers to integrate subject matter, for not only were the schools departmentalized, but teachers were also isolated from colleagues They did not discuss what happened in their classrooms, with the result that one teacher did not know what others did What one teacher did might have conflicted with what transpired in other classrooms ; it might have been redundant ; and it certainly was not overtly connected to what happened elsewhere Any connections among lessons were made by chance and left up to individual students Opportunities for such connections ex5 6


isted, but they were not facilitated or explored by teachers and children, for the teachers were as isolated from each other as the subject matter was The centrally-devised schedule set aside a specific amount of time for each subject On the average, language arts was allocated 105 minutes daily, mathematics 45 minutes, and recess one half hour Other subjects were not taught daily Social studies was allocated 60 to 90 minutes a week, usually in two or three time blocks spread over several days Lower grades (K-3) devoted less time to social studies and more to language arts than did upper grades (4-6) Because social studies was usually taught every other day, or every third day, lessons may have seemed bounded, isolated from preceding and subsequent lessons by intervening time Additionally, with only 30 to 45 minutes in a class period, certain activities were impractical because they were too time-consuming When only 90 minutes was allocated a week, there seemed no good options for teachers ; with three 30 minute periods, the nature of an activity was constrained but social studies happened more frequently ; but, with two 45 minute periods, classes were more spread out over the week, although a greater variety of activities was possible Flexible scheduling was not considered by the principals of schools involved in this study That is, if time were thought of by the month or sixweek period rather than by the week, teachers might have been able to have had social studies or science daily, or for a longer duration, and perhaps have achieved a sense of continuity, depth and intensity The daily schedule, then, affected planning in several ways It held teachers to the schedule, since most schools were departmentalized ; it supported a curriculum organized by a collection code of academic disciplines, which discouraged integration The schedule also allocated little time weekly to social studies, resulting in scattered lessons of short duration, which influenced the nature of what teachers could plan Textbook use In one of the three school systems studied, texts formed the basis of the curriculum by administrative edict A principal's memorandum read : Teachers are reminded that only materials found in the adopted textbooks can be duplicated Supplementary materials are not to be stenciled and duplicated It is the feeling of the administration that materials in the textbooks are adequate and must be completed before other materials are to be introduced in the curriculum Teachers in all three systems generally relied on textbooks as the basis for their plans, whether as a result of formal or covert policies ; for not only were memoranda circulated, but also, few other materials were available Texts provided a sense of security about what to teach, and policies reinforced their use The promotion policy in one school system related to the use of textbooks It read, in part, To successfully complete a course, students must meet the following criteria : Math, Science, Health-Grades 5, 6, and 7-must master 5 7


75 % of the established program ; Social Studies-Grades 5, 6, and 7must master 50 % of the established program Because the "established program" was the textbook, teachers who did not want to be faced with retaining students may have followed texts more closely in an attempt to prevent failure We might also wonder in regard to this policy why students were to master 75 % of certain subjects, but only 50 % of social studies Surely the policy reflects the priorities of the school system In all school systems that were a part of this study, then, social studies was derived almost exclusively from the textbook In one school, teachers apparently felt they were able to adapt the text, for children went on field trips, wrote reports related to topics from certain chapters, and studied units devised by teachers Several teachers voiced concern that the textbook they were required to use was above the reading level of many students As one sixth grade teacher said, I didn't use the textbook since it is about three reading levels above my students I used maps, films, filmstrips, written and oral reports, and resource persons in my own units Another believed the book was dated : Our system seems to have money for new math and reading books, but none for social studies We have some old, beat-up Ginn books, but I teach units about transportation and Indians I developed instead These two experienced teachers had also studied unit planning in college courses Their units were not challenged by anyone, and a stereotypic, superficial view of Indians, Eskimos, and life in cities may have been presented to children through these units Because social studies was allocated little time, teachers were forced to pick and choose among activities and chapters in the adopted series or in their units Social studies may also have suffered in that integration with other subjects was virtually impossible because the curriculum was organized through a collection code of academic subjects rather than organized as an integrated code which might have encouraged children to see relationships among subjects Isolation of teachers from one another may have compounded the problem of isolation of subjects and the lack of critical review of units and plans may have permitted teachers to present distorted, superficial pictures of the way of life of certain groups of people Other policies such as those governing the storage and use of materials, field trips, use of films, class size, promotion and retention, and grading may also have influenced what teachers perceived they were able to plan for social studies lessons (see McCutcheon, 1980) 5 8


Covert policies Covert policies also affect what teachers believe is permitted in a particular school Teachers learn covert, unwritten policies as they observe and listen to their colleagues and administrators, for words and actions transmit to others what is permissible in a particular school Interruptions In the twelve classrooms, many events interrupted the flow of what occurred each day Approximately one-third of these interruptions was externally caused, such as an intercom announcement regarding summer school, a note for teachers to sign regarding the theft of a pair of gym shoes from a locker, or a request for the numbers of children whose parents planned to attend a meeting Unpredictable events, such as changes in the time for an assembly, also interrupted the daily fare, yet teachers were expected to deal with them promptly One teacher believed her principal was more concerned with the orderly running of the school than with whether any education occurred What influences did these interruptions have on teachers' planning? Teachers reported : Well, I can't plan for them But I know they'll happen sometime every day They cause me to have to reteach a great deal I just get going, when I'm interrupted, and then everyone loses track of what's going on So I have to start over It wastes a great deal of time It's also frustrating Sometime I have so many interruptions in a row that I just say "Forget it" and change my lesson to something easier for me to cope with But I know I'll have to fit that other lesson in sometime Sometimes, I lose so much time from them that I have to reschedule several lessons Continuity was broken, extra time consumed as teachers answered the intercom and had to reteach parts of lessons or remind the children and themselves of what was happening before the interruption Some lessons were rescheduled, and these were often in subjects other than language arts and mathematics, in this era of the "basics ." Teachers wondered if interruptions might be controlled more by principals so they would occur only during certain portions of the day As one teacher said, The intercom is all too convenient He can just flip it on whenever something strikes him that I need to know about, in his opinion Another teacher wondered, With so many interruptions, it makes me wonder what's important around here Is learning important? If so, we shouldn't be interrupted so much 5 9


Perhaps interruptions reinforce teachers' seeing their task as getting through the day, for they seem to dilute somewhat the activities in which teachers and children engage Discipline Most teachers believe control was a major factor principals considered when evaluating teachers As one teacher commented, If my principal sees the children out of their seats and on the floor, he automatically thinks they aren't learning anything And they're out of control So we can only do certain things in my room if he's stalking the halls Unless I want a major confrontation And I can't afford that-I don't have tenure, and I don't think he would think much of my arguments about why I think kids can learn things doing projects on the floor He just wants me to follow orders, and he wants things under control Another teacher agreed, continuing, She also doesn't like it if kids don't raise their hands to answer Sometimes in a discussion, my kids don't raise their hands ; they just wait for a natural break and say what they wanted to say A principal's views on discipline, combined with the threat of a negative evaluation, then, may cause teachers to plan certain activities rather than others that may lead to behavior the principal would not accept This fear of the principal also prevented teachers from confessing their weaknesses in order to receive assistance with a weakness One teacher felt uncomfortable with new math As she said, Even though the newest books aren't as steeped in new math as they once were, those concepts underlie it all How can I teach what I myself don't understand? Teachers saw this as problematic because they had no one to ask for assistance, particularly in this era of teacher surplus One teacher disagreed She believed her principal was supportive of growth and related that I told him I didn't know anything about art, and here I'm supposed to teach it to all the fifth graders! So he arranged for me to assist [the art teacher] on the days she visits the school [The principal] teaches my classes while I do that Surely, other factors within the setting influence teacher planning as well The examples provided here illustrate the nature of certain influences on what teachers plan, and are not intended to provide an exhaustive list (see McCutcheon, 1980, for others) Implications For Theorists This study has revealed teacher planning as having several features similar to those discussed by certain curriculum theorists, such as 6 0


