ERIC Number: ED221417
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Jun-3
Reference Count: 0
Disciplines, Disciples, and Ideology in Social Education.
Nelson, Jack L.
The evolution of social knowledge into the social science disciplines has stilted intellectual activity; moreover, social education perpetuates these disciplines without critically examining the bases of their existence. Although the most widely accepted criteria for determining a discipline is that it have a structure of basic principles and a specific mode of inquiry, the standard attempts to define a social science discipline result only in descriptive statements of what the "disciples" do and what exclusive language they use. For example, most definitions of the social sciences envelope the content of other fields. History, anthropology, geography, sociology, psychology, political science, and economics all endeavor to examine the actions of humans; none have unique structures of knowledge or modes of inquiry. The implications for social education are great. The current dominant social mentality is functionalist; it operates to preserve and protect the established social order. This functionalist ideology is expressed in social studies curricula and texts and in the social sciences themselves. The social studies curriculum assumes that the disciplines offer truth rather than tentative theories; the result is the imposition of dominant class values, norms, and assumed order without criticism. (KC)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; 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 3, 1982).