Theory and research in social education

Theory and research in social education

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Theory and research in social education
National Council for the Social Studies -- College and University Faculty Assembly
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THEORY AND RESEARCH in Social Education


Theory and Research in Social Education Volume XII t Number 4 t Winter 1985 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 € 1985 by the College and University Faculty Assembly of the National Council for the Social Studies All rights reserved i


Editor : Jack L Nelson Rutgers University Editorial Board : Beverly Armento Georgia State University Cleo Cherryholmes Michigan State University Millard Clements New York University Catherine Cornbleth University of Pittsburgh Lee Ehman Indiana University Janet Eyler Vanderbilt University Patrick Ferguson University of Alabama Jack Fraenkel San Francisco State Henry Giroux Miami University, Ohio Jean Grambs University of Maryland Carole Hahn Emory University Robin McKeown University of California, Riverside Lawrence Metcalf University of Illinois John Napier University of Georgia Murry Nelson Pennsylvania State University Thomas Popkewitz University of Wisconsin JoAnn Sweeney University of Texas Stanley Wronski Michigan State University 11 Associate Editor : Kenneth D Carlson Rutgers University Editorial Assistant : John Phillips Book Review Editor : William Stanley Louisiana State University The College and University Faculty Assembly Executive Committee 1983-4 Chair : Catherine Cornbleth University of Pittsburgh Secretary : William Stanley Louisiana State University Treasurer : Samuel R Bell Bradley University 1983 Program Co-Chairs : Richard Jantz Nancy King Judith Torney-Purta University of Maryland Members : Janet Alleman-Brooks Michigan State University Millard Clements New York University Catherine Cornbleth University of Pittsburgh Lee Ehman Indiana University Charles Myers Vanderbilt University John Napier University of Georgia Kathy Scott Florida State University William Stanley Louisiana State University Judith Torney-Purta University of Maryland Jane White University of Maryland


The National Council for the Social Studies Officers 1983-4 President : Jean Craven Albuquerque School District President-Elect : Donald Bragaw New York State Department of Education Executive Director : Fran Haley Reviewers for this Issue of TRSE The editors wish to express special appreciation to the following scholars who served as referees of manuscripts submitted Beverly Armento, Georgia State University Buckley Barnes, Georgia State University Charles Berryman, University of Georgia Kenneth Carlson, Rutgers University Millard Clements, New York University Catherine Cornbleth, University of Pittsburgh Kieran Egan, Simon Fraser University Lee Ehman, Indiana University Shirley Engle, Indiana University John Haas, University of Colorado Ronald Hyman, Rutgers University Theodore Kaltsounis, University of Washington Donald Kauchak, University of Utah James Leming, Southern Illinois University Peter Martorella, Temple University Lawrence Metcalf, University of llinois Jamieson McKenzie, Princeton, New Jersey, School District Joyce Penfield, Rutgers University Paul Robinson, University of Arizona Bruce Romanish, St Cloud State University James Shaver, Utah State University William Stanley, Louisiana State University Judith Torney-Purta, University of Maryland


Volume XII Number 4 Winter, 1985 v CONTENTS Beverly Gordon t Toward Emancipation in Citizenship Education : The Case of AfricanAmerican Cultural Knowledge 1 Dianne L Common t Teacher Authority In The Social Studies Classroom : Erosion of a Barren Ground 25 George H Wood t Education for Democratic Participation : Democratic Values and the Nuclear Freeze Campaign 39 William B Stanley t Recent Research On Concept Learning : Implications for Social Education 57 INDEX TO VOLUMES X-XII 75 BOOK REVIEWS Richard A Diem t A Place Called School 82 Murry R Nelson t How Teachers Taught 85 Editorial Comment 91


Theory and Research in Social Education Winter, 1985 Volume XII Number 4, pp 1-23 by The College and University Faculty Assembly of the National Council for the Social Studies Toward Emancipation in Citizenship Education : The Case of African-American Cultural Knowledge Beverly M Gordon College of Education The Ohio State University Columbus, Ohio 43210 Introduction One of the issues that has been a special concern is how a particular society is able to reproduce the functional relations of power and dominance that characterize its existing social and political arrangements This social reproduction involves not simply the reproduction of capital and labor, but also the reproduction of models of social control, including specific social relationships and specific forms of social consciousness Antonio Gramsci (1971) and Raymond Williams (1976), among others refer to this aspect of social control as ideological hegemony ; and they argue that society reproduces itself partly through the transmission of a system of values, attitudes, beliefs, social practices and norms which function at once to convey and legitimate the ideology and social practices which serve the interests of the dominant class in the established order The dominant world view of the society is thus perpetuated, in part, by schools as well as by families and other agencies of socialization While the dominant world view in American society is far from monolithic, it nonetheless exercises a powerful influence in shaping and legitimating social structure and the normative social relationships of our society as a whole Ideological hegemony, thus broadly construed, represents a crucial starting 1


point for examining the basic notion of citizenship education, and the nature of the relationship between schools and the larger society The role that schools play as social and economic institutions-i .e ., as agents of social, cultural, and economic reproduction -becomes critically problematic when the schools are designed to legitimate and reproduce a society that is marked by enormous inequities in wealth and power, and when the underlying world view is conveyed as citizenship education The question is whether we, as educators, intend education for citizenship simply to function as a mode of ideological domination, conforming students to the demands of dominant society ; or whether citizenship education should be designed to foster social reconstruction, by helping students (and others) to become creative, critical thinkers and active social participants, and to become capable of redefining the nature of their own lives in the society in which they live The author's bias must be evident there Our task, then, is to determine how it is that citizenship education functions either to reproduce the social condition of labor and the mechanisms of social control that reinforce a class-stratified society ; or, alternatively, how citizenship education can be designed to equip students to challenge and reconstitute society according to the principles of social justice and equitable economic opportunity Modes of Rationality : The Theories of Henry Giroux Henry Giroux, in his article "Critical Theory and Rationality in Citizenship Education," has drawn extensively from the Frankfurt School's notion of rationality (Giroux, 1980) Giroux has identified three specific modes of rationality-the technical, the hermeneutic, and the emancipatoryand had defined each in terms of its social attitudes and practices, as well as its underlying assumptions Together, the elements of each mode of rationality serve to mediate how individuals or groups relate to the wider society .' Giroux then evaluates each of these modes of rationality according to the degree to which he believes it can illuminate for educators and students the ways in which meanings and values are constructed and transmitted in schools, and in whose interest these meanings and values serve More specifically, with regard to citizenship education, we can inquire, with respect to each mode of rationality : whose knowledge is taught, whose interest does it serve, and what might the relationship be between specific forms of knowledge and the access that people have to certain modes of power Giroux believes that these questions measure the possibilities for personal development, social critique, and social action in American society that can be achieved via each of his three modes or rationality The first of Giroux's modes of rationality is "technical rationality," which he describes as being based on the principles of prediction and control, and which (he claims) employs a monological view of knowledge, and mistakenly ascribes to all scientific study the so-called value-free validity of the natural 2


sciences Giroux claims that this mode of rationality underlies two forms of citizenship education, the "transmission model" and the "social science model ."' This discussion cannot digress into in-depth analyses of these models, but Giroux argues that both of them are characterized by a flawed epistemology and by a passive view of human behavior, and that they ignore the contradictions and conflicts that exist in the social order Absent from both of these models of citizenship education, Giroux claims, are the "normative, historical political landscapes that give them meaning" "Hermeneutic rationality," Giroux's second mode, is interested "in understanding how the forms, categories and assumptions beneath the texture of everyday life contribute to our understanding of each other and the world around us" (Giroux, 1980 :341) The corresponding model of citizenship education, the "reflective inquiry" approach, is based on the premise that citizenship can best be taught by engaging students in decisionmaking in the sociopolitical context, i .e ., by the "social construction" of classroom knowledge The situations and concerns that students study are their own : the task for students is to examine their personal values, and to "define problems within the context of their own experiences ." The reflective inquiry model is primarily concerned with the problem-solving, decisionmaking process Giroux believes that while this model is an advance over the technocratic rationality models of citizenship education, it nonetheless "tends to overlook how ideological or structural constraints in the larger society are reproduced in schools so as to mediate against the possibility of critical theory thinking and constructive dialogue" (Giroux, 1980 :343) This is an important point It is sometimes alleged that schools exist in a politicalsocial vacuum, but we must not forget that teachers and students carry around with them various forms of ideologies, attitudes, and sedimented history which extend far beyond the immediate classroom experience It is therefore possible, in the reflective inquiry model, that "the basic nature of existing social arrangements in the wider society" may remain unquestioned (Giroux, 1980 :343) Giroux's third mode of rationality, "emancipatory rationality," is based on critique and action : "This mode of rationality is construed as the capacity of critical thought to reflect on and reconstruct its own historical genesis, i .e ., to think about the process of thinking itself . . [it is] aimed at breaking through the "frozen" ideology that prevents a critique of the life and world on which rationalizations of the dominant society are based Similarly, emancipatory rationality augments its interest in selfreflection with social action designed to create the ideological and material conditions in which nonalienating and nonexploitative relationship can exist" (Giroux, 1980 :347) 3


Models of Citizenship Education Two models of citizenship education that fit into this mode of rationality are characterized as the "political economist" and the "culturalist" positions (Giroux, 1980) The political economist position, epitomized by Bowles and Gintis (1976), is useful in that it situates schools in the broader context of political and social institutions, and dismisses the notion of the "innocence" of schooling The political economist model takes into account those forces "that affect human behavior [but which] cannot be traced by referring solely to the immediate context or consciousness of the human subject "(Giroux, 1980 :348) The problem with this approach, according to Giroux, is that it treats schools as "black boxes," and its advocates do not tell us how the modes of reproduction and domination function on a day-to-day basis within schools This model also tends to adhere to a "leftist" version of management ideology The second model of emancipatory citizenship education, the culturalist position, has emerged within the last decade in England This new sociology of education, now relatively well known through the works of Young (1976), Keddie (1976), and Sharp and Greene (1975), among others, focuses on how the elements of "consciousness, ideology and power enter into the way human beings constitute their day-to-day realities . . [C]ulturalists have attempted, in part, to explain how human actions within the grip of structures such as schools escape, resist, and transform the effects of the latter" (Giroux, 1980 :348) According to Giroux, this model of citizenship education offers the best potential for truly emancipatory pedagogy because it begins with a recognition of the necessity of first examining the most basic "assumptions concerning the aims of education-assumptions regarding who is going to be educated, and assumptions about what kind of knowledge, values, and social relationships are going to be deemed legitimate as educational concerns" (Giroux, 1980 :349) The next step in the culturalist model, according to Giroux, is to look at teachers and at what teachers do in classrooms : in essence to focus in on and develop a new `teaching consciousness' If teachers believe in or submit to a rationality that is oppressive be it racist, sexist, elitist, etc ., the nature of the citizenship education experience in particular, or the entire educational experience in general, will not generate anything that is very different for the students Teachers would first have to reconceptualize the very notion of schooling itself, by situating "their own beliefs, values and practices within a wider context so that their latent meanings can be understood" (Giroux, 1980 :350) It seems that we educators are going to have to begin to help teachers develop a fresh, dialectical mode of reasoning Schooling is going to have to be looked at within its context of social and political relationships ; and the teacher's beliefs, ideologies, and ways of looking at the curriculum, as well as the message systems implicit in the curriculum, in teaching methods, in 4


discipline, and in the standards and methods of student evaluation, must be re-examined To this end, an historical analysis of the origins of education theory can help teachers come to grips with their own genesis Through an examination of this history, teachers can begin to examine such fundamental questions as, in whose interest do teachers actually or ideally serve, and what kinds of social relationships do we support? We will need to develop a clearer understanding of who are in the classrooms of today's society, and to practice a more reflective attitude toward some of the basic, structural issues of this society As a critical imperative for an emancipatory theory of citizenship education, Giroux believes that the notion of culture will have to be politicized For too long we have "bought" the mainstream social science perspective, which simplistically defines culture as a people's way of life Giroux believes this narrow, "value-free" definition limits discussion of societal notions such as class, social conflict, power, and justice Giroux believes culture should be defined instead "in terms of its functional relationship to the dominant social formations and power relations in a given society" (Giroux, 1980 :352), because the dominant culture (and its values in actuality only represents the ruling political, economic, and social interests We need to realize that the notion of culture as currently transmitted in schools is mediated by the dominant society ; and that the dominant culture in turn mediates between itself and secondary or minority cultures The dominant culture in this way is capable of imposing on cultural minorities the stereotypical or oppressive self-images that hinder their own progress and development Without emancipatory restructuring, our schools as cultural institutions inextricably involved in the production and definition ,of meaning-will continue to support, sustain, and reproduce only the dominant culture and its inequitable power relationships, and to alienate rather than enfranchise minority youth Giroux calls for the "politicalization of culture" in order to raise teacher consciousness and re-evaluate both school knowledge and student cultural capital This consciousness-raising will, first of all, stimulate the passions, intellects, and imaginations of both students and teachers ; and it can also begin to move them towards action for constructive social change Emancipatory Pedagogy Giroux has outlined a number of ideas for a new, emancipatory classroom pedagogy In essence, students must be taught civic courage and encouraged to critique the existing society "against its own claims" about its own values and what it claims to have achieved Students should also be encouraged to reconceptualize, dream, and envision different societal arrangements and possibilities Heightened social consciousness, and a creatively restructured mode of student and teacher participation seem to offer real possibility for human emancipation, as students and teachers explore the contradictions and the struggles that occur within the daily lives 5


George Wood, on the other hand, has pointed out some of the difficulties which might be involved in the application of Giroux's ideas (Wood, 1982) Placing Giroux's work within the genre of `resistance theory' Wood was initially apprehensive about its transferability Perhaps this apprehensions springs from a lack of pragmatic pedagogical formulae in this particular article by Giroux Giroux advocates active student participation in the learning process ; he prescribes teaching students how to think critically and how to compare different world views ; he prescribes providing students with the opportunity to speak in their own voices to authenticate their own experiences ; and he would have teachers assure that classroom pedagogy will draw upon the cultural capital that students bring with them to the learning situation But Wood is concerned to know what this pedagogy might actually look like in classrooms on a daily basis In other words, teachers need a "for instance" In reponse to Wood's call, I recommend that teachers, especially at the preservice level, start with some very readable descriptions of such emancipatory pedagogy, e .g ., Warner's work with Maori children in New Zealand (1964) ; Searle's work with poor working class children in England (1975) ; Freire's work with Brazilian peasants (1973) ; and Brown's work with minority and poor children in Oakland, California (1978) All of these master teachers incorporated the authentic language, the generative words, or the organic vocabulary and originals writings of their students The pedagogy employed also seems to be historically situated in the real lifeworld conditions of the students and to use these conditions as guides to classroom praxis What I believe to be critical to effective emancipatory citizenship education is the linkage of practical experiences generated from the "life-world" of a community culture -those experiences that its scholars have identified as part of the cultural knowledge base of a particular community-to classroom experience Such cultural knowledge, which pervades the history and present-day reality of a community, is what scholars distill and formulate as the philosophy and social theory of their constituency The Case of African-American Cultural Knowledge Philosopher Lucius Outlaw (1983) argues that in order for leaders (e .g ., teachers, as Fontaine will tell us) to assist African-Americans in their efforts to emancipate themselves from their subordinate position in American society, and in order to be a guiding influence in their struggle against cultural imperialism, domination, and ideological hegemony, must make sure that praxis is grounded "in the concrete needs and aspirations of AfricanAmericans" (Outlaw, 1983 :66) Outlaw also believes that the cultural modes of rationality which hold the most promise for emancipation will be found in the "life-world" of African-Americans, and along with Harold Cruse (1967) he explicitly rejects the notions of the American melting pot and 6


assimilation through the ideal of integration Instead, he contends that truly emancipatory life-world orientations for African-Americans can be found by looking inward : . in the mediated folk tales ; in religious practices ; in political language and practices prevalent during various times, under various conditions ; in forms of music, poetry, language of common currency, etc As these forms of expression, in their concretness as life-praxis, are constitutive elements of the life-world of African-American people, then the meanings they hold, in symbolic and/or explicit form, contain fundamental orientations Reclaiming them through acts of reflection will provide understandings of the historically conditioned concerns of black people (Outlaw, 1983 :66) African-American cultural knowledge itself can be uniquely emancipatory for African-Americans-because it is born out of the African-American community's historic common struggle and resistance against the various oppressive effects of capitalism and racism which have kept them in a subordinate position in American society In fact, a number of specific, indigenous emancipatory currents of thought have pervaded AfricanAmerican philosophical, sociological and educational scholarship over the past century and more : self-help, service, nationalism, economic autonomy, and political power (Gordon, 1983) These indigenous themes or currents of thought have generative meaning for the African-American community from which they came After a brief examination of the genesis of these currents of thought, I will explain their potential emancipatory power in classroom pedagogy In this effort, I believe I am working toward what Giroux (1980) envisions as emancipatory citizenship education Educational Science and Ethnocentrism in American Education The application of "educational science" to curriculum development in the early part of this century seems to have played an unfortunate role in the perpetuation of the cognitive inferiority theory and its consequential second-class subordinate status for African-Americans Furthermore, at the same time that educational science was employed as a means of differentiating cognitive ability in children, the psychological and scientific principles of business management were introduced into the public schools as administrative conveniences for handling the influx of children of immigrant and former slaves into the cities Edward L Throndike's educational psychological theories in particular, most notably his principles of intelligence testing, provided a rationale for Snedden the social engineer, and the curricularists Bobbit and Charters Their paradigms of social efficiency and the "differentiated" curriculum legitimatized the distribution of different kinds of knowledge among certain ascribed categories of children, to prepare them to assume different roles and functions in adult society (Gor7


don, 1982) Unfortunately for African-Americans, their position within this ethnocentric hierarchical framework was considered to be inferior to whites, and this belief was repeatedly "verified" by the empirical "scientific" research which became a legitimated part of the quoted literature (Gordon, 1980) It is of signal importance that while there is a voluminous literature written about education for African-Americans in the first decades of this century, the extensive literature written by African-American scholars and educators on this subject is neither represented nor referenced in the dominant educational literature We cannot any longer afford to overlook the important corpus of endogenous knowledge generated and implemented by African-American scholars that speaks to educational philosophy, theory, and pedagogy Moreover, as pointed out by Berry and Blassingame (1982), Franklin and Anderson (1978) and Gordon (1983), a new body of literature that provides a new perspective on black educational history from 1896 to the present has also begun to emerge This substantial body of knowledge generated by modern black scholars has also been largely overlooked by the dominant historical texts a point that is painfully obvious when studying, for example, Fitzpatrick (1936), Woefel (1933), or Mulhern (1948) 3 I do not believe there is a conspiracy to underdevelop African-Americans, or to deny them to advancing knowledge, or to negate or ignore their scholarship ; the effects of ethnocentrism and racist attitudes that permate American (and Western) society are much more fundamental than to withstand such simplification As I have argued elsewhere, the subtle currents of the ethnocentrism and racism which inhere in the Anglo-Saxon world-view pervade the dominant culture in American society at every level (Gordon, 1983) African-American scholars have illuminated and analyzed from an African-American perspective the internal structure of the black community, the effects on African-Americans within their subordinate position in the larger society, and various forms of resistance which African-Americans have developed in order to survive and advance in the capitalist and racist society in which they find themselves It is this kind of self-knowledge that emancipates people African-Americans must learn their own seldomexplored history, because their own history makes the dominant society's "commonsense" interpretive knowledge problematic Exploring their own history also provides the opportunity for African-Americans to critique the dominant culture's world view, and to formulate their own cultural and epistemological statements Furthermore, we can trace in the evolution of black scholarship the evolution of a uniquely African-American cultural mode of rationality 4 The Legacy of African-American Cultural Knowledge and Black Educational Philosophy During the period from 1890 to 1920, the United States experienced thorough going change in all aspects of its economic, political, 8


and industrial structure, as the country was transformed from a mercantile to an industrial society The earliest African-American scholars, William E B DuBois, Kelly Miller and Booker Taliaferro Washington (among others) experienced this industrial and social change and generated historical perspectives on the place of African-Americans in the newly developing industrial era Much has been written elsewhere concerning the Washington/DuBois controversy Although DuBois clashed with Washington, over the most effective means of uplifting .and developing the black race, they shared the same goals : economic autonomy for political power self-reliance, and community service Both Washington and DuBois also envisioned a cultural knowledge base, upon which subsequent political, economic, philosophical thought would be developed While Washington argued for an agricultural scientific basis, to serve the masses of African-Americans still in the South in the 1890s and early 1900s, DuBois argued that emphasis had to be given to the best and the brightest, and that their education should be more classical, theoretical, and conceptual The debate over these conflicting educational paradigms-the intellectual and the practical -within the African-American community may itself have served to further the development of a black intelligentsia Washington and DuBois each played a significant role in the production and dissemination of knowledge As theorists, they developed paradigms and conceptual frameworks, and organized institutions into knowledgeproducing systems to clarify and explain the condition of AfricanAmericans in American society Then, as pragmatists, they applied their knowledge to the challenges of building an industrial base and achieving economic autonomy .' Kelly Miller of Howard University, writing in 1908, reflects a theme that is characteristic of much of the early twentieth-century black scholarship : the nationalist view Miller was concerned about the progress and the development of African-Americans, and argued that they should strive primarily for economic independence and self-reliance Along with DuBois, he rejected the social darwinist theories which dominated English and American sociological thought While he squarely blamed white racism for attempting to thwart black progress, he also addressed the problems which he felt existed within the African-American community itself Miller reasoned, first, that the "Negro's Part in the Negro Problem" was the schism between the educated African-Americans and the AfricanAmerican masses Miller argued that when the black bourgeoisie accepted white intellectual and educational paradigms, they came to hate themselves and the masses as well This theory foreshadows what Carter G Woodson would say twenty-five years later Miller (and later Woodson) also recognized the necessity of both a theoretical approach (DuBois) and a practical approach (Washington) to education in the struggle to advance the black race Miller argued that African-Americans should receive training in both the in9


tellectual, classical field (which he called "higher education"), and in manual skills and agricultural and industrial science, since each served an essential role in the overall effort for advancement and progress (Miller, 1908 :267) Echoing DuBois, he wrote, "A most significant indication of progress is the emergence of a superior class The talented tenth constitutes the controlling factor in the life of any people ." (Miller, 1908 :105) Yet he also realized the potentially symbiotic relationship between higher education and industrial activities (Miller, 1908 :267) 6 Early black thought, especially with regard to the role of education in uplifting and the development of African-American people as a group, was very nationalistic in its beliefs Early black scholars believe that the need for African-Americans to take charge of every aspect of Afro-American life and culture was axiomatic In these early writings (1890s to early 1920s, black scholars sought a collective self-knowledge and critical understanding which could form the basis for a cultural mode of rationality The pervasive themes in these early writings were an ideology of emancipation (freedom from domination) ; self-help ; self-reliance ; economic autonomy (independence) ; and political power These early nationalist themes were soon seriously challenged, however, by an alternative exogenous influences on black scholarship A new crop of young African-American scholars, from the mid 1920s to 1930s was trained in social science paradigms that supported instead the dominant culture's interpretations of the African-American condition ; and these paradigms haunted black scholarship and hindered black progress throughout most of the next sixty years In the ten years between 1926 and 1936, more black students graduated from college than in the entire previous century (Fontaine, 1940) Where these students were educated, and the paradigms they were grounded in, is critical in understanding the deviation of the new black social theory from the traditional (a more natural) nationalist perspective These young African-Americans were schooled in a new alien model grounded on ecological assimilationist/integrationist perspectives Elsewhere I have examined the profound influence of the Chicago school of sociology on black scholarship (Gordon, 1983) The sociological theories of Robert Parks and Ernest Burgess, which are grounded in social Darwinist theory, shifted the second generation of young black scholars from the very independent endogenous black paradigms of nationalism, economic autonomy, political power, self-help, and self-reliance, and service to a dependency ideology grounded in a culturally `alien' technocratic rationality paradigm The influence of the Chicago school has also recently been discussed by other black scholars (e .g ., Ellison, 1973 ; Ibn Alkalimat, 1973 ; Jones, 1973 ; Bowser, 1981) The main conclusion of these scholars is that the Chicago school paradigms profoundly altered the ways in which the condition and 1 0


the plight of African-Americans were perceived -by African-Americans as well as by whites Black scholars trained in this school then proceeded to collect "accurate" socioeconomic data on the black urban community ; but their theory-bound conclusions and non-emancipatory policy recommendations could go no further than the ethnocentric phenomenological constructs they employed and the particularly inappropriate investigative framework within which they worked (Bowser, 1981) How African-Americans were to be educated and for what purpose continued to be a central concern of black scholarship during the late 1920s and the 1930s, however, Carter G Woodson and William T Fontaine examined this issue and formulated a methodology and an ideology which revitalized the traditional black concept of black nationalism and economic and political independence, which African-Americans trained in the influential Chicago school had rejected A Critique of the New Negro : Carter G Woodson and William T Fontaine on the Education and Mis-Education of African-Americans The decade between 1926 and 1936 produced a record number of black college graduates They attended colleges such as Yale and Harvard as well as Fisk, Howard, and many other schools across the country, both in the South and in the North Somewhat ironically, at the height of this outstanding effort and achievement in higher education, Carter G Woodson presented a thesis that criticized the education that African-Americans were receiving and set forth an alternative philosophical and ideological roadmap for the development of African-Americans In The Mis-Education of the Negro, (1933), Woodson argued that the education African-Americans were receiving was having a debilitating, crippling effect on African-American youth, and that it was inhibiting their social development and hindering their economic advancement Woodson's thesis was that African-Americans were, in effect, being miseducated, since the `knowledge' they taught also systematically taught them self-hatred and a self-image of inferiority In this important critique of the status of black education in America, Woodson explained how the predominant ecological paradigms in which African-Americans were being educated and the assumptions underlying these paradigms, by their very nature, served to legitimate white racism and to rationalize the colonial or subordinate status of African-Americans in American society Woodson saw how difficult it was for African-Americans to break away from these theories, which had taken on the aura of the conventional wisdom and were presented as commonsense knowledge, because few students were ever encouraged to question or challenge the assumptions that shaped these theories of social reality After all, "[w]hen you control a man's thinking, you do,not have to worry about his actions . . He will find his proper place and will stay in it" (Woodson, 1933 :xiii) 1 1