William A Reid (1978) and Joseph Schwab (1969) For one thing, the study demonstrates that planning is a practical activity of teachers dealing with situationally-specific, practical problems In Reid's view (1978), "curriculum theories are theories about how to solve curriculum problems" (p 41) He elaborates upon this by characterizing curriculum problems as practical ones, (1) consisting of questions that have to be answered, (2) having uncertain grounds on which decisions are to be made, (3) necessitating taking into account an existing state of affairs, (4) being in some ways unique from problem to problem, (5) compelling us to balance competing goals and values, (6) being uncertain as to outcome and (7) directing our thoughts toward forecasting what action might result in a desirable state of affairs (Reid, 1978) Some curriculum theorists would argue that curriculum problems merely call upon us to use a prescribed structure to solve them Ralph Tyler, James Popham and others have argued that following an objectivesfirst procedure will lead to a solution of the problem As this study has demonstrated, these teachers did not generally follow an objectives-first procedure, although they could reiterate the steps to be followed if one were to use such a procedure It seems possible that theory is appropriate to discuss in several ways as related to solving practical problems For one, descriptive and critical studies could be undertaken where the focus was upon characterizing how practical problems are solved These eventually may yield a richer theory than we now have of practical problem solving, and such a theory would be based upon empirical work rather than solely upon conceptual work Secondly, people's personal theories about what is important to teach in social studies and how one should teach it could be examined Within the framework of planning as a practical activity, such personal theory probably supports teachers as they form the conceptual grounds upon which to make decisions among competing goals and values and the personal theory provides a vision of what constitutes a desirable state of affairs Additionally, what people recognize as the existing state of affairs might be studied, for it sets the boundaries around what decisions might be made In this study, for example, teachers perceived constraints arising out of what others in the building said to them and policies of the school Studies about the nature of decision making, the grounds for decisions, and the context in which they are made through the perception of the decision maker might help us develop theories regarding the process (rather than the procedure) of decision making as a practical activity necessary to teaching Curriculum theories could be developed and research done about them, then, in relation to decision making as a practical, necessary aspect of teaching This study has documented some of the nature of planning as a practical activity-that is, situation-specific, necessitating action, taking into account a host of features about students, supplies, time, and feasibil6 1


ity More studies are needed, though, if we are to understand this complex phenomenon For Teacher Education One implication of this study is that we need to broaden the view of planning presented to teachers These teachers apparently viewed planning as a practical activity, and, not surprisingly, they dealt with practical considerations Logistical issues, such as materials, time, expertise necessary to deal with particular content or the development of particular skills, and instructional methods were contemplated Teacher educators, it seems, could enrich mental planning by stressing concepts such as continuity, integration, and the appropriateness of topics and skills for certain age groups A critically reflective approach to planning could also be developed by helping teachers learn to examine unit plans and textbooks regarding issues such as stereotyping, the relative merit of lessons, continuity and integration of ideas Case studies about teachers implementing a program could be discussed through this critically reflective approach, and issues related to one's own practice could be addressed Prospective and practicing teachers could also explore the merit of finding a colleague with whom to examine practice, materials and plans Since textbooks appeared to be the basis for the curriculum in many school systems, teacher educators could also help their students conceive of ways to evaluate and adapt text materials for effective use Social studies teacher educators could also help prospective and practicing teachers consider "what is social studies?" With a clear notion of the sorts of concerns addressed in social studies, teachers may be enabled to choose topics from texts and devise their own materials carefully, with a clear vision of the concepts and skills that could comprise the thread of continuity weaving through the course Social studies, as taught in many colleges and universities, is fragmented into specialized topics such as economics, political science, history, sociology, and anthropology Time is not set aside for students to synthesize the fragments into a general picture concerning the social studies What light can each shed on various topics? What could an economist, socioloist, a political scientist and a historian tell us about the Depression? Such a view is necessary if teachers are to understand what is important to teach, to decide which textbook is best, and other matters regarding planning Primarily, then, implications for teacher educators are to enrich mental planning by helping teachers develop a larger set of questions than they normally have when they plan These questions relate to educational matters (How can I help children see connections between yesterday's and today's lessons? between social studies and language arts? How does this activity relate to an overall view of what constitutes the social studies?) Such questions may enrich the planning, for this study revealed that these teachers were more likely to consider logistical matters than educational ones Secondly, a more critically reflective posture about text materials and unit plans may be facilitated by helping teachers understand the value of a trusted colleague's opinions The trusted colleague may function as an out6 2


sider, to a certain extent, able to see strengths and problems the insiderteacher is unable to see by virtue of being too immersed in the day-to-day events to be able to have perspective enough to see certain aspects of those events Social studies, in this era of back-to-the-basics, appeared to be faring poorly in elementary schools that were a part of this study Classes met for 60 to 90 minutes weekly, were scattered through the week, and were among the first subjects to be dropped from the curriculum for an assembly or another special event Only 50 % of the social studies program had to be completed in one school system, 25 % less than for most other subjects Whatever that means, it implies that language arts, mathematics and other subjects have a higher priority than social studies in that school system Responding to public pressure, schools work to raise test scores in reading and mathematics to the neglect of many other subjects -Ielping parents, legislators and other policy makers see the contributions the social studies can make to life-individual and social life-is clearly an important task for educators at all levels who are interested in the social studies It seems no easy task, and one to be addressed not only by teacher educators, but also by people in schools For Schools Eliminating the sense of isolation of teachers and subject matter appears to be another implication of this research Integration among disciplines, the exchange of ideas and deliberation about them cannot occur without some organizational changes in schools The curriculum of many elementary schools may be organized as it was in these twelve schools-as a collection of separate disciplines, frequently taught by separate teachers The textbook industry (by publishing different texts for each subject), the organization of report cards and schedules by discrete subjects, and the separation of methods courses in teacher education into distinct disciplines are a few factors which maintain and reproduce such a curriculum organization in schools Changes may be needed in curriculum organization if we are to help children make connections among subjects What are alternatives, if faculties desired a change? The curriculum organization necessitating the least conceptual and administrative change is the correlation of several disciplines, such as literature and social studies In this case, the literature of a particular period, group of people, or locale could be read in conjunction with social studies topics A single teacher could correlate the two subjects, or a team of teachers could plan them and teach them Other sorts of correlation are also possible Necessitating more change is the core curriculum organization This is less subject-matter focused, and as a result may be more difficult to implement, for materials would have to be restructured and developed, and a different view of the way to arrange school time would have to be adopted Traditional frames around subject matter are absent in a core curriculum 6 3


organization ; rather, broad topics are addressed and, by applying concepts and skills from a variety of disciplines, the topic is explored (see Tanner and Tanner, 1980) For example, questions about pollution, or whether we should save the whales, or whether we should use nuclear energy could be approached through reading science fiction, making field trips, viewing films, discussing the issue with experts, writing articles, and collecting relevant newspaper reports The pollution question could also be examined by taking air and water samples and studying the effects of particular residues on plant and animal life Thus, children could inquire into a matter and use knowledge and methods of various disciplines when they are appropriate for understanding a problem A core curriculum organization could be instituted for part of the day, if educators felt certain fundamental subjects were being neglected Topics from the social studies appear to be relevant especially in organizing a core curriculum because skills, information and concepts from a variety of disciplines might be pertinent to such topics A second implication of this study is the need for less isolation of teachers Isolated and without the spirit of critical examination of the problems they face, teachers cannot help one another in planning, in dealing with practical problems, or with voids in their skills and knowledge Isolated, they do not know what transpired in previous years and what is to come for the children they teach as they advance to higher grades, nor what occurs to children with other teachers they meet through the week As a group, teachers may be able to draw upon one another's strengths and collaborate to address common issues, such as interruptions They could collegially critique one another's plans, textbooks and policies that interfere with the curriculum and consider ways to help more children have greater access to the curriculum than is presently the case Summary Teachers' planning, then, involves a complex, simultaneous juggling of many questions and information about past practice, subject matter, children, and materials Planning does not follow the objectives-first model taught in many education courses Rather, it accounts for far more information, follows different patterns, and is more complex than the objectives-first model It is a practical activity of teachers and, as a result, practical considerations are weighed Most lessons are at least partly derived from textbooks The sequence of lessons in social studies is disjointed in many classrooms A lack of continuity may be due to an assumption that textbook authors provide continuity, an assumption that may or may not be warranted The lack of continuity may also arise out of scheduling social studies every other day, interruptions, teachers' lack of concern for continuity, and the lack of a view of what constitutes social studies Social studies lessons in elementary schools are usually scheduled two or three 30 to 45 minute periods a week As a result of the short amount of time allocated to social stud6 4


ies, only activities of short duration could be planned This may have influenced the sorts of learning children had access to in social studies Teachers' skills and knowledge, attitudes and beliefs, and their perceptions of what is permitted in their setting influence what they plan This study has revealed that teachers' planning is a highly practical, complex activity related to teaching Planning is' influenced in many ways, in turn influencing what children have an opportunity to learn The question remains, how can we incorporate this notion of how teachers naturally plan into our theories, yet enrich it to facilitate better schooling for all involved? 6 5


