Social Reconstruction Ideology of Education


In chapter 5, Schiro (2013) introduces the social reconstruction ideology. Central to the social reconstruction ideology is the idea that the existing society is imperfect.  In other words, the society in which we reside is broken.  Social reconstructionists believe that education should not be used as a vehicle for merely fixing the flaws within our society, but should be used to transform the existing society into a new society that is just, moral, satisfying,  and empowering for everyone. In this context, Social reconstructionists argues that the function of schools is to avoid uncritically serving and reproducing the existing society. It is important to go beyond reflecting the wishes of the existing society by teaching students to become critical, and analytical thinkers, and to also be aware of the injustices existing in our current society.
Furthermore, social reconstructionists believe that educators have the responsibility to empower students to change what they see as a “flawed society.” The argument here is that education should not be neutral to the ills of society. I do agree wholeheartedly with this argument, although, I have doubts on how we as a society are going to agree on the vision of the so called “ideal society.” Americans are already having difficulties agreeing with issues such as planned parenthood, gay marriage, Obama-care and so many other issues. How in the world are we going to agree on issues that will change the existing power structures?  The social reconstructionists idea of changing our society to a desirable society is noble, but impossible to implement under the existing power-coercive society.
Furthermore, in chapter 6, Schiro (2013) provides a comparative overview of the four educational ideologies: the scholar academic, the social efficiency, the child centered, and the social reconstructionists and how they view teaching, learning, assessment, the child, and knowledge. I will hence forth present my opinion on the assessment discussions solely.  The scholar academic ideology view assessment as a way to rank students for a future in the discipline whereas the social efficiency ideology view assessment as a way to certify to the corporate world’s a view of students’ skills that are relevant for the jobs that they offer. Furthermore, the learner centered ideology views assessment as a tool to diagnose students’ abilities and to use the obtained diagnosis as a tool to facilitate growth in student learning, whereas, the social reconstruction ideology views assessment as a measure of student progress with respect to students’ ability rather than in comparison with other students.
 I concur with the assessment views presented by both the learner centered and the social reconstruction ideologies. I see the value of assessment as a diagnostic tool for educators. The diagnosis can help educators to propel students forward to reach their potentials best according to the students’ abilities. In my views the corporate assessment environment that we are operating under is not helpful. The current testing environment greatly hinders student growth.  I feel like the current testing environment does not benefit students at all but, instead it benefits the parents, the administrators, and the corporate world.
Reference
Schiro, S. M. (2013). Curriculum Theory: Conflicting Visions and Enduring Concerns (2nd ed). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc
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