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Education for the Twenty-First Century


reviewed by Thomas Cockbill — 2003

coverTitle: Education for the Twenty-First Century
Author(s): William H. Boyer
Publisher: Caddo Gap Publishers, San Francisco
ISBN: 1880192381, Pages: 264, Year: 2002
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William H. Boyer’s diagnosis of the ills of liberal democratic societies in this collection of essays written over a life-time in education can be distilled into two propositions: current social priorities are unjust and life-threatening; and schools at all levels contribute to the maintenance of those priorities.    The conjunction of social criticism with a call for school change recalls Dewey’s reformist philosophy, and, in fact, Boyer argued in a 1973 essay for “reconstructivist” planning to counter the “expansivist” ideology of the contemporary technocratic state.  Expansivist planning in Boyer’s view does not shun social goals the way a laissez-faire society does; it more or less consciously pursues economic and military ends that sustain a business-dominated, world interventionist society.  Reconstructivist planning as envisioned here would invert expansivist priorities through a process of democratic valuation, so that human survival, social justice, and environmental awareness would acquire primacy of place in human consciousness (p. 57).    Like Dewey, who had confidence in the Progressive Era’s social experts, Boyer foresees the need for “professional planners” who would... (preview truncated at 150 words.)


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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 105 Number 4, 2003, p. 574-576
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 11066, Date Accessed: 12/16/2017 1:55:42 PM

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About the Author
  • Thomas Cockbill
    New York University
    E-mail Author
    Thomas Cockbill is a Ph.D. candidate in Teaching and Learning at the Steinhardt School of Education at New York University. His research interests include the teaching and learning of history, and the theoretical foundations of constructivism.
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