References Basil Bernstein "On the Classification and Framing of Education Knowledge ." In Michael Young (Ed .), Knowledge and Control London : Collier Macmillian, 1971, 47-59 Mike Bowler "The Making of a Textbook ." Learning, 6 (March, 1978), 38-42 Christopher Clark "Teacher Planning Study, Described ." Communication Quarterly, 1 (July, 1978), 1-4 John Dewey Human Nature and Conduct Rahway, New Jersey : Henry Holt and Company, 1922 Howard Gardner "Thinking/Composing Symphonies and Dinner Parties ." Psychology Today, 13 (April, 1980), 18-27 Sue Kleinberg and Sheena Crozier "Differences in the Arrangements for Art/Craft and Mathematics ." Classroom Interaction Project 13 Glasgow : Jordanhill College of Education, April, 1978 T R Mann The Practice of Planning .The Impact of the Elementary School on Teachers' Curriculum Making (Doctoral Dissertation, University of California, Berkeley, 1975) Dissertation Abstracts International, 36 (1975), 3359-A-3360A Gail McCutcheon "How Do Elementary School Teachers Plan?" The Elementary School Journal (in press) E L Merriman Considerations Identified by Elementary Teachers as Elements of Their Planning for Instructional Activities (Doctoral Dissertation, Eugene : University of Oregon, 1975) Disseration Abstracts International, 36 (1976) William A Reid Thinking About the Curriculum London : Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1978 Joseph J Schwab "The Practical : A Language for Curriculum," School Review, 78 (1969) Daniel Tanner and Laurel Tanner Curriculum Development New York : Macmillan, 1980 (2nd Edition) P H Taylor How Teachers Plan Their Courses London : National Foundation for Educational Research, 1970 6 6


Theory and Research in Social Education Volume 9 Number I Spring 1981, pp 67-89 € by the College and University Faculty Assembly of the National Council for the Social Studies Toward a Reconstruction of Social Education William B Stanley Louisiana State University This is the second of two articles dealing with the reconstructionist rationale for social education The first article provided an analysis of reconstructionism as expressed in the works of George Counts and Theodore Brameld (Stanley, 1981) These two authors developed a rationale for social education which differed significantly from those of their contemporaries who were often labeled as reconstructionists The Counts-Brameld rationale will hereafter be referred to as radical reconstructionism The first article explained the basic tenets of radical reconstructionism and outlined the radical reconstructionist rationale for social education This article has two basic objectives First, it examines the extent to which the tenets of radical reconstructionism are reflected in five dominant rationales for modern social education Second, the basic tenets of radical reconstruction are used as criteria to analyze the adequacy of the five modern rationales There are important reasons for examining these issues Considerable debate still exists over how to rationalize and define social education The importance of this conceptual debate should not be underestimated, for it raises specific questions which shape the development of theory and practice in the field Several recent attempts have been made to define and rationalize social education, but none has given serious attention to the 6 7


radical reconstructionist rationale (Engle, 1968 ; Barth and Shermis, 1970 ; Brubaker, et al 1977 ; and Barr et al 1977) The position taken here is that radical reconstructionism is a significant movement in the history of social education, and that the radical reconstructionists have raised questions and made proposals which could enrich and expand the debate over how to define and rationalize the field The tenets of radical reconstructionism also provide a prism to examine how modern social educators deal with several important issues raised by radical critics A summary of the radical reconstructionist position is in order before proceeding The radical reconstructionists were a small faction on the left of the progressive education movement Their ideas crystalized during the depression decade, and Brameld has revised and expanded the rationale since 1945 Counts and Brameld believed that our culture was in a state of crisis, and they feared that attempts to resolve it could lead to the creation of a totalitarian political system But the crisis they attempted to define went beyond the obvious economic collapse which gripped the nation in the 1930's They also perceived a crisis in values which manifested ifself in various cultural bifurcations and value conflicts Among the most significant value conflicts was the antagonism between laissez-faire individualism and the perceived need for social consensus and collectivism Such conflicts could be observed in numerous facets of our culture, and resulted in confusion, moral relativism, and a loss of social purpose The radical reconstructionists also believed that many of our social institutions had ceased to function in the interest of the vast majority of people Instead, they were now dominated by and functioned in the interest of certain powerful groups The radical reconstructionists contended that most people were unaware of this situation, because the negative aspects of our major institutions were masked by an outmoded ideology which rationalized their present functions The radical reconstructionist vision of the "good society" included a higher degree of planning and control over our major economic institutions Natural resources would be distributed and used in the public interest, but this would not require public ownership of the means of production They also rejected any notions of a proletarian dictatorship, and insisted on the preservation of democratic freedoms Counts and Brameld believed that a selfish and narrow view of individualism was undermining our democratic values and sense of community When they spoke of cultural transformation, they were calling for the creation of a new philosophy and value system to serve as a guide for cultural and social criticism In their view, a radical transformation of consciousness was a prerequisite for the structural transformation of the 6 8


culture and society They hoped for the creation of a new system which would protect democratic freedoms, guarantee public participation in the political process and ensure economic justice Social education was to play a key role in the process of cultural transformation Admittedly, the impact of culture is strong and the process of cultural and social change complex Still, the radical reconstructionists were optimistic regarding our ability to make such changes Social educators, they believed, were in a unique position to influence the thinking of millions of young people directly and at a critical point in their social development Thus, they should be directly involved in the process of improving our culture and institutions First, they urged social educators to develop a theory of social welfare based on the radical reconstructionist philosophy This would serve as a guide to curriculum design and classroom practice They reasoned that without a vision of a preferred future, social educators would lack standards for committing themselves to rational, normative goals for the present Second, social educators should incorporate social criticism or critical theory into their program In this way, social education could function to monitor the extent of cultural lag, and to help expose the dysfunctional aspects of our culture and institutions This would be in contrast to the present tendency of social educators to transmit and rationalize the status quo Third, the radical reconstructionists believed that indoctrination was inevitable in any social education program They defined indoctrination as the attempt to persuade others of the truth of certain propositions or hypotheses In our society, school attendance is compulsory and many social studies courses are required These conditions, they reasoned, reflect certain value preferences and exclude a number of alternatives In addition, social studies teachers select specific course content and teaching strategies while ignoring or deemphasizing other content and strategies Thus students are constantly exposed to a contrived and filtered environment in any social education class While the radical reconstructionists endorsed reflective inquiry and opposed any attempt to distort or suppress information, they insisted that there was no way to carry on the process of filtering and selecting without some value criteria Consequently, it made no sense to hold that social education should be neutral or nonpartisan Thus, unlike Dewey and his intellectual progeny, the radical reconstructionists favored designing a social education program based on normative commitments or "defensible partialities ." These commitments would provide a guide for content selection and classroom practice They agreed that all knowledge must be regarded as tentative, but this is not a sufficient reason to avoid making normative commitments of an indefinite nature 6 9


No culture is completely static, and no doubt our culture is constantly being changed in a variety of ways, many of which we are unaware The radical reconstructionists realized this but they were concerned that such change was largely accidental, unplanned and unexamined Thus it might have negative effects or be irrelevant to the changes they considered important If by chance social education or some aspect of the "hidden curriculum" caused such effects, it did not constitute an adequate educational program In addition, if social educators really were functioning to transmit the status quo uncritically, they were teaching students that both social criticism and radical change were undesirable or at best unimportant The radical reconstructionists argued that an ongoing process of social criticism was the only adequate way to assess the need for cultural and social change They urged that, as far as possible, we should seek to influence the course of change along lines consistent with their view of the "good society ." One may reject the radical reconstructionists' vision of the "good society" and still see much of relevance in their argument If, as many suggest (Barr, Barth & Shermis, 1977), social educators are primarily concerned with citizenship, such training must consist of more than the uncritical transmission of the culture It is also reasonable to argue that social educators must develop rationales which are sensitive to the problems connected with indoctrination In addition, if social educators are attempting to deal with students who will live and work in the future, one may assume that they should have a vision of what a preferred future might be like Such a vision requires a critical analysis of the present culture because we must try to know to what extent it should serve as a model for the future In sum then, the radical reconstructionists urged social educators to address the following concerns in the process of training citizens : 1) the need to develop a theory of social welfare and to make normative commitments to a vision of the "good society" ; 2) the importance of social criticism to help expose the dysfunctional aspects of our culture and institutions ; 3) the need to consider radical proposals for cultural and institutional change ; and 4) the inevitability of indoctrination and the need to develop a process for using it as a tool for rationally implementing social and cultural change These concerns or tenets are used here as criteria for the critical analysis of five significant rationales for modern social education The modern rationales are examined to determine to what extent they adequately reflect and deal with the concerns of radical reconstructionism The rationale categories used here are similar to those used by others (Barth & Shermis, 1970), and no claim is made that they are definitive or exclusive Rather, they are used to organize and facilitate the analysis of current social education Still, each rationale can be logically defended in terms of its focus and concerns The five categories used here include 7 0


