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Christine E. Sleeter

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State Curriculum Standards and the Shaping of Student Consciousness

Sleeter shows how state control of curricula serves a key ideological function in Western capitalist democracies. She argues that the movement for state standardization of curriculum has ideologically disguised the triumph of market forces in the control of knowledge and the framing of educational goals. The article analyzes a specific, state-mandated History-Social Science Framework, which appears to make multicultural contributions, but in actuality counters the critical scholarship developed by historically marginalized groups. Sleeter concludes by calling on educators to “uncover the deep structure of ideas” underlying state-adopted curriculum and to critically evaluate how the use of national testing is likely to widen gaps along lines of race, class, and gender.

educational policy, new pedagogies, youth, California — politics and government, colonialism, education — United States, ethnicity — United States, group identity, knowledge

Citation: Social Justice Vol. 29, No. 4 (2002): 8-25