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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College and University Faculty Assembly, National Council for the Social Studies] .
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In This Issue . Billings t e 7 ory &1?esearch in Social Education Volume XXI Number 1 Winter 1993 INTERNATIONAL PERSPECTIVES Jeffery T Fouts t Secondary Social Education in the People's Jack C K Chan t Republic of China : A Quantitative Study Li Zi Biao t of Classroom Environments in the Guangdong Province FEATURE Raymond C Miller t In Order to Save the World for Human Habitation, We Must Stop Teaching Economics! Reactions by Beverly J Armento, Mark C Schug, and Steven L Miller, followed by Raymond Miller's rejoinder BOOK REVIEWS H John Kornfeld t Teaching for Democracy in the Social Studies Classroom Gloria Ladsont Through the Looking Glass : Politics and the Social Studies Curriculum William I Mitchell t Teaching Respect and Responsibility V 21 No .1-4 1993 Digitization Cho I


Theory and Research in Social Education Volume XXI t Number 1 t Winter, 1993 The official journal of the College and University Faculty Assembly of the National Council for the Social Studies TRSE is the official journal of the College and University Faculty Assembly of the National Council for 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 may be found, with submission, subscription, and advertising information, at the end of the journal €1993 by the College and University Faculty Assembly of the National Council for the Social Studies All rights reserved


THEORY AND RESEARCH IN SOCIAL EDUCATION Editor : Jack R Fraenkel Book Review Editor : Perry Marker Assistant Editor : Mary V Grant* Editorial Assistant : Jean Cheng Theory and Research in Social Education (ISSN 0093-3104) is published quarterly by the College and University Faculty Assembly of the National Council for the Social Studies Membership is $20 .00 per year $15 .00 of the dues are allocated for subscription to TR S E Institutional and non-CUFA subscriptions are $35 .00 per year Second class postage is paid at Washington, D .C and additional offices Back issues may be obtained for $10 .00 each when available Postmaster : Send address changes to Theory and Research in Social Education, 3501 Newark Street, NW, Washington, D .C 20016 Address manuscripts and letters to the editor to : Dr Jack R Fraenkel Research and Development Center Burk Hall 238 San Francisco State University San Francisco, CA 94132 Address book reviews to : Dr Perry Marker School of Education Sonoma State University Rohnert Park, CA 94928 Address correspondence related to permissions, subscription and membership, back issues, and change of address to : Membership Department National Council for the Social Studies 3501 Newark Street, NW Washington, D .C 20016 Address correspondence about advertising to : Peter Stavros, Meetings and Marketing, at the NCSS address


REVIEWER ACKNOWLEDGEMENT The editors would like to thank the following individuals for their time and for the attention they gave to the manuscripts they reviewed for this and upcoming issues of TRSE Susan Adler Janet Alleman Ann Angell Patricia Avery James Banks Christine Bennett Marlowe Berg Don Bragaw Jere Brophy June Chapin Ambrose Clegg Maryanne Danfelsen Richard Diem Lee Ehman Ron Evans Jean Fair Jeffrey Fouts R E Gross Marilyn Johnston Pamela Joseph Clair Keller Gloria Ladson-Billings Guy Larkins Margaret Laughlin Linda Levstik Peter Martorella Mary McFarland Stuart Palonsky Walter Parker John Patrick E Wayne Ross Jim Shaver Dorothy Skeel William Stanley Steve Thornton Jack Zevin


The editors of TRSE invite submission of manuscripts related to the history o f social studies education, for a special edition of TRSE scheduled for publication in the fall of 1994 Authors are invited to submit historiographies which identify and analyze social studies theory and practice ; case studies revealing the actual teaching of social studies in specific schools or contexts between 1890 and 1975 ; and/or critical analyses of past controversial issues, demands, or challenges in the social studies Book reviews dealing with these topics are also encouraged Send manuscripts to : t Professor David Warren Saxe Pennsylvania State University College of Education 140 Chambers Building University Park, PA 16802


Call for Nominations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . t . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . t . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . The National Council for the Social Studies sponsors this award biannually to acknowledge, communicate, and encourage scholarly inquiry into significant issues and possibilities for social education Published research studies (articles, chapters, monographs, or books) of an empirical, theoretical, or philosophical nature bearing June, 1991, through May, 1993, publication dates are eligible for the 1993 award In addition, a nominated work must : (1) have a central focus on social education ; (2) employ rigorous research standards ; (3) advance conceptions of social education and knowledge of teaching and learning in the domain ; (4) attend to social, political, and ethical concerns Nominations must be received by June 1, 1993, and they must include seven copies of the nominated study, accompanied by seven copies of a one-page rationale statement supporting the nomination Nominees should be willing to present their research, if selected, in a special session at the NCSS annual meeting in Washington, D .C ., in November, 1993 Award winners will receive a certificate of merit and recognition at the NCSS annual meeting Send nomination materials and address inquiries to : Dr Jane Bernard-Powers NCSS Research Award Subcommittee Department of Elementary Education San Francisco State University San Francisco, CA 94132 (415) 338-1170


A TIP is a quarterly journal that has been nationally recognized for excellence in educational journalism E ach issue features multiple perspectives on a single educational theme t E ach issue features outstanding articles by both recognized and promising authors Other related TIP issues of interest : t L iteracy and the African-American Learner, 31/4 t G rounding Contemporary Curriculum Thought, 31/3 t Q ualitative Issues in Educational Research, 31/2 -Science-Technology-Society, 30/4, 31/1 t F luency in Oral Reading, 30/3 I FOR YOU We believe you will be particularly interested in our theme issue of Theory Into Practice (TIP), Winter 1993 (Vol 32, No 1) It is devoted to the topic : Teacher Education in Global Perspectives Guest edited by Merry Merryfield, this issue examines ideas, concerns, and approaches in the preparation of teachers in global education Addressing multiple perspectives on preservice, inservice, and graduate programs, the authors for the issue are : OPlease send me t copy(ies) of the TIP issue I on t (title), Vol t No I at $6 .00 each ; 20 or more copies at $5 .00 each OPlease enter my one-year subscription to Theory Into Practice : Individual, $ 22 t ; Institution, $45 t (Postage and handling : inside USA, add $3 ; outside USA, add $5 ; U .S dollars only) City t State t Zip Please make checks payable to the College of Education, The Ohio State I University Payment must accompany orders under $25 I []Bill me OPayment enclosed Clip and mail to : Theory Into Practice, 146 Arps Hall, 1945 N High Street, Columbus, Ohio 43210 Send to : Name Address t t D onald Johnson t J udith Wooster t K enneth Tye t E lsie Begler t M Eugene Gilliom t B arbara Tye t A ngene Wilson t R obert Freeman -Marilyn Johnston t M erry Merryfield t R on Schukar t A nna Ochoa


Editorial As we mention in the "Information for Authors" that we provide in every issue of the journal, Theory and Research in Social Education is designed to stimulate and communicate systematic research and thinking about social studies education A journal is only as good, however, as the quality of ideas that its readers have an opportunity to discuss For this reason, I have sought to publish a diversity of viewpoints about important questions and problems confronting us in social studies education I shall continue to do so Accordingly, it is with a great deal of pleasure that I present the exchange of views about the teaching of economics that appears in this volume We encourage your responses to what author Raymond Miller (and reactors Steven Miller, Beverly Armento and Mark Schug) have to say Whenever we have the opportunity to do so, we also want to publish articles that deal with the teaching and learning of social studies in countries other than the United States We therefore introduce a new feature, entitled "International Perspectives," that we hope will occur on a fairly regular basis in subsequent issues Along this line, we present an article by Jeff Fouts, Jack Chan, and Li Zi Biao on secondary social education in the People's Republic of China I think that you will find interesting what they have to say As always, I want to encourage the readers of TRSE to submit manuscripts of quality and significance that will enhance the nature of our field and that will contribute to the knowledge base of our profession Jack R Fraenkel February,1993 1


Lh I I hKS TO THE EDITOR Dr Jack Fraenkel, Editor Theory and Research in Social Education Burk Hall 238 San Francisco State University San Francisco, CA 94132 Dear Dr Fraenkel, Although I am relatively new to CUFA-having spent most of my career in the schools-I did want you to know how engaging I found the last few issues of TRSE Leming's outspoken suggestion that we consider social studies as a "conserving enterprise" (Summer, 1992) is something I have never heard in some 30 years in the field It was a courageous act I suspect he will catch hell, but I commend him As a teacher/supervisor, I have felt the tension of the two cultures throughout my career, but never more intensely than when guiding novices in my department Some fine young teachers-fresh out of the university-were unable to bridge the cultural gap Regretfully, too, many administrators have come to view the social studies reforms as too closely identified with "extreme liberals ." When our district returned to survey courses in history, I thought I heard a great sigh of relief in administrative chambers I have suspected for some time that underneath all the vituberative criticism of the "smorgasbord" curriculum and the wailing about test scores in history, there was a strong dose of ideology Part of this could be their problem, but part of it could be ours Meanwhile, we lost some significant innovations Leming has identified an issue whose time has come Interestingly, this brings me into conflict with Michael Whelan, who dismisses recent calls for revitalization of history as "merely a coincidence" with the general conservative movement (Winter, 1992) Let me say that I was provoked, enlightened, and sometimes even delighted by his feisty and scholarly sparring with his critics He is at his best when demonstrating his knowledge of historical sources While he rattled some very good people, his voice should be heard But he protesteth just a little too much about the impact of contemporary conservatism on curriculum making ; something that was all too evident to me in the trenches of curriculum making and in the literature of the period (It is hardly a coincidence that Commentary ran article after article on curriculum change in the 1970s amidst its transition to a neo-conservative journal .) I wonder, too, if Whelan feels 2


Theory and Research in Social Education t Winter, 1993 that the origin of the social studies during the progressive era was "merely a coincidence ." My main problem, however, with Whelan is his advocacy of history as "the most realistic and enlightening perspective" for teaching social problems (Winter, 1992) My own experience of some three decades of teaching history in secondary schools does not bear this out I still encounter too many world history classes with ninth graders galloping through eons of history, led by a bedraggled teacher with one eye on the next test, and the other on the district's schedule for finishing the 20th century This is "the most realistic and enlightening perspective" for teaching social problems? Of course history is important For those of us who have collected a wealth of data about social studies/history teaching, the history contained in articles by David Warren Saxe on the 1916 Committee on Social Studies (Spring, 1992) and Murry Nelson on the Committee of Ten (Summer, 1992) blend with the problem we have been talking about They illuminate each other, and we don't even mind if TRSE published the article about the 1916 Report before the one on the 1892 Report Just don't try it on a ninth grader born in the year that Ronald Reagan was elected President I look forward to future issues of TRSE William W Goetz Kean College of New Jersey William Paterson College Dr Jack R Fraenkel, Editor Theory and Research in Social Education Burk Hall 238 San Francisco State University San Francisco, CA 94132 Dear Jack, I must take exception to Michael Whelan's continued misrepresentation of the historical record in his recent article in TRSE, 1 as well as to his casual attention to history as a field of research 1 Whelan, Michael (1992) History and the social studies Theory and Research in Social Education, 20(1), 2-16 3


Theory and Research in Social Education t Winter, 1993 As a field of study directly associated with teaching about civic competence and the heritage of primarily Western culture, social studies is nearly 100 years old in its conceptualization and nearly 80 years old in practice The history of social studies, however, is in its infancy Accounts of the field's beginnings are scattered and uneven within its journals For practitioners in training, knowledge of the history of social studies is rarely transmitted or shared ; even most methods texts ignore such information about the field's history Nonetheless, as research on the history of social studies expands, we must be careful to separate our developing historical analyses from prevailing mythologies In taking up the quest to seize the curricular high ground to make certain the future of history instruction, Whelan continues to present a mythological past of social studies as it was first reported by the late Hazel Hertzberg This past links academic history directly to the beginning of social studies, using James Harvey Robinson as a central character The general thrust of this vision of social studies is that "history as the centerpiece" of social studies was set in place by historian James Harvey Robinson The upshot of Hertzberg (through Whelan) is that history advocates can claim some measure of theoretical ownership over social studies ; that along the way to 1993, something must have happened to Robinson's social studies ; and that we should somehow try to recapture Robinson's social studies through new research efforts Since much of Whelan's appeal rests on the Robinson assertion, as a historical issue, Robinson's direct role in the writing of the 1916 report of the Committee on the Social Studies (Dunn) 2 must be proved, not merely stated For Whelan, the academic question revolves around the term "influence"-that is, Whelan claims that Robinson influenced the committee to act While I certainly agree that Robinson was influential and I have written extensively, in fact, about the activities of the committee (including the actions of Robinson), the question at issue here, the question of historical importance (which Whelan 2 The listed and acknowledged "compiler" of the 1916 report is Arthur William Dunn Much of the report's image and character were drawn from the 1915 subcommittee report on community civics, of which Dunn was a principal author (Robinson made no contributions) The notion of combining history, geography, and civics for social studies by name, found in Dunn's 1915 report on civics, is based upon his earlier work in the Indianapolis public schools Prior to Robinson's announcement of a "New History," Dunn was instrumental in launching one of the first committees of national stature to advocate the teaching of civic competence (sponsored by the National Municipal League) In his office as the first national secretary of the NML's Advisory Committee on Civic Education, Dunn advocated greater involvement of the federal government, specifically the Bureau of Education, in the promotion of civic education In 1914, he was appointed Specialist in Civic Education in the Bureau of Education and later became Secretary of the "landmark" Committee on the Social Studies At this point, he began work on preparing the committee's reports 4


Theory and Research in Social Education t Winter, 1993 ignores), is not influence, but authorship Before we can talk seriously about who is influencing whom, we need to provide a historical record of the committee's activities, to establish just who wrote the seminal report of the 1916 Committee on Social Studies (Dunn) In casually putting the cart before the horse, Whelan insists that Robinson "influenced" the committee However, Whelan pushes the assertion to a far broader conclusion by claiming that the 1916 Committee on Social Studies "officially endorsed the interdisciplinary ideal of history education that Robinson proposed ." In effect, Whelan claims that Robinson developed social studies, while the committee merely "endorsed" and "adopted" it The issue of who is influencing whom is always a slippery historical question Nonetheless, even granting that Robinson was an influence on the committee, Whelan offers nothing to prove that he had anything to do with the actual writing of the 1916 report of the Committee on the Social Studies While I have found ample evidence suggesting that Robinson was an important committee figure, I have found nothing which suggests that he was anything more than a figurehead-a highly placed historian of great respect, true-but nothing more than that In the same article 3 in which I praise Robinson, I also suggest that he may have been placed on the committee more for political reasons than for any original contributions Curiously, Whelan criticizes this as "revisionist," then buries in his footnotes the fact that I clearly labeled the suggestion as nothing more than supposition As any competent historian, I am merely stating a case based upon my research I found no direct relationship of Robinson to the authorship of the report, so I offered none Since I found no evidence to support Robinson as a major originator of social studies, I suggested that perhaps he was put on the committee for other reasons (political) This was and remains a sound supposition, a supposition (clearly labeled as such) to be tested Whelan may not like the supposition, but he fails to support his claim that the committee accepted Robinson's version of history as social studies I would have viewed the issue over Robinson as a minor error if Whelan had chosen to acknowledge the other documented contributors of the prototype social studies (namely Dunn, Thomas Jesse Jones, James Lynn Barnard, Clarence Kingsley), but he has nothing to say about these figures Instead, he mentions only Robinson in the context of the 1916 report from the Committee on the Social Studies and he places another unfounded claim about John Dewey in his footnotes 3 Saxe, David Warren (1992) An introduction to the seminal social welfare and efficiency prototype : The founders of 1916 social studies Theory and Research in Social Education, 20(2), 156-179 5


Theory and Research in Social Education t Winter, 1993 As a practicing historian of social studies, I take seriously the challenge that Whelan thinks me "too confused to render a reliable judgment ." Whelan is right, that confused people are not capable of rendering competent judgments ; however, competent people do, on occasion, make confusing statements I take it that Whelan believed some of my statements were confusing to him By now, I hope that I have clarified my meanings By making claims without supporting evidence or qualifications, Whelan has placed himself in a rather curious position : to be an advocate for history as a means to organize social studies teaching, but not to practice history as a means of research If Whelan wishes for a history-centered social studies (that may already be a fait accompli), it follows that he should also strive to practice or at least support historical research Should Whelan have something to add to the history of social studies, I am certain that many of our readers would be keenly interested As yet, we are still waiting David Warren Saxe The Pennsylvania State University University Park, PA 6


Theory and Research in Social Education Winter, 1993, Volume XXI, Number 1, pp 7-24 € by The College and University Faculty Assembly of the National Council for the Social Studies SECONDARY SOCIAL EDUCATION IN THE PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA : A QUANTITATIVE STUDY OF CLASSROOM ENVIRONMENTS IN THE GUANGDONG PROVINCE Jeffrey T Fouts Seattle Pacific University Jack C K Chan Hong Kong Baptist College Li Zi Biao Educational Science Research Institute of Guangzhou Abstract This article reports the results of the first phase of a research project on social education in the People's Republic of China This phase of the project replicated a quantitative research design used for looking at the environment of social education classrooms and related student attitudes toward social studies The study involved 38 secondary history classrooms selected from 12 schools in the Guangdong Province The data presented in the results produce a picture of a "typical" classroom environment, and this description is compared to findings using the same instruments in secondary social studies classrooms in the United States The findings suggest that while there may be considerable cultural, economic, and political differences between the two educational systems, there are common elements in the teaching o f social studies that appear to transcend those differences and produce comparable results 7


Fouts, Chan, & Biao Introduction and Background of the Study The expectation for reform and change in the People's Republic of China is of great interest after years of isolation from the world community The role which education will play in this time of change is yet to be determined, but creating independent and critical thinkers is vital to creating a modern society The extent to which this can happen in Chinese schools will depend, in part, on the nature of their social education curriculum, teaching methods, and classrooms The isolation of China for several decades has produced a generation of educators unfamiliar with educational practices and developments in other parts of the world Gradually, as the country has been opened to the international community, educators in China have been making contacts with educators from other parts of the world in an effort to expand their own personal development, and to try and improve the educational system of their country The contacts have been mutually beneficial, as educators visiting China have also learned much about the educational system of the most populated country on earth Since the end of the Cultural Revolution, the Chinese educational system has been going through a period of self-examination and reforms (Cleverly, 1991 ; Ming, 1986 ; Shifeng, 1988 ; Tan, Zhuang, & Wendel, 1985), yet changes have been slow to be implemented Traditional Chinese educational practices still predominate in the schools, with Confucian ideals of conformity and respect for learning, authority, and tradition defining the educational experience The teacher-student relationship remains a very formal one, with a heavy emphasis on didactic teaching, rote learning, and a reliance on objective tests Little has been written on the status of social education in particular, with few if any, empirical quantitative studies in social studies having been conducted This is due no doubt to the closure of China to educators for many years, the language barrier, and the reluctance of the Chinese to allow empirical studies in their schools because of ideological concerns, cultural factors, and a distrust of foreigners ; however, with the opening of the People's Republic to the world, particularly in the south of China and the Guangdong Province, opportunities have increased for researchers to collaborate with Chinese educators This research was funded by grants and funds from the Pew Foundation, our respective educational institutions, and the Educational Science Research Institute of Guangzhou, People's Republic of China During 1990-1991, we conducted a collaborative research project in the Guangdong Province on the nature of secondary social education The project consisted of two phases : (1) a study of social 8


Secondary Social Education in the People's Republic of China studies classroom environments and related student attitudes toward social studies ; and (2) a study of the curriculum for secondary social studies classes In this article, we will report on the first phase of the project, focusing on the social education classroom environments and student attitudes We will also include some of our observations about Chinese education and the conducting of educational research in China The second phase of the project is in process and will be reported at a later date The theoretical basis for this area of research was articulated by Haladyna, Shaughnessy, and Redsun (1982) They proposed that student attitudes toward the subject of social studies is determined, in part, by the nature of the classroom environment The results of previous research in the United States (Fouts, 1987, 1989 ; Fouts & Myers, 1992 ; Myers & Fouts, 1992) in social studies and science classrooms has identified varying types of classroom environments and their relationship to student attitudes toward social studies Three major steps were involved in the research process : (1) assessing and describing the classroom environments and student attitudes in general ; (2) classifying the classroom environments as to type of environment or identifying characteristics ; and (3) examining student attitudes toward social studies relative to the classification or type of classroom environment This model was chosen for several reasons First, we were familiar with the model and its use in the United States for examining student attitudes and classroom environments Second, the results of previous research using this model had been published in respected professional education journals in the U .S A translation of one of these articles could be provided to Chinese educational leaders and authorities to give credibility to the study and to verify the use of the data, an important step for gaining permission to conduct the study Third, replication of research done in social studies classrooms in the United States would allow for comparative analysis, an interest to all involved in the collaborative effort And finally, the research questions addressed by the authors who designed the model focused on the affective nature of education, an area of current interest to Chinese educators In this study the following research questions were addressed : t W hat is the nature of the classroom environments in these Chinese social studies classrooms?  t What are student attitudes toward the subject of history? ; t A re differing types of classroom environments related to differing student attitudes toward the subject of history? ; and t H ow do the findings in the first three questions compare to research findings in the United States? 9


Fouts, Chan, & Biao Our intent was to replicate the research (Fouts, 1987, 1989 ; Fouts & Myers, 1992 ; Myers & Fouts, 1992) done in the United States using identical instrumentation, data collection procedures, and statistical design Research Design Sample The sample of schools and classrooms was selected from the city of Guangzhou (Canton) and the surrounding region of the Guangdong Province of Southern China In 1980, the Guangdong Province was opened to economic reform and development by permitting considerable foreign capital and investment in the Province Since that time, millions of new jobs have been created through foreign investment in the Province Consequently, the Province is a boom region in China, with a large influx of people coming from all over the country seeking jobs and business opportunities Economic and social ties with Hong Kong have opened the Province to the world community to a greater extent than any other section of China Culturally, the Guangdong Province has a history of relative distinction and independence from the rest of China, which continues to this day This independence is due, in part, to the cultural differences, including linguistic differences, that have existed between the Chinese of the North and South During recent years, these distinctions have been magnified by the continual exposure of Guangdong residents to the world community through contacts with Hong Kong These contacts were allowed by Beijing because of the need for foreign currency for China's development and because of a economic opportunities which contact with Hong Kong permitted While the sample of schools selected for this project is from one region of the country, we think it is fairly representative of many of the secondary schools in China for two reasons First, all schools in China must follow the national curriculum, use standardized textbooks, and participate in mandatory public exams The system allows for very little deviation and the results are closely monitored (LaVoie, 1990), resulting in relatively uniform approaches to instruction throughout the country Secondly, the schools participating in this study were chosen by Chinese educators to reflect the diversity of school quality and settings found in many parts of the country While there always may be some regional differences among schools, we are reasonably confident that the sample is fairly typical of secondary schools in China Of the 12 schools selected, six were located in the city of Guangzhou, four were located in the suburban/outlying areas of the city, and two were located in the surrounding region in moderate-sized 1 0