rationales based on : 1) common or core values ; 2) the social science disciplines and history ; 3) the inquiry process and decision-making ; 4) reflective inquiry into social problems ; and 5) citizen action In most instances, only one or a few examples of each rationale will be examined as representative of the category It is recognized that actual classroom practice might frequently conflict with the rationales advocated by modern social educators This could be a serious problem, but it is not the concern of this paper The attempt here is to examine critically various rationales and the effects they might have should they be implemented The consequences of failing to practice these rationales must be examined elsewhere Social Education Based on Common Values The Jurisprudential rationale developed by Oliver and Shaver (1966) is an excellent example of an approach based on common values, in this case political and legal values Oliver and Shaver believe that the selection of social studies content should be guided by the interests of the community and the students residing therein (pp 7-8) They also conclude that the primary goal of the social studies should be to "promote the dignity and worth of each individual" (p 9) They accept this as a fundamental commitment yet they claim that it cannot be justified in any "ultimate sense" (p 9) The most persuasive reasons for adopting these values seem to be culturebound, and they conclude that the commitment to human dignity is an example of the "belief in man as an end in himself" (p .10) But these basic values are vague and subject to interpretation America is a society of numerous subcultures and each could have its own recommendation for achieving the dignity and worth of the individual Oliver and Shaver contend that this is an important reason for maintaining the option to choose freely among alternative solutions to problems (p 10) But, a national society would not be possible without general ethical standards about which the various subcultures can agree (p 11) Such standards can be derived from the great political documents of our past and constitute what Gunnar Myrdal called the "American Creed" (pp 11-12) These include the basic rights and freedoms outlined in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution The Creed serves to provide Americans with the standards they need to solve common problems facing the community However, the resolution of social problems will probably remain incomplete inasmuch as human nature is not perfectable The social studies curriculum proposed by Oliver and Shaver would have students study various social issues and analyze them via the useful perspective of the "American Creed" (p 13) This necessitates the students' further exposure to the descriptive and conceptual levels of our culture and the subcultures which might impinge on it But most importantly, the students must "be committed to the basic ideals of American society . ." as expressed in the Creed (p 14) 7 1


Oliver and Shaver are concerned about the problems associated with indoctrination but they contend that social cohesion is not possible without common normative commitments (p 14) They seek to avoid the worst problems of indoctrination by defining the American Creed on two levels The first, including the general tenets of the Creed, must be imposed on students However, the translation of the Creed to specific solutions or behaviors is left to individuals and groups (p 14) At this second level the government must guarantee a pluralistic process of choice The behavior of the social studies educator whose views might conflict with the American Creed are carefully circumscribed The classroom is not considered an appropriate place for those who seek to subvert the ideals of the society because the students are not in an autonomous position from which they can fight back (p 14) At the very least American social educators have an obligation to use our "culture as an operative basis for curricular decisions" (p 26) Even though no values can be proven beyond any doubt, the authors contend that we must avoid adopting the position of moral relativism (p 51) They assume that people will "intuitively" agree on what best constitutes "civilized" behavior (p 51) In this sense, they seem to concur with the reconstructionist position that we must live by "tentative conclusion about ultimate moral meaning" (p 27) To facilitate the process of value analysis, Oliver and Shaver suggest that social values, e .g ., equality and freedom, be viewed as dimensional constructs such as equal-unequal or freedom-coercion This avoids the either-or reasoning often employed in value decisions Instead, the problem becomes one of determining at what point on a continuum a behavior should be given priority over others (p 27) When Oliver and Shaver say that the dimensional perspective could make it easier for students to deal with reality, they are speaking of the facilitation of compromises within the framework of a pluralistic political system For example, they cite separate-but-equal as superior to separate-butunequal, even though the former may not be an ideal ethical condition (p 27) The same kind of reasoning applies to the qualifications and limits placed on basic freedoms like speech, press, etc Thus, in conflict situations, ethical conduct amounts to the "right" compromise among values (p 28) The resolution of such compromises will turn on "what persuasion finally triumphs within the group which asks the questions" (p 51) But the ultimate value of human dignity may never be sacrificed for the sake of a decision (p 51) Oliver and Shaver note that it may be impossible to reach a complete consensus on any issue Hence, a society must agree in advance on what will constitute an adequate majority for decision making Once such decisions are resolved, dissenting members of society are bound by the decision as long as it was accomplished by a process of rational consent (p 62) 7 2


Thus there are really two basic values in a democratic society, human dignity and rational consent When viewed from the radical reconstructionist perspective, this rationale has several positive attributes It emphasizes the importance of studying social issues and value conflicts The authors are also concerned with the problems of indoctrination and moral relativism They urge social educators to make normative commitments to the higher values of the American Creed and the process of rational consent But other aspects of this rational conflict with the radical reconstructionist viewpoint First, Oliver and Shaver do not emphasize social criticism nor do they explicitly criticize the culture or its institutions Also, the scope of the ideas they examine does not include any consideration of radical proposals for cultural or institutional change In fact, they seem to believe that social education is not the proper arena for dealing with radical criticism of the culture In addition, their approach to indoctrination does not deal with the defacto moral relativism which emerges when the higher values of the Creed are too amorphous to apply in concrete situations If the application of the Creed in specific situations must be determined on the basis of a vote or the relative power of interest groups, how can it serve effectively as a guide for social decisions? The view of the "good society" expressed in this rationale seems to be one based on the core values of the American Creed, and the process of rational consent and political pluralism These are highly desirable facets of a liberal political culture However, their effectiveness might be greatly diminished in a society which functions without a serious commitment to the need for social criticism, nor do they propose a specific theory of social welfare to serve as a guide for social criticism Given these limitations, students might be restricted to making hypothetical decisions within the framework of the extant culture and institiutional arrangements In short, this rationale does not indicate much potential for critical examination of our culture, institutions or the ideology which rationalizes them History' and the Social Science Disciplines as a Rationale for Social Education This rationale is probably the most popular and influential, although its proponents often disagree among themselves The dominant place of history in social education is obvious and the other social science disciplines have made significant gains in the last two decades (See, for example, the November 1972 issue of Social Education wherein twenty-six projects were analyzed and only four were not directly based on the social science disciplines .) 'There has been considerable debate as to whether history is a social science (Shaver and Berlak, 1968) However, this issue is peripheral to the concerns of this paper and the terms will be used interchangeably 7 3


Among the earliest advocates of this rationale are Wesley and Wronski (1958) who conceived of the social studies as the social sciences "simplified for pedagogical purposes" (p 3) But it was Jerome Bruner (1960) who gave this rationale increased credibility Bruner's basic approach was to make the structure of the social science disciplines (i .e ., the concepts, generalizations, theories, and methods of investigation and organization) the focus of social education He believed that these structures could be taught in some intellectually respectable form to students of all ages (p 14) Teaching the structure of the disciplines was central to Bruner because he believed that "grasping the structure of a subject is understanding it in a way that permits many other things to be related to it meaningfully" (p 7) In addition he perceived the structure of the disciplines as the best means for resolving social problems William T Lowe (1969) was strongly influenced by Bruner, and he makes the following claims regarding the value of the social science rational First, we will learn more if what we learn is logically organized, and the disciplines provided such organization Second, this approach to learning also increases retention, and knowledge learned in this way is more easily transferred to new situations (pp 40-41) Lowe also maintains that the structure of the disciplines gives the social education curriculum a theoretical focus and sets intellectual priorities for teaching As he puts it, "The basic purpose of the school should be the intellectual development of its citizens . ." (p 51) The writers who support the social science rationale fall into two major groups One seeks to integrate, synthesize or orchestrate the disciplines (among others, Lowe, 1969 ; Senesh, 1971 ; and Kuhn, 1971) Members of a second group tend to focus on their particular discipline as the most important basis for social education (For examples of this view see Wiggens (1972 ), Morrissett (1967 ), Morrissett and Stevens (1971), Krug (1967 ) and Bestor (1969) .) The historian Bestor is an excellent illustration of the latter perspective Bestor (1969) argues that students must learn to function in an uncertain future "They must accordingly understand the inescapable fact of social change, which only history can really teach" (p 183) Bestor accepts the view that the purpose of the social studies is "civic training" but he sees this as practically synonymous with training in history The end result should be "the raising up of a loyal, well informed, thoughtful citizenry (p 183) In addition, only history teaches the "humaness" of people and makes them aware of their own separate individualities by giving them knowledge of their past (p 183) History provides other benefits as well It "is the study of history, not contemporary issues, that provides genuine `problem solving' situations" (p 184) History provides a series of problems for which the results are in and 7 4


