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 f in Social Education Volume 9 Number 3 Fall 1981


Contents Articles 1 A Social Paradigm : An Ethical Perspective Millard Clements The argument of this exploration of the Educational Psychology Paradigm and the Social Paradigm is that we, who are interested in and involved with social education, have been engaged in trying to understand and study social education in light of a profoundly alienated science of behavior That alienated science of human life regards the behavior of human beings as phenomena as one might think of the phenomena of light and sound To study behavior divorced from meaning, however, is to deny our humanity The ethics of our craft as social scholars requires that we attend to that tradition of science that seeks to understand human beings as they live in human society 25 What Educational Research Says About the Development of Economic Thinking Mark C Schug Helping young people learn to grapple successfully with economic issues is clearly a fundamental goal of citizenship education During the 1950's, there was the beginning of some research about how children and adolescents think about economic-related ideas This research waned throughout most of the 1960's and early 1970's Recently, there is new but limited evidence of an increased interest in this area of investigation This article provides a summary of the studies done in the 1950's and early 1960's as a backdrop for a report on more recent work done in the mid-1970's 37 Teacher Perspectives on Program Change Noel Boag and Don Massey Much of what is known about teacher reaction to program changes has been derived from the literature on innovation, which shows an overemphasis upon and a bias in favour of change over stability In contrast, teachers' activities seem to be characterized by an autonomy which appears to minimize the effect of external influences on the classroom This study attempted "to catch the process of interpretation" (Blumer, 1969) through which two second grade teachers constructed their actions as they attempted to base social studies instruction on a new multimedia resource kit supplied to their classrooms by a central authority


61 Social Studies for the Hearing Impaired : The State of the Art Cynthia Szymanski Sunal, Mary Semler Paul, and John DeMary The purpose of this study was to survey the state of the art of social studies education for the hearing impaired Both public school day programs and residential programs were surveyed Results of the study indicated that half of the sample programs taught little or no social studies Teaching and evaluation strategies in programs teaching the social studies were infrequently modified to meet the needs and capabilities of the hearing impaired student Analysis of curricula prior to selection may assist educators in selecting appropriate curricula Curriculum development must follow analysis in order to provide effective social studies education for hearing impaired students 73 Fugue, Feud, Fatigue (a poem) Thomas Turner Reaction/Response 77 Moral Dilemmas and Moral Education Daniel R Nicholes


Theory and Research in Social Education Volume 9 t Number 3 t Fall 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


Theory and Research in Social Education Fall 1981, Volume 9 Number 3, pp 1-23 € by The College and University Faculty Assembly of the National Council for the Social Studies A Social Paradigm : An Ethical Perspective Millard Clements New York University There is a sense of ethics that expresses accepted or customary standards of conduct with certain professions, religious communities or social groups The Ten Commandments, The Hippocratic Oath and the Bar Association's Canons on Ethics are examples of this cultural consensus These ethical imperatives illustrate a measure of stability, continuity and consensus within particular social groups Although we in CUFA may disagree about many matters, I suspect that we may agree about such ethical imperatives as these : 1 Teachers should not lie to students, should not deceive and propagandize them 2 Teachers should not denigrate the values, beliefs and customs of any culture, ethnic group or nation 3 Teachers should not denigrate, stereotype or ignore the contribution, experience and perspective of women or men in their study of the histories of human affairs and in their exploration of contemporary life 4 Teachers should not use biased, uninformed or fraudulent materials (except, perhaps, to examine such biases, fraud or misinformation) Examples such as these may be multiplied They may be stated in various ways These ethical concerns are not an issue among us They are 1


not issues even though some teachers may misinform students through ignorance or indifference and even though some communities have biased views about some of these matters These ethical imperatives are all stated in negative form In many human situations it is easier to come to agreement about what is wrong and should be avoided than it is to identify what is ethical and should be pursued It is the intention of this discussion to explore a positive ethical imperative that may touch our lives deeply, that may relate to the papers we write, the talks we give, the research we do and the fashion in vocabulary we may follow Because they are affirmative these may be ethical matters about which we may not be in agreement, about which we may be unsure and about which we should seek understanding The Ethics of Candor It is germane to this discussion to begin with some candid statements about the quality of our professional literature, the rigor of our scholarship and the felicity of our prose The following, I suggest, are chastening realities : 1 Our professional literature tends to be bland, sentimental and often written in a ponderous style At its best it is intuitive ; at its worst it is dull and trivial 2 We endorse the importance of theory and research, but we have little in the way of either consensus or clear debates about what research is relevant to social education and what the function of theory is in our affairs 3 The close examination of arguments, ideas, concepts and issues in social education is not a prominent feature of our professional writing 4 Our scholarship tends to be ahistorical, asocial, taxonomic rather than analytical, and dissociated from the classic and modern literature that reports on the study of human beings in human communities 5 Our writings tend to express transitory enthusiasms for fashions and fads in vocabulary and personalities We do not have a scholarly literature We have fads We live with an imitative scholarship that parodies natural science and notions of rigor that are absurd when applied to the situation of people studying people Any consideration of ethical matters in social education must begin with this sober recognition of our past 2


The Educational Psychology Paradigm We live in a psychological age Behavioral definitions are the vogue Validity, variable control, tests of significance are fashionable concepts This focus on behavior calls attention to the management of what students may do, think and know as it obscures the human origins of knowledge and the social interests management systems may serve The Educational Psychology Paradigm makes of education a human engineering process that is organized and appraised in light of principles of economy and efficiency This paradigm, involving behavioral definitions and performance objectives, is the everyday world of discourse that may be found in classrooms, textbooks and conferences There are countertendencies, of course, but they are the fashions of what might be called cultural minorities .' The psychologization of education is vividly documented in Bloom's Taxonomy of Educational Objectives In this work, the primacy of psychology is proclaimed but not illustrated or explained The value-free hierarchial character of knowledge is asserted but not demonstrated 2 This hegemonic work in education is not based on scholarship that has explored human beings in human communities nor on careful philosophical argument It did not prove nor attempt to prove that the Taxonomy of Educational Objectives is an adequate account of human knowledge It did, however, succeed in legitimating or making plausible the decontextualization of knowledge, the dissociation of knowledge from the individuals, times and circumstances in which knowledge is developed Knowledge, decontextualized into information, may be taxonomized without consideration of the purpose and manner of its making and without taking into account its social and political meaning The psychologization of knowledge obscures distinctions among different kinds of human knowledge as it organizes for the efficient processing and distribution of information in student populations The Educational Psychology Paradigm has four basic features These four features will be the focus of attention in the following discussion of ethics and social education : 1 The behavior of human beings is taken to be naturally occurring 'Cultural minorities are groups with competing perspectives on education Some cultural minorities are concerned with the treatment of blacks, Hispanics or Native Americans in the school curriculum and in textbook materials Women's organizations have expressed great concern about the bias against girls and women that is to be found in textbook materials and school programs Scholars who are involved with U .S history, Asian affairs, literature and languages often express distress with the quality of intellectual experience students, encounter in school Marxists, existentialists, artists and poets, in their several different ways, challenge orthodox thought in professional education All of this discourse is marginal to the exercise of power in education 'For some documentation of these contentions see Millard Clements' "The Taxonomy of Educational Objectives : An Ethnographic Perspective on an Occupations Culture ." 3


phenomena in the world, as is the behavior of light, sound and the interaction of gases 2 The behavior of human beings is taken to be orderly, lawful phenomena that may be understood in light of such variables as sex, age, income, social class, verbal aptitude, intelligence, achievement and other personal indices 3 The science of human beings attends to behavior, thought of as naturally occurring phenomena 4 The science of human beings, as the science of gases, is abstract and timeless Behavior is ahistorical, asocial and may be understood in light of observational measures 3 Behavior, a science of behavior, an understanding of people in light of external events and manipulations, is the social environment in which our professional life is embedded The Educational Psychology Paradigm is doomed to triviality because its focus on experimental methodology only permits the "scientific" study of politically vulnerable or institutionalized people People who politically cannot escape submit to experimentation The Educational Psychology Paradigm is an approach to research that could only be widely used in an authoritarian state People in prison or in schools and people subject to state authority may have experiments done to them Few others would permit it For captive people "science" can be rigorous But for scholarship that seeks to understand human beings in human communities, including human communities with schools, the Educational Psychology Paradigm is useless and actively misleading It will not be easy to give up the comfort of psychology Psychologists have been allowed to preempt science, scholarship, rigor and toughmindedness with hardly a skirmish Although most of their claims are dubious, their paradigm is congenial to a technological age Cars and radios can be mass produced according to standard performance characteristics It is not surprising that educators, acculturated to the Educational Psychology Paradigm, propose to organize research and schooling so that students will be produced with specified performance characteristics But with cars as with people, the fact of production does not justify the wisdom and beauty of what is produced Few if any of the important questions about human com3 For a well-organized, intelligent, well-written account of this point of view, see Fred N Kerlinger's Foundations of Behavioral Research 4


munities and the schools within them can be formulated within the Educational Psychology Paradigm 4 People everywhere in the world live in some moment in time They wear clothes that are fashionable for their age and sex They express opinions that are to be found in the communities in which they live Opinions, thoughts, concepts and vocabularies have social location We, in professional education, live in some moment in time We have been born into the Educational Psychology Paradigm It is a natural part of our life But, as scholars of social realities and meanings, we have choices We may simply and with sincerity follow the fashions of our time We may disdain fashion and proclaim some new and redeeming orthodoxy Or, we may face fashion in thought as fashions in thought and thereby discover the social world in which we live Whether skirts are low or high, whether we speak of "learning by doing" or "mastery teaching" we can know that there is an element of theatre, of pretense, of Halloween in our professional life, and in all social ife There is comedy in the 4 To some, this account may seem like a caricature I am aware that within education, within psychology and within educational psychology there have been what might be called "counter psychologizing tendencies ." Historians, anthropologists and clinical psychologists have provided alternative perspectives on what a "science" of people studying people might be But there has been a dominant intellectual style Professional educators and researchers are preoccupied with the management of behavior "Behavioral Objectives," quantitative research and experimental designs are the vogue in education and are said to be the scientific approach to educational studies State departments of education are imposing the behavioral orientation upon school districts and teacher education institutions There is no scientific basis for this educational fad although it appears to be a strongly held "religious" orientation to education In spite of the ever increasing rigor of research designs and the growing sophistication of statistical procedures there has been no great discovery arising from work conducted in the Educational Psychology Paradigm We in education do not have a "bomb," the dubious practical achievement of physics We do not have a DNA molecule that reveals the structure of educational realities We cannot clone the wisdom of poets, the understanding of philosophers or the imagination of physicists Our schools are unsuccessful at teaching many children to read At best we are able to identify barely detectable differences in the mean performance of groups of students who we subject to systematic manipulations in the fashion of the Educational Psychology Paradigm The long term meaning of these engineering efforts, described as scientific investigation, is usually unconsidered and unknown The short-term effects of this social engineering have usually been trivial It is, perhaps, because of this persistent failure of energy and rigor that ethnography and qualitative approaches to educational research are now coming into some prominence There have been no nefarious conspirators, but there have been important prophets of the contemporary managerial style Ralph Tyler, the "father" of behavioral objectives, made rationalistic, engineering approaches to education plausible and widely accepted Benjamin Bloom's Taxonomy of Educational Objectives demonstrated that knowledge can be psychologized, divorced from its human contexts and adapted for behavioral management (see footnote 17) Fred Kerlinger's Foundations of Behavioral Research articulated an approach of people studying people that ignores the meaning-bearing, purposive life of human beings in social communities An examination of the table of contents of his well known book will demonstrate this striking reality Compare the table of contents of Kerlinger's book with the table of contents of Harre and Secord's The Explanation of Social Behavior That comparison will vividly illustrate the issues being explored in this paper 5


expression of serious views that are only momentary and fashionable The recognition of the comic in professional life is a basic feature of the ethic of social education that will be proposed A Social Paradigm In a world of fashion, ethical concerns are matters of taste Although we do share some ethical concerns, ethical argument and exploration is not a prominent feature of our writing and scholarship Modern sensibility about sexism, racism and the bias of materials and ideas results more from political struggles of offended groups than from the deep ethical concerns of professionals in social education Our ethical consensus is more a political accommodation than an ethical imperative arising from our craft and scholarship The ethical concerns of the Educational Psychology Paradigm call attention to efficiency, economy and effectiveness as the paradigm itself obscures ethical concern with the human contexts of social knowledge, the limits of social understanding and the possibilities of human achievement The basic ethical question in the Educational Psychology Paradigm might be put this way : How effectively and efficiently are we doing to students what we intend to do to them? The wisdom and ethics of these intentions are seldom scrutinized In the Educational Psychology Paradigm, ethical matters are obscured and the social reality of the human situation is ignored An alternative to the Educational Psychology Paradigm is what might be called a Social Paradigm Important words in the Social Paradigm are institution, history, society, meaning, the human species, purpose and ambiguity Contributions to and clarifications of the Social Paradigm have been made by many scholars and writers in the last two hundred years An almost casual listing of names would include Max Weber, Karl Marx, Karl Mannheim, W Dilthey, Alfred Schutz, Charles Darwin, George Herbert Mead, C Wright Mills, Peter Berger, Anton Zijerveld, Gregory Bateson, and Christopher Lasch Although these different writers expressed different and often conflicting points of view, they were all involved in the study of human beings within the social arrangements of human society The basic features of the Social Paradigm starkly contrast with what has been identified as the Educational Psychology Paradigm : 1 Human beings are taken to be in organic community with all life forms 2 The behavior of human beings is inherently ambiguous It is partly determined by social contexts and partly creative and free 6


The fundamental feature of the human condition is the dual character of being human 3 The science of human beings attends to the meanings of persons in the context of meanings in which people live 4 The science of human beings is concerned with human beings located in time, in some historical context, imbedded in changing worlds of meaning The Social Paradigm is based on the premise that people in human communities, in schools, in families, in work situations should be studied as if they were human beings The Educational Psycholgy Paradigm is based on the premise that people should be studied as if their behaviors were naturally occurring phenomena without intentions, without purpose, without meaning, as the behavior of gases, light or the movement of the galaxies may be explained I propose as the single affirmative imperative of our professional life that we explicitly abandon the Educational Psychology Paradigm and that we initiate the practice of integrating our thought and work into a Social Paradigm This may appear to be a prosaic ethical imperative, but it has deep implications It will involve a fundamental shift in the literature that we read Less attention, in the Social Paradigm, is given to the leading figures in the psychological mode of thought ; deep exploration is required of those writers and thinkers who have explored human beings in their human communities The scholarly literature that is concerned with history is central to the struggle to understand the character and limits of human efforts to understand human beings .' Social Education involves conceptions of society The scholarship that is concerned with human beings in society is a basic aspect of the Social Paradigm 6 There is a record of human efforts to make sense out of human life in human communities on this planet Not all of it is wise ; not all of it would be helpful in our struggles today ; but to ignore all or most of it has made us vulnerable to psychological pretensions that have trivialized our conceptions of knowledge and research and debased our ethics The value of exploring the social paradigm is that it leads to the encounter of many examples of human thought about vital issues of our 'For an introduction to the sense of history as the struggle to understand the limits of human understanding human situations, see Carl L Becker's The Heavenly City of the Eighteenth-Century Philosophers, Thomas N Guinsburg's The Dimensions of History and Hans Meyerhoff s The Philosophy of History in Our Time 6 For a clear conceptual statement about human beings and society, see Peter L Berger and Thomas Luckmann's The Social Construction of Reality Any particular society is a dialectic between objective givens and subjective meanings All social reality has an essential component of consciousness The consciousness of everyday life is the web of meanings that allow individuals to participate in the ordinary events and encounters of life The totality of these shared meanings make up a particular social world This social awareness is a central feature of The Social Paradigm 7


professional life today How may or should people study people? What are limitations or constraints on social knowledge of social beings? May people study people fruitfully in the fashion that people study things? What is society? What are institutions? What is the human situation? How did our species come to be? What is the meaning, is there meaning, in the human situation? What is the educational situation? The ethical imperative to think through the educational situation in light of a Social Paradigm is not proposed as the basis of ethics for citizens, or individuals in particular social situations What is being proposed is that it is a basic ethical obligation of our vocation, of our craft, to connect our work with the thought of others who have explored and reflected on the condition of human beings and their life in human environments In the following discussion, the four basic features of the Social Paradigm will be explored and their meaning for an ethical approach to our professional life will be appraised The Social Paradigm : The Situation of Our Species The modern understanding of life on our planet, its variety, its interconnections, its continuity and discontinuity in time began with Charles Darwin From him we learned that we and other primates have common ancestors Darwin was controversial in his lifetime His work continues to be controversial for some communities of thought today But whatever the controversy, Darwin has prevailed His view of the place of the human species in the world and of the evolutionary character of all life forms on our planet is the common understanding of the life sciences .' What were Darwin's views? What meaning do they have today? What is their meaning for social education? A reconsideration of Darwin is a fruitful way to begin an exploration of the Social Paradigm I have used the word "evolution" several times It is a word that we associate with Darwin It was a surprise to me to discover that it is a word that was used only once in his Origin of the Species It is the last word, in the last sentence of his book Here is the only use of the word as it is to be found in the first edition of his book published in November, 1859 : There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers ; having been originally breathed into a few forms or into one ; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of 7 See for example, Theodosius Dobzhansky, Francisco J Ayala, G Ledyard Stebbins and James W Valentine's Evolution The book begins with a comment of Dobzhansky that identifies the place of Darwin in biology : Nothing in biology makes sense except in light of evolution W E LeGros Clark's The Fossil Evidence For Human Evolution explores the descent of the human species Terrell H Hamilton's Process and Pattern in Evolution provides a modern sense of evolutionary process 8


gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved 8 The word "evolution" does not occur in his detailed Table of Contents ; it is not to be found in his index nor in his glossary The word "evolution" and many ideas we may have about evolution were never used by Darwin in the development of his thought The full title of his book provides an illustration of the actual vocabulary that he used : On the Origin of the Species by Means of Natural Selection or the Preservations of the Races in the Struggle for Life Even the "On" in this title is important because it indicated that he viewed this work as only an abstract of his thought He intended to write but never completed a full statement of his view of descent with modification If "evolution" is not a basic Darwinian concept, what is its origin? How did Darwin come to use it in that last sentence? "Evolution" was a word coined in 1744 by a German biologist, Albrecht von Haller, to refer to an embryological theory 9 To evolve means to unroll Albrecht von Haller's evolutionary theory proposed that embryos grew from preformed homunculi that were enclosed in eggs or sperm Each tiny homunculus, according to the theory, unfolded and grew only in size during embryonic development The generation of the entire human species was said to be derived from the ovaries of Eve or the testes of Adam This scientific theory failed and by Darwin's time it was not a scientific word "Evolve," in colloquial usage, meant unroll or develop and Darwin used it as a popular rather than as a technical term in his last eloquent paragraph The accidental or incidental use of popular language has had a profound influence on the development of Darwinian notions Although Darwin apparently used it casually, others have used it systematically Herbert Spencer was the most important popularizer of the concept of "Evolution ." Spencer had used the word "evolution" in his writing before Darwin published On the Origin of the Species The sense of evolution that Spencer articulated was cosmic ; he used it to explain every domain of nature : the stars, geology, life, human life, social arrangements Spencer's view of evolution can be discerned in these arguments : This quotation is from the first edition of Darwin's On The Origin of the Species as it is to be found in Morse Peckham's The Origin of the Species By Charles Darwin : A Variorum Text The Origin of the Species went through six editions that Darwin changed in various ways This book document these various versions It is interesting to observe that U .S editions of The Origin of the Species have been edited When Darwin used the words "natural selection" the U .S editions often use the words "Theory of Evolution ." To read Darwin's writings as he actually wrote and rewrote them, one must use this variorum text, or English editions of the book 9 This paragraph is mainly based on Stephen Jay Gould's Ever Since Darwin See especially pages 34-38 9


