ERIC Number: EJ1032833
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 22
In Plato's Shadow: Curriculum Differentiation and the Comprehensive American High School
Rice, Suzanne; Smilie, Kipton D.
Educational Studies: Journal of the American Educational Studies Association, v50 n3 p231-245 2014
This article examines the emergence and persistence of curriculum differentiation in the comprehensive high school. We argue that curriculum differentiation has roots in Plato's Republic, where it is proposed that education (and later work, especially the work of ruling) should be distributed on the basis of ability. The concept of "ideology" is used here to help explain why the practice of curriculum differentiation has remained a defining--and largely unchallenged--characteristic of the comprehensive high school. The persistence of curriculum differentiation matters because it is a means by which different groups of students are given access to different kinds of knowledge. Not all knowledge is equally valued, and access to certain kinds of this educational good has implications for young persons' well-being that extend well beyond their formal schooling.
Descriptors: High Schools, Ideology, Secondary School Curriculum, Curriculum Development, Student Characteristics, Student Needs, Ability Grouping, Track System (Education), Educational Philosophy, Educational History, Social Influences
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: High Schools; Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A