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ERIC Number: EJ764572
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004
Pages: 7
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 6
ISSN: ISSN-0022-0574
Schools as Communities of Meaning
Vryhof, Steven C.
Journal of Education, v185 n2 p59-65 2004
Historically, the American system of higher education has been a patchwork of denominational colleges (along with public institutions), however, the more recent histories of several institutions of higher education seem to have a common theme: the jettisoning of a distinctive identity grounded in a particular worldview in order to create an institution with a smorgasbord of options. A homogeneity of neutrality--or professed neutrality--pervades American education. Education schools and departments, in particular, suffer from external pressures to conform, because of the frequency and strength of outside review. They need to dance to the tune of the state and the professional accrediting agencies, from NCATE (National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education) to the advisory groups in specific academic disciplines. Anyone who has worked in the education department of a college or university is aware of the centralizing and neutralizing effect of state mandates, accrediting agencies, textbook publishers, and foundations and other funding institutions. These external pressures, and the internalization of them, frequently marginalize individuals with convictions or interests that lie outside the mainstream. The author, whose personal background and professional interest are in faith-based schools, illustrates these points with some stories from his own experience, and argues that while it is important that everyone has an "intellectual home" that is safe, it is also true that we live in a pluralistic, profoundly interconnected world, and must learn to deal with differences. (Contains 1 footnote.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States