Everywhere and to the last, therefore, the change at any moment on forms a part of one or other of the two processes While the general history of every aggregate is definable as a change from a diffused imperceptible state to a concentrated perceptible state, and again to a diffused imperceptible state ; every detail of the history is definable as part of either the one change or the other This, then, must be that universal law of redistribution of matter and motion, which serves at once to unify the seemingly diverse groups of changes, as well as the entire course of each group The processes thus everywhere in antagonism, and everywhere gaining now a temporary and now a more or less permanent triumph the one over the other Evolution under its simplest and most general aspect is the integration of matter and concomitant dissipation of motion ; while dissolution is the absorption of motion and concomitant disintegration of matter (Spencer, 1971, pp 58-59) And now, summing up the results of this general survey, let us observe the extent to which we are prepared by it for further inquiries The many facts contemplated unite in proving that social evolution forms a part of evolution at large Like evolving aggregates in general, societies show integration, both by simple increase of mass and by coalescence and re-coalescence of masses The change from homogeneity to heterogeneity is multitudinously exemplified ; up from the simple tribe, alike in all its parts, to the civilized nation, full of structural and functional unlikeness With progressing integration and heterogeneity goes increasing coherence We see the wandering group dispersing, dividing, held together by no bonds ; the tribe with parts made more coherent by subordination to a dominant man ; the cluster of tribes united in a political plexus under a chief with sub-chiefs ; and so on up to the civilized nation, consolidated enough to hold together for a thousand years or more Simultaneously comes increasing definiteness Social organization is at first vague ; advance brings settled arrangements which grow slowly more precise ; customs pass into laws which, while gaining fixity, also become more specific in their applications to varieties of actions ; and all institutions, at first confusedly intermingled, slowly separate, at the same time that each within itself marks off more distinctly its component structures Thus in all respects is fulfilled the formula of evolution There is progress towards greater size, coherence, multiformity, and definiteness (Spencer, 1969, pp 154-155) The central premise of Spencer's thought is that evolution is progressive : there is progress from simple organisms to complex forms of life ; there is progress from simple social arrangements to complex forms of government and society Evolution affirmed that the human species is 1 0


the highest expression of the evolutionary process Not only MAN but European white men were the triumph of evolutionary development Evolution also provided a justification for hierarchial societies and the inequality in the distribution of wealth and opportunity Some animals and plants were more evolved than others Some human races or cultures were more evolved than others Evolution explained that the rich were rich because they were more fit ; the poor were poor because they were less fit Some nations ruled large portions of the planet because they had a superior culture ; other nations were ruled because they had a less evolved culture Progress and complexity arise through the struggles of individuals and the survival of the fittest This view of evolution has logical problems : the survival of the fittest is a tautology The survival of the fittest is the same as the survival of the survivors The rich are wealthy because they have money and the poor are poor because they lack money Spencer's account of evolution never went beyond this tautology (Gould, 1977, pp 40-41) The notion of progress that is so vital in Spencer's view is a common intuition about evolutionary development Although Spencer frequently cited Darwin in his writings and deferred to Darwin's scientific accomplishments, Spencer's view of evolution has little to do with Darwin's thought Spencer's view of evolution was popular because it was congenial to the social prejudices of European people It comforted the socially prominent with an explanation of their superiority It celebrated the human species as the power of religious interpretations of the human situation waned Darwin did not use the concept of evolution in his work He studied pigeons, insects, plants, many forms of sea life, animals and people He developed a theory about organic life on this planet He did not speculate, in his scientific work, about society or the evolution of the universe If we are to think about Darwin, if we are to think about his conceptions and their meaning for the environmental crisis, we will have to avoid the Spencerian celebration of cosmic evolution and replace it with something much more prosaic, but far more interesting Darwin's views are quite simple They have none of the cosmic sweep of the sense of evolution that is to be found in Herbert Spencer Darwin identified three basic facts of life on our planet : 1 Organisms vary Not only are no two people the same, no two ants are identical ; no two roses are identical There are individual differences in all forms of organic life 2 Individual Differences are Inherited Many important individual characteristics are inherited from parents and passed on to offspring 1 1


3 Species Overproduce Organisms produce more offspring, and in many cases fantastically more offspring, than can possibly survive There is a struggle for existence among offspring within species and there is a struggle for survival among species His analysis of these three facts of organic life led him to the conclusion that he called "descent with modification ." On the average, offspring with inherited characteristics that are better suited to particular environmental situations will survive and propagate Favorable variations will accumulate in populations by natural selection This is a fairly simple statement but there are some subtleties to it Does Darwin avoid the tautology of the "survival of the fittest" in Spencer's view of evolution? Darwin analogized "natural selection" with "animal breeding ." In animal breeding a breeder's desire represents a change in the environment for a population In this environment, certain traits are superior, by definition, because of the choice of the breeder The survival of the fittest means in this situation that, on the average, those animals with traits that the breeder desired survived Survival is the result of their fitness and not a definition of it In analogy with animal breeding, in a changing environment particular traits should be and in fact are superior in any particular local situation Superior design in a changed environment is an independent criterion of fitness Darwin's conception is not tautological For Darwin, natural selection was a creative process For nonDarwinians, natural selection was the executioner of the unfit For Darwin, natural selection was the creative act of descent with modification ; it was the basis of evolutionary change Natural selection was based on three premises : 1 Variability in inherited characteristics is random 2 Variability is extensive 3 Descent with modification is gradual Variability must be random or there is some design or purpose in organic life If there is a design or purpose, then there cannot be descent with modification Variability must be extensive in order to have an array of traits upon which natural selection would work Descent with modification must be gradual in order for natural selection to work out the fit in particular local situations This is the essence of Darwin's views about organic life They do not involve notions of cultural evolution, nor even organic evolution in the sense of Spencer The idea that evolution, that descent with modification, is progressive is a plausible point of view It appears to be evident that humans are more developed than crickets, and elephants are more developed than molds 1 2


Darwin's conception of descent with modification does not involve the notion of progress nor the idea of hierarchy Descent with modification sometimes leads to greater complexity and sometimes to simplicity Descent with modification is not a general principle in the sense that populations as a whole, however-they are distributed in the world, evolve common characteristics Descent with modification involves natural selection in local environments As local environments change descent with modification may change At times it may lead to complex forms of life ; at times it may lead to simpler forms of life Darwin's view of "progress" in the transmutation of species or descent with modification may be discerned in these examples of his thought : Man's intellect is not become superior to that of the Greeks (which seems opposed to development) . Man's intellect might well deteriorate ((effects of external circumstances)) ((In my theory there is no absolute tendency to progression, excepting from favorable circumstances!))' But it may be objected that if all organic beings thus tend to rise in the scale, how is it that throughout the world a multitude of the lowest forms still exist ; and how is it that in each great class some forms are far more highly developed than others? Why have not the more highly developed forms everywhere supplanted and exterminated the lower? On my theory the present existence of lowly organized productions offers no difficulty ; for natural selection includes no necessary and universal law of advancement or development it only takes advantage of such variations as arise and are beneficial to each creature under its complex relations of life (Peckham, 1959, pp 222-223) For Darwin, 'evolution has no purpose or end It is a continuing process Individuals struggle to increase presentation of their genes in future generations The ecology of the planet is constantly changing Organisms of the various species struggle to become better adapted to their local environments There are no higher or lower species ; there are various and constantly changing adaptations One can easily see why Herbert Spencer's theory of evolution celebrating the human species and glorifying white European peoples was for many years preferred to Darwin's more somber view One can also understand why Darwin, although he developed his theory around 1838, 10 This quotation is from the "M and N" notebooks of Charles Darwin The "M and N" notebooks are to be found in Howard E Gruber's Darwin and Man In this book the transcriptions and annotations of Paul Barrett are published along with Howard Gruber's psychological study of scientific creativity in Darwin's work The notebooks were written in 1838 Most of Darwin's work on "The Theory of Evolution" or "Descent With Modification" was done during the time he wrote these notebooks See page 339 1 3


did not publish it until 1859 after Alfred Russell Wallace wrote to him about his own development of his theory of descent with modification ." The Copernican heresy moved the earth from the center of the universe to the position of an orbiting satellite of a minor sun in an enormous galaxy But people and their affairs, after Copernicus, were still thought to be the important form of life on this planet Human beings, in the view of western Christian society, were rational beings who were the products of Special Creation The Darwinian heresy moved the human species from a central place in organic life to the position of one among many species in continuous change and adaptation to the changing circumstances of local environments Sometimes these adaptations lead to more complexity and sometimes they lead to simplicity This flux of development, of descent with modification, reveals no purpose, has no direction and is moving towards no particular goal Darwin's view of descent with modification is a challenge to species arrogance that may be the root cause of both our environmental and political troubles Our species is one among many and the future of our species is unsure If the earth and the human species were the central drama of the universe, then our particular lands and seas might be used with impunity In that case our affairs would not be of this world However, if we are an integral part of organic life, if our species, through descent with modification, has been created for our place, our niche in the world, then as we pollute the land and the seas we may be destroying the environment for which we have been adapted New species may develop The demise of human beings would not be an end of organic life nor would it be the end of descent with modification It would merely be the end of one branch of an experiment in adaptation The development of our species is precarious and the life of our species has been murderous The history of human societies is generally a history of murder, torture and pillage glorified by religious, nationalistic, political or racial myths War is the dominant passion of human beings We are the only species that engages in the relentless murder of its own kind What we think of as civilization is everywhere based on the maimed bodies of slaughtered people The dead are sometimes called Christians, or infidels, or communists or capitalists, or peasants, or revolutionaries, or heretics or witches or gooks or savages As social educators, we ignore the reality of pain, torture and murder at our peril We celebrate and exonerate it as accomplices We face and acknowledge it with humility that may eventually preserve our species from extinction Although war and murder are the main occupations of our species, we have produced clowns, poets, dancers, musicians, and artists These are intimations of hope for our species They illustrate transcendant "See H Lewis McKinney's Wallace and Natural Selection for an account of the life and work of Alfred Russell Wallace, the co-discoverer of "Natural Selection" or "Descent with Modification" with Darwin 1 4


possibilities for being human But if these intimations of hope and humor, play and creation are to grow in power and meaning in our lives, we must not ignore the fragility of our circumstance and the ordeal of pain that is the ground of every aspect of our social existence The Social Paradigm : The Ambiguity of Being Human A fundamental insight of the social paradigm is recognition of the paradox of being human Human beings have a double, an antithetical nature : each one of us is unique with individual experiences of love, loneliness, security or terror At the same time, we are all members of a species and we live within particular societies We perform predefined roles and live according to patterns of life of particular cultures We shape and are shaped by the world in which we live Human beings produce social worlds and are in turn shaped by the social worlds that we produce We live in ambiguity We are neither autonomous nor determined This ambiguity is a primary reality of the human condition It is a major issue for those who engage in social research Human studies are explorations of ambiguity by the ambiguous It is an enterprise vulnerable to illusions about human beings, methods of research and the purpose of inquiry Berger and Luckmann (1967) propose that the fundamental paradox of the human condition is that people create the world of manners, ideas and things that is the human environment and then experience these human creations as a part of the natural world without human intervention Berger and Luckmann identify three basic features of human society : 1 Society, in all of its aspects, customs and ideas, is a human product 2 Human beings are social products of the societies into which they are born 3 Society is an objective reality They argue that any account of the social world, any research into the human condition, any explanation of human affairs in schools, communities or families that fails to take account of these three realities will distort the human situation These three statements taken together illustrate the ambiguity of the human condition People invent culture but they often experience ideas, beliefs and customs as part of nature People make culture and in turn are made by the culture they create People are neither autonomous nor determined They are both to some degree autonomous and to some degree determined Human life and the life of each individual is always in tension, is always a dialectical exchange between objectively real social arrangement and subjective meanings 1 5


Anton Zijderveld, in his Abstract Society (1970), provides an historical perspective on human ambiguity He suggests that Martin Luther was among the first persons to write perceptively about the dual nature of human beings Luther distinguished between homo internus and homo externus For Luther homo externus is socially conditioned human life Homo internus is the free human capacity to unite with God Other writers have seen in homo internus the authentic human person and homo externus the alienated life of socially determined people Marx viewed homo internus as the creative, active, producing possibilities of human beings and he saw in homo externus alienation of oppressive society Marx saw the ultimate risk of the human species in alienation, in the destruction of the inner creative person Durkheim saw the ultimate risk of the human species to be the loss of stabilizing social constraints within which ambiguous human life takes place Anomie, a retreat into personal subjectivity, rather than alienation should be the primary concern of human communities Whatever the hopes or the risks, an acknowledgement of the ambiguity of the human condition is a fundamental feature of the Social Paradigm The words "alienation" and "anomie" identify tensions of human ambiguity : alienation is the loss of subjectivity ; anomie is the retreat into subjectivity Alienation results from the intrusion into the most inner personal reality of human beings Anomie is retreat into personal realms of meaning when external reality lacks coherence and meaningful order People are alienated when they can no longer create meanings of their own in the circumstances of life People are anomic when they exist only in their subjectivity Alienation is "false consciousness ." False consciousness is the perception of the world of human artifice as the realm of nature When arbitrary customs, social class arrangement, distributions of power, experimental designs, and fashions in discourse are perceived as natural and in the order of things, human productivity, creativity is obscured and denied Human praxis is alienated A science of human beings is alienated when it ignores the dual nature of human beings and seeks to study educational situations exclusively in the light of environmental or behavioral variables Human beings are shaped by such variables but it is also true that they live in worlds of meaning that they create and relate to the worlds of meanings of human beings Most studies of education that compare methods and assess the influence of external indexes are expressions of alienation or false consciousness of the human world in which we live People are mortal, but humanly invented ideas about clothes, education, science, manners, war and valor may tend to be immortal They may persist long after the time of their invention These inventions may be experienced by succeeding generations as natural and in the order of the ultimate way of the world There is a correct and scientific way to study human beings There is a proper way to dress and set the table 1 6


There is a natural role for women to play in the family and in society People live in worlds of meaning If the customs one lives with are arbitrary and of remote invention, they may be explained as inevitable and necessary so that people may live in comfort with them The extraordinary creativity of the human species is that it can create meaningful accounts of the arbitrary worlds in which we live A science of human beings, a science of social education that ignores the dual character of human beings and ignores the creative possibilities of human beings to disguise from themselves their own creativity is doomed to triviality That triviality is the frequent reality of our scholarship Rather than being a science that confronts the reality of the human situation, we often have a science that expresses an ultimate threat to the human condition The Social Paradigm : A Science of Meanings Human beings live in ambiguity An extensive literature documents the extent to which people are shaped by the social worlds in which they live .' 2 Our alienated science of people studying people has persistently explored the extent to which students, teachers, schools and parents may be studied as if they were not human beings, as if they did not have a dual nature, as if they were merely determined by external environmental events The Social Paradigm is based on the ethical imperative that for scientific purposes people should be studied as if they were human beings A science of people studying people as if they were human beings must be a science of human meanings It cannot be a science of behaviors It cannot be a science of external environmental influences A science of human beings is based on the conception that human beings : 1 Have a purposive mental life ; 2 Are aware of affecting the environment in which they live and being affected by it ; 3 Express both intentionally and unintentionally their mental states ; 4 Perceive the world and evaluate it in terms of feelings it arouses and the way it affects their purposes ; 5 Act meaningfully in social situations in which the actions have both subjective and objective meaning ; 6 Create meaning in words and behavior ; and 7 Respond to meanings that are encountered in social situations 12 See for example any of the ethnographic literature of the various cultures of the world People grow up to be French, or Swiss or Iranian or whatever culture into which they have been born See for example, James P Spradley and Michael A Rynkiewich's The Nacirema : Readings in American Culture 1 7


