Educational policy analysis archives

Educational policy analysis archives

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Educational policy analysis archives
Arizona State University
University of South Florida
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Educational policy analysis archives.
n Vol. 1, no. 6 (May 04, 1993).
Tempe, Ariz. :
b Arizona State University ;
Tampa, Fla. :
University of South Florida.
c May 04, 1993
Anti-intellectualism in U.S. schools / Aimee Howley, Edwina D. Pendarvis, [and] Craig B. Howley.
x Research
v Periodicals.
2 710
Arizona State University.
University of South Florida.
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t Education Policy Analysis Archives (EPAA)
4 856

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1 of 22 Education Policy Analysis Archives Volume 1 Number 6May 4, 1993ISSN 1068-2341A peer-reviewed scholarly electronic journal. Editor: Gene V Glass, Glass@ASU.EDU. College of Edu cation, Arizona State University,Tempe AZ 85287-2411 Copyright 1993, the EDUCATION POLICY ANALYSIS ARCHIVES.Permission is hereby granted to copy any a rticle provided that EDUCATION POLICY ANALYSIS ARCHIVES is credited and copies are not sold.Anti-Intellectualism in U.S. Schools Aimee Howley Marshall University Edwina D. Pendarvis Marshall University Craig B. Howley ERIC Clearinghouse on Rural Education and Small Sch oolsAbstract: In this essay we present an argument about the rela tionship between schools' intellectual mission and their role in advancing social justice. In providing an argument of this sort, we claim neither to present a comprehensive review of litera ture nor to analyze specific educational policies. Rather, we bring together findings about certain features of schools in the United States that we believe contribute to their anti-intellectu alism. This examination allows us to tell a story about schools that we think needs to be told; and i t also elaborates a frame of reference from which to reconsider schools' mission and practice. Reframing these bases of schooling may be a necessary prelude to educational policies that prom ote both intellectual and egalitarian outcomes. Anti-intellectualism Schools in the United States claim to have an acade mic mission; but despite this claim, they are neither particularly successful at--nor in terested in--cultivating intellect. This criticism of schools is similar on the surface to the conservati ve view of contemporary schools: that they are not "accountable" and, as a result, fail to furnish the political economy (i.e., business and government) with the sorts of workers that it needs in order to stay "competitive." But that critique is quite different from the one w e plan to elaborate in this essay. In our view schools do not fail the political economy by p oorly accomplishing their academic mission.


2 of 22Rather, they serve the political economy precisely because they ignore the core part of that mission, the nurture of intellect. Our view of how schools serve the political economy is similar in some ways to the analysis of critical theorists like Bourdieu and Pa sseron, Apple, and Giroux. We use some of this analysis to elucidate our argument; however, we dif fer on several points. First, we do not reject the substance of the Western literary canon, even t hough we recognize its instrumental role in expanding the prerogatives of upper classes and thw arting those of lower classes. Second, though we see that school success serves as a kind of cult ural capital, we do not believe that supposed high-status knowledge per se forms the basis of thi s capital. In our view, public schools do a poor job of conveying high-status knowledge even to the children of middle and upper classes, even when those children demonstrate unusual aptitude fo r such learning. Finally, we do not believe that the immediate mission of schools is to transfo rm society. Instead, we believe that schools should cultivate the intellect of all children. Sin ce intellect entails critique, we believe that the intellectual activity of many such children will im pel them to question the structural elements of society that condition the oppression of some. We can clarify the distinction between the conserva tive critique and the one presented here by comparing what the conservatives typically imply by the term "literacy" with what we mean by the term "intellect." Conservatives use "literac y" to mean competence in basic skills (such as reading and math computation) and technological ski lls. By contrast, the informed reasoning that we term "intellect," depends on a broader interpret ation of literacy. The type of literacy that informs intellect is expansive, enabling individual s to define personal values within a cultural context. Eisner (1983, p. 50) captures this sense o f literacy: By literacy I mean the generic process of securing and expressing meaning within patterned forms of expression.... The virtue of the se forms, what I call "forms of representation," is that each makes a particular fo rm of experience possible. It is through that particularity of experience that meani ng is secured and expressed. Without the necessary literacy, the meanings these forms contain cannot be experienced. Insofar as education as a process is c oncerned with the expansion and deepening of meaning, the neglect of these forms or inadequate attention to them will leave the students graduating from our schools semi-literate, unable to avail themselves of the meanings that might otherwise be theirs. Informed by literacy of this type, intellect is al so expansive in that it seeks greater understanding. Moreover, intellect is also inherent ly critical (see e.g., Paul, 1986). Like Hofstadter (1963, p. 25), we believe that intellect is .. "the critical, creative, and contemplative side of the mind ... intellect examines, ponders, w onders, theorizes, criticizes, imagines ... Intellect evaluates evaluations, and looks for the meanings of situations as a whole." If intellect is by nature expansive and critical, t hen schools whose mission is to promote essential literacy for immediate, practical use wou ld do well to ignore or even actively suppress intellect. According to this line of reasoning, suc h schools, and the educators who work in them, would be true to their mission if they were to deba se the type of academic learning that nurtures intellect. We doubt, however, that any group of edu cators could very well take such a stance openly: it would mark them for the just scorn of th e public. Common sense, after all, suggests that schools are places for learning; and "learning appears to reference an intellectual mission. Consequently, even educators who favored a curricul um dedicated to long-term servitude in the basic skills could not publicly disparage schools' intellectual aims. Instead, these educators would endorse such aims while at the same time blaming ot hers--children, parents, state agencies--for producing a climate that makes such goals difficult to accomplish. But do schooling and the political economy whose in terests it serves (and to whom, therefore, it must be held accountable) function to suppress intellect? To answer this question


3 of 22one must construct a coherent argument that account s for the relevant evidence. We identified three types of evidence that seemed most relevant t o the question. The first type of evidence derives from critical th eories of sociology. These theories suggest that the mission of schools is to reproduce the economic and power relations of society in order to serve the interests of the ruling classes. By accepting this interpretation, one can explain schools' apparent interest in promoting academic le arning: such learning functions as the medium through which the benefits of schooling (i.e., skil ls, knowledge, and credentials) are distributed differentially on the basis of students' class, rac ial, and ethnic backgrounds. If schools were to function in this way, as these critical theories su ggest, empirical studies would reveal differential patterns of school performance and differential ben efits of schooling in accordance with students' background characteristics. This finding would not, in itself, demonstrate schools' failure to foster intellect. Instead, it might reveal their ef forts to suppress the intellect of most students while cultivating the intellect of an elite few. La ter in this essay we will consider this possibility and the research that addresses it. A second type of evidence that bears on the questio n of schools' academic mission concerns the academic characteristics of teachers. As the translators of the aims of schooling into daily practice, teachers have a determining influen ce on its outcomes. If, for example, teachers were to interpret the academic mission of schools a s disciplined study of the liberal arts and sciences, they would do what was required to cultiv ate intellect. By contrast, if their interpretation were more narrow, conceiving academi cs as the collection of essential skills and facts, they would emphasize mastery of some discret e body of knowledge to the ultimate detriment of intellect. The conditions that dictate teachers' collective interpretation, are, in part, characteristics of teachers themselves. Their predi sposition toward academic study doubtless has a substantial influence on their daily translation of its scope and method. But even if research demonstrated that most teacher s were not intellectuals and that schooling for most students did not cultivate the i ntellect, it would still be possible that schools valued intellect enough to cultivate it among an el ite few. The third type of evidence suggests this possibility. It illustrates schools' approach to the education of academically gifted students, those whose aptitudes make them most amenable to an intellectual education. If this evidence confirmed that such students recei ve an education that nurtures their capacities for critical reasoning and inquiry, then we might conclude that schools do, at least in some cases, cultivate intellect. This finding would suggest that schooling in the United States is not fundamentally anti-intellectual in character an d intent. In fact, it might indicate just the opposite: that schools so value intellect that they guard its supply, distributing it sparingly to those most deserving. If, however, the evidence ind icates that schools fail to cultivate intellect even among those students whose giftedness predispo ses them to intellectual endeavors, then schools might properly be classified as anti-intell ectual. Before drawing any conclusions about the intellectual character of U.S. schools, however it is important to examine the three types of evidence that bear on the question. The Mission of Schools Although universal public schooling is usually just ified on the basis of egalitarian aims, its benefits are hardly distributed equitably among stu dents from all types of backgrounds. Schooling, in fact, seems to provide a mechanism fo r distinguishing among students, in part by identifying differences in their academic performan ce. More importantly, however, schooling sorts students into different instructional groups-roughly comparable to the social groupings of their parents--for the purpose of providing them wi th different types of education (see e.g., Oakes, 1985; Spring, 1976). Bowles (1980, p. 125) explains this process:


