A Sociology of Education
Wilbur Brookover 


Dean Gotcher


Again the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Son of man, speak to the children of thy people, and say unto them, When I bring the sword upon a land, if the people of the land take a man of their coasts, and set him for their watchman: of when he seeth the word come upon the land, he blow the trumpet, and warn the people; then whosoever heareth the sound of the trumpet, and taketh not warning; if the sword come, and take him away, his blood shall be upon his own head.  He heard the sound of the trumpet, and took not warning; his blood shall be upon him.  But he that taketh warning shall deliver his soul.  But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman's hand.

So thou, O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at my mouth, and warn them for me.  When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.  Nevertheless, if thou warn the wicked of his way to turn from it; if he does not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou has delivered thy soul.

Therefore, O thou son of man, speak unto the house of Israel; Thus ye speak, saying, If our transgressions and our sins be upon us, and we pine away in them, how should we then live?  Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?

Therefore, thou son of man, say unto the children of thy people, the righteousness of the righteous shall not deliver him in the day of his transgression: as for the wickedness of the wicked, he shall not fall thereby in the day that he turneth from his wickedness; neither shall the righteous be able to live for his righteousness in the day that he sinneth.  When I shall say to the righteous, that he shall surely live; if he trust to his own righteousness, and commit iniquity, all his righteousness shall not be remembered; but for his iniquity that he hath committed, he shall die for it.  Again, when I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; if he turn from his sin, and do that which is lawful and right;  if the wicked restore the pledge, give again that he had robbed, walk in the statutes of life, without committing iniquity; he shall surely live, he shall not die.  None of his sins that he hath committed shall be mentioned unto him: he hath done that which is lawful and right; he shall surely live.

Yet to the children of thy people say, the way of the Lord is not equal: but as for them, their way is not equal.  When the righteous turneth from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, he shall even die thereby.  But if the wicked turn from his wickedness, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall live thereby.  Yet ye say, the way of the Lord is not equal.  O ye house of Israel, I will judge you every one after his ways.

And it came to pass in the twelfth year of our captivity, in the tenth month, in the fifth day of the month, that one that had escaped out of Jerusalem came unto me, saying, the city is smitten.  Now the hand of the LORD was upon me in the evening, afore he that was escaped came; and had opened my mouth, until he came to me in the morning; and my mouth was opened, and I was no more dumb.

Then the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Son of man, they that inhabit those wastes of the land of Israel speak, saying, Abraham was one, and he inherited the land: but we are many; the land is given us for inheritance.  Wherefore say unto them, thus saith the Lord GOD; ye eat with the blood, and lift up your eyes toward your idols, and shed blood: and shall ye possess the land? Ye stand upon your sword, ye work abomination, and ye defile every one his neighbor's wife: and shall ye possess the land?

Say thou thus unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; As I live, surely they that are in the wastes shall fall by the sword, and him that is in the open field will I give to the beasts to be devoured, and they that be in the forts and in the caves shall die of the pestilence.  For I will lay the land most desolate, and the pomp of her strength shall cease; and the mountains of Israel shall be desolate, that none shall pass through.  Then shall they know that I am the LORD, when I have laid the land most desolate because of all their abominations which they have committed.

Also, thou son of man, the children of thy people still are talking against thee by the walls and in the doors of the houses, and speak one to another, every one to his brother, saying, Come, I pray you, and hear what is the word that cometh forth from the LORD.  And they come unto thee as the people cometh, and they sit before thee as my people, and they hear thy words, but they will not to them: for with their mouth they shew much love, but their heart goeth after their covetousness.  And, lo, thou art unto them as a very lovely song of one that hath a pleasant voice, and can play well on an instrument: for they hear thy words, but they do them not.

And when this cometh to pass, (lo, it will come), then shall they know that a prophet hath been among them.  Ezekiel 33:1-33

"We will take America without a shot."
Kurt Lewin


The Apostle Paul warned Timothy to "avoid oppositions of so called science," I Timothy 6:20.  The Greek word for oppositions is "antithesis" (the second stage of the dialectic).  Paul warns Timothy that many, having turned to antithesis, have lost their faith in God.  This is done by redefining the Word of God through human reasoning skills and then using it to build human relationships—known as liberation theology.  Consider the subtle shift of intent of scripture in the following sermon excerpt.


            Be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. Matthew 10:16

"French philosophy said, ‘No man is strong unless he bears within his character antithesis strongly marked.'  The strong man holds in a living blend strongly marked opposites.  Not ordinarily do men achieve this balance of opposites.  The idealists are not usually realistic, the realists are not usually idealistic.  The militant are not generally known to be passive, nor the passive to be militant.  Seldom are the humble self-assertive, or the self-assertive humble.  But life at its best is a creative synthesis of opposites in fruitful harmony.  The philosopher Hegel said that truth is found neither in the thesis nor the antithesis, but in an emergent synthesis which reconciles the two.

Jesus recognized the need for blending opposites . . . We must combine strongly marked antitheses . . . [W]e can be thankful that our God combines in his nature a creative synthesis of love and justice . . .

Adolf Hitler realized that softmindedness was so prevalent among his followers that he said, ‘I use emotion for the many and reserve reason for the few.' In Mein Kampf he asserted: ‘By means of shrewd lies, unremittingly repeated, it is possible to make people believe that heaven is hell—and hell, heaven . . . The greater the lie, the more readily will it be believed.'  Softmindedness is one of the basic causes of race prejudices.  The toughminded person always examines the facts before he reaches conclusions; in short, he postjudges.  The tenderminded person reaches a conclusion before he has examined the facts; in short, he prejudges and is prejudiced."  [Sermon source:  Martin Luther King, Jr., Strength to Love, Harper & Row, New York, 1963.  pp. 1-7]

"We will take America without a shot, we will take you from within; you will drop like a ripe plum into our hand and we will bury you."  Khrushchev, 1958 at the U.N.


