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ERIC Number: EJ1078565
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Reference Count: 45
Social Foundations in Exile: How Dare the School Build a New Social Order
Dotts, Brian W.
Educational Foundations, v28 n1-4 p51-72 2015
The idea of breaking free from outdated ideas and practices is nothing new. It is an idea advocated by individuals like Aristotle, Thomas Paine, and Thomas Jefferson. In 1935 Dewey asserted that he viewed education and schooling as the ideal setting for democracy's gestation. He believed that a democratic way of life could best be achieved by rooting democratic practices in the social character of schools. Dewey believed in the expectation that public schools should consciously be partners in the construction of a changed society. Drawing on Dewey's pholosophy, Brian Dotts asserts that what "is" new this time however, is the attempt over the past 40 years to relegate public schools and universities to market caprice thereby removing public commitments to and local and state governance and public accountability over education. In this article, Brian Dotts expresses his concern over this shift and students increasingly seeing themselves more as consumers than learners. Dotts, observes that students have become "less focused on learning, challenging themselves and their beliefs," less likely "to explore different areas of knowledge, and more interested in obtaining the credential that will enable them to achieve the economic success they desire" (Saunders, 2010, pp. 63-64). Dotts believes that we are also witnessing a gradual inversion in education whereby colleges and schools of education are restructuring their institutions in order to accommodate the excessive federal regulatory requirements that NCLB and Race to the Top impose on schools, teachers, students, and administrators. Dotts points toward a new atmosphere pervading all levels of education with utilitarian aims and disciplinarian methods intended to garner specifically rigid outcomes. The social efficiency model of education has now taken on a novel twist--no longer are policy makers and business leaders demanding that schools meet the needs of training a skilled workforce. Dotts contends that now officials are diligently attempting to privatize public education and he argues against the creation of a reformed hollowed-out education system dedicated to nurturing youth strictly on cold facts and empty labels alone.
Descriptors: Educational Change, Educational History, Educational Philosophy, Public Education, Student Attitudes, Economic Factors, Federal Legislation, Academic Standards, Privatization, Social Influences, Social Change, Foundations of Education, Democracy, Politics of Education, Neoliberalism, Role of Education
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers; Reports - Evaluative
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