4 of 22schools have evolved in the United States not as pa rt of a pursuit of equality, but rather to meet the needs of capitalist employers for a discip lined and skilled labor force, and to provide a mechanism of social control in the intere sts of political stability; 1. as the economic importance of skills and well-educa ted labor has grown, inequalities in the school system have become increasingly important in reproducing the class structure from one generation to the next; 2. the U.S. school system is pervaded by class inequal ities, which have shown little sign of diminishing over the last half century; and 3. the evidently unequal control over school boards an d other decision-making bodies in education does not provide a sufficient explanation of the persistence and pervasiveness of inequalities in the school system. Although the une qual distribution of political power serves to maintain inequalities in education, the o rigins of these inequalities are to be found outside the political sphere, in the class st ructure itself and in the class subcultures typical of capitalist societies. 4. This argument, though compelling, competes with ano ther--perhaps equally compelling--argument: that schools sort students no t primarily on the basis of their class and race backgrounds, but solely on the basis of their acade mic aptitudes. This alternative argument offers a seemingly just rationale for schools' practice of providing different students with preparation of varying types. By applying a professional technolog y, educators prepare students to assume suitable roles in the work force. The schools' diff erentiated curriculum works fairly and efficiently to produce the stratified work force th at business, industry, and government require. Such an argument justifies inequalities in the dist ribution of the benefits of schooling by claiming that the disparate benefits are the incentives on w hich a meritocracy depends. These reasons for sorting students might be credibl e and even fair under certain conditions. They would be credible if schools could, in fact, i dentify children's aptitudes accurately and if childhood aptitude were a reasonable predictor of a dult success. They would be fair if the varying occupational roles for which students were prepared had more or less equal status or, at least, if all students of equal ability had equal access to t he most prestigious roles. A review of the relevant literature, however, suggests that none of these conditions applies. Judgments about students' academic aptitudes. First research shows that educators frequently make incorrect judgments about students' academic aptitudes. This research (see e.g. Good & Brophy, 1987; High & Udall, 1983; Ysseldyke & Algozzine, 1982) indicates that teachers tend to estimate more accurately the acade mic capabilities of attractive, neatly dressed children from middle class backgrounds and underest imate the capabilities of other types of children: unattractive, poorly dressed children or children from lower class and minority-group backgrounds. Even when educators base their judgmen ts on measures of aptitude or achievement that purport to be objective, they may not be able to identify real differences among students. According to Oakes (1985, p. 10), differences that appear to be substantial according to test results may, in fact, be relatively minor given the universe of knowledge or skill the test purports to measure ... the differences in actual (not measured) ... ac hievement, then, may be relatively quite small. And yet we are willing to judge a stud ent's level of achievement and, consequently, determine the kind of education he or she is provided on the basis of these test scores. Childhood aptitude and adult success. A second body of research that helps us evaluate the meritocratic argument provides evidence about the r elationship between childhood aptitude and adult success. According to this research, aptitude alone does not predict adult success. Rather, aptitude has some influence on the amount of school ing an individual obtains, and the amount of


5 of 22schooling has a considerable influence on status an d earnings. Jencks and his associates (1972) found that the strongest correlation between school ing and earnings was not that between childhood IQ and earnings, but that between years i n school and earnings. Another indication of the weak association between academic aptitude and occupational success is the considerable overlap in the IQ score s of individuals from occupational groups as different in status as lawyer and cashier. Roe's (1 956) research, for example, showed that IQs among lawyers ranged from 95 to 160 whereas IQs amo ng cashiers ranged from 85 to 155. Clearly, variables other than IQ are operating to d etermine which individuals become lawyers and which become cashiers. Differential reward for adults. A third body of res earch provides findings about the rewards of different occupations. A review of this research allows us to determine the fairness of schools' sorting practices. If the research shows that sorti ng results in a division of labor in which the various occupational roles are rewarded equally, th en sorting practices--even if not wholly accurate--might be said to be fair. The research, however, shows just the opposite tren d. Not only is there a large difference in the remuneration provided to different types of workers, but the differences appear to be increasing in magnitude (see e.g., Leontief, 1982; Thurow, 1987). According to Apple (1987, p. 64). It is estimated that in 1985 a poor family was at l east 5 percent less well off than in 1981, while a middle-class family was 14 percent be tter off. A rich family showed a 30 percent gain in its already large advantage. The se figures, even if taken by themselves, indicate a marked redistribution of inc ome and benefits from the poor to the rich. They are made even more significant by th e fact that the middle class itself is actually shrinking as the numbers at the extreme s grow. We have more and more a "double peaked" economic distribution as the number of well-to-do and poor increase. Even considering these findings, sorting might be c onstrued as fair (i.e., as meritocratic) if it afforded individuals with equal measured abiliti es equal access to the most highly rewarded occupations. Nevertheless, the research that addres ses this question shows the reverse trend. Individuals with equal levels of education and simi lar social class backgrounds, but differing levels of IQ, are likely to attain similar levels o f economic reward. By contrast, individuals with equal adult IQ but differing SES and levels of educ ation are unlikely to attain similar rewards (Bowles & Gintis, 1973; 1976). According to Olneck and Crouse (1979,p. 24), "the vast preponderance of inequality in schooling, occupatio nal status, and earnings has no relationship to differences in measured cognitive ability." Inequality in the benefits provided to equally capa ble--but culturally different--individuals is demonstrated dramatically by a comparison of the incomes of black and white college graduates (Althauser, Spivack, & Amsel, 1975). Thes e individuals were matched on the basis of their GPA, family SES, and the selectivity of the c ollege that they attended. Even considering these similarities among the students in the two gr oups, their average incomes differed markedly. Race alone appeared to have an important influence on the economic success of these equally capable individuals. In summary, we find that the research simply does n ot support the meritocratic rationale for schools' practice of sorting students. Instead, it seems to provide clear evidence that schools sort students for the purpose of recreating in each generation the economic stratification of the previous generation. Although individual students m ay use their educational attainment as a way to escape the economic lot of their parents, the ma jority of students do not find that schooling offers a very promising avenue of social mobility. The alternative to the meritocratic argument. Given this evidence, what might we conclude


