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Knowledge for the Masses: World Models and National Curricula, 1920-1986

Aaron Benavot, Yun-Kyung Cha, David Kamens, John W. Meyer and Suk-Ying Wong
American Sociological Review
Vol. 56, No. 1 (Feb., 1991), pp. 85-100
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2095675
Page Count: 16
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Knowledge for the Masses: World Models and National Curricula, 1920-1986
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Abstract

Cultural knowledge is selected by educational authorities, organized into national school curricula, and transmitted to children in mass school systems. Despite national variation in political, economic, or social structures, primary school curricula are very similar throughout the world. This similarity is not predicted by existing theories. We argue that mass educational curricula are closely linked to the expansion of the nation-state system and the increasing dominance of standardized models of mass education. The nation-state and mass education--promoted by intellectuals and nationbuilders to achieve national progress and social equality--have generated strikingly similar national educational systems and school curricula.

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