Theory and Research in Social Education
Effective American (U.S.) citizenship in the Twenty-first century may require a shift in the value orientation which currently characterizes American life. Two components of the American value system are becoming increasingly dysfunctional. American social science, and accordingly the social studies curriculum, has become narrowly focused on an economic model of human decision-making. Such a one-dimensional model of man, because it invalidates by omission justice-based models of decision-making, leaves American society with a reduced capacity for addressing social dilemmas, particularly commons-type problems. Secondly, American cultural life has been dominated by a heavy and one-sided commitment to primary control. Such an imbalance, which invalidates secondary control as a means of meeting basic control needs, leaves American citizens with no normatively sanctioned motivational dynamic for addressing social dilemmas. Social studies, as the discipline most explicitly charged with promoting citizenship, may become increasingly ineffective in meeting this challenge unless teachers at all levels and in all curriculum domains can correct the values imbalance in American culture.
Brandhorst, Allan R., "Teaching Twenty-First Century Citizenship: Social Psychological Foundations" (1990). Civic Engagement. 37.