            Wilbur Brookover in his book A Sociology of Education (1955) writes: The hopes of some may be based on the belief that teachers may initiate the necessary changes without due interference from conservative interests.  The difficulty with this is that the teachers are part of the society to be changed and have generally accepted the goals of the controlling groups.  Their change would be little different from the old. . . .  Remote, indeed, then is the possibility of the school's creating a new society independent of the other forces of social change. (p. 76)

An examination of the role of education in the revolutionary processes in Hitlerian Germany and Soviet Russia demonstrates that a new controlling group can use the educational system to advantage to bringing about the changes it desires.  This illustrates the effectiveness of the educational system in indoctrinating the youth with a desire for the type of society wanted by those in control. . . .  To do this they must persist in the maintenance of a new system long enough for controlling interests to be thoroughly indoctrinated in the new social system. (p. 77)

The environment in which the child learns, according to Brookover, is as important in the change process, as is the new material the child is exposed to.  He writes: [Kurt] Lewin emphasized that the child takes on the characteristic behavior of the group in which he is placed. . . . he reflects the behavior patterns which are set by the adult leader of the group.  The effects of repeated changes from one type of schoolroom social climate to another are yet to be learned.  Lewin views the democratic group atmosphere as more conducive to satisfying social adjustment as well as more harmonious with our ideology. (pp. 329-330)

Brookover on page 334 presents a chart showing the differences from a traditional and a contemporary school social climate, called "semi-progressive" by Riesman, another socio-psychologist.  According to Brookover, while the traditional school climate can be classified as "conformity to middle-class values," the contemporary recognizes "the values of some other social class."  While the former emphasizes "intellectual achievement and discipline" the latter emphasizes "the social and emotional adjustment of the child."  While one system is controlled by "authoritarian" teachers, the other is controlled by a mixture of "authoritarian and democratic" [facilitation]. (p. 334)  Brookover believes "the willy-nilly shifting from the traditional to the progressive and the mixture of the two may be the best experience in preparation for the changing society in which the child may live." (p. 336) [CHAOS]

On page 353 in the chapter Socialization in the School, Brookover presents a chart comparing the moral concerns (he labels "behavior items") of teachers in 1927 and 1940 with mental hygienists (socio-psychologists) of the same years.  In 1927, according to this chart, teachers considered "lack of sociability" near the bottom of their concerns for child development (39.5) while mental hygienists considered it the most important (1), as they still did in 1940.  By 1940 it had risen to near the top for teachers (7).  While in 1927 and 1940 teachers considered "heterosexual offenses" the most immoral behavior in school, the "mental hygienists placed it at 25 and 20 on their list of concerns in 1927 and 1940 respectively.  "Masturbation" was third highest for teachers in 1927, sixth highest in 1940, while it was only twenty-fourth in 1927 and fifteenth in 1940 for mental hygienists.

Regarding the difference of values between teachers and mental hygienists in the 20's, Brookover writes:   Some behavior involving sex, dishonesty, and defiance of school regulations that the teachers rated as serious was considered unimportant by the mental hygienists. (p. 352)

Looking at the conditions in education today it is apparent we no longer have teachers in the classroom but rather "mental hygienists"—facilitators, socio-psychologists, change agents, socialist indoctrinators, etc.  Brookover quotes Margaret Mead "A new world is not built by changing the ‘old' to the ‘old' of the teacher in power, but might be by freeing the child to build his generation from his new blueprint." (p. 76)  Brookover believes that teachers cannot be the "architects of the new order" without the assistance of "other forces . . . as agencies of change."  Both must work together if they are to overcome the control "conservative elements in the society" have over education. (p. 77)

Leadership style, in both school and community, is key to social change.  Brookover writes: If the school is to be a dynamic force in the community, it must give attention both to the development of leader skills within the school and to the discovery of development of leaders in the community. . . . The leader has skills in human relations and can manage the interplay of individual differences so that human energy may be controlled in pursuit of common goals. . .  Leadership of this type [is] based on liberation rather than domination.  (pp. 391, 393)

 Lewin suggested that the research needed for "social practice can best be characterized as research for social management or social engineering."  Lewin (Resolving Solving Conflict, New York: Harper & Bros., 1948, p. 202.) offered the following principles for social-action programs:

  1. The change has to be a change of group atmosphere rather than a single item. . . .  It must be deeper than the verbal level or the level of social or legal formalities.
  2. It can be shown that the system of values which governs the ideology of a group is dynamically linked with other power aspects within the life of the group. . . . Any real change of the culture of a group is, therefore, interwoven with the changes of the power constellation within the group.
  3. From this point it will be easily understood why a change in methods of leadership is probably the quickest way to bring about a change in the cultural atmosphere of the group.
  4. It is . . . very important that the people who are to be changed . . . be dissatisfied with the previous situation and feel the need for a change.  (pp. 393, 394)

Brookover, on pages 364, 365 presents a table showing the differences between school styles he calls traditional, progressive, and community.  I would re-label these education styles as Traditional (anti-dialectic—capitalism), Transitional (individual-dialectic—socialism), and Transformational (group-dialectic with praxis-transformational Marxism.)

The Table found on page 364 in Wilbur Brookover's book A Sociology of Education, represents the intended changes socio=psychologists had for traditional America before 1950.  Outcome Based Education, Total Quality Management, and School-To-Work are the fulfillment of their dream.

© Institution for Authority Research, Dean Gotcher 1997-2015