ERIC Number: ED056954
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1971-Nov-27
Reference Count: 0
The Social Studies Teacher: Agent of Change.
Gross, Richard E.
Can educators be effective change agents, and if so, how? Let's consider our opportunities from three viewpoints: 1) the social setting of the school; 2) the school systems themselves; and, 3) the teacher. Within the social setting, one of the most important limitations to change is the resistance of many parents. The new curricula and approaches will be largely stillborn unless we can convince patrons of the efficacy of key elements. As to institutional blocks, we find, among others: standardized tests, nationally produced texts, accreditation rules; bureaucratic structure of schools; and lack of economic pressure to change. As to teachers: 1) teachers are relatively isolated from one another; 2) lack of any real assessment of efforts; and, 3) teachers tend to be fairly conventional and conservative. Some steps toward strengthening the teacher's impact are: 1) encourage policy of employing, and appropriately rewarding, change agents in the schools; 2) differentiated staffing and differentiated rewards; 3) freer communication and brainstorming; 4) democratization of the school systems and classrooms; and 5) strengthened cooperation with parents and other concerned laymen. Two books are recommended for social studies teachers: Beyond Freedom and Dignity, and Without Marx or Jesus. (Author/JLB)
Descriptors: Change Agents, Citizen Participation, Community Relations, Democratic Values, Educational Change, Educational Innovation, Parent School Relationship, Parent Teacher Cooperation, School Districts, Social Change, Social Studies, Speeches, Student Participation, Systems Analysis, Teacher Characteristics, Teachers
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Stanford Univ., CA.
Note: Speech presented at the Annual Conference, National Council for the Social Studies, Denver, Colorado, November 27, l971