Secondary Social Education in the People's Republic o f China towns These 12 schools were selected to reflect the diversity of the academic quality of education in the region as reflected by the results of public examinations A small minority of schools in China (approximately three percent) are designated as key schools, while the vast majority are general schools A "key" school is one which has a higher academic standing and reputation, is more selective in admission, and which receives greater resources The more able students from a region will be concentrated in a key school Students from outlying rural areas may come from some distance to attend a key school The number of key schools is very small, however, and not representative of the education provided for most Chinese All 12 of the schools selected to be in the sample, therefore, were general schools From these 12 schools, we randomly selected a total of 38 history classes from the 8th, 10th, and 11th grades to participate We chose one class from each teacher who taught history in the 12 schools The average class size consisted of 47 students, with a range from 18 to 72 students Only five of the 38 classes had fewer than 40 students, and class sizes of 50 to 70 students were not uncommon These large class sizes are an indication of the considerable crowding in many classes which exist today in the Guangdong Province While class sizes in China are generally larger than in the United States, much of this crowding is due to the economic growth in the Guangdong Province in the past several years For example, the principal at the school in the town of Pan Yu said that four or five years ago class sizes averaged between 40 and 50 students At the time of our data collection, the average was 78 students per class in this school The social studies curriculum in both key schools and general schools is identical It is divided into two components : Politics and history National tests are extremely important in both of these subjects Political education is required in all six grades for two hours per week, and involves varying topics In grades 7-12, the following topics are covered : Grade 7 t civics and moral education Grade 8 t history of social development Grade 9 t legal knowledge Grade 10 scientific life perspectives Grade 11 economic knowledge Grade 12 political knowledge Teachers and textbooks measure each of these topics within a Marxist framework and perspective, and use a textbook to cover the set curriculum 1 1


Fouts, Chan, & Biao History is taught as a separate subject for three hours a week in the seventh and tenth grade, and two hours a week in the eighth grade In the seventh grade, Chinese history is taught In the eighth grade, Chinese history and world history are taught, and in the tenth grade, world history In grade 11, students are directed into an arts and humanities track, or into a math and science track Students placed in the arts track may take an additional history course in the 11th grade Textbooks, student exercise books, and detailed teachers guides are predominate in the curriculum Instrumentation and Data Collection Procedures The Classroom Environment Scale (CES ; Moos & Trickett, 1974) was used to assess classroom environment The CES consists of four dimensions divided into nine scales : (1) involvement, (2) affiliation, (3) teacher support, (4) task orientation, (5) competition, (6) order and organization, (7) rule clarity, (8) teacher control, and (9) innovation A description of these scales is provided in Figure 1 The responses of the students are pooled to develop classroom profiles of the environments, with interpretations of the various scale scores provided in the manual There are 10 response items for each scale, resulting in a mean scale score from zero to 10 The authors report KR-20 coefficients for the scales ranging from .86 to .67, and six-week, test-retest reliabilities ranging from .90 to .72 Intercorrelations of the subscales average about .25, indicating slightly related but mostly distinct aspects of the environment Content and concurrent validity were established through correlational studies, classroom observations, and interviews, and are summarized by Moos (1979) Student attitudes were assessed using two measures The first was a forced-choice questionnaire in which students were asked to identify their favorite and least favorite subject, and to identify what they felt was the most important and least important subject The second measure, used to assess student attitude toward history, was the Estes Attitude Scale (EAS ; Estes, Estes, Richards, & Roettger, 1981) The EAS contains separate subscales for various school subjects which may be given independently to obtain attitude measures toward one desired field of study The social studies scale measures how students feel about social studies as a school subject by requiring students to respond to 15 statements on a five-point Likert format, resulting in a score between 15 and 75 Sample items from the EAS social studies scale include : "history is dull" ; "knowledge of the past helps us understand the present" ; and "a student can often use what he learns in a social studies course ." Coefficient alpha reliabilities of .91 and .82 are reported by the authors for the social studies scale Because social studies is not a common term in China, the word social studies was changed to history 1 2


Secondary Social Education in the People's Republic o f China in the questions on this scale, providing an attitude toward history score Figure 1 Classroom Environment Scales Dimensions and Sample Items Relationship Dimension 1 Involvement-measures the extent to which students have attentive interest in lass activities and participate in discussions Considers the extent to which students do additional work on their own and enjoy the class Sample item : Students put a lot of energy into what they do here 2 Affiliation-assesses the level of friendship students feel for one another ; i .e ., the extent to which they help each other with homework, get to know each other easily, and enjoy working together Sample item : Students in this class get to know each other really well 3 Teacher Support--measures the amount of help, concern, and friendship the teacher directs toward the students Considers the extent to which teachers talk openly with students, trust them, and show interest in their ideas Sample item : Teachers go out of their way to help students Personal Development Dimension 4 Task Orientation--measures the extent to which it is important to complete activities that have been planned Assesses the emphasis the teacher places on staying on the subject matter Sample item : Almost all lass time is spent on the lesson for the day 5 Competition--assesses the emphasis placed on students' competing with one another for grades and recognition Includes an assessment of the difficulty of achieving good grades Sample item : Students try hard to get the best grade System Maintenance Dimension 6 Order and Organization--assesses the emphasis on students' behaving in an orderly and polite manner and on the overall organization of assignments and classroom activities Considers the degree to which students tend to remain calm and quiet Sample item : Students are almost always quiet in this class 7 Rule Clarity-assesses the emphasis on establishing and following a clear set of rules and on students' knowing what the consequences will be if they do not follow them An important focus of this subscale is the extent to which the teacher is consistent in dealing with students who break rules Sample item : There is a clear set of rules for students to follow 8 Teacher Control--measures how strictly the teacher enforces the rules and the severity of the punishment for rule infractions Considers the number of rules and how frequently students get into trouble Sample item : If students break a rule in this class, they are likely to get into trouble System Change Dimension 9 Innovation--measures how much students contribute to planning classroom activities and the amount of unusual and varying activities and assignments planned by the teacher Considers the extent to which the teacher attempts to use new techniques and encourages creative thinking in the students Sample item : What students do in class varies markedly from day to day Modified and reproduced by special permission of the publisher, Consulting Psychologists Press, Inc ., Palo Alto, CA, 94303, from Classroom Environment Scale Manual by Rudolf H Moos ‚ 1974 by Consulting Psychologists Press, Inc All rights reserved Further reproduction is prohibited without the publisher's written consent These instruments were translated into Chinese and piloted with native Chinese speaking students in Hong Kong and Guangzhou 1 3


Fouts, Chan, & Biao Feedback from those students was obtained as to item clarity, with revisions in the translations made as necessary The instruments were administered in a group setting to the 38 classrooms over a five-day period during the month of December, 1990 The data were collected by seven Chinese research assistants from the Guangzhou Educational Science Research Institute Each research assistant administering the instruments participated in a four-hour training session on the nature of the research, the instruments, and standard data-gathering procedures to be used in the project The training also included the modeling of data collection procedures in a class conducted by one of the primary researchers Statistical Design Descriptive statistics were used to address our first two research questions For the forced-choice questionnaire, frequency distributions were calculated to determine the percentage of student choices on important/least important and favorite and least favorite subjects Means and standard deviations were calculated for the Classroom Environment Scale and Estes Attitude Scale To determine various categories of classroom environments, we replicated the cluster analysis statistical procedure used in the previous research on which this study was based Cluster analysis is a statistical technique used to partition subjects (in this instance classrooms) into homogeneous subgroups based on differences or similarities among any number of variables (Fouts, 1987) The intent of cluster analysis is to create clusters that have small within-cluster variance, while maximizing between-cluster variance The clusters may then be compared by examining the means and variances of the resulting clusters on the input variables, in this case, the environmental dimensions (CES scales) The result is an overview of the distinguishing characteristics of each cluster ; that is, the differentiating environmental characteristics Clusters may also be compared on any variables not used in the clustering procedure In this instance, the attitudes of the students toward history are compared for the three clusters As in the original studies (Fouts, 1987, 1989 ; Fouts & Myers, 1992 ; Myers & Fouts, 1992), we have used the Euclidean distance and the nearest centroid sorting method with cluster centers estimated from the data, and the number of clusters (3) decided a priori (Anderberg, 1973) This particular clustering procedure is run by the QUICK CLUSTER program in the SPSS advanced statistical package with a detailed statistical explanation provided (Norusis, 1988) A detailed procedural explanation of cluster analysis and this particular procedure is provided by Fouts and Myers (1992) 1 4


Secondary Social Education in the People's Republic of China Results The results of the forced-choice questionnaire as to favorite/least favorite subject and most important/least important subject are presented in Table 1 The subject of history was selected as a favorite subject by fewer students than was any other subject, and history was chosen more often by more people as least favorite than any other subject Table 2 reports the Classroom Environment Scale classroom mean scores and standard deviations for the 38 Chinese classrooms Table 2 also presents these scores for the sample of 47 junior and senior high classrooms from urban and suburban schools in the United States These data from the United States schools were obtained from the original 1 5 Least Important Subject Percentage Least Favorite Subject Percentage Chinese Language 10 Chinese Language 14 English 15 English 21 Math 6 Math 12 History 29 History 29 Science 40 Science 24 Most Important Subject Percentage Favorite Subject Percentage Chinese Language 29 Chinese Language 14 English 25 English 26 Math 15 Math 25 History 18 History 13 Science 13 Science 22


Fouts, Chan, & Biao studies (Fouts, 1987 ; 1989) which we are replicating These samples of American and Chinese schools are roughly comparable, in that they are drawn from a major urban area and the surrounding environs, and are believed to be "typical" of the secondary schools that educate the large majority of youth . . . . . . . . t t . . . . . . . . t t . . . . . . . t t . . . . . . . Chinese Classrooms American Classrooms Basically, the intent of the cluster analysis procedure was to group classrooms as to type of environment This allowed us to look at varying types of classroom environments and to see if student attitudes toward the subject of history differed depending on which type of classroom they were in The results of the cluster analysis procedure are presented in Tables 3 and 4 Table 3 shows the final cluster centers (CES means) for the three types of classrooms Cluster 1 contains five classes, Cluster 2 contains 11 classes, and Cluster 3 contains 22 classes The Euclidean distances shown in this table indicate that the difference between Cluster 1 and Cluster 2 is roughly comparable to the difference t t 16 Classroom Environment Scale Mean S D Mean SD Relationship Involvement 5 .7 1 .0 5 .0 1 .9 Affiliation 5 .7 0 .7 6 .6 1 .0 Teacher Support 6 .4 0 .9 6 .4 1 .8 Personnel Development Task Orientation 7 .1 0 .5 6 .9 1 .0 Competition 5 .9 0 .8 5 .8 0 .9 System Maintenance Order/Organization 6 .1 0 .9 5 .4 1 .6 Rule Clarity 7 .2 0 .6 7 .1 1 .0 Teacher Control 4 .1 1 .1 5 .4 1 .4 System Change Innovation 2 .8 0 .8 4 .2 1 .4


Secondary Social Education in the People's Republic of China between Cluster 2 and Cluster 3 This type of interval clustering is an indication of distinct categories Since the purpose of cluster analysis is to form clusters by maximizing between-cluster variance and by minimizing within-cluster variance, one might expect the cluster CES mean scores to be significantly different on one or more of the variables used in the clustering procedure Table 4 shows the analysis of variance results with the CES dimension means (Table 2) as dependent variables, and 1 7 CES Scale Cluster 1 Cluster 2 Cluster 3 Involvement 4 .53 5 .28 6 .21 Affiliation 4 .91 5 .79 5 .89 Teacher Support 5 .55 5 .62 6 .93 Task Orientation 7 .11 7 .11 7 .11 Competition 4 .75 5 .76 6 .16 Order and Organization 5 .79 5 .59 6 .34 Rule Clarity 6 .84 7 .48 7 .16 Teacher Control 3 .28 5 .38 3 .62 Innovation 1 .55 2 .64 3 .15 Cluster 1 2 3 1 2 2 .90 3 3 .28 2 .61


Fouts, Chan, & Biao with the three clusters of classrooms serving as the levels of the independent variable The cluster mean square figure represents the between-cluster variance, and the error mean square figure represents the within-cluster variance These variance partitions and resulting F ratios indicate which environmental dimension scores were most instrumental in forming clusters The F ratios show that the betweencluster variance was greatest on the environmental characteristics of Teacher Control and Teacher Support, and with the least betweencluster variance on the Task Orientation and Rule Clarity dimensions Seven of the nine F ratios were statistically significant at the .05 level Table 5 provides descriptive statistics for the Estes Attitude Scale score and class size for the classrooms in the three clusters Analysis of variance of the EAS mean scores showed significant differences among student attitudes in the classrooms of the three 1 8 CES Scale Cluster MS df Error MS df F P< Involvement 7 .28 2 .58 35 12 .61 .001 Affiliation 1 .95 2 .40 35 4 .89 .014 Teacher Support 8 .28 2 .38 35 21 .63 .001 Task Orientation .00 2 .30 35 .00 .998 Competition 4 .18 2 .42 35 9 .87 .001 Order and Organization 2 .24 2 .63 35 3 .55 .040 Rule Clarity .79 2 .30 35 2 .62 .088 Teacher Control 13 .27 2 .54 35 24 .44 .001 Innovation 5 .42 2 .32 35 16 .11 .001


Secondary Social Education in the People's Republic of China clusters, F(2,35)= 8 .9, p < .001 The Scheffe multiple range test ( .05) identified Cluster 1 classroom student attitudes as differing significantly from students in both Clusters 2 and 3 Analysis of variance of the class sizes showed that the differences in the class sizes of the three categories of classes were not statistically significant, with F (2,35)= .34, p= .71 Discussion Collecting data on affective elements of education in social studies classrooms in the People's Republic of China provided us with a unique look at the Chinese educational experience, and was unique for many of the Chinese educators as well At each school we visited, we were met with considerable interest by school personnel Local and provincial educational dignitaries and communist party officials were always part of formal receptions and joined us for meals prepared in our honor Western visitors to some of the schools were a rarity Our efforts were taken very seriously, and for many of the participants, it was the first time they had seen questionnaires such as the ones we were using The data collected in these schools are unique in that they allow us to compare the findings to social studies classrooms in the United States where the same research model was employed The results of the forced-choice questionnaire indicated that history and science are not as highly regarded as are other subjects This finding is very similar to the results in the United States using this same form of questionnaire (Fouts, 1987 ; 1989) While Chinese students do not regard history as highly as they do their other subjects, previous research in China indicated that students have a dislike for the subject of politics as well (Rosen, 1985) 1 9 EAS Attitude Score Class Size Cluster Mean SD Mean SD Range 1 (n=5) 48 .8 1 .6 46 .2 5 .4 37/50 2 (n=11) 52 .8 1 .7 50 .4 6 .4 43/67 3 (n=22) 53 .9 2 .2 47 .7 13 .1 18/72


Fouts, Chan, & Biao The average of the environmental assessment results for all 38 classes provides a profile of an "average" classroom (see Table 1 and Figure 1) The average classroom is highly structured with clear rules and expectations, with class time focusing on the course content and assignments (Rule Clarity and Task Orientation) The classroom is generally orderly and there is little need for the teacher to enforce rules strictly (Order and Organization and Teacher Control) There is little variety built into the classroom structure, with teachers relying on routine teaching strategies and techniques (Innovation) These data are in accord with our observations of the schools and classrooms in general that we visited, and with the history classes specifically In the Chinese culture there is a great deal of respect for the teacher, and authority in the classroom is seldom questioned Educational practices in China have always reflected a very formal atmosphere, and these practices are evident in what we observed Traditional didactic teaching techniques are still used heavily, and this is shown by the very low scores on the Innovation scale While it is true that this has been the traditional approach to teaching and learning in China, even if change was desired, it may be difficult with 50, 60, or 70 students in very crowded classrooms A comparison of this sample of classrooms with a sample of 47 secondary social studies classrooms in the United States shows remarkable similarities in the scores on the CES ; however, this does not mean that true differences do not exist between Chinese and U .S classrooms When comparing student perceptions across cultures it must be remembered that student experiences and frames of references will be different ; for example, what a U .S student perceives as an orderly and organized room may be seen as chaotic by a Chinese student If a Chinese student was placed in an orderly and organized classroom (by American standards) in the United States, that student may provide a very low CES score for Order and Organization compared to how an American student would rate the class Conversely, an American student may find one of the more disorganized and disorderly Chinese classrooms still very orderly and organized when compared to the classrooms in America which comprise his or her frame of reference When looking at the data presented in Table 2 then, it is important to remember that the Chinese students frame of reference for the items in these scales is based on their years of exposure to a traditional Chinese educational philosophy and experience that has stressed respect for learning, respect for authority and tradition, and conformity For the most part their educational experiences have been uniform and very formal, with a heavy emphasis on didactic teaching, rote learning, and a reliance on tests In all probability, American students have experienced a wider variety of educational philosophies and settings 2 0


Secondary Social Education in the People's Republic of China Most notable is the fact that the lowest scores for both groups is on the Innovation scale The difference on this scale is the largest, indicating more variety of activities and strategies used by U .S teachers The differences between the two groups on Order and Organization and Teacher Control probably reflect more classroom management and behavior problems in U .S classrooms In both of these instances, these data corresponded with our personal observations Statistical analysis indicate that there is less variability among the Chinese classrooms The Chinese classrooms tend to be more homogeneous than U .S classrooms, which are quite diverse ; for example, on the Involvement Scale the means are fairly similar (5 .7 and 5 .0) The Chinese classroom means, however, ranged from only 4 .0 to 7 .8, while the U .S classroom means ranged from 1 .6 to 9 .0 Three types of classroom environments were identified These three types of classrooms were compared with regard to student attitudes toward the subject of history Results showed that students in Type 1 classrooms had the lowest regard for history, while students in Type 3 classrooms had the highest regard These classroom types differed most on the environmental variables of Involvement, Affiliation, Teacher Support, Competition, and Innovation ; therefore, positive attitudes were most closely related to these environmental variables These findings are quite similar to the findings for U .S classrooms Of the five environmental variables identified here, only Competition did not emerge as important in the United States sample Involvement, Affiliation, Teacher Support, and Innovation are related to student attitude toward history in both the United States and China In both countries, including some very crowded classrooms in China with a history of very formal educational practices, student/teacher relations, and student/student relations, the personal element of the teaching-learning process (Affiliation and Teacher Support) is related to positive attitudes toward history and social studies These factors are relatively new considerations for Chinese educators, but as school social problems emerge with modernization and as school dropouts are becoming more of a problem, Chinese educators are beginning to discuss these affective elements of education (Li, 1988 ; Yan, 1989) Similarly in both countries, diverse activities and active student involvement (Innovation and Involvement) have emerged as related to positive attitudes toward history and social studies, subjects stereotyped many times as boring and lecture-oriented One additional common finding between the two studies was noted Class size was not found to be an important factor in either the United States study or this Chinese study It was not related to student attitude or classroom environment The data do not support the belief 2 1


Fouts, Chan, & Biao that positive student attitudes and desirable classroom environments are dependent on having small classes Summary and Conclusions This collaborative research project in the Guangdong Province of China involved educators from the People's Republic of China, Hong Kong, and the United States This phase of the project was a replication of a quantitative research design used for looking at the environments of social education classrooms and related student attitudes toward the subject Social education in China is divided between classes on politics and history This research was conducted in 38 eighth, 10th and 11th grade history classrooms selected from 12 general schools To the first research question pertaining to the nature of the classroom environments, we conclude that the average classroom in China is highly structured with clear rules and expectations, with the teacher using class time to focus on course content and assignments The classroom is generally orderly and there is little need for the teacher to enforce rules strictly There is little variety built into the classroom structure, and teachers rely on routine teaching strategies and techniques In short, in spite of considerable efforts at educational reform over the past decade, classroom environments differ little from what has been dictated by traditional Chinese educational beliefs and practices, with considerable uniformity found among classrooms Pertaining to the second research question, the study of history is not regarded as highly as other subjects by Chinese students, and (as suggested by previous research on student attitudes toward politics) social education in general may not be regarded as highly by students as other subjects Our answer to the third research question is affirmative ; that is, different types of classroom environments are related to different student attitudes toward the subject Positive student attitudes were found more frequently in classrooms characterized by higher levels of the environmental constructs of Affiliation, Teacher Support, Involvement, Competition, and Innovation Our final research question focused on the comparative results for similar research conducted in the United States The classroom environmental profile of this Chinese sample of history classes is similar in some ways to a comparable sample of secondary social studies classes from the United States Many of the same environmental dimensions dominated the students perceptions of classroom environment as being highly structured with a lack of diversity of classroom activities Yet it was our impression that the differences between the environments were greater than the data indicated because of differing frames of reference on part of the students In addition, the 2 2


Secondary Social Education in the People's Republic of China Chinese classrooms were much more homogenous, with the United States classrooms showing more diversity Similar findings between the classrooms in the two countries indicate that student/teacher and student/student relationships in the classroom, diverse activities, and active student involvement are all related to positive attitudes toward history and social studies While there may be considerable cultural, political, and economic differences between the two educational systems, and between American and Chinese students, our data suggest that these elements of the teaching of social studies appear to transcend those differences to produce comparable results For social education professionals in the United States, our work provides a unique look at Chinese history classes The results are not surprising, in that secondary Chinese classrooms have always been characterized by formality, didactic teaching and classroom authority for the teacher But our data are useful for American social educators in that they reinforce the importance of certain approaches for the teaching of social studies and the development of positive attitudes For Chinese educators this project provided an opportunity to participate in research in the affective domain of student attitudes and in the affective domain of the classroom environment Hopefully it will stimulate discussion among educators in both countries about the nature of quality education, and to expand further discussions of educational reform at the classroom level These results challenge the Chinese to evaluate the appropriateness and desirability of existing classroom strategies and environments in history classes The desire to modernize must be accompanied by discussions on how to teach these ideals to young people The changes suggested by this research will require an examination of an age-old educational tradition References Anderberg, M R (1973) Cluster analysis for applications New York : Academic Press Cleverly, J (1991) "On the evidence before me . ." Putting the case for rural educational reform in China Comparative Education, 27(1), 53-60 Estes, T H ., Estes, J J ., Richards, H C ., & Roettger, D M (1981) Estes attitude scales : Manual for administration and interpretation Austin, TX : PRO-ED Fouts, J T (1987) High school social studies classroom environments and attitudes : A cluster analysis approach Theory and Research in Social Education, 15(2), 105-114 Fouts, J T (1989) Classroom environments and student views of social studies : The middle grades Theory and Research in Social Education, 17(2), 136-147 2 3


Fouts, Chan, & Biao Fouts, J T & Myers, R E (1992) Classroom environments and student view of science : The middle grades Journal of Educational Research, 85(6), 356-361 Haladyna, T ., Shaughnessy, J ., & Redsun, A (1982) Correlates of attitudes toward social studies Theory and Research in Social Education, 10(1), 1-26 LaVoie, J C (1990) School based assessment research in the People's Republic of China McGill Journal of Education, 25(1), 25-35 Li, G (1988) Importance of updating educational thinking as seen from the problem of junior high school dropouts in Guangzhou City districts Chinese Education : A Journal of Translations, 21(3), 80-87 Ming, C K (1986, May) A move against tradition : Vocationalising secondary education in China Paper presented at the Vocationalising Education Conference, London, England Moos, R H (1979) Evaluating educational environments San Francisco : Josey-Bass Moos, R H & Trickett, E J (1974) Classroom environment scale manual Palo Alto, CA : Consulting Psychologists Press Myers, R E & Fouts, J T (1992) A cluster analysis of high school science classroom environments and attitude toward science Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 29(9), 929-937 Norusis, J J (1988) SPSS/PC+ Advanced Statistics V2 .0 Chicago, IL : SPSS Rosen, S (Ed .) (1985) Recent survey data of student attitudes Chinese Education : A Journal of Translations, 17(4), 6-114 Shifeng, L (1988) Once more raising doubts on the theory of "a singular task" for regular senior middle schools Chinese Education : A Journal of Translations, 20(4), 41-50 Tan, R M ., Zhuang, M ., & Wendel, R (1985) Recent Chinese innovations in teacher education Journal of Teacher Education, 36(5), 16-19 Yan, W & Chen, B (1989) High dropout rate among elementary and middle school students in Changed Prefecture Chinese Education : A Journal of Translations, 22(2), 34-37 Authors JEFFREY T FOUTS is Associate Dean and Professor of Education at Seattle Pacific University, Seattle, WA, 98119 JACK C K CHAN is Director for the Centre of Educational Development, Hong Kong Baptist College, 224 Waterloo Road, Kowloon, Hong Kong LI ZI BIAO is Director and Vice-Researcher, The Educational Science Research Institute of Guangzhou, 83 Xihu Road, Guangzhou, China 2 4


