ERIC Number: ED224141
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Jun
Reference Count: 0
Education, Public Confidence, and the Legitimacy of the Modern State: Is There a "Crisis" Somewhere?
Weiler, Hans N.
Data from the last several decades indicate that declining public confidence in education may be closely related to declining confidence in the authority and legitimacy of the state. Annual survey data from Gallup and others and data on declining public approval of school bond issues show the drop in public confidence in education in the 1960s and 1970s. At the same time public confidence in the state also declined, as evidenced by 1957-1977 annual survey data showing long term declines in "trusting" and long term increases in "cynical" attitudes toward government. Given the centrality of education in state activities, it is likely that declining public confidence in education reflects the wider decline in confidence in public authority. At the same time, declining confidence in education may contribute to the declining confidence in the state. Since attitudes toward education are probably more related to this general decline in confidence than to purely educational factors, actions to improve education will probably change education's public standing very little. Further research is needed, however, on the modern state's legitimacy and on the state's use of its educational activities to compensate for legitimacy lost elsewhere. (Author/RW)
Descriptors: Educational Attitudes, Elementary Secondary Education, Government (Administrative Body), Political Attitudes, Public Education, Public Opinion, Trend Analysis
Publications, Institute for Research on Educational Finance and Governance, School of Education, CERAS Building, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305 ($1.00).
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Spencer Foundation, Chicago, IL.; National Inst. of Education (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Stanford Univ., CA. Inst. for Research on Educational Finance and Governance.
Identifiers: Opinion Polls; Political Legitimacy
Note: An earlier version of this paper, entitled "Education and Crisis: A Note of Concern," was presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (New York, NY, March 19-23, 1982).