Woodson's primary criticism was that African-American students were being taught as unquestioned objective reality only unfounded and ethnocentric theories which supported the notion of black inferiority He argued that the academic training African-American students received and the university level was discouraging them from attempting to play an active, constructive role in the development of the race (Woodson, 1933) Woodson believed that the ethnocentric paradigms they studied caused these young "educated" African-Americans to acquiesce in the notion that African-Americans were inferior, and made them contemptuous both of themselves and of the masses Woodson theorized that when educated African-Americans then tried to rationalize this self-hatred, their selflimiting paradigms produced only self-defeating rationalizations of why the masses of African-American people in America were not capable of building an independent economic power base The ironic consequence of this miseducation, then, was that instead of empowering the AfricanAmerican intelligentsia to join with the masses in a collective effort to advance the race, the "education" of the young African-American intelligentsia, the theorists, and the scientists, had instead served only to alienate them from the masses Woodson consequently believed that it was AfricanAmerican businessman, not the miseducated African-American intelligentsia, who could be most helpful and influential in the advancement and development of African-Americans For Woodson, as for many earlier writers, the most important obligation incumbent upon any individual African-American was to serve the race in its development He insisted that African-Americans had to gain control over their own institutions and he urged African-Americans to follow the example-if not the teachings! -of Booker T Washington, who was the only African-American man who had ever actually built and controlled an institution of higher learning (Woodson, 1933 :57) Woodson also believed that in white schools African-Americans did not receive adequate preparation in either industrial or classical education In the former, African-Americans did not receive sufficient practice or opportunity, and upon graduation were barred from trade unions In classical education, African-Americans did not fare much better, he reasoned, because it was evident that such training had failed to produce any sizeable cadre of outstanding thinkers and philosophers : "They have not risen to heights of black men farther removed from influences of slavery and segregation" (Woodson, 1933 :15) In the matter of curriculum, the kinds of study that should be done, Woodson advocated that it be both practical and applicable to the real world situation Woodson thus transcends the Booker T Washington/ W .E .B DuBois controversy by calling for a collaborative dialectic between theorists and pragmatists Woodson believed in African-American "self reliance" to uplift the race 1 2


He argued that African-Americans must serve each other and must pull together as a community, forgoing individual strife and conflict He thought community and interpersonal cooperation were essential if the condition of African-Americans were to be improved ; and he even advocated several forms of collective enterprises (Woodson, 1933) The Legacy of an African-American Cultural Rationality Collectively, Woodson's efforts and those of his predecessors form component parts of a broader endogenous African-American cultural mode of rationality, wrought out of the reality and history of the African-American experience in America Woodson spoke about African-American history and about the necessity of viewing oneself from an historical perspective, situated within the racist and capitalist structure of American society Woodson's thinking reawakens our sensibilities to our own social experience, and to our own history and aesthetics and values Here, especially, the oral tradition in African-American culture comes to mind, as well as the emphasis on physical prowess The philosophy Woodson promoted was also centered around the tradition of service and the development of the Afro-American community .' He tried to awaken African-Americans to the realization that imitating whites was an admission of self-hatred and rejection From this theoretical perspective on the nature and importance of culture, Woodson also provides us with an understanding of how studying their own culture, can help a people to determine, at any given point in time, the kind of knowledge they need to pursue Furthermore, Woodson, by effectively politicizing culture, adds further cogency to Giroux's argument that cultural history is essential for an emancipatory pedagogy Studying the African-American cultural heritage thus not only teaches the truth about those who oppress, and demystifies domination and colonial rule, cultural self-knowledge is also self-instructive in that it can point out weaknesses and illuminate ways in which the community as a whole can improve and advance 8 In his "new program," Woodson's reconceptualization of higher education as a mechanism of service is nationalistic and seems to carry overtones of "Booker T-ism ." His call for "radical reconstruction" of the analytical framework and paradigms used to view the black experience in America, however, is as current as Giroux's call for an emancipatory rationality It should be noted here that Woodson was anti-Marxist Not that he was against Marxism, but he viewed the Marxist influence as an alien force attempting to invade the African-American communityanother EuroAmerican ethnocentric tradition-and believed it was not germaine to the situation of African-Americans in America Woodson believed that an endogenous radicalism would have to emerge from within the AfricanAmerican community if it were to succeed On the other hand, Woodson also believed that African-Americans should not depend on or wait for 1 3


liberal white support ; Woodson believed fervently that African-Americans should do for themselves Woodson's notion of developing a new pedagogy to teach people about themselves and their neighbors and heroes, and his ideal of the "real teacher," precedes Freire's notions of education for critical consciousness by thirty years ; and so does the research methodology he suggests as preliminary step in establishing a curriculum for African-Americans (Woodson, 1933 :151) Woodson recognized the critical necessity of formulating our indigenous philosophy, and of generating endogenously our own social theory and ideology, so that African-American people would be able truly to think for themselves and act in their community's own true interest But perhaps the most important of Woodson's contributions was his realization of how social science paradigms and the underlying assumptions both shape our perceptious of reality and influence social policy, and his insistence that African-Americans must critique these taken-for-granted paradigms, challenge their validity, and generate their own Seven years after Woodson's critique of black education William Fontaine challenged the naive and uncritical way in which African-Americans envisioned democracy as the heavenly antithesis to their servile state, and expected that democracy alone would somehow automatically bring them equity and freedom (Fontaine, 1940) Fontaine believed that democracy was hollow and ineffective from the standpoint of the aspirations and ambitions of African-Americans He questioned how a democracy which was "powerless to prevent simultaneous existence of poverty and wealth, intelligence and ignorance, dead-end kids and prep school Buster Brown" could possibly bring equity and equality to descendants of slaves, who were confined to a low-caste status in American society Fontaine argued that African-American scholars must reject the "democratic liberal science Weltanschauung" and adopt a "defensive psychology" posture, generated from the black perspective on the African-American experience The "knowledge" generated within this defense psychology was "socially determined," as a response to the ascribed low-caste status of African-Americans ; i .e ., "there is a correlation between the knowledge propounded by Negro scholars and the social situation confronting the Negro group" (Fontaine, 1944 in Harris, ed ., 1983 :105) For example, African-American scholars such as Carter G Woodson unmasked the "sins of omission and commission in writers like Hegel, Dunning, J W Burgess, J F Rhodes, A D White, etc ." (Fontaine, 1940) These scholars (and also Charles Wesley) made invaluable methodological contributions in historiography by demonstrating the importance of subjectivity and point of view : "Dr Wesley not only contends that `history is an expanding concept embracing the ways in which ALL people have lived throughout the ages,' but in addition to the inclusion of facts about the Negro he 1 4


believes that the Negro's perspective should be used in the interpretation of these facts" (Fontaine, 1940 :8-9) Reminiscent of Woodson's call for a "new" educational program to counter the mis-education of African-American people, Fontaine believed that the philosophy of African-American teachers would have to embrace would be one of counter-indocrination Fontaine described this as a "toughminded" approach, a kind of provocative revolutionary thought involving black opposition to the "democratic-liberal scientific Weltanschauung" in all areas of African-American scholarship, from history and sociology to literature In essence then, Fontaine saw counter-indoctrination as a psychologically healthy, nationalistic stance Emancipatory Trends in Present-Day African-American Scholarship Research and writings in black educational history and thought continued to provide much material on the topics of integration, desegregation, boycotts, and liberalism, and responses to these issues from both the African-American and white communities, etc ., (Cox, 1948 ; Herbst, 1973) However a major shortcoming of the African-American intelligentsia which has persisted up until the present time has been their failure to take the work put forth by such scholars as Booker T Washington, W E B DuBois, Kelly Miller, Carter G Woodson, and William T Fontaine to synthesize it into a body of knowledge and to makelt the basis of a common intellectual heritage that would give leadership and direction to the African-American community The failure of African-American intellectuals to gain control over educational and other institutions, mass media, publishing houses dominant societal national organizations, etc ., also means that they have been excluded from influential participation in the political, theoretical, and ideological debates in the mainstream society But even more critical for the advancement of African-American people, is that the failure of the African-American intelligentsia to formulate its own knowledge base has meant that African-Americans are still being schooled in the same (old) ideological hegemonic paradigms that still served to legitimate and reproduce the dominant culture The problem of the hegemonic impact of Euro-American theory, be it conservative or even radical theory, on black cultural and political thought has also long been recognized It was raised as early as 1913 by Arthur Schomburg, and has recently been examined by such African-American scholars as Manning Marable (1981), John Brown Childs (1981) and James M Jones (1979) Other theorists are also beginning to articulate the differences between the American and European social, cultural, and political contexts, and the reflections of these differences in the respective schools of neo-Marxist thought (Aronowitz, 1981) Contemporary African-American scholars realize, for example, that socialism alone will not insure the abolition of racism According to 1 5


Marable (1981), "there is not . a body of knowledge which could be described as a Marxian theory of racism which can be directly applied to our understanding of American society ." There is thus a growing consensus among African-American scholars that what they must now do is return to their own traditions, history, and cultural thought, and begin to articulate their own cultural mode of rationality, independent of Western European domination There has also been a significant resurgence of interest in the African-American concept of culture Raymond Williams, for example, views culture as "a record of a number of important and continuing reactions to changes in our social, economic and political life" (Childs, 1981 :43) Also along this line, John Brown Childs, in his study of DuBois conception of culture within the African-American community, has defined culture as "a historically grounded way of existence" (Childs, 1981) We can thus observe, within contemporary African-American literature, an emerging awareness of the existence of a distinct cultural mode of rationality, although at the present time there is little formal writing on the topic in the educational literature Awareness of such a mode of rationality has increased as a result of the persistent efforts of African-American scholars to conceptualize alternative scientific and philosophical paradigms for the purpose of systematically analyzing African-American culture (Berry and Blassingame, 1982 ; Boykin, 1979 ; Childs, 1981 ; Franklin and Anderson, 1981 ; Gordon, 1982 ; Jones, 1979 ; Ladner (ed .), 1973 ; Marable, 1981) While all of these scholars, and many others, are grappling with issues and concerns within their respective disciplines, there is still a need for a synthesis of this body of knowledge into what I believe will form an African-American epistemology One way of getting a handle on this massive amount of knowledge would be to continue to look for emancipatory categories or currents of thought (such as those referred to in this paper : self-help ; service ; nationalism ; political power, economic autonomy) generated from the daily experiences of the African-American people, and use these in systematic study With continued research, the categories may, under scientific scrutiny, collapse, be subsumed into another category, or be refined or expanded One would suspect that the categories will change shape and form during the dynamic process of generating theory hued from black consciousness But this process is the first step toward true cultural emancipation and self-realization for African-Americans Implementing Emancipatory Pedagogy For Children (and Teachers) : Challenges and Implications Emancipatory pedagogy requires the reconceptualization of knowledge into new forms of ideology, paradigms, and assumptions that can help illuminate and clarify African-American reality Emancipatory pedagogy also requires counter-indoctrination against the blind acceptance of the 1 6


dominant culture's concepts and paradigms Emancipatory pedagogy is the freeing of one's mind to explore the essence and influence of the AfricanAmerican race throughout the world, and the ability to pass on that information to the next generation as a foundation upon which to build This information can generate emancipatory perspectives : for example, black Egyptian civilization lasted a thousand years, while the United States is little more than two hundred years old When a child ponders this historical fact s/he develops a different perspective on Africa and her rulers In essence ; it triggers a "gestalt switch" that enables one "to see" something s/he had not seen before, but which was there all along In teacher education courses, this type of critical awareness can also be taught For example, in teaching social studies, student teachers (and the children they teach) can be taught to critically examine the descriptive language and the knowledge in elementary school history books that is presented as objective fact, true and unbiased (see Cynthia Brown (1978), for example) Student teachers might critically examine how history is disseminated in various ways : take, for example, a pamphlet Highlights Of Ohio History, published by The Bell Telephone Company for Ohio elementary school children : "LaSalle Discovers the Ohio River In 1669, the famous French explorer LaSalle wrote his name in Ohio History by his discovery of the Ohio River . . Told about the river by the missionaries, he was warned of the fierce Iroquois who guarded it . ." (Ohio Bell Telephone Co ., 1953 :5) Words such as `discover', `fierce', and `missionaries' become problematic and under examination take on very interesting, self-serving properties In the next example, from the same booklet, we can analyze the knowledge disseminated about Ohio's Native American population : "The Indians in Ohio Ohio pioneers not only had to conquer a vast wilderness ; they had to come to terms with the many Indian tribes that inhabited the territory Many of these Indian chiefs and their tribes have left their mark on the pages of Ohio's history Among them are . Chief Tecumseh . Many others, such as the Delawares . gave up their struggles against the settlers in the Greenville treaty In 1842, the Wyandot tribe was the last tribe to leave the Ohio Country and open the entire territory for peaceful settlement" (Ohio Bell Telephone Co ., 1953 :6) By studying the meaning and contextual usage of words such as "conquer," "hostile," "struggles," "treaty," and "peaceful settlement" in this section, and the assumption behind them, student-teachers and children (in both intermediate and upper elementary grades, as demonstrated in Brown [1973]), begin to discern what is and is not being taught They also realize that 1 7


"facts" and values are interrelated, and that if the paradigms and assumptions are already determined, the intended interpretations will have also been decided This kind of critical analysis through the reconceptualization of knowledge enable teachers and students, to fairly consider the righteous indignation on the part of the Native American nations, and to detect and unpack colonialism and racism in such reading materials Moreover, this kind of critical analysis allows both students and teachers to study in a more open and broad fashion such issues of genocide and the history of the displacement of indigenous peoples, as well as war and refugees in the world today Paradigm to Praxis Pedagogy, of course, must be susceptible of understanding and implementation In the spirit of Woodson, I propose some interpretations and suggestions for applying theory to praxis in promoting an emancipatory rationality Returning to the African-American categories of self-help, economic autonomy, political power, nationalism, and service, I postulate that citizenship education for African-American children, in fact for all children, must shift away from models based on rationalizations of colonialism, and emphasize instead the emancipation of the mind and spirit Instead of teaching children with negative imagery, we must allow students to speak with their own authentic voices (cf Warner), and then engage them in formal classroom work which uses their own cultural capital as a bridge between their own life-world and classroom experience In such an effort to teach "from the bottom up," using the cultural capital of the children, it may be appropriate to use reading material like DuBois' Dusk Qf Dawn (1940) and The Dark Princess : A Romance (1928), or the autobiographies of Woodson, Malcolm X, and one of the 1984 presidential candidates, the Reverend Jessie Jackson While such material would be a challenge (and perhaps even a struggle), it is through conflict and struggle that students grow and learn Moreover, this would introduce them to a body of classical literature heretofore generally omitted from the public school curriculum Many African-American people, however, have not fully enjoyed reading because the acquisition of those skills has been mystified, and made, I believe, unnecessarily difficult and at times painful for minority and poor folk My second practical suggestion would therefore be to ask each member of the Afro-American intellectual community to promote the reading of (and buy or somehow supply copies of) the works mentioned in this article to public, school and/or church libraries so that the community has access to them to be read and discussed The beauty of these books, especially Woodson's book, is that it is very readable, would promote discussion and would hopefully encourage further reading To actualize such an idea within our communities would, no doubt, be a challenge, but the 1 8


longest journey begins with one step This suggestion also follows our traditional categories of self-help and service, so that the means is as culturally valid as its intended end My final suggestion centers around the concept of nationalism It behooves African-American scholars to generate a list of basic readings for the academicians as well as the lay population We can start the list with the pivotal works of Woodson, W E B DuBois, and Booker T Washington Woodson described the best teacher as one who taught people using their own heroes and telling them about themselves ; and if we let these key figures "speak for themselves," their works will come to serve as common intellectual touchstones for all African-Americans, and as reference points in our new emancipatory paradigms Conclusion This discussion is not merely another effort to rationalize the teaching of African-American history in schools My first thesis is that we as teachereducators and teachers can learn how better to educate African-Americans by studying black scholarship ; my second thesis is that exploring the AfricanAmerican experience in classroom learning situations, coupled with an emancipatory paradigm, can be a liberating experience for all our children I am not just advocating some African-American equivalent of (or alternative to) the indoctrination of dominant American patriotism (what the dominant culture calls teaching American history) My goal was to share my understanding of the emancipatory process, and how teachers can implement a methodology to educate minority children to become creatively thinking and effectively active citizens in this society (even though it is not at all clear to me that the dominant culture in this society wants a critically thinking and active citizenry) It is my contention that one methodology which recommends itself is to begin by understanding the tradition of resistance among AfricanAmericans, and to use the emancipatory modes of rationality that were born from their struggle as a basis for pedagogy Citizenship education then ideally becomes education for informed political awareness, and in the practice of critically analyzing reality, and not simply a process of rote indoctrination By attempting to illuminate the genesis of some of the indigenous African-American currents of thought, I have tried to provide a better understanding of the nature of emancipatory rationality and its appropriateness as a basis for preparing citizens to participate in building a socially just and economically humane society This discussion has come full circle : I began by talking about how a society reproduces itself, and have ended by proposing one means by which we can-I hope-challenge ideological hegemony through critical reflection and responsible, active communal participation, and regenerate our society along lines more in keeping with its own professed ideals 1 9


Endnotes 1 These are ideal essence constructs Clearly there are modes of citizenship education that combine into and exist in that grey area For the point of making a link between a specific mode of citizenship education and the rationality and ideology that defines it, the ideal constructs are worthwhile 2 Barr, Barth and Shermis (1977) explain citizenship transmission as follows : citizenship is best promoted by inculcating the "right" values as a framework for making decisions Particular concepts should be learned and believed Teachers make assumptions about what is desirable behavior, what social culture rewards and punishes, and what is the best form of social participation The teacher knows the requirements of a good citizen and attempts to transmit that concept of reality Essentially, it is the desire to transmit a conception of the ideal society and the ideal citizen The teacher transmits the selected concepts and values by such techniques as description and persuasion through the use of textbooks, recitation, lectures, question and answer sessions, and structured problem-solving exercises The content is, selected by an authority, interpreted by the teacher, and has the function of illustrating values, beliefs, and attitudes Content begins with "oughts and "givens" -knowledge and beliefs that are given as self-evident ; these could be either items of knowledge or behavior guidelines Woven into the fabric of the curriculum, whether on the playground or in classroom is the assumption that there are appropriate procedures and rules These authors also describe and defend social studies taught as social science as follows : citizenship is best promoted by decision-making, based on the mastery of social science concepts, processes, and problems This tradition assumes that when students acquire the knowledge, skills, and devices of a particular discipline, they become effective citizens Therefore, the acquisition of the knowledgegathering skills of social scientists results in the ultimate goals of enhanced citizenship Each of the social sciences has its own method of gathering and verifying knowledge Students should discover and apply the method that is appropriate to each social science 3 Merle Curti (1935) is an exception in this case, because he did, in fact, cite the work of Booker T Washington in his research 4 Elsewhere I have discussed in detail the interpretive history of African-American knowledge paradigms and influences in the education of Black people (Gordon, 1983) As I heard myself writing these words "African-Americans must learn their own history", first a great pain welled up within me and then the dawning awareness of the reason for that pain I thought such questions had already been raised in the 1960's, and did not realize that this great awareness period waned, that the African-American children today seem to possess less cultural and historical knowledge of their people than I had as an adolescent and throughout my teens (It should also be noted that during my high school years, I listened to John Coltrane, Bobby Timmons and Thelonious Monk while my contemporary counterparts are listening to Michael Jackson and Prince .) I thought such battles has been won, and never really thought about them again, which is probably the most elegant statement as to why we are still fighting the same battles 5 One interesting aside is that in African philosophical thought, Cesaire (1972) and Mbiti (1970) both talk about the relationship between theory and practice : African philosophy and culture is a continued merging of theory and praxis 6 It should also be pointed out that Miller stated that what was needed to help the race was "not mere theorizers" but practical application The relationship between atheory and practice (praxis) is another characteristic/current of thought that reappears through black scholarship and will be discussed later Suffice it to say that Miller's belief that dynamic knowledge "which clarifies the vision, refines the feelings, broadens the conception of truth and duty . is of the highest and most valuable form of practicability," could be traced to African philosophy, where philosophy is in concert with action (Miller, 1908 :272 ; Mbiti, 1969) 7 One interesting side of Woodson in the book is his style It is simple and straightforward In a way, it is a demonstration of practicing his own philosophy Although he was apparently 2 0


critized for this practical, simplified style, this style makes the information more accessible to the larger, less scholarly audience 8 Within this teaching of culture, Woodson even takes religion to task : "If Negro got their conception of religion from slaveholders, libertines, and murderers, there may be something wrong about it, and it would not hurt to investigate it It has been said that the Negroes do not connect morals with religion The historian would like to know what race or nation does such a thing Certainly the whites with whom the Negroes have come into contact have not done so" (Woodson, 1933 :73) References Abd el-Hakimu Ibn Alkalimat The Ideology Of Black Social Science in Ladner, Joyce ed ., The Death of White Sociology New York : Vantage Books, 1973 : 173-189 Apple, Michael Ideology and Curriculum Boston & London : Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1979 Aronowitz, Stanley The Crisis In Historical Materialism New York : J F Bergin Pub ., 1981 Berry, Mary & John Blassingame Long Memory : The Black Experience In America New York : Oxford Press, 1982 Bowles, Samuel, and Herbert Gintis Schooling in Capitalist America New York : Basic Books, 1976 Bowser, Benjamin P "The Contribution of Blacks to Sociological Knowledge : A Problem of Theory and Role to 1950 ." Phjlon, 42 : 180-193, 1981 Boykin, A Wade Psychological/Behavioral Verve : Some Theoretical Explorations and Empirical Manifestations In Boykin, A Wade, A J Franklin, & A F Yates, eds Research Directions of Black Psychologists New York : Russell Sage Foundation, 1979 Brown, Cynthia Literacy in Thirty Hours Chicago : Alternative Schools Network, 1973 Cesaire, Aime Discourse on Colonialism New York : Monthly Review Press, 1972 Childs, John Brown Concepts of Culture in Afro-American Political Thought, 1890-1920 Social Text : Theory/Culture/Ideology, II, no 1, (1981) : 28-43 Cox, Oliver, C Caste, Class, and Race (1948) New York : Modern Reader Paperbacks, 1970 Cruse, Harold The Crisis Of The Negro Intellectual New York : William Morrow & Co ., Inc ., 1967 DuBois, William Edward Burghurd Dusk Of Dawn (1940) New York : Modern Reader Paperbacks, 1970 Ellison, Ralph An American Dilemma : A Review in Ladner, Joyce ed ., The Death of White Sociology New York : Vantage Books, 1973 : 81-95 2 1