Theory and Research in Social Education Winter, 1993, Volume XXI, Number 1, pp 25-48 € by the College and University Faculty Assembly of the National Council for the Social Studies IN ORDER TO SAVE THE WORLD FOR HUMAN HABITATION, WE MUST STOP TEACHING ECONOMICS! 1 Raymond C Miller San Francisco State University Abstract The discipline of economics has incorporated a model of the market called the neoclassical paradigm This paradigm is based on 11 normative principles which define the culture of economics in capitalist societies Teachers of economics are inculcating these norms in their students Yet following these norms leads to undesirable and possibly catastrophic consequences, especially in the area of the environment ; therefore, in order to save the world for human habitation, we must stop teaching economics! Unfortunately, for several reasons, the neoclassical normative paradigm in economics maintains a dominant position in the academy and in the world Introduction In June of 1991, I was asked by a group of social science educators to give an after-lunch presentation that would be sufficiently provocative to combat the normal post-lunch dozing My original thought was to discuss a concern that I had as a political economist ; namely, the prevailing misconception that the demise of the state planning system in Eastern Europe and Russia meant the unquestioned superiority of market capitalism I am convinced that the ideological hosannahs that are still reverberating throughout the land will be short-lived, and that the hard realities of our global circumstances will catch up 'This article is a revision of a presentation given in San Francisco in June, 1991, at the annual Roundup of the Social Science Education Consortium 2 5


Raymond C Miller with our 1980s excesses Whether intentional or not, the classic liberal reliance on individual self-interest as the proper driving force of a free society has provided an ideological rationalization for rampant greed, profound inequalities, and overconsumption-thus my first title, "The Temporary Triumph of Intellectual Individualism in Contemporary Capitalism ." However, as I sat down to flesh out my remarks, logic led me to a more radical conclusion But since I was supposed to be provocative, why not go all the way? I started with the realization, as pointed out by many philosophers and even a few maverick economists, that the system of market capitalism contains an underlying system of intellectual rationalizations which, over time, have become embedded in the structure of thought providing the foundation for the discipline of economics These rationalizations have become much more than working hypotheses They have become the assumptions of a logical model that demonstrates how an economy ought to work ; further, these assumptions have become norms, statements about how people ought to behave in order to get the desired results that the model projects Works by Milton Friedman demonstrate this transformation unequivocally, but so do most basic economics textbooks Sophisticated authors such as Samuelson provide caveats, but I suspect that the seductive attractions of the simple, unqualified market model prove irresistible to most teachers of basic principles From this starting point, I began to look at the normative assumptions of economics and then at the behavior that they rationalize Now, many of the ideals embraced by the market ideology are definitely attractive, but some of the behavior that the market system condones is downright destructive : The mistreatment of the natural environment is an outstanding example Ironically, both market capitalism and centralized state planning systems have demonstrated that they share the same disregard for the environmental consequences of their economic growth-obsessed behavior But since the path that most of the world is currently looking to follow into the next century is market capitalism, we should look more closely at what behavior its intellectual gurus are implicitly, if not explicitly, promoting As I was compiling my list of the destructive behaviors that flow from the incentives of market capitalism, I became quite alarmed Maybe Marx was right after all, that capitalism contains the seeds of its own destruction, although not necessarily the same ones he had in mind But if we are becoming increasingly aware of our destructive behavior, why do we persist in our evidently suicidal behavior? The answer came to me in a flash : The dominant intellectual tradition that claims the economy as its bailiwick continues to promote outmoded norms, even though many of the pioneers in the profession have raised serious questions about them These norms have become embedded in our 2 6


We Must Stop Teaching Economics culture-they were the guiding principles of the Reagan revolution of the 1980s They are proclaimed in the Economic Report of the President, and they are being taught in thousands of classrooms across the landmore so now than before, in fact, as economics has become a part of the required secondary curriculum in California and other states Most teachers have not studied enough economics to know the pitfalls of the conventional wisdom they are inculcating into their students I concluded, therefore, that if we are to save the world from our own stupidity, we need to stop teaching the wrong lessons We need to stop teaching economics! The radical conclusion of my ruminations actually surprised me What would my colleagues think? Have I lost my equilibrium? Even those who might agree with some of my criticisms of conventional market thinking, the so-called neoclassical paradigm, would undoubtedly suggest that I was throwing the baby out with the bath water And I certainly recognize that there are many useful analytical tools contained within the discipline's tool kit ; however, these are encased in a norm-ridden, tightly integrated intellectual framework that needs to be replaced if we are to avoid destroying ourselves We need a new economics, not just a modified old economics The reasoning that led to the above conclusion was very straightforward First, I listed the normative assumptions of market capitalism Then, I looked at some of the undesirable and eventually system-threatening consequences of following these norms in our behavior and in the form of our institutions Finally, I asked myself, if these consequences are probable, why do we stick with the old ways of thinking, valuing and behaving? The Normative Assumptions of Neoclassical Economics 1 Decisions are best made by free, informed, rational individuals In a market economy, one must start with the assumption that the basic and only real participant is the individual Collectivities such as groups, organizations, classes or governments "do not actually exist or act ; they are only metaphorical constructs for describing the similar or concerted actions of individuals" (Rothbard, 1979, p 57) Furthermore, these individuals, when freed of extraneous, external influences and provided with adequate information, can develop their own preferences and rationally pursue their own interests Rationality means that whenever an individual is faced with a choice he/she will pick the option which most effectively maximizes the individual's preferences As Etzioni points out, this assumption is "deeply rooted in a particular political philosophy and ethics," one that "stresses individual freedom and individual rights," and one that sees government as the enemy of liberty (Etzioni, 1988, p 137) As one of the 2 7


Raymond C Miller best known and current spokespersons for this point of view, Milton Friedman, in his germanely entitled Free To Choose, said, "The two ideas of human freedom and economic freedom work together . . We are again recognizing the dangers of an overgoverned society-that reliance on the freedom of people to control their own lives in accordance with their own values is the surest way to achieve the full potential of a great society" (p 297) 2 Social decisions are best made by the aggregation of individual choices It follows logically from the prior normative assumption that combining all of the individual choice decisions into a total result provides the most socially desirable outcome This is exactly what the market does Individual choices of consumers, controllers of resources, and managers of productive organizations are the basis of both supply and demand for every product and resource When supply and demand come together, a price is established for a certain quantity, and voluntary exchanges take place Both production and distribution decisions are made by the market through this process, which involves the aggregation of all the freely made, rational, individual choices The neoclassical world view goes a step further and argues that the allocation of resources and consequent production and distribution patterns from this process are the most optimum for social welfare The utilitarian moral philosophy on which this normative statement is based goes back most prominently to Adam Smith, who justified the individual pursuit of self-interest morally, by arguing that the "invisible hand" of the market would add these individual behaviors into a greater material total for the society from which all could benefit (Heilbroner, 1986, p 54) Again, there is the clear belief that markets make better decisions for the society than governments or any other concentration of power, because they aggregate the preferences of all individual decision makers in the society 3 Exchanges are best facilitated by using one uniform system of valuation-money If choices are to be rationally calculated, a uniform system of measuring the options greatly facilitates alternative selection Money is the means, the universal measure, of economic activity in the market Money has been used in limited arenas for many centuries, but only the modern market capitalistic societies use money as the medium, measure, and facilitator for all economic transactions All inputs need to be monetized, including natural resources, labor, and even time Profits cannot be calculated unless both the revenue and cost sides are priced All human transactions that take place in the economy are intermediated thus by money Everything has a monetary value, and 2 8


We Must Stop Teaching Economics even human relations become monetized The worth of anything is determined by supply and demand, including human life itself 4 All individuals naturally and appropriately seek the maximization of their insatiable material self-interests (homo economicus) The basic human quality that market thinking emphasizes, if not glorifies, is the natural pursuit of individual material self-interest This is the predictable human behavior upon which all else is based As Adam Smith said, "It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their self-interest" (Heilbroner, 1986, p 55) Or as modern economist Charles Schultze has said, "Harnessing the 'base' motive of material self-interest to promote the common good is perhaps the most important social invention mankind has achieved" (Daly & Cobb, 1989, p 139) All other prior moral incentives, such as community and family welfare, could be relaxed in favor of market-disciplined self-interest The neoclassical economist goes even further for the sake of his model and argues that humans are insatiably acquisitive They never have enough material things They may lose interest in a particular good or service, but there are always others to covet ; thus, anyone who behaves contrary to this expectation is "irrational"-an implicit, if not explicit-moral judgment 5 All things in a market economy should be free to move to their highest valuation (mobility) Another quite remarkable and radical norm of the market is mobility In order to achieve top economic performance, no artificial barrier to the movement of people, products, ideas, etc ., can be allowed As such, geographical restrictions, discrimination of any kind, e .g ., social class, ethnic group membership, religion, gender, etc ., and meddling government regulations should not be allowed, as they interfere with the free movement of any component in the market to its highest valued use The economic exchange value of anything is its most important attribute, and any institutional practice or behavior which impedes that is wrong and should cease The principle of mobility would outlaw not only racial discrimination, but also patents and minimum wage laws 6 Behavior is best regulated by competitive interactions between many small units (purely competitive market) The discipline of the market is provided by competition With many buyers and sellers competing in the product and resource markets, the exchange value of anything will be determined by supply and demand No individual unit or colluding group of units can grow so big that it can influence the determination of price in the market Big 2 9


Raymond C Miller businesses, big governments, and big labor unions are all antithetical to the vitality of competitive relationships No one can price gouge in a competitive market That is why Adam Smith considered it "selfregulating ." Competition is a good thing : Diverse interests are harmonized by it It drives everyone to do his/her best ; it is the engine of progress Competition, therefore, becomes a favored norm for the nature of social relationships And so the virtues of competition have become deeply embedded in American culture : "Americans believe that it builds character," that the economic competition of the "free market" provides "efficiency and protection against tyranny (as well as) a source of welfare for all" (Etzioni, 1988, p 206) 7 The government's appropriate role is to provide the basic institutions which support other norms, but not to intervene in the decisions made by the market (laissez faire) The possible exception is genuine market failure, which might justify minimum government intervention Since the market makes most economic decisions better than any government, it is important that the government's role be strictly limited to essential contributions that only it can feasibly provide ; thus, Adam Smith's dictum of laissez-faire-leave the market alonehas powerful normative implications The fear of government tyranny has led some, like Milton Friedman, to argue continuously that government should be cut back, while others, like Howard Jarvis, argue that government can do nothing well Adam Smith suggested that government should provide basic protection for its citizens : a system of rules (laws) and justice that enforces the market system, and some intervention when the market does not handle well the benefits or costs of third-party circumstances The third responsibility has been called the market-failure exception An example of a benefit that the market might not provide, yet one that would be economically desirable, is public transportation A social cost that the market does not usually charge to the generator is pollution Both of these cases might justify government intervention But even in these cases, Milton Friedman is more worried about government failure than market failure : "Every accretion of government power for whatever purpose increases the danger that government, instead of serving the great majority of its citizens, will become a means whereby some of its citizens can take advantage of others Every government measure bears, as it were, a smokestack on its back" (Friedman, 1981, pp 20-23) 8 The industrial, fossil fuel-based, private property, growth-oriented capitalist system is the best devised for enhancing human welfare (economic development) Although Adam Smith could not possibly have foreseen what capitalism would develop into, he did promote capital accumulation 3 0


We Must Stop Teaching Economics and the continuing growth of the economy for the betterment of all Both capitalists and Marxists understood industrial capitalism as the system which would raise the material standard of living to previously unheard of levels Both perspectives recognized the built-in necessity within capitalism of continuous change from capital accumulation Both perspectives understood the central role of energy from fossil fuels in the industrialization process Both perspectives accepted the dominant role of human effort over nature Both understood the importance of private property to the system and elan of capitalism Capitalists, however, saw the private ownership of production means as a crucial factor in the dynamic effectiveness of capitalism as an economic system, whereas Marxists saw it as the source of exploitation and the eventual demise of capitalism as a successful system Capitalists looked with pride on the improvement of human material welfare in the advanced industrial capitalist countries over the last 200 years After World War II, the model of economic development was promoted to the world as the way out of poverty for all In the 1950s, practically no one imagined a limit to the expansion of the capitalist system Nature was perceived as an infinite provider Some are now beginning to raise doubts about the capacity of the earth to accommodate universal industrialization, but the normative hold of the capitalist model remains firm Anyone in doubt about this assertion need only listen to the rhetoric of the 1992 American presidential campaign 9 The economic efficiency (optimum allocation of resources) which the market brings about is desirable for all of humankind (free trade) Growth is one norm, but efficiency is another In the neoclassical economic approach, efficiency is utilizing society's resources where they are most valued in scarcity terms ; that is, according to supply and demand Of course, only the market can produce this result ; therefore, all right-thinking societies are either already using or are in the process of establishing market systems of decision making All barriers to market exchange should be removed both within countries and between them Free trade is the desirable state in the world economy, as all countries will eventually gain from specializing in what they do best, that is, most efficiently "Ever since Adam Smith, there has been virtual unanimity among economists, whatever their ideological position on other issues, that international free trade is in the best interest of the trading countries and of the world" (Friedman, 1981, pp 31-32) Powerful international groups such as the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) espouse this position 3 1


Raymond C Miller 10 The present is more valuable than the future, and short-term considerations supersede the long-term The market is highly oriented to short-term maximization The goal is to earn that profit now The financial analysts on Wall Street are looking for immediate returns, or the value of the stock is heading down Even now, consumers are entreated to spend more than they have Saving is not as valued as it once was Consequently, the U .S rate of saving is the lowest among the world's industrial countries Even in technical economics, the superior value of the present over the future is signified by the discount rate, which economists use to lower the value of future monetary flows to the present "The academic discipline of economics is at once the study of the manipulation of property and wealth so as to maximize short-term monetary exchange and the study of how the people as a whole gain from this manipulation" (Daly & Cobb, 1989, p 139) 11 Human welfare is best measured by the market-based national product accounts (per-capita product) The standard measure of the relative welfare of people around the world is each country's per-capita product It is the first table in the World Bank's statistical indicators The figure is derived by dividing the value of the total production (gross domestic product or GDP) by the population It is thus an average and it does not address distribution Furthermore, the GDP includes only what the market values as production and income And of course, the value of anything is based on the prices determined by the market or more accurately, what serves as the market in any particular country Nevertheless, per capita product is still the most widely used indicator of the relative performance of the world's economies Undesirable and Possibly Catastrophic Consequences of the Neoclassical Economic Paradigm The above 11 normative assumptions permeate the discipline of economics, and the discipline's practitioners promote policies and behaviors that are consistent with them Since economics is so centrally important to capitalist cultures such as the United States, its moral messages are absorbed into the wider culture Economics is the only academic discipline represented formally in the White House via the Council of Economic Advisers It is the only social science that gets a Nobel prize And the professionals in powerful organizations like the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund are almost all economists Thus the way economists are taught to think about how the world works and ought to work is exceptionally influential in the broader society Standard textbooks and uncritical teachers promote 3 2


We Must Stop Teaching Economics the moral imperatives throughout the land, sometimes as if they were scientific laws These norms reinforce each other as they form an interrelated set, a paradigm The neoclassical synthesis emerged around the turn of the century not only as a revision of Smithian economics, but also as the winner of a political struggle within economics and social science in general "Well-entrenched in a disciplinary paradigm and professional institutions, the neoclassicists dismissed the institutionalist revolt as mere leftist politics rather than science, ignoring the liberal exceptionalist politics built into their own paradigm and institutions" (Ross, 1991, p 469) The neoclassical norms have dominated during most of the 20th century, but we are now beginning to realize that these norms, when applied, have a dark as well as a bright side In fact, there are consequences which can be viewed as undesirable and in some areas potentially catastrophic Let us look at some of these possibilities 1 Rather than being self-regulating, competitive individualism actually destroys societies as it undermines the moral consensus holding human communities together (alienation/destruction of social fabric) One of the major paradoxes of the individualistic self-interest ethic is that it works only when it is constrained by moral limits If crass pursuit of individual aggrandizement were all that mattered, then all social norms of cooperation, caring for others, fair play, and community interests would be discarded Only hordes of warring, disconnected individuals would be left, each trying to evade any rules that might exist, as there would be no moral necessity to follow them Societies work by voluntary acceptance of a moral consensus on proper ways to conduct social relations The neoclassical paradigm undermines that moral consensus : "The individualistic model of economic theory leads to advocating policies that weaken existing patterns of social relationships" (Daly & Cobb, 1989, p 163) The just-completed decade of the 1980s provides an example of excessive emphasis on personal material gain and its damaging impact on the social fabric Instead of the Kennedy-style emphasis on the collective good, the predominant ideology was individual private gain, as promoted by President Reagan and the neoclassical paradigm As Larry the Liquidator said in Other People's Money, "We've come from 'ask not what your country can do for you' to 'what's in it for me' to 'what's in it for me-today' all in one short generation . . Everybody's got their hand out" (Sterner, 1989, p 80) The normative paradigm of economics conditions people to think that way A few years ago, a small experiment was conducted in which students from various fields were asked to play an economic game The game allotted each individual a certain investment potential They 3 3


Raymond C Miller were asked to divide their investment allotment between individual applications, where there was the highest probability of personal gain, or group investments, where the individual returns would be lower but everyone would share in the gains, including those who gained nothing from their individual investments The results demonstrated that students from all fields, except one, put 40-60% of their means in the group investments and thought that fair persons would place even a higher percentage there The exception, not surprisingly, were economics students, who allocated only 20% into the group investments They had learned their lessons well "People who think that the best things in life are free are not likely to become economists People who think money matters and narrow self-interest make sense are more likely to become economists Through their training economists learn that they and their discipline can be more powerful if money and selfinterest matter even more than they first thought" (Rhoads, 1985, pp 161-163) 2 The uncritical, almost religious, belief in the market system's superiority produces major public policy mistakes ; for example : a IMF structural adjustment The International Monetary Fund (IMF), based and controlled by Washington, is led by economists and financial professionals who are steeped in the neoclassical paradigm Their solutions to the economic difficulties in which countries find themselves, particularly those in which the IMF specializes ; i .e ., short-term crises in a country's international balance of payments, invariably involve close adherence to market principles The IMF has an especially powerful role in the world because it serves as the lender of last resort If a country cannot get credit from the IMF, no other source is likely to be available The IMF uses its influential position to require countries accepting its loans to abide by certain conditions The tiedloan program is known as the structural adjustment program or as conditionality Of course, IMF loan officers firmly believe that their paternalistic requirements, based on market principles, will straighten out spendthrift, economically irrational governments and lay the basis for future prosperity Unfortunately, the IMF's medicine is so severe and seemingly indifferent to social and political consequences that it frequently makes the patient worse In the 1980s, the IMF usually required borrowers to stop subsidizing prices of basic consumer goods ; to devalue their currencies ; to emphasize primary commodity exports ; to privatize state-owned enterprises ; and to cut back drastically on deficit spending and expansion of the money supply These are all good market prescriptions Unfortunately, many countries accepting them, particularly in the Caribbean, in Latin America, and in Africa, have experienced serious political reactions ("IMF riots") ; major reductions in 3 4


We Must Stop Teaching Economics social programs, especially for the poor ; declines in export earnings ; weakening of the position of labor ; strengthening of the position of foreign multinationals ; and the worsening of poverty A few countries, at least by market measures, have experienced economic gains, e .g ., Chile The problem with the IMF prescriptions, which even a few insiders are beginning to recognize, is their exclusive attention to market and narrow economic norms without sufficient attention to broader social and political contexts Some cynics believe that the U .S .-controlled IMF knew very well what it was doing, because the policies kept raw material prices down and debt payments coming But even if that were true, the strategy makes little sense over the long run I am inclined to believe that the paradigm blinders played a major role in the policy decisions 2 b Interest rates, deficits, and debt The 1980s witnessed serious imbalances in international accounts Many Third World countries became burdened with overwhelming debt, absorbing 40% and more of their export earnings The United States, while creating a good part of the problem by following conventional market-oriented monetary policy, ironically became a victim itself The surfeit of U .S dollars around the world contributed to the global inflation of the 1970s and the expansion of commercial bank lending to Third World countries In order to smother double-digit inflation (the "Number One Enemy" of marketeers), the monetary authorities in the United States pushed up real interest rates (nominal interest rates minus the rate of inflation) from the negative levels of the late 1970s to the highest levels in decades As a consequence, the recession became deeper, the value of the dollar soared (which later resulted in tremendous trade deficits for the U .S .), and the variable interest rate obligations of Third World countries jumped manyfold Thus was created the $1 .3 trillion debt crisis for the Third World (a major part of which is interest rate payment magnification) Inflation came down in the United States and Reagan was re-elected, but most of the Third World countries of Africa and Latin America suffered serious declines in living conditions during the entire decade of the 1980s ("the lost decade") In 1989, a net flow of approximately $50 billion came from the poor countries to the rich-an almost unbelievable reversal of the previous trends But it all made sense from the market point of view 3 2For a restrained analysis of the "far-reaching economic, social and political consequences" of the IMF structural adjustment programs, see Ghai, D (Ed .), (1991) The IMF and the South : The social impact of crisis and adjustment 3 For critical studies of the debt crisis, see George, S (1988) A fate worse than debt and MacEwan, A (1990) Debt and disorder 3 5


Raymond C Miller c "Free trade" agreements As pointed out above, no norm of the neoclassical paradigm is more generally accepted by economists than "free trade ." Yet the promised benefits for all are frequently illusory, especially when the economies involved have very different wage levels As maverick economist Herman Daly has argued, the conventional, comparative advantage, free-trade approach relied on the assumption of capital immobility between countries as well as labor immobility ; however, contemporary transnational corporations freely move their capital investment funds to wherever they find relative stability and the lowest wage rates Consequently, wage levels in high-wage countries, from which the capital flows, tend to fall while the wage levels in capital-receiving poor countries tend to rise These general tendencies can be overridden Countries with high savings and investment, such as Japan, can keep both their productivity and wage levels moving higher The United States has not been able to do this Poor countries with huge labor surpluses and structural adjustment austerity policies still experience declining wage levels (Daly & Cobb, 1989, pp 209-235) Mexico, for instance, has experienced a 60% loss in real wages during the 1980s "Mexico's structural adjustment has transformed the country into a haven for foreign investors seeking lowwage labor The cost of employing a young woman to assemble products in a maquiladora fell from $1 .53 an hour in 1982 to just 60 cents in 1990 (Cavanagh et al ., 1992, p 56) Thus, the highly touted free trade agreement between the United States and Mexico will tend to accentuate the decline in worker incomes in both countries There will be winners : the successful transnational corporations, their stockholders, and the highly paid members of their technostructures Daly argues that if we wish to protect the standard of living of U .S workers, we must limit the flow of capital funds overseas, not encourage it with a free-trade agreement "The majority of the nation is invited to lower its standard of living so 'we' can be more 'efficient .' But who is 'we,' and efficient at what? Certainly not efficient at providing a decent living standard for the majority of our citizens!" (Daly & Cobb, 1989, p 235) As Daly trenchantly observes, "Academic economists have become so enamored of the logical argument for comparative advantage and find it so ideologically in tune with their unrelenting celebration of the free market that they are loath to reexamine it" (Daly & Cobb, p 216) Rothstein notes that economists have been so successful in promoting their "wildly unrealistic, international laissez-faire ideology" that Californians who would resist allowing Mississippi to have a lower minimum wage are ecstatic when Mexico proposes an even greater differential (Cavanagh et al ., 1992, p 61) The neoclassical normative paradigm triumphs again, and questionable public policy follows in its wake 3 6