Social life in educational arrangements, in families, at baseball games is the fact that people act meaningfully and their actions are both subjectively and objectively meaningful There is a sense of gesture in all human behavior Until the gesture is understood, the meaning of behavior is unknown The alienated science of The Educational Psychology Paradigm is unaware of or indifferent to this element of gesture and is therefore indifferent to people thought of as human beings Dilthey makes a distinction between explanation and understanding that is useful to consider Explanation accounts for relationships among phenomena Understanding accounts for relationships between outer and inner aspects of human actions and products The outer reality of human activity may be a book, a building, a work of art or a hand gesture ; the inner reality is a purpose or a message or a meaning One may seek to explain the nervous system, or other physical processes but the inner/outer aspects of human life must be understood and this understanding is grounded in the common humanity and experience of those who study and those who are studied The sense of Dilthey's argument may be found in these words : Humanity seen through the senses is just a physical fact which can only be explained scientifically It only becomes the subject-matter of the human studies when we experience human states, give expressions to them and understand these expressions The interrelation of life, expression and understanding, embraces gestures, facial expressions and words, all of which men use to communicate with each other ; it also includes permanent mental creations which reveal their author's deeper meaning, and lasting objectifications of the mind in social structures where common human nature is surely, and for ever, manifest The psycho-physical unit, man, knows even himself through the same mutual relationship of expression and understanding ; he becomes aware of himself in the present ; he recognizes himself in memory as something that once was ; but, when he tries to hold fast and grasp his states of mind by turning his attention upon himself, the narrow limits of such an introspective method of selfknowledge show themselves ; only his actions and creations and the effect they have on others teach man about himself So he only gains self-knowledge by the circuitous route of understanding We learn what we once were and how we became what we are by looking at the way we acted in the past, the plans we once made for our lives, and the professional career we pursued We have to consult old, forgotten letters and the judgments made about us long ago In short, we can only know ourselves thoroughly through understanding ; but we cannot understand ourselves and others except by projecting what we have actually experienced into every expression of our own and others' lives So man becomes the subject-matter of 1 8


the human studies only when we relate experience, expression and understanding to each other They are based on this connection, which is their distinguishing characteristic A discipline only belongs to the human studies when we can approach its subject-matter through the connection between life, expression and understanding 13 Dilthey, a 19th century philosopher, devoted much of his life to clarifying the distinction between the physical or the natural science and the human or the cultural sciences This distinction is a basic feature of the Social Paradigm Dilthey's work provides a compelling argument that human life, human communities, human-enterprises such as education or religion or politics may not be studied fruitfully in the way that people study things An exploration of the literature that probes this distinction is an esential ethical imperative of the Social Paradigm 14 The Social Paradigm : Meaning in The Modern World The ambiguity of the human species was obscured in many ancient civilizations It is also obscured in pre-modern contemporary societies In traditional cultures, government, the family, religious ways and each individual have fixed and intelligible places in a meaningfully ordered world Accounts of the life of 19th century Pueblo Indians or the Navajo illustrate this life of integrated meaning ." Freedom in such communities is the freedom to follow the ways of one's people In the modern world of abstract government, abstract industrial arrangements, urbanizations and the relativization of customs, religions, and value there is a less intelligible order In this modern world, freedom is the freedom to choose one's religion, one's lifestyles and one's sexual orientation in a cafeteria arrangement in which many possibilities are openly displayed This world of choice and idea of freedom is expressed 13 H P Rickman (editor and translator) W Dilthey Selected Writings There are many writers who have contributed to the Social Paradigm Among these, W Dilthey is particularly important Dilthey was born in Germany in 1831 He went to Heidelberg University in 1852 with the intention of studying theology A year later he moved to Berlin and decided on an academic career He began his professional life in Basel in 1867 In 1882 he went to Berlin and occupied the Chair in Philosophy that Hegel had held He had a long tenure in Berlin He died on a holiday in Tyrol in 1911 During the course of his academic life he explored and debated a wide variety of issues in philosophy, social science and social education that are central to the problems we face today 14 For two other perspectives on the place of meaning in the study of human beings in human communities, see H Harre and P F Secord's The Explanation of Social Behavior See Chapter Three for a more general account of what has been called The Educational Psychology Paradigm See Chapter Five for a perspective on what has been called The Social Paradigm Max Weber has probed the place of meaning in social life as deeply as any scholar of human societies See, for example, his Economy and Society Part I of Volume 1 of this two volume work is especially important ''See, for example, Clyde Klukhohn and Dorthea Leighton's The Navajo 1 9


in the larger environment of abstract government, industry, bureaucracy and technology In this larger abstract world there is neither choice nor intelligibility Anomie is the endemic hazard of abstract society ; it is retreat into subjective realms of meaning For those of a traditional way of life, modernization is a disease that separates individuals from their communities and from the contexts of meaning that make life possible For those swept up in modernization, it offers liberation from traditional constraints on personal freedoms and the opportunity for freedom in the creation in personal realms of meaning Modernization is both a promise and a hazard, and those involved in social education should probe this reality deeply Modernization is both a threat to human meaning and human communities and a liberating force for human creativity Modernization and human life itself is ambiguous The secularization of religious life and the relativization of all cultural traditions may emancipate people from the constraints of their own creativity Modernization leads to the change in the status of women, the decline of racial barriers, the transformation of traditional perspectives on the role of men, women, children and conceptions of meaning of human life At the same time, modernization leads to the production of governments and institutional structures that are increasingly unintelligible ; it leads relentlessly to individualization that may produce a people with no sense of meaning in their lives and no sense of connection with any larger community of shared concern 16 Ethics and Social Education The argument of this exploration of the Educational Psychology Paradigm and the Social Paradigm is that we, who are interested in and involved with social education, have been engaged in trying to understand and study social education in light of a profoundly alienated science of behavior That alienated science of human life regards the behavior of human beings as phenomena as one might think of the phenomena of light and sound Human behavior is meaning imbedded in a context of meaning The Educational Psychology Paradigm ignores the central fact of human life The science of behavior, rather than helping us to clarify the social issues of our time, is a vivid expression of alienation that we must confront in our research and in our discourse about social education As an integral part of our work, we must acknowledge that we are members of a biological species that is an integral part of the organic life of our planet In addition, we must probe the Social Paradigm We must face the ambiguity of human life and modern society We must acknowledge in our theory and in our research designs 6 There is an extensive literature that is concerned with modernization In general, modernization is the changes in human consciousness that are associated with economic development See, for example, Joseph A Kahl's The Measurement of Modernism and Peter L Berger's Facing up to Modernity 2 0


that children, teachers, researchers, parents, textbook writers, legislators are meaning-creating creatures who live in social contexts that exist as systems of meaning To study behavior divorced from meaning is to deny our humanity The ethics of our craft as social scholars require that we attend to that tradition of science that seeks to understand human beings as they live in human society 17 17 One systematic and fascinating way to become aware of the power of The Educational Psychology Paradigm is to study the notes and bibliographies of our professional writings My article, "The Taxonomy of Educational Objective : An Ethnographic Perspective on an Occupational Culture," is an illustration of this effort If all of a writer's intellectual resources lie within the Educational Psychology Paradigm, then it is likely that he or she has not faced the challenge to think through the great issues in social understanding that are revealed in the literature of our social heritage If we, in our own work, ignore our social heritage, we may be fashionable in our vocabulary and enthusiasms, but we cannot be serious in our scholarship Study footnotes Is the history of social thought ignored? Ceremonially cited and then ignored? Are issues of today related to the long struggle for social understanding? The Social Paradigm calls attention to the politics of ideas, to the ambiguity of life, to the social contexts in which scholarship is done Educational scholarship that ignores The Social Paradigm, is doomed to triviality and public relations 2 1


References Bateson, Gregory, Mind and Nature, A Necessary Unity New York : E .P Dutton, 1979 Becker, Carl L The Heavenly City of The Eighteenth-Century Philosophers New Haven & London : Yale University Press, 1968 Berger, Peter L Facing Up To Modernity : Excursions in Society, Politics, and Religion New York : Basic Books, Inc ., 1977 t The Precarious Vision, A Sociologist Looks at Social Fictions and Christian Faith New York : Doubleday, 1961 Berger, Peter L and Luckmann, Thomas, The Social Construction of Reality New York : Anchor Books, 1967 Clark, W E ., LeGros, The Fossil Evidence for Human Evolution, Third Edition Revised and Enlarged by Bernard G Campbell, Chicago and London : University of Chicago Press, 1978 Clements, Millard, "The Taxonomy of Educational Objectives : An Ethnographic Perspective on an Occupational Culture," Theory and Research in Social Education, Vol VII, Number 3, 1979 Darwin, Charles, The Origin of Species, A Variorum Text, Morse Peckham, Ed ., Philadelphia : University of Pennsylvania Press, 1959 Dilthey, W ., Selected Writings edited, translated by H P Rickman, Cambridge : Cambridge University Pres, 1976 Dobzhansky, Theodosius, Ayala, Francisco J ., Stebbins, G Ledyard, Valentine, James W ., Evolution San Francisco : W H Freeman & Company, 1977 Gould, Stephen Jay, Ever Since Darwin Reflections in Natural History New York & London : Norton & Company, 1977 Gruber, Howard E ., Darwin On Man, A Psychological Study of Scientific Creativity, Together with Darwin's Early and Unpublished Notebooks, transcribed and annotated by Paul H Barrett, New York : E P Dutton & Co ., 1974 Guinsburg, Thomas N The Dimensions of History Chicago : Rand McNally & Company, 1971 Hamilton, Terrell H ., Process and Pattern in Evolution Toronto : CollierMacmillan, 1967 Harre, H and Secord, P F The Explanation of Social Behaviour New Jersey : Littlefield, Adams & Company, 1973 Kahl, Joseph Alan The Measurement of Modernism A Study of Values in Brazil and Mexico Austin and London : The University of Texas Press, 1968 Kerlinger, Fred, Foundations of Behavioral Research (Second Edition) New York : Holt, Rinehart and Winston, Inc ., 1973 Kluckhohn, Clyde and Leighton, Dorothea The Navajo Cambridge : Harvard University Press, 1951 Lasch, Christopher, Haven in a Heartless World New York : Basic Books, Inc ., 1977 2 2


Mannheim, Karl, Ideology and Utopia New York : Harcourt, Brace & Co ., 1936 Meyerhoff, Hans, The Philosophy of History In Our Time : An Anthology Selected and Edited, New York : Doubleday, Anchor Books, Doubleday & Co ., Inc ., 1959 McKinney, H Lewis, Wallace and Natural Selection New Haven and London : Yale University Press, -1972 Ortega y Gasset, Jose, History as a System and Other Essays Toward a Philosophy of History, New York : W W Norton & Co ., 1962 Peckham, Morse, The Origin of The Species by Charles Darwin : A Variorum Text, University of Pennsylvania Press, 1959 Rickman, H P (editor and translator) W Dilthey Selected Writings Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, 1976 Spencer, Herbert, The Principles of Biology, Vol 1, New York and London : D Appleton & Co ., 1915 t Principles of Sociology, Edited by Stanislav Andreski, Hamden, Connecticut : Archon Books, 1969 t Structure, Function and Evolution, Edited by Stanislav Andreski, London : Michael Joseph Ltd ., 1971 Spradley, James P and Rynkiewich, Michael A The Nacirema : Readings on American Culture Boston and Toronto : Little, Brown and Co ., 1975 Vorzimmer, Peter J ., Charles Darwin : The Years of Controversy The Origin of Species and its Critics 1859-1882, Philadelphia : Temple University Press, 1970 Weber, Max, Economy and Society, Vol I, Edited by Guenther Roth and Claus Wittich, New York : Bedminster Press, 1968 Zijderveld, Anton C ., The Abstract Society, A Cultural Analysis of Our Time, New York : Doubleday, 1970 2 3


Theory and Research in Social Education Fall 1981, Volume 9 Number 3, pp 25-36 € by The College and University Faculty Assembly of The National Council for the Social Studies What Educational Research Says About the Development of Economic Thinking Mark C Schug University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Helping young people learn to grapple successfully with economic issues is clearly a fundamental goal of citizenship education The 1961 Task Force of the Joint Council on Economic Education concluded that economic education is essential for successful citizenship More recently the Report of the National Conference in Education and Citizenship (1976) observed that to be effective citizens, young people must be economically informed Historically, efforts to improve economic education have emphasized the development of curriculum materials and the improvement of instructional techniques For example, some suggestions made in discussions about the improvement of economic literacy include upgrading teacher training programs (Mackey, Glenn and Lewis, 1977), experimenting with new economic curriculum materials (Davis, 1977), and improving devices for successful curriculum dissemination (Becker, 1977) Unfortunately, this rush to action left questions concerning how students reason about various economic concepts largely unanswered It was necessary to make assumptions about the nature and quality of young peoples' economic ideas without benefit of a strong empirical base This stands in contrast to research in other fields of study Several of the physical as well as the social sciences have established bodies of literature relating how young people come to know and understand the 2 5


disciplines' relevant concepts Science educators, for example, have made important progress in applying the ideas of Jean Piaget From samples of high school biology students and of college students, several research studies have concluded that about half of these students have not acquired formal reasoning patterns Thus, such concepts as photosynthesis, ecosystem, respiration, density, and enzymatic activity, when introduced at the formal level, may be difficult for many students to comprehend (Lawson and Renner, 1975) A variety of specific science instructional techniques which are firmly based on Piagetian ideas has been developed The Science Curriculum Improvement Study developed teaching materials built firmly around improving the development of student reasoning (SCIS, 1971) More recently, Lawson (1975) has described how Piaget's ideas can be incorporated into the teaching of specific formal concepts in biology Physics, mathematics, history, geography, and political science are other fields for which developmental data are available Considering the widespread application of cognitive development theory to various fields of inquiry, it is somewhat puzzling that the work of Piaget has been largely overlooked by those interested in economic education The number of studies involving the development of economic concepts is small and usually limited to consumer related ideas rather than concepts drawn from the discipline of economics Questions involving young people's thinking about such matters as a scarcity, unlimited wants, opportunity cost and money medium of exchange receive little or no systematic attention One can speculate about why economists and economic educators show such limited interest in how cognitive development theory relates to their discipline In a 1973 interview, Kenneth Boulding argued that economists are entirely too engrossed in the development of "sterile growth models" and disinterested in human learning On the other hand, economists active in the Joint Council on Economic Education and its state affiliates have contributed significantly to precollegiate economic instruction It may be that a sense of mission about the importance of economic education has caused concerned teachers to accept the assumption that economics simply should be taught in the regular school program Questions concerning how young people reason about economic concepts have had to wait During the 1950's, there was the beginning of some research about how children and adolescents think about economic-related ideas This research waned throughout most of the 1960's and early 1970's Recently, there is new but limited evidence of an increased interest in this area of investigation The following is a summary of the studies done in the 1950's and early 1960's which provides a backdrop for a report on more recent but limited work done in the mid 1970's 2 6


Schuessler and Strauss (1950), two sociologists, were interested in the general question of human socialization The cognitive development theory of Piaget provided the theoretical guide for their study of children's thinking about money Specifically, 141 children in two schools were questioned about their recognition and understanding of the value of various coins From this data, Schuessler and Strauss reported the emergence of eleven stages on scale types that described the students' responses to many related tasks These stages were found to confirm substantially the findings of Piaget For example, children's ideas about money were characterized as becoming more complex, abstract, systematic, differential, flexible, and less egocentric with increased age Furthermore, it was reported that the degree of comprehension necessary for one level was, without exception, a prerequisite for correct performance at all higher levels These findings clearly reinforce the idea that children, as they learn about economic concepts such as the value of money, follow a developmental pattern similar to Piaget's A second study by Strauss (1952) confirmed and expanded his earlier findings In this case, 66 children aged four to eleven were questioned about using money for making payments, and making change, as well as their thinking about making a profit, and offering credit He observed that children's reasoning about these uses of money could be classified into eight developmental stages, each of which represents a change in the form of the children's reasoning Again, the postulates of Piaget's theory appear helpful in explaining what Strauss has reported For example, Strauss noted how young people's thinking became increasingly complex with age but was qualitatively different from the reasoning of adults Also, children did not skip from one stage to another Rather, later meanings built upon earlier ones and new concepts were not understood until prerequisite ideas were acquired A later study by Miller and Horn (1955) explored children's thinking about consumer related economic concepts Debt, credit, promises and contracts formed the basis of a survey instrument given to over one thousand children in grades four, six, eight, ten, and twelve The purpose of this study was to explore the understanding expressed by young people regarding matters of debt They concluded that young people lack a clear understanding of such matters and that curriculum should be modified to include ideas such as the rights of debtors and creditors, the rights of buyers and sellers, tolerance and understanding toward those in debt, and faith in law and the courts Unfortunately, no reference was made by Miller and Horn to the work in developmental psychology They expressed disappointment in the confusion exhibited by the subjects about debt-related concepts Yet, the type of reasoning displayed by those in the study appears similar to what might be expected according to developmental theory For example, eighth graders who are often in transition from concrete operations to formal 2 7


operations were found to reason more like persons in tenth and twelfth grades than like persons in fourth or sixth grade Older students were able to show greater tolerance of debtors and employees, reflecting a greater ability to understand situations from a less egocentric perspective Furthermore, older students were able to differentiate among various types of promises whereas younger subjects tended to be inflexible in their attitude toward promises, treating all promises with equal sanctity Such rigidity concerning the rules which govern the making of promises is a well established finding in the work of Piaget and Kohlberg Danziger (1958) recognized the importance of Piaget's work but was not convinced of its usefulness concerning how young people conceive the social world He argued it is plausible that social concepts follow their own developmental steps and may not fit in the model of the physical world articulated by Piaget Danziger questioned 41 Australian children aged five to eight about their ideas concerning definitions of rich and poor, causes of wealth and poverty, use of money, and "bosses" on the job He concluded that the responses of the students indicated the presence of a developmental sequence from simple to complex At the first stage, for example, the purchase of goods is seen by children as a ritual with no real purpose Danziger observed that this was similar to how Piaget classified children's thinking about the rules of the game At a later stage of development, individuals began to think of buying and selling as an integrated act with money serving as a medium of exchange Similar conclusions were reached concerning children's ideas in the relationships between employers and employees It was found that older children discerned reciprocal relationships and had achieved an integrated understanding of exchange and production Danziger concludes that children's reasoning (adolescents were not included in this study) about economic relationships follows a developmental sequence Yet, he failed to detail how his stage sequence differed dramatically from that of Piaget This is necessary to support his claim that physical and social development move along differential paths Indeed, it can be argued that Danziger's stages are complementary to those of Piaget The findings that young people's ideas toward economic relationships show an age-related sequence wherein children increasingly see the interrelatedness of the concepts and the reciprocity between the various actions appear to fit quite well with Piaget's ideas about cognitive development Similar comments can be made concerning a study done by Sutton (1962) She reiterated Danziger's claim that the development of social concepts differs from the developmental path of physical concepts Sutton questioned 85 elementary students in grades one through six concerning their thinking about consumer related ideas about money and banking She concludes that older children were slightly less egocentric than 2 8


younger ones and that most people show little understanding of economic meaning Sutton, unfortunately, only reports overall percentages to show how the subjects' ideas form a six-stage sequence Such a broad reporting of the data does not seem useful in detecting developmental trends because data about age and grade are omitted In addition, Sutton did not report the number of subjects represented in each age group Her decision to treat the entire sample of 85 as one group appears to mask the details of economic thinking rather than highlight them The idea of studying student thinking about consumer related activities without reference to cognitive development theory continued on a limited basis into the 1970's Williams (1970), for example, pointed out that economic education is increasingly important in the elementary social studies program but was concerned that decisions about the placement of economic concepts by grade in the curriculum were left to curriculum planners who had little knowledge of what children know of economics To pursue this problem, Williams selected a stratified sample of over 300 children from a population of 10,000 elementary students with 50 students from each grade one through six The students were interviewed to measure their understanding of such concepts as jobs, banks, savings, stores, credit, insurance, and unemployment On the basis of the interview data, a gradient was constructed showing which concepts children seemed to comprehend at each of the grade levels This study is valuable because it sheds some light on children's level of understanding about basic consumer concepts Yet, in some ways this study is more interesting for what it did not do rather than what it did The grade level gradient of student-understood concepts certainly seems to have missed some important points For example, from this study, educators are told that first graders understand basic notions about jobs, work, and savings What Williams does not show is how children actually think about these ideas While the content level of children's understanding about economic ideas is important, the structure and form of their ideas is of greater consequence Such student statements as "To purchase is to cut meat in half," "A family on charity is on vacation," and "To purchase is to give" were dismissed as erroneous concepts held by uninformed children Their value in the context of what is revealed about how children reason about economic ideas is overlooked The structure and form of a student's reasoning may help tell educators how economic ideas are acquired and how they may be expected to change The second half of the 1970's saw a limited but possibly significant return to the study of economic reasoning in children and adolescents from a developmental perspective Three studies appear to support this trend The first was done by Burris in a 1976 doctoral dissertation Burris, a sociologist, was primarily interested in the broad area of 2 9