an answer sheet is supplied to check "the accuracy and adequacy of . analysis and judgments" (p 184) Thus history gives the "long view" in dealing with contemporary issues Perhaps the strongest proponent of the social science rationale is Charles E Keller (1968) His argument, similar to Lowe's, goes even further Keller would exclude all efforts by social studies educators to train students in citizenship (p 189) We do not, in his estimation, really know what "good citizenship" means Therefore, we should stop trying to teach attitudes and behaviors that lead to the "good" citizen The social studies are not a discipline but a federation of subjects each with its own discipline . no discipline-or federation of subjectsshould ever "impose a pattern of behavior" on anybody (p 189) By focusing on the basic ideas, concepts and generalizations of the disciplines and by promoting inductive thinking, we will teach students how to think It should be left to them to form their own conclusions A rationale based on the social science disciplines reflects a number of the radical reconstructionist concerns The disciplines provide a rich source of data, and a wide, even radical, range of viewpoints Also, this rationale's commitment to objectivity and rigorous methods for seeking the truth are potentially formidable barriers to the distortion and suppression of information However, given the radical reconstructionist's critieria, the disciplines do not provide a sufficient rationale for social education The disciplines are often used to study education, but they are not centrally concerned with social education and its problems Social scientists do make commitments to certain syntactical or methodological processes for seeking truth, but they do not share a common interest regarding which problems should be investigated, nor how their findings should be incorporated into social education This rationale also fails to provide a general theory of social welfare or vision of the "good society ." In short, this rationale presents social educators with a bewildering array of data and alternative interpretations without any clear orientation as to the "best" way to proceed when selecting content and teaching methods One might argue that the structure of the disciplines is the key for content selection But to what will the structure be applied? Which problems deserve priority and what future direction should our society take? Ironically, Bruner has significantly revised his earlier views and now feels that studying the structure of the disciplines is too remote and that the structure of knowledge could be better learned by studying social problems (Bruner, 1971, p 20) This rationale also fails to deal adequately with the issue of indoctrination The disciplines are preoccupied with value neutrality, i .e ., the study of 7 5


what is as opposed to what ought to be The tacit assumption seems to be that the process of objective social science inquiry is a sufficient safeguard against indoctrination, because only a structure and methodology are imposed on students But this view fails to note that there must be some values criteria for the selection of content and methods Bruner has come to realize this, and he now contends that the process of education is not neutral because the way it is conducted can guarantee a future for some while dealing others out (Bruner, 1971, p 21) Finally, the social science rationale does not emphasize the need for social criticism as a central element of social education One could argue that this rationale-lacking a theory of social welfare, a vision of the "good society", a means to deal adequately with indoctrination or a commitment to social criticism-will tend to rationalize and transmit the status quo Inquiry as a Rationale for Social Education A number of social educators emphasize the importance of developing inquiry skills ; however, the emphasis placed on the process varies widely At times it is described as a discrete skill which could be applied to a variety of rationales (Beyer, 1971 ) Others seems to view the process of inquiry as something more, i .e ., a rationale in and of itself, which is supportive of other values (Goldmark, 1965, 1968 ; Engle, 1970 ; Engle & Longstreet, 1972) As Bernice Goldmark (1965) states, "The teacher is demonstrating basic democratic values by the very choice of the method of inquiry" (p 351) And, she notes, this rationale is always open and committed to public scrutiny including inquiry into the inquiry process itself Goldmark (1968) and Brubaker (1967) are among the few contemporary social educators who acknowledge some of the contributions of Counts and Brameld They accept the need for some imposition in education, but, according to Brubaker, the best solution is to indoctrinate "students to accept the doctrine that inquiry into all matters is absolutely desirable" (p 120) Goldmark (1968) is critical of Counts and Brameld for overemphasizing the ends of society above the means for achieving those ends (p 41) Goldmark proposes the inquiry process as a sufficient rationale for the social studies, and believes it reinforces a central aim of education which is to develop responsible, scientific methods of judgment, including the analysis of values (p 2) The process of inquiry "should lead to a reconstruction of values to meet the demands of a rapidly changing world" '(p .2) Goldmark sees inquiry as more than a mere cognitive operational process It also operates in the affective realm because "It is basically a quality of commitment to a way of behavior-to doubting and questioning" (p 7) These behaviors become the goals of a social studies program based upon inquiry 7 6


Goldmark maintains that thus far the definitions of social "problems" have proven too vague to serve as the core of social education In her view, we probably cannot predict with any certainty the knowledge students will need for the future, but we can assume that they "will probably always need a method for making judgments about problems-for evaluating alternatives and making decisions" (p 43) In addition, students should be educated "to want to cope with problems" (p 43) Subject matter should always be viewed as a means to resolve problems but "never as an end in itself" (p 90) The inquiry rationale reflects the radical reconstructionists' concern for the need to emphasize a doubting, critical attitude when investigating social issues Attention is also given to the importance of being able to investigate all issues and that no ideas or systems are sacrosanct However, this rationale ignores most of the other concerns of radical reconstructionism First, it provides no clear social orientation or vision of the "good society" to guide the selection of content There is a commitment to inquiry as a teaching method, but there are no guidelines to determine which problems should be investigated or what would constitute desirable decision-making outcomes The way this rationale deals with the issue of indoctrination also creates problems The need to impose the inquiry process is acknowledged, but the imposition of substantive values is rejected The implication is that all questions are open and no problem can be solved in any final sense On one level this is true, but it is a distorted and imbalanced view because no effort is made to indicate how one might judge the relative value of decisions It also fails to recognize the radical reconstructionists' claim that social educators do in fact make commitments, albeit tentative ones, to values and programs Finally, this rationale makes no apparent attempt to examine critically our cultural institutions Although the rationale does support critical inquiry and investigation of social issues, it does not emphasize the importance of social criticism as a central part of social education Instead, the focus is on a process for investigation and not on the need to expose outmoded ideologies and the dysfunctional aspects of the culture Social Education as Inquiry into Selected Social Problems Several social educators have favored this rationale (Johnson, 1956 ; Hunt & Metcalf, 1968 ; Massialas & Cox, 1966 ; Nelson, 1974 ; and Phillips, 1974, among others) The Hunt and Metcalf rationale is perhaps the best example of this genre and will serve as the focus of study They define education as the transmission of that part of our culture which has ongoing value to the next generation (p 23) Problems develop because people disa7 7


gree over which parts of the culture are of most value In the main, the choice is based on the kind of society one desires in the future (p 23) Like the reconstructionists, Hunt and Metcalf believe that our culture is conflictridden Problems seem to multiply faster than our ability to resolve them The most important problems are related to "closed areas" of our culture which are generally avoided or excluded from critical examination (pp 2627) They include the following as examples : power and law ; religion and morality ; race and minority-group relations ; social class ; sex, courtship and marriage ; nationalism, and economics (p 27) The authors note that "Any belief that has not been subject to rational examination is by definition a prejudice no matter how correct or incorrect it may be" (p 27) They recommend a social education program designed to use reflective inquiry to study the problematic areas of our culture, especially the closed areas (p 24) The closed areas are especially important because they remain as potential "sources of totalitarian belief and practice in a culture that strains in two directions, democratic and authoritarian" (p 28) By generally excluding closed areas from investigation, the schools tend to concentrate on trivia This problem is compounded by an over-emphasis on new techniques to motivate students (p 28) The result is the consumption of student and teacher energy on irrelevant content and technique Hunt and Metcalf are also concerned with the transmission of core values as part of their rationale Peripheral values may fluctuate but citizens in a democracy are in danger if they cannot agree on the interpretation of such core values as individual dignity, freedom, and equality (p 34) But if value consensus is not possible, a democratic society might yet be preserved if the method of reflective inquiry is widely accepted to resolve issues of truth and meaning (p 34) Like the reconstructionists, Hunt and Metcalf also believe that "American society is in turmoil, transition and crisis" (p 42) The outcome is not inevitable and could be democratic or authoritarian Social educators "can help to tip the scales in one direction or another . ." (p 42) Thus, social educators have a choice and can use the process of reflective inquiry to help students correct their habitual and distorted ways of thinking (pp 45-46) Hunt and Metcalf warn against confusing true problem solving with pseudo-problem solving, which they explain as organizing curriculum around problems as defined by textbook authors, teachers, curriculum experts, etc (p 78) This is in sharp contrast to authentic problems, which result "when students sense inadequacies or incompatibilities in their beliefs, concepts, or values" (p 79) At first glance this approach seems quite child centered, something to which the reconstructionists had strongly objected Yet Hunt and Metcalf have suggested numerous examples of what they obviously consider authentic problems The apparent contradiction might be resolved by viewing their warning about pseudo-problems as a 7 8


