ERIC Number: ED176369
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979-Jun
Reference Count: 0
Economic Democracy, Education, and Social Change. Program Report No. 79-B16.
Levin, Henry M.
The major premise underlying this presentation is that every employee has a right to economic democracy, that is, participation in those affairs that impact on his or her life. It is first argued that there is a dialectical relation between the educational system and the world of work. In this dialectic the educational system both reinforces and undermines the production of wage labor. Schools help prepare wage earners who fit into the present economic system through highly structured regulations and an atmosphere of competition and alienation. However, they also undermine the economic system by providing a surplus of overeducated workers who are frustrated by low-level jobs. This situation threatens both the educational and work processes. Although many attempts are made to remedy this situation, most, such as career education and lifelong learning, are largely ineffective. It is suggested, rather, that employers may tend to respond to the higher expectations of the more educated worker by relying increasingly on integrating workers into the work process by increasing employee participation or democratizing the workplace. Examples of several forms of economic democracy are presented. The author concludes that in response, schools may begin to emphasize cooperation, group decision-making, autonomy, and other prerequisites for economic democracy. (Author/JM)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (DHEW), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Stanford Univ., CA. Center for Educational Research at Stanford.
Identifiers: Employee Participation