We Must Stop Teaching Economics d Transitions in Eastern Europe The incredible peoples' revolutions of 1989 in Eastern Europe were accompanied with fervent cries for market economies, almost as if that would be the panacea for their lagging societies They believed that all they needed to do was to cast off the shackles of state bureaucratic planning and establish real market prices, and consumer paradise would be just around the corner Unfortunately, idealized visions soon ran into hard realities Not only was the transitional process much more difficult than some imagined, but for many, it was turning out to be much more painful Industrial production decreased Living standards for most declined, and unemployment, which was supposedly impossible under socialism, has been running 11% in Poland and around 50% in Eastern Germany The discipline of the market was taking its toll Naturally, the gurus of rapid transition to the market, such as Harvard's Jeffrey Sachs, argued that the temporary pain was necessary in order to eventually reach efficiency and economic growth But will the newly established, fragile democracies withstand the political unhappiness of the disillusioned public? Ironically, Sachs and his Eastern counterpart Kornai plead for wise government, social patience, wisdom, and moral restraint in order to traverse the "valley of tears" (Sachs, 1991, p 31) They do not seem to recognize that their beloved free market comes packaged in the neoclassical normative paradigm that undermines the very social and political practices they see as essential Sachs seems astonished that Poland is experiencing "all the ills of unbridled laissez-faire capitalism that plagued the West in the 19th century" (Sachs, 1992, pp 38-39) Is he also so naive as to believe that none of this ever happens in the West any longer? 3 The pervasive acceptance of market norms makes it politically difficult to compensate for market failures, or as economists say, "internalize external ities ." Even true believers in the market admit that its much-touted efficiency in the allocation of resources fails in a few areas Economists call these failures "externalities ." They occur when the social value diverges from the market value ; that is, when the market gives the wrong price for something and sends the wrong behavioral signals When the market underprices a product, then too much of it is produced This happens when a social cost is not directly charged to the offending firms or products The most obvious example is pollution During most of the history of industrialization, firms polluted waterways, the soil, and the air, but did not have to pay for the damage caused Only recently have we recognized the environmental costs and taken some governmental action to force perpetrators of the pollution to "internalize" the costs, so that the product prices reflect more accurately their cost to the society ; however, free-marketeers and 3 7


Raymond C Miller those influenced by the conventional norms see these prices as artificial and as just another excuse for arbitrary government intervention "Since the market is assumed generally to be a success, the planning in these areas of failure is conceived to be abnormal It is approached halfheartedly and with a sense of being unfaithful to principle" (Galbraith, 1979, p 322) In the current presidential campaign, one in which the recession is the central issue, environmental regulations and taxes are being attacked by some as interfering with economic recovery because of their "non-market" nature The President himself has put a 90-day moratorium on regulations and told auto workers that their jobs are more important than environmental improvements (Schneider, 1992, p 2) The political message is clear : Any divergence from the market, especially when the government is internalizing costs to business, is suspect President Bush declared to auto workers that he had no intention of increasing the standards for fuel efficiency Never mind that the United States, with 5% of the world's population, is consuming 25% of the world's oil output and was responsible for 25% of the world's carbon dioxide emissions Global warming, traffic congestion, and smog are not real, because the market does not directly price them, but selling cars, especially American-made cars, is what counts Never mind that the U .S uses twice as much oil per unit of output as Western Europe or Japan Never mind that the U .S is on its way to importing 75% of its oil needs by the year 2000 in contrast to the present 42% (Flavin, 1990, p 6) Never mind that the U .S has the lowest price for gasoline among all the industrial countries, the poorest fuel efficiency, and the highest gasoline use per person (Renshaw, 1990, pp 15-16) Never mind that global oil reserves at only a 3% annual-use growth rate are projected to run out in 22 to 46 years (Clark, 1989, p 47) None of these externalities are anywhere near as important as encouraging car sales and car use in our auto-intensive "market economy ." Our market-driven energy policy, for which we just fought a war, is very straightforward : cheap oil The real price of gasoline (adjusted for inflation) is the same as it was 20 years ago (Dollars and Sense, May, 1991, p 13) While Western European countries tax gasoline five to 10 times more than the U .S ., we are still trying to figure out why our citizens drive so much (Renshaw, 1990, p 15) Our aversion to correcting the market price for gasoline, despite the overwhelming externalities, can partially be attributed to the economic fix our infatuation with the neoclassical normative paradigm has gotten us into 4 The GNP (Gross National Product) or GDP (Gross Domestic Product) does not measure what is external or irrelevant to the market Since World War II, the standard indicators for a country's performance have been its rate of economic growth and its per capita 3 8


We Must Stop Teaching Economics product, both based on the national income or gross national product accounts In turn, these accounting systems are based on adding up the value of products as determined by the market Thus, whatever the market values is included, and whatever is excluded from the market does not count As such, the externalities mentioned above-both positive and negative-may not be appropriately counted For instance, the cost of cleaning up air pollution is counted as a positive gain, while the decrease in air quality is not deducted Many important social contributions that do not involve the exchange of money go uncounted For example, all unpaid parenting, despite its importance to the society, goes unrecorded Author Hazel Henderson has been pointing to the weakness in the GNP measure for years She uses the layer-cake image to demonstrate that the GNP only measures the monetized top layers, while the non-monetized lower layers subsidize these top cash layers "with unpaid labor and environmental costs, absorbed or unaccounted risks passed to future generations" (Henderson, 1990, p 66) Many questions are being raised about the GNP as an appropriate measure of a country's quality of life, but it still continues to hold its throne There have been two recent attempts to find better measures : a UNDP's Human Development Index The social area : The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) decided in 1990 to start issuing an annual Human Development Report similar to the World Bank's annual World Development Report The UNDP wanted to measure how effectively countries were fulfilling the health and educational needs of their citizens GDP was not seen as a sufficient indicator, as countries with the same GDP could allocate their resources quite differently ; therefore, the UNDP created the Human Development Index (HDI), which included health and education performance measures, in addition to the standard value of production measure "The HDI extends our understanding beyond the GNP measure, by reflecting, if still too dimly, how economic growth translates into human well-being There are, for example, 26 countries whose HDI rank is 20 or more places lower than their per-capita income rank, showing that they have considerable potential to improve their human development levels" (United Nations Development Program, 1991, p 15) In the HDI ranking, Japan is first while the U .S is seventh After adjusting for gender disparities, Finland ranks first, Japan 17th, while the U .S is 10th b Index o f Sustainable Economic Welfare (ISE W) The environmental area : The second area of GNP inadequacy is its treatment of Mother Nature The UNDP does not attempt to factor this area into its calculations ; however, John Cobb, in an extended appendix to Cobb & Daly's For The Common Good, makes a valiant effort to do so for the 3 9


Raymond C Miller United States A revised set of figures appeared in the 1990 Winter issue of Development (Cobb, 1990, pp 111-112) Cobb's index deducts the cost of commuting, auto accidents, water pollution, air pollution, noise pollution, wetland loss, farm land loss, depletion of non-renewable resources, ozone depletion, and net change in international position He then compares his newly constructed and presumably more accurate index with the conventional GNP figures In constant dollars, percapita GNP increased 46% from 1967 to 1987 and 19% from 1977 to 1987 ; however, the per-capita ISEW increased only 6% and 1 % for the same periods Our great economic growth may not be all that great after all! 5 Short-term market decisions overwhelm long-term ecological thinking, yet there is only so much carrying capacity : the paradox of sustainable development Inherent to market thinking and valuation is the short time frame Whatever maximizes gains in profits, consumption, and income according to current market prices drives decisions Inherent to market capitalism is the necessity to grow These requirements for efficiency and viability have become the cultural norms There is no need to worry about limits, because prices will direct resources and technological efforts where they are needed to keep the system thriving (C Clark, 1991, p 320) Consequently, we are using our oil and other nonrenewable resources as if there were no tomorrow We are consuming our renewable resources, such as forests, at rates far greater than we are replenishing them After all, the market tells us to do so "Since 1972, the world has lost nearly 200 million hectares of trees, an area the size of the United States east of the Mississippi" (Brown, Flavin & Postel, 1991, p 20) California is doing its share of this depletion, as lumber companies struggle to pay off debts from their leveraged buyouts Half of Third World debt (1987) and two-thirds of global deforestation (annual average, 1980s) just happen to be in the same 14 countries, with Brazil far in the lead in both categories (Speth, 1990, p 16) In order to service debt, one needs to sell something Lumber and beef fill the bill Both involve massive deforestation, but the countries only receive a commodity price for their exports The market does not take into account the cost of the damage to the ecosystem Future generations will pay that bill Paradoxically, the same market capitalistic system that so desperately requires growth for its healthy functioning also relies on a decision-making model called "The Market," which is "ahistorical" ; that is, it does not have a historical dimension It makes those "economically efficient" decisions in the here and now, without regard to the broader contexts and processes through time Thus, the market perspective fails to focus on the ecological reality that the earth has a carrying capacity and we are fast approaching it 4 0


We Must Stop Teaching Economics Today's environmental trends are a consequence of the 20th century's exponential growth rates In 90 years, world population has tripled, the global economy has grown twentyfold, and fossil fuel use tenfold It took all of human history for the world economy to reach $600 billion in 1900, but it now grows by more than this sum every two years The population curve is equally daunting It took some 50,000 years for the human population to reach 2 .5 billion in 1950, but only 37 years to double to 5 billion We are now adding nearly one billion people a decade Small wonder that pollution and waste generation are occurring on a vast and unprecedented scale, and the human demands on biological systems now consume an estimated 40 percent of the world's total terrestrial photosynthetic productivity For the first time, human impacts have reached a magnitude that approximates that of the natural processes that control the global life-support system (Speth, 1990, p 10) And what does the conventional wisdom of the neoclassical paradigm tell us we should do in these circumstances Why, have more growth, of course : "The President's agenda, based on sound economic policy principles, seeks to achieve the maximum possible rate of sustainable economic growth If enacted, the President's policies . will solidify the foundation for long-term growth and help ensure that the United States remains the world's leading economy in the 1990s and beyond" (Economic Report of the President, 1992, p 34) I wonder what Professor Boskin, chair of the President's Council of Economic Advisers, means by "sustainable economic growth ." W W Rostow, in his well-known manifesto, Stages of Economic Growth (1960), meant economic growth that continues forever rather than fizzles ; however, a new phrase has entered professional and even popular discourse recently : "sustainable development," thanks especially to the Report of the World Commission on Environment and Development, Our Common Future (1987) The report defines sustainable development as "development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs" (p 43) But the majority of the commission went on to argue for revitalizing economic growth "In practical terms, this means more rapid economic growth in both industrial and developing countries" (p 89) But more economic growth, especially by the industrialized countries, undoubtedly means more environmental destruction and deficit exploitation of limited environmental resources, realizing the very nightmares for the planet that the commission's report so eloquently warns us about No wonder that Herman Daly calls sustainable development an "oxymoron" (Development, 1990, p 45) 4 1


Raymond C Miller For the whole of a world population (projected to stabilize somewhere from 10 to 14 billion in the middle of the 21st century) to match today's rich-country consumption levels would mean multiplying today's ecological impacts some 20 or 30 times over Anyone who thinks this is remotely possible is living in cloud-cuckoo land So is anyone who believes that the present polarization of the world's population between a wastefully affluent minority and a very much poorer majority can be indefinitely sustained (Robertson, 1990, p 2) Ecological economist Ekins has calculated that even with a conservative doubling of global consumption over the next 50 years and no reduction of the relative gap between rich and poor, in order to achieve environmental sustainability, technology would have to reduce the environmental impact of each unit of consumption by 93% He considers this an unattainable pipedream : "Let us therefore acknowledge 'green growth' for what it is : an essentially religious concept formulated by those who cannot bear, or, if they are politicians, think that their electorate cannot bear, the thought of an economy without growth" (1991, pp 21-23) Therefore, my conclusion : In order to save the earth for human habitation, we must stop teaching economics We need a transformation of cultural values and global institutions that embodies the ecological perspective In economics classrooms around the world we are perpetuating a set of norms that encourage us to engage in global suicide The neoclassical normative paradigm has to be overthrown if we are to survive As Mary Clark has argued, we need a new "Western gestalt," .a comprehensive metadisciplinary [eco-community] approach to our entire educational endeavor" (M Clark, 1991, p 410) In order to achieve that, we undoubtedly need a comprehensive systemic change, but we need to start somewhere "Unless we are prepared to interrogate our assumptions about both development and the environment and give political effect to the conclusions we reach, the reality of unsustainable development will remain, and the risk of ecological destruction will increase" (Redclift, 1987, p 204) Many commentators agree with my criticisms of the culture of economics, but few are willing to take the ultimate and necessary radical step Even a powerful critic like the World Bank's environmental economist, Herman Daly, is unwilling to follow the logic of his own argument "But while the book is a severe critique of the contemporary discipline of economics, our purpose is not to reject the core of its teaching" (1989, p 19) Thus my last question : As more and more intellectual leaders of the world community are beginning to recognize 4 2


We Must Stop Teaching Economics the dangerous future implications of sticking to the norms of the neoclassical paradigm, why do we hang onto them so tenaciously? Why the Tenacity of the Neoclassical Economic Paradigm? In closing, I want to suggest five reasons why the neoclassical market model and its associated normative paradigm have survived a rising chorus of criticism from both within and beyond the discipline of economics 1 The paradigm is embedded in European capitalist culture as the dominant world view, reinforced by scientific technologism and individualistic, Protestant anthropocentrism The neoclassical paradigm emerged as the cultural winner from the intellectual and political struggles of the last several hundred years It defends capitalistic behavior and outcomes It is consistent with the liberal Protestant morality of individualism and the central importance of human beings over nature Its reductionist and abstract qualities match beautifully with the classical physics model that the social sciences emulated in their process of professionalization It can be mathematically objectified The manipulators of social science technique, intent on instrumental rationality, cannot notice the qualitative human world their techniques are constructing and destroying . . Under the impact of scientism, the two most influential paradigms in American social science have become instrumental positivism and neoclassical economics, the paradigms that most clearly embody the individualistic and ahistorical premises of liberal exceptionalism (Ross, 1991, pp 472-473) 2 The paradigm serves as a socially convenient rationalization The anti-government, laissez-faire values provide a very effective political rationalization for large business organizations seeking to mask their uncompetitive behavior and their manipulation of the public purse Since the neoclassical paradigm serves such a useful purpose, there are powerful interests constantly promoting its virtues Professor Galbraith made this point 30 years ago : "A doctrine that celebrates individuality provides the cloak for organizations ." The government is told to keep out of matters that are presumably decided by all those free and rational consumers, when in fact much of the decisionmaking is being done by the big organizations (Galbraith, p 199) Of course, these same big multinationals are quite willing to accept government 4 3


Raymond C Miller subsidies and interventions that support their interests, but the laissezfaire rationalization quickly emerges when any proposed government policy is perceived as anti-business 3 The paradigm is protected by the virtually impenetrable intellectual armor of a hypothetico-deductive system The neoclassical market model takes the logical form of a hypothetico-deductive system relying on exception-proof premises, comprehensively "true" statements Thus when the model is put into motion, the outcome is logically predictable ; that is, necessarily true When all the premises, such as the maximization of self-interest, are fully realized, certain consequences, such as the optimum allocation of resources, can be reliably anticipated With marginalism and general equilibrium analysis, microeconomists had an elegant mathematical tool without peer in the social sciences Of course, there were little problems here and there, but the analytical power and beauty of the model has resisted all challenges Even sophisticated critics like Albert Hirschman do not seem to recognize that one cannot modify one of the premises without destroying the tight deductive form of the model "What is needed is for economists to incorporate into their analyses . .such basic traits and emotions as the desire for power and for sacrifice, the fear of boredom, pleasure in both commitment and unpredictability, the search for meaning and community, and so on" (Hirschman, 1983, p 29) But the introduction of these motivations would totally undermine the logical certainty of the market model Consequently, the profession smiles indulgently at critics like Hirschman and proceeds to ignore them 4 The paradigm has no available alternative This beautiful intellectual system has so thoroughly penetrated our cultural consciousness, our educational curricula, and our decisionmaking systems that change will not come easily The field of economics is ripe for a Kuhnian "scientific revolution," but even though the anomalies and suggestions for partial reform are widespread, no completely comprehensive intellectual model of the magnitude of Smith, Marx, or even Keynes has appeared on the scene Prince Klaus of the Netherlands, in the course of his keynote address at the World Conference of the Society for International Development (May, 1991), said that what the world needs is a "green Keynes," adding his hope that "she is from the South ." Prime Minister Gro Harlem Brundtland, chair of the World Commission on Environment and Development, at the same conference lamented that the market was "doing us in," but that she was unaware of any real alternative Authors like Brown, Daly & Cobb, Ekins, Henderson, and Robertson are making efforts to 4 4


We Must Stop Teaching Economics change the status quo, but the field has a long way to go (Brown, 1991 ; Daly & Cobb, 1989 ; Ekins, 1991 ; Henderson, 1991 ; Robertson, 1990) 5 Inertia and myopia among the specialized disciplines in the university inhibit needed changes Part of the intellectual inertia comes from the specialized, compartmentalized structure of knowledge in North American universities and its continuous reproduction of itself Daly and Cobb identify "disciplinolatry" as "the overwhelmingly dominant religion of the university," which they consider both "potent and destructive" (p 125) Part of the problem is that : Those shaped by the disciplinary organization of knowledge usually speak and act as if the disciplines additively covered the whole range of what is to be known This assumes that the real world is made up additively of the elements and aspects into which it has been divided by the disciplines But since each has been abstracted from its relations to all the others, what are added together are not the elements and aspects themselves but only those features that for some particular purpose were abstracted from those relationships The addition of these abstractions provides a great deal of information It does not provide understanding (p 126) However, these separate views are entrenched in the disciplinary departments of the university, and the bureaucratic turf protection proclivities usually supersede the transformations of the knowledge structure that the changing world situation deserves To further aggravate the problem, these same disciplinarians are writing the textbooks and working to influence the curriculum in the public schools Ecology should really be a meta-disciplinary curricular undertaking An example of the difficulty of accomplishing such a task within the current institutional structure was the recent experience of geographers at San Francisco State University When they wanted to study the environment across departmental boundaries, they were informed that they could only deal with "human environmental studies ." Geoscience already "owned" one part, biology yet another So who is looking at the whole picture? Where is the full ecological perspective? Certainly not in economics But no one even expects economics to focus on the environment After all, nature to economists is an "externality ." 4 5


Raymond C Miller Conclusion So what do we need to do? We need to stop teaching economics in its present form! We need to recognize that the world has never worked like the pure market model says, nor should it We need to recognize all the cultural norms buried in the neoclassical paradigm, salvage the still desirable ones, and work rapidly toward reducing the influence of the deleterious ones We need to honestly admit to the world and to ourselves that we have never really followed the laissez-faire norms to the extent that the proclaimed dominant dogma would have everyone believe We need to reorganize the structure of knowledge and thus the university We need to put ecological thinking first, or we may be on the verge of destroying "the goose that lays the golden egg," Mother Earth And we'd better get the right messages into the classrooms of the world! References Brown, L (1991) The new world order In Worldwatch Institute (Ed .), State of the world : 1991 (pp 3-20) New York : W W Norton Brown, L R ., Flavin, C ., & Postel, S (1991) Saving the planet : How to shape an environmentally sustainable global economy New York : W W Norton Cavanagh, J ., Gershman, J ., Baker, K ., & Helmke, G (1992) Trading freedom : How free trade affects our lives, work and environment San Francisco : Institute for Food and Development Clark, C W (1991) Economic biases against sustainable development In R Costanza (Ed .), Ecological economics : The science and management of sustainability, (pp 319-330) New York : Columbia University Press Clark, M E (1991) Rethinking ecological and economic education : A gestalt shift In R Costanza (Ed .), Ecological economics : The science and management of sustainability, (pp 400-415) New York : Columbia University Press Clark, M E (1989) Ariadne's thread : The search for new modes of thinking New York : St Martin's Press Cobb, J (1990) An index of sustainable economic welfare Development, 3/4, 106-112 Daly, H (1990) Sustainable growth : An impossibility theorem Development, 3/4, 45-47 Daly, H & Cobb, J (1989) For the common good : Redirecting the economy toward community, the environment, and a sustainable future Boston : Beacon Press Economic report of the president (1992) Washington, D .C : U .S Government Printing Office Ekins, P (1992) A new world order New York : Routledge 4 6


We Must Stop Teaching Economics Ekins, P (1991) A strategy for global environmental development Paper delivered at the 20th World Conference of the Society for International Development Amsterdam, May, 1991 Etzioni, A (1988) The moral dimension : Toward a new economics New York : The Free Press Flavin, C (1990) Beyond the Gulf crisis : An energy strategy for the '90s Challenge, 33(6), 4-10 Friedman, M & R (1981) Free to choose New York : Avon Books Galbraith, J K (1979) The new industrial state New York : Mentor Books George, S (1988) A fate worse than debt New York : Grove Press Ghai, D (ed .) (1991) The IMF and the South : The social impact of crisis and adjustment London : Zed Books Heilbroner, R L (1986) The worldly philosophers (6th ed .) New York : Simon & Schuster Henderson, H (1991) Paradigms in progress : Life beyond economics Indianapolis : Knowledge Systems Henderson, H (1990) Beyond economics : New indicators for culturally specific, sustainable development Development, 3/4, 60-68 Hirschman, A (1983) Morality and the social sciences : A durable tension In N Haan, R Bellah, P Rubinow, & W Sullivan (Eds .), Social science as moral inquiry, (pp 21-32) New York : Columbia University Press Kornai, J (1990) The road to a free economy New York : W W Norton MacEwan, A (1990) Debt and disorder New York : Monthly Review Press Redclift, M (1987) Sustainable development : Exploring the contradictions New York : Methuen Renshaw, E (1990) Paying for oil security Challenge, 33(6), 11-16 Rhoads, S E (1985) The economist's view of the world New York : Cambridge University Press Robertson, J (1990) Future wealth : A new economics for the 21st century New York : The Bootstrap Press Ross, D (1991) The origins of American social science New York : Cambridge University Press Rostow, W W (1960) The stages of economic growth New York : Cambridge University Press Rothbard, M (1979) Individualism and the philosophy of the social sciences San Francisco : Cato Institute Sachs, J (1992) Building a market economy in Poland Scientific American, 266(3), 34-40 Sachs, J D (1991) Crossing the valley of tears in East European reform Challenge, 34(5), 26-34 Schneider, K (1992, March 14) New way to fight environmental laws San Francisco Chronicle, p 2 4 7