methodological caveat, i .e ., teachers may-select problems for students to consider but it is pointless to proceed if the teacher is unable to develop the students' awareness that a real problem does exist They evidently think this is possible because they offer numerous techniques for developing student awareness of problems In fact, they contend that the content of education may logically be imposed This is so, because individuals often do not see the connection between their personal problems and the "broader social maladjustments in which they are rooted" (p 287) The authors believe that need, in a cultural context, is a value term In this sense a culture "(1) values the absence of certain frustrations, and (2) cherishes certain means for reducing frustration" (p 287) Thus, because needs are cultural in origin and social in meaning, imposition cannot be avoided in education A major problem is that our present system of education imposes conflicting values leaving students in a state of confusion (p 287) Because the individual is so familiar with his/her culture he/she tends to take it for granted In such a state of mind he/she often tends to assume it is right, logical and natural (p 287) Hence, the severe conflicts present in the culture frequently remain hidden or closed At best they might be perceived as aberrations in an otherwise sound social system Reflective inquiry can help a student pierce this illusory state, but Hunt and Metcalf warn that doing so may either "fortify or undermine" basic social beliefs (p 289) Reflective inquiry is compatible with the scientific method but it also includes other criteria for arriving at the truth These include logic and philosophic discourse (p 67) The basic criterion for accepting the truth of a hypothesis is evidence Even if the evidence is only slightly better it will justify the preference for one belief over another (p 76) But all conclusions must be viewed as tentative, i .e ., "All knowledge is assumed to be relative, in the sense that no question is closed to reexamination provided that a reason to reexamine develops" (p 76) However, this does not preclude establishing principles or positions whose validity we may accept indefinitely Of the five rationales examined in this paper, Hunt and Metcalf's appears best to reflect the views of radical reconstructionism They believe that we suffer a culture-crisis because we have failed to reach a national consensus on dominant social values They also oppose the uncritical transmission of our culture and urge social educators to give special attention to the issues normally "closed" to investigation Hunt and Metcalf are sensitive to the problems associated with indoctrination, and believe that we can use reflective inquiry to find defensible principles to which we can make indefinite commitments Finally, they agree that social educators should be involved in the process of improving our culture 7 9


Still, when viewed in terms of the radical reconstructionist criteria, the Hunt-Metcalf rationale has several faults For one thing, their vision of the "good society" is difficult to determine They are obviously not satisfied with the status quo, but they do not suggest clear guidelines for a preferred future And though they are committed to the process of reflective inquiry and the need to reach a consensus on cultural values, they do not specify a theory of social welfare to guide and orient the selection of such values Thus they offer no clear standards for social criticism or cultural change In addition, although the rationale emphasizes the investigation of closed cultural areas, the actual focus is to study these areas from a vantage point well within our extant culture and institutional arrangements Thus, when Hunt and Metcalf examine issues such as racism, unemployment, etc ., the focus seems to be on how to adjust our present institutions to help ameliorate these problems There is little or no analysis of the possibility that the very structure of our economic, social and political institutions might be the root cause of such problems This omission tends to blunt the impact and scope of this rationale's commitment to social criticism Citizen Action as a Rationale for Social Studies Education Fred Newmann (1975) is the leading proponent of citizen action as a rationale for social education One reason he believes this approach is important is that most citizens feel they lack significant control over their destinies and everyday lives Newmann suggests three possible reasons for this pervasive sense of alienation and powerlessness First, one could subscribe to some form of power elite theory in which the majority of people are exploited to maintain the position of powerful groups (p 1) Another possible explanation is rooted in factors which result in the oppression of certain groups This includes all forms of discrimination, e .g ., racism, sexism, and attitudes prejudicial toward youth, the mentally ill, physically handicapped, poor, elderly, homosexuals, ex-convicts, etc The third explanation for powerlessness holds that social issues "are inherently so complex that man will never solve them through deliberate rational intervention" (p 2) Indeed, so many variables seem to be involved that attempts to change the system at best result in the temporary illusion of control We must, therefore, accept that our lack of control is basic to our existence (p 2) Newmann accepts each of these interpretations as partly true but he insists that none is sufficient to account for the widespread inability of people to affect public policy (p 2) Therefore, it makes sense to focus on improving citizen competence as a necessary requirement for exerting one's influence in public affairs Furthermore, if lack of citizen competence could be eliminated as a variable, the other alleged impediments to action could be better tested for actual effect 8 0


Newmann distinguishes between his approach and most other citizenship programs in social studies education The others tend to emphasize "thinking critically about" or "taking an active interest in" citizenship, while Newmann's emphasis is on exerting influence In his view the current emphasis on developing knowledge of the disciplines, the political legal structure, decision making, analysis of social problems, and voting are all inadequate to develop the skills necessary to exert influence (pp 4-5) For instance, our schools tend to teach students to support such values as democracy, majority rule, equality, due process of law and so forth The development of these attitudes is presumed to be the basis of a vigilant and active citizenry Yet, though these concepts are relevant to the issue of citizen influence, they also tend "to communicate unworkable notions of citizen participation" (p 6) The net effect is to emphasize the students' .need to understand rather than to exert influence Also, too much emphasis has been placed on reflection at an abstract and general level, and Newmann recommends more analysis at specific and concrete levels We should tend to focus on local rather than national issues, as these have a far greater probability of solution (p 6) The key, in Newmann's view, is not mere action but action to exert influence Thus, much out of school student activity, such as trips to nursing homes and police stations or simulated career experiences, would not meet Newmann's criteria He uses the term "environmental competence" to describe his educational goal He defines competence as "the ability to behave in such a way, or to use one's effort in such a manner, as to produce the consequences that one intends" (p 12) Newmann also believes that by developing the student's environmental competence we can help strengthen the consent ideal, a primary goal of public education (p 46) Without the ability of all persons to participate in the political process some groups will be better able to subject others to their will (p .47) Newmann notes that, at present, various forces (including powerful elites and the complexity of issues) often make action difficult or impossible (p 54) However, he believes consent should not be seen as an end which will ultimately be achieved by all, but rather as an ideal goal we continue to strive toward Indeed, to do less might result in the infliction of a self fulfilling prophecy (p 54) Regarding the political role of schools, they ought to be as neutral as possible Truth cannot be determined unless we are able to examine a wide range of alternatives Thus school should be committed to a pluralistic model which exposes students to a great "variety of political philosophies and cultural styles" (p 64) However, the school must not be neutral in its commitment to the consent ideal Yet it is never correct, in Newmann's view, to try to convince students to endorse specific policies educators believe would strengthen the consent system (p 72) This is an educationally indefensible policy, because it is 8 1


seldom clear which policies would best achieve our ends It also denies students the opportunity to inquire openly into the issues and policies they might wish to support At most, educators should teach the skills required to make policy decisions (p 72) This does not violate the principle of school neutrality or the consent ideal In other words, Newmann supports the development of the consent ideal and not specific social or political goals, e .g ., the eradication of poverty (p 166) Newmann's rationale is well developed and his argument supporting citizen action is quite persuasive Indeed, he makes a stronger case for citizen action than one finds in radical reconstructionism This rationale also recognizes the need to impose certain values on students, e .g ., higher democratic values and the rational consent ideal However, from the radical reconstructionist perspective, his rationale has a number of flaws The rationale's vision of the "good society" is vague Certain standards are evident, e .g ., active, environmentally competent citizens, a commitment to the consent ideal, and a pluralistic political system But the rationale is not based on any theory of social welfare, and Newmann makes it clear that social educators should not attempt to impose a preference for specific social policies or outcomes Thus the rationale lacks a clear social orientation Newmann's rationale also fails to deal adequately with the problem of indoctrination Although he makes a case for imposing higher democratic values and the consent ideal, he does not suggest standards for determining which content is most important or how best to resolve specific conflicts among individuals or groups Given these limitations, his proposals for increasing citizen competence are subject to potential abuse Even Newmann admits that the groups which hold advantageous positions in our society might be the ones who benefit most from developing their environmental competence Finally, this rationale does not emphasize the importance of social criticism or the need to consider radical proposals for social change The rationale's focus is primarily procedural, not substantive With no guiding social orientation, the tacit assumption seems to be that our present culture and institutions are functional The only serious problem posed by Newmann is the masses' apparent inability to exert political influence But if everyone were suddenly given such competence, each would still lack a value consensus about how to use it Rational consent may provide a process for reaching consensus, but, in some respects, increased competence could be antithetical to compromise Instead, groups with increased competence might only strive harder to impose their will Our recent experience with singleissue interest groups gives some indication of this 8 2