6 of 22is the real purpose of the academic curriculum? Cri tical theory offers a reasonable answer. Proponents of this line of inquiry suggest that the purpose of the academic curriculum is to transmit the culture, knowledge, and prerogatives t hat enable dominant groups in the political economy to make their views of the world acceptable to virtually everyone and, thereby, to insure their continued domination (Apple, 1982). The proce ss by which schools promote this ideological hegemony of dominant groups results in what critical theorists term, "cultural reproduction" (see e.g., Bourdieu & Passeron, 1977) According to this view, cultural reproduction is ma de possible because schools provide the arena for students from different class backgrounds to engage in conflicts over academic benefits (such as grades, honors, and credentials) that are symbolic of class conflicts over economic and political benefits (see e.g., Bourdieu & Passeron, 1977, 1979). This symbolic struggle distinguishes those who are academically successful from those who are academically unsuccessful, a process that reinforces and legitim ates the competitive principles of capitalism. At the same time, the process shows students of all class backgrounds that certain ways of speaking and acting (i.e., certain types of cultura l capital) are more likely than others to influence the outcome of conflicts over academic benefits. Schools, however, not only provide the site for sym bolic class conflicts, they also help to create the basis for such conflicts by legitimizing certain types of knowledge and discrediting other types of knowledge (Apple, 1979; Aronowitz & Giroux, 1985). These processes occur overtly in the determination of what constitutes sc hool knowledge. According to Apple (1979, p. 45), the problem of educational knowledge, of what is ta ught in schools, has to be considered as a form of the larger distribution of goods and services in a society. It is not merely an analytic problem (what shall be const rued as knowledge?), nor simply a technical one (how do we organize and store knowl edge so that children may have access to it and "master" it?), nor, finally, is it purely a psychological problem (how do we get students to learn "x"?). Rather, the stud y of educational knowledge is a study in ideology, the investigation of what is con sidered legitimate knowledge ... by specific social groups and classes, in specific ins titutions, at specific historical moments. This view suggests that certain types of knowledge acquire value because they are included in the adopted curriculum; but knowledge of particu lar types also acquires value because of the role it plays in promoting the goals of the "hidden curriculum." Through the hidden curriculum, students learn patterns of behavior that implement certain class-related expectations. These patterns of behavior distinguish students who are c ompliant and receptive to academic learning (and therefore likely to succeed) from those who ar e non-compliant and unreceptive to academic learning (and likely to fail). In addition to the s eemingly more objective differences in levels of academic achievement, these noncognitive difference s among students serve as another basis for schools' practice of sorting students into differen t instructional groups. Since, as we have seen, schools exist primarily to sort students according to their background characteristics, they have a vested inte rest in seeing that a large percentage of students do not acquire academic competence, let al one develop intellect. Teachers may, however, work to counter this mission. Evidence of teachers' intellectualism would demonstrate their capacity to take on such a project and might, in fact, indicate their role in promoting school outcomes that subvert--rather than support--the cul tural reproduction that schooling intends. Research about the intellectual characteristics of teachers is, therefore, important to our understanding of the ways in which schools promote or suppress the development of intellect. The Intellectualism of Teachers


7 of 22 Even though some scholars make efforts to engage pr acticing teachers in active processes of inquiry (see e.g., Glickman, 1990), teachers rar ely seem to act like intellectuals. One indication of this characteristic of teachers is th eir relatively low performance on measures of academic competence. Another indication is their ge nerally limited interest in scholarly activities. These characteristics, however, may be unfairly attributed to teachers. An alternate reading suggests that the climate of schools condit ions the routine compliance of teachers and limits their intellectual curiosity and productivit y. Teachers' academic ability. Several studies (e.g., Schlechty & Vance, 1981; Van ce & Schlecty, 1982; Weaver, 1978, 1979, 1983) document the low standardized test scor es of prospective teachers. These studies indicate that high school seniors and college stude nts who intend to major in education exhibit lower academic achievement than those who intend to major in other subjects. Additionally, these studies show that the recent rate of decline in the scores of prospective teachers exceeds the rate of decline in the scores of other college stud ents. By comparison with the scores of students majoring in other fields, the Graduate Record Exami nation (GRE) scores of prospective teachers are quite low and continue to drop. Prospective tea chers' scores rank lower than those of prospective nurses, biologists, chemists, aeronauti cal engineers, sociologists, political scientists, and public administrators. In addition, there appears to be a negative correla tion between teachers' academic ability and their tenure as teachers. Research comparing th ose teachers who stay in teaching and those who leave (see e.g., Schlechty and Vance, 1981; Van ce & Schlecty, 1982) indicates that academically talented teachers are much more likely than less talented ones to leave the classroom. According to Levin (1970), many academic ally capable individuals give up teaching in order to pursue careers that more generously rew ard their talents. Levin's interpretation blames the poor economic rewards of teaching for the outfl ow of talented teachers, but one might also blame the anti-intellectual culture of schools. Aft er all, the de-skilling of teaching (see e.g., Apple, 1987) is as likely to be a cause of the outf low of talented teachers as it is to be a consequence of it. We need to be cautious, however, in using this evid ence alone to judge teachers' intellectualism. Academic competence as measured by standardized achievement tests is not the only condition for the exercise of intellect. We kn ow, for example, that many academically talented individuals use their talents to pursue pr actical rather than scholarly occupations (see e.g., Hofstadter, 1963; Katchadourian & Boli, 1985) Therefore, it might also be the case that some relatively low-achieving individuals choose to engage in scholarship rather than in other sorts of work. Public school teaching might, accord ing to this logic, provide such individuals with the opportunity to pursue their academic inter ests. This may be especially applicable to economically disadvantaged individuals, whose acade mic achievement may not reflect their aptitude and interests and for whom the ease of ent ry into colleges of education may offer an opportunity to qualify for a job that is secure (Lo rtie, 1975). Considering this possibility, it makes sense to loo k for research that examines the academic interests of teachers. There is no body of research, however, that directly addresses this question; but related research of two types enables us to infer some answers. One type of related research evaluates the course-taking of prospective teachers; and another type considers teachers' reading habits and preferences.Teachers' academic interests. Research that evaluates the types of college course s that prospective teachers complete provides an imperfect reflection of the academic in terests of such individuals. Most college


8 of 22programs include particular sequences of required c ourses, and many programs leave little room for students to choose electives. In spite of these conditions, however, we suspect that individuals who have compelling academic interests would be lik ely to promote those interests by taking higher-level courses in areas of interest; and we a lso suspect that individuals who complete few higher-level courses in any field probably have lim ited interest in academic scholarship. A recent content-analysis of college transcripts pr ovides the basis for comparing the course-taking of prospective teachers with that of other college students (Galambos, Cornett, & Spitler, 1985). This study found that prospective t eachers took fewer liberal arts courses than did their counterparts in other arts and sciences major s. In addition, the teachers took fewer upper division courses in subjects other than pedagogy. A ccording to the authors, "teachers, as compared to arts and sciences graduates, take fewer hours in mathematics, English, physics, chemistry, economics, history, political sciences, sociology, other social sciences, foreign languages, philosophy, and other humanities" (Galam bos et al., 1985, p. 79). These patterns appear to indicate that prospective teachers do not often make a special effort during their college years to pursue advanced study in fields other than pedagogy. These findings address the question of teachers' ac ademic interests quite indirectly; and, perhaps, they better describe the nature of curricu la in teacher education than they do the interests of teachers. Another body of related research, howe ver, provides more direct evidence about teachers' interests. This research considers the re ading habits and preferences of teachers. For several reasons, measures of teachers' reading are appropriate indicators of their scholarly interests. First, reading is, by its natu re, an intellectual act, requiring the reader to reflect on what is written and construct meaning fr om it (see e.g., Friere & Macedo, 1987). Readers tend, therefore, to be more reflective and more critical than nonreaders. Second, reading provides access to content that is available nowher e else. Since text is such an efficient means of storing ideas, it is the medium most often used for that purpose. People who are concerned with ideas (i.e., those with academic interests) must fr equently encounter text in order to compare and contrast their ideas with those of others. Finally, reading provides entry to the intellectual forum in which scholarly dialogue takes place. As a conse quence, those who read widely in a field are more likely than others to make a significant contr ibution to that field. Taking these features of reading into account, we b elieve we are justified in considering the frequent reading of literature in an academic f ield as a necessary (if not sufficient) condition for scholarship. Moreover, we find that the types o f books and periodicals that a person reads provide evidence of the nature and intensity of tha t person's academic interests. With these premises in mind, we turn to the research on teache rs' reading habits and preferences. Studies of teachers' reading show two consistent pa tterns. First, they show that teachers do not read very much. Duffey (1973), for example, fou nd that--on average--teachers read 3.2 books during the year preceding his study. He also found that approximately 11% of the teachers that he surveyed said that they had not read a single book during that year (Duffey, 1974). Another study, however, found that teachers seem to read a bit more: 8.5 books per year (Roeder, 1968 cited in Ilika, 1974). This amount of reading was n ot much greater than the amount done by other middle class individuals, who read--on average--8 b ooks per year. Using a different method of measuring the quantity of teachers' reading, Vieth (1981) found that 34% of the teachers in her sample spent less than one hour per day reading. The second pattern that this research reveals is te achers' overwhelming preference for popular rather than scholarly or professional liter ature. According to Duffey (1974), nearly 69% of the teachers in his sample who were reading a bo ok at the time of the survey were reading a popular book. Of those who were reading about educa tion, most were reading books intended for the general public. Teachers' journal reading reflects similar trends. Cogan and Anderson (1977), for example, concluded that teachers spent very little time read ing professional journals. A survey conducted


