ERIC Number: ED332351
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Is There a Conservative Ideology of Education?
Jones, Thomas H.
This paper discusses: (1) the link between the conservative education policies of Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher and conservative educational thinking; (2) political, economic, and sociological conservative theories; and (3) characteristics of conservative thinking in education. The extent to which conservatives hold congruent or distinctive views about education is explored to determine whether or not a conservative ideology of education exists in the United States. The first section of the paper reviews the works of American theorists who advocate traditional educational content and modes of learning from different perspectives. A conclusion is that all agree that the primary task of education is the intergenerational transmission of knowledge. The next part compares the left- and right-wing perspectives, respectively, of Antonio Gramsci and Giovanni Gentile, two Italian theorists of the 1920s and 1930s. A discussion of the academic problems of the slower learner from the conservative viewpoint follows. Regarding the politics of Reagan and Thatcher it is suggested that there is a poor fit between the tenets of conservative political programs and those held by conservative theorists. The paper concludes that there are no fixed tenets of educational conservatism and that conservative thinking in education cannot be understood through a political program, but only through a convergence of ideas. (31 references) (LMI)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Chicago, IL, April 3-7, 1991).