cognitive socialization as it related to "everyday social knowledge ." The type of social knowledge selected by Burris was the child's understanding of economic relations Burris used the clinical method described by Piaget for his investigation Interviews were conducted with eighty children ages four to five, seven to eight, and ten to twelve The subjects were drawn from a white, middle class nursery ; a white, middle class elementary school ; and a primarily black working class elementary school Six broad topics served as the content for the interview protocol They were commodity, exchange, value, property, and labor and class The overall conclusion of Burris' investigation was supportive of the idea that cognitive development theory is useful in understanding economic reasoning Burris found discrete developmental stages in children's thinking about exchange, value, and property rights For example, young children appeared to have a very limited understanding of what kinds of objects can be bought and sold Similarly, children's understanding of labor and class was found to be underdeveloped, attributable perhaps to young people's relative isolation from the economic community The pattern of stage development for exchange, value, and property rights can be summarized as follows : Exchange Stage 1 : Payment of money is isolated ; failure to note reciprocity of exchange ; reliance on moral imperatives Stage 2 : Exchange is reciprocal ; moral imperatives decline Stage 3 : An integrated pattern of exchange relationships emerges ; individual transactions are seen as part of the system Value Stage 1 : Value is measured in terms of physical attributes such as size Stage 2 : Value is attributed to an item's usefulness Stage 3 : Value is related to production in terms of type or cost of inputs Property Stage 1 : Property rights depend upon moral/legal imperatives ; stealing violates the imperatives and is punishable Stage 2 : Property rights are based on owner's needs ; stealing is wrong because of harm to the victim Stage 3 : Property rights are linked to an overall system of economic production and distribution ; stealing is wrong because it enables some to obtain for free what others must acquire through their own efforts A second important study in the late 1970's was done by Ward, Wackman, and Wartella in 1977 One of the chief differences between this study and the work by Burris is the economic content that was 3 0


selected Whereas Burris was primarily interested in children's reasoning about broad economic ideas, Ward et al involved a large-scale survey of parents and children, the purpose of which was to describe and understand the process children go through in developing consumer attitudes, knowledge and skills Of special interest to this study was measuring the impact of television advertising upon young television viewers The study's theoretical underpinning was drawn directly from the work of Piaget A sample of 615 mother-child pairs was selected from families in blue collar and upper-middle-class neighborhoods in Boston and Minneapolis-St Paul The children were in kindergarten, -third grade, and sixth grade Hour-long interviews were conducted by trained interviewers with each mother and child The findings of Ward et al relevant to this investigation concern how children think about spending and saving They found a developmental trend in children's attitudes toward spending For example, the mention by children of using money for long-term savings increased linearly with age Saving money was found to be related clearly to the basic notion of time and was a difficult task for younger children This trend fits well with Piaget's earlier work involving children's ideas about time In addition, it was found that both third and sixth grade children have more developed ideas about savings and about how money should and should not be used They concluded that this may reflect more time spent by parents counseling their older children in financial matters but also seemed to reflect the increased ability of older children to understand abstract notions about saving Although the consumer-derived content of Ward et al is of limited usefulness here, it is meaningful that a large-scale study of this type uncovered developmental trends in children's reasoning about such economic related concepts as spending and saving Other interesting findings of the study were that with increased age, children become more aware of the functions of commercials Similarly, with increased age children are more likely to consider the function and performance of a product when considering a purchase The general findings of Burris (1976) and Ward et al (1977) are confirmed by a study by Fox (1978) Fox reiterates the position that the development of children's reasoning about economic ideas should follow the broad parameters established by Piaget Thus, young children's understanding of economic ideas should be perception bound with limited evidence of abstract reasoning Fox reported on her earlier research which found that young children's understanding of pricing is quite limited and bound to surface characteristics For example, five year olds viewed the pricing of goods as the mechanical task of stamping the price on a product rather than being the final step in a decision making process The reasoning of eight year old children was found to be qualitatively different from that of younger children 3 1


These studies on children's economic reasoning are limited by several factors First, the fact that so few studies exist suggests that questions about the development of economic thinking have been largely overlooked by economic educators Fox (1978) observes that most work in this area has been done by sociologists and psychologists Economists and economic educators are conspicuous by their absence Second, the depth of these studies does not instill great confidence in their results Most of the studies are singular investigations with wide variance in research questions and methodology Finally, few of these studies deal with the reasoning of children and adolescents about basic economic concepts Most reflect a consumer education perspective preferring questions of spending, insurance, and money usage to those of scarcity, unlimited wants, and opportunity cost It appears from these limited research findings that economic reasoning emerges in a pattern consistent with the precepts of cognitive development theory Economic reasoning develops in a stage-like manner similar to Piagetian stages of cognitive development The content of young people's reasoning about economic related ideas becomes more abstract, other directed, and flexible with increasing age Yet, there is so much more we do not know Some important questions for future research in this area might include the following : 1 Can economists define basic economic concepts for the precollegiate level from a developmental perspective? Economists have allocated a great deal of human and material resources to efforts which carefully have defined basic economic concepts (Hansen, 1977) It may now be time to shift the emphasis to consideration of what levels of reasoning are necessary to understand specific economic concepts For example, can the concept of aggregate demand be understood at the level of concrete operations or is formal reasoning necessary to comprehend this idea? 2 What is the content and structure of young people's reasoning about basic economic concepts such as scarcity, opportunity cost, and inflation? How does young people's thinking change with age and experience? Understanding the quality of student economic reasoning at various grade levels will help educators understand the evolution of economic reasoning and may yield clues about how instruction can be improved 3 Does instruction in economics foster development of reasoning ability? For example, does instruction in economics help students make the transition from concrete to formal operations? There is some evidence that carefully designed curriculum materials, informed by findings from cognitive development theory, can be effective in improving reasoning abilities It would be interesting to see if economic instruction would be similarly effective 3 2


This paper has noted that economists and economic educators have tended to overlook questions regarding how economic reasoning develops in children and adolescents This is evident in the limited body of research in this area The research studies reviewed here were found to be supportive of the idea that economic reasoning develops in a pattern consistent with the cognitive development theory of Jean Piaget The need exists to extend this body of research to basic questions about the relationship of cognitive development and the emergence of economic reasoning 3 3


References Adelson, J "The Political Imagination of the Young Adolescent," Daedelus, 100 (Fall 1971), 1013-1050 Becker, J M and Marker, G W "Needs for Diffusion and Implementation of Economic Education Programs," Perspectives on Economic Education D R Wentworth, W L Hansen, and S H Hawke (Eds) (New York : Joint Council on Economic Education, 1977) : 261-271 Brainerd, C J Piaget's Theory of Cognitive Development Englewood Cliffs, NJ : Prentice Hall, Inc ., 1978 Burris, V I "The Child's Conception of Economic Relations : A Genetic Approach to the Sociology of Knowledge," unpublished doctoral dissertation (Princeton University, 1976) Danziger, K "Children's Earliest Conceptions of Economic Relationships (Australia)," Journal of Social Psychology (1958), 231-240 Darrin, G L "Economics in the Elementary School Curriculum : A Study of the District of Columbia Laboratory Schools," unpublished doctoral dissertation (University of Maryland, 1959) Davis, J E "Needed Materials in Precollege Economic Education," Perspectives on Economic Education D R Wentworth, W L Hansen, and S H Hawke (Eds) (New York : Joint Council on Economic Education, 1977) : 157-180 Davison, D G ., and Kilgore, J H "A Model for Evaluating the Effectiveness of Economic Education in Primary Grades," Journal of Economic Education, 3 (Fall, 1971), 17-25 Davison, D G Master Curriculum Guide for the Nation's Schools, Part II, Strategies for Teaching Economics : Primary Level (Grades 1-3), D G Davison (Chair) New York : Joint Council on Economic Education, 1977 Dawson, G G "Research in Economic Education at the Precollege Level," Perspectives on Economic Education D R Wentworth, W L Hansen, and S H Hawke (Eds) (New York : Joint Council on Economic Education, 1977) : 85-104 Dawson, R E and Prewitt, K Political Socialization Boston : Little, Brown and Company, 1969 Durio, A F "A Taxonomy of Democratic Development : A Theoretical Interpretation of the Internalizing of Democratic Principles," Human Development, 19 (1976), 197-219 Easton, D and Dennis, J "The Child's Acquisition of Regime Norms : Political Efficacy," The American Political Science Review, 61 (1967), 25-38 Economic Education in the Schools, Report of the National Task Force on Economic Education Committee for Economic Development, September 1961 Elkin, D "Children's Discovery of the Conservation of Mass, Weight, and Volume : Piaget Replication Study II," Journal of Genetic Psychology, 98 (1961), 219-227 3 4


Ennis, R H "Children's Ability to Handle Piaget's Propositional Logic : A Conceptual Critique," Review of Educational Research, 45 (Winter 1975), 1-41 Flavell, J The Developmental Psychology of Jean Piaget New York : Van Nostrand, 1963 Fox, K F A ., "What Children Bring to School : The Beginnings of Economic Education ." Social Education (October 1978) 478-481 Fuller, R G ., Karplas, R and Anton, A E ., "Can Physics Develop Reasoning?" Physics Today (February 1977) 23-28 Glasgow, R W "Aristocrats Have Always Been `Sons of Bitches,' Psychology Today (January 1973) 61-70 ; 86 Grant, N and Renner, J "Identifying Types of Thought in 10th Grade Biology Students," The American Biology Teacher (May 1975) 283-286 Greenstein, F I Children and Politics New Haven and London : Yale University Press, 1969 Hallam, R N "Logical Thinking in History," Educational Review, 19 (1967) 183-202 Hansen, W L Master Curriculum Guide in Economics for the Nation's Schools New York : Joint Council on Economic Education, 1977 Inhelder, B and Piaget, J The Growth of Logical Thinking From Childhood to Adolescence A Parsons and S Milgram (Trans .) New York : Basic Books, Inc ., 1958 Kohlberg, L ., "Stage and Sequence : The Cognitive-developmental Approach to Socialization," in Handbook of Socialization Theory and Research Goslin (Ed .) Chicago : Rand McNally, 1969 Kohlberg, L ., and Gilligan, C ., "The Adolescent as a Philosopher : The Discovery of the Self in a Post-conventional World," Daedelus, 100 (Fall 1971), 1051-1084 Kohlberg, L ., and Mayer, R ., "Development of the Aim of Education," in Stage Theories of Cognitive and Moral Development : Criticism and Applications Harvard Educational Review, Reprint No 13 (Montpelier, VT : Capitol City Press, 1978) Kourilsky, M ., "Economics Through Fable Simulation," Elementary School Journal, (December 1973) 149-157 t "The Kinder Economy : A Case of Kindergarten Pupils' Acquisition of Economic Concepts," Elementary School Journal, (January 1977), 182-191 t Master Curriculum Guide for the Nation's Schools, Part II, Strategies for Teaching Economics : Intermediate Level (Grades 4-6) M Kourilsky (Chair) New York : Joint Council on Economic Education, 1978 Kuhn, D ., "The Application of Piaget's Theory of Cognitive Development to Education," Harvard Educational'Review, 40 (August 1979), 340-360 Landenberg, T J ., "Cognitive Development and the Teaching of Social Studies," in Readings in Moral Education, P Scharf (Ed .) Minneapolis : Winston Press, Inc ., 1978 3 5


Lawson, A E and Renner, J W "Piagetian Theory and Biology Teaching," The American Biology Teacher (September 1975) Lawson, A .1 E "Developing Formal Thought Through Biology Teaching," The American Biology Teacher (October 1975) Mackey, J A ., Glenn, A D ., and Lewis, D R ., "Current and Future Needs for Teacher Training on Economic Education," Perspectives on Economic Education D R Wentworth, W L Hansen, and S H Hawke (Eds .) New York : Joint Council on Economic Education, 1977, 195-215 McKinnon, J W and Renner, J W ., "Are Colleges Concerned With Intellectual Development?" American Journal of Physics (1971), 1047-1052 McNaughton, A H ., "Piaget's Theory and Primary School Social Studies," Educational Review, E A Peel, H J Hallworth, and A M Wildinson (Eds) 19 (November 1966), 23-32 Miller, L N and Horn, T ., "Children's Concepts Regarding Debt," Elementary School Journal, 55 (1955), 406-412 Niss, J F Master Curriculum Guide for the Nation's Schools, Part II, Strategies for Teaching Economics : Basic Business and Consumer Education (Secondary), J F Niss (Chair) New York : Joint Council on Economic Education, 1979 Piaget, J Child's Conception of Physical Causality London : Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubnec and Co ., Ltd ., 1930 t Play, Dreams, and Imitation in Childhood C Gattegnow and F M Hodgson (Trans .) New York : W W Norton and Company, Inc ., 1962 t "Cognitive Development in Children," Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 2 (1964), 126-186 t The Child's Conception of Time A J Pomerans (Trans .) London : Routledge and Kegan Paul, Ltd ., 1969 Presseisen, B Z ., "Piaget's Theory Applied to a Social Studies Curriculum," in Topics in Cognitive Development Theory Volume I, Appel and Goldberg (Eds) New York : Plenum Press, 1977 Schuessler, K and Strauss, K "A Study of Concept Learning by Scale Analysis," American Sociological Review, (1950), 752-762 Science Curriculum Improvement Study Chicago : Rand McNally, 1971 Stoltman, J P "Children's Conceptions of Space and Territorial Relationships," Social Education, 41 (February 1977), 141-145 Strauss, A L "The Development and Transformation of Monetary Meanings in the Child," American Sociolgical Review, 17 (1952), 275-286 Sutton, R S "Behavior in the Attainment of Economic Concepts," The Journal of Psychology, 53 (1962), 37-46 Ward, S ., Wackman, D B ., Wartella, E How Children Learn to Buy Beverly Hills, CA : Sage Publications, Inc ., 1977 Williams, J W "A Gradient of Economic Concepts of Elementary School Children and Factors Associated With Cognition," The Journal of Consumer Affairs, (Winter 1970), 113-123 3 6


Theory and Research in Social Education Fall 1981, Volume 9 Number 3, pp 37-59 €by The College and University Faculty Assembly of the National Council for the Social Studies Teacher Perspectives on Program Change Noel Boag Don Massey University of Alberta, Canada Much of what is known about teacher reaction to program changes has been derived from the literature on innovation This literature, as Walker (1976) indicated, shows an over-emphasis on, and a bias in favour of, change over stability It has been dominated by an ideal of change premised on technological rationality and what has been described by Kliebard (1978) as a "bureaucratic model ." In contrast teachers' activities, it seems, are characterized by an autonomy which appears to minimize the effect of external influences on the classroom Although teachers work in schools which, as Dreeben (1973) argued, resemble bureaucracies, "the work of teachers can be properly understood only if the non-bureaucratic elements of schools are also identified ." An important part of the non-bureaucratic element is the underlying perspectives held by teachers Existing research "fails to penetrate the mental world of the practitioner in order to reflect definition of needs, problem solving patterns, knowledge transmission strategies, criteria for appraisal of opinions, perceptions of experts, and other outsiders, . ." Sieber (1974) In response to program changes teachers act and think in a particular way Each has a perspective which is a combination of beliefs and 3 7


behaviors which are continually modified by what they and their students do and say in classrooms This study attempted "to catch the process of interpretation" (Blumer, 1969) through which two second grade teachers constructed their actions as they attempted to base social studies instruction on a new multimedia resource kit supplied to their classrooms by a central authority Problems of Program Change Views of Change Partly as a result of societal pressures for reform, partly as a result of the apparent failure of the curriculum projects of the 1960's, and partly as a result of the work of certain curriculum theorists, the literature has evidenced new ways of organizing thinking in the field of curriculum There is growing realization that the conception of program change as an "ends-means" process may be inappropriate in the classroom context Curriculum development, it would seem, is more complex a matter than simply establishing aims and mechanically managing their achievement Theorists have turned to those curriculum models which recognize that program change is a formidable task and that it is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to predict in advance of implementation just what will occur in classrooms and what will happen to students and teachers This recognition of the complexity of the task takes many forms Distinctions are needed between the visible and hidden curriculum, between formalized plans and the classroom experience of the children, and between the intended and the effected curriculum Models for program change were borrowed from studies in technological areas, marketing and rural sociology Investigations into the process sought to explore social relations, the management of conflict, power relations, and the provision of resources Implementation was geared to having teachers change their ways, either by instructing them to do so, by persuading them to adopt different values, or by proving that the desired alternative was superior The language of curriculum tended to be equated with the language of change Coping with change, support of change, change agents, change climate, and similar concerns tended to treat educational processes as technological change Views of Teachers Teachers have often been viewed as passive recipients of change Their values, goals, view of programs and social contexts were ignored or treated as being uniform The classrooms they taught in were seen as essentially logical and predictable Research in the area has sought to ex3 8


plain, control and predict teachers and classroom phenomena in a technological or instrumental sense Curriculum developers practiced a scientific positivism which encouraged them to trust their own senses and logic more than that of teachers Such research, as Bruyn (1966) pointed out, acknowledges that thoughts and feelings exist but not that the interpretations of subjects such as teachers are of any central importance The top-down strategies of curriculum change tended to negate the legitimacy of the diverse priorities held by users at any point in time Too often, as Fullan (1972) noted, there appeared to be lack of consideration or awareness that the introduction of new roles impinged on existing patterns, relationships, roles, and expectations that were important to students and teachers Furthermore, the literature contains some questionable assumptions about teachers The emphasis on intellectual processes casts the teacher as a rational adopter As such the teacher was assumed to follow a set of problem-solving techniques systematically Such strategies were often designed around the importance of information in effecting educational change Thus, the rational teacher only had to be informed about the best method, and current practice would be modified accordingly Teachers were seen as invulnerable to the opinions of peer groups, the ideologies of occupational groups, values encountered, or any environmental influences that would modify their goal-directed behavior (Sieber, 1972) A more pessimistic image presented teachers as stone-age obstructionists Curriculum changes using this image sought ways to neutralize or bypass the teacher on the way to educational improvement Reformers tended to view the teacher as resistant, incapable or unwilling to change This view appears to reflect a misunderstanding of classroom settings and outlooks and a narrowness embedded in researchers' "almost total absorption with the goal of improving practice and discovering better techniques" (Jackson and Kieslar, 1977, p 15) Furthermore, these images of teachers seem to have been drawn utilizing research methodologies which tend to objectify teachers as subjects and to ignore the complexity of human behavior in the classroom The Problem Concern about the limited frameworks used by theorists to explain curriculum change coupled with an unease with the taken-for-granted views of teachers held by many curriculum developers served as the impetus, for this study There was, it seemed, need for a study which would examine curriculum change through the eyes of classroom teachers Such a study held the possibility of providing some understanding of how change occurs and would make possible an exploration of the perspectives on change held by classroom teachers 3 9


The opportunity to conduct such a study arose when KANATA KIT 2 was made available to all schools in Alberta, Canada, in October, 1979 It is a multimedia kit designed for 6 to 8 weeks of social studies instruction focused on the Grade 2 topic "Canadian Communities : The Same or Different?" The kit represented one-fourth of the year's work in a new provincial social studies program The Questions The central figures of this study are Cora and Annette who taught grade two classes in adjoining rooms at Robinwood Elementary School Their perceptions of a change proposal (KANATA KIT 2) as they implemented it in their social studies classes were recorded This included an attempt to capture the personal beliefs, attitudes and values which were influential in defining life in their classrooms The study was developed around three exploratory quetions : 1 How do teachers view a packaged kit which was intended to modify or improve their performance? 2 What are the constructs which underlie such teachers' perceptions? 3 What is the relationship between these underlying constructs and teachers' use of a packaged kit? The Method Several activities were undertaken to gain entry into classrooms in which to conduct the study Meetings were held with Cora and Annette to explain the purpose of the study and seek their cooperation At these meetings the role of the researcher and possible ways of minimizing his influence on both students and teachers were explored Once agreement to participate in the study was obtained from the two teachers formal permission from the local school board authorities was sought and obtained During the first three weeks in the school the researcher accepted the principal's and teachers' invitation to familiarize himself with the students, classroom activities, and the school The school was visited each day and the researcher observed each of the classrooms, regularly had lunch with the staff and chatted informally with the principal and staff members During the first days the pattern of information collection and processing was established which provided the data for this study : 1 Direct observations of the behavior of the teachers and verbatim transcriptions of their statements, conversations and lessons were made 4 0