Fitzpatrick, Edward ed Readings in the Philosophy of Education New York : Appleton-Century Co ., 1936 Fontaine, William Thomas An Interpretation of Contemporary Negro Thought from the Standpoint of the Sociology of Knowledge Journal of Negro History 25, no 1, (January, 1940) : 89-102 . Social Determination in the Writings of Negro Scholars In Harris, Leonard ed Philosophy Born of Struggle Dubuque : Kendall Hunt Pub Co ., 1983 Franklin, Vincent The Education of Black Philadelphia Philadelphia : University of Pennsylvania Press, 1979 Franklin, Vincent, & James Anderson, eds New Perspectives on Black Educational History Boston : G K Hall & Co ., 1978 Freire, Paulo, Education for Critical Consciousness New York : The Seabury Press, 1973 Giroux, Henry Critical Theory and Rationality in Citizenship Education Curriculum Inquiry, 10, no 4, (1980) : 329 -366 . Ideology, Culture, and the Process of Schooling Philadelphia : Temple Press, 1981 Gordon, Beverly M Towards a Theory of Knowledge Acquisition for Black Children Journal of Education, 164, no 1, (Winter, 1982) : 90-108 . An Investigation Into the Nature and Dimensions Of Afro-American Episteomology And Its Implications For Educational Theory And Practice : A Proposal Columbus : The Ohio State University January, 1983 Gramsci, Antonia, Selections from the Prison Notebooks Edited and translated by Quinten Moore and Geoffrey Smith New York : International Pub ., 1971 Harris, Leonard ed Philosophy Born of Struggle : Anthology of Afro-American Philosophy from 1917 Dubuque, Iowa : Kendal Hunt Pub Co ., 1983 Herbst, Jurgen The History of American Education Northbrook : AHM Publishing Corp ., 1973 Jones, James M Conceptual and Strategic Issues in the Relationships of Black Psychology to American Social Science In Boykin, A W et al ., eds Research Directions of Black Psychologists New York : Russell Sage Foundation, 1979 Keddie, Nell Classroom Knowledge In Young, Michael F D ed ., Knowledge and Control London : Collier-Macmillan, 1976 Ladner, Joyce ed The Death Of White Sociology New York : Random House, 1973 Marable, Manning The Third Reconstruction : Black Nationalism and Race in a Revolutionary America Social Text : Theory/Culture/Ideology, 2, no 1, (1981) : 3-27 2 2


Miller, Kelly, Race Adjustment : Essays On The Negro in America (1908) Miami : Mnemosyne Pub Co ., 1969 Mulhern, James A History of Education : New York : The Ronald Press Co ., 1946 Outlaw, Lucius, Philosophy, Hermeneutics, Social-Political Theory : Critical Thought In the Interest of African-Americans In Harris, Leonard, ed ., Philosophy Born of Struggle : Anthology of Afro-American Philosophy from 1917 Dubuque, Iowa : Kendall Hunt Pub Co ., 1983 Searle, Chris Classrooms of Resistance London : Writers & Readers Pub Coop ., 1975 Sharp, Rachel and A Greene, Education and Social Control London : Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1975 Warner, Sylvia Ashton Teacher New York : Basic Books, 1964 Woelfel, Norman, Molders of the American Mind New York : Columbia University Press, 1933 Wood, George "Beyond Radical Educational Cynicism ." Educational Theory 32, no 2, (Spring, 1982) : 55-71 Woodson, Carter, G The Mis-Education of the Negro (1933 ., 2nd rev ed .) New York : AMS Press, Inc ., 1977 Young, Michael F D ed ., Knowledge and Control London : Collier-Macmillan, 1976 2 3


Theory and Research in Social Education Winter, 1985 Volume XII Number 4, pp 25-38 € by The College and University Faculty Assembly of the National Council for the Social Studies Teacher Authority in the Social Studies Classroom : Erosion of a Barren Ground Dianne L Common Faculty of Education The University of Lethbridge Lethbridge, Alberta Canada T1K 3M4 Introduction Far too often students complain that social studies is one of their most uninteresting and dreary subjects It is, for them, l'enfant terrible of their school day For most of us, this is not news Yet, it is disconcerting every time we are reminded of this unfortunate state of affairs because of a visit to a school, a conversation with a teacher, or the release of studies reporting on the unhappy state of social studies, such as those of Farman, Natriello, & Dornbusch (1978) ; Fernandez, Massey, & Dornbusch (1976) ; Fraser (1981), Haladyna, Shaughnessy, & Redsun (1982) ; and Schug, Todd, and Beery (1984) Students continue to complain that the subject matter is boring, redundant, and yet complex, and the tests are difficult ; they are required to memorize far too much trivia ; and teaching methods are routine, dull, and dreary They claim that social studies has little relevance in their lives today and most certainly will have even less tomorrow There is little in social studies, they lament, that prepares them for their futures Just as disconcerting is the revelation in the 1981 Gallup Poll' that the public lacks confidence in the quality of social studies teaching It would seem that such a lack is warranted According to Shermis and Barth (1982) most of what social studies classroom teachers do is simply 2 5


"unsatisfactory ." (p 33) And, sadly enough, we should be less than optimistic that improvement is around the corner Teachers, over the years, have gone and probably will continue to go their own ways, changing but very little (Shaver, Davis, & Helburn, 1979) What can be read into this is at least one conclusion Teachers and curriculum lay at the root of this malaise The quick fix for this malady in the social studies should be to improve teacher practices in the classroom Ways in which this fix has occurred have varied during the recent years During the sixties, many attempted to reform the curricula that guided teaching Most of these innovations had as a goal active citizenship, a goal which was premised on two notions : one, that critical thinking was a good and indispensable personal quality ; and two, that thoughtful and responsible social reform was proper for a citizen Critical thinking was argued to be the product of the careful study of the content and methods of the social science disciplines and a classroom teaching manner generally termed social inquiry School initiated social reform was considered to be justifiable and desirable because our future citizens, the students of that day, would be knowledgeable in current social affairs, would have an understanding of fundamental social science concepts from which to make current social affairs meaningful, and could therefore engage in personal and social problem solving Hence, these reforming curricula were grounded in the social science disciplines and in a curriculum design premised on issue resolution and an inquiry approach to instruction Once these innovations were in use in the classrooms, it was thought, social studies would become relevant, significant, exciting, useful, and enjoyable Unfortunately, few of these new curricula were used in the classrooms as the developers intended they should The tendency was for some teachers to refuse to use these innovations outright, to co-opt those they did use so that the `new' was transformed into the `old and familiar' in very short order, and to abandon eventually those they did adopt Simply, the curriculum innovators and implementors failed at their task ; classrooms and teachers escaped reform Social studies remained according to students, parents, and social studies reformers, irrelevant in many ways, largely insignificant to the daily lives of students, dreary, and not very useful Currently, the reform fix is focused on the personal and professional development of the teacher rather than on what is now claimed to be the earlier, more narrow focus on the 'curriculum-in-use' and `curriculum that ought to be in use .' Many of today's classroom reformers advocate improvement in teacher training practices and increased opportunities for on-thejob teacher professional development These two general solutions are probably closer to the mark but the specifics remain unclear, and the attention away from social studies content seems to be a particularly inappropriate one Clearly, the content of the curriculum as well as the way it is taught, are both a large part of the problem 2 6


Some are also attempting to develop standards for the preparation of social studies teachers, perhaps in the hope that an awareness of desired competencies and attitudes will bring about some improvements in classroom practice Those developed by the National Council for the Social studies are a case-in-point 2 However, these standards largely represent the extant "values held by a profession" that has been unable to improve its teacher practices and are so general in nature that they travel little beyond broad, universals that are not very instructive about the nature of social studies as a subject to be taught and the teacher's knowledge and skills necessary to render this subject meaningful to students (p 357) This attention to standards however does support the two hypotheses that I formulated earlier It is the teacher and the content that the teacher makes available to the students that are the primary reasons for the less than desirable state of social studies in the schools However, the teacher must be central to any attempt to improve the teaching of social studies What this attention to standards does remind us in a round-about way is that the question of who should be and can be a social studies teacher is not only a salient one, but is fundamental to any thoughts and practices relative to reform When we ask who should be and can be a social studies teacher, we are, essentially, asking about rights and power The one who has the right to be a social studies teacher is therefore the one who should be a social studies teacher The one who can be a social studies teacher is the one who has the ability to act because of these rights In other words, this person is one who has the power to do something in accordance with these rights When we talk about a teacher's rights and power we are, broadly speaking, talking about a teacher's authority in the social studies classroom One conclusion can be drawn from my comments so far Many teachers do not have and should not have the authority to teach social studies It is my intention in this essay to elaborate on this claim, and in so doing to show that the notion of teacher authority is a useful and fruitful one with which to think about teaching practice, and to target on the primary problem that must be addressed before social studies practices in the schoolscan be reformed Teacher Authority in the Classroom Teachers have authority in their classrooms for two reasons One, they have the right to be there ; two, they have the ability to maintain that right When we acknowledge that a teacher has the right to be in the classroom, we refer to a teacher's `de jure' authority ; when we acknowledge that a teacher has the ability to get his or her "authority claims accepted by those against whom they are asserted," namely students, we speak of that teacher's `de facto' authority (Wolff, 1968, p 604) `De jure' authority is being in a position of authority that is justified in some way ; `de facto' authority is 2 7


the ability to effect actions, independent of the presupposition that the actions are justified There are three different but not mutually exclusive prior and necessary conditions for a social studies teacher's `de jure' authority The first is the policies and procedural rules that are used in the governance of the schooling institution in general and the individual schools in particular The second is the social and personal values that the institution of schooling and its curriculum are to transmit to the future generations The third is the social studies curriculum guide (and its attendant, prescribed instructional materials and achievement tests or examinations) When a teacher acts in accordance with prescriptions that emerge directly from these three sources, then that teacher has the right to be in the classroom and therefore has the right to teach social studies In other words, the teacher is granted `de jure' authority in the social studies classroom by virtue of these three conditions Before I move on to discuss `de facto' authority, a few comments on the certainty of the prescriptions which justify `de jure' authority are in order The first and third sources are relatively free from misinterpretation and ambiguity, although the specific prescriptions will vary from situation to situation, and have varied, clearly, through time However, the second condition is problematic in that it is often quite uncertain as to what values the school and the teacher are to transmit The centuries old great debate ranging around the purpose for schooling institutions is still ringing loudly, with different positions championed by feisty debators The social and personal values that the schools, particularly the public schools, are to promulgate will vary from camp to camp, generation to generation, and government to government Nonetheless, it is generally accepted that part of a teacher's role is the socialization of the country's youth to a particular form of life Prior to the twentieth century, scientific, post-modern age, dimensions of this form of life were captured in the content of the curriculum and in the proper forms of social conduct guiding social relations in general and classroom interactions in particular The knowledge of the literati dominated the curriculum, and this knowledge was, as Wilson (1962) put it, "suffused with social values-a knowledge of religious texts and moral precepts ." (p 16) Knowledge that is the constituent of the school curriculum of the present, whether social studies or otherwise, is of a more objective and scientific character Even those subjects that can be regarded as the stuff of the literati, literature and history for instance, are approached by curriculum developers in a scientific, objective fashion Criticism and inquiry are the espoused appropriate methods of instruction The `new social studies' of the sixties are a very good case-in-point To a considerable extent, the values inimical to the form of life which the schools are to preserve and transmit have become extrinsic to the content of the curriculum Instead, these values are to guide a teachers actions during instructional events Because 2 8


curricularists have recognized this, they have coined the expression the "hidden curriculum" and the "formal curriculum" which are recognized to exist concurrently although not mutually exclusively in the classroom Generally, the hidden curriculum embraces the form that relations assume in the classroom ; the formal curriculum, the content of the curriculum and the teaching strategies utilized to make this content available to students What seems to be generally agreed upon across most camps advocating different purposes for schooling and hence different forms of life and ways of being to be taught, is that the teacher is a powerful role model for students Therefore, teachers necessarily must be a representative of this form of life and way of being Teachers are expected to model forms of social conduct that are in vogue not only in the classroom, but in their lives beyond the school Typically, teachers are expected to model the parent and the supervisor (depending on the age of the students) in the classroom, schoolyard, and lunchroom ; to model desirable patterns of family living, and in some instances to model proper forms of religious practices ; to model democratic practices in their professional and community endeavours ; to model practices of fair play, consideration for others, toleration of and appreciation for others culturally and racially different from themselves When teachers practice according to the principles of social conduct captured in the desirable, current role model for a teacher, then that teacher has partial `de jure authority by virtue of fulfilling one of the three conditions for such authority To reiterate briefly, then, the social studies teacher's `de jure' authority has three not mutually exclusive and somewhat ambiguous conditions for its legitimacy : the policies and procedural rules that guide the governance of the schooling institution in general and individual schools in particular ; the social and personal values that the school and the teacher are to transmit ; and the curriculum guide and its concomitant, materials, pedagogical practices, and achievement tests `De jure' authority is in one sense institutional in that it is legitimized and granted in accordance with the general rules of and justification for the schooling institution In another sense, `de jure' authority is professional in that it is legitimized and granted in accordance with what is considered to be professional knowledge, that is, knowledge of the curriculum and pedagogical practices appropriate, and knowledge of proper professional ethics However, the general rules of and justification for the institution are in one way a prescription for what professional knowledge is considered legitimate A case in point is the current debate ranging around the teaching of creationism and/or evolution theory in the schools The claim from the evolution camp is that evolution theory is not only valid knowledge but, when incorporated into the school's curriculum, is ipso facto professional knowledge However, in actuality, it becomes professional knowledge only when sanctioned via schooling policy and procedural rules In another 2 9


sense, `de jure' authority is normative because the schools embrace and perpetuate a particular form of life and way of being that basically tend to reflect the consensus of the diverse value positions in the society, with the majority or most powerful position mirrored most strongly A teacher who is granted `de jure' authority by school policy makers is, by virtue of such granting, provided with reasons for his or her right to be in the social studies classroom Nonetheless, having the right to be in authority does not guarantee that a teacher is able to EFFECT AUTHORITY ACTIONS It is those against whom the authority is exercised who must consent first to the authority figure's directives, and then, second, consent to act accordingly A social studies teacher may have the right to be in the classroom, but must have his or her `de jure' authority recognized and accepted by those against whom it is asserted, the students It is a teacher's `de facto' authority, rather than his or her `de jure' authority, that enables a teacher to alter the students' cognitive, affective, and physical states A teacher's `de facto' authority is justified not in rights, but in power and consent : power exercised by the teacher and consent granted by the students A teacher may have `de jure' authority, and yet have no power and garner no consent An example to demonstrate the discrimination between the two types of authority may be useful Imagine a riot on the streets of Atlanta The city police are soon on the scene The police have `de jure' authority by virtue of their social role as law enforcer Unfortunately, the police are unable to quell the riot, and the lawbreakers carry on with their disruptive behavior, ignoring police directives to break it up and return home Matters reach new heights of lawlessness and the police are pushed forcefully aside Clearly, the Atlanta police do not have, in this example, `de facto' authority They lack the power to effect the consent of the troublemakers because only they can grant the police such authority A social studies teacher must have `de facto' authority Without such authority the teacher will not be able to effect student learning `De facto' authority is grounded partly in terms of the teacher's `de jure' authority clearly, but is earned in terms of his or her ability TO CREATE THE CONDITIONS WITHIN WHICH STUDENTS WILL CONSENT TO LEARN SOCIAL STUDIES `De jure' authority entitles a teacher to the use of legitimate power, and having such power enables a teacher to act on his or her intentions and accomplish his or her goals When a teacher has `de facto' authority, that teacher is exercising LEGITIMIZED POWER When students refuse to acquiese to a teacher's requests which are justified, then, to use Nyberg's (1981) phrase, the students have exercised power over power because power is "delegated through consent, and without consent power inevitably is reduced to force, and thus eventually is lost ." (p 46) To exercise `de facto' authority, a teacher must create the social and psychological conditions within which consent can be granted There are three 3 0


dimensions of a student's consent : acceptance of a teacher's `de jure' authority and the teaching plans that are justified by this authority ; willingness to cooperate in the means to implement the teaching plans ; and an understanding and valuing of that to which the consent was granted, namely the content of and objectives for instruction Acceptance, cooperation, understanding and valuing When these three states are reached by the student, then the teacher can said to have been effective, successful, or what ever other expression we choose to use to indicate that goals have been reached The Goals of Social Studies There is wide agreement in the field of social studies, among teachers as well as reformers, that the desired ends for social studies teaching are active citizenship and critical thought While I and many others differentiate between these two purposes, it can be argued that active citizenship presupposes critical thinking The problem of curriculum content justification is central to the question of what to teach in social studies There are, simply arguing, two grounds upon which we can justify curriculum content Some content can be argued to be worthwhile because it is culturally relevant in some way Such content justification is not independent of the persons making this claim and the context within which they are living Relevance is interwoven with the notion of use, so when some content bit is claimed to be useful, what is usually meant is that the content will be useful to the students today or tomorrow and to the society in which they live or which they will help to maintain or reform some time in the future Making this content choice involves predicting the possible and desirable or good future and involves a position on the way our youth ought to live in this future Not all knowledge, however, which is taught in schools can be argued to be useful Many have claimed that advanced calculus, the study of Latin and Greek, the acquisition of a foreign language, the study of ancient history, the study of partical physics, say, are not relevant to the lives of school students today, nor tomorrow Granted, some students may become nuclear physicists, archeologists, Latin scholars, or perhaps mathematicians One or two may make a small fortune winning at games of the pursuit of trivia or recognizing a Tom Thompson or an A Y Jackson at an art auction in rural Ontario The point is that the argument for the justification of some knowledge is very weak indeed or nonexistent if lodged in claims of relevance and usefulness Yet, few would argue that the content itemized above is worthless or valueless, or that a particular type of person would be the result of the acquisition of such knowledge The argument for justification rests not on claims that the knowledge is useful for the realization of some further end, but because it is good in and of itself That is, it is intrinsically rather than instrumentally valuable The arguments to justify the intrinsic worth of the knowledge embraced 3 1


in the school curriculum, that is, the curriculum content are a little beside the point here What is important to recognize is that, given the nature of social studies, which is different in many ways from that of, say, history or sociology or geography, curriculum content, of necessity, must be instrumentally worthwhile rather than intrinisically worthwhile Hence the ends of social studies must incorporate some dimension of relevance and use, which is not necessarily the case with history and the others The ends of the study of history, for example, are most properly the development of a particular type of critical thinking loosely termed historical mindedness This difference between principles of content justification and ends enables us to discriminate between a curriculum and teaching that is social studies and that which is something else Therefore, the ends of the study of social studies have a dimension of personal and social relevance and usefulness that is necessarily consistent with the curriculum content and its justification Western culture is premised largely on norms of shared power, participation, progress, and reform Consequently, these norms permeate the cultural milieux to which the social studies is to be relevant and for which it is to be useful Students in schools are not to be solely socialized to their culture, but in some way are to make it better Students are not only expected to be citizens, but to be active in their participation in and their improvement of their society's various institutions Such participation and reform require an intelligent and knowledgeable citizenry In short, citizens must be able to think critically The schooling institution is one place within which the development of critical thinking skills can occur Hence, the dual goals of the social studies, critical thought and active citizenship Both presuppose a democratic form of life and an educated person as citizen, and the means of these ends is curriculum content having instrumental worth With such espoused and noble goals and useful curriculum content, it is difficult to imagine how the social studies could fail to be an exciting and significant subject to study While critical thinking can obviously be developed through the study of other school subjects, the juxtaposition of the two goals, critical thinking and active citizenship, should render social studies the most relevant of all curriculum areas Perhaps social studies should have a core and compulsory status Such a curriculum should be appreciated and enjoyed by all students Such a happy state, alas, is certainly not the case One reason for this is obvious Critical thinking and active citizenship are not the goals of social studies when it is practiced in the schools Such talk rings more of idle rhetoric rather than of fact In fact, according to Shermis and Barth (1982) quite the contrary is the case They claim that most social studies classrooms are places in which passive acquisition of recipe knowledge and character indoctrination are the ends and a dreary manner of teaching, consisting of study sheets requiring the recall of trivial subject matter, workbooks, text memorization, and solitary seatwork, is the means 3 2


