ERIC Number: EJ727925
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Sep-1
Social Studies and the Social Order: Transmission or Transformation?
Stanley, William B.
Social Education, v69 n5 p282 Sep 2005
In this article, the author brings a historical perspective to the perennial question, "Should social studies teachers work to transmit the status quo or to transform it?" Should they transmit or transform the social order? When one looks at the question of education for social transformation in the context of American history, three prevailing perspectives emerge. First, a strong form of education for social transformation was developed by George Counts in the 1930s and remains part of more recent work by various proponents of "critical pedagogy" and counter-socialization. A second, and frequently misunderstood, perspective is found in John Dewey's curriculum theory, which rejected Counts's core argument. The influence of Dewey's pragmatic approach to education is also found in the work of more recent curriculum theorists such as Cleo Cherryholmes and Tony Whitson. A third view, opposed to education for social transformation, is found in the work of various conservative writers, most recently George Posner, and social studies educator James Leming. Posner's views have roots in the earlier work of Walter Lippmann, one of Dewey's intellectual colleagues in the 1920s and 30s. In this article, the author summarizes briefly each of the three perspectives and then concludes with his thoughts on how this issue remains relevant to social studies education.
Descriptors: Social Studies, Teachers, Social Change, Social Structure, Democracy, Progressive Education, Citizenship Education, Educational Change
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A