ERIC Number: ED218210
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Mar
Reference Count: 0
Civic Learning, Schooling and the Dynamics of Normative Socialization.
Leming, James S.
This paper examines the effects of schooling on political socialization and presents a theoretical perspective on the learning of civic norms which will provide insight into both the limits of schools' current efforts at instilling civic norms and the potentialities of new approaches. Norms are defined as personally binding conceptions of right conduct. Civic norms refer to norms on political as well as moral and social questions. A review of research establishes two important points. First, the social studies curriculum, especially with respect to the development of political and moral attitudes, is failing to have any noticeable impact on students' acquisition of norms. Second, the teacher and classroom climate have the potential to be significant influences in the learning of civic norms. This pattern of findings indicates that the forces which influence the learning of civic norms center around the social, interpersonal interactions in schools and the resulting school climate. An interpretation of this phenomena is offered based on the legal socialization perspective of Hogan and Mills which acknowledges the social basis of civic learning. It is suggested that current approaches to civic and moral education place too much emphasis on student reasoning. The social dynamics involved in the acquisition of social norms, which involve nonrational factors, are largely absent in social studies theory and curriculum. Suggestions for curricular reform based on the Hogan and Mills framework are presented. For example, teacher education programs should sensitize prospective teachers to the attributes to which children selectively attend which result in the perception that the teacher is worthy of respect and credible. (Author/RM)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (New York, NY, March 19-23, 1982).