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Social Control Theory

  • By: Robert J. Helfenbein & Jamie Buffington
  • In: Encyclopedia of Curriculum Studies
  • Edited by: Craig Kridel
  • Subject:Cultural Studies (general), Curriculum & Content (general), Curriculum Studies

Social control theory in curriculum studies refers primarily to the question of how what is taught in schools limits or creates possibilities in students' lives and serves particular interests in broader society. Connecting to both the new sociology of knowledge movement and the reconceptualization of curriculum theory of the 1970s, social control theory sees curriculum as inclusive of much more than curriculum design or issues of scope and sequence and points to the ways in which curriculum decisions have deep impact on the lives of children in society. This entry describes the historical development of ideas related to curriculum and social control, delineates ways in which curriculum theorists have described its operation, and concludes with contemporary thinking on its applicability to educational research.

Historical Development of ...
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