ERIC Number: ED188319
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980
Reference Count: 0
The Federal Role in Curriculum Development, 1950-80.
Atkin, J. Myron; House, Ernest R.
The federal government became involved in the development of public school curriculum in order to pursue broadly accepted national goals. During the first two decades of federal curriculum activity, however, the country became increasingly fragmented socially and politically, making the federal role more complex and controversial. Federal attempts at curriculum revision have affected materials and teaching activities, but have often ignored the wishes, habits, and needs of users. Still, an unprecedented degree of intrusiveness of federal regulation into the teaching process has become acceptable. Federal education policy tends to be a melange of the often conflicting policies of different special interest groups and governmental bureaus. In most cases these interests hope to develop curriculum changes at, diffuse them from, and evaluate them by a central agency--the federal government--without encouraging development of new policies in the field. Federal involvement in curriculum can be understood and interpreted from three analytical perspectives: the technological perspective was most important when there was a high consensus on national goals; the political and cultural perspectives have become important as the society has divided. Consideration suggests favoring strategies for change based on teacher initiatives and designed to meet varied, complex, and sometimes contradictory demands. (Author/PGD)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (DHEW), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: N/A