ERIC Number: ED218177
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Jun-3
Reference Count: 0
Knowledge and Power in Social Studies Education.
Cherryholmes, Cleo H.
This paper addresses the following problem: how do power relationships constrain what counts as knowledge in social studies education and thus constitute the field? By looking at speech acts performed in a given socio-linguistic community one can get insight into discursive practices of that community. The present concern is with power relations embedded in discursive practices found in social studies education and thus with ways in which power relations and commitments generate and constrain knowledge in some social studies education. Social studies discourse is examined in three social studies methods texts (Hunt and Metcalf, 1968; Wesley and Wronski, 1973; and Fraenkel, 1973); two research journals (the "Journal of Social Studies Research," and "Theory and Research in Social Education"); and two elementary social studies series ("Windows on Our World," 1980 and "McGraw-Hill Social Studies," 1979). This sampling of social studies discourse suggested eight inferences about the field, which are discussed. One inference states that different discursive practices are constrained and supported by different political commitments. Non-controversiality and control were evident in the elementary textbooks. Information and explanations of a socially reinforcing nature were included. Control was also an important theme in some of the social studies methods textbooks for the simple reason that teachers have a contractual and practical interest in controlling and managing classroom instruction. (RM)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Knowledge; Power
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Social Science Education Consortium (East Lansing, MI, June 3, 1982).