ERIC Number: ED225900
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1974-Apr
Reference Count: 0
The Transformation of Adulthood: Its Implications for Youth. Discussion Paper 74-3.
Behn, William; And Others
Because schools serve society by reproducing the dominant social, economic, and political values reflected by the prevailing institutions and ideologies, educational reform is only possible when it does not conflict with the structure of society. Thus when adult work roles are transformed, the socialization of youth will follow closely. A review of research indicates that not only do schools produce cognitive skills, they also develop those character traits which all workers need: proper level of subordination, discipline, supremacy of cognitive over affective modes of response, and motivation according to external reward structures. Schools differentially socialize children into the attitudes and behaviors appropriate to the position they are expected to fill in the hierarchy. The alienation that youth feel toward school, then, has its roots in the demands of work organizations with their focus on wage contracts and pyramidal hierarchies rather than on human relationships. Alienation from both product and process of work is mirrored in the alienation from the schooling process. Thus, the nature of work must be changed to be more democratic, participative, cooperative, and interdependent. Youth will not be socialized to be creative, participative, and cooperative until the social relations of adults are characterized by these traits. (Author/KC)
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (DHEW), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Portola Inst., Inc., Menlo Park, CA.
Note: For related documents, see SO 014 468-473. A report of the Project on Educational Requirements for Industrial Democracy.