9 of 22by Koballa (1987) showed that middle school teacher s of life science most often selected practical rather than theoretical journals about sc ience or science teaching. In fact, many of these teachers ranked Science World as one of the two jou rnals they found most helpful. This finding disturbed the researcher: Science World is a journa l targeted for middle school students, not for middle school teachers (Koballa, 1987). By contrast only four percent of the teachers ranked Scientific American as one of the two journals they found most useful. The research about teachers' reading is illustrativ e, if not definitive. It seems to suggest that, in general, teachers do not have well-develop ed academic interests. Coupled with research about teachers' academic aptitude, this research su ggests that most teachers do not see themselves as intellectuals or engage in substantive intellect ual work. This finding, however, may reveal more about the nature of schools than about the inh erent characteristics of teachers. The nature of teachers' work. Literature on the professionalization of teaching p oints to workplace conditions that limit teachers' power and, consequently, their willingnes s and ability to shape any--including an intellectual--school mission. Even educational refo rm efforts that claim to empower teachers seem to leave teachers out of the decision-making p rocess (Metropolitan Life, 1985). According to literature on the working conditions o f teachers, teaching has become such a "deskilled" job that talented teachers either leave teaching or learn how to treat it mechanistically (see e.g., Apple, 1987; Glickman, 1990). Guttmann ( 1987, p. 77) summarizes this interpretation: "most teachers who begin with a sense of intellectu al mission lose it after several years of teaching, and either continue to teach in an uninsp ired routinized way or leave the profession to avoid intellectual stultification and emotional des pair." This response on the part of teachers occurs becaus e most schools treat learning as consumption of information and teaching as delivery of information (Devaney & Sykes, 1988). These premises about learning and teaching delimit the conception of teaching and, as a consequence, offer a narrow view of the teacher's r ole. According to this view, teachers perform their role by using the most effective techniques t o deliver the information that makes up the curriculum. Teachers neither choose the curriculum nor invent the techniques. Rather, teachers follow the curriculum that the state or district ma ndates and mimic the techniques that educational research validates. This view suggests that teachers are more like workers than like professionals because they lack "control over what is produced and how it is produced" (Filson, 1988, p. 304). Several features of schooling reinforce this concep tion of the teacher's role. Delaney and Sykes (1988, pp. 16-19) identify these features as: (1) the large numbers of students with whom teachers must work, (2) the need for teachers to ma intain order, (3) the schools' requirement that teachers use adopted textbooks, (4) the prevalence of accountability systems that rely on standardized tests, and (5) the overarching concern that students learn basic skills (see also McLaughlin, Pfeifer, Swanson-Owens, & Yee, 1986). Schools with these features reflect a custodial ori entation (see e.g., Cusick, 1973). According to Hoy and Woolfolk (1990, p. 281), such schools provide "an inflexible and highly regimentated setting concerned primarily with maint aining order." Such schools suppress teachers' intellectual curiosity and inventiveness because these characteristics disrupt the orderly routine. Teachers become socialized to a school cul ture that promotes isolated work, discourages interaction among colleagues, and resists change (s ee e.g., Liston & Zeichner 1990; Sarason, 1971). In such schools, teachers come to believe in the necessity for order, and they lose their optimism about the efficacy of schooling (Hoy & Woo lfolk, 1990). For whatever reasons--personal characteristics or w orkplace conditions--teachers do not seem to define themselves as intellectuals. Nor do they see schools' role as predominantly intellectual. These findings, however, provide an i nsufficient basis for claiming that schools are


10 of 22anti-intellectual. As we have suggested earlier, it might be possible for schools to have elitist--but still intellectual-aims. They might, for example, demonstrate a high regard for intellectual work by allowing only a few capable students to engage i n it. Consequently, to take the next step in our argument, we need to evaluate the evidence about th e nature of education for the most intellectually talented students that public school s encounter--those often termed, "gifted." The Education of Academically Gifted Students The primary rationale for gifted education is that some children's aptitudes for scholarship or art are so extraordinary that they cannot be ade quately educated through ordinary methods (Feldhusen, Van Tassel-Baska, & Seeley, 1989). It s eems, therefore, that schools should make special efforts to cultivate these students' intell ectual talents; but the case is otherwise. Programs for gifted students often devalue scholarly pursuit s. In fact, activities in enrichment programs for the gifted are generally irrelevant to the students intellectual achievement (Stanley, 1977, 1986); instead, these programs inculcate social behaviors that reflect middle-class norms. Many gifted programs, for example, focus on counsel ing able students or developing their social skills through activities such as leadership training and small-group interaction (e.g., Parker, 1983). In the name of improving gifted stud ents' creativity, many programs forego substantial academic content and, instead, teach pr oblem-solving skills in isolation from any particular academic content. These "skills" are eas ily acquired and applicable only to narrowly-structured problems; they are, in conseque nce, of doubtful merit (McPeck, 1981). As Borland (1989, p. 174) notes, special instruction f or the gifted often consists of "an array of faddish, meaningless trivia--kits, games, mechanica l step-by-step problem-solving methods, pseudoscience, and pop psychology." Moreover, educa tors frequently dissuade students from attempting intellectually challenging programs by e xaggerating the emotional and social risks of strategies like acceleration and early college atte ndance (Daurio, 1979). Furthermore, most gifted students do not have acces s to comprehensive programs that are intellectually challenging. Few such programs exist and those that do are seldom found in public schools. Instead they are found in the expensive pr ivate schools that serve a different elite--the children of the wealthy. Private preparatory schools and ivy league colleges almost exclusively enroll students whose family interests are those of the ruling clas s (Dormhoff, 1983). Even these schools value conspicuous consumption and status more than intell ectual accomplishment (Trumpbour, 1989). They attempt to cultivate a technocratic elite that supports rather than challenges the status quo (Hobsbawm, 1973; Katchadourian & Boli, 1985; Veblen 1899/1979). As a consequence, some of the most intellectually p recocious students in the public schools remain as unprepared as other students to e ngage in scholarly or artistic work that requires concentrated study and dedication to ideas Instead, they are better prepared to assume the role that best suits the vested economic intere sts of the wealthy, the role of intelligent careerist. In this role they are capable of respond ing efficiently and pragmatically to work-related problems but unable, or at least disinclined, to ex amine the broad social, economic, and political context in which the problems are set. Nurturing Intellect Substantial evidence suggests that, as an instituti on, education reproduces, and perhaps extends, social and economic inequality. Moreover, three aspects provide views of education as an anti-intellectual enterprise: its mission, the c haracteristics of teachers, and its programs for th e most academically able students. This evidence suggests that elementary and secondar y education in contemporary America pursues neither equality nor excellence. For us, th e key element missing from the experience of


