ERIC Number: ED219291
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Mar-19
A Value Analysis of Historically Significant Forms of Subject Matter.
The purpose of this paper is to articulate the relative meanings and values of various forms of subject matter. The paper first constructs a synthesizing definition of subject matter. All subject matter is conceptual in nature and is composed of words or statements concerning objects and events of the world which are to be taught and learned. The paper then discusses the three major subject matter types or approaches and their value and meaning: the life skills and experiential curriculum approach characterized by practicality, utility, and function; the romantic curriculum approach which emphasizes involvement, creativity, and expression; and the structuralist curriculum approach which emphasizes lawfulness, order, precision, and predictability. The three types of meaning--extrinsic, intrinsic, and formal--are then applied to six fields of human activity--the individual person, groups of persons, things, groups of things, concepts, and words. From this application emerge 18 subject matter sub-types the meaning and value of which are discussed. For example, the application of extrinsic meaning to individual persons shows persons as psychologically functioning persons. This meaning is basic to personality functioning studies that emphasize the interaction of persons with their environment. Another example is the application of extrinsic meaning to things showing things as utilities. This gives economic meaning which is basic to courses of study that emphasize consumer, vocational, and business practice. (RM)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (New York, NY, March 19, 1982).