2 Formal interviews based on the observations were conducted with the teachers to verify concepts, and to seek more information 3 Informal interviews were conducted with the teachers, the principal, and the social studies consultant Comments from these people were usually unsolicited and, in some instances, facilitated the data analysis Included in this category was a meeting between the two teachers and a project teacher who was invited by the principal to give the teachers any necessary assistance 4 Background information was provided by the teachers and the principal In some instances this was verbal and, on occasion, in the form of documents 5 The completion of notes, the playing back of sound tapes, transcription and tentative analysis were undertaken after leaving the school The tapes were transcribed on a daily basis and with the more incidental notes were analyzed for significant incidents, patterns of behavior, recurring statements, and conflict situations Such analyses generated hypotheses for testing in subsequent observations and interviews with the teachers Two outsiders to the study were asked to read the field notes and their impressions were used as a check against the researcher's interpretations When observations suggested a relationship between incidents, these were explored to establish possible relationships By this process, the researcher became immersed in the two settings and was better able to understand the reactions of the two teachers confronting and implementing a curricular change proposal The field site for the study included more than the teachers' immediate classrooms Teachers were observed in other areas of the school including the resource center, school office, staff room, the playground, corridors, and the researcher participated with one teacher in a neighborhood class excursion Three months of field work produced a considerable amount of information The field notes number over four hundred typewritten pages Also accumulated was a variety of printed material in the form of handbooks, letters to parents and curricular material Additional material included completed comments on lessons, schedules, teacher notes and samples of student work The conclusions are presented as the response of two practitioners to a curricular change proposal and should be interpreted in that limited context 4 1


KANATA KIT 2 The multi-media resource unit, KANATA KIT 2, Canadian Communities : The Same or Different? is designed to introduce Grade 2 students to the ways Canadian neighbourhoods differ and the ways such differences affect people's lives To achieve this purpose the unit is structured around the study of a social issue and utilizes an inquiry teaching approach based on systematic learning objectives This approach was designed to promote active participation and interaction among students and teachers particularly in the affective area of value clarification It was also designed to develop student intellectual skills and knowledge of concepts in the process of identifying the issue, hypothesizing, establishing research questions, gathering and organizing information, synthesizing the information, taking a value position, making a decision in the form of a final hypothesis, applying the decision, and evaluating the decision The primary perspective of the unit was directed toward students and their social world Content and method reflected a conception of what people are and what they should be (Aoki, 1975) This content selected for study in KANATA KIT 2 was set in the framework of a social issue Technical and intellectual control were then imposed on the content and the method of the unit Associated with such control was a concern for certainty of outcomes Student reality construction was regulated by the organization, structure and sequence of activities Techniques such as check lists, fill-in-the-space activities and chart building, detailed instructions for the teachers, and the explicit detailing of proper methods for inquiry, planning, skill and concept development, and for meeting behavioral objectives enhanced control This interest in technical control also implied a concern with efficiency Teacher attention was directed towards student achievement of objectives, to formative on-going evaluation exercises, and to a comprehensive test for formal evaluation Cora and Annette : Two Perspectives Cora Cora is in her mid-forties, married, has family responsibilities, and has taught for twenty-three years Her appearance is always neat and elegant Cora was originally trained under a one year teacher education program for which she has warm praise "It was mainly a methods oriented course involving a lot of lessons and a lot of direct experience ." When you were finished "you knew exactly what to do, where to go and they . taught you how to do it . ." She describes herself as a "basics person" which to her means specifically "teaching a child to be able to read, to enjoy reading, and to use 4 2


reading as a tool to achieve other things" ; to "spell, write, construct letters" ; to be competent in the four basic number functions ; "to get a concept of what the world is all about," "to respect yourself as a healthy individual ." Cora "never wanted to be anything else but a teacher Never! Nothing else!" This desire, from the age of seven or eight, she attributes to the influence of her early teachers in rural schools The teachers in grades one, two, and three . They were fantastic people . My grade one teacher did a fantastic job This was one of the major influences in my life Cora not only enjoyed school, she "loved" it "I liked kids I liked books ." A central goal for Cora is that her children be provided with the "groundwork" of moral values These are reflected in the fostering of "respect for one another, for property, for the community at large ." They also encompass the citizenship ideals of "respecting" and "appreciating" different peoples and "knowing what your country stands for ." Her definition of situation is reflected in what she wants for her classroom : I like children to like me and I like them to know that I like them . I want them to be happy so they are secure in that room I like to be thorough . but I like to do a lot of things that are extra so that they enjoy school So that they say "We had a great time at school this morning ." There are times when she will walk in "and the mood will be just right ." She will say to herself "Well, this is the morning I'll really do something different with them ." Then they "just forget about the timetable . ." For Cora, it is important to "develop a comfortable atmosphere in the room ." For this to be achieved she has "to be involved with her children when she does something and it is necessary for them to be involved with her ." She is successful when she has achieved what she describes as : . a closeness with them so they feel that, if something is wrong, they can really be close to me ; more than just a teacher Because to me, `teacher' connotes just a person apart and separate I like to be part of them They become my family for the year The theme of closeness, of interrelating with children and their life histories, is a central element in Cora's definition of her situation and criteria of judgment 4 3


Cora's interpretation of the KANATA KIT was organized around two themes : (a) surprise, and (b) disenchantment Surprise "It's great!" "It has all the stuff in it they want you to teach ." Cora's initial reaction, after examining the contents of the box and glancing at the Teacher's Guide, is one of elation "All your materials are there and you don't have to do a lot of extra work ." This KANATA KIT 2 is different, "it looks workable," "a good concise way of teaching a particular unit ." This kit "approaches the subject . much the way that I would like to approach it ." "A lot of the materials I have work in very well with this ." It gives "a good picture of what to do and how to do it ." Moreover, it provides children with "something basic and in common ." "A kit like this can revitalize you and really get you going again and thinking in different directions ." For Cora the process and products produced, in contrast to this kit, often are not relevant to her and her students "They pilot a lot of the projects . to try and see if the theories will work . ." but "What works for one person won't work for somebody else ." "I usually adapt the kit to my way of doing things I try and get the information and objectives that they have got and . do it the way I would normally teach in my room ." Cora's surprise and pleasure with the KANATA KIT made it necessary for her to reconcile this view with her past unfavourable assessments of curriculum change In doing so she focused sharply on the teaching materials "When I first saw it . I thought, oh good, here are some filmstrips and some books and materials and maps and things ." She decided that the kit would be supportive of her situation not after an examination of the assumptions, procedures, and orientation of the kit, but on an impression gained from the materials Her surprise resulted in an adjustment of her interpretation of the curriculum implementation process to the extent that she viewed the materials to be helpful in her situation Disenchantment "I still think that basically it is a good program except . ." The "excepts" structured the set of ideas that formed Cora's perspective of KANATA KIT 2 as she used the kit with her class Her enthusiasm turned to disenchantment as classroom experiences came into conflict with her initial judgment of the kit Finally, she rejected the kit as inappropriate to her definition of the class situation Her judgments affirmed her more problematic, intuitive and humanistic view of the classroom and rejected the control, predictability, and problem solving orientation 4 4


of KANATA KIT 2 Cora liked to guide children Presenting a structured set of materials, she was unable to sustain the children's interest With KANATA KIT 2 "the emphasis is on me" but "the children are not involved ." "I find myself trying to get that hypothesis . from them ." You have to "ask three things to get on the right track ." It "locks you into one activity all the time ." Repetition is important to Cora, as she felt young children needed to feel secure in predictable situations ; but, she felt this must be tempered with interesting experiences with which they were involved For her the KANATA KIT teacher guide was "the same right through :" "the same steps, the same procedures, the same activities and you approach the next one exactly the same ." "You have to do a lot of talking ." "Talking! Talking! Talking!" "They sit and gradually . you see them . falling off ." The pedagogical perspective of the kit and the perspective held by Cora were obviously at odds The psychological orientation of the kit caused problems too Cora felt children needed to be "taking part" and to be involved in "physical action ." Their attention span is short and the point needs to be made quickly and quite vividly for them to get it The unit is "belaboured," lacks "surprises" and contains "nothing interesting . different . exciting ; it's all the same routine ." The "different," "unique," "unusual" and special are the source of a "lively" child interest for Cora A sense of immediacy and relevance are important to children's learning Students cannot see, nor are they interested in, the differences among Medicine Hat, Edmonton, and Toronto The ideas of KANATA KIT 2 are "too abstract ." Cora's central theme of "closeness" was violated by following the KANATA KIT 2 format The children lost interest and the basic mutuality of thinking and feeling that characterized her everyday classroom was subjected to tension and challenge Children became "frustrated" and "did not want to do it ." Her definition of situation that encompassed both the child's world of thought and feeling and the adult world was disrupted Extrinsic rewards such as "breaking early" became important, and the excitement of social studies diminished The kit cast Cora in a situation that left her feeling "on the outside" ; "they weren't really with me ." "It put me in that role and I was not comfortable with it because I like to be involved with my children and they like to be involved with me ." The "strategies are not mine ." "Maybe, when the people make up these units . . they don't think they really put a burden on you . They imposed a burden on me that made me feel I needed to get it done because it was prescribed ." 4 5


Annette Annette is in her fifties, is married, is neat and elegant in appearance, has a grown family and has taught for twenty-eight years, not inclusive of a twelve year break after she married The description of Annette's interpretation of the curricular change proposal is organized around two themes : (a) Will it work? (b) A good start Will It Work When Annette first saw KANATA KIT 2 she commented, "It doesn't look like a very long study . for the size of the box It's all empty You know they could just as easily have put it into a smaller container ." She thought, "What a waste of space Here is all this cardboard and all these little filmstrips are just tacked upon the top That was the physical appearance of it You get six ounces of rice crispies and you get a box like that ." In a direct practical way her initial concerns centered on the manner in which it could become part of her classroom program "It's a very concise . complete study . but . you need to have them understand what a neighbourhood is before you go from your own neighbourhood and in your own city to another part of Canada ." How would her students respond to the content and materials? "Neighbourhoods? That's a concept that I think very few in grade two are going to grasp I can see it right now ." Some of the children are being bussed in from another neighbourhood "I don't think all the children quite know that we should call them neighbours ." It will be "very difficult trying to say that your neighborhood is this, but somebody else's is that, and yet it is the same ." Her interest was keen in viewing the activity sheets "Things I like ." "Things I don't like ." "That's a good page an interesting page ." "That's a good basis ." The map was a good feature "If you put it up, I've found in other years, in no time they know the provinces ." They will "be able to cope with neighbours ." "Many of them go for lunch to their neighbour's place Mom is working or something So this part will be fine ." The cost of field trips was a concern but she felt that in any case it is part of their normal program Hypothesizing from the six study prints would present no problems to her students "They would get that from simple deduction ." She was concerned about time for social studies as "there are many interruptions ." "There is either an announcement or you are listing names," but she felt it would be appropriate to teach the kit in November "It does take quite a bit of background with six and seven year-olds just to develop the concept of neighbourhoods and neighbours ." Annette's other concerns tended to be quite specific and concerned organization, procedural details, the manner in which the kit would facilitate the students' learning, and the effectiveness of her social studies program Two other specific concerns were the 4 6


cost of the kits and the authorship of the stories, but her specific concern was "Will it work in my classroom?" Annette was reflectively critical of the work of curriculum developers "I see many of them as teachers who are not in the classroom They are going by theory and thinking what children should know ." Theory is important to Annette "because that is the basis, your philosophy of your school program ." However, too many developers operate at "a different level from the classroom ." "They are not regular classroom teachers or, if they have been, they have been there -a short time ." Units such as this "are not written by classroom teachers who are actively engaged in teaching ." To plan an effective program for grade two, Annette is convinced, you need to be teaching grade two Moreover, it's not sufficient to say "That would be nice for grade two ." The important questions are, "Is it practical?" and "Will it work?" Annette, despite this skepticism of curriculum developers' skills, perceived the KANATA KIT as a response of administrators to social pressure for more Canadian content in school programs The children "know about Davy Crockett, but they don't know anything about Louis Riel ." Further, administrators "want to standardize some level of achievement for children at certain grade levels . instead of giving a teacher a free hand like we have had in the past ." Her interpretation was that the two messages are interrelated "You must standardize . like you do in math . reading ." "Why shouldn't you in social studies?" "The children should know more" . "and know more about Canada ." A Good Start Annette scheduled the KANATA KIT unit to end on November 15 and she met her schedule In teaching the unit "there were some things that I wasn't happy with Things I just left out That I felt I could do in a few words instead of taking a lesson" . "just a few words to the class . I could bring the same point across . Something that perhaps wouldn't particularly concern the children ." For Annette, change proposals involved a process of re-interpretation rather than a change in her definition of situation She follows "the guidelines" but "I make judgments as I go along ." Such judgments were supportive of her concern with efficiency and equated with making up for interruptions "I don't see any need for going and filling in the one with dots" (Student Master No 4) "It's been made already, so why repeat it We haven't had time because we have so many interruptions I'm sure that you can see that in our school ." Interruptions for Annette included professional development days, assemblies, rehearsals for a school concert and any activity that took from her teaching time with her class Her central concern was maximizing class achievement, and she was assiduous in providing individual assistance to the students and in checking and assessing 4 7


their work Where the kit departed from what she felt most appropriate, she disregarded it but, nevertheless, maintained the spirit of the kit in terms of her definition of her situation "See like these `why' questions Why does each family live in their own house on an acreage? Well that doesn't make any sense to me You have got to live in something ." In such situations Annette ignored KANATA KIT 2 At other times she changed the specified material "This chart I am going to use but I am going to use it differently than what they say I'm making the charts ." "That isn't what they set out . but that is the way I want to do it ." Repetition is a problem "Show the film strips four times it says here I don't think you need that much . I showed it in an afternoon ." Annette's role as "driver" was central to her definition of situation In social studies, this involved an emphasis on transmitting content in the form of information, rather than more general ideas The stories, filmstrips and pictorial material "lacked background information" which created incongruence with her teaching method "I don't think there is one lesson where the teacher can put some questions on the board and say, "Here I want you to answer these ." The kit is "geared towards a teacher who likes working . in more of an oral way . than a written way . say making a booklet or making notes ." Annette retained her lesson format and maintained her directive role, but her desire for specificity of student response led, at times, to extended questioning sequences and restlessness among the students Annette liked the unit "quite well ." "I would certainly do it again I don't know if I would change that much ." "We have got to get our children to know more about their country ." She is "willing to go along with something new ." It could be a "spin off" to make her own social studies more interesting "It's a start and it gives you a little more to think about ." The manner in which Annette re-interpreted KANATA KIT 2 to facilitate her personal definition of maximizing student achievement and utilizing prescribed content and personally determined methodologies was reflected in the following note written in response to the query : What do you mean when you say "a teacher should grow?" A teacher should be willing to change methods, ideas, materials that go with changes in education Social change is slow but children have to be educated to be ready for alternatives Teachers should be able to choose what they consider favourable qualities in a program, discard the obsolete, attempt new methods and suggestions as outlined by curriculum writers-"Try something new ." For Annette KANATA KIT 2 was a good start on which classroom teachers could build their programs 4 8


Conclusions The study was developed around three exploratory questions 1 How do teachers view a packaged kit which was tended to modify or improve their performance? The following postulates seem to be significant in terms of change communications embedded in the prepackaged kits Teachers may perceive these communications as : (a) intrusions by anonymous, impersonal administrators into the sensitive self-contained social world of the classroom ; (b) saleable products generally containing little substance ; (c) impositions on the teacher's time ; (d) the sensitive response of administrators to societal pressure ; (e) the insensitive response of administrators to the situation of the teacher ; (f) the insensitive response of administrators to individual teacher priorities ; (g) the insensitive response of administrators to the needs and interests of specific groups of children ; (h) the responsible actions of system administrators to perceived societal needs ; (i) a source of professional growth and improvement ; (j) misinterpretations by curriculum developers ; (k) the products of curriculum developers who lack understanding of classrooms ; (1) no relevance to classroom situations ; (m) no relationship to the competence of the teacher ; and/or (n) no threats to teacher status The tentative propositions drawn from the interpretations of the two teachers present somewhat conflicting preceptions of change communications For example, they are perceived as a "source of professional growth and improvement" and yet have "no relevance to classroom situations ." This apparent discrepancy can be accounted for by the differing perspective of the teachers The first proposition is consistent with the perspective that interprets education as a bureaucratic system It is inconsistent with the mutualistic interpretation of the classroom situation Moreover, although both teachers were in agreement that many innovative proposals have "no relevance to classroom situations," their reasons for thinking so differed Cora interpreted the messages as intrusive of the self-contained social setting ; Annette judged such communications as lacking classroom knowledge It would, however, seem more realistic to speculate that the propositions represent a number of 4 9


constructs which influence teachers' perceptions of communications intended to modify or improve teacher performance It could be further speculated that individual teacher perceptions would tend to range along a continuum for each of the possible dimensions 2 What are the constructs that underlie such teacher perceptions? Two differing patterns of related ideas were revealed as underpinning the teachers' perceptions These constructs established an interpretive framework and criteria for their decision-making (a) One pattern as exhibited by Cora consists of a set of interrelated ideas which represent the core of the teacher's thinking, a set of assumptions about the teaching process One assumption is that school work should come from the children's lives and be, as much as possible, connected with their everyday living and interests Second, the teacher believes school work could be made an important part of the children's lives by the fostering of a responsive, supportive, and predictable classroom atmosphere Third, the teacher is committed to the belief that the teacher should relate individually to the children and teach them on the basis of their individual needs in a holistic way Fourth, the teacher views the children's interest as a critical factor in the promotion of effective learning and the means by which her classroom and instructional goals are achieved with a minimum of effort ; then the children have completed their set tasks and are happy The child tends to be viewed as malleable to the formative influence of the teacher Cora favours high interest materials emphasizing the unique and different to make possible a wide basis for student response The more familiar is made more meaningful by contrast to the differences of other settings The consistent affirmation of the responses reinforces pupil involvement and fosters the notion of respect as a contributor to the work of the class Her conception of education carried with it the idea of a close personal relation between teacher and child and between each of the children The ideas present a style of teaching characterized by spontaneity, flexibility and personal responsiveness The classroom is presented as a socially autonomous cultural setting which assists the child to interpret and be inducted into the wider cultural world The ideas present a view of teaching and learning which rejects structured procedures and materials and more autonomous inquiry-type approaches to social studies curriculum and instruction Detailed planning is presented as inhibiting desirable social studies teaching, and external prescriptions are viewed as irrelevant or disruptive of the classroom social setting (b) A second pattern as represented by Annette rests on a set of assumptions that view schools as a bureaucratic system designed to prepare children for further education and adult life An initial assumption seems to be that the school is subject to external control in the form of curriculum guides which tell the teacher what is to be taught This control is associated with pre-determined expectations of pupil achievement in the 5 0


