Teaching for Passive Citizenship: A Critique of Philosophical Assumptions

Shermis, S. Samuel; Barth, James L.
December 1982
Theory & Research in Social Education;Winter1982, Vol. 10 Issue 4, p17
Academic Journal
While teachers and text authors have always talked about active citizenship and critical thought, classroom practices have emphasized passive acquisition and character development. For what purpose? So that students would become acceptable workers who are prompt, neat, compliant, who conform and are thorough and efficient-and who can work without becoming demoralized, depressed or resentful. And these words precisely characterize many social studies classrooms. Creativity, joy, problem-solving, insight and even understanding, while celebrated in word, give way to passivity and a passive conception of problem-solving. "When others define the problem for you, provide all of the data for you and then dictate the proper conclusions, you have become that which is acted upon. The entire process makes the curriculum creator active, the teacher a neutral conduit of unexamined cultural flotsam and jetsam, and students passive recipients."


Related Articles

  • Sequence in the Social Studies. Ediger, Marlow // Journal of Instructional Psychology;Sep2010, Vol. 37 Issue 3, p200 

    Quality sequence in the social studies is of utmost importance. Sequence emphasizes "when" selected concepts should be stressed in ongoing lessons and unites of study. The social studies teacher needs to observe pupils carefully in teaching and learning situations to ascertain suitable, ordered...

  • PORTFOLIOS IN THE SOCIAL STUDIES. EDIGER, MARLOW // College Student Journal;Dec2010, Vol. 44 Issue 4, p913 

    There are a plethora of ways to show pupil achievement in the social studies, one of which is the portfolio. Portfolio evaluation follows the thinking of constructivists who place major emphasis upon the pupil as an individual. Here, the pupil with teacher assistance is involved in selecting the...

  • Technology Education in South Africa: Evaluating an Innovative Pilot Project. Stables, Kay; Kimbell, Richard // Research in Science Education;Mar2001, Vol. 31 Issue 1, p71 

    Researchers from Goldsmiths College were asked to undertake an evaluation of a three year curriculum initiative introducing technology education, through a learner-centred, problem solving and collaborative approach. The program was developed in a group of high schools in the North West Province...

  • Reorganizing freshman business mathematics II: authentic assessment in mathematics through professional memos. Green, Kris; Emerson, Allen // Teaching Mathematics & its Applications;Jun2008, Vol. 27 Issue 2, p66 

    The first part of this two-part paper (13) described the development of a new freshman business mathematics (FBM) course at our college. In this paper, we discuss our assessment tool, the business memo, as a venue for students to apply mathematical skills, via mathematical modelling, to...

  • Organizing Curriculum Based upon Constructivism: What To Teach and What Not To. Kumar, Muthu // Journal of Thought;Summer2006, Vol. 41 Issue 2, p81 

    Discusses an integrated framework that could guide educational practitioners in developing and organizing a curricula anchored upon principles of constructivism. Knowledge that is acquired first by learners in the order of instructional sequencing; Results of the maturation of the learning...

  • ELEÅžTÄ°REL DÜŞÜNME VE PROBLEM ÇÖZME: ÖĞRETMENLERÄ°NÄ°N YANSITICI DÜŞÜNCEYÄ° UYGULAMALARI. Alp, Sibel; Taşkın, Çiğdem Şahin // Buca Faculty of Education Journal;2012, Issue 33, p134 

    The new primary curriculum takes constructivism as a basis that indicates the features of a reflective teacher. Primary teachers are therefore expected to acquire these features. This research explores primary teachers' views of reflective thinking and the way it is used in the teaching-learning...

  • Teaching the Federal Budget, Debt, and Deficit Through Civics Courses. Marri, Anand R.; Wylie, Scott; Shand, Robert; Grolnick, Maureen; Huth, Timothy J.; Kuklis, Louise // Social Studies Research & Practice;Summer2013, Vol. 8 Issue 2, p83 

    This project presents an opportunity for high school social studies teachers to infuse content on the federal budget, national debt, and budget deficit into civics-courses. The federal budget influences countries' decisions about domestic and foreign policy, making the study of the topic a...

  • Policy in the Way of Practice: How Assessment Legislation Is Affecting Social Studies Curriculum and Instruction in Ohio. MISCO, THOMAS; PATTERSON, NANCY; DOPPEN, FRANS // International Journal of Education Policy & Leadership;10/21/2011, Vol. 6 Issue 7, p1 

    In a national context of standards and high-stakes testing, concerns are emerging about challenges to the already tenuous position of the citizenship mission in the social studies curriculum. In this qualitative study, the authors administered a survey to social studies teachers in Ohio and...

  • Fostering active citizenship through the New Zealand social studies curriculum: Teachers' perceptions and practices of social action. Wood, Bronwyn E.; Taylor, Rowena M.; Atkins, Rose A. // New Zealand Journal of Educational Studies;2013, Vol. 48 Issue 2, p84 

    Creating 'active' citizens has been a key objective of successive social studies curricula in New Zealand. The current national curriculum continues to reinforce this goal by stating that students will "participate and take social action as critical, responsible and informed citizens" (Ministry...


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics