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ERIC Number: ED138500
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1977-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Anarchism & Educational Policy Studies; A Marxist View of Joel Spring's "The Sorting Machine."
Berlowitz, Marvin J.
A critical analysis and interpretation of "The Sorting Machine" by Joel H. Spring is presented. The book, which uses a historical revisionist approach to trace the development and impact of the corporate-government-foundation network on the ideological orientation of the American educational system, makes its greatest contribution by re-examing research into the educational power structure. Spring analyzes the class bias of educational opinion leaders, documents the marketing of math and science curricula, and forecasts the extension of labor power into the social sciences and humanities. Writing from the ideological viewpoint of anarchism, Spring maintains that the contradiction between the individual and the state is of primary importance and has been neglected by the educational system. The book gives evidence of greater theoretical depth than many works of the historical revisionists but it has shortcomings, including subjective idealism, use of contradictory and unreliable evidence, methodological weakness, omission of crucial issues such as McCarthyism, and oversimplification of problem areas such as curriculum development and the need for educational planning. The conclusion is that Spring's book offers insights for policy makers, educational reformers, and revolutionaries and should be read as a sophisticated attempt to apply a revisionist superstructure to educational policy research. (Author/DB)
Descriptors: Analytical Criticism, Bias, Book Reviews, Educational History, Educational Philosophy, Educational Research, Elementary Secondary Education, Government Role, Higher Education, Historiography, Literary Criticism, Philosophy, Policy Formation, Political Attitudes, Power Structure, Public Education, School Business Relationship, Social Sciences, Social Stratification
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A