form of standardized tests and levels of achievement Teaching is therefore viewed as a response to external control and direction in meeting the goals of the educational system as measured by system standards The teacher is therefore responsible for the transmission of pre-determined content, and students are presented as passive recipients of the specified knowledge and skills The goal of educational efficiency is to maximize this pupil achievement as a preparation for the next grade in the school Teachers in this manner are responsible for processing children through the school system The emphasis in education is thus on the program rather than the student or the teacher The teacher will teach prescribed content but is free to determine the methodology of transmitting this content This personal freedom to determine how the program will be taught is presented as the source of the teacher's professional satisfaction The success of such personally determined methods is equated with student achievement of the set standards Methods and procedures are described in terms of schedules, content to be covered and standards to be achieved in the manner of personal efficiency rather than normative practice Students' needs are viewed with concern and are identified with subject achievements Teacher presentation is didactic and designed to challenge students to be diligent in their work and to gain the satisfaction of recognized achievement goals Unresponsive or disruptive students are categorized as "immature" or "lazy" and may come from unfavourable home situations The ideas present a description of a teacher that is well adapted to the acceptance of system prescriptions Change messages are incorporated into the teacher's definition of situation ; specified content is taught but the methods and procedures are personally determined and reflect the teacher's interpretation of efficiency and definition of implementation 3 What is the relationship between these dimensions and the evaluative process by which teachers make decisions regarding the implementation of change in school programs? The description of the two teachers' interpretations of the curricular change proposal reveal assumptions and rationales that differ markedly from the stance and theoretical orientation of the KANATA KIT The kit presented an idealized model of curriculum which defined teaching by specifying procedures and tasks which are designed to achieve predictable outcomes in terms of pupil learning in a wide range of geographical locations KANATA KIT 2 was "Dedicated to the Students in Alberta ." It was predicated on explicit knowledge, and views the teacher as the implementer of specified messages It is representative of action that is planned free from the constraints of specific situations The interpretations of the two teachers were presented in individualistic terms which emphasize the uniqueness of each classroom and the central role of personal preference For both teachers, the role of the teacher was of central importance "because it depends upon what she puts across 5 1


what the child will glean from it ." As Cora noted, "I am going to be teaching with the materials in a different way to my neighbour . I'm not saying I'm right or that she's wrong But, for my class and for me, that's the way I want to do it ." They are interpretations, largely based on implicit knowledge and experience, which give meaning to their daily tasks Each teacher was able to justify her classroom autonomy in terms of what is taught and how it is taught Each interpretation provided a rationale for rejecting the technical and intellectual control explicit to the method and content of the curricular proposal Cora commented, "The children come first with me, not so much the kit ." Neither teacher was going to use or do things "that would not be of value to the children or helpful to their teaching ." The complete acceptance of the kit would, in a real sense, negate their image of themselves ; their definition of situation and "interpretation of man and the world ." For Cora the attempt to utilize predetermined procedures and materials disrupted the spontaneity of interest and response that supported the classroom atmosphere necessary to her teaching style In differing terms the same procedures and materials impeded Annette's lesson procedure and obstructed her interpretation of maximizing pupil learning For Cora the implementation cess created personal tension and appeared to challenge her self image ; for Annette personal annoyance and a feeling of obstruction Materials that lacked intrinsic interest and ideas that were too abstract created problems for both teachers and students The teachers tended to be critical of the specific in terms of this filmstrip or that student activity, but to the observer the conflict was implicit and pervasive of the implementation process This is not to judge the teachers nor the innovative proposal, but to note that each of the teachers and the unit developers in intellectualizing their ideas in the form of the teaching kit brought to their task different perspectives and orientations Teaching subsumes knowing your students ; curriculum developers bear the presumption of knowing what students ought to be doing From the viewpoint of these two teachers "the people that put it together weren't really looking at kids in grade two, how changeable they are, how one thing will impress them one day and the next thing will change their minds ." Tension and diminished self-worth seem inherent to the process of curriculum renewal where such disparities exist There is the strong feeling that : When the people make up these units, they don't think about the kind of thing ; that they really put a burden . on you By saying, well we want you to cover this and we want you to get these objectives The, they don't realize possibly that they sort of tie you down to it They impose a burden on me that I feel I need to get it done because that was what was prescribed The resolution of such tension is, in this sense, a product of the implementation process : variations of classroom practice that encompass rejection, adaptation, or re-interpretation of the procedures incorporated in 5 2


the innovative curricular proposal For one teacher the implementation of the proposal confirmed previous judgments of the inappropriateness of curriculum development procedures For the other it confirmed a lack of concern by theorists for the concerns and situations of the practitioner The underlying constructs establish the teachers' definition of situation or their view of the teaching world They provide the interpretive frameworks for judgments leading to actions that support and sustain their perspectives These constructs in this interpretive sense are the lenses through which the teachers viewed and evaluated the proposal One lens was directed to a view of the child's world ; the other was more sharply focused on program goals The interpretive frameworks of both teachers led them to judge the proposal to be inappropriate in ways that were reflective of their definitions of situation There 'were contradictions in the implementation of the change proposal, and this reflected the fact that the technological orientation of the proposal was not matched by the perspectives of the teachers In several areas the theoretical perceptions of classrooms held by the kit developers seemed inconsistent with life in these two classrooms This was apparent, for example, in the assumptions about the nature of seven year olds The kit seemed designed for use with attentive, interested, and mature second graders Hence, detailed questioning sequences, the repeated use of particular strategies, and a major emphasis on learning through oral communication were included However, fleeting interest, a wide range of maturity levels, and the need for a variety of modes for acquiring information in order to maintain attention characterized the children in these two classrooms The result was often teacher frustration and disappointment as they tried to resolve the differences between the kit prescription and classroom reality Pedagogically, the assumptions regarding teaching styles made in the kit and the teaching styles of the two teachers were in conflict For example, the kit made use of inductive strategies The teachers found these sequences alternately too time consuming, boring, or inefficient While the kit was planned for maximum control over communications, the teachers searched for freedom to modify, initiate, or in some way break free of that control to accommodate the classroom situation Subject matter, too, presented tensions The kit attempted to define and develop a problem that it was anticipated would be useful and applicable to children's lives In reality, the concepts were often too sophisticated for young children and dwelt on experiences which were too remote to be meaningful The overlap between the world as presented in the kit and the child's world was often minimal These gaps between kit interest and classroom reality underscore the difficulty kit developers faced as they attempted to project themselves 5 3


into and maintain the framework of second grade teachers Consistently, it appears, their judgments slipped from accommodation of the "what is" to a prescription for the "what should be ." Implications The study involved teachers in two classrooms Generalizing to the world of teaching must be undertaken with caution However, it is possible to suggest some implications from the experiences of these two teachers for curriculum developers, teacher educators, subject consultants and educational administrators The teachers worked at developing and maintaining a classroom setting which was meaningful to them and consistent with their interpretation of social studies curriculum and instruction What the teachers were trying to do was revealed as their definition of situation This was their perspective and the means by which they interpreted and made sense of their world and of communications intended to modify or improve their performance These communications were perceived by the teachers as what "they" (department and system administrators) were trying to do It became clear that the teachers interpreted and used the change proposal of this study in a way which matched their definition of classroom situation Thus, where the proposal was judged incongruent, it was rejected, adapted or re-interpreted to achieve agreement with their perspectives The process of reinterpretation was seen to involve a redefinition of perceived incongruities and resulted in a disparity between what the teachers said they were doing and what they were doing in teaching the change proposal The teachers interpreted and used the change proposal in terms of the assumptions, beliefs, attitudes and values which supported their classroom perspectives Implementation of the change proposal in this study did not involve teaching the change message as it was communicated but, rather, teaching the message as it was interpreted from a classroom perspective Recommendations Program Implementation Ideas about change have always seemed to divide men into two polarizing groups Some believe that in order to change, man must change his outer reality . Others say that regardless of how much one changes . the external world of men, unless one can make that change reach the inner man, one will not succeed (Rudolf Ekstein Toward Walden III Reiss-Davis Clinic Bulletin 1, 1, 1974, p 13 Cited in Goodlad, 1976, p 168 .) If the proposition is accepted that success or failure of program implementation may reside, in part, in the perspectives held by teachers, then there are some important implications for the process of implemen5 4


tation First, implementation should provide for the development of inter-subectivity' concerning the perspectives of a program Ideally, implementation would include shared understanding among participants of the pre-suppositions, values and assumptions which underlie a program If participants understand these, then they have a basis for rejecting, accepting or modifying a program in their school, community and class situations Implementation in this way would be viewed as an on-going construction of a shared reality by participants through their interaction with one another within the program Second, the achievement of inter-subjectivity may be viewed in terms of implementation tasks An initial task is to have participants understand the implicit beliefs underlying a program A further task is to have practitioners clarify some of the beliefs which guide their own practice This self-knowledge provides a basis for interpreting discrepancies between teachers and programs Finally, practitioners should be assisted in negotiating discrepancies between their own beliefs and those implied by the program Third, if programs are based upon beliefs which are understood and shared in varying degrees by teachers, and if implementation tasks are to facilitate this understanding and negotiation of belief, then dialogue should be integral to implementation activities Opportunities should be given groups of teachers to discuss periodically and on an on-going basis the program and their experiences within it, thereby clarifying and sharing beliefs amongst themselves Through dialogue their reality is shaped, maintained and modified ; through language their experience is ordered The form of programs mandated for classroom use should be reexamined Message management was obviously an integral part of the KANATA KIT 2 Concepts were given particular definitions Instructional sequences were to be followed as predetermined by the kit's authors It well may be that this approach is inappropriate Experimentation with formats which give teachers greater control in selecting content, developing and sequencing instructional sequences, and varying program elements should be undertaken Research and Theory The study generated a number of questions concerning the nature of teachers' perspectives of change Would other teachers respond to a change proposal in a similar manner to the teachers of this study? How would the teachers respond to a proposal in a differing situation? Are teachers' responses to change determined largely by the life characteristics 'A proposition developed by Walter Werner, Implementation : The Role of Belief Paper presented to an invitational conference on implementation hosted by the University of British Columbia and Simon Fraser University, September 28, 1979 5 5


of the individuals? These are but a few of the questions which suggest a need for continued research on teacher perspectives of change proposals Of particular relevance to social studies curriculum is the need for research to suggest ways in which teacher perspectives and program perspectives may be negotiated This has been identified as the major obstacle to the successful implementation of social studies programs For example, it was concluded that for Alberta . that no depth of scholarship, no technical excellence, no classroom expertise will serve the needs of the new . program unless the personality and the disposition of the teacher are supportive of its intents" (Downey, 1975, pp 29-30) There would seem to be a lack of awareness on the part of teachers, parents and students of the perspective underlying the program and the realities thus imposed upon teachers and students Differing perspectives held by users may be hindering more complete program implementation in Alberta How can the viewpoints of programs and that of various program users be reconciled to a greater extent? How is a program perspective interpreted in a situation of perspective differences? Is it desirable to implement a specific theoretical stance and orientation or should program users be encouraged to interpret and use a program in terms of their perspectives or the shared perspectives of their situation? The nature of "perspectives" needs further exploration Are there common elements that may be identified in a curriculum developer's or a program's perspective? Are there limited pedagogical or subject matter views held by developers? Is it possible to construct a typology of perspectives? Life inside curriculum projects needs further investigation What happens as programs are developed? What theoretical perceptions dominate those preparing materials for classrooms? What views are held of teachers? What assumptions are made about the conditions under which the programs will be used? How congruent are these views and assumptions with the realities of classroom life? Curriculum workers themselves could provide further insight into the nature of program development How do political acts affect their decisions? How do they resolve tensions between the "what is," and "what should be"? Whose interests do they serve? Results of this study would seem to indicate that theoretical explorations into the nature of perspectives holds the promise of providing greater understanding of how program change might be undertaken 5 6


References Alberta Education 1978 Alberta Social studies Curriculum, Interim Edition Edmonton : Alberta Education, 1978 Alberta Education KANA TA KIT 2, Teacher's Guide, Canadian Neighbourhoods : the Same or Different Aoki, T and Werner, W An analysis of the 1971 secondary social studies curriculum In Downey, L and Associates The Social Studies in Alberta, 1975 Edmonton, Alberta : L Downey Research Associates, 1975 Blumer, H Symbolic Interaction : Perspective and Method Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey : Prentice-Hall, 1969 Bruyn, S T The Human Perspective in Sociology : The Methodology of Participant Observation Englewood Cliffs, N .J : Prentice-Hall, 1966 Crowther, F Factors Affecting the Rate of Adoption of the 1971 Alberta Social Studies Curriculum for Elementary Schools Unpublished Master's Thesis, University of Alberta, 1972 Downey, L and Associates The Social Studies in Alberta1975 Edmonton, Alberta : L Downey Research Associates, 1975 Doyle, W and Ponder, G A Classroom ecology : some concerns about a neglected dimension of research on teaching Contemporary Education, 1975, 46, 183-188 Doyle, W and Ponder, G A The practicality ethic in teacher decision-making Paper presented to the Milwaukee Curriculum Theory Conference, November 12, 1976 Dreeben, R The school as a workplace In R M W Travers (Ed .), Second Handbook of Research on Teaching Chicago, Rand McNally, 1973 Eisner, E W (Ed .) Confronting Curriculum Reform Boston : Little Brown and Company, 1971 Eisner, E W On the uses of educational connoisseurship and criticism for evaluating classroom life Teachers College Record, 1977, 78 (7) Freire, P Pedagogy of the Oppressed Harmondsworth, Middlesex : Penguin, 1972 Fullan, M Overview of the innovative process and the user Interchange, 1972, 3 (2-3), 1-46 Fullan, M and Pomfret, A Research on curriculum and instruction implementation Review of Educational Research, Winter, 1977 47 (1), 335-397 Geer, B First days in the field In P E Hammond (Ed .), Sociologist at work New York : Basic Books, 1964 Gleeson, D Curriculum development and social change : towards a reappraisal of teacher action In J Eggleston (Ed .) ,Teacher decision-making in the classroom London : Routledge & Kegan Paul Ltd ., 1979 5 7


Goodlad, J I The Uses of Alternative Theories of Educational Change Phi Delta Kappa Meritorious Award Monograph Number 1, Phi Delta Kappa Incorporated, Bloomington, Ind ., 1976 Gross, R E The status of the social studies in the public schools of the United States : facts and impressions of a national survey Social Education, 1977 41 (3), 194-200, 205 Habermas, J Science and Technology as Ideology In B Barnes (ed .) Sociololgy of Science Middlesex, England : Penguin Books, 1972 Hamilton, D Making sense of curriculum evaluation : continuities and discontinuities in an educational idea In L S Schulman (Ed .), Review of Research in Education Vol 5, Itasca, Illinois : Peacock, 1977 Havelock, R Planning for Innovation Through Dissemination and Utilization of Knowledge Ann Arbor : University of Michigan, 1969 House, E R Technology versus craft : a ten year perspective on innovation Journal of Curriculum Studies, 1979, 11 (1), 1-15 Hoyle, E Professionality, professionalism and control in teaching London Educational Review, 1974, 3 (2) Jackson, P W and Belford, E Educational objectives and the joys of teaching School Review, 1965, 73, 267-291 Jackson, P W and Kieslar, S B Fundamental Research and Education Educational Researcher, 1977, 6 (8), 13-18 Jenkins, D and Shipman, M D Curriculum : An Introduction London : Open Books, 1976 Kliebard, H M Bureaucracy and curriculum theory In W Pinar (Ed .), Curriculum Theorizing : The Reconceptualists Berkeley California : McCutchan Publishing Corp ., 1975 Lortie, D C Observations on teaching at work In R M W Travers (Ed .), Second Handbook of Research in Teaching Chicago : Rand McNally, 1973 MacDonald, B and Walker, R Changing the Curriculum London : Open Books, 1976 Owen, J G The Management of Curriculum Development London : Cambridge University Press, 1973 Patton, M Q Alternative Evaluation Research Paradigm Grand Forks, N .D : University of North Dakota, 1975 Pinar, W (Ed .) Curriculum Theorizing : The Reconceptualists Berkeley, California : McCutchan Publishing Corp ., 1975 Pinar, W The reconceptualization of curriculum studies Journal of Curriculum Studies, 1978 (b) 10 (3) 205-214 Popkewitz, T S Educational research : values and visions of social order Theory and Research in Social Education, 1977 VI (IV), 20-39 Schwab, J J The Practical : A Language for Curriculum Washington, D .C : National Education Association, 1970 Shaver, J P ., Davis, O L and Helburn, W The status of social studies education : impressions from three NSF Studies Social Education, 1978, 43 (Z), 150-153 5 8


Sieber, S D Images of the practitioner and strategies of educational change Sociology of Education, 1972, 45, 362-385 Sieber, S D Trends in diffusion research : knowledge utilization Viewpoints, 1974, 50 (3), 61-81 Skilbeck, M Strategies of curriculum change In J Walton (Ed .) Curriculum Organization and Design London : Ward Lock Educational, 1971 Stenhouse, L An Introduction to Curriculum Research and Development London : Heinemann Educational, 1975 Vidich, A J Participant observation and the collection and interpretation of data American Journal of Sociology, 1955, 60, 354-360 Van Manen, M J M Linking Ways of Knowing With Ways of Being Practical Curriculum Inquiry, 1977, 6, (3) Walker, D F Toward comprehension of curricular realities In L S Shulman (Ed .), Review of Research in Education Itasca, Illinois : F E Peacock Publishers, Inc ., 1976 Werner, W Implementation : The Role of Belief Paper presented to an invitational conference on implementation hosted by the University of British Columbia and Simon Fraser University, September 28, 19769 Young, M F D Curriculum change : limits and possibilities Educational Studies, 1975, 1 (2), 129-138 5 9


Theory and Research in Social Education Fall 1981, Volume 9 Number 3, pp 61-72 € by The College and University Faculty Assembly of The National Council for the Social Studies Social Studies for the Hearing Impaired : The State of the Art Cynthia Szymanski Sunal Mary Semler Paul West Virginia University John DeMary Loudon County Schools, Virginia Introduction Educators in the field of teaching hearing impaired students have traditionally been thought of, and viewed themselves as, teachers of language and reading (Menyuk, 1976) These educators have focused in on "the nature of the handicapping condition" and have geared their programs toward the end goal of producing students able to use language and to read without reliance on sequential, developmental content curricula In a program whose end goal is language and reading capability, what role, if any, do the social studies play? The purpose of this discussion is to report a study which explored the status of the social studies within programs for hearing impaired students Hearing impaired students comprise a well-defined and sizeable group Kirk (1978) estimates there may be up to 250,000 hearing impaired students in the United States While many are identified, it is evident that a high proportion are not (Kirk, 1978) Of those who are identified, 33% are found in both public and private residential settings and 65% in public school system day school settings 13% are mainstreamed and an additional 17% are partially mainstreamed Approximately 24% are multiply handicapped, i .e have a handicap in addition to deafness (American Annals, 1980) 61


