ERIC Number: ED183465
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1978-Nov-2
Reference Count: 0
A Comparative Analysis of Individualism and Collectivism in Post-Industrial America and Post-Revolutionary China.
Kraft, Richard J.
Collectivist versus individualistic attitudes in China and the United States are compared with particular emphasis on the effects of these attitudes on educational objectives and practice in China. Individualism is interpreted to include attitudes such as personal liberty, individual initiative, moral relativism, and self-direction. This individualistic approach in the United States has fostered tax cutting referenda, self-centered semi-religious movements, and deification of the self in group therapy. Collectivism is interpreted as group control over production and distribution. It is exemplified by social consciousness and, in its most extreme form, by idolatry of the state. In China, positive attitudes toward collectivism are reinforced by encouraging cooperation rather than competition among children beginning in the earliest grades, by generally recommending submission of individual will to the needs of the group, and by encouraging early and active participation in Communist youth organizations. There have been some changes in education since the cultural revolution, however, which indicate that Chinese educators and policy makers are realizing the need to reinforce some individualistic attitudes. Major changes include emphasis on excellence, achievement, and competition rather than political indoctrination; tracking students according to ability; reinforcing the authority role of the teacher in the classroom; and providing professional education for able students. (DB)
Descriptors: Academic Achievement, American Culture, Civil Liberties, Communism, Comparative Analysis, Comparative Education, Developed Nations, Developing Nations, Educational Philosophy, Educational Policy, Educational Trends, Elementary Secondary Education, Foreign Countries, Higher Education, Individualism, Political Attitudes, Social Attitudes, Social Responsibility, Socialization, Teaching Methods, Values
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at Rocky Mountain Educational Research Association (Albuquerque, NM, November 2, 1978).