ERIC Number: ED199181
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Apr-15
Reference Count: 0
Critical Theory and Everyday Educational Life.
This paper discusses the relevance of the neo-Marxist perspective (critical theory) to educational theory and practice, with partictular emphasis on the implications of this perspective for educational researchers and educators involved in teacher education programs. For purposes of comparative analysis, it also provides a brief overview of basic assumptions of traditional western (functional, positivist) approaches to the analysis of educational phenomena. Major terms are defined as follows: (1) The critical perspective is a theoretical tradition based on Karl Marx's insights into the working of the social world; (2) relational analysis is a Marxist concept that suggests that social phenomena are best understood when examined in relation to their ties to the larger set of institutions and institutional arrangements in society; and (3) cultural deprivation refers to the whole set of social, environmental, cultural, and economic circumstances which surround pupils from impoverished backgrounds and contribute toward failure to achieve in school. The hypothesis is that educational researchers will be able to broaden their understanding of educational phenomena if they are familiar with the hidden biases, assumptions, and limitations, as well as traditional theoretical perspectives. Educational issues discussed from the point of view of both traditional and Marxist approaches include the relationship between schooling and social inequality, consideration of the type of knowledge which is included in the curriculum, and connections between cultural power and the control of economic and social power. Conclusions are that scholars influenced by the Marxian tradition can contribute to educational research by making researchers more sensitive to the importance of the structure and form of curriculum in transmitting ideology, can help teacher educators understand the significance of selective traditions, and can help prospective teachers see connections between what occurs in classrooms and the larger problems of social injustice and inequality. (DB)
Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Comparative Analysis, Educational Philosophy, Educational Research, Elementary Secondary Education, Higher Education, Marxian Analysis, Political Influences, Power Structure, Research Methodology, Research Needs, Social Influences, Teacher Education, Theories, Values
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Critical Theory; Marx (Karl)
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association Convention (Los Angeles, CA, April 15, 1981).