ERIC Number: ED318669
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990-Feb
Political Scientists on Civic Education: A Nonexistent Discourse. Elementary Subjects Center Series, No. 15.
Cherryholmes, Cleo H.
A review of eight leading political science journals beginning with the first volume of the "American Political Science Review" in 1906 revealed no articles or statements about how elementary civic education is or should be taught. Several reasons for this omission are suggested. First, the elementary civic education curriculum was established before the American Political Science Association was founded and thus before its members could participate in designing civic education curricula. Second, after World War II political scientists began to emphasize strongly the "scientific" aspects of their inquiries as a result of the "behavioral" revolution. This excluded the possibility of supporting public or educational policies because as scientists they could not be policy advocates. Political scientists chose not to push the implicit value commitments of their disciplinary findings onto public educators and into public school classrooms. This professional reluctance notwithstanding, four ideas to consider in designing elementary civic education curricula are presented. They are: (1) students should learn about important characteristics of liberal democracy and its historical development; (2) students should learn that the development of liberal democracy in the United States has been flawed and oppressive as well as liberating and enlightening; (3) students should draw upon political scientific knowledge in the consumption and production of texts about their social and political world; and (4) students should be taught that social and political life and practices are complex, contradictory, and transitory. (Author/AS)
Descriptors: Citizenship Education, Civics, Elementary Education, Elementary School Curriculum, Political Science, Social Scientists, Social Studies, Teaching Methods, Values
Institute for Research on Teaching, College of Education, Michigan State University, 252 Erickson Hall, East Lansing, MI 48824-1034 ($2.50).
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Guides - Non-Classroom
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Michigan State Univ., East Lansing. Inst. for Research on Teaching.; Center for the Learning and Teaching of Elementary Subjects, East Lansing, MI.