Active citizenship and critical thought are, ends which are grounded in one indispensable human state, that of the questing after the nature of social studies knowledge To engage in critical thinking about social studies matters, teachers must have some understanding of the epistemological state of social studies knowledge The question of what constitutes valid knowledge in social studies, how that validity is determined, and how the knowledge is created are three essential questions that must be the focus for any curriculum content planning deliberations and instructional decisions in the ;lassroom This understanding is fundamental to the teacher's ability to select valid knowledge from invalid knowledge and to enable his or her students to do the same This understanding is fundamental if one, either student or teacher, is to move from "having knowledge of" something to "having understanding about" something According to Barth and Shermis (1982), social studies teachers tend to believe that all reality can be reduced "to verbal propositions which can be phrased in terms of short and succinct sentences ." (p 19) Teachers believe that there is an objective reality that can be known, and that the truth of this reality is lodged in such authority sources as professors, research reports, and most important, textbooks Teachers do not see themselves as creators of knowledge about this reality, but borrowers and disseminators of knowledge about this reality that they have gleaned from someone else Other people create knowledge ; not teachers or students This knowledge is captured in one type of language, assertive language, that does not enable teachers to discriminate well among facts, concepts, generalizations, judgements, evaluations, values, opinions, and so on Finally, teachers tend to believe that all reality is capable of being known and capable of being compressed "to assertions that are either true or false, correct or incorrect, right or wrong ." (Shermis and Barth, 1982, p 20) Teachers are generally inclined to treat all curriculum items "as equally certain and equally factual," (p 21) and to believe that "there are quick and clean answers to all questions ." (p 27) These same teachers believe that distinguishing among levels of probability, empirical statements, and value judgements are unnecessary and even silly activities Teachers perceive themselves as teaching according to four principles : making verbal claims, avoiding biasing students, presenting facts, and allowing students to form their own opinions It was apparent to Barth and Shermis (1982) that these teachers refuse "to undergo the intellectual effort necessary to distinguish between facts and opinions," and instead to indoctrinate "students in whatever is taken to be truth and beauty ." (p 21) The social studies classroom is a setting, as Luke, de Castell, and Luke (1983) explain, in which conventional classroom discourse is to a considerable extent based on the content enshrined in the texts, about the texts, and mediated through them Much of the bond that links teacher with students is the text The very formality of the school as a distributor of socially 3 3


accepted knowledge and whose specific purpose is the facilitation of learning enhances the legitimacy of this materially-encased `truth .' The institutional sanctioning of this knowledge tends to put it above criticism Consistent with their ontological and epistemological positions, teachers presuppose that their students are passive, reactive, and responders rather than active initiators The majority of questions teachers ask are of a lowlevel, recall type that require of students memorizations of copious amounts of information Students are not involved in any form of self-evaluation ; rather teachers assume this responsibility using criteria of which they are not always consciously aware Teachers assume that learning is something that happens TO students, with teaching as something that is done TO students All of this stands in stark contrast to a manner of teaching, an understanding of epistemology, and an ontological position that are consistent with the goals of active citizenship and critical thought Such goals must be complemented by a critical manner of teaching in which debate and doubt reign supreme' ; an awareness of the uncertain nature of knowledge ; the role of each individual in refashioning extant formalized and socially derived knowledge, and in developing personal knowledge ; that learning is something students do and that it is an active and creative process ; that there is a reality which exists within as well as one that exists without, and that the one without can never be known totally or certainly ; that the differences between objective knowledge and subjective knowledge are not tidy, nor are they easily and readily or even certainly distinguishable ; that there are various ways in which these two types of knowledge can be known, protrayed, and communicated ; that the quest for "truth" is a moving away from opinion and to valid knowledge and that there are many ways in which this process can occur ; that both subjective and objective knowledge can be valid ; that the different forms of knowledge have different tests for validity ; and that there is a difference between having knowledge and having understanding Because of their ontological, epistemological, and psychological positions, the pedagogy practiced by most social studies teachers prevents the realization of the desired goals of critical thinking and active citizenship, and in fact replaces them with goals of information acquisition, values indoctrination, and passive citizenship A Target, A Coda, and a Conclusion There are two possible responses to the previous description and analysis of the state of social studies teaching One is to accept teachers as they are, to reformulate social studies goals, and in so doing to forfeit critical thinking and active citizenship as possible and desirable ends This seems simply undesirable and foolish for members of a democracy existing in a very troubled and complex world It also seems to be a betrayal of those students who suffer, and not gladly, in their social studies classrooms The other is to do something about the way social studies teachers think and act 3 4


While the second response is the sensible and desirable one, and one in which most social studies professors and curriculum developers and most school administrators are in loud agreement, there is little consensus as to how this can be accomplished My purpose in writing this article is not to offer prescriptions for solution, but rather a target at which to aim our thinking The majority of our social studies teachers do not have the authority to be in their classrooms They have been granted `de jure' authority, but are unable to earn `de facto' authority from their students In other words, these teachers are unable to create the conditions within which students are ABLE to think critically and to practice active citizenship In order for this to happen, a teacher necessarily must be AN AUTHORITY ON THE SUBJECT MATTER OF SOCIAL STUDIES As an essential prerequisite for the students' granting of `de facto' authority, the teacher must demonstrate an intimate knowledge and understanding of the content, clearly beyond that ensconced in the curriculum and must be able to create conditions within which students are truely able to become engaged in the learning tasks and to understand the content To be AN AUTHORITY, the teacher must have some understanding of the epistemology of social studies knowledge and of the processes indispensable to the acquisition of this knowledge as curriculum content As an authority of social studies content, which is clearly different in breadth of knowledge and kind of understanding than simply having knowledge of the prescribed curriculum, the teacher will necessarily have a different understanding of pedagogy and will engage in practices quite different from those that are typical of most social studies teaching Teaching as telling will clearly be regarded as inappropriate to a curriculum having critical thinking about social studies matters as means Teaching as passing on authority justified `truths' will be anathema to a teacher who is engaged in a process of developing understanding with his or her students Student as conduit through which truth is poured surely is antithetical to the understanding of the psychology of learning that would have to underpin instructional events that enables a teacher to earn `de facto' authority in the social studies classroom In sum, social studies teaching is in need of improvement, drastic improvement Improving teacher practices is the focus for the raison d'etre of the literature on teacher effectiveness .' However, the claims emerging from this body of research have much to do with observable teacher and student behavior such as time on task, wait time, academic engaged time, student management, and the like, with many of the prescriptions couched in notions of efficiency and teacher competencies These claims and prescriptions are useful in that they give some guidance as to how a teacher could earn `de facto' authority in the classroom However, they are of secondary importance if we are seeking ways to improve a teacher's performance What the researchers on teacher effectiveness fail to address is the question of a 3 5


teacher's content knowledge, and more important, a teacher's knowledge of epistemology Indirectly though, some of their conclusions do speak to this matter Effective teachers, it seems, ask more higher order questions during instruction than do less effective teachers However, no relationship between type of question asked and critical thought as goal is established Also, the more effective teacher is more likely to amplify discussions once the higher order question is asked and answers attempted, and to give feedback to the student responders What can be inferred from this is that the effective teacher, to be able to extend student discussion on the question and to ask a higher order question in the first place, had to have a degree of mastery of the subject matter greater than that the less effective teacher Teacher `de facto' authority in the classroom should therefore be primarily justified in the teacher's understanding of the epistemological state of the subject matter of social studies The more EPISTEMIC AUTHORITY the teacher has, the more `de facto' authority the teacher should be able to earn We must target the teacher's knowledge of epistemology as central to and fundamental in the quest for teacher reform in social studies Such a position on teacher reform I hope should speak more loudly to those engaged in teacher pre-service and in-service training than it does to teachers in the classroom I also hope that there are some echoes that might have far reaching implications to the current, volatile debate on the question of what should occur in our teacher preparation institutions and what the most effective methods are for professional development Considerably more attention must be directed to the epistemic dimension of a teacher's `de facto' authority in the classroom We cannot confuse, nor can teachers confuse, claims of `de jure' authority with those of `de facto .' Familiarizing teachers with the content of the curriculum is not sufficient to enable teachers to bring much understanding to the epistemological state of the knowledge they are to teach Familiarization with the textbook is clearly just as inadequate And, focusing on instructional techniques, while important, most surely is secondary to the essential and primary target It is becoming accepted that one of the major reasons why the `new social studies' reforms of the sixties and early seventies failed was not so much because of poor implementation strategies, which was originally thought to be the case Rather, it was mainly because teachers did not understand the epistemological state of the new content they were to teach The reformers either presumed that teachers did have `de facto' authority in their classrooms or could acquire it through the use of the curriculum Both presumptions were largely in error Perhaps implicit here is a new consideration for researchers on innovation implementation to address and just a small hint at the focus and shape of implementation theories to come One cannot legitimately claim to be a social studies teacher without having both types of teacher authority ; that is both `de jure' and `de facto' are necessary to the right to be in the classroom and to having the power to 3 6


maintain that right Unfortunately, most of our teachers do not have such authority Those that do, surely, have classrooms that are home to critical thought and active citizenship Those that do not must face the realization that there cannot be, nor should there be any comforting excuses when our social studies students have not learned, or have learned that which is useless, silly, invalid, or immoral Endnotes 1 As quoted in Schug, Todd, & Beery (1984) 2 See the Standards for the Preparation of Social Studies Teachers, which are the official position of the National Council for the Social Studies and were passed by the board of directors at its June, 1983 meeting Refer the May edition, volume 48, number 5, of Social Education 3 This position is developed further in my "Conversations in the Social Studies Classroom : A Means for Critical Thinking", History and Social Science Teacher, (in press) 4 See, for example, Anderson, L M ., Evertson, C M ., & Brophy, J E (1979) An experimental study of effective teaching in first-grade reading groups, Elementary School Journal, 79, 193-223 ; Good, T L (1981) Teacher expectations and student perceptions : A decade of research, Educational Leadership, February, 415-422 ; Medley, D M (1977) Teacher Competence and Teacher Effeciveess, Washington, D .C : American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education ; Peterson, P & Walberg, H eds (1979) Research on Teaching : Concepts, Findings, Implications Berkeley :McCutchan ; Purkey, S C ., & Smith, M S (1983) Effective schools : A review, The Elementary School Journal, 83, 427-452 ; Rosenshine, B (1976) Recent research on teaching behaviors and student achievement, Journal of Teacher Education, XXVII, 61-64 ; Rosenshine, B (1983) Teaching functions in instructional programs The Elementary School Journal, 83, 335-351 ; Shavelson, R J (1983) Review of research on teachers' pedagogical judgments, plans, and decisions, The Elementary School Journal, 83, 392-413 References Farman, G ., Natriello, G ., & Dornbusch, S M (1978) Social studies and motivation : High school students' perceptions of the articulation of social studies to work, family, and community, Theory and Research in Social Education, 6, (3), 27-39 Fernandez, C ., Massey, G C ., & Dornbusch, S M (1976) High school students' perceptions of social studies The Social Studies, 67 (2), 51-57 Fraser, B J (1981) Deterioration in high school students attitudes toward social studies, The Social Studies, 72, (2), 65-68 Haladyna, T ., Shaughnessy, J ., & Redsun, A (1982) Correlates of attitudes toward social studies Theory and Research in Social Education, 10, (1), 1-25 Lasswell, Harold & Kaplan, Abraham (1950) Power and society : A framework for political thought, New Haven : Yale University Press Luke, Carmen, de Castell, Suzanne, & Luke, Allan (1983, Summer) Beyond criticism : The authority of the school text, Curriculum Inquiry, 13, (2), 111-127 3 7


Nyberg, David, (1981) Power overpower, Ithaca : Cornel University Press Schug, Mark C ., Todd, Robert J ., & Beery, R (1984, May) Why kids don't like social studies, Social Education, 48 (5), 382-287 Shaver, James, David, 0 L Jr ., & Helburn, Suzanne, W (1979) The status of social studies education : Impressions from three NFS studies, Social Education, 43, (2), 150-153 Shermis, S Samuel, & Barth, James, L (1982, Winter) Teaching for passive citizenship : A critique of philosophical assumptions, Theory and Research in Social Education, X (4), 17-37 Silk, David Neil (1976, Summer) Aspects of the concept of authority in education, Educational Theory, 26, (3), 271-278 Wilson, Bryan R (1962, March) The teacher's role : A sociological analysis, The British Journal of Sociology, 13, (1), 15-32 Wolff, Robert Paul (1930) In Defence of Anarchism, New York : Harper & Row 3 8


Theory and Research in Social Education Winter, 1985 Volume XII Number 4, pp 39-56 by The College and University Faculty Assembly of the National Council for the Social Studies Education For Democratic Participation : Democratic Values and the Nuclear Freeze Campaign' George H Wood College of Education Ohio University Athens, Ohio 45701 The only freedom that is of enduring importance is freedom of intelligence . J Dewey, 1938 One of the most crucial issues of our day is the continuing proliferation of nuclear arms Above all, this issue threatens our immediate existence and continues to be a massive drain upon the public purse In response to the arms race an international movement has emerged advocating some form of control of this deadly escalation Recently, arguments have been made by groups advocating such controls (such as the Boston-based Educators for Social Responsibility) that the movement to limit nuclear arms become part of the social studies The nuclear freeze movement is, indeed, useful curricular material This is not to suggest that students should study the nuclear freeze movement simply to take a position on the arms race Rather, the issue forces teachers to confront how they will teach about democracy : It raises fundamental questions about what democracy means both in theory and in practice in the United States These questions form the core of this project : What is meant by democracy? What do schools currently do to educate for, or perhaps against, democracy? What should schools do in order to foster in students a democratic attitude? In what follows I hope to answer those questions Initially, this means making a choice among competing interpretations of democracy as an organizing principle for schools Secondly, how schools currently operate within a psuedo-democratic rationality will be explored Finally, and most centrally for this paper, what schools need to do in order to foster democracy will be discussed, using the recent anti-nuclear arms protests as a source for teaching about democracy 3 9


Democracy : Protectionist or Participatory Democracy is a term frequently invoked as both an organizing principle for our collective social lives and as rationale for public education Yet often absent from discussions relying upon democracy is a definition of the concept itself It is assumed that the way our social and political structures currently function suffices as an operational definition of democracy What such assumptions miss is the fact that competing versions of democracy exist, each with its own normative framework within which to judge the democratic or anti-democratic nature of social institutions The two major versions of democratic theory are the classical (participatory) and contemporary (protectionist) Contemporary democratic theory has attempted to eliminate apparent defects of classical democratic theory .' According to Pateman (1970) recent democratic theory has at its heart two crucial concerns : First, that classical theory, which rested heavily upon public participation in the governing process, is obsolete due to the inability of the populace to actually participate Second, the fear of totalitarianism arises from the belief that mass participation would predicate a collapse of democracy These arguments draw heavily from the experience of the Weimar Republic in which it is claimed that increased political participation by low socio-economic status groups without democratic attitudes brought about a collapse into totalitarianism Schumpeter (1943) first argued that classical democratic theory rested upon empirically unrealistic grounds which ignored undemocratic attitudes among the populace Given such an attitudinal problem, fundamentally a desire to absolve onself of decision-making responsibility in favor of the protective decisions of a `leader', Schumpeter proposed that democracy could best function as a competition among decision makers for public support Thus, classical theory was abandoned for a theory based upon popular selection of elite decision makers (who seem to mirror members of the economically elite classes) as opposed to direct decision making itself Continuing the transformation from participatory to protective democratic theory, Berelson (1952) argued that not only were the masses willing to abdicate decision-making responsibilities, but were generally politically apathetic Citizens took little or no interest in decisions which did not directly influence them Thus, non-participation takes on a positive dimension as it prevents those with limited interest and expertise from creating undue stress on the system By limiting demands and, thus, conflict, the stability of the democratic system is preserved Those very elements which presumably have the least democratic attitudes, lower socioeconomic status groups, participate less than anyone else as they have less at stake (generating more apathy) than other segments of the populace Dahl (1956) completed the transition of democratic theory from participatory to protectionist His argument was that the most important or distinguishing element of a democratic system is the election process 4 0


through which non-elites choose governing elites These representatives of the public then set and act upon a political agenda .through which all major public decisions are made The public is to verify that their political elites are protecting selfor group-interests The role of the citizenry in this model is the making of leadership choices, not decision themselves, in order to protect their perceived best interests Not only are citizens removed from direct decision-making in protectionist theory, the very range of what are considered political issues is severely limited Those issues which deal with the structure of the capitalist order, private ownership of capital, distribution of income and wealth, plant relocation, etc ., are deemed not to be part of political debate (Pateman, 1970) Rather, the interests to be protected must operate within the existing economic structure Again, the dual concerns of stability and efficiency predominate contemporary theory The assumption is that excessive debate over the nature of the economic system would not only threaten the system's stability but would additionally hamper the efficient economic machine The argument can be made that contemporary democratic theory is an accurate description of the current American political context Indeed, those who gain the least from the current economic and social order are the least likely to vote The social system is thus guaranteed relative stability as issues of concern to non-voters, frequently economic which might involve an alteration of existing economic structures, are not addressed Additionally, the role of citizens in Western democracies is largely limited to attendance at the ballot box Direct action on social issues such as picketing, protesting, and democratic take-overs is widely discouraged as counter-productive or only symbolic Finally, while voters may pick political leaders they are mute when it comes to the selection of economic decision makers Most recently, such an analysis of democracy has been put forth by one of America's leading conservatives, George Will (1983) Will argues that non-voting is a virtue, indicating general satisfaction with the way things are and preventing the intrusion into the electoral process by those with a nondemocratic attitude Recent attempts to increase voter turn-out are wrong headed and can only lead to the experience of the Weimar Republic The best democracy seems to be the least democracy as Will states : In two presidential ballotings in Germany in 1932, 86 .2 and 83 .5 percent of the electorate voted In 1933, 88 .8 percent voted in the Assembly election swept by the Nazis Were the 1932 turnouts a sign of the health of the Weimar Republic? The turnout reflected the unhealthy stakes of politics then ; elections determined which mobs ruled the streets and who went to concentration camps The fundamental human right is to good government The fundamental problem of democracy is to get people to consent to that, not just to swell the flood of ballots In democracy, legitimacy derives from con4 1


sent, but nonvoting is often a form of passive consent It often is an expression not of alienation but contentment . the stakes of our elections, as they affect the day-to-day life of the average American, are agreeably low (p 96) Public schooling in the United States has chosen to educate within this protectionist framework This would be fine were there no alternatives However, protectionist democracy is only one way of perceiving our collective democratic heritage What follows is an attempt to recapture an alternative version of democracy to be used as an organizing principle for public education Current democratic theory and practice are locked within a protectionist rationality That rationality favors limiting participation in governing process to the elite and narrowing the scope of those issues deemed worthy of the political process The social toll of our protectionist theory is becoming all too clear Millions of the culturally disenfranchised recognize that they are not wanted nor needed by the political system and abandon it Elections have become merely fund-raising contests and politics seem to be mainly an attempt to bring out the darker side (the racist, sexist, fearful, selfish side) of the electorate's protectionist nature As an alternative to such a system, educators, and others, might strive to recapture the classical, participatory theory of democracy as an ideal for which to strive Pateman (1970) demonstrates such a framework's rationale from Rousseau's The Social Contract : (1) Participatory systems are selfsustaining because the very qualities required of citizens if such a system is to work are those that participation itself fosters ; (2) participation increases one's "ownership" over decisions thus making public decisions more acceptable to individuals ; and (3) participation has an integrative function-helping individuals establish the feeling that they belong These premises were further developed by John Stuart Mill (1963, 1965) and G D H Cole (1920) Mill argued that the primary consideration in judging a society or government to be good was the effect that system had upon individuals Rather than concern himself with efficiency, as contemporary theorists are wont to do, Mill argued that participatory democracy fostered within individuals the psychological attributes needed in self-governance In addition, Mill and Cole argued that these characteristics are best developed at the local level Through such local participation citizens come to own decisions on an immediate level and develop those skills and attitudes necessary for selfgovernance at the national level What particularly is meant in referring to attributes needed for selfgovernance? J S Mill argued that an active character would emerge from participation and Cole suggested that a non-servile character would be generated What this means is that individuals should have the confidence 4 2


that they are fit to govern themselves The term often utilized to describe such a state is known as a sense of political efficacy That is, as Campbell, et al (1954) have pointed out, the belief that individual political action does have an impact on decision-making and thus it is worthwhile to perform one's civic duties There is empirical evidence to suggest that participation does enhance feelings of political efficacy Studies by Almond and Verba (1965), Carnoy and Shearer (1980), and those cited by Wirth (1983), point out that participatory models in local governments, workplaces, and associations do lead to higher levels of participation in national politics In all of these studies local participation in self-governance increased a sense of control over the immediate political environment and a concurrent desire to participate in controlling the national political agenda Let us be clear about what is meant in these theories and studies when the term participation is utilized Three conditions must be obtained : First, the participants must be in the position of decision-maker rather than decision influencer ; second, all participants must be in possession of, or have access to, the requisite information on which decisions can be reached ; and third, full participation requires equal power on the part of participants to determine the outcome of decisions When individuals experience participation in this sense at a local level the research suggests that they will gain a greater sense of political efficacy in the national arena (see also Boyte, 1980) This implies that contrary to claims made by contemporary protectionist theorists, democracy best functions as a lived process of participation, a process in which citizens do not merely choose between elites but actually transform themselves through debate and contestation over public issues This was the original vision of democracy upon which the foundations of our political practice were laid Additionally, as has been pointed out in Wirth's (1983) review of workplace democracy it is a vision of democracy which continues to be relevant as it humanizes shared social spheres, empowers democratic citizens, and leads to more effective and efficient decision-making Ongoing debate into how such participation is to be facilitated in our evolving society is necessary (and has been undertaken by Cohen and Rogers, 1983) The point here is that participatory theory holds us closer to a democratic society than does protectionist theory 3 Educators need to realize that the social role they play depends upon the conception of democracy, participatory or protective, they choose On one hand rests a conception of democracy within which the participation of the minority elite is crucial and the non-participation of the apathetic ordinary man is necessary to maintain the system's stability On the other hand democracy is conceived as encompassing the broadest participation of the people working to develop political efficacy and a sense of belonging in order to further extend and enhance more participation 4 3


