ERIC Number: ED252968
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984
Reference Count: 0
The Idea and Ideology of Progress in Social and Educational Thought.
Popkewitz, Thomas S.
One of the most important myths in education is that of progress. The idea derives from a specifically Western messianic tradition and contains the belief in the growth and the development of an organism. That belief emerges from Greek and Hebraic thought, is modified in Christian theology, and then is secularized in science. The persistence and good of existing social relations is posited, and the notion of good and evil is projected into the future in a manner that limits consideration of possibilities. In much contemporary social and educational science, progress is tied to an assumption of determinism. The problem is social amelioration that reconciles the world of the individual with the world that already exists. The notion poses fundamental contradictions for educational practice. The intent of schooling is to educate individuals; the mandate is a normative and progressive challenge. Its progressive element is that schooling is to help people understand the constraints, restraints, and possibilities of our human conditions. The actual assumptions about progress that underlie pedagogy, however, reify social conditions and institutions. There is a minimum of reflection and choice, and a mystification of institutional arrangements that is anti-intellectual. (DCS)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (New Orleans, LA, April 23-27, 1984).