The Design and
the Clientele of Public
and Private Schools
SCHOOLS are constructed institutions. They contrast to the natural institution of the family in much the same way that constructed buildings contrast to the natural environment. They exhibit, like a building, the intent of those who designed and constructed them. In this chapter, we will examine differences in the design of public and private schools, both to see how different goals and constraints shape these schools, and for the simple descriptive purpose of giving an idea of how they are similar and how they differ.
In chapter 1, we described three orientations of schooling: as an agent of the family, an agent of the community, and an agent of the society. Both private and public schools embody these three orientations, but the mixture is different. Further, in examining separately the private sector in two parts, the Catholic schools as exemplifying the religious sector, and the other private schools as exemplifying the independent sector, we are examining schools that are to differing degrees agents of the family and the community. This difference results in somewhat