The educational situations in which these students are placed vary Across situations, however, these students do share characteristics which result from hearing loss For the hearing impaired student it appears that cognitive development does occur similarly to that of the hearing student (Furth and Youniss, 1971) However, several modalities have been lost Vocalization and auditory input cannot be coordinated with any of the other senses Cognitive structures are developed which do not use auditory input as a central means of processing the environment The emergence of symbol systems appears to begin at about 18 months in most children Bellugi and Klima (1972) suggest that the underlying structural aspects of a symbol system are similar in hearing and in hearing impaired children The major difference is in the form the system assumes As the hearing impaired child grows, he/she does not verbally manipulate symbols Researchers, therefore, have investigated cognitive development of hearing impaired children using nonverbal techniques Furth and his colleagues consistently show a minimal discrepancy between the thought processes of hearing impaired and hearing children (Furth, 1964 ; Youniss and Furth, 1966 ; Robertson and Youniss, 1970) Other studies finding minimal lags between hearing and hearing impaired children have also relied primarily on nonverbal cues (Blank and Bridger, 1966 ; Darbyshire and Reeves, 1969) These studies confirm the hypothesis that the various thought processes typical of concrete operations are functional in hearing impaired children When problems with the spoken symbol are minimized, the underlying structure of the hearing impaired child's thought processes appears to be similar to that of the hearing child In working with adolescents, Furth and Youniss (1971) compared a group of hearing impaired students with a group of hearing students on completion of formal tasks The hearing students performed better than the hearing impaired After a series of activity sessions in which the hearing impaired students worked with activities involving probability and symbol logic, both of which had been tested by the tasks administered, the performance of the hearing impaired students on readministered tasks matched that of the hearing students At the formal level, the hearing impaired student can demonstrate thought processes similar to that of the hearing student A lag in development is evident, however, although the capacity for development does appear to exist If learning is approached from the standpoint that thought and speech originate independently but eventually interact in such a way that each influences the other (Wolff, 1972), then what hearing impaired students need for stimulation of thought is early, frequent exposure to systems whose histories these students can explore and observe and change rather than read about and discuss With an experiental approach hearing impaired students can develop a communication system which 62


allows potential for mutual understanding (Wolff, 1972) Hearing impaired children need to learn language in real and meaningful situations (Grammatico and Miller, 1974) These learning environments require frequent and prolonged exposure to directed investigation designed to focus attention on patterns of interaction in systems Social studies education can provide this directed investigation But is it doing so? Achievement The shortcomings of standardized tests, especially when used with minority groups such as the hearing impaired, are well known (Kirk, 1978) Still, the scores on such tests can provide a source for comparison between hearing and hearing impaired students This comparison will highlight areas of academic importance which may or may not be important to an educator They do show the magnitude of the problems which face educators of the hearing impaired These students consistently score below their hearing peers on achievement tests Reading comprehension is generally agreed to be the most critical area for school achievement for the hearing, impaired (Vlug, 1978) On the Stanford Achievement Test in 1977 the median (50th percentile) scaled score of hearing impaired students, ages 8-20+, nationally was 147 (grade equivalent of about 4 .5) Thus, half the students at any age read at less than a mid-fourth grade level At the 90th percentile, the high-achieving group had a scaled score of 180 (grade equivalent of 8 .0) A low-achieving group, at the 10th percentile, reached a scaled score of 120 at its highest point, second grade level Thus, even high achievers among hearing impaired students will have difficulty reading social studies texts written for their hearing peers State of the Art-Survey What is currently being done in schools with hearing impaired programs to teach or develop the social studies? A survey was recently conducted to determine the state of the art in social studies for the hearing impaired student 181 programs, both residential and day school, public and private, were surveyed Day school programs are, most frequently, public school system programs Letters were sent to programs for the hearing impaired identified in the 1980 annual compilation of the American Annals of the Deaf All educational programs listed were surveyed Programs which were primarily concerned with initial assessment of the handicapping condition, those which give primarily medical or personal counseling, or speech training, were not included in the survey since theirs were not educational programs Copies of social studies curricula or statements of curricular status were requested The sample of schools for which data was received after repeated request mailings included 94 programs or approximately 52% of designated 63


educational hearing impaired programs in the United States Responding programs included at least one program from every state Regional representation of respondents (Table 2) was, in general, evenly distributed, with the greatest percentage of responses originating in the Midwest (33%) and the least from the East Coast (20%) Table 1 : Analysis Guidelines for Social Studies Curricula for the Hearing Impaired I t Social studies curriculum and development A Title : B Author or institution : C Publisher : D Age levels : E Social studies content, (topics, themes, problems) List them F Developmental process and field evaluation Describe G Curriculum components List including cost H Current extent of adoption in programs for the hearing impaired I Teacher training recommendations (e .g recommended, provided for workshops available, teacher's guide with videotape available) J Time needed for lesson preparation (i .e long-range planning needed, extensive preparation, lesson review only) K Availability of supplementary materials (i .e provided with program, supplementary purchased from different sources) L Storage considerations M Others II t What are the goals of the social studies curriculum? A Purpose of the curriculum design (e .g to meet state requirements, to enhance the language development program) B What are the goals for the learner? (e .g to develop inquiry skills in students, to facilitate cognitive skills) C Target student types (e .g hearing impaired, physically handicapped) D Special hearing impaired emphasis (e .g hard of hearing, deaf, multihandicapped-hearing impaired) E Communication system emphasis (i .e aural/oral, total communication, cued speech) F Goals specifically for hearing-impaired (e .g specific social studies content, language expansion, career education) G Designated use in schools (e .g total curriculum, supplementary, enrichment) H Others III How is the social studies content organized? A Scope of the curriculum (i .e breadth, depth) B Curriculum sequence (i .e hierarchical, isolated topics) C Lesson organization (i .e units, modules or lesson cluster, daily lessons) D Concept and language sequence (i .e hierarchical, spiral, many example through recycling) E Theoretical basis (e .g Piaget, Gagne) 64


F Curriculum emphasis (i .e process, content, mixed) G Purpose of supplemental activities (e .g for advanced work, remedial, generalizing) H Content focus (e .g events or systems, patterns of interaction or relationships) I Lesson flexibility (e .g short lessons to allow for expanded time factor, extensive lessons which may be appropriately divided) J Allowance for current social studies concerns (e .g environmental issues, censorship) K Others IV What methods are used in teaching? A Method of presentation (e .g individualized group) B Presentation style (e .g self-paced, learning center, demonstration) C Presentation sequence -outline the sequence (e .g pre-diagnosis, activities, overall group evaluation, individual evaluation) D Instructional methodology (e .g rote, passive, activity-oriented) E Language presenation style (e .g natural language, transformational grammar) F Presentation emphasis for hearing impaired (e .g structured simple directions, students assemble materials, extended time possible for data interpretation) G Specific identification of problem vocabulary (i .~ pre-teaching of vocabulary, structured plans for terminology presentation) H Presentation cues (e .g visual orientation of materials, speed of presentation) I t Others V How is learning evaluated? A Purpose (e .g achievement, diagnostic) B Types (e .g structured test situation, observation of classroom behavior) C Characteristics (e .g paper and pencil, task performance, cognitive, affective) D Reporting system (e .g anecdotal, checklist, grade) E Others VI How do the design components fit into a total effective curriculum? Summarize the above statements evaluating the curriculum in regards to its ; 1) applicability, and 2) projected effectiveness for the teaching of the social studies to hearing impaired students For local use, each component should be addressed as to its suitability for local students, faculty, administrative concerns, and physical plant Comparisons should be made with other curricula Finally, a statement can be made regarding the desirability of this curriculum for the local schools setting Regardless of the type or source of the social studies curriculum, programs for the hearing impaired are consistently faced with decisions regarding the selection, development, and modification of effective social studies material A set of guidelines was formulated to be employed in analysis of curricula and statements of curricular status received 65


The guidelines have been generated around a basic conceptual approach to curriculum advocated by Tyler (1949) They are centered around four fundamental questions which must be answered in the development of any curriculum and plan of instruction These are : 1) What educational purposes should the school seek to attain? 2) What educational experiences can be provided that are likely to attain these purposes? 3) How can these educational experiences be effectively organized? 4) How can we determine whether these purposes are being attained? Additional physical description and analysis components were added to complete the guidelines The resulting instrument, "Analysis Guidelines for Social Studies Curricula for the Hearing Impaired," is presented in Table 1 with added parenthetical comments to delineate further subcategories Table 2 : Regional Representation of Sample (n = 94)* 66 *Note : Columns may not total 100% because of rounding The analysis process involving the "Analysis Guidelines" is designed to be used after a review of all the components of a particular curriculum All materials should be inspected since, typically, various components support each other Following this review, the analyst briefly addresses the appropriate categories listed below, in the format described Survey evaluation results for the first five guidelines were derived by examining the curricula and statements of curricular status received in the survey Grades kindergarten through 12 were examined The analysis guidelines were used independently by three graduate students Each rater analyzed curricula received using the Analysis Guidelines Then, each of Parts I-IV were rated on a summary scale of ten These ratings were used to establish inter-rater reliability Dividing the number of agreements of ratings by the number of potential agreements (Sax, 1968) produced an inter-rater reliability of .91 The results of the survey evaluation indicate that most hearing impaired programs use curricula originally designed for regular public school instruction (Table 3) Region Total Sample Residential Programs Day School Programs East Coast 19(20%) 8 (9%) 11 (12%), South 23 (23%) 13 (12%) 10(11%) Midwest 30(33%) 16(17%) 14(15%) West 23 (25%) 13 (14%) 10(11%) Total United States 94(100%) 45 (48%) 49(52%)


36% of hearing impaired programs use curricula specifically designed for the hearing impaired 51% have no established social studies program Public school day programs appear to utilize some organized form of social studies curricula (60%), more than do residential programs (39%), as indicated in Tables 4 and 5 Commercial curricula are used more often by public school day program (24%) than by residential programs (1 %) Geographic location of the program does not appear to be related to usage patterns Table 3 : Sample Schools Social Studies Curriculum Characteristics (Public and Residential)* 48(51%) t 8(9%) t 12(13%) t 14(15%) t 12(13%) *Note : Percentage may not total 100% because of rounding Analysis of the goals of social studies curricula in use with hearing impaired students kindergarten high school finds a majority (59%) having no, or incidental, goals Of those with goals a majority (27%) were concerned exclusively or primarily with content, the learning of social studies facts or concepts (Table 6, Part A) Arguments for the importance of process-oriented skills (e .g hypothesizing) were found in few programs Instructional considerations involved in social studies curricula in use in hearing impaired programs show utilization of unit or content topics such as the Reconstruction Era, with whole group instruction to sequence activities in programs where the social studies are taught (Table 6, Part B) 10% break down instruction into small units, making possible the individualization or the hierarchical arrangement of learning activities In locally developed curricula, history and geography are emphasized Other social sciences, such as economics, appear rarely In 37% of the curricula analyzed no guides were found for any strategy or activity different from what one would expect to find in regular commercial curricula for normal hearing students If any modifications were made, they would have to be added during lesson planning or teaching of the lesson Finally, for evaluation purposes, a majority of the curricula offer no special help in evaluating learning which is in any way different from that for use with the normal hearing student (Table 6, Part D) Criteria (unspecified), format (paper and pencil), and content (usually memorization level) are traditional in nature in these curricula 67 None or Locally Commercial Locally Developed Non Locally Incidental Developed Curriculum Residential Developed Public Curriculum Noncommercial School Curriculum System


*Note : Rounding will influence column percentages Public School Overall East Coast 5 (11%) 2 (4%) 4 (9%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 11 (24%) 11 (12%) South 5 (11%) 1 (2%) 2 (4%) 1 (2%) 1 (2%) 10 (22%) 10 (11%) Midwest 4 (9%) 3 (6%) 3 (6%) 1 (2%) 3 (6%) 14 (31%) 14 (15%) West 4 (9%) 2 (4%) 2 (4%) 1 (2%) 1 (2%) 10 (22%) 10 (11%) Total (Public School) 18 (40%) 8 (17%) 11 (24%) 3 (6%) 5 (11%) 45 (100 0 7 o) 45 (48%) Total (Overall) 18 (19%) 8 (9%) 11 (12%) 3 (3%) 5 (5%) 45 (48%) 45 (48%) 00 Table 4 : Public School Hearing -Impaired Social Studies Curriculum Characteristics* Region None or Locally Developed Commercial Locally Developed Non Locally Total Incidental Public School Curriculum Residential Developed System Curriculum Noncommercial Curriculum


*Note : Rounding will influence column percentages Residential Schools Overall East Coast 4 (18%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 4 (8%) 0 (0%) 8 (16%) 8 (M) South 7 (14%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 3 (6%) 2 (4%) 12 (24%) 12 (13%) Midwest 10 (20%) 0 (0%) 1 (2%) 2 (4%) 3 (6%) 16 (33'o) 16 (17%) West 9 (18%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 2 (4%) 2 (4%) 13 (27'o) 13 (14%) Total (Residential) 30 (61 0 10) 0 (0 0 10) 1 (2%) 11 (24%) 7 (14 0 1o) 49 (100%) 49 (52%) Total (Overall) 30 (32%) 0 (0%) 1 (1%) 11 (18'o) 7 (7%) 49 (52'o) 49 (52%) Table 5 : Residential School Hearing-Impaired Social Studies Curriculum Characteristics* Region None or Locally Developed Commercial Locally Developed Non Locally Total Incidental Public School Curriculum Residential Developed System Curriculum Noncommercial Curriculum


Analysis indicated that no commercially produced materials specifically designed for the hearing impaired are available These curricula generally assume too large a linguistic repertoire, consist of activities which need to be supplemented selectively, and make few allowances for visual representation of taped materials Analysis of locally designed social studies curricula for the hearing impaired indicated that all had structural defects or problems which may seriously effect successful social studies teaching with the hearing impaired in other situations Current research indicates that hearing impaired students develop cognitively in a manner similar to that of their normal hearing counterparts These locally developed curricula appear to introduce high level cognitive tasks at too early an age Table 6 : Sample Schools Curricula Characteristics (Kindergarten-High School) n = 94 70 48(51%) t 36(38%) t 10(11%) In both commercial and locally-developed curricula there are many social-studies-related words for which no sign exists In the many programs where signing is used, the teacher makes up a sign or fingerspells the word Since fingerspelling is time consuming, signs are usually invented These are generally not standardized among the program's teachers (where there is more than one teacher) nor do they have any naA Sample Curricula-Goals None or Incidental ContentProcess Oriented Oriented Content-Process Oriented 55 (59%) 26 (27%) 12 (13%) 1 (I%) B Social Studies CurriculaSequence of Activities No Plan or Incidental Unit or Nodule or Miniunit Topic t Approach with Approach Overall Sequence 48 (51 o) 37 (39%) 9 (10%) C Social Studies Curricula-Methodology Geared to Hearing Impaired None Not Differing from Commercial Curricula for Normal Hearing Students 48 (51%) 35 (37%) 11(12%) D Social Studies Curricula-Evaluation Specifically Defined for Hearing Impaired None Not Differing from Commercial Curricula for Normal Hearing Students


tional distribution A confounding effect results when these students are later introduced to a new sign for the same term at a later date In a sample of seven commercial series, at fifth grade level, approximately 65% of the vocabulary introduced had no standard sign available Using the survey data, the following summary description of the characteristics of the social studies curricula in programs for the hearing impaired can be stated : 1) About 51 % of the programs teach no, or incidental, social studies ; 2) About 13% teach basically unmodified commercial social studies curricula ; 3) About 36 0 16 have a program specifically modified for the hearing impaired ; 4) About 14% are oriented toward or deliberately teach social studies process skills ; 5) About 10% attempt individualized, self-paced, or some sort of structured sequence other than topic or unit approach to a whole group ; 6) About 11 % have specific strategies for teaching social studies for the hearing impaired ; 7) About 10% have specific strategies for evaluating the hearing impaired student's programs ; 8) No commercial social studies curricula are available which are specifically designed for use by the hearing impaired ; and 9) Locally designed curricula frequently have serious structural problems Implications If this sample is typical of all programs serving hearing impaired students, then curricula in a majority of programs provide minimal social studies education for hearing impaired students Regardless of the type or source of the social studies curriculum, programs for hearing impaired students are consistently faced with decisions regarding the selection, development, and modification of effective social studies material In order to structure curriculum decisions in selection or development, the Analysis Guidelines for Social Studies Curricula for the Hearing Impaired could be locally employed for analysis of curricula before the decision is made to select or continue the use of a social studies curriculum Use of the guidelines would assist educators in the evaluation of social studies curriculum effectiveness for use with the hearing impaired Given the state of the art, future social studies curriculum development and selection for the hearing impaired must take into account the issues addressed in the guidelines Specific obstacles to curriculum development, such as the lack of appropriate signs for social studies related words must also be addressed A structured approach to the design of effective social studies curricula for the hearing impaired will be complex It will need to consider a range of alternatives These can include the development of strategies for the adaptation of commercial curricula to the needs and capabilities of the hearing impaired The design of curricula using original sources, reference materials, and multiple texts as an integral part of the curriculum could represent another approach A third approach could involve direct activity relying less on written 71


sources and heavily on experience The range of possibilities is wide Hearing impaired students should benefit most from the development of several options Since the state of the art indicates major underdevelopment of social studies education for the hearing impaired, there are availble many beginning points References American Annals of the Deaf, 1980, 125 (6), 105-312 Bellugi, U and Klima, E The roots of language in the sign talk of the deaf Psychology Today, 1972, 6, 60-64 Blank, M and Bridger, W Conceptual cross modal transfer in deaf and hearing children Child Development, 1966, 37, 29-38 Darbyshire, I, and Reeves, V The use of adaptation of some of Piaget's tests with groups of children with normal and impaired hearing British Journal of Disorders of Communication, 1969, 4, 197-292 Furth, H Conservation of weight in deaf and hearing children Child Development, 1964, 34, 143-150 Furth, H and Youniss, J Formal operations and language : a comparison of deaf and hearing adolescents International Journal of Psychology, 1971, 6, 49-64 Grammatico, L and Miller, S Curriculum for the preschool deaf child Volta Review, 1974, 76, 280-289 Kirk, S A Educating Exceptional Children, 3rd ed Boston : Houghton Mifflin, 178 Menyuk, P Cognition and language, The Volta Review, 1976, 78, 250-257 Robertson, A and Youniss, J Anticipating visual imagery in deaf and hearing children Child Development, 1969, 40, 123-135 Sax, G Empirical Foundations of Educational Research Englewood Cliffs, N .J : Prentice Hall, 1968, 190-191 Tyler, R Basic Principles of Curriculum and Instruction Chicago : University of Chicago Press, 1949 Vlug, H Science education for the deaf Paper presented at the Conference on Science Education for Handicapped Students Alexandria, Virginia, April, 1978 Wolff, S The language question American Annals of the Deaf, 1972, 117, 595-596 Youniss, J and Furth, H Prediction of causal events as a function of transitivity and perceptual congruency in hearing and deaf children Child Development, 1966, 37, 73-82 72


