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ERIC Number: ED202772
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981
Reference Count: 0
Pluralism Gone Mad. Fastback 160.
Thomas, M. Donald
This monograph contends that the same ethnic preoccupation that is pervading politics in the United States today is also dangerously affecting our educational system. Specifically, pluralistic demands placed on American schools are moving them away from the historical objectives of unifying, providing a common experience for a diverse population, establishing democratic ideals and devotion to civic duty, and providing basic vocational preparation. Examples of 'pluralism gone mad' (defined as any attempt to introduce, on the basis of social equity, programs that divert the educational process from the democratic goals and principles to which it is historically committed) include separation of curriculum, activities, or services on the basis of race, ethnic background, or sex; bilingual education aimed at supporting a jobs program rather than valid educational purposes; accommodation of the idiosyncratic values and personal behavior of every individual; educational reform based on evangelism or spiritualism; attempts to make all learning activities relevant and immediately gratifying; and attempts to meet the curriculum desires of every special interest group and every political persuasion. Several recommendations are offered to guide reform of the educational system, including establishing parent governance committees at each school, strengthening the quality of teacher preparation, supporting affirmative action programs that lead to the employment of the best qualified persons regardless of race or sex, and improving student achievement. The conclusion is that the agenda of American schools should be to concentrate on quality rather than pluralism. (DB)
Descriptors: Cultural Pluralism, Educational History, Educational Objectives, Educational Opportunities, Educational Practices, Educational Quality, Educational Trends, Elementary Secondary Education, Equal Education, Ethnicity, Political Influences, Social Change, Social Integration, Teacher Education, Values
Phi Delta Kappa Educational Foundation, Eighth and Union, Box 789, Bloomington, IN 47402 ($0.75 single copy, quantity discounts available).
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Phi Delta Kappa Educational Foundation, Bloomington, IN.