ERIC Number: ED219306
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Jun
Reference Count: 0
Social Studies Versus Social Engineering: Values Education Reconsidered.
Public schools must conform to the changed mood of public opinion, which in the 1980s favors traditional education both academically and in morality and standards of behavior. The educational trends of the 1960s and 1970s were associated with sustained attempts to use the public schools as instruments of social engineering, that is, instruments to reform society by reshaping the attitudes of children. The traditional socializing function of formal education changed from a relatively conservative direction to a radical direction. Racial integration was imposed by federal courts; textbooks were rewritten to appease militant pressure groups; and values clarification was used to undermine traditional moral standards. Kohlberg's program of moral education also encouraged the destruction of traditional moral assumptions. Out of all this emerged the "Me Generation." Recent trends have provoked popular resistance against the objectives of the social engineers. One sign of that resistance is the rejection of values clarification and demands for traditional moral education. The revulsion against ethical relativism and social engineering in the schools is also a movement toward school decentralization, that is, toward more intimate relations between communities and families on the one hand and the schools and teachers on the other. The question now is "will the educational establishment go along?" If educators resist, they risk bringing on an extreme reaction. (Author/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 Social Science Education Consortium (East Lansing, MI, June 2-5, 1982).