11 of 22schooling--and from other institutions of mass cult ure as well--is care for intellect. Such care involves attention to the thinking subject, the min ds of students, and, equally important, our own minds as those who care for students. It is not suf ficient for schools to concentrate on any particular set of "skills," for skills merely opera te on some object. Nurture of intellect allows individuals to understand and, what is more, to int erpret the world. Only a mind attuned through long practice to integrating facts and ideas, to as sessing hypothetical realities, and to striving for exact expression is capable of interpretation. Interpretation involves critique, and critique of w hatever sort implies a direction for change. For this reason, nurture of the intellect a lso entails the disposition to critique the world, largely in order to change it. The point is that ch ange requires different interpretations, and the avenues of mass culture provide too few. Perhaps the evolution of communication and control (i.e., the ethos of information) in the postindustrial world makes interpretation more diff icult. If so, then the crisis of education is part of a much wider, and more serious, cultural crisis (Bell, 1973, 1976). Whatever the case, resolution of the crisis is not amenable to fiat, a nd the discussion that follows does not comprise a set of "reforms" to be imposed on schools. In fac t, it is doubtful if any other institution in contemporary society has authority sufficient to re direct education in the ways that we imagine to be necessary. Hope may, however, lie in the individual and organi zational exceptions to the general trend. Schooling, after all, is a purposive institu tion, made by humans to accomplish certain aims. Control of the institution is contested ground, and the interests that control particular schools (and classrooms) in part determine the character, i f not the ultimate aims, of schooling as an institution. What Should Schools Be For? If intellect serves to guide interpretation, critiq ue, and change, then it may well threaten the vested interests of power. Too wide an effort to nu rture intellect is, therefore, a potential threat t o such interests. We conclude that, as an institution education serves to channel intellect to less threatening ends. The previous discussion provided examples of this p rocess as it applied to gifted children. This one example also illustrates the "microphysics of educational power (cf. Foucault, 1979, on prisons). The example shows how institutional power bends intellect to certain purposes. The power is applied by functionaries of the institutio n (teachers and administrators) who translate institutional aims into particular practices. In th is case, analysis of the practices demonstrates the contradictions of their premises. In short, the dev elopment of exceptional talent is supported in rhetoric and suppressed in practice. Educators serv e this purpose willingly, but unconsciously, as a result of their selection, their training, and th eir acceptance of the instrumentality of their institutional role. The major premise of education as an institution, h owever, is that schools are an arm of the nation state. The following discussion first consid ers this premise, and then elaborates three alternative premises more in keeping with our notio n that nurture of intellect must become a major educational aim.Education as an arm of the nation state. As an institutional phenomenon, education in the mo dern world is an arm of the nation state (e.g., Boli, Ramirez, & Meyer, 1985; Deaton & McNamara, 1984; DeYoung, 1989; Howley, 1991; Meyer, Tyack, Nagel, & Gordon, 1979). In the United States, the machinery of the institution applies an apparently value-free te chnology of improvement and management to the supervision of students, fitting their growth t o the national interest.


12 of 22 The intent served by this role for education is to colonize students' mental functions in certain ways. Schools, for example, serve to manage and develop "human resources" and "human capital," and inculcate predetermined values of nat ional interest (e.g., Deaton & McNamara, 1984). As an arm of the state, the institution of e ducation treats children as sites for the development, in the national interest, of a variety of useful skills (Howley, 1991). Policy-makers overtly express the hope that all children will bec ome effective and efficient instruments of economic production. In reality, education is anoth er policy tool to allocate poverty and affluence (cf. Tomaskovic-Devey, 1987). The call to improve "American competitiveness"--whi ch figured prominently in every major reform report of the 1980s--was, for example, a call to defend national economic security. Few policy-makers, scholars, or citizens questioned if the agenda were worthy or feasible. Legislatures around the nation, however, responded quickly, often echoing the theme of national competitiveness as a matter of state or local secur ity. Carried to its logical conclusion in the current po litical economy, however, competitiveness would tend to destroy national cohe sion and increase group inequality (see Chubb & Moe, 1990 for a contrasting interpretation) Such outcomes would result from the invariable competition among states, districts, and individual schools for acclaim and resources. Because education as an institution legitimates the inequalities of the political economy, competition among schools would intensify--rather t han off-set--inequalities among schools and their students. As a result, some schools and some students might be better able to respond to the supposed needs of the nation, whereas the majority would be less able to do so. The alarm sounded by reformers was principally rhet orical. It served more to rally national effort on behalf of vested business interests at a time of international business stress, than to change education in significant ways (Spring, 1987) Two related points explain why business took such an interest in reforming education. First the growth of trans-national corporations posed challenges to national political economies (J acobs, 1984). With American interests in trans-national corporations at an all-time high, Am erican business itself became the cause for much of the comparative disadvantage of the U.S. po litical economy. Second, by shifting the burden to education, business interests in the 1980 s deflected the attention of politicians and bureaucrats from their own excesses and problems (D eYoung, 1989; Spring, 1987). Time and again, reform reports delineated what busi ness interests claimed to desire in employees--better thinking skills for problem-solvi ng and better attitudes toward teamwork (e.g., Committee for Economic Development, 1985; Etzioni, 1985; Perelman, 1990) as priorities for the nation's schools. In the effort to rally a popu lace skeptical, at least since the Vietnam era, of the abuse of national power, the business community working through the prerogatives of a conservative political regime, exerted tighter cont rol over the machinery of education (Aronowitz & Giroux, 1985).Alternative premises. We are concerned that education become something ot her than a state mechanism for dominating the thought and behavior of citizens; na mely, an institution that nurtures the intellect of individuals, regardless of their race, class, se x, or ethnic origins. We are not, however, laying out a plan for reform and restructuring. The presen t dimensions of the institution took shape for 100 years. The changes we envision will take equall y long, if, in fact, the political economy will tolerate them. Our principal aim in this discussion is to present overlooked issues and alternatives for educators, especially those concerned to reconc ile talent development and social justice. We do not, however, believe that education should f orego instruction that is practical. Our concern is rather with the narrow instrumentalism w ith which schooling discriminates between what is practical and what is not. This narrowness of view not only renders the humanities, for instance, impractical, but it also suggests that ma nual or technical skills are practical only to the


