Education and social Change: A Proactive or Reactive Role?

The Gerontology Society of America
Publication Type:
Journal article
Burns, R. 2001 'Education and social Change: A Proactive or Reactive Role?', International Review Of Education, vol. 48, no. 1/2, pp. M381-M385.
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This paper reviews the ways in which contributors to the Intemational Review of Education have discussed the role of education in social change. It asserts that education is seen as a major vector in society, but that it is largely allocated a conservative role, since its main function is in the socialisation of the young and the maintenance of the social order. During times of rapid social change, such as the second half of the 20th century, the role of education in the service of the nation is emphasised. When things are going well, especially economically, more experimentation with education is supported, and more idealistic goals are pursued, such as equity of educational opportunity. It is in the ideological and moral spheres, however, that education is most clearly expected to playa leading role. The author traces the relationship between education and social change as reflected in the journal since the 1930s.
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