ERIC Number: ED220359
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1982-Mar-21
Reference Count: N/A
Curriculum as Transmitter of Socioeconomic and Political Values: Case Study of a Middle School Writing Project.
Martin, June M.
This research project analyzed the manifest and hidden curriculum of a sixth-grade writing project to determine how it transmitted societal values. Entitled "Right is Write", the writing project was a simulation game in which students played roles of writers, agents, editors, and publishers interacting to produce, evaluate, buy, and sell compositions intended for a predetermined audience. Sources of data included field notes, videotapes, teacher interviews, and a student questionnaire. The results indicated that socioeconomic and political values were transmitted through the game. Socioeconomic values manifested by students included those of earning money, becoming an effective salesperson, and producing both quality and quantities of products. Students were drawn into the web of capitalism by incentives of profit and domination. Political values were manifested both in the game itself and through interventions or constraints to its enactment. For example, predetermined content, fragmentation of time blocks, and emphasis on skills indicated traditional or conservative influences. The game illustrated many ideas of Dewey and liberalism. For example, students enacted occupational roles that integrated skills of communication, economics, and mathematics in a game of interest to them. Another political value illustrated through the game was radicalism. Students questioned unequal assets, disproportionate allocation of roles, differences in privileges, and unequal opportunities to obtain rewards. They proposed and discussed modification but did not explicitly challenge the legitimacy of the game itself and its economic and political presuppositions. (RM)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Michigan State Univ., East Lansing. Inst. for Research on Teaching.