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ERIC Number: ED155118
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1977-Jun
Pages: 34
Abstractor: N/A
What Curriculum is Best Suited to Develop a Critical Minded Public?
van Manen, Max
This paper argues that the social studies curriculum should extend the concept of critical thinking to social criticism. The purpose of social criticism is to foster a society that is characterized by community, freedom, and equality. In essence, it raises the question of how to live. The social critic looks beyond the symptoms of a social problem to the underlying patterns of human relations and societal interactions. In examining the curricular work of Beard, Oliver, and other social reconstructionalists, the author argues that they fall short of developing a truly critical analysis of the human condition in society. There is no moral questioning of the values underlying social and political conflicts. While some other methods of teaching critical social thinking skills have been attempted, most are incompatible with public schools. This paper stresses that a public school curriculum aimed at critical thinking ought to be available. It is suggested that the pedagogical elements of such a curriculum would include the following: (1) an open minded orientation; (2) veracity and compassion; (3) social action by seeking emancipatory values in everyday life; (4) knowledge of relevant information; (5) awareness of analytic concepts derived from critical social science; (6) reflective awareness of methodological concepts; and (7) understanding common categories of critical reasoning. (Author/JK)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: N/A
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at Canadian Society for the Study of Education meeting (Fredericton, New Brunswick Canada , June 6-11, 1977)