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ERIC Number: ED176641
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979
Pages: 16
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
A Symbolic Approach to What Curriculum Professors Do.
Hazlett, J. Stephen
The characteristics, responsibilities, and functions of curriculum professors are examined using a symbolic approach. Education is an area of endeavor representing a high level of symbolic activity, and insofar as curriculum centers on what is or should be taught in the schools and how it should be treated, curriculum workers occupy symbolically strategic ground. Their activities and actions are informed by changing public sentiment and, conversely, the significance of what they say and do is in part determined by public response. Many documents in the field of curriculum are very much period pieces that assumed vitality and meaning due to the emotional climate of the time in which they were written. Educational innovations rise and fall in response to the hope for concrete results, rather than on the basis of their objective merits or demonstration of results. Curriculum professors have a symbolic obligation to keep faith in the cause of popular instruction alive and to champion the ideas of innovation, change, and reform in education. Curriculum issues can be abandoned without intellectual resolution since they respond to the psychological environment, and what is important is whether their treatment furthers emotional ends. The frequently emotive character of curriculum language is symbolically important, since it reduces the need for careful thought and its oversimplification lessens ambiguity. Symbolic discourse is intended to express what people wish to believe, notwithstanding the facts and rational impediments. (SC)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association (San Francisco, California, April, 1979)