For Whom Do Schools Work?

783 WordsSep 20, 20154 Pages
“For whom do schools work?” –Michael Apple. For centuries education reformers have spent a significant amount of time attempting to pinpoint the main reason why schools work for some students and not all. Both Michael Apple and Thomas Popkewitz argue that school curriculum plays a major role in social regulation through the push for societal norms and the hunger for power. Both Apple and Popkewitz agree that curriculum in schools serves as a form of social regulation. “..schools contribute to what has elsewhere been called the cultural reproduction of class relations in advanced industrial societies” (Apple, 1990, p.62). Schools do not just control students they have the ability to control the meaning behind the knowledge students gain. Therefore, curriculum supports children in categorizing and understanding social norms that exist in society. “…discourses of schooling inscribe hopes and desires (such as what are ‘manly’ or ‘feminine’ occupations or how one is to act and feel in a kitchen, a workroom, or a mathematics classroom) as well as distinctions about movements which are to characterize one’s walking, talking and interactions with others” (Thomas, 1997,p.144). Both authors see this as extremely problematic however, they outline why such decisions were made based on historical evidence. Apple highlights that decisions around curriculum were made in an attempt to assimilate immigrants as they were a perceived threat to the social norms of current Americans. “Thus,
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