Schooling for Protectionist Democracy Over the past decade, educational historians and sociologists have worked to uncover the hidden curriculum of schooling Moving beyond the initial forays into this area, concerned as they were with the celebration of schools as reinforcers of dominant cultural values (Dreeben, 1968), this work has revealed how schools work to perpetuate, or reproduce, an unequal social order The field of the social studies in particular has been singled out as existing primarily for the purpose of reinforcing cultural myths that protect the status quo (Anyon, 1979 ; Fitzgerald, 1979 ; Giroux, 1983a ; Popkewitz, 1977) This work on the reproductive nature of schooling has focused, through theoretical and empirical research, on the mechanisms of power and domination at play in the school setting More precisely, the school is seen in such research as performing four functions vital to the continued stability of the current order .' First, and foremost, the school, through both overt and covert means, strives to legitimate the existing systems of economic, political, and social inequality This is accomplished by, secondly, celebrating a very limited sense of democracy within which issues of economic power and power-lessness are not raised Third, knowledge itself is reified, presented in a psuedoscientific manner which removes it from contestation or debate Finally, schooling works to elevate only certain cultural formations as legitimate thus relegating to the dustbin of history oppositional social/cultural formations These four mechanisms represent the ways in which schooling reproduces a system of social inequality (capitalism) in a nation with a credo of political equality (democracy) Seen within the framework of protectionist democracy, such schooling makes impeccable sense Turning to the field of civic education the reflection of contemporary protectionist democracy appears all too clearly Civic education may, for the most part, be described as under the either citizenship transmission or a social science approach (Giroux, 1983a) In both models knowledge is assumed to be value free and democracy a concept limited to only a few public spheres With the former, the idea is that students will learn, through reading or simulation, the appropriate role of a citizen Such a role is best demonstrated by Remy's Handbook of Citizen Competencies (1980) in which the emphasis seems to be upon making citizens safe for democracy This is done by only endorsing political tools and citizen activities which fit within the current democratic rationality such as voting, letter writing, interest group formation and the like In addition, those elements explicitly feared by contemporary democratic theorists for their destabilizing impact upon the system, lower socio-economic status groups in particular, are seldom if ever addressed (a similar critique could be made of Shaver, 1977, and Newmann, 1975) This reflection of contemporary theory in the citizenship transmission model is further illustrated in the explicit content of citizenship education 4 4


programs The emphasis is often upon choosing leadership elites wisely and holding them responsible Seldom is the content of such programs devoted to the actual making of decisions -the focus in on the once removed step of choosing the decision makers Second, the social studies content in general is filled with examples of great men (or sometimes women) making decisions -infrequently are examples of common people banding together to change their lives and circumstances through direct decision making presented Third, the Western democratic system itself seemingly removed from scrutiny Once it passes muster in comparison to Soviet totalitarianism (not to be confused with South African authoritarianism) the protectionist democracy of the West is fully embraced Nary a word is mentioned in the curriculum of the potential contradictions between capitalism and democracy, the system's need for non-participation, or the limits on decision making The social science model, while it goes beyond the notions of citizenship transmission by seeming to make students active and creative thinkers, recycles the very assumptions of citizenship transmission it seeks to redress This is because notions of critical thinking and social conflict slip away before the priestly chairs of the scientific experts While claims are made that students "choose" solutions in response to social problems about which they are inquiring, the deck is stacked in favor of technocratic solutions proposed by experts Thus, social problems are not resolved on an historical, political, or normative terrain over which varying notions of right and wrong are put forth outside of objective scientific knowledge Instead, students face a cookbook approach in which only certain knowledge is legitimate and solutions to problematic situations are judged on their technical rather than humane merits The hidden messages are typified in Popkewitz's critique of Fenton's Comparative Political Systems : An Inquiry Approach Fenton's approach uses concepts of leadership, ideology, and decision making to compare different political systems However, investigation of the text reveals that judgments are already made by the authors The purpose of children's "analytical" work is simply to make the teacher's answers plausible . For example, a dichotomy is established between the leaders of the Soviet Union and the United States The personal characteristics of the U .S political leaders are characterized as energy, tact, ability to tend to many things at once, ability to operate effectively under tension, and so on On the other hand, a Soviet leader is described as one "not given to resistance, who is a little above average in energy and intelligence and below average in imagination ." Under the guise of "social theory," a dichotomy is established which seems to prevent critical scrutiny rather than nurture it (Popkewitz, 1977) How is it that an educational program such as civic education, stemming from a genuine desire on the part of educators to help students as "educated 4 5


citizen(s) act upon an unswerving loyalty to democratic ideals" (National Educational Association, 1938) turns out to serve such a limited conception of democracy? Here we come face to face with the paradoxical nature of education's social role : in attempting to serve students the overriding logic of the state directs educators to work at fitting students to the pre-existing roles for them in the cultural, political, and economic matrix of postindustrial capitalism .' Of course, to adopt such role may, on the surface, make a great deal of sense But in the long run the roles and actions endorsed and embraced limit and perhaps destroy the abilities, hopes, potentialities, and dreams students have for a better world Thus, civic education works to reproduce the established social order through limiting the sphere of democratic operations and failing to develop the skills needed by democratic citizens to critically examine claims to objective truth, to challenge the opinions of experts, and to utilize their own histories in both opposing the dominant order and building a new one Part of the task involved in capturing the participatory essence of democracy is to transform the school curriculum in ways that will endorse participatory citizenship This task might begin with teachers themselves realizing the viability of participatory democracy Teachers, faced daily with protectionist limits upon their own lives through the teacher-proofing of curriculum (Apple, 1982), external demands for standardized competency tests, and the increased bureaucratization of schools, know intuitively the reality of protectionist as opposed to participatory democracy The hope is that teachers can see their desires for greater autonomy in the classroom within the larger context of the expansion of participatory democracy Understanding that they will be able to move toward direct control of their own social conditions only when the culture at large moves beyond protectionist democracy, perhaps the school itself can become an arena for participatory action Equipped with a sense of democratic possibility, consistent with the most cherished image we hold of ourselves, teachers could strive to make schools sites of democratic transformation Schooling for Participatory Democracy What would it mean pedagogically if educators were to hold fast to participatory democracy as an organizing principle for their work? Earlier I argued that the rationale for utilizing the nuclear freeze movement as curricular material was that it illustrated both the limits and possibilities of democratic practice The particular function of such study would be to illuminate the reality of what democratic values the culture at large adheres to as opposed to those it enshrines it our historical documents That is, the manner in which the expression of popular will through the nuclear freeze movement has been treated by our federal government dramatically illustrates how protectionist democracy denegrates the very cultural values 4 6


upon which the republic is founded It further illuminates the value of the participatory alternative as a way of organizing social life It is important to locate this element of a curriculum for participatory democracy within a larger educational framework Previously (Wood, 1984) I have suggested that a pedagogy for participatory democracy would include five components First, schools need to help children develop critical basic skills This would be more than merely the "basics" as currently conceived Instead, inferred here are skills that draw from the work of Freier (1970) and Dewey (1916, 1938) in using the lived experiences of students to teach academic skills within a context of uncovering and naming the ways in which democratic participation is limited Second, schools need to help students gain the ability to speak with their own voices By understanding their own histories, students could emerge from the schooling experience with the requisite cultural capital needed to believe in their right to oppose, validate or change the given social order Third, schools need to expose students to alternatives in democratic living The current limitations of what is called "civic education" in reifying our manner of republican democracy limits potential insights into alternative democratic structures and thus belies the basic premise of democracy-government by the people Fourth, the authoritarian structure of the school itself needs to be altered in ways that students (and perhaps teachers and parents as well) might, in the best Deweyian sense, experience and thus learn about democratic participation Finally, truly democratic education (or education for democracy) would work to foster in children the values inherent in democracy and in our own democratic creed This fifth educational task is explored in detail here Usually educators are more than willing to claim they teach the democratic values revered in our culture On closer examination, however, these values seem more like a listing of character traits needed for protectionist democracy Further, the teaching of such values often consists of one merely exposing children to them as "goods" which are embraced by the society at large Little is said about the powerful anti-democratic forces in our society to whom these values seemingly mean nothing Thus, students are prepared for a fairy-tale world where all men and women are equal, everyone is free to speak their mind, and public participation in government is America's legacy to the world Those who then lose in the political process, or whose voices go unheard, are relegated to the sidelines of h istory .a s meaningless, hopeless people who, presumably, had their chance to be heard This free-market theory of government in the United States overlooks the many ways in which public participation in government is thwarted Beyond the ways in which such participation is crippled by illegal acts of government agencies or direct suppression there is a subtler bias operating It is, as argued above, the belief that democracy is fundamentally a protective process Thus, in a host of ways active participation is decried as not really within the rules of the game and denied either legitimacy or usefulness 4 7


In order to oppose this orientation teachers concerned with developing participating citizens need to move beyond merely listing so-called democratic values Rather, they must focus on those civic values which are the keys to participatory democracy, are deeply embedded in our democratic heritage, and are often overtly and covertly subverted by some of our more powerful institutions In so doing (in conjunction with the other four pedagogic a tasks outlined above) we lay the groundwork for students to use in defending their rights and exercising their responsibilities as participating democratic citizens What are these civic values embedded in our cultural heritage that must be called forth? I do not pretend to offer a complete listing, but in keeping with the three conditions necessary for participation listed above I would suggest the following five values First, the values of a free press, free speech, and the freedom to assemble and petition, found in the First Amendment, seem fundamental to establishing the right of self-governance and the guarantees of free access to information necessary for decision making Of course, the concept of the right of self-government is fundamentally what our Declaration of Independence is all about Additionally, the civic value of equality, also embedded in the Declaration, is crucial to participatory government Thus, we have begun to satisfy the first two parts of this element of a curriculum for participatory citizenship by identifying the necessary civic values and their legitimacy through identification with key cultural documents Attention is now turned to the actual teaching of these elements, locating them within contested social terrain as legitimate values that must be exercised in the face of opposition and protected from usurpation not by force, but by ridicule We return now to the nuclear freeze movement as a pedagogical and curricular tool to carry out this project Perhaps the clearest recent national, and even global example of attempted citizen participation is the movement against nuclear arms The usefulness of this issue is not in teaching a particular position or, in fact, in teaching how people make public policy (most popularly known as the sanitized "How A Bill Becomes A Law" lesson) Rather, what the nuclear freeze campaign presents is an opportunity to see how, in a country with a government for, by, and of the people, a popular position is virtually ignored by the government Additionally, it demonstrates how the civic values proposed above are frequently violated by those in power Rather than allow movements such as these to be written off as much ado about nothing, studying them can help students see how legitimate civic action by the governed is ignored because it does not fit the pre-set views of governors By raising such questions students can see the limited role citizens are offered in a protectionist democracy and begin to consider participatory democracy as an alternative How does the nuclear freeze campaign illuminate both the limitations of protectionist democracy and the promise of participatory democracy? 4 8


As Donner (1982) has pointed out, "the American past offers nothing in the way of anti-government protest comparable to the nuclear freeze movement in numbers, geographic scope, social and economic diversity, extent of organizational involvement and depth of commitment" (p 456) This strength is demonstrated by the wide variety of communities and states that have adopted pro-freeze resolutions, the number of institutional and organizational endorsements of arms freezes or reductions, and the various illuminati that endorse the movement However, at this writing the United States appears farther away from a nuclear arms reduction or freeze vis-hvis the Soviet Union than at any other time How is this possible when a 1982 Harris poll found 86% of Americans surveyed in favor of some type of strategic arms agreement, a 1983 Newsweek poll (Newsweek, January 31, 1983) found 64% of Americans surveyed favoring or strongly favoring a bilateral ban on "all testing, production, and deployment of nuclear weapons", and the June 12, 1982 demonstration for a nuclear freeze in New York City drew nearly a million people making it the largest demonstration in the United States? How is it possible, in the face of all of this, that White House Counselor Edwin Meese can react to the U .S House of Representatives' votes in favor of a freeze by saying (speaking for the Administration) : "To us it's almost an irrelevancy in a sense, because it's not going to affect policy" (U .S News and World Report, April 25, 1983, p 18)? The lack of public policy response to the felt needs of the populace reflects the opportunity for teachers to discuss with students the limitations of our current conception of democracy Nuclear Arms Race as Subject Matter Is the nuclear arms race legitimate subject matter? Given that students face daily, through the media and other sources, the reality of the nuclear threat and the anti-nuclear movement they make up what Dewey (1938) would refer to as potentially educative experiences That is, the issue of nuclear disarmament is intrinsically motivating as it is common to the lived experiences of children Thus, nuclear disarmament provides educators with an opportunity to provide problematic situations for students which are educative in that by dealing with it students learn the `habit' of good thought It could be argued that the issue of nuclear arms reduction is too technical for students to understand This implies two things First, that the only people qualified to discuss social issues are those who have all the information available on the issue This is precisely the fallacy that George Counts (1932) pointed out over fifty years ago when he accused progressive educators of attempting to . produce the college professor, that is, the individual who adopts an agnostic attitude towards every important social issue, who can balance the pros against the cons with the skill of a juggler, who sees all sides of 4 9


every question and never commits himself to any, who delays action until all the facts are in, who knows that all the facts will never come in, who consequently holds his judgment in a state of indefinite suspension, and who before the approach of middle age sees his powers of action atrophy and is social sympathies decay (p 18) Second, that the nuclear freeze is merely a technical, issue not subject to public debate but rather best left in the hands of scientists Yet there are scientists, military personnel, and former White House cabinet members on both sides of this issue It is thus a political issue demanding the best thought of the populace in its resolution (Note how both of these arguments work within the protectionist frameworkdenying the populace a voice in the most crucial issue of our time .) There are two ways in which democracy can be approached through examining the nuclear freeze movement, both mirroring the larger frameworks of protectionsist and participatory democracy discussed above In order to fully understand educating for participatory democracy, how the freeze movement could be understood within protectionist democracy will be explored first Initially, the protectionist analysis points out ways in which the system, is working : "See, in the United States people can voice their opinions Unlike the Soviet Union where pro-freeze citizens (like Sergei Batovvin) are censured, arrested, or deported ." However, just because citizens have a say does not mean they get their way In fact, cooler heads at the capital must prevail on these issues Thus, while petition (protest) is a protected right exercised via other rights (speech, press) it is essentially ineffectual and often a waste of time When looked at closely, most protest or citizens campaigns are merely gangs of malcontents with nothing better to do Students do learn democracy in this mannerprotectionist democracy While the tools of participation are nominally celebrated, they are usually illustrated as being generally ineffectual The class writes letters to their congressperson (senator, governor, President) and receives in return form letters and autographed pictures Democracy is a spectator sport, in which a few play with most of us cheering from the sidelines The system functions best in this fashion, as too many demands upon it might cause its general collapse So the protestors are kept at arms length, while technocrats justifiably make the crucial decisions The alternative to such a vision is to see the freeze campaign as a genuine expression of a segment (perhaps a majority) of the populace's will Examining how current democratic rationality prevents such desires from becoming public policy enables students to see the stifling nature of protectionist democracy Whether or not they want to accept that rationality is a personal decision The obligation of the teacher is to present participatory democracy as an alternative form of public life The place to begin such an investigation is with the means utilized by the 5 0


freeze campaign Up to this point freeze proponents have utilized the tools of participation available to them : members of the movement have peaceably assembled, petitioned, spoken, written, even engaged in civil disobedience to make their point In so doing, the movement provides an excellent example of the civic values inherent in a participatory democracy However, the analysis cannot stop there or students may generate a sense of cynicism as such action does not seem to effect the system (see Drier's, 1980, discussion of this syndrome) This is where the endorsement of democratic values as I am suggesting goes beyond typical civic education programs What teachers need to do is demonstrate to students that while participation is legitimated in our cultural heritage, our current limited sense of democracy functions to both discredit and occasionally even stop participation Attempts to discredit the freeze movement have come from prominent government officials and the national media As for the government, the refrain echoed by all Administration officials is that the freeze movement is merely the inspiration of the Soviet Union As President Reagan himself has said : October 4, 1982-The freeze campaign is "inspired by not the sincere, honest people who want peace, but by some who want the weakening of America and so are manipulating honest people and sincere people" (Donner, 1982) ; November 11, 1982-"The Soviet Union has penetrated the nuclear freeze movement and is using it for its own aims" (The Nation) ; August 23, 1983 The freeze campaign is engaged in "hype and theatrics" and is similar to "the Nazi sympathizers" who weakened pre-World War II Germany (The Detroit Free Press) These public pronouncements are coupled with attempts at discrediting individuals who exercise the freedoms we all value One example of this is the attempt at suppressing Presidential Scholar Ariela Gross's presentation of a petition in favor of the nuclear freeze during an award ceremony at the White House (Gross, 1983) As for actually attempting to stop participation, the examples of state-sanctioned oppression are harder to locate, but are present just the same For example, the harsh court sentences recently given anti-nuclear demonstrators (Newsweek, July 11, 1983) Or a related example, the deliberate media black-out by the Administration the invasion of Grenada The media seem implicated in this attempt to discredit the freeze movement as they plaster the most bizarre or obscene images of the freeze movement across television screens and magazine covers (see Newsweek's October 24, 1983 issue for a classic example) Such coverage mirrors the media's treatment of anti-Vietnam War protestors which worked, as Gitlin (1980) claims, to delegitimize the movement and it aims Such attempts at limiting, or at least discrediting, participation are best seen as instances where our protectionist reality confronts' our participatory heritage Those who attempt to directly affect policy are "out of their league" as it were They are venturing into arenas best left to policy experts 5 1


and political elites chosen for such tasks Thus, their participation, while tolerated, is seen as counter-productive if not subversive and certainly inspired by those who would destroy our political system The function of drawing these examples into the discussion of the nuclear freeze movement is not to encourage students to take a positive pro or con the freeze But rather to demonstrate how participation is actually subverted in our current democratic structure Only by doing so will students see the ways protectionist democracy actually limits the very freedoms we all claim to embrace In fact, those who fear that the nuclear freeze campaign threatens democracy as we currently practice it are indeed correct : If the people believe they can govern themselves why rely on the winners of our electoral beauty contests? Thus, the function of drawing out the contradiction between our protectionist reality and our participatory heritage is to present students with a choice Certainly students may choose the cynics' way out : The freeze campaign really is not making any difference so why attempt to adopt a participatory stance? Responding to such a position requires teachers draw on both historical and current reality The recent history of anti-war protest in the Vietnam era depicts graphically how such participation altered public policy (Gitlin, 1983) The freeze campaign, while not yet totally successful, has not only affected the Administration's arms policy but has made nuclear armaments one of the major issues in the Democratic presidential primaries Citizen action in and of itself has had dramatic affects across the country in a variety of arenas (Boyte, 1980 ; Herbers, 1983) Cynicism is factually unsound and teachers are obligated to point this out to their students Alternatively, students may be willing to argue that the freeze campaign illuminates the wrong-headedness of the populace at large The answer to such ill-advised action being the adoption of a system that is even less democratic but perhaps more efficient (e .g fascism) The obligation of the teacher is again to confront students with the historical and current reality of such claims Would they be willing to live and serve in Hitler's Germany or Mussolini's Italy? At what cost did these cultures achieve their so-called efficiencyand at what were they efficient? How does the claim of efficiency for more authoritarian systems actually square with current social practice? What does one do with evidence that in many cases greater participation leads to greater efficiency (Wirth, 1983)? Finally, can those systems which blatantly over-ride the rights of the individual be in any way remotely justifiable with the credo and founding documents of our republic? Fundamentally, what students face when confronted with the reality of the freeze movement is a question of political equality Earlier I argued that equality should be a central civic value explored in teaching for participatory democracy What this means in this context is helping students see that in protectionist democracy some (usually those of higher SES status) are more equal than others The question we must ask is if this is in5 2


deed what we mean by democracy? If not, would participatory democracy make more sense and how would we work to realize it? In these ways the nuclear freeze movement serves as a tool to use with students in exploring the civic values fundamental to a participatory democracy and how our current protectionist rationality violates them Additionally, the possibility of political equality and the actualization of our fundamental civic values within participatory democracy is revealed The transformative powers of such a process are grounded in each child's reality of power and powerlessness within our limited democracy Conclusion What has been argued is that participatory democracy should replace protectionist democracy as the organizing principle for civic education Such a claim was justified through an examination of the two primary theories of democracy and evidence for both interpretations Pedagogic tools for this form of civic education were explored and one, the teaching of civic values, was considered using the nuclear freeze movement as an example Certainly, we need to continually examine the concept of participation, attempting to understand how a changing social reality (for example the technological revolution) may demand new forms of participatory theory But this is not to deny that fundamental to such an examination is the continuing role direct citizen participation plays in democracy Even today the society is being pushed in a more participatory direction : Thousands of new pressure groups organized around single issues . nuclear-freeze advocates, for example -are bringing about a profound change in American government, away from a representative system and toward a more directly participatory one (Herbers, 1983) Educators concerned with democracy's future in this country need to be aware of the meaning of this transformation with regard to the students they teach Will their students be willing and ready to take an active place in a participatory system, or will they fall back on authoritarianism as humans are wont to do during periods of social stress? Educators will play no small role in determining whether or not their students will fall back on established authority (protectionist democracy) or attempt to govern themselves It is our job to make the schools islands of decency, where students learn the real meaning of democracy through lived experiences and examples so that they might gain the civic courage to live democratically in a potentially undemocratic society Endnotes 1 The author would like to acknowledge the thoughtful comments provided by Lawrence Metcalf, Ralph Page, Jack Nelson, and the three TRSE reviewers on this manuscript While total responsibility (or blame) for the manuscript is the author's alone, these individuals' 5 3


careful and considered review greatly assisted with the development of the ideas herein Additionally, I would like to acknowledge the intellectual debt owed to Lawrence Metcalf His tireless campaigning for social studies education which would seriously address the crucial issues of our time and would work to produce real democrats has had an impact on many of us in the field that often goes unstated Thank you, Larry 2 The following discussion of democratic theory draws heavily upon the work of Carole Pateman (1970) Her excellent work in the area of democratic theory is considered a classic in the field and readers are encouraged to consult that work for greater detail than is provided herein 3 To claim one vision or theory of democracy to be "truer" to the original intent of our cultural heritage is most certainly tenuous business For example, in practice our democratic origins included the exclusion of women and blacks from the political process If, however, it is fair to claim that our entire cultural heritage is based upon the expansion of political rights and freedoms then participatory theory does seem to have a more legitimate claim to our loyalties than does protectionist theory Organzing social life along the lines of a participatory democracy moves us along a continuum toward the more as opposed to the less democratic Social institutions come under more direct as opposed to representative control and the process of governing is broadened to embrace the widest possible number of participants (see Deethart, 1983) Certainly this comes closer to a government of, by, and for the people than does our current "elected autocracy" (Lucas, 1976) 4 The ideas are more fully explored in Giroux (1938b) and Wood (1982, 1984) and are only briefly treated here Readers are advised to see either of the above for a fuller treatment 5 The paradox referred to has been dealt with in greater detail by a variety of writers including Counts (1932), Dewey (1916), DeLone (1979), Cohen and Rogers (1983), Wood (1984), and Giroux (1983a) Additionally, Ryan (1982) explores in detail the meaning of the term "equality" as used in public practice and our collective self-history Given limits of space, this discussion will not be completely repeated herein and readers are advised to turn to the above sources for a fuller account of the paradox between capitalism and democracy References Almond, G A and Verba, S The civic culture Boston : Little, Brown, and Co ., 1945 Anyon, J Ideology and United States history textbooks Harvard Educational Review, 1979, 49, 361-386 Apple, M Cultural and economic reproduction in education London : Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1982 Berelson, B R Democratic theory and public opinion Public Opinion Quarterly, 1952, 16 :3, 313-330 Boyte, H The backyard revolution Philadelphia : Temple University Press, 1980 Campbell, A ., Gurin, G ., and Miller, W The voter decides Chicago : Row and Peterson, 1954 Carnoy, M and Shearer, D Workplace democracy : The challenge of the 1980's White Plains, N .Y : M .E Sharpe, Inc ., 1980 Cohen, J and Rogers, J On democracy : Toward a transformation of American society New York : Penguin Books, 1983 Cole, G D H Social theory London Methuen, 1920 5 4


Counts, G S Dare the school build a new social order? New York : John Wiley, 1932 Dahl, R A Preface to democratic theory Chicago : University of Chicago Press, 1956 Deethardt, J F Inventing democracy : Future alternatives for social action Communication education 32 (April, 1983) : 1-13 Detroit Free Press Reagan assails nuclear freeze advocates August 23, 1983 Delone, R Small futures New York : Harcourt, Brace Jovanovich, 1979 Dewey, J Experience and education New York : Kappa Delta Pi, 1938 Dewey, J Democracy and education New York : Macmillan Co ., 1916 Donner, F But will they come? The campaign to smear the nuclear freeze movement The Nation, November 6, 1982, pp 456-465 Dreeban, R On what is learned in school Reading, Mass : Addison-Wesley Publishing, 1968 Drier, P Socialism and cynicism : An essay on politics, scholarship, and teaching Socialist Review September-October 1980, 105-131 Fitzgerald, F America revised Boston : Little, Brown and Company, 1979 Freire, P Pedagogy of the oppressed, trans M B Ramos New York : The Seabury Press, 1970 Giroux, H Theory and resistance in education : A pedagogy for the opposition South Hadley, Mass : Bergin and Garvey, 1983a Giroux, H Theories of reproduction and resistance in the sociology of education : A critical analysis Harvard Educational Review, 1983b, 53 :3, 257-293 Gitlin, T Siezing history Mother Jones, November, 1983, pp 32-38, 48 Gitlin, T The whole world is watching : The media and the unmaking of the American left Berkeley : University of California Press, 1980 Gross, A Showdown at the White House The Nation, August 6-13,1983, pp 97, 112-115 Herbers, J Grass-roots groups go national The New York Times Magazine, September 4, 1983 Lucas, D S Essays in social theory New York : Columbia University Press, 1977 Mill, J S . Essays on politics and culture, Himmelfarb, G (Ed .) New York, 1965 Mill, J S Collected works, Robson, J M (Ed .) Toronto : University of Toronto Press, 1963 The Nation F B I clearance April 9, 1983, pp 418-419 National Educational Association Purposes of education in American democracy NEA Policies Commission, 1938 5 5