Conclusion The rationales examined in this paper are among the best in modern social education Even when viewed from the critical perspective of radical reconstructionism, they provide a rich and varied source of iedas The general commitment to reflective inquiry and the freedom to investigate all areas of the culture are reassuring In addition, Newmann's proposals for developing environmental competence are a welcome addition to the field Several authors express a sensitivity to the problems associated with indoctrination and offer some suggestions for dealing with them Most would limit indoctrination to the imposition of the method of reflective inquiry, but others accept the need to impose normative standards, albeit on a very general level Hunt and Metcalf agree with the radical reconstructionist view that our nation suffers from a serious value crisis While they do not fully accept the reconstructionists' views regarding the nature of the crisis or the best means to resolve it, they do agree that social educators can and should play an important role in the process of cultural and social change Still, given the criteria of radical reconstructionism, all the modern rationales have serious limitations First, none gives sufficient attention to radical ideas or proposals for social change To some extent this is understandable, for social educators are creatures of the culture and tend to reflect its dominant values This tendency is reinforced by various special interest groups which pressure social educators to maintain traditional values The net effect seems to be a considerable amount of self censorship Ironically, the liberal or progressive tradition in social education might also function to block the examination of radical ideas Progressive social educators seem to share a general commitment to the values of the "American Creed," political pluralism and rational consent The idea that all groups should be able to speak out and participate in the political process seems to allow for the examination of radical viewpoints But in practice, this might not be the case Political pluralism depends on certain rules and a willingness to compromise in order to function effectively These are necessary and desirable conditions for the operation of a democratic society However, when applied to the process of social education, the ideology of political pluralism is often hostile to radical ideas Radical proposals are often posed in such a way as to reject attempts at compromise or to reject the values of liberal democracy There is an apparent reluctance, therefore, to consider ideas which are perceived as incompatible with or a threat to the pluralist ideology But the failure to give adequate attention to radical ideas limits the scope of social education and deprives students of the opportunity to examine a wide range of cultural alternatives A second limitation is the failure of the modern rationales to reflect a concern for the importance of social criticism as a component of social education The Hunt-Metcalf rationale is a partial exception, because it urges 8 3


investigation of the closed areas of society and rejects the uncritical transmission of the culture But their rationale offers no guidelines or standards for social criticism The extent to which our culture and institutions require change is difficult to assess without an ongoing process of social criticism Furthermore, one might conclude that if students are not taught that social criticism is important, they are likely to assume that there is no need to examine critically the culture they are learning via social education To the extent that this happens, social education will fail to play a role in the process of investigating cultural lag and the possible need for change Another possible consequence is that the unexamined extant culture will become the students' model for a preferred future Ironically, even the emphasis on inquiry, evident in most of the modern rationales, is presented in such a way as to reinforce the view that social criticism is not an important part of social education The various inquiry approaches are generally applied to situations wherein one must determine which adjustments need to be made in the most relevant institution(s) to resolve a social problem The implicit assumption seems to be that such adjustments are all that are required to resolve social problems, inasmuch as our basic institutions are adequate to meet our social and cultural needs There is apparently no serious consideration of the possibility that some of our present institutional arrangements may be the root cause of social problems and therefore require radical change One might reject this view after careful analysis, but how can we be confident that such questions are not important enough to investigate? A third problem is that these modern rationales generally lack any theory of social welfare or a specific view of the "good society ." Several authors note the importance of establishing a consensus on significant social values, but none are willing to specify how these values ought to be applied in concrete situations The resolution of these issues is generally left to the process of rational consent within a system of political pluralism This is a useful practice but it tends to limit the concept of consensus to the results of a voting procedure In addition, if people are asked to do this without the benefit of the insights gained via social criticism and the examination of radical proposals for change, how significant and meaningful can their decisions be? Finally, without a theory of social welfare or a vision of the "good society," social education lacks a general orientation, save perhaps the reification of the status quo While it is true that social educators are given the task of transmitting our culture to the young, it does not follow that this process must proceed without social criticism, the consideration of radical alternatives or a vision of the "good society ." If social education does not function to examine critically our culture and institutions, who will perform this task? What are the possible consequences of omitting these concerns from our social education programs? 8 4


These are difficult questions and they have no easy answers Still, they are relevant to the concerns of social educators and they require further study and debate The radical reconstructionists have tried to dramatize the significance of these issues and to suggest some guidelines along which a debate might proceed It is hoped that modern social educators will give more attention to such questions and the implications they have for revising current rationales 8 5


References Barr, R D ., Barth, J L ., and Shermis, S S Defining the Social Studies Bulletin 51 (Arlington, Va : National Council for the Social Studies, 1977) Barth, J L ., and Shermis, S "Defining the Social Studies : An Exploration of Three Traditions," Social Education (November, 1970) Bestor, A "History in the Secondary Schools," in M Feldman and E Seiffman (eds .), The Social Studies : Structures, Models and Strategies (Englewood Cliffs, N .J : Prentice Hall, Inc ., 1969 Beyer, B K Inquiry in the Social Studies Classroom : A Strategy for Teaching (Columbus, Ohio : Charles E Merrill Publishing Co ., 1971) Boulding, K "What Can We Know and Teach About Social Studies," in I Morrissett (ed .), Concepts and Structure in the New Social Studies Curricula (New York : Holt, Rinehart and Winston, Inc ., 1967) Bowers, C A The Progressive Educator and the Depression (New York : Random House, 1969) Bowers, C A "Social Reconstructionism : Views from the Left and the Right, 19321942," History of Education Quarterly, 10 (Spring, 1970) Brameld, T Patterns of Educational Philosophy-Divergence and Convergence in Culturological Perspective (New York : Holt, Rinehart and Winston, Inc ., 1971) Brubaker, D L Alternative Directions for the Social Studies (Scranton, Pa : International Textbook Co ., 1967) Brubaker, D L "Normative Value Judgements and Analysis," Social Education, 32 (May, 1968) Brubaker, D L "Indoctrination, Inquiry, and the Social Studies," The Social Studies, 41 (March, 1970) Brubaker, D L ., et al "A Conceptual Framework for Social Studies Curriculum and Instruction," Social Education, 26 (March, 1977) Bruner, J S The Process of Education (Cambridge, Mass : Harvard University Press, 1960) Bruner, J S "The Process of Education Revisited," Phi Delta Kappan, 53 (September, 1971) Counts, G S Dare the Schools Build a New Social Order (New York : Arno Press and New York Times, 1969 ; John Day Company, 1932 .) Engle, S "Objectives of the Social Studies," in J P Shaver and H Berlak (eds .), Democracy, Pluralism and the Social Studies (Boston : Houghton Mifflin Company, 1968) 8 6


Engle, S H "Decision Making : The Heart of Social Studies Instruction," in W E Gardner and F A Johnson (eds .), Social Studies in the Secondary Schools : A Book of Readings (Boston : Allyn and Bacon, Inc ., 1970) Engle, S H ., and Longstreet, W S A Design for Social Education in the Open Curriculum (New York : Harper and Row Publishers, 1972) Fenton, E The New Social Studies (New York : Holt, Rinehart and Winston, Inc ., 1967) Fenton, E "Round Table," Chapter 7 in I Morrissett (ed .), Concepts and Structure in the New Social Studies Curricula (New York : Holt, Rinehart and Winston, Inc ., 1967) Gibson, J S "Citizenship Education : Academic and Pragmatic Perspectives," in I Morrissett and W Williams (eds ), Social Science in the Schools : Search for Rationale (New York : Holt, Rinehart and Winston, Inc ., 1966) Gibson, J S New Frontiers in the Social Studies (New York : Citation Press, 1967) Goldmark, B "Another Look at Inquiry," Social Education, 29 (October, 1965) Goldmark, B Social Studies A Method of Inquiry (Belmont, Calif : Wadsworth Publishing Company, Inc ., 1968) Hunt, M P ., and Metcalf, L E Teaching High School Social Studies (New York : Harper and Row Publishers, 1968) Krug, M M History and the Social Sciences : New Approaches to the Teaching of the Social Studies (Waltham, Mass : Blaisdell Publishing Company, 1967) Krug, M M ., et al (eds .) The New Social Studies : Analysis of Theory and Materials (Ithaca, Ill : F M Peacock Publishers, Inc ., 1970) Kuhn, A "Synthesis of Social Sciences in the Curriculum,", in I Morrisset and W W Stevens, Jr (eds .), Social Science in the Schools : A Search for Rational (New York : Holt, Rinehart and Winston, Inc ., 1971) Lowe, W T Structure and the Social Studies (Ithaca, N .Y : Cornell University Press, 1969) Massialas, B G "Examining Values : A Response to Bernice Goldmark," Social Education, 29 (October, 1965) Massialas, B G ., and Cox, C B Inquiry in the Social Studies (New York : McGrawHill Book Company, 1966) Metcalf, L "Some Guidelines for Changing Social Studies Education," Social Education, 27 (April, 1963) Metcalf, L E (ed .) Values Education, Forty-first Yearbook (Washington, D .C : National Council for the Social Studies, 1971) 8 7