Raymond C Miller Speth, J G (1990) Environmental security for the 1990s Development, 3/4,9-16 Sterner, J (1989) Other people's money : A play in two acts New York : Samuel French United Nations Development Program (1991) Human development report : 1991 New York : Oxford University Press Wasting on the way (1991) Dollars and Sense, 166, 12-13 World Commission on Environment and Development (1987) Our common future Oxford : Oxford University Press Author RAYMOND C MILLER is Professor of Social Science and International Relations at San Francisco State University, San Francisco, CA 94132 4 8


REACTION AND RESPONSE Editor's Note : We invited three social studies educators who specialize in economic education to react to Professor Miller's article Following are the comments of Professors Beverly J Armento of Georgia State University, Mark C Schug of the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee, and Steven L Miller of Ohio State University Raymond Miller then responds to their remarks REACTION : Economics and the Environment BEVERLY J ARMENTO, Professor, Social Studies Education, Georgia State University Everything (white men) use has been provided by the earth, the mother They proceed with progress, building bigger each time, always progressing They have gone into the very heart of the mother for oil and left empty caverns (Wyatt, 1974) With the exception of a few indigenous traditional societies, NO society has invented an economic system that has promoted the preservation, conservation, and sustainability of the environment The few examples of the successful blending of cultural and biological landscapes tend to occur in societies where the people realize how intimately interdependent they are with nature for their daily survival Today, many people in highly urbanized, industrialized regions think about the economy as one thing and nature as another (Clark, 1989) There is no doubt that the dominant neoclassical economic norms so popular today have contributed to this narrow and disconnected way humans view the land ; however, market theories are not alone in their inadequate attention to the environment And economics in and of itself is not to "blame" for the undesirable and possibly catastrophic consequences Professor Miller outlines in his provocative essay The issue, as Miller suggests, is to find more powerful ways of conceptualizing reality, new paradigms that will aid public policy on environmental and other complex economic issues On this point I am in full accord In this response, I would like to extend Miller's discussion on the environment, making a few points he overlooked, and a few on the side of the market Space does not permit me to address all of the 49


Beverly J Armento generalizations Miller has attributed to weak theory, so I will limit my discussion to the growth versus the environment debate, and close with some ideas for rethinking economics as well as for rethinking public policy on environmental concepts Growth has been particularly hard on the environment in both market and central planning societies To the extent that Russians/Eastern Europeans held to the Marxian ideology that labor is the source of all value, they tended to treat natural resources as free goods (Goldman, 1973) When water, air, and raw materials are viewed as free or semi-free goods, they will be misallocated, abused, and consumed without regard for long-term consequences In this case, they were In addition, resources were and continue to be thoughtlessly exploited in capitalistic countries as well, where the economic ideology at least offers a mechanism-the price mechanism-that should provide for better distribution of scarce environmental resources In a market economy, the price system is the main social institution for identification and reaction to relative scarcity (Solow, 1973) If the price system worked according to neoclassical economic theory, higher prices on scarce natural resources would force us to conserve and economize Higher prices on nonrenewable resources would attract competing producers to substitute other materials that are more plentiful and thus cheaper, leading to the conservation of scarce resources In addition, higher prices of goods containing scarce resources should direct consumers toward substitute products But in reality, when it comes to the pricing of natural resources and to the pricing of waste disposal, the market model (with laissezfaire assumptions) has serious limitations In part, the low price or no price for waste disposal occurs because the environment is owned by all of us : It is a public good In a democratic society, the public sphere is owned by all of us ; it is a public good, governed by political decisions, made by citizens and their representatives Neoclassical economic theory holds many clues for creating incentives that would promote zero net environmental destruction (ZNED) (Chiswick, 1973) Economic theory could and has contributed to political decisions on the environment ; for example, a community could subsidize activities that cleanse the environment and tax those that harm the environmentraise taxes on gasoline to curb consumption and increase taxes on minerals extracted from the earth (Chiswick, 1973, p 195) To save the world for human habitation, we must have the nerve, the political power, and the philosophical commitment to use the economic theory that we know while inventing new paradigms to address environmental issues One could just as easily argue that political decision making and political interests are failing the environment, not economics It may be that all of the social and natural sciences share the responsibility for filling this lack of an integrated, 5 0


Economics and the Environment multidisciplinary conception of the environment's value, a conception which would provide a basis for informed public policy decisions It should be noted that economists have contributed to thinking about growth and the environment for some time now Two influential voices, Kenneth Boulding (1968) and John Kenneth Galbraith (1958), raised many of Professor Miller's same concerns some 30 years ago Henderson (1978), long a voice for alternative economic paradigms, called for a new public interest economics, in which economists connected with physical and biological scientists to obtain baseline data on the biosphere to inform economic models Yet in my own university library, I could find only one book entry under any of these topics : ecological economics, environmental economics, or economics of the environment (Costanza, 1991) Writings by economists, however, dominate the development literature Where are the voices of sociologists and anthropologists, who understand human cultural beliefs, social organization, mobility patterns, and the various ways people interact with the environment? Where are the voices of social-psychologists who understand the meanings and the values people attribute to the land and its resources? Where are the philosophers and the ethical criteria one might use in policy situations in less developed countries, where people are generally more concerned with their next meal than with passing on the land to the next generation? And where are the voices of the natural scientists who understand the nature of the global ecological balance and the physical effects of alternative resource uses? Since each of the physical and social sciences suffers from its own narrow focus as well as its own ideological biases, the big picture can only emerge when information from various important perspectives converge on a problem, be it development, resource allocation, pollution, population, or distribution of wealth Each of the social science and natural science disciplines (as currently contrived) can bring important insights to public policy ; for example, sociologists examine ways the political, economic, and social dimensions of society affect people's lives Thus, important insights into the effects of alternative policies can be anticipated and used to inform policy decisions (Midgley, 1988) A more effective public policy on the environment will demand an awareness that the socio-ecological structure involves a complex, multidimensional web which includes values and traditions as well as economic costs and benefits ; long-term as well as short-term effects ; and often global as well as local consequences (Clark, 1989, 1991) Will the necessary collaborations occur to create such understanding and such new ways of thinking about humans and the land? Like Miller, I am not optimistic The nature of the university does much to limit meaningful interaction, and academics themselves must be convinced of the value of new thinking with new colleagues 5 1


Beverly j Armento There is much fervor within some of the social science fields (anthropology, geography, and history), where the entry of women and people of diverse ethnic and ideological perspectives has, in part, stimulated new ways of thinking about old issues While the field of economics has experienced some of these changes, it remains dominated not only by white men, but also by neoclassical ideology and strong positivist attitudes I have some optimism, however, about economic education at the pre-college level It is here that a few of the field's leaders hold more holistic views of the economy and ecology, bringing to bear perspectives from fields such as anthropology and sociology in their teaching and in some curricular materials This optimism, however, should not be taken to suggest that "ecological economics" is a dominant attitude Like so many academic economists, many economic educators are thoroughly fascinated with the rigor and splendor of the neoclassical economic models For many of the nation's children as well, this unidimensional view of the world becomes their economic education For them and certainly for improved public policy on the environment, it is time to think in new ways References Boulding, K E (1968) Beyond economics Ann Arbor : University of Michigan Press Chiswick B R (1973) Reactions In A Weintraub, E Schwartz, & J R Aronson (Eds .), The economic growth controversy, (pp 194-199) New York : International Arts and Science Press Clark, M E (1989) Ariadne's thread : The search for new modes of thinking New York : St Martin's Press Clark, M E (1991) Rethinking ecological and economic education : A gestalt shift In R Costanza (Ed .), Ecological economics : The science and management of sustainability, (pp 100-117) New York : Columbia University Press Costanza, R (1991) Ecological economics : The science and management of sustainability New York : Columbia University Press Galbraith, J K (1958) The affluent society Boston : Houghton-Mifflin Goldman, M I (1973) Growth and environmental problems of noncapitalist nations In A Weintraub, E Schwartz, & J R Aronson (Eds .), The economic growth controversy, (pp 98-115) New York : International Arts and Sciences Press Henderson, H (1978) Creating alternative futures : The end of economics Berkeley, CA : Berkeley Publishing Martinez-Alier, J (1991) Ecological perception, environmental policy and distributional conflicts : Some lessons from history In R Costanza (Ed .), Ecological economics : The science and 5 2


5 3 Economics and the Environment management of sustainability, (pp 118-136) New York : Columbia University Press Midgley, J (1988) Sociology and development policy In A Hall & J Midgley (Eds .), Development policies : Sociological perspectives, (pp 10-32) Manchester, Great Britain : Manchester University Press Solow, R M (1973) Is the end of the world at hand? In A Weintraub, E Schwartz, & J R Aronson (Eds .), The economic growth controversy, (pp 39-61) New York : International Arts and Sciences Press Wyatt, H (1974) When is the end? In Inter-tribal Council of Nevada (Ed .), Personal reflections of the Shoshone, Paiute, Washo (p 14) Carson City : Editor REACTION : Inclusion versus Exclusion in Social Studies MARK C SCHUG, Professor, Curriculum and Instruction, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Professor Miller's statement of normative economic assumptions is provocative, but badly informed and potentially damaging to the social studies I suggest that readers consider three tests when analyzing Professor Miller's paper First, in his discussion of economic assumptions, does he present principles of economics correctly? Is his account one which economists and economic educators would accept? I will contend that it is not Second, where would the application of Miller's logic lead us in selecting content for inclusion in the social studies curriculum? In my view, Miller's ideas amount to a slippery slope down which many of the social sciences might slide, away from the social studies curriculum Finally, what is the proper context for economics in the school curriculum? I contend that inclusion of all the social sciences is preferable to exclusion Economic Assumptions Miller has identified 11 normative assumptions which he attributes to economics I will limit my reaction to his first statement, because it informs several of the others, and it serves as a good example of the flaws in his presentation Assumption one states that decisions are best made by free individuals Miller correctly stresses the key economic principle that any decision is ultimately an individual decision Individuals select options which represent the best set of costs and benefits To say,


Mark C Schug however, that people make decisions which are self-interested is different from saying that people are selfish or motivated by "rampant greed ." This, I believe, is the crux of Miller's confusion and deserves further exploration Economic theory does not assume that people are materialistic, shortsighted, or irresponsible Everything depends on what people consider to be in their own interest People have a wide range of interests When I interviewed elementary teachers for a study a few years ago, they consistently reported how much they enjoyed teaching reading because of the pleasure they gained from seeing children learn how to read My neighbor spends no money on family trips, cars, hobbies, or furniture She saves most of what she earns so that her daughter can go to the finest possible college She derives pleasure in saving and planning for her child's education Once we understand that people have varied interests, we see that their behavior is completely compatible with and readily explained by an economic perspective While an economic perspective does account for altruistic behavior, it remains true that most people prefer to have more money rather than less This, however, is not a case of insensitivity or greed Instead, money enables us to advance our interests and gain new alternatives As economist Paul Heyne says, "even Mother Teresa does better with more money ." Miller's first assumption and several of his later points about individual decision making also suggest that cooperation is not important in the way of life envisioned by market economics He claims that unbridled individual decision making leads to "warring hordes" and "disconnected individuals ." Nonsense! Nothing could be further from the truth Day-to-day economic life is characterized by social cooperation Imagine how many financial transactions take place daily in markets across our nation Imagine the number that occur around the world These decisions involve individuals exercising personal freedom in choosing what to buy and when to buy The most striking characteristic of all this complex activity is that people find much of what they want through the voluntary cooperation of others In the course of economic activity, we gain the cooperation of people we do not know-people who live in different parts of the world, who speak different languages, who belong to different cultures, and who hold different religious beliefs The economic system is characterized by individuals acting voluntarily in an orderly and cooperative way, to achieve their goals without the benefit of a government plan To Professor Miller, the world is a zero-sum game of winners and losers To many economists, the economy is a vast system of voluntary cooperation which results in mutual benefits 5 4


5 5 Inclusion versus Exclusion Unlike Professor Miller, I do not see economics as an evil set of assumptions Rather, I view the assumptions of economics as making a substantive intellectual contribution They help us to describe and explain the world in ways other social sciences do not Young people should be introduced to economics because it provides them with a key perspective on their own behavior and the behavior of others A grasp of economics can help people make sense out of bewildering behavior such as the following : Why is Russia, a nation with abundant natural resources, poor while Japan, a nation with no natural resources, is rich? In the 1970s, the Illinois legislature wanted to help poor people get home mortgages, and it set an 8 percent limit on interest rates for home mortgages Almost overnight, no one in Illinois could obtain a home loan Why? In an effort to cut the federal deficit, Congress decided to soak the rich by placing an excise tax on a play hing of the rich-yachts The result was a tax that put thousands of people out of work and cost more in lost revenue than it raised Why? Every year, politicians warn us of the dangerous size of the federal deficit, yet the deficit continues to grow Why? I believe that young people who reason about problems of this sort by reference to economic theory and evidence are likely to be critically minded citizens, not easily swayed by the slogans and overgeneralizations of newspaper editors, politicians, academics, and ax grinders Is Sociology Unfit for the Curriculum? My second objection to Professor Miller's analysis is in his desire to exclude a key social science from the social studies curriculum If economics should not be taught, what other social sciences might be classified next as harmful to students and teachers? From which other disciplines should young people and teachers be protected by a vanguard of self-appointed leaders who know what is best? Consider sociology Sociology is the study of human behavior in groups or collectives It is constituted of several key concepts including role, family, and socialization Many sociologists would argue that sociology is an empirical science whose theories must ultimately be


Mark C Schug judged according to the results derived from empirical study ; however, one could argue that sociology's emphasis on collective behavior and on related assumptions leads sociologists inevitably to favor groupimposed solutions over others In this sense, sociologists, like economists, might be thought of as teaching a set of normative assumptions What might be some examples? Here are three First, sociology stresses the importance of group decisions Individual decisions count for little A normative assumption derived from the importance of collective decisions is that individuals bear no responsibility for their choices Second, sociology describes societies that sort people at birth into classes and castes With their fate predetermined in this manner, individuals can do little to help themselves or their families A normative assumption is that we are all helpless victims Third, sociology describes collective human behavior that is often aggressive Aggression results when people become frustrated, due to their inability to accomplish their goals Frustration leads inevitably to collective aggression, where people loot, steal, and burn property belonging to others A normative assumption is that individuals participating in group violence are expressing their frustration They are not responsible for the damage they do In this light, sociology appears to be a pseudo-discipline, one that smuggles in a set of normative assumptions which many would regard as morally reprehensible But such an exercise is, of course, abhorrent to sociologists, economists, and most others who value academic freedom and dispute the elitist position taken by people eager to decide what is good for everyone When core ideas are misrepresented, any social science can be portrayed as morally corrupt, and as unworthy content in the school curriculum Inclusion versus Exclusion Miller's endeavor to remove economics from the school curriculum would, if it were taken seriously, deny young people access to a discipline that is crucial to citizenship education Indeed, the goals of citizenship education argue for a more inclusive curriculum, not one bowdlerized by censorious corrections Students need to study problems from several perspectives offered through the social sciences, including anthropology, economics, political science, and psychology, and from the perspectives of history and geography Each perspective provides an important set of assumptions and a way of thinking about problems that is vital to citizenship education 5 6


REACTION : Throwing the Baby Out with the Bath Water STEVEN L MILLER, Associate Professor of Social Studies and Global Education and Director of the Center for Economic Education, Ohio State University I was among those who heard Ray Miller's speech, upon which his article is based, and I thought he accomplished his mission of provoking serious thought I find his article, like his speech, intriguing, but ultimately unconvincing It is certainly worthwhile to remind economists, educators, and others of the limitations inherent within the discipline of economics, but in arguing that we should "stop teaching economics," Professor Miller is indeed guilty of "throwing the baby out with the bath water ." This response disputes three major contentions in Miller's article : 1) that what he labels as "normative assumptions" of economics causes people to behave in certain ways ; 2) that economics is responsible for poor policy decisions ; and 3) that his "normative assumptions" of economics are indeed assumptions as well as normative What Causes Economic Behavior? Miller's Argument To better investigate Miller's core argument, it is useful to summarize briefly the traditional view of economics as a discipline embraced by most economists, which divides the subject into its positive and normative aspects Milton Friedman, in his classic 1953 essay, made the distinction this way : [T]he task (of positive economics) is to provide a system of generalizations that can be used to make correct predictions about the consequences of any change in circumstances Its performance is to be judged by the precision, scope, and conformity with experience of the predictions it yields In short, positive economics is, or can be, an "objective" science in precisely the same sense as any of the physical sciences Normative economics and the art of economics, on the other hand, cannot be independent of positive economics Any policy conclusion necessarily rests on a prediction about the consequences of doing one thing rather than another There is not, of course, a one-to-one relation between policy conclusions and the conclusions of positive economics . . Two 5 7


Steven L Miller individuals may agree on the consequences of a particular piece of legislation One may regard them as desirable on balance and so favor the legislation ; the other, as undesirable and so oppose the legislation (in Watts, 1991, pp 191) This is in sharp contrast to Miller's most basic contention : that economics is built on normative assumptions which incorporate values detrimental to our global society and that policymakers and people in general act as they do because of these assumptions (I will argue later that these assumptions are not normative and some are not assumptions, but for now, I will use Miller's language .) It is important to note that Miller does not say that economics fails to predict economic behavior reasonably accurately ; rather, he contends that economics provides the license for people to behave in pernicious ways : "Some of the behavior the market condones is downright destructive ." Moreover, he asserts that the normative assumptions of economics are so ingrained in the culture that people behave in accordance with them, not because of some scientifically predictable behavior, but because this is how they "ought to behave in order to get the desired results ." Thus, he states that standard textbooks and the teaching of economics "promote the moral imperatives [read that as 'greed'] throughout the land" ; that the "normative paradigm of economics conditions people to think that way" ; and that economics is responsible for everything bad, from the attitudes of Larry the Liquidator to the policies of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Presumably, if the discipline of economics didn't exist, people would behave differently Let's be clear about this crucial point, since Miller's argument turns on it Economists say they have looked at the world and developed a set of propositions built upon certain assumptions and deductions from those assumptions that explain many things fairly well Miller says that economists have built a normative system that has caused people to behave according to the assumptions of that system Economic Behavior in General I think Miller turns causality on its head For his argument to be true, economics as a "moral system" would have to be among the most powerful ever developed Since the classical model was not even developed until after the time of Adam Smith, how did its pervasive influence account for the self-interested behavior that Smith's treatise was written to explain? How does Miller's contention explain the explosive development of Chinese agriculture due to private incentives unleased in a culture that for decades has pounded on anti5 8


Throwing the Baby Out with the Bath Water materialistic themes, or the development of black markets in the formerly communist countries? Why are his examples of bad results all American, while he finds examples of "good" policies in other predominantly market-oriented countries ; e .g ., gasoline taxes in Western Europe? How does one account for examples through history where modern economics explains the economic behavior of the people in the society, but where the assumptions of economics as a "moral system" could not possibly have caused this behavior? The only direct evidence Miller produces to support his contention is a single study of economics students versus other students (source not cited by Miller) Not only is this preposterously meager to sustain such a sweeping contention, but his explanation of the study casts doubt on whether it really lends his view any sustenance ; for example, would the students have behaved differently if the exercise were not hypothetical? His description of the study does not tell us how the shares of the investment are to be distributed In sum, Miller falls far short of demonstrating that people in general act as economics predicts because they have internalized its normative assumptions Policy Makers There is one other way in which Miller argues that economics causes certain behaviors : when policy makers are particularly infected with certain pro-market values that are related to having studied economics According to Miller, policy makers love the free market and the values implicit in economics, which causes the IMF to institute bad policies, the Bush administration to place a moratorium on regulations, the U .S to propose free trade with Mexico, and so on Unfortunately for Miller, he fails to prove this causal connection as well If policy makers are so infected with the value of free markets, why then do we : t e nforce trade restrictions that cost consumers $80 billion a year, more than $1,200 per family (Fund, 1992) ; t s acrifice annual economic output of 2 .6 to 5% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), or $150 to $290 billion, due to environmental regulation (Samuelson, 1992) ; shave minimum wage laws, worker safety laws, and food and drug regulation ; h ave welfare, medicare, medicaid, social security, subsidized housing, Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC), unemployment compensation, food stamps, etc ; t s pend hundreds of billions of dollars due to the reregulation that became the Savings & Loan (S&L) crisis ; 5 9


Steven L Miller t p ermit the $335 billion federal deficit for this fiscal year? If Miller's contention is to hold, he must explain all of these He cannot simply claim, for example, that the trend of the last decade is toward less of these things as economics becomes more ascendant The trend is mixed By some measures, less money is spent on social programs, and more on environmental regulation The S&L bailout is a classic case of changed regulation (not deregulation) where economists correctly predicted the outcome at the time the regulations were being altered Absent war or depression, as a percent of GDP, the annual federal deficit has never been greater I would argue that the explanation for such policies lies at least partly in economic ignorance and partly in normative economics Consider two of the above examples : Most people are ignorant of the concept of moral hazard Briefly, by deregulating certain aspects of S&L investments while collectively guaranteeing the safety of deposits, the stage was set for a raid on the treasury that the public simply did not understand Various social programs also illustrate the public's willingness to sacrifice some economic efficiency and freedom for some economic security and equity As Friedman pointed out, there can be honest disagreement over questions of normative economics, since people differ on the relative merit of values The facts show that there is no great proclivity on the part of policy makers to adopt the unfettered free markets that Miller's contention about the power of normative assumptions would predict Miller confuses economics with political rhetoric He misunderstands arguments in favor of jobs over the environment as acting on "normative assumptions" when it is simply normative economics The Value of Positive Economics Miller admits that there are "many useful analytical tools contained within the discipline's tool kit ." While he says that these are "encased in a norm-ridden . intellectual framework," he doesn't seem to realize how fundamentally this admission undermines his basic thesis Accepting for the sake of argument that there is no such thing as complete objectivity in any field of inquiry, even in the physical sciences, and that in all fields values influence such basic ideas as what to research and what counts as evidence, the issue remains whether there is a core of economics that is essentially positive Put another way, the question is whether the admission of the intrusion of values is an all-or-nothing proposition-either something is value-free or it isn't To admit that there are "many useful analytical tools" is also to say that one does not believe in the all-or-nothing view Thus, Miller 6 0


Throwing the Baby Out with the Bath Water allows that some aspects of economics really do explain things about the world What analytical tools might these be? Miller does not list them, but he does provide some clues ; for example, he notes, "While Western European countries levy a gasoline tax five to ten times more than the U .S ., we are still trying to figure out why our citizens drive so much ." This is simply not true It is obvious to Miller and to economists that if the price of gasoline is higher, less will be used, ceteris paribus Why is it obvious? Because this prediction is based on generalizations drawn from positive economics, based on assumptions, deductions, and testing in the real world Miller's implicit conclusion, that people would use less gasoline if it cost more due to tax, is based on the very assumptions he castigates as normative ; e .g ., that people generally act in their own self-interest Thus, Miller is arguing paradoxically that the same economics used in Western Europe to obtain "good" results is employed in the U .S for "bad" results This cannot be due to his putative normative assumptions of economics It is due precisely to the "art of [normative] economics" described by Friedman There is no dispute about the results of higher gasoline taxes (positive economics) Western European lawmakers evidently like the results of higher gasoline taxes ; Americans do not (normative economics) And here one must note that among the possible results lawmakers might not like is being defeated in the next election In sum, for Miller to really make his case, he needs to prove that economic assumptions are like self-fulfilling prophecies : We assume people are greedy, therefore they become greedy He fails to do so His own arguments show that economics, nasty assumptions and all, is put to social uses of which he approves Economics and Poor Policy A major section of Miller's paper is devoted to some policies that he does not advocate and to his contention that they must be due to the pervasive influence on policy makers of the horrid values contained in economics As noted above, Miller is unable to prove the connection of normative economic values to policies he dislikes Nonetheless, a specific response to this section seems in order I have space to consider only two items, although I believe that similar problems afflict all of the policies he discusses In outlining the Third World debt problem, Miller has rewritten history, invented a new explanation, and blamed everything on economics He cites Federal Reserve Bank (Fed) actions to lower inflation rates (calling this a "market-oriented monetary policy") as the proximate cause of the debt problem He wants to charge this to the Reagan administration's account ("Reagan was re-elected"), the better 6 1


