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Social Reconstructionism

  • By: Thomas P. Thomas
  • In: Encyclopedia of Curriculum Studies
  • Edited by: Craig Kridel
  • Subject:Cultural Studies (general), Curriculum & Content (general), Curriculum Studies

Social reconstructionism, a movement in curriculum thought that first emerged in the late 1920s, aspired to redirect school curricula to consideration of significant social, political, and economic problems and offer solutions that promoted democratic social planning, and management. Largely associated with faculty members of Teachers College at Columbia University between the late 1920s and World War II, social reconstruction merged John Dewey's social philosophy and concept of scientific thinking with the notion of “cultural lag” and with various proposals for social democracy. Although social reconstruction is most often identified with the speeches and writings of George Counts in the 1930s, important alternative contributions were made by Harold Rugg and Jesse Newlon.

Social reconstruction combined Dewey's proposal that education is deliberative social inquiry into problems of collective ...

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