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ERIC Number: ED141196
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1976-Sep
If This Keeps up....Current School Policy Making and Political Learning.
Wirt, Frederick M.
The current political conflict over school policy making is raised as a source of political learning for the young. It is hypothesized that the current politicization of educational issues influences students as never before and that this influence has great potential for re-shaping perceptions and evaluations of the political world. In the last decade a set of constituencies of the school system has challenged authority and decisions long imposed by the education profession. Each constituency focuses on a distinctive policy which it wants altered to accomodate a new distribution on resources and values. Conflicts discussed include desegregation, finance reform, teacher power, accountability, and student rights. Common features of the new school politics include the continual power/resource struggle; centralization of authority in American government; widespread political agitation; financial problems; the political learning context of students; and the perception, judgment, and conceptualization of the political process by the young. Speculation indicates that political conflict in local schools over the last decade has provided a teaching surrogate, the salience of school issues for the young has transcended other kinds of politics, and it should have had greater effect on political learning than traditional classroom instruction. Further research on political learning among the young is needed to turn this information from speculation into data. (Author/DB)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at Annual Meeting of American Political Science Association (Chicago, Illinois, September 2-5, 1976)