ERIC Number: ED217759
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Aug-23
Reference Count: 0
The Challenge of the Classroom: A Political-Economy Perspective.
Black, Charlene Rushton
Societal and political and economic forces that affect college instruction are considered. Classroom interaction is affected by the culture, the personalities of teachers and students, and the social situation (the physical and social environment). All the factors that influence the classroom are affected by political and economic factors both internal and external to it. The culture consists of the external norms, value, and beliefs about higher education in general and teaching/learning within colleges and universities and the internal norms, values and beliefs about the specific course. Economic forces (e.g., resource allocation) also affect the culture of student-teacher interaction. Teacher characteristics that influence classroom interaction include motivation, availability of time and energy, prior training and competence in the subject matter, and personal attributes. Examples of political and economic forces that affect teachers are the reward structure of their institutions, student reactions, and workload. Student characteristics that influence classroom interaction include the students' motivation and goals, prior training and skill, learning style, perceptions of the instructor's expectations and requirements, time and energy and personal attributes. The social situation indicates whether an institution is public or private, which affects the kind and amount of resources at its disposal. Institutions establish their own set of norms that may be a function of political and economic forces. The general economic situation and job market may encourage some students to attend college. Individual and collective efforts that may help improve teaching and learning are addressed. (SW)
Descriptors: Change Strategies, College Environment, College Role, Economic Factors, Educational Benefits, Higher Education, Instructional Improvement, Political Influences, Student Attitudes, Student Characteristics, Teacher Attitudes, Teacher Characteristics, Teacher Effectiveness, Teaching Skills
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association (Toronto, Canada, August 23, 1981).