13 of 22extent they prepare students for jobs. The notion t hat everyone should strive for at least partial mastery of a variety of practical skills (for examp le, sewing, engine maintenance, plumbing) has also been lost. Lost too, is the appreciation of th ese practical skills as devotions ("avocations") that have a meaningful place in people's lives. The meaning that such devotions acquire both amplifies and is amplified by nurture of the intell ect. Cultivation of these devotions, we observe, is very likely to concern the ethical, political, a nd aesthetic issues considered in the last section of this essay. We observe that the practical has meani ng for individuals and that this meaning is more likely to emerge when education respects intel lect. The writer Wendell Berry understands the significance of practicality: The essential cultural discrimination is ... betwee n the superfluous and the indispensable ... Granting the frailty, and no doub t the impermanence, of modern technology as a human contrivance, the man who can keep a fire in a stove or on a hearth is not only more durable, but wiser, closer to the meaning of fire, than the man who can only work a thermostat. (1970/1989, p. 76) The discrimination between what is practical and wh at is not requires intellects attuned to critique. What disturbs us most is that the mission of education--production of patriotic jobholders--so distorts the intellect that people h ave a more difficult time making such discriminations than they otherwise would. Our view of schools' mission relies on three premis es that accord the curriculum a different role from the one it presently serves. These premis es point to three aims for education that are sufficiently expansive to encompass education that is equally useful because it is meaningful. The first premise claims that a primary mission of schools should be to promote students' ethical reasoning. According to this view, a fundam ental mission of schools is to act as the conscience of the polity. By distinguishing their g oals from those of the nation-state, schools should be able to develop curricula that give stude nts the academic background and the personal entitlement to offer meaningful critique of the ins titutions of modern life. Not only is this mission an important precursor of social change, it is also an important safeguard of such change (see e.g., Brym, 1980). An y society--regardless of the tenets on which it is founded--can lose sight of its most worthy aims. A citizenry capable of ethical reasoning, however, can evaluate and redirect its government. Moreover, citizens are entitled to a government tha t advances their human rights, including the right to political voice and to self-directed w ork. As Bell (1976) notes, the evolution of human rights has not been well attended to in moder n capitalist societies. Advancing such rights is possible only within a society that places as gr eat a value on the welfare of groups as it does on the accomplishments of individuals. Consequently, t he schools in such a society should cultivate among students an appreciation for the scope and li mitations of individual potential as well as an appreciation for the potential of humankind. These two aims are not incompatible, although much of current educational thought makes them out to be (see e.g., Grant & Sleeter, 1985; Ta nnenbaum, 1981). Their apparent conflict, however, can be resolved by dislodging the concept of individual potential from its moorings in an ethic of competition. Schools can establish a fr ame of reference that enables students to see that their accomplishments are more than personal t riumphs over other students. This altered frame of reference would demonstrate to students th e preeminence of activities directed toward the survival and betterment of the human species an d of the planet. This frame of reference would also support the seco nd premise on which we believe that schooling should rest. This premise defines a just political mission for education, namely, that schooling should function as the harbinger of democ racy. Schools must accept this mission if they are to have a meaningful role in changing how social relations are structured. Currently, students have few models to guide their thoughtful but active participation in the political


14 of 22process. The trappings of a representative democrac y within a nearly monopolistic capitalism offer little to convince students of the value of p articipation. Moreover, representative democracy (as we know it) most often substitutes advertising for debate. Students educated to interpret their surroundings w ould be better able to identify the limitations of whatever political formations prevai l. Students also need to be prepared to serve as actors within a less contrived and more substantive political arena. In order to assume such a role, they need to understand the assumptions as we ll as the processes of democratic governance. To promote such understanding, curriculum must offe r students a forum for discussing political ideas as well as meaningful avenues to address poli tical and economic issues in their communities. These avenues, however, would differ f rom the channels progressive schools habitually use for cultivating students' democratic sentiments. Rather than construct for students an artificial political microcosm (such as that imp lied by the term, "student government"), schools should involve students in the real events of the political economy that take place within their communities. Such activities form part of a larger project, whic h involves, in our view, the most substantive role that schools should undertake. Our third premise is that this project--encompassing schools' aesthetic mission--i s of primary importance. Applying the term "aesthetic" to all representations of human experie nce and objective reality, this premise reflects our belief that human knowledge and understanding a re justified in their own right, without reference to their immediate utility. Representatio ns of experience and reality--in the arts and sciences--form, we believe, a legacy that allows hu mans to address the enduring predicaments of existence. An aesthetic mission requires schools to provide al l that is necessary to prepare students to construct personal interpretations of the world. By examining, reflecting on, and reconceiving others' interpretations of the world, students beco me able to internalize--as well as to assert--their own interpretations. These interpretations not only become the foundation for students' definitions of themselves, they will inevitably ser ve as the bases for students' ethical judgments and political actions. The aesthetic mission of schools is most similar, o n the surface, to what schools currently do. They present a body of knowledge that seems to represent the most significant elements of the cultural tradition. Regardless of appearances, however, this body of knowledge is offered only as the cursory treatment of content (e.g., Hir sch, 1987). Viewed this way, knowledge is treated superficially, reduced to unrelated bits of information, and trivialized. Curriculum of this sort uses a set of facts to distinguish those who m aster an approved canon from those who do not. Such a curriculum, however, certainly fails to enco urage students to explore the personal and universal import of a body of knowledge. By contrast, we believe that the aesthetic mission of schools requires the selection of some body of knowledge for students to use as the beginn ing point of their intellectual exploration. This knowledge needs to be of the sort that expands rather than limits students' choices. Such knowledge is easier to characterize when it he lps students develop a fundamental method of inquiry or expression. For example, the k nowledge about how to read makes available to students a wide range of intellectual choices. I t is more difficult to specify, however, the most important knowledge within disciplines such as lite rature and history that are essentially discursive. Students certainly need to read enough history to u nderstand and even to participate in its method, but we are not clear how much or what kind of history will accomplish that aim. Issues such as this are basic to the development of curric ulum, and should, therefore, be addressed by teachers, with the participation of members of the community that a school serves. To engage in such work, however, teachers will need to value int ellect more than they currently do. They will need to have exposure to the broad body of knowledg e from which a curriculum might be drawn.


15 of 22Moreover, they must be willing to submit such curri culum to a process of continual critique. Only through this critique will schools be able to develop a curriculum that gives students access to the assumptions on which their cultures rest and at the same time, shows them how to challenge or elaborate those assumptions. Construction of the Curriculum If schools are to serve these ethical, political, a nd aesthetic ends, their curricula must change. But how should curricula change? Observers-both liberal and radical--who conclude that the public-school curriculum as presently cons tituted limits students' academic achievement have recommended curricula that include various bod ies of knowledge. Liberal observers generally recommend the tradition al canon of western thought as important for all students, regardless of social cl ass or aptitude. The Paideia Proposal (Adler, 1982), for example, advocates a basic liberal arts education for all students. Radical critics, by contrast, usually propose curri cula that replace the established curriculum with non-traditional content (i.e., an a nti-canon) relevant to the history, culture, and liberation of oppressed groups. In consequence, rad ical critiques often find the classical canon to be little better than the basic skills curriculum t hat most contemporary schools implement (Weiler, 1988). According to Giroux (1988), schools that confine education to "high-status" (p. 194) knowledge serve the interests of the ruling el ite; making the traditional canon available to all students does little to advance the human right s of oppressed groups. We take a view that differs from both liberal and r adical perspectives. This view proceeds from points already made. If the construction of cu rriculum is a critical task for educators and community members, and if schools are to be harbing ers of democracy, then educators--whether liberal or radical--ought not to espouse a single c urriculum for all students. Children grow up in particular surroundings, and educators must constru ct curricula that respond to those particularities. At the same time, children ought, we believe, to gr ow up into a wider world--at least intellectually wider--than the one into which they are born. One aspect of this process is developmental; that is, students' minds mature with age. Educators should nurture that development so that students grow into adults who c an grasp, use, revise, and invent ideas. Another aspect of this process, however, is circums tantial. In this aspect, educators select content that leads students to bridge the gap between the p articulars of their existence and the universal dimensions of human existence. Educators, however, cannot undertake these roles unless their own intellects guide the construction of curriculum Unfortunately, this role for intellect is seldom re alized in contemporary public school classrooms. As a result, students generally imagine for themselves selfish ends in worlds that resemble the narrow ones they inhabit in reality. T hat is, they imagine themselves as being incrementally more successful than their parents. O ne casualty of the failure of intellect in classrooms may be social mobility of a more signifi cant sort. An even more important casualty, we would argue, is intellectual mobility; the dispo sition to imagine and act upon other realities than those that are merely apparent. In fact, both the canon and the anti-canon seem equ ally important to us. Ideally, all students would learn that the world differs radical ly from the one they think they see just over the sills of the classroom windows, the one they know s o well. In constructing curriculum, however, wise educators bind themselves to their students' o rigins, that is, to where their students are coming from. By examining and building on the meani ngs that seem familiar, students learn that the world they think they know so well--their immed iate world--differs somewhat from their image of it. For example, developing family chronicles and oral histories of various groups and cultures helps students realize the limits and expa nd their conception of apparent reality. Such


