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ERIC Number: ED059929
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1971-Nov-5
Pages: 23
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
The Social Studies Teacher: Agent of Change (Realities of the Political System). The Ideal and the Reality.
Engle, Shirley H.
The goal of civic education in a democracy must be mindful political activism. If civic education is to have a positive effect on the development of this activism: 1) it must provide curricular content which reflects the reality of political/social life; and, 2) teachers and administrators must exemplify, in and out of school, a model of active and mindful civic behavior worthy of emulation, and the school as an institution should furnish a model of such behavior. On both counts, I must be very critical of the reality of American education. The greatness of America is exaggerated; its problems, mistakes and weaknesses are minimized or ignored; and, little heed is given to how political and economic power has been and continues to be exercised. Schools are concerned more with maintaining authority and exacting obedience than with building self-esteem and individuality. And, while teachers may rule the school with an iron hand, they are notoriously placid and uninspiring citizens. The real trouble lies with a conception of education which, if it was ever valid, no longer fits our circumstances. It is time that American education outgrows its babysitting, propagandistic role, that it abandon its pretense to be the guardian of all wisdom, that it be more willing to share its problems and perplexities with youth, and devote itself to the cultivation of moral sensibility and intellectual honesty. (Author/AWW)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: N/A
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A