The Theories, Social Transmission Versus Social Transformational Theories

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When parents send their children off to school, they are placing immeasurable trust in our educational system to academically and intellectually develop them. However, in many cases teachers too often act as authoritarians, and not as agents that encourage independent thinking. Sadovnik (2006) describes the atmosphere in the classroom by citing Dewey’s work, saying that he believed that the schools, teachers, instruction, and curriculum all had a role in a students’ development. “In a progressive setting, the teacher is no longer the authoritarian figure from which all knowledge flows; rather, the teacher assumes the peripheral position of facilitator. The teacher encourages, offers suggestions, questions, and helps plan and implement courses of study” (Sadovnik, 2006). There is an on-going debate in education about what are the most affective theories, social transmission versus social transformational theories. DeMarrais (1994) described theories of transmission as, “concerned with description of the structural aspects of society and with how existing social structures facilitate the general functioning of society.” There are social systems within schools; those systems reinforce schools priorities and values. DeMarrais (1994) described theories of transformation as, “less rigid then social transmission theories. Their central concern is the transformation, rather than reproduction, of the society.” These theories value the opportunity for a student to become empowered,

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