ERIC Number: ED307194
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1988-Oct
Reference Count: 0
Patterns of Social Fragmentation and Cohesion: The Social Context of 21st Century Education for Citizenship.
Watts, W. David; And Others
The future of civic education in the United States must be examined within the changing social context of the structure of U.S. society and the directions toward which that society is moving. The underlying, shared dimensions of the theoretical analysis of society must be examined to understand that context and discover those directions of change. The institutional elements of the social infrastructure which are examined include education, economy, and demography. The implications of certain social processes such as community, ethnicity, and social deviance, specifically drugs, and value systems, such as individualism, are also analyzed. Economic and demographic shifts reinforce the need for global awareness. Cultural differences become more, not less, apparent in a shrinking world, engendering a need for cultural pluralism. Civic education of the 21st century should instill a knowledge and an acceptance of those cultural variations. It should also help to rebuild the lost sense of community by developing opportunities to experience social involvement and community participation. The establishment of a sociological context for the future of civic education shows that: (1) sociological concepts can serve as interpretive guideposts in understanding the social world; (2) if these sociological concepts are to be understood and incorporated into civic education, teachers must be well versed in their meaning; and (3) when the sociological perspective makes private issues (such as drug abuse and divorce) public, the student learns that these difficulties need not be faced alone. A 29-item bibliography and 75-item reference list are included. (PPB)
Descriptors: Citizenship Education, Civics, Community, Community Involvement, Cultural Awareness, Cultural Pluralism, Demography, Drug Abuse, Economics, Elementary Secondary Education, Ethnicity, Futures (of Society), Global Approach, Individualism, Relevance (Education), Social Change, Social Values, Sociocultural Patterns, Sociology
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers; Administrators; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the National Conference on the Future of Civic Education (Washington, DC, October 5-7, 1988). For related documents, see ED 302 474, SO 019 887, and SO 019 895-896.