ERIC Number: ED299177
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1985-Apr-18
Reference Count: N/A
Historical Perspective on the Civic Role of the School in American Society: Changing Interrelationships of Schools, Communities, and Homes.
Butts, R. Freeman
To provide an understanding of the current controversial issues about civic education in U.S. schools, the historical interrelationships of schools, communities, and families and their bearings on civic education revolve around three basic themes in U.S. history. These themes are: (1) the cohesive value claims of a democratic political community; (2) the pluralistic value claims that have sought to preserve individual freedoms and respect the diversity of families and communities; and (3) the modernizing trends that characterize many Western societies. From 1620 to 1820, religion and work overshadowed the civic goal of republican citizenship as the prime purpose of education. In the century from the 1820s to the 1920s, the civic ideals of the United States were often submerged by the confrontation between modernization and pluralism. The 50 year span of the 1920s to the 1970s raised doubts about public education and gave a critical importance to a reassessment of the civic role of schools, communities, and homes in U.S. life. For education in the 1980s, the primary focus of civic study should be the preparation for citizenship in a pluralistic democracy and include ideas that promote cohesion, unity, pluralism, and individualism. The programs of civic education should not be decided only by special interest groups, such as government agencies, voluntarily organized groups, and religious groups but should include public leaders, scholars, and teachers. (DJC)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Conference on the Civic Education of Youth (Irsee, West Germany, April 15-19, 1985).