Steven L Miller to cement the "known" Reagan connection to free markets In short, Miller's explanation says simply that following free market economics caused the Third World debt problem However, Miller omits some very inconvenient facts Why was "double-digit inflation" permitted in the first place, especially if the Fed is a tool of (in Miller's terms) the "marketeers"? Shouldn't the Fed have been following an anti-inflation, "market-oriented monetary policy" already? And if Miller is right, why hasn't the Fed pushed inflation rates down to pre-1960 levels? In fact, the debt story is really about the Fed's response to inflation after the lifting of wage and price controls in 1974 and the OPEC-driven oil shocks of 1973 and 1978 (Trehan, 1990) Generally, the Fed whipsawed among various economic upheavals, accommodating the effects of the first oil shock (i .e ., increasing the money supply), jamming on the monetary brakes as inflation increased following the end of price controls (except on oil and natural gas), a resulting recession, and accommodating the next oil shock, thereby creating more inflation and again slamming on the monetary brakes to control inflation At root was the action of the OPEC cartel, whose manipulations were strengthened by U .S price controls and disincentives to produce oil domestically The actions of the Fed to halt double-digit inflation were begun by Paul Volcker, a Carter appointee, in 1979, before Reagan was elected Moreover, subsequent Fed actions, which Miller makes appear like a conspiracy against debtor countries, were designed to throttle the high real interest rates that he claims were harming Third World countries As Miller points out, real rates are the nominal rate less inflation : Real rates reflect the risk of anticipated inflation To lower real rates, the monetary authority must demonstrate resolve in bringing inflation under control Given the explosion in inflation, especially from 1976-80, what would Miller have had the Fed do-expand the money supply even faster, thereby driving real rates higher? Finally, where in Miller's scenario is the discussion of why less developed countries (LDCs) borrowed this money and what they did with it? As he notes, early in the inflation process, the real rates of return were negative LDCs were being subsidized to borrow, and they gambled that inflation would continue They were wrong Moreover, at the time, the dominant economic development philosophy was hardly oriented to free markets Development economists generally preferred centralized planning for LDCs 1 Thus, loans were made to governments, not private businesses Where did all the money go? Some was lost due to corruption ; some was invested in inefficient state-owned enterprises ; 1 The changing approach to development is detailed in the 1991 World Bank publication, The challenge of development : World development report 6 2


Throwing the Baby Out with the Bath Water and some was used for current social programs (Ewert, 1988) None of this could remotely be thought of as generating future returns from which the loans could be repaid Would American banks have made these loans if they weren't guaranteed by foreign governments and implicitly, by the U .S and international institutions? Cartels, price controls, gyrating monetary policy, command economies, state-owned enterprises, central planning mistakes, and government corruption : Does any of this sound like the "marketeers"? Certainly one should not blame free-market economics for this But Miller says that this "all makes sense from the market point of view ." Hardly Economics can explain what happened and why But a freemarket orientation is not responsible for this sorry episode Incidentally, regarding Miller's attack on the IMF : Given this history, if you were at the IMF, what restrictions would you put on loans? A second example is Miller's discussion of externalities Miller gives a capsule summary of how economists conceptualize pollution problems as a failure of the market mechanism that requires adjusting prices to reflect the social costs of pollution He asserts that "the free marketeers and those influenced by conventional norms see these prices as just another excuse for arbitrary government intervention ." His support for this is a quotation from John Kenneth Galbraith and some political actions undertaken by George Bush This is simply a gross misrepresentation of economics, and it flies in the face of much current work in environmental policy As noted earlier, the U .S spends a significant amount annually on pollution control and there is widespread public support for pro-environmental policies Miller fails to acknowledge that the study of market failures due to externalities is a well-accepted and heavily-researched area of economics Treatment of this topic is a standard feature of many high school and virtually all college textbooks Moreover, economics makes a substantial contribution to pollution reduction policies Economic analysis has been helpful in deciding both at what level to set standards and how to implement them When accurate cost/benefit data are available, one can use economics to avoid wasting scarce pollution control resources, as unfortunately was not done in the case of asbestos, where billions have been spent to avoid an estimated premature death risk of 1 in 100,000, 1/75th the risk of premature death due to diagnostic X-rays (Mathews, 1992) Once a standard has been established, economics points to the relative costs of the various ways to achieve the desired results Hence, The Economist (a bastion of market economics) supports a carbon tax as the most efficient way to reduce contributions to global warming (1992) Miller's real point is that people are not sufficiently concerned about the environment But if people are being fooled by the political rhetoric of politicians, the answer is more economics instruction, not 6 3


Steven L Miller less Once again, the argument is about economic ignorance and normative economics, and not about some fundamental problem with the discipline Each of Miller's examples in this section has serious problems in either their presentation of economics, the basic facts, or the connection of policy to economics He simply fails to show that economics is responsible for these policies Normative Assumptions Finally, we consider Miller's 11 supposed normative assumptions of economics There are two problems with Miller's contention : First, some are not assumptions ; and second, labeling them as normative does not make them so While there is not sufficient space to consider all of them, a few illustrations should make my point His eighth assumption, regarding a capitalist system being the best ever devised (I charitably ignore the gratuitous inclusion of "fossil fuel-based") is a good example of a statement that is not an assumption ; rather, it is a conclusion, and as such, it is not part of the economic model Miller attacks Milton Friedman might very well agree with this conclusion, but he would do so not as an economist, but as a citizen, based on his evaluation of the results of such an economic system, and given his preferred goals, with the recognition that others could disagree Many of the "normative assumptions" Miller presents have the operant economic word removed, with the word "best" substituted instead He thus transforms technical assumptions into normative ones, something that economists do not do and do not teach Consider assumption three : "Exchanges are best facilitated by using a uniform system of valuation : money ." Aside from the fact that this is also a conclusion, not an assumption, the point is that Miller has substituted the word "best" for the words "most efficiently ." "Efficiency" has a very specific meaning in economics, and no one should confuse it with "best ." Economists can usually suggest the most efficient approach ; they cannot suggest the best until best is defined Miller's implicit suggestion that economics equates "efficiency" with "best" is simply not true Consider assumption four : "All individuals naturally and appropriately seek the maximization of their insatiable material selfinterest (homo economicus) ." Economics does not assume this, nor does it pass judgment on the appropriateness of such behavior It does assume that most people seek their material self-interest most of the time (Economists recognize exceptions and have considered why such exceptions occur and the resulting implications for this assumption) Economics also assumes that the sum of the wants of humankind exceed available resources (but this doesn't require everyone to be materially 6 4


Throwing the Baby Out with the Bath Water insatiable .) On the evidence, both assumptions still appear viable, as Miller evidently agrees when proposing additional taxes on gasoline Conclusion In short, Miller has distorted economics and imputed value statements that economists do not accept He has failed in his attempt to make the discipline of economics the cause of behavior as opposed to the explanation of behavior He has failed to show that economics is responsible for the policies he does not prefer Miller's is only one of a number of recent articles calling for a "new" economics based on different values from those allegedly embraced within the discipline As a specialist in economic education, I find these attacks to be misguided The writers generally are appalled at certain policies that they believe are justified by economics They are wrong Economists should not have to point out continually that political rhetoric about free markets, no matter how self-serving, is not part of their discipline, and that every policy claiming a basis in economics is not in fact justified by it Knowledge in all fields can be used for good and evil purposes What these authors should be concerned about is promoting their cherished values They should support economic education as a means to help clarify and make difficult choices in light of those values References Ewert Ken S (1988) The international debt crisis Economic Education Bulletin 28(9), 1-4 Fund, John (1992) The green card : How to get tough with Japan The New Republic, 205(31), 16-17 Mathews, Jay (1992) To yank or not to yank? Newsweek, 119, 59 Samuelson, Robert J (1992) The end is not at hand Newsweek 119, 43 Taxing carbon (1987) The Economist, 323(7758), 16, 19 The World Bank (1991) The challenge of development : World development report, London : Oxford University Press Trehan, Bharat (1990, November 9) Lessons from the oil shocks of the 1970s FRBSF Weekly Letter San Francisco, CA : Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco Watts, Michael (1987) Ideology, textbooks, and the teaching of economics Theory into Practice 26(3), 190-197 6 5


Raymond Miller responds : IN ORDER TO HELP SAVE THE WORLD, WE MUST TRANSFORM SOCIAL STUDIES EDUCATION : A REJOINDER If the distortions, confusions, and fundamental misunderstandings manifest in these responses to my article are in any sense representative of social studies education, then we are in big trouble! I do appreciate Beverly Armento sharing my concern over the environmental Armageddon toward which the world is heading, but both she and Mark Schug demonstrate fundamental ignorance of the neoclassical economic model The competitive market establishes short-term commodity values through supply and demand Current values thus do not reflect the costs of long-term depletion of nonrenewable resources such as petroleum The market does not directly attribute the costs of pollution or ecosystem destruction to the perpetrator These are "external" to the market That is why government intervention is necessary if these social costs are to be internalized in the price signals of the society ; therefore, the argument that "neoclassical economic theory holds many clues for creating incentives that would promote zero net environmental destruction" (Armento) is nonsense The incentives for destroying the environment come from the market in the first place, and the norms associated with the market advise against meddling with the outcome Mark Schug sounds like a student in first-semester economics who rejects the "economic man" (homo economicus) premise of the purely competitive market model, because he "knows people who do not behave that way ." The premises of the market are not behavioral statements They are logically necessary to the deductive structure of the market model Without these airtight premises, one could not logically conclude that the market produces the optimum allocation of resources I argue that these premises tend to become prescriptive and thus potential social norms As such, Schug's argument on this point is irrelevant He is the one who is "badly informed ." Furthermore, his illogical inferences on the moral implications of sociology demonstrate that he understands neither the hypothetico-deductive model of economics nor the logical process by which one could derive the actual underlying norms of sociological theory ; therefore, that part of his response is also irrelevant Steven Miller (no relation) is the only respondent who provides a comprehensive textual analysis, and he does seem to understand neoclassical economics Nevertheless, his arguments are so far off the mark that they are also irrelevant His polemical technique is to 6 6


We Must Transform Social Studies Education : A Rejoinder falsely construct the nature of my argument, and then proceed to show the deficiencies of arguments that I never made in the first place This is the old "straw man" device : Invent your own false characterization of your opponent's views, then attack them We have seen that cute device in frequent use in the 1992 presidential campaign But because Miller does it so cleverly, I find it necessary to point out the flaws in his arguments The Normative Confusion Steven Miller's first polemical gimmick confounds the meaning of "normative" by quoting, of all people, Milton Friedman (Well, at least we know who his foremost authority is!) I used the term "normative" in the sociological sense : Norms are prescriptions serving as common guidelines for social action Human behavior exhibits certain regularities, which are the product of adherence to common expectations or norms In this sense, human action is "rule governed ." A social norm is not necessarily actual behavior and normative behavior is not simply the most frequently occurring pattern Since the term refers to social expectations about "correct" or "proper" behavior, norms imply the presence of legitimacy, consent and prescription While deviation from norms is punished by sanctions, norms are acquired by internalization and socialization (Abercrombie, 1984, pp 144-45) Norms are thus the underlying standards of the social order in any society A market capitalistic society obviously has its social norms I was arguing that some of them are reinforced and internalized through the socialization process, in which the teaching of the neoclassical paradigm plays an important role The normative quality of the market model comes from the prescriptive nature of its premises : "As an ideal type, Friedman's version of economic theory serves two essential and related functions It acts to restrict the scope for 'scientific' economic inquiry, and it serves as a policy stance for molding society in its image, while legitimating certain aspects of the status quo" (Wilber & Wisman, 1980, p 158) Wilber and Wisman are discussing what Friedman calls "positive economics" in that famous article quoted by my respondent Friedman dismisses what he calls "normative economics" in the first few pages, because policy differences are most likely due to inadequate scientific understanding of options rather than to value differences Thus, normative economics refers only to questions 6 7


Raymond C Miller of what policy ought to be followed in particular circumstances, after the economist has provided all the necessary information (Friedman, 1953, pp 3-7) The real normative implications, sociologically speaking, of the purely competitive market model are in its prescriptive premises They are not just "technical assumptions ." My respondent's contention on this point is so unbelievably naive that it suggests he suffers from paradigm myopia In my experience, many teachers, policy makers, and authors in the field of economics do transform the premises of the ideal-type models of the market and of capitalism into moral prescriptions which then become translated into social norms for the broader society Many other economists, albeit still a minority, have observed the same phenomenon : The equilibrium price/auction view of the world is a traditional view with a history as old as that of economics itself : The individual is asserted to be a maximizing consumer or producer within free supply/demand markets that establish an equilibrium price for any kind of goods or service This is an economics blessed with an intellectual consistency, and one having implications that extend far beyond the realm of conventional economic theory It is, in short, also a political philosophy, often becoming something approaching a religion (Thurow, 1983, p xvii) For instance, all of the authors advertised by Laissez-Faire Books make no secret of their normative views : "Gratifying evidence that the moral values of capitalism help people prosper around the world" ; "Why both men and women achieve their fullest human potential only in free markets" (1992, pp 8, 14) Both Presidents Reagan and Bush have referred repeatedly to the "superiority" of the free market and of capitalism They took for granted that millions of Americans would agree with them because of prevailing cultural norms In that sense, their statements are normative assumptions It was entirely appropriate in my essay, then, to consider all 11 statements normative assumptions at this time in our cultural history It is also appropriate to present them as statements of the "best" or "most preferred" approach, for that is the nature of moral prescriptions Steven Miller gets all muddled in the irrelevant differences between assumptions and conclusions, and between "best" and "most efficient ." His confusion comes partly from his misconstruing of the meaning of normative, and also from a surprising misunderstanding of his beloved market model Monetization is not a conclusion, but a necessary condition for the operation of the price/auction 6 8


We Must Transform Social Studies Education : A Rejoinder decisionmaking system known as the market Yes, efficiency has a specific meaning in economics, but not the one he attributes to it Efficiency is an outcome of the purely competitive market model which can only be achieved perfectly when all the conditions, like monetization, are fulfilled Since the conditions can never be fully realized, they are not empirical statements, but logical requirements Even Milton Friedman argues that the premises need not be realistic (1953, pp 7-30) My original statement of normative assumptions was based on the understanding that social norms are not presented in the same way as one would specify logical premises The first seven assumptions are derived from the premises of the price/auction model, whereas the last four are derived from historical capitalist practices Together, they make up a set of cultural norms that still dominates the discipline of economics in the United States-norms which are significantly present in the culture at large Nowhere did I argue that all behavior by either private individuals or public officials-or, for that matter, even economists-conformed entirely to these norms Norms are neither logical premises nor empirical behavioral statements Causal Confusion Another straw man that Steven Miller creates is one made up of causal linkages which amount to flat-out distortions of my argument Nowhere did I state that the morality of neoclassical economics is solely responsible for all the material-interest motivated behavior that has ever appeared on the face of the earth (obviously impossible) Nowhere did I assert that economics per se causes people to behave in absolutely predictable ways Nor did I ever contend that public officials took certain positions solely because they had studied economics Nor did I ever argue that the only factors influencing the behavior of private persons or public officials were the normative assumptions that I identified In fact, I never claimed that I had empirically demonstrated any causal connections My respondent's causal distortions may come from an excessive zeal to defend his type of economics, or it may come from his inability to recognize that there are other ways to structure an argument besides via logical positivism Ironically, however, while criticizing me for not proving my assertions empirically (which I never claimed to do in the first place), he makes all sorts of statements about what economists do and do not believe without providing a shred of evidence For the sake of clarity, I would like to reiterate my conceptual argument, which proposes that many adherents to neoclassical economics have a proclivity to turn the premises of their underlying 6 9


Raymond C Miller logical model into prescriptions These prescriptions are then transformed into normative assumptions which permeate the discipline and become internalized among professionals as they are socialized into the discipline Since these norms are generally consistent with the related norms of capitalist societies, they become merged into a broader configuration of normative assumptions that enter into the belief systems of the culture Thus, there is a synergistic reinforcement In my article, I argued quite simply that economists and others are influenced by these norms, sometimes quite unknowingly, and that their behavior on occasion is influenced by them I never made any absolute causal statements, but I did give examples of behavior that seemed to me highly influenced by these normative assumptions For the record, I did provide the reference for the study of students which identified unique behavior on the part of economics majors (Rhoads) In his section on "the value of positive economics," Steven Miller cleverly and insidiously distorts my argument My actual argument was that the problem with mainstream economics is the normative overlay Admitting that some analytical tools, e .g ., consumer response to price changes, are empirically useful, does not undermine my contention that the premises of the market have been turned into moral prescriptions I am not arguing that the norms are responsible for all behavior That is not the nature of norms, although that may be difficult for a logical positivist like my respondent to fathom He misleads us by trying to convert norms into generic causes for all behavior, and then saying that I cannot prove such cause/effect relationships Of course not ; no one could There is nothing paradoxical about consumers of gasoline in different countries responding similarly to price levels One of the differences between Europe and the United States is the relative strength of contending cultural norms In Western Europe, decisionmakers have placed a higher value on energy conservation and public transit Policy makers in the United States, in conjunction with the convenient support of market-capitalist norms, have followed different policies In the sentence about America not fully comprehending why its citizens drive so much, the "we" I refer to is not made up of economists but of the collective "we ." The paradox is not within my position, but in the market norms that laud supply-and-demand prices while showing suspicion of internalizing externalities by imposing taxes Thomas Kuhn called the world view of a scientific discipline its paradigm (1962) In each discipline's paradigm history there are inconsistencies, anomalies, changes and even revolutions But there is a strong tendency to hold on to the familiar even when its efficacy is eroding When the paradigm of a discipline is riding high, few people notice its underlying assumptions When anomalies start becoming noticeable, some members of the discipline start looking for a new 7 0


We Must Transform Social Studies Education : A Rejoinder paradigm, while others tenaciously cling to the old Steven Miller does not seem to recognize Kuhn's analysis nor his own position in the conservative rear guard He continues to rely on Milton Friedman's simplistic 1953 distinction between the objective, scientific knowledge of positive economics and the different value-influenced ways in which that knowledge can be applied My article was calling attention to the 1962 Kuhnian-type insight that the very theory upon which economics is based is not an objective, "value-free" neutral framework, but a normgenerating ideal-type model Ironically, Milton Friedman himself is an outstanding exemplar of this transformation of theoretical premises into ideological assertions Naturally, people who are committed to the logical positivist faith are not likely to accept this argument Historical and Conceptual Confusion I gave a number of examples of situations in which I thought freemarket ideology (internalized norms) had played a role in influencing and/or rationalizing undesirable behavior Steven Miller argues that undesirable behavior, if it exists, is due to manipulative politicians, never to economists or economics This is consistent with his "economicsis-pure" argument, which I believe to be naive and wrong, as contended above But he is not satisfied with that line of attack ; he also wants to argue that either economics is not part of the problem or that my statement of the problem (as he misinterprets it) is wrong An example of his argument that economics is not part of the problem is his discussion of externalities I pointed out earlier that environmental destruction is not counted in market prices In fact, expenditures to clean up environmental messes, facilitated by market prices in the first place, are counted as positive in Gross Domestic Product calculations My respondent does not deny the accuracy of this analysis He tries to argue that economists are part of the solution by providing public policy makers with cost-benefit guidance to compensate for the failure of the market ; however, the solutions are extra-market and require government intervention Unfortunately, government intervention beyond dealing with the most outrageous environmental disasters conflicts with the free-market norms that insist on the superiority of supply/demand prices and express profound suspicion of the usefulness of government intervention In the global economy, there is no government to intervene And we saw what happened at the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, when governments tried to approach these problems through voluntary cooperation My respondent chides me for quoting only one economist and one politician in support of my argument on this issue of externalities He 7 1


Raymond C Miller neglects to point out that I also quoted his guru, Milton Friedman, who, consistent with my argument, sees government failure, not market failure, as the problem On the other hand, I could quote dozens of authors, including Herman Daly of the Environmental Section of the World Bank, who recognize this serious deficiency in the neoclassical normative paradigm The market-based cultural norms that warn against government intervention in the market are a significant part of the environmental problem The problem of externalities is an afterthought in the conventional presentation of economic principles Consequently, it is appalling to read Steven Miller's proposal for dealing with this problem : Teach more of the same economics! Another example of mine that my respondent challenges is the savings and loan crisis, which has been estimated to eventually cost American taxpayers anywhere from $350 billion to $500 billion (White, 1991, p 197) S Miller's anti-government bias (a personal manifestation of the very same normative proclivities whose existence he denies) comes through when he blames the scandal on "reregulation ." Virtually all the responsible scholars of this fiasco that I am aware of identify mindless deregulation as the major culprit Lawrence White, a member of the Federal Home Loan Bank Board during the 1980s, in his book, The S & L Debacle, states : At a time of expanded exposure to risk for the FSLIC insurance fund, the federal government chose to reduce the deductible (thrifts' net worths) in the FSLIC insurance arrangement, weaken the FSLIC's information (accounting) system, relax the rules (regulations), and reduce the resources (examiners and supervisors) devoted to scrutinizing and limiting the behavior of the FSLIC's insureds . .The early 1980s, however, were a period of general belief in deregulation, and many members of the Washington policy community could not distinguish between economic regulation (and deregulation) and safety regulation Deregulation to them meant a general decrease in the presence of government in the economy (White, 1991, pp 88, 93) This book has been praised by former Fed chair Paul Volcker-someone whom my respondent evidently admires During this period of the early 1980s, the neoclassical cultural norms were dominant, as I argued, and Milton Friedman was riding high (Again, I am not arguing that all public policy or all behavior was consistent with these norms ; only that the norms were influential, especially in some decisions such as this one) I did not, despite my respondent's accusation to the contrary, 7 2