Newmann, F Education for citizen action Berkeley, California : McCutchan, 1975 Pateman, C Participation and democratic theory Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, 1970 Popkewitz, T The latent values of the discipline-centered curriculum Theory and Research in Social Education, 1977, 5 :1 Remy, R C Handbook of citizen competencies Washington, D .C : Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, 1980 Ryan, W Equality New York : Vintage Books, 1980 Sartori, G Democratic theory Detroit, Mich : Wayne State University Press, 1962 Schumpeter, J A Capitalism, socialism and democracy London : George Allen and Unwin, 1943 Shaver, J P (Ed .) Building rationales for citizenship education Arlington, VA : National Council for the Social Studies, Bulletin 52, 1977 Will, G In defense of nonvoting Newsweek, October 10, 1983 Wirth, A Productive workin industry and schools New York : University Press of America, 1983 Wood, G H Education in a democracy : Transformation or reproduction? Educational Theory, 34 :3 (Summer 1984) : in press Wood, G H Beyond radical educational cynicism Educational Theory, 1982, 32 :2, 55-71 5 6


Theory and Research in Social Education Winter, 1985 Volume XII Number 4, pp 57-74 by The College and University Faculty Assembly of the National Council for the Social Studies Recent Research on Concept Learning : Implications For Social Education William B Stanley Department of Curriculum and Instruction Robert C Mathews Psychology Department Louisiana State University Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70803 Teaching concepts has long been a central concern of social educators It has received more attention in recent decades, and this seems to have coincided with renewed research on concepts by psychologists in the 1950's (Bourne et al, 1979, p 169) In particular, the work of Bruner and others (Bruner, Goodnow & Austin, 1956) has influenced the development of numerous materials, guidelines and approaches to facilitating social concept learning Despite these efforts, a great deal of confusion remains regarding how to best teach social concepts (Martorella, 1971, Stanley, 1984) Teaching social concepts requires attention to a variety of important factors, e .g how concepts are structured (the type of concept), the way concepts are formed, and developmental considerations All these factors, and more, shape and constrain proposed instructional strategies In this paper we will review some of the significant recent research on concept structure and formation and discuss the implications for social education Current Approaches to Teaching Social Concepts One can identify prevailing views regarding the structure and formation of concepts in contemporary social education (Stanley, 1984) In general, 5 7


social studies educators have tended to use a definition of concepts that has been widely accepted by psychologists, i .e ., a concept is . a class or category all the members of which share a particular combination of critical properties not shared by any other class" (Markle and Tiemann, 1970, p 54) This traditional or "classical" definition of concepts has had a significant influence on how concepts have been presented for instruction in social studies methods textbooks A recent study of thirty-seven social studies methods texts indicated some variation of the classical definition of concepts was used by all the authors who defined concepts (Stanley, 1984) None of the texts discussed recent research on the structure or formation of concepts which challenges the viability of the traditional definition Consequently, the suggested strategies for teaching social concepts are, with rare exceptions, based on the classical definition and involve teaching directly or having students discover the rule defining the concept and its discrete set of defining attributes These strategies are linked to certain assumptions regarding how one forms concepts and can also be traced to the early work of Bruner and others (Bruner et al ., 1956) Their research concluded that people used systematic hypothesis-testing strategies to discover an unknown concept Other psychologists have modified and extended Bruner's early ideas (Bower & Trabasso, 1963, 1964 ; Douglass & Bourne, 1971 and Levine, 1975) At present, one could make the case that . hypothesis theory is probably the most widely accepted account of how people solve concept problems or acquire new concepts" (Bourne et al ., 1979, p 164) It is not surprising that social educators should have been so strongly influenced by these psychological paradigms Actually, the work of Bruner and others was indicative of a switch from an earlier stimulus-response (S-R) associationistic theory to a cognitive, information-processing view of concept learning The associationistic orientation toward learning was also strongly rejected by Hunt and Metcalf (1968) in their methods text, which first appeared in the mid-1950's These views seem to have influenced a number of other social educators over the years (e .g Taba, 1969 ; Martorella, 1976 ; Ehman et al ., 1974 ; Nelson & Michaelis, 1981 ; Fraenkel, 1982) Given these prevailing influences regarding how we should teach social concepts, it is relevant to examine the recent research in this area We turn first to research on the structure of concepts The Structure of Concepts A detailed analysis of the classical definition of concepts has been presented by Smith and Medin (1981) Those supporting the classical view have held that . all instances of a concept shared common properties, and . these common properties were necessary and sufficient to define the concept" (pp 1-2) This definition rests on three fundamental assumptions 5 8


First, concepts are summary representations, i .e ., they describe an entire class of phenomena, . rather than a set of descriptions of various subsets or exemplars of that class" (p 23) For example, the concept island is generally defined as a body of land surrounded by water In teaching the concept, we would concentrate first on those characteristics common to all islands as opposed to unique descriptions of specific instances However, the summary representation is derived inductively from examination of specific instances and should apply to all possible specific instances regardless of their additional nonnecessary features (e .g ., palm trees, huts, or sand) The second assumption holds that the . features that represent a concept are (1) singly necessary and (2) jointly sufficient to define that concept" (p 27) Put another way, every instance of the concept must have each defining feature and all phenomena having that set of features are examples of the concept Thus, to use our example, all islands must be bodies of land and surrounded by water, and all bodies of land surrounded by water are islands The third assumption holds that, "If concept X is a subset of concept Y, the defining features of Y are nested in those of X" (p 24) Thus desert islands with some unique features will be a subset of the general concept island and must contain the defining properties, "body of land" and "surrounded by water" These three assumptions represent the strongest version of the classical view, and reflect how that view has been employed by most social educators However, there are a number of significant questions regarding this definition, and these relate directly to social concepts In fact, most important social concepts are highly complex and connotative ; thus, they present great difficulties for the classical view But for now, we will focus mainly on those limitations on the classical view which seem to apply to more concrete natural object concepts such as plants, animals and human artifacts If the classical view fails to account for the structure of these less abstract concepts, by inference, it will apply even less well to highly abstract social concepts Among the most serious problems for the classical view are the possible existence of disjunctive concepts, the failure to identify specific defining features of concepts, and empirical data on typicality effects To the extent each of these problems is valid, it undermines or refutes the classical definition of concepts The possible existence of disjunctive concepts is especially important, because, if true, it . comes closest to offering an inprinciple argument against the classical view" (p 32) Disjunctive concepts are those for which there is no single set of necessary and sufficient defining features For example, one instance of the concept might be defined by the following features X 1 X 2 and X 3 another by X 2 X 3 X 4 and a third by X 5 X 6 and X 7 1 Thus, instances of a concept can be partially or totally disjunctive In either case, this violates the assumptions of the classical view 5 9


Ironically, some of those most closely associated with the classical definition of concepts also accept the existence of disjunctive concepts (Bruner et al ., 1956 ; Hunt & Hovland, 1960) Given Bruner's influence, it is not surprising that many social educators assume disjunctive concepts do exist (Stanley, 1984) Furthermore, the abstract nature of social concepts makes it logical to assume that many are disjunctive, e .g ., citizens may or may not have the feature "native born ." The problem is that few social educators have indicated a sensitivity to the difficulties caused by the existence of disjunctive concepts for the classical view and instructional strategies (Martorella, 1976 Ch 4, 5 & 6 ; Stanley, 1984) Empirical Findings A number of empirical studies offer evidence for the existence of disjunctive concepts Among the most significant is the research by Rosch (1976) Rosch and her colleagues have asked subjects to list features of concepts which are classified at different levels, i .e ., superordinate (e .g ., furniture), basic (e .g ., chair) and subordinate (e .g, kitchen chair) These studies demonstrated that the superordinate level concepts have few or no features common to all members (Rosch, 1976 ; Rosch and Mervis, 1975) Rosch's findings have been confirmed for natural concepts (Hampton, 1979) and for more abstract concepts (Hampton, 1981) The latter are of special relevance to social educators A number of other studies have concluded that a simple conjunctive, feature-based definition of concepts is not adequate Labov (1973) has noted the failure of subjects to specify a set of features to define a relatively simple concept, "cup ." Similarly, Markman and Siebert (1976) have investigated concepts that concern collections (e .g ., pile, bunch, family) and found them to be resistant to definition in terms of common features Such observations have led cue validity theorists (e .g ., Bourne & Restle, 1959 ; Haygood & Bourne, 1960 ; Franks & Bransford, 1971 ; and Neumann, 1974, 1975) to propose probabilistic sets of features as an alternative to lists of defining (necessary) features From this point of view, the concept is fully defined by "a set of features, their probability values, and the relationship among the features" (Bourne, Dominowski, & Loftus, 1979) As Milward (1980) notes, almost any attempt to define a concept based on common elements "is easily contradicted with some special example" (p 256) However, the findings of Rosch and others regarding disjunctive concepts could be interpreted in another way Perhaps the core of superordinate level concepts have highly abstract or functional features which . can only be instantiated disjunctively at the perceptual level" (Smith & Medin, 1981, p 28) Thus, while disjunctive features might be listed at the perceptual level, the core of superordinate concepts could be conjunctive and consistent with the classical view 6 0


Unclear Cases This raises a related concern, i .e ., the existence of unclear cases of a concept According to the classical view, we should be able to clearly determine if one concept is a subset of another, because each subset must contain all the necessary defining features But at times it is difficult to make such determinations (e .g ., is a Euglean an animal or plant ; is a tomato a fruit) Several researchers have demonstrated the failure of subjects to agree whether an instance of a concept is a subset of another concept (McCloskey & Glucksberg, 1978 ; Hampton, 1979, 1981) As is the case with disjunctive concepts, the data supporting unclear cases is not conclusive A basic problem is whether features listed by subjects are valid indicators of the true features of concepts The studies by Rosch and by Hampton are based on such feature lists If the subjects have an incomplete understanding of the concepts in question, it is not surprising that they would fail to list all the necessary features Still, as Smith and Medin (1981) noted, "such incomplete concepts could not be too incomplete, . since adults obviously do a good job of using their concepts in dealing with their environment" (p 29) A similar explanation for unclear cases is offered by Glass and Holyoak (1975) They posit that concepts have a common and technical definition If a number of people hold the common definition of a concept, they will fail to categorize it correctly in accordance with the more accurate technical definition (e .g ., whales will be perceived as fish) Nevertheless, although the data on disjunctive concepts and unclear cases are inconclusive, they are not easily dismissed More damaging evidence against the classical view of concepts is provided by the general failure to specify defining features for most concepts The dimensions of most concepts are . hard to specify and may themselves be made up of subtle combinations of underlying dimensions The dimensions are typically continuous rather than discrete, and they may not be entirely independent of one another," (Bourne et al ., 1979, p 196) A significant amount of evidence indicates that people view concepts holistically, i .e ., in terms of their best examples or prototypes (Rosch, 1973, and 1975) and not in terms of discrete sets of necessary and sufficient features The view that prototypes represent categories has a long history in the field of philosophy The most influential work in this area is Wittgenstein's (1953) on natural concepts He noted the continual failure to determine defining features and concluded that they simply do not exist for most concepts A considerable amount of psychological research supports Wittgenstein's views (e .g ., Posner & Keele, 1968 ; Reed, 1972 ; Franks & Bransford, 1971 ; Rosch, 1973, 1975 ; Rosch & Mervis, 1975 ; Rosch et al ., 1976 ; and Hampton, 1979, 1981) In fact, Rosch and Mervis (1975) borrowed Wittgenstein's 6 1


term "family resemblance" to indicate that some members of category are viewed as more typical in terms of the extent to which they resemble a prototype of the category As noted above, subjects asked to list concept features gave very few which were true of all members of a category (Rosch 1976) However, the more an instance of a concept has attributes in common with other members of a category, the higher typicality ratings it is given by subjects The most typical examples of any category have many more attributes in common than those instances rated least typical of the category Thus, when a subject is asked to think of the best examples or prototypes of a concept, the illusion of common attributes is likely to occur According to Rosch and Mervis (1975), it is this effect which gives common sense credibility to the classical view Another point worth considering is the failure of efforts to identify defining features for many concepts in the sciences (e .g ., Simpson, 1961 ; Sokal, 1974) If these attempts fail, it is not surprising that they will fail in psychological studies of natural concepts This failure to specify defining features is even more likely to be true of abstract concepts such as those in social education, . for no mathematician or metaphysician has come even close to constructing a classical-view discription of such concepts" (Smith & Medin, 1981, p 5) Hampton (1981) is one of the few to do an experiment to assess the structure of abstract concepts, and his data tend to confirm the findings of Rosch regarding natural object concepts Typicality The experimental data on typicality effects presents another strong case against the validity of the classical view of concepts These effects indicate that exemplars of concepts are ordered in a continuum from worst (least typical) to best (most typical) examples of a concept For instance, a dog is a good example of the concept "mammals", but a whale is a poor example This natural ordering of exemplar typicality is not predicted by the classical theory, because, it would hold that either an item has the defining features or it does not There should be no basis for selecting better or worse examples of a concept The following additional findings related to typicality (or prototypicality) effects appear to be damaging for the classical view : 1 the relationship between typicality ratings and the distribution of features among exemplars of a concept ; 2 subject's use of nonnecessary features to categorize concepts ; and 3 the existence of cases where subjects judge a subset of a concept to be more similar to a distant than to an immediate superordinate (Smith & Medin, 1981, p 50) Given that subjects can readily and consistently rate exemplars of a concept on how typical they are of the concept (e .g ., Rosch, 1975), Rosch and Mervis (1975) investigated the psychological baisis for these judgements In 6 2


experiments where subjects listed features for a number of different instances of a concept, the investigators found a strong correlation between the number of features shared by other instances of a concept (a measure of family resemblance) and the rated typicality of an instance In other words, the typicality of an instance does not depend on only a few defining features, as suggested by the classical theory Rather it depends on the sum of total features (most of which are shared by only a few instances of the concept) shared with other members of the concept These results supporting a -family resemblance structure of concepts have also been confirmed in experiments using artificial concepts (e .g ., letter strings) These strings were constructed so that no single feature was common to all exemplars However, the strings did vary significantly in terms of their resemblance (i .e ., the sum total of attributes shared with other instances) As in the case of natural concepts the family resemblance measure was highly correlated with typicality ratings (Rosch, Simpson and Miller, 1976 ; Rosch and Mervis, 1975) All these results are inconsistent with the classical view, and attempts to save the view by positing ad hoc processing assumptions are unsatisfactory (Smith & Medin, 1981, p 43) Evidence for the use of unnecessary features in the process of categorization constitutes another challenge to the classical view (Hampton, 1979) In Hampton's studies, subjects listed features of natural concept instances which were not required to define the concept (e .g ., flies for bird) The presence of these nondefining features correlated with the time required to classify an item as an instance of the concept Thus, these features were significantly related to categorization performance of subjects, despite the fact that they were not defining features of the concept Other evidence exists for the use of unnecessary features in categorization (Rips, Shoben & Smith, 1973 ; Caramaza, Hersch & Torgerson, 1976 ; Shoben, 1976) In multidimensional scaling studies, subjects were asked to rate how closely related a number of exemplars of a concept were to their superordinate (e .g ., how closely are chicken, duck and robin related to each other and to bird, their superordinate category) Rips et al (1973) contended that concepts have two sets of features "defining" and "characteristic ." The latter type (e .g ., flies for bird) are similar to the nonecessary features described by Hampton (1979) and are used in the categorization process This "feature comparison model" explains why typical instances of a concept are categorized more quickly in terms of the degree of overlap of both defining and characteristic (nonecessary) features (Bourne et al ., 1979, pp 114-115) A variety of arguments have been made to defend the classical view of concept structure In general, they are not convincing and of limited value 2 For example, "accepting that nonnecessary features are used in categorization is beginning to seem more parsimonious than accepting the arguments needed to salvage the classical views" (Smith & Medin, 1981, p 46) Other 6 3


arguments fail to account for a number of significant findings, are not adequately constrained, or modify the classical view to the point where it loses its distinctiveness as a model for concept structure (Smith and Medin, 1981, p 60) Concept Formation As noted earlier, there is also a prevailing view of concept formation or processing, i .e ., the hypothesis-testing model (Bourne, et al ., 1979, p 163) This model is well supported by a long line of research (Bruner, et al ., 1956 ; Restle, 1962 ; Bower & Trabasso, 1964 ; & Levine, 1975) The hypothesis-testing model views the concept learner as an active problem solver during the concept formation process The learner continuously generates and tests hypotheses about the rule or pattern of attributes defining the concept Each successive hypothesis is tested by using it to classify items as instances or noninstances of the concept Whenever a hypothesis is unsuccessful in classifying an item, it is rejected and a new hypothesis is generated until the correct hypothesis is discovered This model, in conjunction with the classical definition of concepts, has provided the psychological paradigm for most of the instructional strategies presented in social studies methods texts (Stanley, 1984) In sum, most methods texts define concepts as having necessary and sufficient sets of features organized by a specific rule This rule is the hypothesis students must discover or be taught Despite the solid laboratory support for the hypothesis-testing model, there are considerable grounds to question the applicability of this approach to concept learning in the social studies classroom The type of concept employed in these laboratory experiments is usually very simple, in stark contrast to the highly abstract concepts of natural language Consequently, such research has been criticized for its apparent lack of concern for the complex structure of natural concepts (Rosch, 1973, 1975, 1976) Furthermore, the time frame in which a laboratory concept is acquired is generally very short Being a novel experience for subjects, their motivation is usually very high and their attention highly focused on the task of discovering the concept The pattern of experience with exemplars of a concept is also very systematic (e .g ., a new exemplar of a concept is shown on each trial) In addition most of the studies involve an inductive or discovery strategy which . may not be the usual or most important means of having students learn concepts" (Montague, 1980, p 305) In real life, including classrooms, none of these conditions is likely to occur on a regular basis Some researchers have discerned other possible approaches to concept formation Heidbreder (1924) noted that when a problem continued unsolved for a long period of trials, subjects seemed to switch to a more passive or "specator behavior ." They were less concerned with generating and testing hypotheses and more open to careful observation (perceptual 6 4


processing) This passive receptive mode might reflect a second method of concept learning Some have referred to this as "intuitive learning" (e .g ., Bouthilet, 1948) others as "nonanalytic learning" (Reber, 1967 ; Brooks, 1978 ; Millward, 1980) The common elements in this alternative processing mode seem to be passive observation, more gradual learning, and an emphasis on memorization of exemplars rather than figuring out the rule governing the concept (e .g ., Brooks, 1978) The potential role of memory in concept formation is especially significant Brooks (1978) has demonstrated that learned exemplars of a concept can be used to classify new items in the same category In his view, these new items are learned and categorized by comparing them to instances stored in memory Brooks had his subjects focus on and use information related to single instances They were not given rules or asked to look for them However, subjects were able to perform latter categorization tasks as if they understood the rule, even though they were not conscious of it or able to verbalize it Brooks (1978) and Reber (1976) concluded that such subjects have implicitly learned something about the rule via a nonanalytic process As Rosch and Lloyd (1978) noted, the . storage of particular instances provides a more suitable mechanism for the development of prototypes" (p 76) In fact, Brooks' (1978) data indicate that asking subjects to first learn a rule suppressed other learning and . performance on those trials on which a rule was required" (p 206) Reber (1976) also found evidence of the superiority of implicit over explicit learning, i .e ., when hypothesis-testing instruction were given to groups, it interfered with the implicit learning process of abstraction In real life, we tend to learn a great deal about a few examples of a concept, and individual items potentially can be categorized into a large variety of classes In practice, we tend to categorize as soon as we learn about an instance, and memory is important if we are to use this information at a latter time to process new instances (Brooks, 1978) Furthermore, there are a number of reasons to believe that people are likely to store a prototype of a category even in cases where only a single member of a category is stored (Rosch & Mervis, 1975 ; Rosch, 1977 ; Kuhn, 1970) Millward (1980) claims that the hypothesis-testing or rule model paradigm is actually inappropriate for studying concept formation It does not appear to describe accurately the learning that occurs in most studies of concept formation Many of these studies only require stimulus identification and not classification which would be checked by hypothesis testing Of those studies involving classification, the rule is often very complex and difficult to learn Furthermore, hypothesis-testing models imply all-or-none learning The strategy is explicit and generates specific propositions to guide the subject's responses Yet this is inconsistent with the gradual improvement of performance and implicit processes noted in many studies (e .g ., Reber, 1967) On the other hand, 6 5


