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Chapter 14. The Power and Limits of Prof... > The Social Sciences as Taught and Pr...

The Social Sciences as Taught and Practiced

Though the social professions have promised much, clearly the promise falls far short of the ideal. What is more, serious questions can be raised as to whether it is even appropriate to use the word “science” to characterize the status of the social professions. Typically, the social professions are highly “multilogical.” Many divergent points of view and frames of reference compete within the social professions. Often it is possible to get contradictory judgments from different practitioners in the social fields.

On the instructional level, we are clearly far from delivering the benefits that have been promised by those who argue for that instruction. To put it one way, few persons learn, as a result of instruction in history, to think historically, or, as a result of instruction in the other social fields, to think sociologically, anthropologically, economically, or psychologically. Instruction is often designed so that persons are certified as professionally knowledgeable in the content of a course when they have done no more than successfully cram for a true/false or a multiple-choice exam.


  

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