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ERIC Number: ED170215
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1979-Apr
Pages: 35
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
The Education of Theodore Roosevelt: Formal Learning and Its Informal Messages.
Dalton, Kathleen
Theodore Roosevelt's education is used as a case-study to illustrate how educators' informal messages influence students to stay in their social class. These messages can be transmitted either consciously or unconsciously, through tone of voice, body movement, facial expression, and unspoken expectations or assumptions. As the first social experience outside the home, the teacher has immense responsibility as an identity builder during a vulnerable period and is viewed by the student as a person who will make sense out of the world. The informal messages the teacher transmits perpetuate the status of the child being taught. Because Roosevelt's education was designed to meet his interests and needs, he received messages of his uniqueness and potential greatness at every turn. His opinions were considered worthy of attention; teachers were persons to listen to, learn from, argue and discuss with, but fallible. He took for granted that he deserved the wealth, advantages, and political power that belonged to his class. His education endowed him with a sense of what it means to be upper class, just as poor children learn the opposite in ghetto classrooms. It is an extreme example of the ego-enhancing possibilities of an individually designed education. Classrooms today tend to have the opposite effect. To the question raised by this paper, "Are our schools stifling the identities, the human possibilities of the children of America by teaching them the informal messages of class roles?", the answer must be yes. (CK)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A