ERIC Number: ED234063
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1983-Apr
Minimum Competency Testing: A Curricular Debate.
Page, Reba Neukom
The symbolic function of curricular debate, as it is manifested in the minimum competency testing movement (MCT), is investigated. Curricular debate necessarily reflects the demands of the society in which it arises. The topics that are addressed spring from this milieu and the language in which issues are couched must be appropriate to it. Examination of the MCT literature shows that educators do not recognize the symbolic power of curricular debate. Typically, educators writing about MCT defend the past or the status quo and reject MCT out of hand or they flow with the times and accept it without question. The writing of those who have climbed on the MCT "bandwagon" provides an example of the confusion that results when curricular issues are not treated reflectively. The first section of this paper asks what proponents of MCT want, in order to demonstrate that a straightforward answer is hard to pinpoint. In the second section of the paper, responses to MCT which are more analytical are examined. Neither simply rejecting nor accepting MCT, the writers reviewed in this section recognize and call attention to philosophical and political issues raised by the movement, but fail to recognize the power of their own educational discourse. All attempt to reconstruct the MCT movement and divert its popularity to other educational purposes, but new problems arise from their unselfconscious use of language. (LC)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Wisconsin Center for Education Research, Madison.