Social Meliorists Tradition

Social meliorism refers to a tradition in curriculum studies introduced and defined by Herbert Kliebard in his 1986 landmark publication, The Struggle for the American Curriculum. Kliebard describes four distinct interest groups of educational reformers from the late 19th to mid-20th centuries that were seeking to resolve the then-most basic dilemma of curriculum design and development: “what knowledge is of most worth.” These four groups were determining the purposes of education and were struggling for control of the curriculum in U.S. schools. Kliebard's categories include (1) social meliorism where the schools were seen as a force for social change and the curriculum offered opportunity to forge a new vision for society, (2) humanism that had established a basic organizational structure for U.S. education and defined ...

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