ERIC Number: ED380859
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1995
Reference Count: N/A
Democracy, Chaos, and the New School Order.
Maxcy, Spencer J.
This book suggests the adoption of a critical pragmatic approach to the problems of educational change. It offers a set of criticisms by which theories and reform proposals may be judged and tested, and proposes the reconstruction of schools in place of school restructuring. A primary question to be asked is, "How shall social institutions be organized, and to what end?" Chapter 1 outlines the essential tension in theorizing about schools. It illustrates how the current school-reform dilemma came about, how the frameworks approach to the study of institutions is faulty, and how a nonfoundational notion of organizational inquiry improves on the faults of traditional social science methodological assumptions. Chapter 2 criticizes chaos theory, in particular, attempts to apply chaos theory to the practice of teaching and learning in educational institutions. Chapter 3 discusses the appropriateness of democratic models for school organizations in developed and developing nations. The fourth chapter examines three efforts to restructure schools in Kentucky, Chicago (Illinois), and West Feliciana (Louisiana). These proposals are tested first against a modernist model of interrogation and then against a postmodern, critical paradigmatic model for educational reform. Chapter 5 explores the pluralistic nature of democracies and raises the question of individual autonomy relative to contemporary fractured democratic states. Three kinds of democratically based pluralistic recommendations are examined. Chapter 6 argues that schools are buoys in a moral sea, that schools in a democratic society must rest on aesthetic and moral-ethical processes, and that the failure of restructuring has resulted from reformers overlooking the polyvalue basis of all patterned social life. The concluding chapter offers possible guides for the reconstruction of school organizations for the 21st century. (Contains 253 references.) (LMI)
Descriptors: Chaos Theory, Critical Theory, Cultural Pluralism, Democracy, Democratic Values, Educational Change, Educational History, Educational Theories, Elementary Secondary Education, Organizational Change, Organizational Theories, School Organization, School Restructuring, Social Structure
Corwin Press, Inc., 2455 Teller Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91320-2218 ($22.95).
Publication Type: Books; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A