ERIC Number: ED152651
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1978-Mar
Reference Count: 0
Educators and the Class Analysis: Some Questions from the Perspective of Critical Theory.
Bowers, C. A.
Revisionist educational historians tend to analyze American education in light of Marxist theories of social class without giving due consideration to the fact that technology and bureaucracy are the dominant political and cultural forces affecting education in the 20th century. A review of educational debate during the 1960s and 1970s indicates that both the radical revisionist educational historians and advocates of the alternative school movement have been preoccupied with themes that were important in the 19th and early 20th centuries but are less relevant today. These themes, including Marx's concept of class conflict and Rousseau's idea about the goodness of human nature, have encouraged educational reforms that are inappropriate to modern social needs because they do not take technology into consideration. Limitations of educational revisionists' analyses of the relationship of school to society are due to many factors, including: (1) the concept of class conflict is irrelevant to a commodity culture; (2) no adequate criteria have been established to determine who belongs to which class; and (3) phenomenological evidence has not been produced to support Marxist claims about class consciousness. The conclusion is that recent research on the relationship of social class to education by American educational revisionists is based more upon traditional Marxist rhetoric than upon evidence. (Author/DB)
Descriptors: Analytical Criticism, Culture Conflict, Ecological Factors, Educational History, Educational Philosophy, Educational Research, Educational Theories, Educational Trends, Evaluation, Futures (of Society), Literature Reviews, Marxism, Political Issues, Problem Solving, Social Change, Social Class, Social Differences, Social Problems, Social Status, Socioeconomic Influences, Technology, Theories, Values
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Toronto, Ontario, March 27-31, 1978)