ERIC Number: ED413639
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1997
How To Succeed in School without Really Learning: The Credentials Race in American Education.
Labaree, David F.
Getting ahead and getting an education are inseparable in the minds of most Americans. Social mobility lies at the core of the American dream, and educational opportunity is the primary avenue by which to realize this dream. This book suggests that it is time to consider whether the connection between schooling and social mobility is doing more harm than good. The process of getting ahead often interferes with getting an education, and the process of getting an education frequently makes it harder to get ahead. Chapter 1 presents the major themes and primary interpretive framework based on Max Weber's status-competition theory. Chapters 2-4 focus on the sorting and selecting of students within schools, examining the historical roots of these processes, their consequences for both schools and society, and the implications of this analysis for an understanding of the schools today. Chapter 5 locates "Turning Points," a 1989 Carnegie report on middle schools, within the historical tradition of Carnegie efforts to shape U.S. educational policy in the 20th century. Chapter 6 demonstrates that the teacher-professionalization movement is likely to have a negative impact on American education and its constituents. Chapters 7-8 explore the ways in which market-based processes of sorting and selecting have affected the historical development of American high school teaching, the community college, and the education school. Chapter 9 argues that the issue of status is central to the problems facing education schools and teacher education in the United States. The final chapter focuses on the consumerism and credentialism that characterize contemporary education in the United States. An index and chapter notes are included. (Contains 335 references.) (LMI)
Descriptors: Competition, Credentials, Educational Assessment, Educational History, Elementary Secondary Education, Equal Education, Free Enterprise System, Higher Education, Role of Education, Social Mobility, Social Stratification, Sociology, Student Certification, Student Placement, Teacher Supply and Demand, Teaching (Occupation)
Yale University Press, P.O. Box 209040, New Haven, CT 06520-9040 ($35).
Publication Type: Books; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A