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ERIC Number: ED184917
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979-Nov
Pages: 10
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
Are Social Education and Compulsory Education Compatible? Barely.
Robinson, Paul
A tension exists between the goals of social education and the nature of the compulsory school system. Compulsory education was established late in the 19th century as a response to the trend toward an urban industrial society. The industrial world required workers who were punctual, attentive, and quiet; thus, compulsory education was seen as a means by which children could be instilled with those attributes. Modern education continues to promote attitudes which reflect the establishment. Social studies was introduced as a field of instruction early in the 20th century. Ironically, its goals of conceptually-based teaching, inquiry, relevance to students, and valuing processes are rarely achieved in practical classroom situations. The tension between social studies and the educational system exists in their conflicting premises: the educational system stresses patriotic obedience and reliance on the present institutions of government, whereas social studies goals emphasize development of free-thinking individuals who are critical of all forms of statism and believe in flexible, decentralized, democratic forms of government. As a step toward reconciling differences between the two, teachers will have to regard teaching as a positive subversive activity; encourage students to critically examine conventional conceptions of politics, economics, and social issues; and support curricula that promote critical inquiry. (AV)
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 Annual Meeting of the National Council for the Social Studies, College and University Faculty Assembly (Portland, OR, November 1979).