We Must Transform Social Studies Education : A Rejoinder attribute the deregulation mania solely to President Reagan Both Presidents Carter and Reagan ran on a deregulation platform, because doing so was responsive to the very cultural norms which I have identified This is not a partisan issue It goes much deeper than that We are not discussing simply the superficial value differences that my respondent calls "normative economics ." Finally, Steven Miller devotes many words to misconstruing my argument on the Third World Debt crisis, and he very tellingly blames it fundamentally on the Third World itself : "At root was the action of the OPEC cartel," and "Where did all of the money go? Some was lost to corruption ; some invested in inefficient state-owned enterprises ; and some used in current social programs ." In other words, blame the victims! In any case, my focus was not on the debt in general, but the debt crisis of the early 1980s That crisis was mainly one of dramatic increases in real interest rates, which were created deliberately by actions of the U .S central bank, the Federal Reserve (Fed) The Fed's policy was to give priority to destroying that pre-eminent bugaboo of the neoclassicists : inflation Since monetary policy works indirectly through market prices, the consequences of higher interest rates were accepted as necessary sacrifices Thus the resulting unemployment (temporary in the United States, longer term in Third World countries) and chronic deficits in the international payments of both the U .S and many Third World countries were accepted as unavoidable tradeoffs Direct government intervention and less stringent monetary policy were ruled out as options They were ruled out in part, in my opinion, because they were not the preferred approaches in the neoclassical normative lexicon In the meantime, President Reagan's simultaneous and contradictory commitments to supply-side economics-another favorite of the free marketeers-and massive military buildups started the downward spiral into the $4 .3 trillion debt about which Ross Perot has so passionately warned us The Democratic Congress went along with these policies as well as with deregulation ; thus my argument is hardly a partisan one Conclusion Despite Steven Miller's claim, my original essay did not "blame everything on economics ." My criticisms were directed at the unthinking transmission of the normative assumptions embedded in the neoclassical market model, especially as applied in capitalist societies I believe it is possible to separate out the useful analytical tools that reside in the discipline's armory from the ideological trappings Unfortunately, the interests served by the functioning markets and the prevailing cultural norms, especially in the U .S ., 7 3


Raymond C Miller promote the continuation of the ideological messages Also, unfortunately, many textbook writers and teachers are caught up in this normative paradigm without being fully aware of it I daresay that my three respondents are examples of this sad phenomenon In my view, it is tragic for the future of humanity, because following the moral injunctions of the neoclassical paradigm will lead inevitably to community and environmental destruction ; therefore, we should stop teaching this type of economics as if it were scientifically neutral, and we should reform social studies education so that it facilitates this necessary transformation Peace! References Abercrombie, N ., Hill, S ., & Turner, B (1984) The Penguin dictionary of sociology Harmonsworth, England : Penguin Books Friedman, M (1953) The methodology of positive economics Essays in positive economics (pp .3-46) Chicago : The University of Chicago Press Kuhn, T S (1962 & 1970) The structure of scientific revolutions Chicago : The University of Chicago Press Laissez-Faire Books (1992) Catalog : November 1992 San Francisco : Author Thurow, L C (1983) Dangerous currents : The state of economics New York : Random House White, L J (1991) The S & L debacle New York : Oxford University Press Wilber, C & Wisman, J (1980) The Chicago school : Positivism or ideal type? In W J Samuels (Ed .), The methodology of economic thought, (pp 151-165) New Brunswick, NJ : Transaction Books 7 4


BOOK REVIEWS ESSAY REVIEW Teaching for Democracy in the Social Studies Classroom Goodman, Jesse (with assistance from Jeff Kuzmic and Xiaoyang Wu) (1992) Elementary schooling for critical democracy Albany : State University of New York Press 211 pages, $12 .95, paper ISBN 0-79140860-4 Review by H JOHN KORNFELD Mr Kornfeld is a former elementary school teacher in California He is currently a graduate student in social studies education at Indiana University, Bloomington, IN By the early part of this century, the term "social studies" had crept into the educational vernacular It referred to an increasing demand that schools teach children to be good citizens in a democratic society (Dougan, 1988-89) Almost 90 years later, many educators continue to call for teaching democratic values in the classroom (Ahlquist, 1990 ; Giroux & McLaren, 1986 ; Finkelstein, 1984) The History/Social Science Framework (1988) produced by the California State Board of Education echoes this concern : Students must develop understanding of the qualities required of citizens in a democracy They need to understand, for example, that a democratic society depends on citizens who will take individual responsibility for their own ethical behavior, control inclinations to aggression, and attain a higher level of civility on their own by choosing to live by certain higher rules of ethical conduct Students need to understand why a democracy needs citizens who value give-and-take on issues . .and who seek the middle ground on which consensus and cooperation can flourish (pp 22-23) These are noble ideals Sadly, the California History-Social Science Framework does not explain how to implement them in the classroom Anyone who has spent any time in an elementary classroom would agree that it is far easier to talk about the values of democracy than to instill them in students In spite of many calls for democracy in the classroom, little of practical value has been written to help teachers reach this goal Most of the literature focuses on abstract theory rather than on practical application in the classroom, and it is so full of esoteric, incomprehensible jargon that teachers and 7 5


H John Kornfeld administrators have neither the time nor the energy to slog through it Dougan (1988-89) laments this gulf "between the advocacy of philosophical points of view by the university professors and actual practice in the social studies classroom . . Social studies educators debate theory among themselves when they perhaps should concentrate their efforts on helping teachers survive in the classroom ." In Elementary Schooling for Critical Democracy, Jesse Goodman examines both theory and the application of democratic ideals in the classroom : Its primary source of inspiration comes from the year [Goodman and his colleagues] spent observing the activities of a small group of elementary educators and children who work and play in an independent school that is actively searching for ways to create an elementary education for democracy (p 1) Goodman uses his observations of Harmony School, an independent school in Bloomington, Indiana, to explore the nuts-and-bolts questions that social studies teachers should ask : How might a school for critical democracy be structured, and what types of power dynamics might exist within it? What content might be taught, and what values might be embedded within the formal and implicit curriculum? What type of learning activities would dominate the instruction found in such a school? What dilemmas or struggles might teachers face as they try to manifest the goals of such a school? . . What aspects of this type of schooling could be transferred to other contexts, such as mainstream public or private schools? (p 1) In defining critical democracy, Goodman draws upon the thinking of John Dewey, who wrote that for most Americans, democracy in the United States has been reduced to passive observation or election of political leaders who make decisions for us Democracy should instead be "a dynamic process in which the public actively participates on a daily basis" (p 4) At the heart of this "critical" democracy "is the dialectical tension . a balance between the values of individuality and of community" (pp 8-9) For Americans, this concept could be very difficult to accept Individualism-at the expense of the communityis the cornerstone of the American way of life Beginning in colonial days, people looking for a better life could carve one out of the American wilderness, free from the constraints of civilized society When the republic was young, Emerson and Thoreau glorified the idea 7 6


Teaching for Democracy in the Social Studies Classroom of the rugged individualist, and social Darwinists adapted it to explain American capitalism (pp 12-15) But the frontier closed a century ago It is no longer possible to live free from neighbors and community Communication and global interdependence have linked all people in a way that Thoreau could never have imagined In spite of these developments, most Americans still are "looking out for number one ." At the environmental summit in Rio de Janiero, President Bush declared that he would not sign any environmental agreement if it threatened the American standard of living : Apparently, the needs of one nation supersede the well-being of the global community Goodman argues that "the reform of elementary schooling to foster a critical democracy in the United States must confront our national preoccupation with individualism" (p 26) In order to achieve this goal, schools must foster a "connectionist" perspective : "a perspective that places one's connection to the lives of all human beings and other living things on our planet at the center of the educational process" (p 28) Instead of alienating children from one another by making them work alone and fostering competition among students, schools should establish a "society of intimates"-a collective identity and collective responsibility (p 95) Harmony school establishes such a society in several ways First, specific rituals-extended trips, fairs, and festivals-promote a sense of group identity Second, in class, children work cooperatively : When working in groups, they seek a common goal ; when working independently, they are encouraged to help one another whenever possible Most importantly, regular meetings make all students part of student government and allow children to work out problems with each other Student-teacher meetings are also a significant part of the program at Harmony Students meet with teachers in groups of varying sizes several times weekly They share decisionmaking with teachers who consequently relinquish some of their traditional power In this way, the children must take responsibility for their actions as well as for the decisions that they make Student meetings help create a sense of community that forms the basis of discipline and authority at Harmony School Teachers confront antisocial behavior by reminding students of their shared community values Unlike systems of "classroom management," such as assertive discipline-which establishes clear rules at the beginning of the year (Goodman calls such systems conformist rather than connectionist)-students and teachers at Harmony establish rules retroactively ; that is, as problems arise, students and teachers discuss them in the context of the school community, and collectively, they create rules to deal with the problems Says Goodman, "Instead of emphasizing the compliance of preestablished behavior or extreme forms of individual freedom, 7 7


H John Kornfeld discipline efforts at Harmony were seen as opportunities to teach children to be responsible for themselves and to their fellow human beings" (p .112) In a school where everyone participates in a critical democracy, students take on some of the power and responsibility that teachers usually assume Goodman stresses that the shift in power must not end there : If, as in the vast majority of schools today, teachers work within a hierarchical, bureaucratic institution in which they have relatively limited power to participate in making the school what it is, then it stands to reason that most teachers will not think of and act in ways that will increase the power and participation of their students when it comes to organizing their classrooms (p 63) In most schools, as in any bureaucracy, power flows from the top down : At the top of the pyramid, the administration makes the rules and dictates a curriculum to follow ; at the bottom of the pyramid, the teachers carry out these orders This system is responsible for what Frymier (1987) calls the "neutering" of teachers : Traditional school bureaucracies undercut teachers by creating conditions of work that blunt their enthusiasm and stifle their creativity . . Neutered teachers lack physical strength and energy, enthusiasm for their work, and motivation (p .9) At Harmony, power does not flow from the top down : The school did not simply set policy for teachers to implement ; rather, each of Harmony's teachers and administrators had a "sphere of influence" or "realm of power" in which she or he maintained primary authority (pp 66-67) The two administrators are in charge of finances, the school plant, and community relations, while each teacher controls what goes on in his or her classroom : In some ways, the hierarchical pyramid could be seen as inverted at Harmony Teachers were on the top, making the most important decisions related to what happened each day in the school, while Steve and, particularly, Dan [the administrators] provided the communication network, 7 8


Teaching for Democracy in the Social Studies Classroom structural foundation, resources, and intellectual encouragement for the teachers to exercise their authority within their respective programs and activities (p 69) Each teacher enjoys autonomy within his or her classroom, but inevitably, realms of power overlap School rules, problems with students, hiring of new teachers, plans for the future, as well as philosophical differences of opinion, require frequent staff meetings When individual needs and desires conlifct, Harmony teachers try to reach a consensus by considering what is best for the school as a whole In much the same way that students meet to make decisions that will affect the school community, the staff as a group creates and implements school policy Like the students, the staff members participate daily in a critical democracy "As the ultimate authority in the classroom, each Harmony teacher has control over the content of the curriculum" (p 69) Goodman laments that teachers in most schools have become little more than "educational technicians," responsible for redistributing and collecting prepackaged materials which the students work on individually at their seats (p 128) These "teacher-proof" materials, developed by large companies and chosen by administrators, contribute to the "neutering" of teachers and relegate them to the role of classroom manager These materials often reflect the "back-to-basics" movement and are designed to teach skills to help students pass yearly standardized tests But "skills taught in a vacuum devoid of content are of little value and teach little more than passing the test" (Stanley and Nelson, 1986) In contrast, Harmony's curriculum is "teacher-centered ." Teachers decide what is to be taught-based on their interests and areas of strength-but at the same time, they are expected to create integrated lessons that provide content and teach skills : Putting teachers at the core of the curriculum implies that they have substantive ideas upon which to base their curriculum . and that they have the talents to stimulate children's thinking and desire to learn (p 129) Teachers determine the school curriculum at Harmony, but within the parameters that they establish, students have many choices For a part of every day (Research and Discovery, Exploration Hour, Creation Hour) students can choose from a wide selection of mini-courses offered by Harmony teachers These courses are often demanding and rigorous But the students, given a say in what they will learn, feel a greater investment in their education than do children in other schools 7 9


H John Kornfeld Many of the elective courses offered at Harmony further emphasize the school's connectionist philosophy Says Goodman, If kept on an intellectual level, these values and sensitivities rarely become genuinely meaningful Schooling for critical democracy suggests that young people will be given opportunities to experience how their actions can potentially impact upon the local, national, and international community in which they live (pp 151-152) At Harmony, many courses involve children in the community to make them sensitive to its needs and their role as citizens of that community Harmony's "cafeteria" of course offerings, determined by the staff, is a radical departure from the curriculum in most schools today The California History-Social Science Framework, like the curricular outlines from most other states, describes a specific course of study, including important facts and concepts, that students must learn from kindergarten through grade 12 The Framework reflects the beliefs of Hirsch and others who assert that we must teach children a preordained list of historical facts which will provide the cultural thread that ties together all Americans and gives us our shared heritage and national identity (Hirsch, 1987) But there is a growing opposition to teaching a list of predetermined facts from a stateapproved textbook (what Seabrook [1991] calls "the history teacher's oxygen line") Aronowitz and Giroux (1988, p 194) accuse Hirsch of having "a contempt for the language and social relations fundamental to the ideals of a democratic society ." Hirsch, they say, "would rather cling to a tradition forged by myth than work toward a collective future built on democratic possibilities ." Goodman dismisses a "canonized" curriculum as fundamentally undemocratic (p 144) Most teachers, however, know little of this raging debate What they do know is that they have a list of curricular expectations (and standardized tests to give in spring) which leaves little time for digression Teachers who take the time for class meetings do so because of the obvious benefits these meetings bring to the class ; still, they worry that discussions take time away from the curriculum (Seabrook, 1991) Those advocates of democracy in the classroom argue that such meetings should be considered themselves an essential part of the curriculum Ahlquist (1990) writes that social studies courses should teach students to solve everyday problems And Giroux and McLaren (1986) write that "school knowledge and skills necessary to live in a critical democracy [are centering] their activities around critical inquiry and meaningful dialogue ." In Elementary Schooling for Critical Democracy, Goodman addresses the gulf between the university and the elementary school, 8 0


Teaching for Democracy in the Social Studies Classroom pointing out that the unnecessarily complex linguistic structure and terminology in most scholarly works prevents them from being of practical use He clearly departs from this "intellectual elitism" (p 167) by using straightforward, everyday language, and by defining terms that may be unfamiliar to teachers Perhaps Goodman tries too hard to be unpretentious, for the writing in his book, while easy to understand, is often mundane and repetitive In avoiding jargon, Goodman has to use many of the same words again and again and again But for Goodman, unlike many other university professors writing theory (what he calls "the language of possibility" [p .173]) should not be an end in itself : What is needed is to build upon the language of possibility by developing an educational language of democratic imagery ; that is, a theoretical language which is informed by and rooted in images of real (or hypothesized) people involved in tangible actions that take place in actual settings (p 173) The reader may be impatient with Goodman's prosaic theorizing, but ultimately, Goodman leaves us with a bright image of critical democracy at work Harmony School does not just teach children democratic values : It is a living model of critical democracy A unity of purpose integrates this institution at all levels : the power relationships among administration, teachers, and students ; the teacher-developed course offerings ; the democratic way the children can have a say in what they learn ; and the manner in which the children learn and play together-these are all consistent with the school's connectionist philosophy Harmony School provides a model for other schools, but what is the likelihood that other schools could imitate it? Harmony makes critical democracy a living reality ; however, this reality has been artificially contrived With only 11 students per class, a participatory democracy seems more workable than in public school classrooms with 30 or more children Harmony students are chosen from a long list of applicants : In the unlikely case that a child, after repeated interventions, cannot fit in, that child is asked to leave (p 100) Harmony's teachers, too, must all conform to a certain degree : By using the selection of faculty for homogeneity as the method for social control, it is possible for workers to exercise significant power within the organization and at the same time not threaten the basic premises and practices upon which that organization is based (p 81) 8 1


H John Kornfeld It is difficult to imagine any public school faculty as philosophically united as the Harmony staff Most teachers are trained to take care of themselves, and they lack Goodman's connectionist outlook Even if staff members were united philosophically, not all teachers would be willing to make the sacrifices that are expected of Harmony teachers Sharing power brings with it a considerable cost Creating your own curriculum, having a say in school policy, and reaching consensus at frequent staff meetings all require substantial time and energy (pp 82-83)-far more than required in the usual union contract Teachers and administrators who regard Harmony School only as a model to emulate will be frustrated reading this book But that is not Goodman's purpose : Rather than project Harmony's elementary school as merely a model to follow, our goal is to use the images that emerged from this one setting to gain deeper insight into the issues, conflicts, constraints, and possibilities of developing a critically democratic pedagogy (p 62) In fact, many of Harmony's democratic features are already in place in schools throughout the United States Barth (1988) who, like Goodman, envisions school as "a community of leaders," cites examples of schools from Massachusetts to Alaska, in which teachers, and sometimes students as well, share in decisionmaking Already in many classrooms around the country, children are working together : In class meetings, students voice their concerns and make decisions together ; in cooperative activities, they learn to work together toward a common goal Change need not always come from above Teachers who wish to bring critical democracy into the classroom need not wait for the administration to change the school's entire power structure ; they can promote democratic values merely by making changes in their own classrooms Jesse Goodman makes a convincing argument for teaching critical democracy ; more importantly, he shows us how to bring it into the classroom Elementary Schooling for Critical Democracy belongs on the shelves of both university professors and classroom teachers : The need to form alliances between critical scholars and individuals who work in settings such as Harmony is crucial . .If we, as critical educators, are to have any credibility outside of the extremely narrow confines of our own professional world, then we had best spend time with those who teach children (p 180) 8 2


Teaching for Democracy in the Social Studies Classroom Goodman bridges the gap between the Ivory tower of academia and the trenches of the elementary school classroom References Ahlquist, R (1990) Critical pedagogy for social studies teachers Social Studies Review, 29(3), 53-57 Aronowitz, S .& Giroux, H A (1988) Schooling, culture and literacy in the age of broken dreams : A review of Bloom and Hirsch Harvard Educational Review, 58(2), 172-194 Barth, R S (1988) Principals, teachers, and school leadership Phi Delta Kappan 70(5), 639-642 Dougan, A M (1988-1989) The search for definition of the social studies : A historical overview The International Journal of Social Education, 3(3) Muncie, IN : Ball State University, 13-36 Finkelstein, B (1984) Education and the retreat from democracy : 19791984 Teachers College Record, 86(2), 273-282 Frymier, J (1987) Bureaucracy and the neutering of teachers Phi Delta Kappan, 69(9), 9-14 Giroux, H A & McLaren, P (1986) Teacher education and the politics of engagement : The case for democratic schooling Harvard Educational Review, 56(3) 213-238 Hirsch, E D (1987) Cultural literacy : What every American needs to know, Boston : Houghton Mifflin History/Social Science Curriculum Framework and Criteria Committee (1988) History Social Science Framework Sacramento : California State Department of Education Seabrook, G (1991) A teacher learns in the context of a social studies workshop Harvard Educational Review, 61(4), 475-485 Stanley, W B & Nelson, J L (1986) Social education for social transformation Social Education 50(7), 528-534 8 3


ESSAY REVIEW Through the Looking Glass : Politics and the Social Studies Curriculum Schlesinger, Arthur Jr (1991) The disuniting of America : Reflections on a multicultural society New York : Norton (Whittle Direct Books) 91 pages, $11 .95, hardcover ISBN 1-879736-00-4 Review by GLORIA LADSON-BILLINGS, School of Education, University of Wisconsin at Madison . . if you are compelled to lie about one aspect of anybody's history, you must lie about it all James Baldwin (1988) A nation that has done so much to stress racial divisions should not be surprised if the result is not compassion and fellow feeling, but withdrawal and recrimination Andrew Hacker, Two Nations (1992) After reading Arthur Schlesinger's The Disuniting of America for the third time, I feel a strange bond with Lewis Carroll's Alice of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland In the chapter in which Alice attends the Mad Hatter's tea party, she experiences confusion over words and meanings : "Take some more tea," the March Hare said to Alice earnestly "I've had nothing yet," Alice replied in an offended tone : "so I can't take more ." "You mean you can't take less," said the Hatter : "it's very easy to take more than nothing ." (Carroll, 1916, p 69) My affinity for Carroll's Alice comes as a result of attempting to understand the current debate and discourse surrounding curricula (especially for social studies and history) and multiculturalism in the nation's schools In 1987, Professor Molefi K Asante published The Afrocentric Idea In this volume, he suggested that there are alternate paradigms and ways of knowing the world other than those promoted by Western thought and philosophy He suggested that there is an "African" way 8 4


Politics and the Social Studies Curriculum of knowing the world and that this way of knowing can form a legitimate basis for engaging in scholarship For many who have studied African-American social thought, this idea was not particularly novel Carter G Woodson and W .E .B DuBois both advocated an African-American intellectual tradition that stood in opposition to the historical interpretations promoted by white historians 1 Asante's work has generated both supporters and detractors and the various permutations and interpretations (often incorrect) have evoked vitriolic attacks on all sides We have become as Alice at the Mad Hatter's tea party We have ceased to make sense of each other's discourse One of the recent entries into this debate is Arthur Schlesinger's The Disuniting of America Schlesinger's supporters (see Shapiro, 1992 ; Sykes, 1992) assert that he is the voice of reason His detractors (see Asante, 1992) claim that he is a captive of the very paradigm that Afrocentrism refutes and, as such, he is incapable of critiquing it The attempt here is to critically examine the Schlesinger book in hopes that we can begin to understand what it says and what it means The basic premise of The Disuniting of America is that the ever increasing emphasis that ethnic and cultural minorities (particularly African-Americans) are placing on their unique experiences is "disuniting America ." In the simplest of syllogistic reasoning, the notion that we are disuniting suggests that we are (were) united Here lies the crux of the debate Mr Schlesinger and his supporters see a very different America than the one seen by many disenfranchised and discouraged black, brown, and red peoples of the nation On April 29, 1992, when the city of Los Angeles erupted into fire and violent rebellions/riots, 2 we all glimpsed the disparity that exists between those who feel a part of these United States and those who do not Since 1619, African-Americans have seen themselves outside of what poet Langston Hughes referred to as "these United States, yet to be ." Despite fighting bravely in every war the U .S found herself in, African-Americans still struggle for full citizenship The infant 'See Woodson, The Mis-education of the Negro and DuBois, The Souls of Black Folks and Black Reconstruction 2 Riots broke out in South Central Los Angeles after four white policemen were found not guilty of using unnecessary force in the video taped beating of motorist Rodney King The case was tried in an almost all-white community by a jury of 10 whites, one Latino, and one Asian-American Media constructions of this rebellion/riot have made "black criminals and thugs" the primary perpetrators Closer examination of this and subsequent uprisings across the nation indicate that the disenfranchised peoples of various races and ethnicities participated This type of construction is similar to the prevailing notions about black crime that render white crime virtually invisible, despite the fact that more crimes are committed by whites (See P Williams, 1991, The alchemy of rights and race Cambridge, MA : Harvard University Press .) 8 5