16 of 22openings exist in all disciplines, sometimes becaus e of students' misconceptions, but sometimes because of the unexplored richness of their persona l experiences. The point is that instruction must regularly exploit such openings so that studen ts can begin to construct bridges between the narrow worlds that seem so familiar and the wider o nes that seem so foreign. The content of the curriculum, however, is not imma terial. Any curriculum must have substance. The idea that instruction should impart intellectual processes rather than intellectual content is misguided, unless it acknowledges that d ealing with important knowledge is the way humans think. Educators are often tempted into beli eving that thought processes exist somehow apart from content. This is simply not true, and th inking cannot be taught apart from something worthy about which to think.ReferencesAdler, M. (1982). The Paideia proposal. New York: Collier Macmillan. Althauser, R.P., Spivack, S.S., & Amsel, B.M. (1975 ). The unequal elites. New York: John Wiley & Sons.Apple, M.W. (1979). Ideology and curriculum. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul. Apple, M.W. (1982). Education and cultural reproduc tion: A critical reassessment of programs for choice. In R. Everhart (Ed.), The public school monopoly: A critical analysis of education and the state in American society (pp.503-541). Cambridge, MA: Ballinger. Apple, M.W. (1987). The de-skilling of teachers. In F.S. Bolin & J. M. Falk (Eds.), Teacher renewal: Professional issues, personal choices (pp. 59-75). New York: Teachers College Press. Aronowitz, S., & Giroux, H. (1985). Education under seige: The conservative,liberal, an d radical debate over schooling. South Hadley, MA: Bergin & Garvey. Barrett, M.J. (1990). The case for more school days The Atlantic Monthly, 266 (5), 78-81, 84, 86-87, 90-91, 94, 96, 97-98, 100, 104, 106.Bell, D. (1973). The coming of post-industrial society. New York: Basic Books. Bell, D. (1976). The cultural contradictions of capitalism. New York: Basic Books. Berry, W. (1989). The hidden wound. San Francisco: North Point Press. (Original work published 1970)Boli, J., Ramirez, F., & Meyer, J. (1985). Explaini ng the origins and expansion of mass education. Comparative Education Review, 29 (2), 145-170. Bourdieu, P., & Passeron, J.C. (1977). Reproduction in education, society, and culture. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage.Bourdieu, P., & Passeron, J.C. (1979). Symbolic vio lence. Critique of anthropology, 4, (13, 14). Borland, J. (1989). Planning and implementing programs for the gifted. New York: Teachers College Press.Bowles, S. (1980). Unequal education and the reprod uction of the social division of labor. In E.


17 of 22Steiner, R. Arnove, & B.E. McClellan (Eds.), Education and American culture (pp. 125-133). New York: Macmillan.Bowles, S., & Gintis, H. (1973). IQ in the U.S. cla ss structure. Social Policy Nov.-Dec. 1972/Jan.-Feb. 1973, 65-96.Bowles, S., & Gintis, H. (1976). Schooling in capitalist America. New York: Basic Books. Brym, R. (1980). Intellectuals and politics. London: George Allen & Unwin. Cogan, J.J., & Anderson, H. (1977). Teachers' profe ssional reading habits. Language Arts 54, 254-258.Coleman, J. (1961). The adolescent society. Glencoe, NY: Free Press. Committee for Economic Development. (1985). Investi ng in our children: Business and the public schools. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED 261 117) Cusick, P.A. (1973). Inside high school: The student's world. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston.Daurio, S.P. (1979). Acceleration and enrichment: A review of the literature. In W.C. George, S.J. Cohn, & J.C. Stanley (Eds.), Educating the gifted: Acceleration and enrichment (pp. 13-63). Baltimore, MD: The Johns Hopkins University Press.Deaton, B., & McNamara, K. (1984). Education in a c hanging rural environment: The impact of population and economic change on the demand for an d costs of public education in rural America. Mississippi State, MS: Southern Rural Deve lopment Center. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED 241 210)Devaney, K., & Sykes, G. (1988). Making the case fo r professionalism. In A. Lieberman (Ed.), Building a professional culture in schools (pp. 3-22). New York: Teachers College Press. DeYoung, A. (1989). Economics and American education: A historical and critical overview of the impact of economic theories on schooling the Un ited States. New York: Longman. Dormhoff, G.W. (1983). Who rules America now? A view for the eighties. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.Duffey, R.V. (1973). Teacher as reader. The Reading Teacher 27, 132-133. Duffey, R.V. (1974, October-November). Elementary s chool teachers' reading. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the College Reading Associati on, Bethesda, MD. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED 098 554)Eisner, E. W. (1983). The kind of schools we need. Educational Leadership 41, 48-55. Etzioni, A. (1961). A comparative analysis of complex organizations. New York: Free Press. Etzioni, A. (1985). Self-discipline, schools, and t he business community. Washington, DC: Chamber of Commerce of the United States. (ERIC Doc ument Reproduction Service No. ED 249 335)


18 of 22Feldhusen, J., Van Tassel-Baska, J., & Seeley, K. ( 1989). Excellence in educating the gifted Denver, CO: Love Publishing.Filson, G. (1988). Ontario teachers' deprofessional ization and proletarianization. Comparative Education Review 32(3), 298-317. Foucault, M. (1979). Discipline and punish: The birth of the prison (A. Sheridan, trans.). New York: Vintage. (Original work published 1975)Freire, P., & Macedo, D. (1987). Literacy: Reading the word and the world South Hadley, MA: Bergin & Garvey.Galambos, E.C., Cornett, L.M., & Spitler, H.D. (198 5). An analysis of transcripts of teachers and arts and sciences graduates. Atlanta, GA: Southern Regional Education Board. Garman, N. (1986, March). Leadership and the educat ive act: Looking toward the next century to ensure quality. The John Dewey Society Memorial Lec ture presented at the Annual Conference of the Association for Supervision and Curriculum D evelopment, San Francisco, CA. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED 270 857)Giroux, H. (1988). Teachers as intellectuals: Toward a critical pedago gy of learning Granby, MA: Bergin and Garvey.Glickman, C.D. (1990). Supervision of instruction: A developmental approac h (2nd ed.). Boston: Allyn & Bacon.Good, T., & Brophy, J. (1987). Looking in classrooms (4th ed.). New York: Harper & Row. Grant, C.A., & Sleeter, C.E. (1985). Equality, equi ty, and excellence: A critique. In P.G. Altbach, G.P. Kelly, & L. Weis (Eds.), Excellence in education: Perpectives on policy and practice (pp. 139-159). Buffalo, NY: Prometheus Books.Guttmann, A. (1987). Democratic education. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. High, M.H., & Udall, A.J. (1983). Teacher ratings o f students in relation to ethnicity of students and school ethnic balance. Journal for the Education of the Gifted 6 (3), 154-166. Hobsbawm, E.J. (1973). Revolutionaries New York: Pantheon Books. Hofstadter, R. (1963). Anti-intellectualism in American life. New York: Knopf. Howley, C. (1991). Economics and education: Instrum entalism and the dilemma of learning in rural areas. In A. DeYoung (Ed.)., Rural education: A resourcebook (Chapter 3). New York: Garland.Hoy, W., & Woolfolk, A. (1990). Socialization of st udent teachers. American Educational Research Journal 27(2), 279-300. Ilika, J. (1974, May). A critical review of the tea cher readership characteristics research and the implications for performance based teaching. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the International Reading Association, New Orleans, LA. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED 092 912)


