Ideology and Curriculum

Ideology and Curriculum

Ideology and Curriculum

Ideology and Curriculum

Synopsis

Preface to the 25th Anniversary Third EditionPreface to the Second Edition1. On Analyzing Hegemony2. Ideology and Cultural and Economic Reproduction3. Economics and Control in Everyday School Life (with Nancy King)4. Curricular History and Social Control (with Barry Franklin)5. The Hidden Curriculum and the Nature of Conflict6. Systems Management and the Ideology of Control7. Commonsense Categories and the Politics of Labeling8. Beyond Ideological Reproduction9. Pedagogy, Patriotism, and Democracy: Ideology and Education after September 1110. On Analyzing New Hegemonic Relations: An Interview

Excerpt

Spencer was not wrong when he reminded educators that one of the most fundamental questions we should ask about the schooling process is “What knowledge is of most worth?” This is a deceptively simple question, however, since the conflicts over what should be taught are sharp and deep. It is not “only” an educational issue, but one that is inherently ideological and political. Whether we recognize it or not, curriculum and more general educational issues have always been caught up in the history of class, race, gender, and religious conflicts in the United States and elsewhere.

Because of this, a better way of phrasing the question, a way that highlights the profoundly political nature of educational debate, is “Whose knowledge is of most worth?” That this is not simply an academic question is made strikingly clear by the fact that right-wing attacks on the schools, calls for censorship, and controversies over the values that are being taught and not being taught have made the curriculum into what can best be described as a political football. When one adds to this the immense pressure on the educational system in so many countries to make the goals of business and industry into the primary if not the only goals of schooling, then the issue takes on even greater salience.

Educators have witnessed a massive attempt—one that has been more than a little successful—at exporting the crisis in the economy and in authority relations from the practices and policies of dominant groups onto the schools. If teachers and curricula were more tightly controlled, more closely linked to the needs of business and industry, more technically oriented, with more stress on traditional values and workplace norms and dispositions, then the problems of achievement, of unemployment, of international economic competitiveness, of the disintegration of the inner city, and so on would largely disappear, or so goes the accepted litany. I predicted a rapid increase in these conservative tendencies when I first wrote Ideology and Curriculum. And while any . . .

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