Gloria Ladson-Billings mortality rate for African-American babies is twice that of whites Nearly one out of every two African-American children is poor (Chan & Momparler, 1991) Although in 23 of the nation's largest 25 school districts African-American children are now a majority, AfricanAmerican teachers constitute only five percent of the teaching population More young African-American males are under control of the criminal justice system than are in college (Chan & Momparler, 1991) Tragically, an African-American male child born in California in 1988 is three times more likely to be murdered than be admitted to the University of California (Fortune, 1990) As an African-American would you say the glass was half empty or half full? Would you say we already are united or disunited? Political scientist Andrew Hacker (1992), social commentator Studs Terkel (1992), and education critic Jonathan Kozol (1991) recognize that we are far from united, and that this disunion has more to do with economics and opportunity than with the fight over canons and curricula The difficulty in critiquing the Schlesinger book is that he has selectively appropriated the truth by citing past injuries against those who were "different" : "American history was long written in the interests of white Anglo-Saxon Protestant males" (p 24) ; and "Even the best historians : Frederick Jackson Turner, dismissing the slavery question as a mere 'incident' when American history is 'rightly viewed' . ." (p 27) Schlesinger suggests that these egregious errors and interpretations are no longer a part of the school's historical narrative Thus, the reader is initially seduced by Mr Schlesinger, only to be plunged into a cacophonous assault on Afrocentricity He departs from a scholarly argument to impugn the reputation of and to personally attack those with whom he disagrees So vicious and mean spirited is his tone that the reader who has not read these scholars can only surmise from Schlesinger's words that they are nothing more than fools and madmen Mr Schlesinger bemoans what he calls the "cult of ethnicity" and he himself sinks into the "cult of personality ." In the African-American community, we would say that he is engaged in "playing the dozens ." Mr Schlesinger's premise would be easier to accept had he not clouded his argument with distortions, decontextualizations, and defamation An example of distortion occurs when Schlesinger attempts to denigrate the efforts of African-Americans to acknowledge an African heritage and cultural linkages Pointing to a Washington PostABC News poll and a Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies survey that suggest most African-Americans prefer to be called "black," the author implies that this is evidence that there is little connection between African-Americans and Africa as their ancestral home Schlesinger ignores the longstanding "naming" controversy that has 8 6


Politics and the Social Studies Curriculum existed in the African-American community due to a loss of historical memory brought about by the African slave trade In the mid to late 1960s one could find a preference for "Negro" over "black ." Prior to that, there was a preference for "colored" over "nigger ." None of these preferences erases the historical reality that African-Americans have an ancestral link to the continent of Africa Even a cursory look at African-American society and culture today would reveal a growing affinity for Africa and things African in name-dress, accessories, celebrations and ritual-even when African-Americans do not clearly understand this affinity The pages of almost every African-American newspaper and magazine use the term African-American interchangeably with the term black Schlesinger's misreading of the name issue reveals a lack of knowledge about African-American life and culture It is a troubling marker for African-American readers of his book Another example of distortion is the implication that AfricanAmericans and other minorities have wreaked havoc on America's college campuses because of their demand for attention to and recognition of their cultural contributions to society Schlesinger refers to the theme houses at Stanford University as examples of growing separatism and campus racial hostility Unfortunately, the reader is not made aware that theme houses at Stanford are more than 20 years old and they represent an effort toward improving residential education The theme of a house may be African-American, Latino, or Native American, but members of those groups are prohibited from constituting a majority of its residents The theme house was designed to help majority and minority students gain a better understanding of the history and culture of various ethnic groups The Disuniting of America contains decontextualized references and examples For instance, the author quotes The New Republic's Andrew Sullivan in describing the enstoolment ceremony of historian John Henrik Clark at the African-American Infusion Conference (pp 46-47) The language used is designed to make the ceremony seem primitive, exotic, and strange In anthropological terms this is known as "making the familiar strange ." Think about the following descriptions : a man in a dress and a cone-shaped hat, parading down an aisle chanting and shaking an incense filled container ; a male infant subjected to ritual scarification of his genitals ; and a festival of death complete with drinking and merrymaking in the presence of the body of the deceased These examples are exotic descriptions of a Catholic Mass, a Jewish bris (circumcision), and an Irish wake None of these examples are meant in disrespect of religious or cultural traditions They are used here to underscore how easily we can misinterpret meaning and significance when ideas, words, and events are taken out of context 8 7


Gloria Ladson-Billings Another example of this decontextualization occurs when the author uses a statement by W E B DuBois to suggest that AfricanAmericans were (and are) not subject to any more discrimination than other "immigrant" groups DuBois' statement that "the racial angle was more clearly defined against the Irish than against me" (p 9) does not inform readers that there were so few African-Americans in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, at the time that DuBois' presence was little more than an irritant and a curiosity Europeans rarely have feared the lone African-American family, student, or worker ; however, the suggestion that more may follow historically has brought the fear, discrimination, and overt racial hostility with which many AfricanAmericans are acquainted More importantly, the author continues the erroneous comparisons between African-Americans and "immigrant groups ." African-Americans, Indians, and Chicanos are not a part of the romantic immigrant model that Schlesinger would have us accept as the American story They do not have an Ellis Island experience They are not a part of the "huddled masses yearning to breathe free ." The omission of the true and accurate stories of kidnapped and forcibly imported peoples, indigenous peoples, and conquered peoples from the main narrative of history texts frames the real curricular debate Schlesinger defames the various personalities in the history curriculum debate By lumping together African-American scholars from a variety of disciplines, he implies that they share full and complete agreement around one set of ideas Ironically, white scholars are permitted a diversity of ideas and perspectives and are not called upon to represent "the white perspective ." Imagine the furor if one were to suggest that because they are both white, male, and Republican that George Bush and David Duke represent the same ideas and positions The Disuniting of America fails to acknowledge that even within the Afrocentric ideological camp there exists diversity of opinion, debate, and discussion In a more subtle move, Schlesinger characterizes those with whom he agrees with descriptive adjectives such as "noted," "respected," "eminent ." On the other hand, the history curriculum's alleged villains are devoid of credentials and stature What "objective" reader could trust these suspect scholars? What has prompted Mr Schlesinger to mount such a vicious attack on the Afrocentric perspective? Perhaps the most obvious reason lies in his experience and disaffection with the New York State Social Studies Review and Development Committee Ironically, I feel empathy toward Mr Schlesinger because of my own negative 8 8


Politics and the Social Studies Curriculum experience with the California History-Social Science Instructional Materials Pane1 3 (Ladson-Billings, 1992) Perhaps Schlesinger's foray into the world of social studies curricula represents naivete Curricular decisions are almost always political Even in those areas that on the surface seem immune from politics (e .g ., mathematics, science), there is constant lobbying and advocacy for particular views of the subject area and representations by various groups and individuals Public schools are part of the public domain ; thus, the public feels (and is) justified in participating in the decisionmaking process Social studies, by its very nature, is a politically and emotionally charged subject area Debate and controversy are its lifeblood But even in his dissent with the report of the New York State Social Studies Review and Development Committee, Mr Schlesinger had a voice His opposition is on record and printed within the report No such opportunity for printed dissent was permitted in the California History-Social Science Framework that Mr Schlesinger heralds as a model curriculum Not privy to the inner workings of the California framework and textbook selection process, Mr Schlesinger is unaware of the unethical and undemocratic way in which decisions were made in the committees (Ladson-Billings, 1992) He was unaware that ground rules were changed, scores were altered, and only one textbook series was promoted throughout the process Like the rest of the nation, Mr Schlesinger saw only the public hearings where dissenters were characterized as members of a lunatic fringe (Reinhold, 1991) Another possible motive for Mr Schlesinger's frontal assault on Afrocentrism is age old-money This book was initially published by Whittle Communication Whittle purportedly pays upwards of $50,000 to authors of its "Larger Agenda Series ." No one suggests that Mr Schlesinger should not be remunerated for his time and expertise ; however, his expertise is not in the field of multiculturalism or in multicultural education (although he has subtitled this book, "Reflections on a multicultural society") Perhaps he may be surprised to know that there is a scholarly field of inquiry known as multicultural education In his broad-stroke indictment of multiculturalism, Mr Schlesinger has neglected to consult even one scholar who has had a long-term investment in the writing, researching, and teaching of multicultural education and issues Where are his references to people like James Banks, Carl Grant, Geneva Gay, H Prentice Baptiste, Carlos Cortes, Jesus Garcia, Jack Forbes, Robert 3 1n 1990, I served as a member of the California Instructional Materials Evaluation Panel that evaluated U .S History and California History textbooks and materials 8 9


Gloria Ladson-Billings Suzuki, Lowell Chun-Hoon, or Wilma Longstreet-people who began working in this area more than 20 years ago? As mentioned above, this book was initially published by Whittle Communication as a part of its "Larger Agenda Series ." What is Whittle's larger agenda? Readers may know Whittle as a company that promotes the Channel One program of truncated newscasts to schoolchildren, complete with commercial advertising (Apple, in press ; Barry, 1990) In this publication, we have commercials embedded in the text This slim volume of 91 pages contains nine full-color, double-page advertisements from the express mail carrier, Federal Express What does this mean? Does it represent an endorsement of Schlesinger's ideals? Does it mean that only those with access to the money and power of large corporations will have an opportunity for the dissemination of their ideas? As I survey the list of other authors who have published in this "Larger Agenda Series," it is striking that the list fails to include a single woman or person of color That is certainly no crime ; however, it does raise questions about who has the opportunity to set the "larger agenda ." Mr Schlesinger wants to see all Americans unified around a set of ideals and he believes that the current curricular debate is undermining that unity This analysis attributes far too much power to teachers and texts As the streets of Los Angeles erupted into violence and fire after the not-guilty verdict for four Los Angeles police officers who had been videotaped as they brutally beat a speeding motorist, all Americans received a painful reminder of the incredible disparity between black and white in this country The real factors of disunity in the nation are found not in curricular debates, but in the widening economic gap between blacks and whites Black and white Americans live in two separate nations (Hacker, 1991), not because of what the various states require schools to teach, but because fundamental social justice and economic opportunity (principles which purport to unify us) have not been accorded to all citizens African-Americans are weary of the rhetoric and paradoxes of American democracy Schlesinger and his adherents rail against the notion of a separate school for AfricanAmerican children (when proposed by African-Americans) but turn a deaf ear and a blind eye to the fact that an overwhelming number of African-American children already attend all black, poor-quality schools in the nation's urban centers The curricular controversy is not nearly as compelling as the scandal of inequitable schooling exposed by Jonathan Kozol's Savage Inequalities (1991) Schlesinger's reputation as a historian is laudable and well documented ; however, in his excursion into the world of curricular reform, he has left his scholarly tools behind to castigate those with whom he disagrees He has traveled, ill advisedly, down the road of school curriculum debates and multiculturalism There will be no 9 0


Politics and the Social Studies Curriculum retreat from scholarly pursuits which seek to better understand and illuminate the African role in world civilization and the AfricanAmerican's role in the development of this nation The multicultural genie is out of the bottle Our survival as a nation requires not only curricular inclusion, but curricular transformation The Disuniting of America feeds into a growing climate of intolerance in this country by distorting the words and images of scholars on both sides of the debate This climate does little to forge the unity its author claims to crave It merely whisks us all back to the Mad Hatter's table, shouting unintelligible and incomprehensible versions of separate realities References Apple, M (in press) Constructing the captive audience : Channel One and the political economy of the text International studies in the sociology of education Asante, M .K (1987) The Afrocentric idea Philadelphia : Temple University Press Asante, M .K (1992, April) The painful demise of Eurocentrism The World and I, 304-317 Baldwin, J (1988) A talk to teachers In R Simonson & S Walker, (Eds .), Multicultural literacy : Opening the American mind (pp 3-12) St Paul, MN : Graywolf Press Barry, A M (1990) Advertising in the classroom : The controversy over Channel One Journal o f Visual Literacy, 9(2), 35-67 Carroll, L (1916) Alice's adventures in wonderland and through the looking glass New York : Rand McNally Chan, V & Momparler, M (1991) George Bush's report card : What's he got against kids? Mother Jones, 16(3), 44-45 DuBois, W E B (1903) The souls of black folks : Essays and sketches Chicago : A .C McClurg DuBois, W E B (1935) Black reconstruction New York : Russell & Russell Fortune (1990, Spring) Special Issue : "Saving our schools ." Hacker, A (1992) Two nations : Black and white, separate, hostile, unequal New York : Scribners Kozol, J (1991) Savage inequalities : Children in America's schools New York : Crown Publishers Ladson-Billings, G (1992, April) Distorting democracy : An ethnographic view of the California history-social science textbook adoption process Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, San Francisco Power, J (1988) Black education : How far have we come? NEA Today, 6(9), 14-15 9 1

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Gloria Ladson-Billings Reinhold, R (1991) Class struggle New York Times Magazine, 26-29, 46-47,52 Shapiro, E (1992) Priest of liberal salvation The world and I, 296-303 Sykes, C (1922) The wages of separatism The world and I, 318-331 Terkel, S (1992) Race : How blacks and whites think & feel about the American obsession New York :The New Press Woodson, C .G (1933) The mis-education of the Negro Washington, DC : Associated Publishers BOOK NOTES Teaching Respect and Responsibility Lickona, Thomas (1991) Educating for character : How our schools can teach respect and responsibility New York : Bantam Books, 478 pages, $19 .95, hardcover, ISBN 0-553-07570-5 Review by WILLIAM I MITCHELL School of Education, State University of New York at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY, 14222 Educating for Character is a complex "how-to" book designed to provide teachers, parents, and concerned citizens with guidance for establishing a comprehensive values-education program in their schools It focuses on the teaching of those values which constitute the basis for good character, which provide moral obligations for good behavior, and which promote community spirit Thomas Lickona, a Professor of Education at SUNY-Cortland, is trained as a developmental psychologist and is actively involved in values education Educating for Character presents the author's rationale for moral education and it delineates the proper role of the teacher in values education It provides guidance as to instructional methods and schoolwide programs for moral education, as well as descriptions of exemplary values-education practices from numerous schools in the United States and Canada A sampling of chapter topics includes moral discipline ; cooperative learning ; the teaching of controversial issues ; conflict resolution ; sex education ; and drug and alcohol awareness The author's recommendations to improve moral education include : € t A national campaign for values education which utilizes media advertisements ; € t The revocation of government laws limiting leaves of absence from work for parental reasons ; 9 2

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Teaching Respect and Responsibility € t The establishment of day care centers in public schools ; € t School-sponsored parenting education ; and € t School and home/community partnerships to support comprehensive values-education programs In addition to step-by-step instructions, the "notes" section at the end of the work is an encyclopedic compendium of addresses and phone numbers where additional information about specific programs may be obtained Educating for Character is in much the same traditionalist genre as the work of William Bennett, Allan Bloom, and E D Hirsch Lickona perceives contemporary American society to be spiritually adrift, lacking in a sense of community, and preoccupied with secularism His premise is that as the result of declining middle class values, of dysfunctional families, of the corrupting influence of television, and of the development of positivist values among educators, modern youths lack strong moral character as well as respect for authority and personal discipline After rehashing the problems associated with conventional values-education instructional strategies, such as values clarification and Kohlberg's moral reasoning model, Lickona calls for a return to teaching traditional values in the public schools through example and reasoned advocacy of the proper values A staunch supporter of the academic curriculum, he advocates that values be taught through both the content of the curriculum and the instructional process An example of the author's traditional rationale is his approach to sex education Lickona disapproves of programs that present adolescents with information about methods of birth control As an alternative, he advocates that the virtues of abstinence until marriage be taught The author also refuses to endorse the idea that homosexuality is merely an alternate sexual orientation He believes children should be taught to distinguish between moral judgments of human sexual behavior (which are valid) and discriminatory treatment (which is never just) The book presents contradictory attitudes toward issues of authority Although he stresses the importance of teaching oldfashioned respect for authority, Lickona also stresses the importance of teaching democratic values and community spirit Thus, it is not surprising that Lickona sees little justification for assertive discipline, and that he repeatedly advocates the use of cooperative learning He seems not to fully appreciate the implications of cooperative learning or his vision of the teacher as the central source of moral authority Beyond inconsistency, Lickona's book contains a number of weaknesses It frequently fails to include evidence that the hundreds of examples of teaching practices and values programs presented are truly 9 3

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William I Mitchell effective Many of the author's assumptions and recommendations appear to be based on personal values rather than on research Experienced educators may also question whether some of the practices presented may exceed the legal authority of the teacher or the school On the positive side, Lickona supports the teaching of democratic values and those values enunciated in the United Nation's Universal Declaration of Human Rights Educators who believe that the function of social education is developing values for liberation may disagree with Lickona's rationale, but few will fault his advocacy of encouraging moral reflection on the part of the young and raising the level of classroom moral discussion The book provides -thoughtprovoking reading for all social educators, while providing a rich source of ideas for educators interested in values education 9 4

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INFORMATION FOR AUTHORS Theory and Research in Social Education is designed to stimulate and communicate systematic research and thinking in social education Its purpose is to foster the creation and exchange of ideas and research findings that will expand knowledge about purposes, conditions, and effects of schooling and education about society and social relations Conceptualizations and research from all of the social sciences, philosophy, history, and the arts are needed in clarifying thinking and practice in social educaton Manuscripts are welcomed on topics such as those that follow : € t Purposes of social education ; € t Models, theories, and related frameworks concerning the development, diffusion, and adoption of curricular materials ; € t Instructional strategies ; € t The relation of the social sciences, philosophy, history and/or the arts to social education ; € t Alternative social organizations and utilizations of the school for social education ; € t Comparative studies of alternative models of social education ; € t Models of and research on alternative schemata for student participation and social action ; € t Relationship of different preand in-service patterns of teacher training to social education ; € t Models of the utilization of objectives in social education and related research findings ; € t Implications of learning theory, child development research, socialization and political socialization research for the purposes and practice of social education ; € t 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 In most cases, submissions will be reviewed blind by a panel of at least three reviewers When we send a manuscript out for review, we ask reviewers to judge the author's work in terms of six criteria : 9 5

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Theory and Research in Social Education t Winter, 1993 € t significance (the contribution of the manuscript to knowledge about the human condition) ; € t scholarship (the accuracy and thoroughness reflected) ; € t methodological sophistication (the adequacy of the author's research design) ; € originality (the uniqueness of the manuscript) ; € t lucidity (the clarity of the author's writing) ; € t timeliness (whether or not the manuscript is up-to-date) Submission of Manuscripts All manuscripts submitted will be considered for publication Manuscripts (five copies) should be addressed to : Dr Jack R Fraenkel, Editor Theory and Research in Social Education Research & Development Center School of Education (Burk Hall 238) San Francisco State University San Francisco, CA 94132 In addition, please send a 3 .5" disk containing your manuscript (including tables), formatted in Microsoft Word 4 .0 or 5 .0 ; the disk will be used in the final editing of your manuscript for publication Manuscripts are considered for publication with the understanding that they are original material and have not been submitted elsewhere for publication Ordinarily, manuscripts will not be returned TRSE is a refereed journal Manuscripts are sent to outside reviewers This is a time-consuming process Reviewers of individual manuscripts remain anonymous, although outside reviewers are identified in each issue of the journal Specifications for Manuscripts All material submitted for publication must conform to the style of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association : Third Edition (1983) Abstract All manuscripts should be sent with an abstract of 100150 words Typescript Manuscripts should be typed on 85 x 11-inch paper, upper and lower case, double-spaced, with 15inch margins on all sides Subheads should be used at reasonable intervals to break the monotony of lengthy texts Only words to be set in italics (according to the APA style manual) should be underlined ; sentence structure--not italics or 9 6

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Theory and Research in Social Education t Winter, 1993 quotation marks--must be used for emphasis Abbreviations and acronyms should be spelled out at first mention unless found as entries in their abbreviated form in Webster's Ninth Collegiate Dictionary (e .g ., IQ needs no explanation) Pages should be numbered consecutively Length Manuscripts should typically run between 12 and 30 pages in typed length Author Identification The complete title of the manuscript and the names of the author(s) should be typed on a separate sheet to assure anonymity in the review process The first text page of the article should have the complete title of the manuscript, but no list of the author(s) Subsequent pages should carry only a running head The first-named author or the co-author who will be handling correspondence with the editor should submit a complete address and telephone number Footnotes and References Footnotes are explanations or amplifications of textual material They are distracting to readers and expensive to set ; accordingly, they should be avoided whenever possible When they must occur, they should be typed on a separate sheet and numbered consecutively throughout the manuscript A reference list contains only those references that are cited in the text Their accuracy and completeness are the responsibility of the author(s) Tables, Figures, and Illustrations The purpose of tables and figures is to present data to the reader in a clear and unambiguous manner Authors should not describe the data in the text in such detail that illustrations or text are redundant Figures and tables should be keyed to the text Tables should each be typed on a separate sheet and attached at the end of the manuscript Figure captions also should be typed on a separate sheet All figures and tables must be included on the Microsoft Word disk that accompanies the manuscript Photocopies may accompany the additional copies of the manuscript 9 7

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Theory and Research in Social Education t Winter, 1993 Book Reviews Book Reviews (five copies) should be sent to : Dr Perry Marker School of Education Sonoma State University 1801 E Cotati Avenue Rohnert Park, CA 94928 The length may vary from 500 to 3500 words The format for the top of the first page is as follows : Author (last name first) Title (in italics) City of publication : Publisher, date of publication, total number of pages, list price Reviewer's name, followed by institutional address, complete with zip code Like all manuscripts, book review manuscripts should follow the guidelines described above 9 8

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Theory and Research in Social Education Winter, 1993 James L Barth Purdue University Allan R Brandhorst University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Ambrose Clegg Kent State University Richard A Diem University of Texas at San Antonio James Eckenrod San Francisco, CA Ronald Evans San Diego State University Jesus Garcia Indiana University Nancy R King Towson State University Gloria J Ladson-Billings University of Wisconsin Linda Levstik University of Kentucky Eric Luce University of So Mississippi Peter H Martorella No Carolina State University John R Meyer University of Windsor Ontario, Canada Merry M Merryfield Ohio State University Stuart B Palonsky University of Missouri at Columbia Walter C Parker University of Washington Wayne Ross State University of New York at Binghamton James P Shaver Utah State University Sam Shermis Purdue University Robert J Stahl Arizona State University William B Stanley University of Delaware Lynda Stone University of Hawaii-Manoa 9 9

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Theory and Research in Social Education t Winter, 1993 Wayne Ross (1993), Chair SUNY-Binghamton School of Education P O Box 6000 Binghamton, NY 13902-6000 (607) 777-2478 (2727) Margaret Laughlin (1994), Chair-Elect University of Wisconsin-Green Bay Program in Education Green Bay, WI 54311 414-465-2057 Mark Schug (1992), Immediate Past Chair University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee P O Box 413 Milwaukee, WI 53201 414-229-4842 Jeffrey Cornett (1994), Secretary University of Central Florida College of Education Orlando, FL 32816 407-823-2161 Jane Bernard-Powers (1993) San Francisco State University School of Education San Francisco, CA 94132 415-338-1562 1 0 0 Patricia Marshall (1995) Elementary Education North Carolina State University Raleigh, NC 27695 919-515-3221 Mary Haas (1994) West Virginia University College of Education Morgantown, WV 26506-6122 304-293-3442 Marilyn Johnston (1993) Ohio State University 257 Arps Hall 1945 North High Street Columbus, OH 43210 614-292-8020 Walter Parker (1995) University of Washington 122 Miller, DQ-12 Seattle, WA 98195 206-543-6636 Linda Levstik (1995) 114 Taylor Education Building University of Kentucky Lexington, KY 40506 Jack Fraenkel, Editor--TRSE San Francisco State University School of Education (BH 238) San Francisco, CA 94132 415-338-2510

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Theory and Research in Social Education t Winter, 1993 The National Council for the Social Studies Officers 1992-1993 Denny Schillings, President Homewood-Flossmoor High School Homewood, IL 60430 708-799-3000 Robert J Stahl, President-Elect Secondary Education Arizona State University Tempe, AZ 85287-1911 602-965-7101/4601 1993 CUFA Program Chair Dorothy Skeel Peabody College for Teachers Department of Teaching and Learning Vanderbilt University Nashville, TN 37202-0320 (615) 322-8100 1 0 1

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T eo7yy &Reseal ch in Social Education NCSS 3 01 Newark Street, NW Washington, DC 20016 Second Class Postage Paid at Washington, D .C and additional mailing offices


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