Yesterday’s Crisis and Tomorrow’s Schools: The 1954 Morals Inquiry and the Politics of Educational Reform
AbstractA moral crisis generates much debate over the state of education, as people attempt to find answers to the perceived problem. In 1954 the Special Committee on Moral Delinquency in Children and Adolescents investigated education, and came to conclusions that were alarmist, reflecting disillusionment with the progressive reforms of the preceding twenty years. Now that the balance of power in compulsory education has shifted away from education professionals towards parents, through the mechanisms of decentralisation and school choice, the outcomes of a moral crisis for schools are potentially more serious. Schools must be responsive to parent concerns, but the experience of 1954 suggests that there was little to justify the high level of community paranoia aroused. Compounding this situation for schools is that crisis manufacture – the deliberate creation of distress over current conditions – has been used recently by various groups to achieve a wide acceptance of their, often radical, reform agendas. This has the potential to threaten innovative decision-making, which is at the heart of the Tomorrow’s Schools ethos.
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How to Cite
STUART, David. Yesterday’s Crisis and Tomorrow’s Schools: The 1954 Morals Inquiry and the Politics of Educational Reform. The New Zealand Annual Review of Education, [S.l.], n. 7, dec. 1997. ISSN 1178-3311. Available at: <https://ojs.victoria.ac.nz/nzaroe/article/view/1166>. Date accessed: 25 oct. 2020. doi: https://doi.org/10.26686/nzaroe.v0i7.1166.
Educational Policy and Administration
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