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ERIC Number: ED282339
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1986-Nov
Pages: 22
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
Institutional Settings and Children's Lives: An Historical, Developmental and Environmental Perspective on Educational Facilities.
Wolfe, Maxine
Taking the perspective of environmental psychology, this paper interprets the influence of educational settings upon children's socialization. The physical environment and the social structure it reflects determine the nature of information acquired during socialization. Socialization functions, long assumed by institutions such as schools, are linked by a system of institutions. Children must follow institutional roles or be punished. Historically, the poor, minorities, and those not following traditional sex roles are punished. Many reform efforts have cited schools' environmental conditions to justify changes. Open-space classrooms labeled poor and minority students as unable to "handle" a perceived lessened amount of structure. Political conservatism has brought a "back to basics" movement; poor populations are left with bare essentials. Discrepancy between rhetoric and reality thus reflects constraints placed on educational environments by institutional assumptions. Spontaneity is viewed as impulsivity, necessitating historical norms of control and authority. The implicit goal of conformity is achieved by the overt goal of independence--granted if the child conforms to goals of the setting. Because institutions are resistant to change, children should be given projects that empower change in themselves. Research and historical study should open up alternative environments and futures. Two reference pages and several children's drawings are appended. (CJH)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Researchers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Edusystems 2000 International Congress on Educational Facilities--Values & Contents (Jerusalem, Israel, November 16-21, 1986).