ERIC Number: ED024468
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1968-Feb
Reference Count: 0
The Political Socialization of Children and the Structure of the Elementary School.
Haller, Emil J.; Thorson, Sondra J.
The purpose of this paper was to determine the effect of the school's structure upon three aspects of the student's political socialization: community, regime, and authorities. Age level divisions foster a sense of community in and out of school, and pupil-teacher authority relationships establish attitudes toward authorities and norms of behavior expected in a system (regime). Social-psychological consequences are inferred from these structural attributes. From age cohorts, children establish a relationship among their equals and a society of peers which permit empathy. Through the pupil-teacher relationship, children expect nonfamily authority figures to behave universalistically and benevolently. The structure also promotes the child to develop a sense of personal efficacy. The implications for the modern political system are as follows: (1) A sense o f community and ability to empathize with peers are essential. (2) The ability to act in terms of relevant categories and universalism are central to norms in a regime which stresses equality before the law and the rule of the majority. (3) Attitudes toward authorities are important in maintaining stability. (4) Personal efficacy of citizens is basic to a popularly controlled system. Research is conclusive in demonstrating that elementary school age children are not apolitical. (JS)
Descriptors: After School Programs, Elementary Education, Elementary School Students, Peer Relationship, Political Attitudes, Political Influences, Political Socialization, School Organization, School Role, Social Development, Social Environment, Social Influences, Social Values, Student Attitudes, Student Reaction, Student Teacher Relationship
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Ontario Inst. for Studies in Education, Toronto.
Note: Paper presented at the meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Chicago, Illinois, February 1968.