Michaelis, J U Social Studies for Children in a Democracy : Recent Trends and Developments (Englewood Cliffs, N .J : Prentice-Hall, Inc ., 1963) Michaelis, J U Social Studies for Children in a Democracy, 4th ed (Englewood Cliffs, N .J : Prentice-Hall, Inc ., 1976) Michaelis, J U ., and Johnston, A M (eds .) The Social Sciences : Foundation of the Social Studies (Boston : Allyn and Bacon, Inc ., 1965) Morrissett, I (ed .) Concepts and Structure in the New Social Science Curricula (New York : Holt, Rinehart and Winston, Inc ., 1967) Nelson, J L Introduction to Value Inquiry : A Student Process Book Rochelle Park, N .J : Hayden Book Company, Inc ., 1974 Nelson, J L ., Carlson, K ., & Linton, T H Radical Ideas and the Schools New York : Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, Inc ., 1972 Newmann, F M "Questioning the Place of the Social Science Disciplines in Education," Social Education, 31 (November, 1967) Newmann, F M "Consent of the Governed and Citizenship Education in Modern America," in W E Gardner and F A Johnson (eds .) Social Studies in the Secondary Schools : A Book of Readings (Boston : Allyn and Bacon, Inc ., 1970) Newmann, F M Education for Citizen Action : Challenge for Secondary Curriculum (Berkeley, Calif : McCutchen Publishing Company, 1975) Newmann, F M ., and Oliver, D W Clarifying Public Controversy : An Approach to Teaching Social Studies (Boston : Little, Brown and Company, 1970) Oliver, D W "Educating Citizens for Responsible Individualism, 1969-1980," in J P Shaver and H Berlak (eds ), Democracy, Pluralism and the Social Studies (Boston : Houghton Mifflin Company, 1968) (a) Oliver, D W "The Selection of Content in the Social Studies," in J P Shaver and H Berlak (eds ), Democracy, Pluralism and the Social Studies (Boston : Houghton Mifflin Company, 1968) (b) Oliver, D W ., and Newmann, F M Guide to Teaching the Public Issues Series/ Harvard Social Studies Project (Middletown, Conn : Xerox Corporation, American Education Publications, 1967) Oliver, D W ., and Shaver, J P Teaching Public Issues in the High School (Boston : Houghton Mifflin, 1966) Phillips, R C Teaching for Thinking in High School Social Studies (Reading, Mass : Addison-Wesley Publishing Company, Inc ., 1974) Rugg, H "Social Reconstruction Through Eduction," Progressive Education,E 9 (December, 1932) ; 10 (January, 1933) 8 8


Schwab, J J "Structure of the Disciplines : Meanings and Significance," in J P Shaver and H Berlak (eds .), Democracy, Pluralism and the Social Studies (Boston : Houghton Mifflin Company, 1968) Senesh, L "Orchestration of Social Sciences in the Curriculum," in I Morrisett and W W Stevens, Jr (eds .), Social Science in the Schools : A Search for Rationale (New York : Holt, Rinehart and Winston, Inc ., 1971) Shaver, J P "Social Studies : The Need for Redefinition," Social Education (November, 1967) Shaver, J P ., and Strong, W Facing Value Decisions : Rationale-Building for Teachers (Belmont, Calif : Wadsworth Publishing Company, Inc ., 1976) Social Education, 36 (November, 1972) Stanley, W B The Philosophy of Social Reconstructionism -and Contemporary Curriculum Rationales in Social Education An unpublished doctoral dissertation, Rutgers University (1979) Stanley, W B "The Radical Reconstructionist Rationale for Social Education," Theory and Research in Social Education, Winter, 1981, 1 Wesley, E B ., and Wronski, S P Teaching Social Studies in High Schools (Boston : D C Heath, 1958) Wesley, E B ., and Wronski, S P Teaching Social Studies in High Schools (Boston : D C Heath, 1964) Wiggens, S "Economics in the Curriculum," in I Morrissett and W Stevens, Jr (eds ), Social Science in the Schools : A Search for Rationale (New York : Holt, Rinehart and Winston, Inc ., 1971) 8 9


Reviewers for Volume 8 The Editors would like to thank the following persons for reviewing manuscripts under consideration for Volume 8 of Theory and Research in Social Education James Akenson Tennessee Technological University Jean Anyon Rutgers State University-Newark Beverly Armento Georgia State University Buckley Barnes Georgia State University James Barth Purdue University Arno Bellack Teachers College-Columbia University Henry Bucher University of Wisconsin-Madison Len Burke Ontario Institute for Studies in Education Kenneth Carlson Rutgers State University-New Brunswick Cleo Cherryholmes Michigan State University Millard Clements New York University Catherine Cornbleth University of Pittsburgh Richard Diem University of Texas-San Antonio Kieran Egan Simon Fraser University Lee Ehman Indiana University Janet Eyler Vanderbilt University Karen Fox University of Santa Clara 9 0


Jack Fraenkel San Francisco State University Judith Gillespie Indiana University M Eugene Gilliom Ohio State University Henry Giroux Boston University David Grossman Stanford University Tom Grotelueschen University of Wisconsin-Whitewater Carole Hahn Emory University H Michael Hartoonian Department of Public Instruction, Wisconsin Mary Hepburn University of Georgia Richard Jantz University of Maryland Benita Jorkasky State University of New York-Brockport Herbert Kliebard University of Wisconsin-Madison Guy Larkins University of Georgia Margaret Laughlin University of Wisconsin-Green Bay James Leming Southern Illinois University-Carbondale Alan Lockwood University of Wisconsin-Madison Michael Lybarger Edgewood College Gerald Marker Indiana University Peter Martorella Temple University Gail McCutcheon Ohio State University 9 1


Gary McKenzie University of Texas-Austin Robin McKeown University of California-Riverside John Napier University of Georgia Jack Nelson Rutgers State University-New Brunswick Murry Nelson Pennsylvania State University Richard Newton Temple University Fred Newmann University of Wisconsin-Madison Anna Ochoa Indiana University John Palmer University of Wisconsin-Madison Stuart Palonsky Rutgers State University-New Brunswick Gary Price University of Wisconsin-Madison Paul Robinson Arizona State University Bruce Romanish Rutgers State University-Newark Lynne Schwab University of North Florida William Sesow University of Nebraska James Shaver Utah State University S Samuel Shermis Purdue University Wells Singleton University of Toledo Bruce Smith University of Cincinnati William Stanley Louisiana State University 9 2


JoAnn Sweeney University of Texas-Austin Benjamin Thomas Princeton, New Jersey Jan Tucker Florida International University Ronald VanSickle University of Georgia Lee Webster Oak Park, Illinois Gary Wehlage University of Wisconsin-Madison Jane White University of Maryland-Baltimore County Geoff Whitty University of Bath Ken Zeichner University of Wisconsin-Madison Wayne Zirkin University of Wisconsin-Madison 9 3


Subscription Information 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 Social Studies Membership information is available from the Membership Department, NCSS, 3615 Wisconsin Ave ., NW, Washington, D .C ., 20016 Institutional and non-CUFA subscriptions are $20 .00 per year, foreign subscriptions $30 .00 Write to the Editor for these orders Back Issues/Reprints Back issues may be obtained for $4 .00 each and reprints of individual articles (beginning with Volume 7) for .50 each Write to the Editor for these orders ; do not send payment until advised of availability of issue/reprint Change of Address/Missing Issues Send change of address notices and a recent mailing label to the Editor as soon as new address is known Also send queries about missing issues to the Editor Be sure to include a complete, proper address with such queries Advertising Information about advertising will be sent upon request Write to : Professor Murry Nelson Pennsylvania State University Division of Curriculum and Instruction 154 Chambers Building University Park, PA 16802 or Paula M Bozoian, Editorial Assistant Theory and Research in Social Education University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Curriculum and Instruction 225 North Mills Street Madison, WI 53706 Submission of Manuscripts In order to facilitate the processing and review of manuscripts, authors are asked to follow these procedures : 1 Manuscripts should be typed with a dark ribbon or clearly mimeographed, multilithed, or photocopied Some corrections in dark ink will be accepted 9 4


2 Four copies of each manuscript should be submitted 3 All text, references, and endnotes should be double-spaced 4 Only substantive endnotes should be sequentially numbered and inserted in the text Do not use endnotes to cite references When citations are made, the author's name, publication date and (if appropriate) page(s) should be enclosed in parentheses and located in the text The complete reference should be included in a References section at the end of the text References should be alphabetized and may take any standard form as long as they are internally consistent 5 Each table and/or figure should be on a separate page and placed in a section at the end of the manuscript Arabic numbers should be used for numbering both tables and figures, and their location in the text should be indicated by the following note : Table/Figure t About Here 6 Send manuscripts to : Professor Thomas Popkewitz Editor, TRSE Department of Curriculum and Instruction University of Wisconsin-Madison 225 North Mills Street Madison, WI 53706 No responsibility is assumed for loss or injury to manuscripts submitted for publication 9 5


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 achievements 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 9 6 800-3K 1A107-81


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