. . if subjects built up a series of conditional rules -no one of which was totally correct, but each of which correctly handled some individual conditions -learning could progress gradually, even according to a hypothesis-testing model ." (Millward, 1980, p 258) But such a process is quite different from the one generally posited by advocates of the traditional hypothesis-testing model Aside from hypothesis-testing models being inappropriate for much research on concept formation, Rosch and Mervis (1975) and Hampton (1979) have demonstrated that for most natural concepts, simple general rules will not work to describe members of the category Instead, a . general rule defining a category would have to consist of the disjunction of a large number of conjunctive attribute sets Carried to extremes, such a rule would then begin to specify individual exemplars and therefore approach an exemplar model" (Millward, 1980, p 259) Another theory of concept formation has been offered by Nelson (1974) In her view, the definition of a concept is not determined by attributes alone Nelson uses the example of a young child who sees a ball for the first time This "single incident" is normally sufficient for the child to form a concept of ball After this single experience the child will have eposodictype memories which include actions and expectations These memories constitute more than a mere rule-related cluster of features concerning the concept It is what Nelson calls the "functional core" of the concept, i .e ., a combination of features, actions, and how the concept relates to other concepts According to Nelson, individual objects (e .g ., dog, bug) and recognized when they are encountered and before their concepts are actually fully formed Thus recognition of a new instance does not depend on a previous encounter with more than one instance of the concept or require that multiple instances can be distinguished from one another For Nelson, the concept formation process has three parts : (1) locating the identifying attributes ; (2) developing the functional core ; and (3) establishing scripts Knowing the attributes enables a person to use a concept out of context The functional core is based on how a concept is used (e .g ball is for throwing) All these factors serve to organize the concept into the larger framework of relations with other concepts (e .g ., baseball games) Thus, a concept is more than a set of attributes of instances that meet the rule and more complex than the rule itself To know a concept's meaning . is to be able to construct routines that involve the concept in a appropriate way, that is, routines that take advantage of the place [the concept] occupies in an organized system of concepts" (Miller & JohnsonLaird, 1976, pp 128) Millward (1980) posited a computational theory of concept formation which accounts for learning abstract concepts such as one finds in social education Millward relies on the term "schemata" which is derived, directly 6 6


or indirectly, from the works of a number of researchers in psychology, linguistics, and artificial intelligence (e .g ., Nelson 1977 ; Minsky, 1974 ; Schank, 1975 ; Bobrow and Norman, 1975 and Rumelhart and Ortony, 1977) This work holds that one learns about a concept via experiences which are coded by elaborate mental entities, i .e ., frames, scripts and schemata These terms overlap sufficiently to permit Millward (1980) to use schemata to represent the other two It is impossible to form abstract concepts solely on the basis of features Millward uses a few sentences about a birthday party to illustrate this point, but the same could be said for a brief discription of an election, a civil rights demonstration, or many other social studies concepts We must make a number of inferences to understand such discriptions For all such concepts . we have special frames, sequences of expectations, actions, facts, rules of behavior and so forth, and when the term (for the concept) is used, these frames are called out to be matched to the current state of the world" (Millward, 1980, p 262) These matches do not have to be perfect and there are cognitive options for adjusting incorrect assumptions Thus the learner . looks for certain kinds of contexts and uses frames to inject reasons, motives, and explanations for them" (p 262) this schemata definition of concepts . has no simple rule based on features, no set of defining features, and no prototype" (p 262) A large part of the concept could be based on experience with a single instance, as Brooks (1978) and Nelson (1977) have maintained Millward 1980 also bases his theory of concept formation on a number of signficiant psychological contrasts Among the most important is episodic versus generic memory Episodic memory refers to the storage of experiences in exect terms of time, space, and context (e .g ., the memory of the 1980 election results) Semantic memory involves the meaning of words or concepts with no memory of the context in which such meanings were acquired (e .g ., being able to define "election") Concept formation can be conceived of as the . transformation of information from an episodic to a generic representation" (Millward, 1980, p 263) However, all episodic memory does not have to disappear and can be stored separate from the general meaning of the concept Millward (1980) posits a process of building schemata from episodes (p 263) He believes the young child lacks appropriate concepts and must form them In the main, young children are guided by schemata which are inappropriate Thus their behavior tends to be inefficient and experiences might be encoded in a way not suitable for latter data retrieval In this naive state, . learning is gradual, memory is partial, and reconstruction of experience nearly impossible" (p 266) Repeated experience will reduce naivete and expand the concept formation process Existing schema may be modified to make them more effective and efficient (e .g ., as when one moves to a different culture) Schemata could also be reorganized into a hierarchical structure or new schemata 6 7


might be created Millward uses the concept of "tipping" in a restaurant to illustrate that . simply adding more features to the existing concept is not adequate, since in some cases, one has to generalize and, in other cases, restrict the application of the schema" (p 267) For example, the child must learn that we don't tip at MacDonald's Millwards' computational theory of concept formation starts by assuming that episodes are stored as a result of encoding by existing schemata New data activate schemata and every activated schema has a built-in . anticipatory function (goal oriented) that elicits other schemata" (p 270) The . schemata should not be thought of as fixed entities but rather as dynamic structures constantly undergoing change We are continually debugging our schemata and modifying their sequence of actions to make them function more efficiently" (p 270) Given these recent findings on concept structure and formation, what can one conclude? First, over the past two decades, two alternative views of concept structure have emerged to contest the dominance of the classical view, i .e ., the prototype of probablistic model and the exemplar model Both have guided recent research on concept formation The prototype model used by Rosch and others posits a unitary representation of a concept, as does the classical view However, this prototype model rejects the need for a set a necessary and sufficient features to define concepts Rather, it is a unitary representation based on . some sort of measure of central tendency of the instances, properties or patterns" (Smith & Medin, 1981, p 61) A second significant departure from the classical view is one which is not unitary but defines concepts in terms of their best examples, i .e ., the "exemplar" view (Smith & Medin, 1981, p 61) There is substantial evidence to support both views, and each paradigm has enabled researchers to gain new insights into the nature of concepts However, at present there is good reason to believe that a single concept can be (and may need to be) represented both probabilisticly and by exemplars Developmental studies indicate that young children might first represent and learn concepts in terms of exemplars But as children mature, they are more likely to use a more abstract process and rely on summary or probablistic representations Therefore : As long as they do not discard the exemplars, mature learners would end up with both exemplars and a summary representation for the same concept It is even possible that this developmental sequence occurs to some degree whenever adults learn a new concept -they first represent the concept in tems of exemplars, but with additional experience they form a summary representaiton as well (Smith & Medin, p 174) Regardless of the issues related to the superiority of the prototype, exemplar, or some mixed view of concept structure the important point is that 6 8


the evidence for the exemplar and prototype models is stronger than the findings supporting the classical view (Smith and Medin, 1981) 3 Consequently we must consider how these findings impact on the process of social education Implications for Social Education The methods presented to teach concepts in most social studies methods textbooks can be characterized by a prevailing reliance on the classical 'aradigm for concept structure and the hypothesis-testing model for concept formation These models also seem to orient concept learning research in social education This review of research suggests that social educators should consider the incorporation of alternative models for research and practice Specifically, we must rethink and modify the way concepts are defined and analyze the implications for changing the strategies presently used to teach them This does not mean that either the classical definition of concepts or the hypothesis-testing model for instruction should be abandoned Although evidence for alternative paradigms is increasing, these traditional models still receive considerable research support, especially as they relate to certain concepts and teaching situations (e .g ., Keil, 1979 ; McKinney, Larkins, Burts & Davis, 1982 ; Smith & Medin, 1981) Nevertheless, the classical and hypothesis-testing models do not appear adequate to define or teach many other concepts in social education To the extent that social education is limited to the traditional paradigms it distorts the reality of concept structure and formation Consider, for example, how one might apply the classical definition to the concept of ethnicity A recent analysis of this concept identified fourteen features which might define an ethnic group (Thurst om, 1980) These features can be combined in a great variety of ways so that Blacks, Mormans, and Cajuns are instances of the concept No single set of features defines this concept The same is true of concepts like social class, alientation, justice, poverty, and many others In these cases, the boundary of the concept is not clear and one can not always be certain of what is and is not an instance Actually, such concepts are often better defined in terms of degrees, i .e ., the extent to which one is more or less poor, ethnic, alienated, just, etc To teach these concepts as if they have fixed definitions is to bias and distort their meaning for students With other more concrete social concepts (e .g ., landforms, taxes, arable land), one might still apply the classical definition and related instructional strategies In fact, even abstract concepts can be taught via the classical definition, if certain limitations are recognized For instance, a teacher might state that "for purposes of this discussion, concept X was defined as . ." At the least such stipulation lets students know that the actual definition is more complex and needs further explanation In fact, it could 6 9


be noted that some concepts (e .g ., justice) are probably impossible to define in any fixed or concrete way These vague or "fuzzy boundry" aspects of concepts could be explained gradually as students mature Consequently, it is essential that we begin to change the ways we train prospective and practicing social studies teachers This would include dissemination of the recent research on concept learning and suggestions for applying alternative paradigms in instruction Put another way, teachers should learn about the traditional concept models and their limitations while also learning how to apply the probabilistic and exemplar models In addition to clarifying the issues related to defining concepts, further attention needs to be given to implementing teaching strategies which go beyond the identification and classification of concepts The latter are important skills, but as the schema theorists and others have indicated, one really does not understand a concept adequately until it becomes clear how it is used and how it relates to other relevant concepts Some social educators have begun to address this issue, but we certainly could devote more time to this area (e .g ., Aumaugher, 1981 ; Martorella, 1976) Finally, we need to reorient our research efforts Researchers in social education ought to begin to engage in basic and applied studies using the probabilistic and exemplar paradigms, as well as concept processing models other than hypothesis-testing Research on how to form and teach concepts in social education has been rather limited to date Indeed, many of the most popular instructional strategies used to teach social concepts have little solid research support What little research does exist is almost exclusively based on the traditional concept paradigms Such research should continue, but there is a need to emphasize alternative paradigms to help gain a better understanding of concepts and concept learning These recommendations only mark a starting point The issues related to the structure and formation of concepts are far from settled However, current research and practice remain roosted in questionable paradigms Hasty changes are not justified, but the process of reexamination and change should be initiated Endnotes 1 For example, an ethnic group might be defined by the attributes (national origin, language, food) or (language, food, race) or (religion, customs, political beliefs) 2 A detailed explanation of these arguments in defense of the classical view is beyond the scope of this study Readers should consult Smith, E E ., & Merdin, D L Categories and Concepts Cambridge, Mass : Harvard University Press, 1981, for a full discussion and criticism of such arguments 3 This article attempts to outline a representative sample of the research and major issues related to concept structure and formation It is by no means exhaustive See for example Neil, F C Semantic and Conceptual Development Harvard University Press, 1979 ; Gholson, B The Cognitive-Developmental Basis of Human Learning : Studies in Hypothesis Testing New York : Academic Press, 1980 ; Kendler, T S A critical review of the cognitive-developmental basis of human learning : Studies in hypothesis testing Developmental Review, 1981, 1, 146-162 7 0


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dimension and task complexity upon concept identification Journal of Experimental Psychology, 1960, 60, 371-375 Heidbreder, E An experimental study of thinking Archives of Psychology, 1924, No 73 Hunt, E B and Hovland, C I Order of considerations of different types of concepts Journal of Experimental Psychology, 1960, 59, 220-225 Hunt, M P and Metcalf, L E Teaching High School Social Studies New York Harper and Row Publishers, 1968 Keil, J C Semantic and Conceptual Development Cambridge, Mass : Harvard University Press, 1979 Kuhn, D Inducing development experimentally : comments on a research paradigm Development Psychology 1974, 18, 590-600 Labov, N The boundaries of words and their m eanings I N C J N Baily and R N Shuy, Eds, New Ways of Analyzing Variations in English ; vol 1 Washington, D .C : Georgetown University Press, 1973 Levine, M A A Cognitive Theory of Learning ; Hilsdale, N .J : Lawrence Erlbaum, 1975 McClosky, M The stimulus familiarity problem in semantic memory research Journal of Verbal Learning and Verbal Behavior, 1980, 19, 485-502 McClosky, M and Glucksberg, S Natural categories : Well defined or fuzzy sets? Memory and Cognition, 1978, 6, 462-472 Markle, S M and Tiemann, P W Conceptual learning and instructional materials In P H Martorella Social Studies : Theory Into Practice New York : Harper and Row Publishers, Inc ., 1976 Markman, E M and Siebert, J Classes and Collections : Internal organization and resulting holistic properties Cognitive Psychology, 1976, 8, 562-577 Martorella, P H Concept Learning in the Social Studies Model for Structuring Curriculum New York : International Textbook, 1971 Martorella, P H Elementary Social Studies as a Learning System New York : Harper and Row, Publishers 1976 McKinney, W C ., Larkins, A G ., Burts, D C and Davis, J C Teach social studies concepts to first grade students? Research on the Merrill and Tennyson model The Social Studies, 1982, 73, 235-238 Millward, R B Models of concepts formation In R E Snow, P Federico and W E Montague, Eds ., Aptitude, Learning and Instruction, Vol 2 Hillsdale, N .J : Lawrence Erlbaum, 1980, 245-275 Miller G A and Johnson-Laird, P N Language and Perception Cambridge, Mass : Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1976 Minsky, A A framework for representing knowledge In P H Winston, Ed ., The Psychology of Computer Vision New York : McGraw-Hill, 1975 7 2


Montague, W E Discussion : Coordinating research topics with instructional requirements In R E Snow, P Federico and W E Montague, Eds ., Aptitude, Learning and Instruction Vol 2 Hillsdale, N .J : Lawrence Erlbaum, 1980, 303-308 Nelson, J L and Michaelis, J N Secondary Social Studies : Instructions, Curriculum, Evaluation Englwood Cliffs, N .J : Prentice-Hall, Inc ., 1980 Nelson, K Concept, word, and sentences : Interrelations in acquisition and development Psychological Review 1974,,81, 267-285 Nelson, K Cognitive development and the acquisition of concepts In R C Anderson, R J Spiro and W E Montague, Eds ., Schooling and the Acquisition of Knowledge Hillsdale, N .J : Lawrence Erlbaum, 1977 Neumann, P G A attribute frequency model for the abstraction of prototypes Memory and Cognition, 1974, 2, 241-248 Neumann, P G Visual prototype formation with discontinuous representation of dimensions of variability Ph .D Dissertation, University of Colorado, 1975 Posner, M I and Keele, S W On the genesis of abstract ideas Journal of Experimental Psychology, 1968, 77, 353-363 Reber, A S Implicit learning of artificial grammars Journal of Verbal Learning and Verbal Behavior, 1967, 6, 855-863 Reber, A S Transfer of syntactic structure in synthetic languages Journal of Experimental Psychology, 1969, 81, 115-119 Reber, A S Implicit learning of synthetic languages : The role of instructional set Journal of Experimental Psychology : Human Learning and Memory, 1976, 2, 88-94 Reed, S K Pattern recognition and categorization Cognitive Psychology 1972, 3, 382-407 Restle, F The selection of strategies in cue learning Psychological Review, 1976, 69, 329-343 Rips, L J ., Shoben, E J ., and Smith, E E Semantic distance and the verification of semantic relations Journal of Verbal Learning and Verbal Behavior, 1973, 12, 1-20 Rosch, E H Natural categories Cognitive Psychology, 1973, 4, 328-350 Rosch, E On the internal structure of perceptual and semantic categories In T E Moore, ed Cognitive Development and the Acquisition of Language New York : Academic Press, 1973 Rosch, E Cognitive representations of semantic categories Journal of Experimental Psychology : General 1975, 104, 192-233 Rosch, E Principles of categorization In E Rosch and B B Lloyd, Eds Cognition and Categorization Hillsdale, N J : Erlbaum, 1978 7 3


Rosch, E H and Mervis, C B Family resemblences : Studies in the internal structure of categories Cognitive Psychology, 1975, 7, 573-605 Rosch, E H and Mervis, C B Eds ., Cognition and Categorization Hillsdale, N .J : Erlbaum, 1978 Rosch, E ., Simpson, C and Miller, R S Structural bases of typicality effects Journal of Experimental Psychology : Human Perception and Performance, 1976, 2, 491-502 Rosch, E H ., Meyers, C B ., Gray, W ., Johnson, D and Boyes-Braem, P Basic Objects in natural categories Cognitive Psychology, 1976, 8, 382-440 Roth, E H and Shoben, E J Unpublished data, University of Illinois-Champaign, 1980, cited in E E Smith and D L Medin Categories and Concepts Cambridge : Harvard University Press, 1981 Rumelhart, D E and Ortony, A The representation of knowledge in memory In R C Anderson et al ., Eds Schooling and the Acquisition of Knowledge Hillsdale, N .J : Lawrence Earlbaum Associates, 1977 Schank, R C The structure of episodes in memory In D G Bobrow and A Collins (eds), Representation and Understanding New York : Academic Press, 1975 Shoben, E J The verification of semantic relations in a Same-Difference paradigm : An asymmetry in semantic memory Journal of Verbal Learning and Verbal Behavior, 1976, 15, 365-381 Simpson, G G Principles of Animal Taxonomy New York : Columbia University Press, 1961 Smith, E E and Medin, D L Categories and Concepts Cambridge, MA : Harvard University Press, 1981 Sokal, R R Classification : Purposes, principles, progress, prospects Science, 1974, 185, 1115-1123 Stanley, W B "Approaches to teaching concepts and conceptualizing : An Analysis of Social Studies Methods Texts ." Theory and Research in Social Education, 1984, 11, pp 1-14 Thurstrom, S (Ed .) Harvard Encyclopedia of American Ethnic Groups Cambridge, Mass : Harvard University Press, 1980 Wittgenstein, L Philosophical Investigation G .E .M Anscombe, Oxford : Blackwell, 1953 7 4


INDEX to TRSE Volume IX, Number 3 Volume XII, Number 4 The following index identifies alphabetically, by author's last name, all articles, reviews, and responses published in Theory and Research in Social Education between Volume IX, Number 3 (1981) and Volume XII, Number 4 (1985-this issue) The index to previous TRSE issues from Volume 1, Number 1 through Volume IX, Number 2, appears in TRSE, Volume X, Number 1, Spring, 1982 (see correction at end of this index) Adler, Susan A Field Study of Selected Student Teacher Perspectives Toward Social Studies XII :1, 13-30, Spring 1984 Alouf, James L See Moore, J Barth, James L See Shermis Bennett, Christine Interracial Contact Experience and Attrition Among Black Undergraduates at a Predominantly White University XII :2, 19-47, Summer 1984 Betres, James, Michael Zajani and Patricia Gumieniak Cognitive Style, Teacher Methods, and Concept Attainment in Social Studies XII :2, 1-12, Summer 1984 Bickel, Robert See Milton Blankenship, Glen See Hahn Boag, Noel and Don Massey Teacher Perspectives on Program Change IX :3, 37-59, Fall 1981 Brennan, Jerry M See Jackstadt Burbules, Nicholas C Book Review, Theory and Resistance in Education XII :3, 62-64, Fall 1984 Burts, Diane C See McKinney, XI :4 Cherryholmes, Cleo H Discourse and Criticism in the Social Studies Classroom IX :4, 57-73, Winter 1982 Cherryholmes, Cleo H Book Review, Education, Democracy and Discussion X :1, 66-68, Spring 1982 7 5


Clements, Millard A Social Paradigm : An Ethical Perspective IX :3, 1-23, Fall 1983 Common, Diane L Small Group Instruction in Social Studies Classrooms and the Corruption of Critical Thought X :4, 49-67, Winter 1982 Common, Diane Teacher Authority in the Social Studies Classroom : Erosion of a Barren Ground XII :4, 25-38, Winter 1985 Cornbleth, Catherine Book Review, The Myth of Educational Reform : A Study of School Responses to a Program of Change X :3, 63-66, Fall 1982 Cornbleth, Catherine On the Social Study of Social Studies X :4, 1-16, Winter 1982 Dailey, Ann Ricks Educational Attainment and Political Attitudes : An Effect of Schools or Schooling? XI :2, 33-52, Summer 1983 Diem, Richard Book Review, A Place Called School XII :4, 82-84, Winter 1985 DeMary, John See Sunal Egan, Kieran Reply to Thornton, "Social Studies Misunderstood" XII :2, 65-76, Summer 1984 Eyler, Janet Test of a Model Relating Political Attitudes to Participation in High School Activities X : 1, 43-62, Spring 1982 Ferguson, Patrick Book Review, Compelling Belief : The Culture of American Schooling XII :1, 53-55, Spring 1984 Fernekes, William R Book Review, Oral History : A Guide for Teachers XII :2, 78-81, Summer 1984 Gilbert, Robert J Images of Society and the Analysis of Ideologies in the Social Subjects XII :3, 1-15, Fall 1984 Giroux, Henry A Culture and Rationality in Frankfurt School Thought : Ideological Foundations for a Theory of Social Education IX :4, 17-55, Winter 1982 Gordon, Beverly M Book Review, Long MemoryThe Black Experience in America XI :2, 85-89, Summer 1983 Gordon, Beverly Toward Emancipation in Citizenship Education : The Case of African-American Cultural Knowledge XII :4, 1-23, Winter 1985 Grambs, Jean Dresden Book Review, Doing the Ethnography of Schooling Educational Anthropology in Action X :4, 77-78, Winter 1982 Grant, Evelyn T See Napier (1984) 7 6


Gray, Charles E See Harshman Hahn, Carole L and Glen Blankenship Women and Economics Textbooks XI :3, 67-76, Fall 1983 Haladyna, Tom, Joan Shaughnessy, and Al Redsun Correlates of Attitudes Towards Social Studies X :1, 1-26, Spring 1982 Harshman, Ronald E and Charles E Gray A Rationale for Value Education XI :3, 45-66, Fall 1983 Hepburn, Mary See Napier (1982) 'Holmes, Margaret M The New Middle Class and the Organization of Curricular Knowledge X :2, 33-44, Summer 1982 Honeychurch, Joyce Book Review, The Nine Nations of North America X :1, 64-66, Spring 1982 Hurst, Joe B ., Mark Kinney, and Steven J Weiss The Decision Making Process XI :3, 17-43, Fall 1983 Jackstadt, Stephen L and Jerry M Brennan Economic Knowledge and High School Student Attitudes Toward the American Economic System, Business, and Labor Unions XI :3, 1-15, Fall 1983 Johns, Robert W Biographical History : Microcosm of Meaning and Mankind XII :3, 35-60, Fall 1984 Kauchak, Don Book Review, The Mismeasure of Man XI :4, 37-40, Winter 1984 Kennedy, Kerry J Assessing the Relationship between Information Processing Capacity and Historical Understanding XI :2, 1-22, Summer 1983 King, Nancy R School Uses of Materials Traditionally Associated with Children's Play X :3, 17-27, Fall 1982 Kinney, Mark See Hurst Larkins, A Guy and C W McKinney Two Sides of the Effects of Teacher Enthusiasm on the Social Studies Achievement of Seventh Grade Students X :1, 27-41, Spring 1982 Larkins, A Guy and J L Pucett Issues in a Relatively Non-Rationalized Study : Suggestions for Interpretive Research XI :2, 23-33, Summer 1983 Larkins, A Guy See McKinney, (1984) Leming, James S Book Review, The Erosion of Education XI :4, 41-46, Winter 1984 LeSourd, Sandra J An Exploratory Comparison of Two Methods of 7 7


Assessing Teacher Attitudes toward Instructional Strategies XII :1, 31-41, Spring 1984 Martorella, Peter H Cognition Research : Some Implications for the Design of Social Studies Instructional Materials X :3, 1-16, Fall 1982 Massey, Don See Boag McKinney, C W See Larkins, (1982) McKinney, C Warren, A Guy Larkins, and Diane C Burts Effects of Overt Teacher Enthusiasm on First-Grade Students' Acquisition of Three Concepts XI :4, 15-24, Winter 1984 Miller, Steven L and Stephen A Rose The Great Depression : A Textbook Case of Problems with American History Textbooks XI : 1, 25-39, Spring 1983 Milton, Sande and Robert Bickel Teaching by Exemplar : On the Dialectical Nature of Social Science XI :2, 53-63, Summer 1983 Moore, Jerry R ., James L Alouf and Janie Needham Cognitive Development and Historical Reasoning in Social Studies Curriculum XII :2, 49-64, Summer 1984 Napier, John D and Evelyn T Grant Delimiting the Problem of Generalizability of Research Results : An Example from a Trend Study of a Citizenship Education Project XII :3, 17-34, Fall 1984 Napier, John and Mary Hepburn Social Studies Project Evaluation : Case Study and Recommendations X :3, 41-60, Fall 1982 Needham, Janie See Moore, J Nelson, Jack L Editorial Comment : Academic Freedom and Government Restraints XI :4, 47-48, Winter 1984 Nelson, Murry R Book Review, Violence, Values and Justice in the Schools X :2, 51-53, Summer 1982 Nelson, Murry R Book Review, Battleground : The Autobiography of Margaret A Haley XI : 1, 67-68, Spring 1983 Nelson, Murry R Book Review, How Teachers Taught XII :4, 85-87, Winter 1985 Nett, Emily M See Peterson Nicholes, Daniel R Moral Dilemmas and Moral Education IX :3, 77-84, Fall 1981 Oliner, Pearl Putting "Community" into Citizenship Education : The Need for Prosociality XI :2, 65-81, Summer 1983 7 8