Theory and Research in Social Education Fall 1981, Volume 9 Number 3, pp 73-75 € by The College and University Faculty Assembly of The National Council for the Social Studies Fugue, Feud, Fatigue A rhyme of define for social studies (with reverence referenced) Thomas Turner University of Tennessee To define social studies has led to confusion, And some strongly fear a chaotic diffusion "Let's agree," these all cry, most tearfully, keening ; "Let us give social studies one purpose and meaning ." But a lack of consensus is the pattern historic, (Please excuse, if I dwell on nostalgia euphoric) "It is just social science!" exclaimed Edgar Wesley,' We just simplify it, reduce, make it less-ly!" "It's the `stuff' of a citizen, but what's that?" asked Shaver, 2 "That's what our search for true meaning should favor ." "Decisions are heart to all real social thinking!" Shirley Engle 3 decided, and held to, not shrinking "Oil, on argusome waters," N .C .S .S 4 calmly threw, 'Wesley, Edgar, and Wronski, Stanley Teaching Social Studies in High School Boston : D C Heath and Co ., 1958 2 Shaver, James "The Need for Redefinition ." Social Education 31 : 588-596 (Nov ., 1967) 3 Engle, Shirley "Decision Making : The Heart of the Social Studies ." Social Education 24 : 30-304, 3rd (Nov ., 1960) 4 National Council for the Social Studies "A Guide to Content in the Social Studies ." The National Elementary Principal (May, 1958) 7 3


"Here are multiple themes, put this all in the stew!" Still with life roles, inquiry and ethnic groups striving, The conflict just grew, not content with surviving Louis Rathss and his friends said, "Let's clarify please, "All the values that teachers should teach, it's a breeze!" King 6 and Kenworthy' chorused "Here's much needed stuff ; All our children are seldom world minded enough ." "It's career education," chimed in Hansen 8 for Hoyt 9 "It's the content for you to infuse and exploit!" "In all definitions," chanted Barr, Barth and Shermis,' o "There's a citizenship purpose neath th' deep epidermis ." "So I said!" replied Shaver" with patience and style, "That's what I have begged to define all the while ." "Try for optimal fuzziness," soothed Morrisett' 2 "It's the need, you will see, and the best you will get ." We've had hordes of definers, Charlie Beard's "web" on down ; Some little known writers and some of renown Will a "miracle way" soon evolve to define, Bring that social studies crowd toeing up to the line? Well, I want no blanket, where we all sweetly snuggle We learned from our trying, we grow from our struggle You may note little conflict in places like Moscow Where government speaks and teachers kow-tow 'Raths, Louis E ., Harmin, Merrill and Simon, Sidney B Values and Teaching Columbus, OH : Charles E Merrill Publishing Co ., 1966 (2nd Edition, 1978) 6 King, Edith Worldmindedness : The World : Context for Teaching in the Elementary School Dubuque, Wm C Brown, 1971 7 Kenworthy, Leonard A Guide to Social Studies Teaching 4th Ed Belmont, Ca : Wadsworth Publishing Co ., 1973 'Hansen, Sundal, and Tennyson, W Wesley "Career Development as Self Development : Humanizing the Focus for Career Education ." Social Education 39 : 304-09 (May, 1975) 9 Hott, Kenneth Career Education Contributors to an Evolving Concept Salt Lake City, UT : Olympia Publishing Co ., 1975 10 Barr, Robert D ., Barth, James L ., and Shermis, S Samuel Defining the Social Studies, NCSS Bulletin, Number 51 Washington : The National Council for the Social Studies, 1977 "Shaver, James, in his reaction to Barr, Barth and Shermis, in the book cited in 10 2 Morrisett, Irving "Citizenship, Social Studies, and the Academician ." Social Education 43 : 12-17 (Jan ., 1979) 7 4


But though honestly hoping (and knowing) we'll fail, Let's keep up our quest for defining our "Grail ." Addenda : Apologetic Rhetoric Many readers, well read, will have quickly espied That .I've awfully woefully o'er-simplified ; And the damage is worse than a term paper yet To such quotable fellows as Irv Morrisett But I hope all agree that I'm fair with the space With just two lines per viewpoint to rhyme in each case Even forcing some rhymes was on purpose in fun, With respect and affection for the lore of each one 7 5


Theory and Research in Social Education Fall 1981, Volume 9 Number 3, pp 77-84 € by The College and University Faculty Assembly of The National Council for the Social Studies Moral Dilemmas and Moral Education Daniel R Nicholes Allegheny Intermediate Unit, Pennsylvania Among the approaches to moral or values education, cognitive moral development has grown in popularity over the past five years Teachers and administrators have learned about stage theories of behavior and implemented classroom discussions of ethical problems Cognitive moral development has provided an alternative to values clarification, with its self-revelation which makes many teachers and students uncomfortable, and values analysis, an approach which some find too analytical for problems with human dimensions The classroom mainstay of the arsenal of cognitive moral development has come to be the moral dilemma story Originally designed as a tool to assess stage of development, evaluations of the moral dilemma teaching strategy in the 1960's and 1970's revealed that it may contribute to developmental stage growth Discussion of preconceived moral dilemma stories in the classroom can be easily implemented in schools because it is viewed as a familiar teaching technique Social studies and language arts/literature teachers have used social and moral problems as motivators of student discussion for many years Consequently, it is curious that of all the criticisms which Daniel Pekarsky could level at the proponents and processes of cognitive moral development, he chooses the moral dilemma story, its strongest and most traditional element In the Spring 1980 issue of 7 7


Theory and Research in Social Education, Pekarsky argues that this teaching approach should not represent the appropriate basis for a moral education program because moral dilemma discussions are not enough to produce transfer to real-world situations I wish to suggest that the point of teaching moral dilemmas is different than that suggested by Pekarsky, that the teaching process he describes is inadequate, and does not represent the state of the art, and that moral dilemma discussions benefit both teachers and students Pekarsky criticizes the Kohlberg-style discussion of moral dilemmas on three points : I "Supposing that students regularly engage in this kind of analysis in the social studies class devoted to moral development . There is little reason to expect that these skills in moral analysis will be exhibited outside the context of this class ." 2 "A program in moral education that takes predesignated moral dilemmas as its starting-point fails to take seriously enough the disposition and skills that are necessary if the morally problematic is to be uncovered in the midst of the everyday ." 3 "An approach that insists on choosing between competing moral claims tacitly discourages students from trying to find ways of resolving the problems at hand in ways that do justice to all of the (apparently) competing claims arising out of the situation It seems to me that Pekarsky condemns the moral dilemma approach for failing to achieve something that the cognitive moral developmentalists never suggested as goals He assumes that the goals of dilemma discussion include reinforcement of the "skills that are necessary if the morally problematic is to be uncovered ." The discussions, he suggests, are fragmented activities tacked on to an otherwise content-oriented curriculum in the futile hope of making children more moral In essence, there is no organizer to make moral dilemma discussions meaningful either in the curriculum or the real world I would suggest that there is an organizer, however ; and that organizer is different from the one which Pekarsky suggests should underlie the curriculum The cognitive developmentalists, of whom Kohlberg is only one, submit that the appropriate aim of education is development This view differs from traditional educational ideologies Lawrence Kohlberg and Rochelle Mayer defined these differences in their 1972 article, "Development as the Aim of Education ." Mayer and Kohlberg outlined three streams of educational ideology of which development is one The other they termed romanticism and cultural transmission 7 8


To call an ideology romantic reveals more about one's bias than it does about the ideology Those who accept the assumptions of this ideology probably call themselves humanists They assume that the goal of education is the discovery of the inner self A S Neill's Summerhill represents this ideology manifested in a school A more traditional view of Western education is represented in the cultural transmission ideology It finds that learning results from the direct instruction of information and rules Modern examples of this view may be found in the new educational technology of instructional systems development and in behavior modification Social learning theory as defined by Albert Bandura provides the theoretical underpinnings of this ideology in moral education Acquisition of morality in this view consists of learning culturally accepted rules It is this view of education which Pekarsky adopts when he asks that moral dilemmas teach and reinforce skills to uncover the morally problematic I suspect (although he does not say) that Pekarsky would suggest, as do the social learning theorists, that the sources of moral behavior reside in societal norms and the degree to which one observes them The view of education as development differs from the first two in that it is an interactional theory The human begins with predispositions toward acting which he or she brings to society Through interaction with people and things in one's environment, a person grows The pattern of such growth follows a sequence of changing schemes While the exact nature of these schemes differs from person to person, the structure and sequence of the schemes are predictable The developmentalists call these schemes stages One can pursue the stages naturally or one can be arrested at an early stage Education can make a difference in children's progression through stages of development The role of the educator in this ideology, then, is to aid in the processes of development, to remove barriers to development, and to help each child interact with what he or she sees as a developing society In moral terms, acquisition of morality means to help young people to use their present schemes of thinking to solve problematic social situations Using their schemes those systems of thought which help them make sense of social situations will help them to continue development In this light, ethical discussions do not reinforce skills in the manner which Pekarsky suggests they should They do not reinforce skills which lead students to societal norms Rather, the discussions give students opportunities to confront morally problematic situations and to test their schemes of thinking to solve the problems They give students opportunities to use norms to try out their thinking skills Students can compare their patterns of reasons with those of other reasoners 7 9


The point is that the dilemma story was never suggested as a tactic by which children would become moral The skills which Pekarsky suggests are not resulting in moral action outside the classroom are designed to do something quite different, to help students reason It would be grossly unfair and probably incorrect to suggest that if young people can always reason, they will always be moral However, if they can and do reason, they are less likely to take action precipitously Action based on thoughtful reflection, I would suggest, is less likely to take a violent course, but we have no guarantee Pekarsky is quite right to quote Dewey's warning that the conditions of learning should approximate the conditions of life While no one would suggest that a contrived moral dilemma story represents real decision-making with real consequences, it is a first step away from controlled abstract content curriculum which represents the majority of existing curriculum The Heinz dilemma in which a man must choose between stealing a wonder drug and allowing his wife to die is not, as Pekarsky points out, a realistic dilemma for the students of 1980 My advice to teachers is not to use it But Heinz's dilemma was a very real one in the 1950's when it was created Perhaps Heinz's dilemma should become an artifact of early exploration of moral development I suggest to teachers that they use dilemmas which reflect the concerns of their students' daily lives Strong issues of friendship appeal to secondary students Sharon's dilemma asks discussants to choose between an obligation to support one's friends when Sharon must decide to tell a store security agent that her friend shoplifted a blouse Elementary age children prefer to focus on the concrete difficulties of learning to deal with rules and conventions of everyday life : who should be chosen for a baseball game, is borrowing a crayon from a fellow student's desk really stealing A teacher, then, must carefully create or choose a dilemma story for a given student audience Pekarsky notes that this is a refinement of moral dilemma discussions toward the close of his essay In this regard he is incorrect As an intervention strategy in the schools, the choice of realistic dilemma stories has been central to the teaching process It is important to remember that before the 1974 experimental program, which Pekarsky refers to, only a few Boston area schools employed the dilemma story approach to cognitive moral development In 1973-74 Kohlberg and Carnegie-Mellon University's Edwin Fenton undertook translation of the earlier theoretical works and studies into a strategy which could be implemented in schools An outcome of that work, which Pekarsky does not reference, is the teacher's guide to the moral dilemma approach by Fenton's students Ronald Galbraith and Thomas Jones As they point out the first essential ingredient of a dilemma story is focus : "The situation in the dilemma should focus on the lives of the students, course content, or contemporary society" (Galbraith and Jones, p 38) 8 0


I thought to refer Pekarsky again to Galbraith and Jones when he voiced his concern over "escape-hatch" prevention When students confront a dilemma they tend not to choose between the dichotomous alternatives presented in the dilemma story Pekarsky quite rightly suggests that often there are more than two alternative courses of action in problem solving We ought to expend our energy in finding alternatives rather than changing the story with alternative dilemmas to pin students to a choice of two "Escape-hatching" is a very real problem in ethical discussions Students who exhibit this phenomenon are often distressed by the distasteful alternatives which the dilemma story presents Cognitive dissonance arises in such situations, and it is precisely this dissonance which compels the discussants to a solution of the problem .' When a student "escapehatches", however, he typically suggests that the problem is not real, thereby avoiding a solution The teacher needs d _device to help the student confront the dilemma The alternative dilemma tactic, in which the teacher changes the focus of the story slightly to make the choice more diffcult for the student, is intended to do this In the shoplifting dilemma, for example, all the discussants might suggest that the central character, Sharon, should tell the store security person who stole the sweater To encourage a split in positions, the teacher might suggest that Sharon and the shoplifter are best friends "Would that make a difference in what Sharon should do?" Supposedly, this tactic will result in a split on the appropriate course of action among the discussants It rarely works If students wish to avoid the dilemma, changing the story rarely forces them to confront the moral problem Pekarsky's criticism of "escape-hatching" in actuality reflects two problems which teachers face in ethical discussions First, how can we encourage students to confront a moral problem? Second, how can we force students to choose a course of action? It seems to me that Hirsh et al L have confused the two problems We need not pin students to a yesno decision to get them to confront a dilemma Galbraith did this in his 1975 workshops by asking discussants to list alternative actions which the central character may choose Then students suggest the consequence of each action and discuss which action is best If a student appears to suggest an action alternative in which the problem is avoided rather than solved, the teacher asks the student to reflect on the outcome he or she sees for that action If its consequences are positive ones, who can argue? At least as important as choosing a dilemma appropriate to its audience is the process by which the teacher leads the class in discussion Undoubtedly Pekarsky understands that there is more to a dilemma discussion than introduction of a moral problem and discussion of competing claims He suggests, however, that moral dilemma discussions are 8 1


inadequate in their attention to problem identification and precipitous in their movement to choice of conclusion Problem identification has always represented the first step of the discussion process, but Pekarsky's suggestion that it is one of the most important steps underscores my experience with teachers and students Particularly with elementary students, specific problem identification is necessary for a fruitful discussion of the moral issues at hand Galbraith and Jones outline several elements in a first step of dilemma confrontation, but give us little advice on specific tactics for helping students define a problem In Hirsh et al the model teacher identifies the problem for the discussant It would be more helpful for the students to identify the problem for themselves And some teachers exhibit difficulty with problem identification as well Fenton in his Guidance Associates sound filmstrip teacher training package apparently assumes that problem identification is no obstacle, as he simply asks students to identify the problem The necessity for clear problem identification becomes critical in those dilemmas which present moral choices for more than one character While the strategy assumes that the foremost problem is that of the central character, students often do not accept this If they identify with other characters, they may become preoccupied by those characters' problems In the case of Sharon's dilemma, it is assumed that the problem at hand is Sharon's choice of telling on a friend or getting in trouble herself In discussion, with students, however, I often find that the discussants become preoccupied with the myriad moral problems that Sharon's friend may have created for herself by stealing a blouse Many students suggest that the friend's parents have a problem, as well, in that they must help Sharon's friend deal with stealing Such students display sensitivity in their observations, and I fear that I may have insulted some by requirng them to refocus their attention on the question of Sharon telling on her friend As in the example of multiple action alternatives, I have turned to an alternative-generating activity to overcome the confusion of multiple moral problems I ask students first to tell me what action comprises the story Second, they state the names or titles of the people mentioned in the story Third, I ask who has a problem Fourth, the discussants state the problem in their own words Fifth, I ask why they believe that this a problem We repeat steps four and five for each character for whom the students believe a problem exists Often we go beyond the bounds of the dilemma story, suggesting that unmentioned characters, such as parents, teachers, or friends have a stake in the dilemma as well, and we try to define their problems Then together we choose the problem which we will confront and discuss After the discussion of one problem, I ask the students to reflect on all the problems they have suggested and to try to 8 2


suggest some common elements to these moral problems and moral problems in general What is it exactly that makes a problem a problem? Elementary students can rarely tolerate as complex a process as the above Elementary students can state the action of a story, its characters, the central character's problem, and why that seems to be a problem from their own perspective On the first dilemma with primary students, I am pleased to get that far and I end the discussion if I sense that attention spans are expended I agree, then, that problem identification is an important skill in moral education Pekarsky may in fact be correct when he suggests that teachers do not give problem identification the attention it deserves However, as I have tried to demonstrate, in my experience, problemidentification is an important part of a dilemma discussion process, and its absence is not, as Pekarsky suggests, an inherent flaw of the moral dilemma approach The crux of Pekarsky's criticism, then, rests on his view that the rational reasoning processes in which students engage in social studies class have little or no transfer to the real world This is a problem not unique to moral education One could as well ask whether high school students really use the knowledge in a unit on quadratic equations While only a few will solve quadratic equations in the real world, supposedly all benefit by their better understanding of mathematical systems Discussion of Sharon's dilemma may have little impact on a student if he or she finds himself or herself in a shoplifting situation More importantly, however, the students who discuss Sharon's dilemma and other similar dilemmas have opportunities to recognize and confront conflict or moral principles and look at the reasoning that they find satisfying in rationalizing a solution in such conflicts If this is in fact what we wish to accomplish, the role of the teacher becomes critical Further, if Pekarsky's view of the dilemma discussion process is characteristic of that suggested by the literature, then the literature requires reinforcement, Perhaps it is time for i second, revised edition from Galbraith and Jones or a new work by those who have utilized their approach Much has happened in the six years since that book was conceptualized Pekarsky's view suggests that new evaluation and research in instructional processes may be helpful as well Typical moral development research has focused on growth in stage of cognitive moral development Instrumentation and analysis have been weak Perhaps more important than stage growth are the reasoning which people young and old employ to confront and rationalize social and moral problems How do people confront problems? How do they avoid moral problems? Is there evidence to support Pekarsky's view that problem avoidance may be as appropriate as confrontation? We know very little of these phenomena 8 3


Finally, those of us who create and implement moral education programs must ask ourselves where the moral dilemma discussion fits into the curriculum and its attendant instructional processes Moral discussions are not an end in themselves They facilitate development of skills and reasoning patterns which are part of a greater maturational process From a curriculum perspective we are as yet unsure of the part it plays in that process There is little doubt, however, that moral discussions do play a part They help students deal with issues that they may not now be confronting in schools where moral discussions are not conducted While a moral education program should certainly consist of more than discussion of predesignated moral dilemmas, they must be an essential element A response by Professor Pekarsky to Nicholes' reaction will appear in Theory and Research in Social Education, volume 9, number 4 References Edwin Fenton, Teacher Training in Values Education A Workshop (Guidance Associates, Mount Kisco, N .Y ., 1978) sound/filmstrip kit Ronald E Galbraith and Thomas M Jones, Moral Reasoning : A Teaching Handbook for Adapting Kohlberg to the Classroom (Greenhaven Press, Minneapolis, Minnesota, 1976) Richard H Hirsh, Diana Pritchard Paolitto, and Joseph Reimer, Promoting Moral Growth ; From Piaget to Kohlberg (Longman, Inc ., N .Y ., 1979) Lawrence Kohlberg and Rochelle Mayer, "Development as the Aim of Education," Harvard Educational Review, Vol 42, No 4, November, 1972, pp 449-496 800-3 K 2A001-81 84


Editor : Thomas S Popkewitz, University of WisconsinMadison Associate Editor : B Robert Tabachnick, University of WisconsinMadison Editorial Assistant : Paula M Bozoian, University of WisconsinMadison 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 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


Teory and Research in Social Education Lepart .nent of Cirriculum and Instruction University of Wisconsin-Madison 225 North Mills Street Madison, WI 53706 Non-Profit Organization U .S Postage PAID Permit No 658 Madison, Wisconsin


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