ERIC Number: ED374439
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1994-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
A Survey of Attitudes towards Certain Aspects of the English Curriculum Held by Selected Educational and Non-Educational Groups Designated as Liberal and Conservative.
Simmons, John S.; Shafer, Robert E.
Noting that many varied organizations have become increasingly politicized and maintain strong interests in the nation's education agenda, a survey of national professional organizations examined to what extent conservatism and liberalism on political matters translated into a similar mind-set on issues in the English curriculum. To survey 23 primarily non-educational national organizations and 20 professional educational organizations, a 4-phase instrument questionnaire was created. Initial mail response was weak, but eventually a 77% response rate was gained. Data indicated that: (1) to teach or not to teach grammar has become an issue intertwined with basic values; (2) lack of awareness of published research and scholarly literature published on the teaching of English during this century surfaced in both groups; (3) a desire to stick with traditional policies and practices in English pedagogy became evident in the aggregate responses of both groups; (4) conservatives demonstrated support for older, more established practices in the teaching of written composition (especially in a commitment to grammar study) than did the more liberal groups; (5) conservatives steadfastly linked memorization with literary appreciation--their "xenophobic" perspective on American culture was further reflected in their clear preference for Anglo-Saxon literature over any multicultural emphasis; and (6) as they viewed the curriculum as a whole, conservatives expressed support for cultural rather than functional literacy alternatives, supporting English Only referenda and isolated skills testing. (Appendixes contain survey letter and form, language and composition as well as literature and curriculum analysis data, and specific interest groups analysis data. Contains 26 references.) (NKA)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A