ERIC Number: EJ725399
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005
Reference Count: 17
Social Studies for an Empire: Thoughts on Where Did Social Studies Go Wrong?
Fleury, Stephen C.
Social Studies, v96 n4 p163 Jul-Aug 2005
In this article, the author discusses viewpoints on civic education reforms postulated in "Where Did Social Studies Go Wrong?," a book published by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute. The book begins with a legitimate concern about the need to educate youth to care about political life; a noble mission, dating at least to the Greeks. Unfortunately, rather than posing pragmatic questions to promote thoughtful discussions about social studies policy, editors James Leming, Lucien Ellington, and Kathleen Porter-Magee compile the work of social studies colleagues who appear frightened, persecuted, and only too willing to impose narrow, dogmatic restrictions on their chosen field. The author claims that the essays contained in the book are, literally, diatribes against such much feared social studies topics as global education and multiculturalism and against teaching methods that involve student questioning and community service. This article also stresses that the editors of the book think of themselves as a few "brave souls" who are willing to speak against a morass of progressive ideas held by the ignorant masses of social studies students, teachers, and theorists (professors); and, being outnumbered, their sense of persecution strengthening, they resolve to show right-thinking people the correctness of their views. Most poignant, for anyone concerned about the future of civic education in the United States, is how Fordham's exhortations to the public echo a larger philosophical and political agenda that is deliberately antidemocratic and classist.
Descriptors: Social Studies, Politics of Education, Political Issues, Civics, Social Responsibility, Rhetorical Criticism, Educational Change, Citizenship Education, Educational History, Democracy
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States