What Do Schools Teach?
In this paper, Michael W. Apple and Nancy R.
King elaborate on two areas. The first point describes a "historical
process through which certain social meanings became particularly
school meanings, and thus now have the weight of decades of acceptance
"Empirical evidence of a study of kindergarten
experience to document the potency and staying power of these
particular social meanings" is explained.
The authors found that through observation and
conducting interviews of the subjects in one particular kindergarten
class, information gathered "revealed how social meanings of events
and materials are established remarkably early in the school year."
The final aspect raises the question of "whether
piecemeal reforms, be they humanistically oriented or otherwise,
The authors add as a final retort that "this
paper by itself cannot totally support the argument that schools
seem to act latently to enhance an already unequal and stratified
social order. It does confirm, however, a number of recent analyses
that point out how schools, through their distribution of a number
of social and ideological categories contribute to the promotion
of a rather static framework of institutions. We want to suggest
that educators need to see teachers as encapsulated
within a social and economic context that by necessity often produces
the problems teachers are confronted with and the material limitations
on their responses."
The article concludes with the following questions:
- "In whose interest do schools often function
- " What is the relation between the distribution
of cultural capital and economic capital?" and
- "Can we deal with the political and economic
realities of creating institutions which enhance meaning and