Monday, September 3, 2012

Call for Papers from the Journal of Educational Controversy

VOL. 8 NO. 1 Fall 2013

Theme: Who Defines the Public in Public Education?

Controversy Addressed:

Our journal published an article recently on the banning of the Mexican-American curriculum in Arizona’s Tucson Unified School District. The incident raises many larger questions about what knowledge is of most worth, whose perspective gains ascendency in the curriculum, and what public is represented in the public schools. Controversies have emerged not only over what should be included in specific areas like the literary canon, historical interpretations, science curriculum, etc., but also in the larger arena of ideological frameworks over what it means to be human, what it means to be an educated person, and what social values should frame a public education in a society that embeds a fundamental tension between its capitalist economic system and its democratic egalitarian ideals. Even the tension between the secular and the religious continues to defy easy answers in a society that values separation between church and state. As Warren Nord says about the typical study of economics, it assumes that “economics is a science, people are essentially self-interested utility-maximizers, the economic realm is one of competition for scarce resources, values are personal preferences and value judgments are matters of cost-benefit analysis.” (Warren A. Nord, “The Relevance of Religion to the Curriculum,” The School Administrator, January 1999.) In effect, the so-called secular study of economics makes a number of assumptions about human nature, society, and values. What is left out of this study of the economic domain of life is the theologian’s questions of social justice, stewardship, poverty and wealth, human dignity and the meaningfulness of work. To what degree do students understand or are even aware of these hidden assumptions in their study of economics and other subjects? To what degree should other perspectives be included? We invite authors to shed some light on these questions.



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