Paul, Mary Semler See Sunal Pekarsky, Daniel Reaction/Response, Moral Education and Transferfrom the Classroom into the World and from one Generation to the Next IX :4, 105-111, Winter 1982 Peterson, Elizabeth L and Emily M Nett Sexuality in the Classrooms of Teachers with Various Sex Role Orientations X :3, 29-40, Fall 1982 Popkewitz, Thomas S and B Robert Tabachnick Theory and Social Education : The Theme and the Issue IX :4, iv-viii, Winter 1982 Puckett, J L See Larkins, (1983) Redsun, Al See Haladyna Romanish, Bruce A Modern Secondary Economics Textbooks and Ideological Bias XI : 1, 1-24, Spring 1983 Romanish, Bruce A A Brief Response to Watts and Walstad XII : 1, 49-5 1, Spring 1984 Rose, Stephen A See Miller Schober, Howard M An Analysis of the Impact of Teacher Training in Economics XII :1, 1-12, Spring 1984 Schug, Mark C What Educational Research Says About the Development of Economic Thinking IX :3, 25-36, Fall 1981 Schug, Mark C Elementary Teachers' Views on Economic Issues XI :1, 55-64, Spring 1983 Shaughnessy, Joan See Haladyna Shaver, James P Reappraising the Theoretical Goals of Research in Social Education IX :4, 1-16, Winter 1982 Shermis, S Samuel A Response to our Critics : Reflective Inquiry is not the Same as Social Science X :2, 45-50, Summer 1982 Shermis, S Samuel and James L Barth Teaching for Passive Citizenship : A Critique of Philosophical Assumptions X :4, 17-37, Winter 1982 Smith, Bruce Book Review, Advances in Industrial Psychology X :4, 71-76, Winter 1982 ., Snarey, John R Book Review, The Chaneysville Incident XI :2, 89-91, Summer 1983 Soper, John C See Walstad, (1983) Stanley, William B Approaches to Teaching Concepts and Conceptualizing : An Analysis of Social Studies Methods Textbooks XI :4, 1-14, Winter 1984 7 9


Stanley, William and Robert C Mathews Recent Research on Concept Learning : Implications for Social Education XII :4, 57-74, Winter 1985 Stephens, Max A Question of Generalizability IX :4, 75-89, Winter 1982 Sunal, Cynthia Szymanski, Mary Semler Paul, and John DeMary Social Studies for the Hearing Impaired : The State of the Art, IX :3, 61-72, Fall 1981 Tabachnick, B Robert See Popkewitz Thornton, Stephen J Social Studies Misunderstood : A Reply to Kieran Egan XII :1, 43-47, Spring 1984 Turner, Thomas Fugue, Feud, Fatigue (a poem), IX :3, 73-75, Fall 1981 VanSickle, Ronald L A Social Perspective on Student Learning X :2, 21-31, Summer 1982 Walstad, William B and John C Soper Measuring Economic Attitudes in High School XI :1, 41-54, Spring 1983 Walstad, William B and Michael W Watts A Response to Romanish : Ideological Bias in Secondary Economics Textbooks XI :4, 25-35, Winter 1984 Watts, Michael W See Walstad, (1984) Wease, Hugh Book Review, Teaching Values in College IX :4, 113-114, Winter 1982 Weiss, Steven J See Hurst White, Charles S A Validation Study of the Barth-Shermis Social Studies Preference Scale X :2, 1-20, Summer 1982 Wilson, Angene H Probing the Connection between Modes of Language and Curriculum Theorizing in Social Studies IX :4, 91-103, Winter 1982 Wood, George H Education for Democratic Participation : Democratic Values and the Nuclear Freeze Campaign XII :4, 39-56, Winter 1985 Woodward, Arthur Identifying Representative Textbooks in U .S History X :4, 39-47, Winter 1982 Index Correction, Volume 1, Number 1 through Volume IX, Number 2 : The index to articles published in TRSE, Volumes I-IX, 1973-1981, appearing in Vol X, No 1 (Spring, 1982) of TRSE omitted the following citation Cherryholmes, Cleo, Curriculum Design as a Political Act : Problems and Choices in Teaching Social Justice VII :4, 60-82, December 1978 8 0


Book Review Section Book Review Editor : William Stanley College of Education Louisiana State University Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70803 We are seeking critical reviews of scholarly works related to the concerns of social educators This includes books on education, the social sciences, history, philosophy, research and any other works which might make a contribution to the field Normally, textbooks will not be reviewed with the exception of those which appear to advance theory and research Essay reviews of two or more works on the same topic will be considered if they conform to manuscript guidelines for reviews Reviews which exceed the guidelines for length must be handled on a case by case basis as space permits Reviewers who have suggestions for reviews which might exceed the guidelines are urged to contact the book editor prior to submitting the review Reviewers should provide sufficient detail regarding the book's substance and approach, including positive and negative evaluations where relevant Finally, the review should include the specific importance of the book for social educators Manuscript Form The length may vary from 1,000 to 2,000 words ; the manuscript must be typed, double-spaced (including quotes) on 8 1 /a" x 11" paper The format is as follows for the top of the first page of the review, left side : Book Author's Name (Last Name first), Title, City of publication : Publisher, Date ; Total pages ; list price (if known) Reviewer's Name (Last Name Last) Institution Submit review manuscripts to : Professor William B Stanley, Book Editor Department of Curriculum and Instruction 64 Long Field House Louisiana State University Baton Rouge, LA 70803 81


Books John I Goodlad A PLACE CALLED SCHOOL-PROSPECTS FOR THE FUTURE McGraw-Hill Book Company, New York, 1984 Reviewed by Richard A Diem, The University of Texas at San Antonio Periodically scholars, commissions and various governmental agencies devote large sums of time and money investigating the status of American Education Staff are hired, research designs tested, and press conferences held heralding the start and conclusion of these projects Their residue usually entails critiques about methodology, interpretation of findings and philosophical points of view ; all of which are presented in a variety of reviews, articles, and papers at various scholarly gatherings During the past year a number of these reports have surfaced with most of the aforementioned scenario repeating itself with each series of "status papers ." All have some merit, but one, A Placed Called School by John I Goodlad, seems to rise above most of the others in terms of its intellectual approach to the study of schooling, as well as its realistic appraisal of the American educational system and will probably have a greater impact than most of the other reports The basic approach to this massive study was quite simple Namely, if one wants to find out what's going on in schools one had best get inside them, observe a multitude of behavior patterns within them, investigate both internal and external environmental factors, and interview participants engaged in the schooling process The use of 38 different schools in 13 divergent communities yielded data that "was a continuum of 12 years of schooling in each community ." The number of classrooms visited (over 1,000) and the students, parents and teachers questioned (over 26,000) provided a strong basis upon which Goodlad could interpret the results of the study and project its findings to schools throughout this country Data gathered during the research cycle ran the gamut from reports on methodological constructs of classroom observation to curriculum evaluations of art and global education Commentaries, within the text, include items ranging from expenditures on computers to the nature of grading and evaluation practices An overview of several of these that highlight problems and practices within the social studies, provides an insight into current practices in schools, as well as Goodlad's projections for the future The structure and development of the social studies curriculum, as described in the text, engages the reader with a frightening sense of deja vu The elementary social studies curriculum is described as the same expanding horizons, or near to far, curriculum that has dominated the field for decades and been noted in various reports commissioned by the National 8 2


Science Foundation and National Council for the Social Studies over the past several years Amorphous at best, it places heavy emphasis on geography, history, map skills, and a knowledge of the American Indian Upper elementary and Junior High School teaching was found to be factually oriented with textbooks and evaluative structures reinforcing these constants Teaching activities that predominated, included listening, reading, completing workbooks and worksheets and taking quizzes with a noted avoidance of interactive problem solving activites The texts that are-used appear to be dry and heavily fact oriented While disparity in approach was noted at the Junior and Senior high school levels, most displayed "a remoteness from real people living in a time and place ." As disheartening, and repetitious to those conversant with recent studies on curriculum, the above may seem, the items that are of particular note include findings that children's perceptions of social studies in this study were highly negative In the upper elementary schools, students favored social studies less than any other subject Students at the secondary level felt much the same In trying to understand these feelings Goodlad offers the following : . topics commonly included in the social studies appear as though they would be of great human interest But something strange seems to have happened to them on the way to the classroom The topics of study become removed from their intrinsically human character, reduced to dates and places readers will recall memorizing from texts ." No explanatory notes are offered for these statements, although looking at the data collected on teacher preparation, it would seem that teacher self concept is not to blame In fact only 4 .5% of the social studies teachers queried indicated that they were not prepared to teach their subject At the same time, 75 0 76, of all teachers, in this study, stated that their teaching was strongly influenced by experiental and student interest factors These figures and rationales point out a weakness in this study ; the inability to tie together the data in concise summary statements There are suggestions offered to upgrade the classroom skills of teachers, but most are not new Increased emphasis on pedagogical training, better and more supervision in student teaching experiences, closer relationships between methodology and content, more research on actual classroom practices, and increased funding for teacher education are all items that have been discussed and debated in various academic and governmental forums over the past five years What is different is a call for training pre-service teachers in behavioral and humanistic studies related to schools This appears to be a quasi-basic liberal arts education approach to the general education of teachers At the same time there is a proposal to increase classroom observation at the pre-service level and a parallel development of pre and inservice teaching skills The emphasis on inservice skill development is part of Goodlad's notion of improving teaching through an overall increase in professional educa8 3


tional skills and relationships There are several ideas mentioned about decreasing teaching loads, as in Japan, with a concomitant increase in curriculum planning, development and other professional skills In the same spirit, there is also a plan to redesign the schooling process by lowering entrance and exit ages This would change schooling into a three stage-developmental process divided, roughly, by ages 4 to 7, 8 to 11, and 12 to 15 Parallel to this restructuring, school size would be pared down and organized into vertical units of not more than 100 students at the lower levels and 160 at the secondary Curriculum would emphasize conceptual and skill development These would prepare the young for the fourth educative continuum, higher education, and eventually establish educative communities with local settings Any large scale study is open to criticism for what it says and what is unsaid Most of the items that detract from this project are those things that were either not stated or else dealt with in an extremely cursory manner For example, there is little mention on how the schooling process can be changed from one that filters and allocates its clients to one that weighs and balances societal needs with equal opportunities There are no real suggestions for improvement of curriculum offerings, only an intangible notion of using a conceptual-skill framework for teaching Visions of the future fail to account for the exciting possibilities, and restructuring of schools, that microtechnology and interactive communications offer Taking all these into acount one is still left with the feeling that this document needs to be read, discussed, and used as part of any discussion that entails the schooling process in America circa the 1980's In some respects it is a grim indictment of a system that seems to accept mediocrity and "averageness" above high attainment Yet it does end on a note of optimism and change One can only hope that the latter will prevail instead of the former 8 4


Cuban, Larry HOW TEACHERS TAUGHT Longman, New York, 292 pp ., $27 .50 Reviewed by Murry R Nelson, Pennsylvania State University One of the greatest acknowledged shortcomings of curriculum research and teacher education studies has been the lack of knowledge concerning what really happens in classrooms Much of the curriculum innovation of the "New Social Studies" has ended up in closets in schools Studies have identified various reasons why innovation has not taken hold, but the data is usually speculative or limited In recent years the study led by Goodlad's UCLA team on schooling has received a great deal of commentary because of its depth, breadth and classroom-based observational research Other such studies such as Phil Jackson's Life in Classrooms have also been regarded as extremely important in providing a better picture of what classrooms are really like In How Teachers Taught, Larry Cuban illustrates why more studies of classrooms have not been made as well as how important and interesting such studies are to our knowledge of classroom life, curriculum change and teacher education Cuban examined enormous amounts of varied data-school reports, school surveys, photographs, newspaper articles, journal articles, interdistrict memos, and interviews He combined this with his own observations and personal interpretation of the data to present a picture of teachers and students in the classroom setting in a variety of eras and environments These include New York, Washington, Denver and various rural outposts in the period 1920-1940 and New York, Washington, North Dakota in the period 1965-1980 One chapter that is quite different is on the schools of Arlington County, Virginia from 1967-1980 The differences is Cuban's perspective, since for seven of those years he served as superintendent of the Arlington County Schools As he notes, a superintendent has tremendous accessibility to classrooms and he spent one and one-half days per week in classroom observations Much of the research for this chapter was drawn from those observations Despite the "insider-ness" of the perspective, I found this chapter to be the weakest and least interesting Cuban's closeness to the subject seemed to dilute the impact of the chapter I should note, however, that the Arlington chapter was the weakest in a book of strong, at times bold, interpretation and writing Despite many disclaimers of obvious bias, Cuban puts forth clear, well documented answers for the important questions that he asks, (e :g ., "How did teachers react to changes in the field of education?", "How soon and to what extent were such changes incorporated into various classroom routines? ", "How much change was really seen?", "How long did it last, i .e ., did it become an embedded part of classroom procedures? ") 8 5


As I noted, Cuban analyzed a number of data sources Of particular uniqueness was his examination of classroom photos from school reports, the Library of Congress and other archives, some of which were included in the book Cuban "analyzed" the photos to determine more information on class arrangement, group instruction, classroom activities and student movement For example, a photograph of students at a blackboard all doing the same assignment indicated teacher centeredness, large group instruction and a limited degree of student movement (If fixed seating was included in the photo, more limitations were put on degree of student movement .) Cuban notes how subjective such speculative assessment is, but also notes that the photographs were used to augment other data, not to provide conclusions derived solely from a photograph or two The final chapter in the book is the most vital, because Cuban takes his data analysis of various eras and sites and tries to lay them on the problems or situations existent in schools today Generally Cuban finds that change in schools occurs in a limited number of classrooms and change is either no longer evident or considerably less marked within five years He presents five possible explanations for "the constancy of teacher centered instruction" (240) and analyzes the strength and flaws of each (240-246) These explanations are : 1) Schooling as Social Control or Sorting (basically preparation for the real world of control) 2) School and Classroom Structures (organizational efficiency) 3) The Culture of Teaching (people attracted to teaching tend to reaffirm not challenge the role of schools) 4) Beliefs : Individual and Shared (e .g Knowledge must be transmitted to young people ; the role of the school is to develop the mind and instill social values) 5) Feckless implementation (simple lack of organizational effort in reform) Cuban notes that teachers are frequently blamed for "poor" schooling, but he also notes the limitations placed on teachers in real decision making, (such as "how many and what students will be in class" and "how long the school day or class period will be .") (252) In searching for ways to improve teacher performance, rather than the assessment of instructional quality, Cuban offers "four strategies to upgrade the quality of classroom instruction : revise selection policies in schools of education and districts hiring teachers ; improve preparation programs for apprentices ; remove incompetents ; retrain existing corps of teachers ." These suggestions are both thought provoking and realistic with the force of Cuban's experience and research buttressing his ideas Despite data that generally indicates classrooms as unchanging, Cuban remains optimistic because of the excellent teachers that he has seen or learned of in his research Rather than trying to shape teaching to fit our understandings, it behooves us to shape our understandings to fit teaching 8 6


Concentrating upon what teachers can do well in classrooms, on what schools can achieve effectively within certain boundaries is a sensible response to the potent processes at work in schools Labels such as "teacher-centered," "traditional," "child-centered," and "open classrooms" may help researchers and promoters but they do what all labels inevitably do : categorize and simplify Such names help not a bit in identifying, under what conditions, what will work with children in boosting both academic performances and personal growth (268) Cuban's book has shown how historical research can be used in the classroom ideas of today and what a rich variety of historical data is available for research There are problems, however, most of which Cuban notes Much of his work is interpretive and his interpretations could be totally wrong Thus, another researcher could come up with quite different conclusions Another shortcoming is the concentration on certain eras and ideas The period 1940-1960 is almost totally ignored and some major innovative ideas of the 20th century are not examined The biggest "problem" is not Cuban's, but the educational community As noted above there are clear gaps in Cuban's work Using his techniques (or variants), there is much more to be researched The problem is that publishers may not wish to pursue another study like this since it's "already been done ." Rather than broadening research, the risk of small minded folks using this work to narrow research is very real Let us hope that this does note occur 8 7


Abstracts Toward Emancipation in Citizenship Education : The Case of African-American Cultural Knowledge This article points to a body of knowledge found in scholarship born out of the Black community's struggle against and resistance to American capitalism and racism In the paradigm advanced, an emancipatory form of citizenship education is proposed employing as its pedagogical base this Afro-American cultural knowledge Such an advanced form of citizenship education would be concerned with social reconstruction by advocating and actively helping students to become critical thinkers and active societal participants The paper examines the origins of such knowledge and provides suggestions as to how it could be used in daily classroom activities Teacher Authority in the Social Studies Classroom : Erosion of a Barren Ground The essential argument developed in the article is that the majority of social studies teachers do not have the authority to teach the social studies curriculum To support this position, the nature of a teacher's classroom authority is examined in terms of the teacher's right to be there (or `de jure' authority) and the legitimate power (or `de facto' authority) to maintain that right The primary problem facing social studies teachers is that, because of their preparation perhaps, or their inappropriate in-service professional development, they do not have much sensible understanding of the epistemological state of social studies knowledge Such understanding is the primary reason why students will not grant their teachers `de facto' authority, and hence why social studies is regarded by students as one of the most unpopular and irrelevant subjects in the school curriculum Education for Democratic Participation : Democratic Values Schooling in our democracy is caught in a paradoxical position On one hand, schools as public institutions are to serve the state and its needs On the other, democracy requires semi-autonomous citizens willing and able to make their own value choices This piece argues that this paradox is resolved by choosing either a "protectionist" or "participatory" form of democracy Taking the participatory model, an outline of a curriculum for democratic participation is presented One facet of this curriculum, the teaching of democratic values, is examined in detail through the example of a study of the nuclear freeze movement 8 8


Recent Research on Concept Learning : Implications for Social Education Proposals for teaching concepts have been dominated by traditional paradigms, i .e ., a classical model of the structure of concepts and a hypothesis-testing model for concept formation Each has had a significant influence on social education A review of recent research on concept structure and formation reveals evidence for alternative paradigms, e .g ., exemplar, probabilistic, and schematic models The research also indicates some problems regarding the traditional models Implications for relating alternative models to instruction in social education are discussed Correction The Fall, 1984 issue of TRSE, Volume XII, Number 3, p .1, erroneously identified Robert J Gilbert as Rod Gilbert ("Images of Society and the Analysis of Ideologies in the Social Subjects") 8 9


Editorial Comment The editorship of Theory and Research in Social Education is a three year term At times, that three years seems interminable ; at other times it seems too brief At this writing the three years seems about right My term as editor is complete with this issue This last issue of Volume 12 represents the combined efforts of a variety of conscientious and thoughtful people who have given time, energy, and care to the development of the journal over the past twelve years CUFA members, through dues and readership, provide a basis for TRSE Scholars willing to subject their manuscripts to rigorous review are particularly significant to continued vitality A group of careful reviewers, concerned about journal and field quality, are essential to the maintenance of standards Editorial Boards provide important advice on policy and editorial decisions Financial and moral support from NCSS has been crucial And the specific efforts of assistant editors, editorial assistants, secretaries and other university staff who contribute to getting the journal work done, are especially necessary I thank all for their assistance and support these past three years CUFA is fortunate in obtaining Professor Guy Larkins of the University of Georgia as TRSE editor for Volumes 13, 14, and 15 Guy is a productive scholar, and a particularly adept reviewer of TRSE manuscripts His selection for the Editorship is a tribute to the journal, the Search Committee and the CUFA Board I look forward to continued improvement in TRSE through Guy's leadership Jack L Nelson 9 1


Journal Information Theory and Research in Social Education is designed to stimulate and communicate systematic research and thinking in social education The purpose is to foster the creation and exchange of ideas and research findings that will expand knowledge about purposes, conditions, and effects of schooling and education about society and social relations We welcome manuscripts on a variety of topics including : Purposes of social education ; Models, theories, and related frameworks concerning the development, diffusion, and adoption of curricular materials ; Instructional strategies ; The relation of the social sciences, philosophy, history and/or the arts to social education ; The politics, economics, sociology, social psychology, psychology, anthropology, philosophy, and/or the history of social education ; Alternative social organizations and utilizations of the school for social education ; Comparative studies of alternative models of social education ; Models of and research on alternative schemas for student participation and social action ; Relationship of different preand in-service patterns of teacher training to social education ; Models of the utilization of objectives in social education and related research findings ; Implications of learning theory, child development research, socialization and political socialization research for the purposes and practice of social education ; The relationship of different independent, explanatory variables to educational achievements in the area of learning about society and social relations ; The social climate and cohesion of schools and other school characteristics as independent, explanatory variables predicting general achievement 9 2


Submission of Manuscripts In order to facilitate the processing and review of manuscripts, authors are asked to follow these procedures : 1 Manuscripts should be typed with a dark ribbon or clearly mimeographed, multilithed, or photocopied Some corrections in dark ink will be accepted 2 Four copies of each manuscript should be submitted 3 The author's name and affiliation should appear on a separate cover page, along with an abstract of approximately 100 words 4 Only the title of the article should appear on the first page of the manuscript 5 All text, references, abstracts and endnotes should be double-spaced Manuscript Style 1 When citations are made, the name of the author, publication date, and any necessary page number should be enclosed in parentheses and located directly in the text The complete reference should be included in section labeled "References ." For example ; "Teachers commonly assume that students must acquire background information before they can be expected to think or to test their insights ." (Hunt and Metcalf, 1968, p 54) 2 Endnotes should not be used to cite references Substantive endnotes should be numbered sequentially and inserted in text 3 References should_ be alphabetized and located at the end of the manuscript The reference list should contain only those sources which are cited in the text Examples of references to a chapter in an edited work, a book, and a journal article follow Ehman, Lee H and Hahn, Carole L "Contributions of Research To Social Studies Education ." In Howard D Mehlinger and O L Davis, Jr (Eds .), The Social Studies, Eightieth Yearbook of the National Society for the Study of Education Chicago : University of Chicago Press, 1981 Hunt, Maurice P and Metcalf, Lawrence E Teaching High School Social Studies (2nd ed .) New York : Harper & Row, 1968 Egan, Kieran "John Dewey and the Social Studies Curriculum ." Theory and Research in Social Education 1980, 8, 37-55 4 Each table and/or figure should be placed on a separate page and placed in a separate section at the end of the manuscript Arabic numerals should be used for numbering both figures and tables, and their location in the text should be indicated by the following note : Table/Figure t about here 5 Send manuscripts to : t A Guy Larkins 100 Dudley Hall University of Georgia Athens, Georgia 30602 9 3


Subscription Information A subscription to Theory and Research in Social Education may be obtained by membership in the College and University Faculty Assembly of the National Council for Social Studies Membership information is available from the Membership Department, NCSS, 3501 Newark St ., NW, Washington, D .C ., 20016 Institutional and non-CUFA subscriptions are $25 .00 per year, foreign subscriptions $35 .00 Write to the Editor for these orders Back Issues/Reprints Back issues may be obtained for $4 .95 each and reprints of individual articles (beginning with Volume 7) are available Write to the Editor for these orders ; do not send payment until advised of availability of issue/reprint Change of Address/Missing Issues Send change of address notices and a recent mailing label to the Editor as soon as new address is known Also send queries about missing issues to the Editor Be sure to include a complete, proper address with such queries Advertising Information about advertising will be sent upon request 94


Theory and Research in Social Education Graduate School of Education Rutgers University New Brunswick, NJ 08903 Non-Profit Org U .S Postage PAID Permit No 157 New Brunswick, NJ 08903


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