19 of 22Jacobs, J. (1984). Cities and the wealth of nations: Principles of eco nomic life New York: Random House.Jencks, C., Smith, M., Acland, H., Bane, M., Cohen, D., Gintis, H., Heyns, B., & Michelson, S. (1972). Inequality: A reassessment of the effect of family and schooling in America. New York: Harper & Row.Katchadourian, H., & Boli, J. (1985). Careerism and intellectualism among college student s San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Koballa, T.R. (1987). The professional reading patt erns of Texas life science teachers. School Science and Mathematics, 87 (2), 118-124. Leontief, W. (1982). The distribution of work and i ncome. Scientific American 247 (3), 188-204. Liston, D.P., & Zeichner, K.M. (1990). Teacher educ ation and the social context of schooling: Issues for curriculum development. American Educational Research Journal 27(4), 610-636. Lortie, D.C. (1975). Schoolteacher: A sociological study. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. McLaughlin, M.W., Pfeifer, R.S., Swanson-Owens, D., & Yee, S. (1986). Why teachers won't teach. Phi Delta Kappan 67(6), 420-426. McPeck, J.E. (1981). Critical thinking and education New York: St. Martin's Press. Metropolitan Life. (1985). The American teacher, 1985: Strengthening the profe ssion. New York: Author.Meyer, J., Tyack, D., Nagel, J., & Gordon, A. (1979 ). Public education as nation-building in America: Enrollments and bureaucratization in the A merican states, 1870-1930. American Journal of Sociology 85 (3), 591-613. Mills, C.W. (1956). The power elite. New York: Oxford University Press. Oakes, J. (1985). Keeping track: How schools structure inequality New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.Olneck, M., & Crouse, J. (1979). The IQ meritocracy reconsidered. American Journal of Education 88(1), 1-31. Parker, J.P. (1983). The leadership training model: Integrated curriculum for the gifted. G/C/T September/October, 8-13.Paul, R.W. (1986). Critical thinking and the critic al person. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED 273 511)Perelman, L. (1990). The "acanemia" deception: How the myth that America "lags"in education spending threatens to undermine national competitiv eness (Hudson Institute Briefing Paper). Indianapolis, IN: Herman Kahn Center.Roe, A. (1956). The psychology of occupations New York: Wiley. Sarason, S. (1971). The culture of school and the problems of change. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.


20 of 22Schlechty, P.C., & Vance, V.S. (1981). Do academica lly able teachers leave education? The North Carolina case. Phi Delta Kappan 63, 106-112. Spring, J. (1976). The sorting machine: National educational policy si nce 1945 New York: Longman.Spring, J. (1987) Education and the Sony war. In J. W. Noll (Ed.), Taking sides: Clashing views on controversial educational issues (4th ed.) (pp. 123-128). Guilford, CN: The Dushkin Publishing Group.Stanley, J.C. (1977). Rationale of the Study of Mat hematically Precocious Youth (SMPY) during its first five years of promoting educational accel eration. In J.C. Stanley, W.C. George, & C.H. Solano (Eds.), The gifted and the creative: A fifty year perspecti ve (pp. 75-112). Baltimore, MD: The Johns Hopkins University Press.Stanley, J.C. (1986, April). The urgent need for an academic focus. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Associ ation, San Francisco, CA. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED 277 205)Tannenbaum, A. (1981). Pre-Sputnik to post-Watergat e concern about the gifted. In W. Barbe & J. Renzulli (Eds.), Psychology and education of the gifted (3rd. ed.) (pp. 20-37). New York: Irvington Publisher.Thurow, L. (1987). A surge in inequality. Scientific American 256 (5), 30-37. Tomaskovic-Devey, D. (1987). Labor markets, industr ial structure, and poverty: A theoretical discussion and empirical example. Rural Sociology 52 (1), 56-74. Vance, V.S., & Schlechty, P.C. (1982). The distribu tion of academic ability in the teaching force: Policy implications. Phi Delta Kappan 64, 22-27. Veblen, T. (1979). Theory of the leisure class New York: Penguin. (Original work published 1899)Vieth, M. (1981). Time teachers spend reading versu s time they spend watching TV. Unpublished Master's thesis, Kean College of New Je rsey. (ERIC Document Resource No. ED 200 922)Waller, W. (1932). The sociology of teaching New York: Wiley. Weaver, W.T. (1978). Educators in supply and demand : Effects on quality. School Review 86 (4), 522-593.Weaver, W.T. (1979). In search of quality: The need for talent in teaching. Phi Delta Kappan 61 (1), 29-33.Weaver, W. (1983). America's teacher quality problem: Alternatives for reform New York: Praeger.Weiler, K. (1988). Women teaching for change Granby, MA: Bergin and Garvey. Ysseldyke, J., & Algozzine, B. (1982). Bias among p rofessionals who erroneously declare students eligible for special services. Journal of Experimental Education 50(4), 223-228.


21 of 22 About the AuthorsAimee Howley Edwina D. PendarvisCraig Howley Director ERIC Clearinghouse on Rural Education and Small Sch ools Appalachia Educational LaboratoryPhone: 800-624-9120 email: I've written about, studied, and lived in rural pla ces. (It's debatable whether or not I still live in a rural place, but the local chamber of commerce says I do, given that our house sits 2 miles north of I-64).Culture, politics, economics, and history concern m e. I wish schools were better at promoting 'the life of the mind' (whatever that is; finding out is part of the adventure) among everyone. And I think there are reasons they don't, but these reaso ns constitute more than just inattention or foolishness. Culture, politics, economics, and hist ory suggest reasons. Literature (fiction) may be a much better guide to true education in rural places than the sorts of poor studies we educationists sponsor. Check out We ndell Berry's Second Growth (circa 1950) or Annie Proulx's The Shipping News (circa 1990) and even E.M. Forster's Howards End (circa 1920). These folks have preserved something we have tried desperately to abandon, but can't actually escape. The wonder is that, though these b ooks (and many more) treat the dilemmas of rural life, they also deal with the idea of a true education more universally. Now, that's fun because it's not easy. In particular, novels don't lend themselves to translations as cookbooks. Teaching well is the most difficult work in the wor ld. We make a great mistake with attempts to make it easy or happy. Happiness is not a worthy ai m for education, nor is getting and holding a good job.Copyright 1993 by the Education Policy Analysis ArchivesEPAA can be accessed either by visiting one of its seve ral archived forms or by subscribing to the LISTSERV known as EPAA at (To sub scribe, send an email letter to whose sole contents are SUB EPAA y our-name.) As articles are published by the Archives they are sent immediately to the EPAA subscribers and simultaneously archived in three forms. Articles are archived on EPAA as individual files under the name of the author a nd the Volume and article number. For example, the article by Stephen Kemmis in Volume 1, Number 1 of the Archives can be retrieved by sending an e-mail letter to LISTSERV@a and making the single line in the letter rea d GET KEMMIS V1N1 F=MAIL. For a table of contents of the entire ARCHIVES, send the following e-mail message to INDEX EPAA F=MAIL, tha t is, send an e-mail letter and make its single line read INDEX EPAA F=MAIL.The World Wide Web address for the Education Policy Analysis Archives is


22 of 22Education Policy Analysis Archives are "gophered" at To receive a publication guide for submitting artic les, see the EPAA World Wide Web site or send an e-mail letter to and include the single l ine GET EPAA PUBGUIDE F=MAIL. It will be sent to you by return e-mail. General questions about ap propriateness of topics or particular articles may be addressed to the Editor, Gene V Glass, Glass@asu.ed u or reach him at College of Education, Arizona Sta te University, Tempe, AZ 85287-2411. (602-965-2692)Editorial Board John CovaleskieSyracuse UniversityAndrew Coulson Alan Davis University of Colorado--DenverMark E. Thomas F. GreenSyracuse Alison I. Arlen Gullickson Ernest R. Aimee Craig B. Howley u56e3@wvnvm.bitnet William Richard M. Jaeger Benjamin Thomas Dewayne Mary P. Les Susan Bobbitt Anne L. Hugh G. Richard C. Anthony G. Rud Dennis Jay Robert Robert T.


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