Fad Dynamics

Joel Best

in Flavor of the Month

Published by University of California Press

Published in print October 2006 | ISBN: 9780520246263
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520932357 | DOI:
Fad Dynamics

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The pendulum image is most preferred by commentators who argue that oscillating patterns characterize institutional fads. Educational reforms, for example, are sometimes defined as swinging from teacher-centered to student-centered policies. The history of experts' advice about child training has been categorized in terms of “parenting pendulum swings,” from parent-centered to child-centered methods. These oscillations match the back-and-forth, pendulum-like findings in studies of clothing and grooming fashions. The pendulum image requires a situation that people understand as having two opposing elements. Thus, reading instruction requires mastering both letters and words, so it is easy to think of instructional methods that emphasize instruction based on either letters or words. Pendulum-like swings between student-centered and teacher-centered reforms simply require that people decide to group all reforms into those two categories.

Keywords: pendulum; oscillations; elements; policies; grooming fashions

Chapter.  6055 words. 

Subjects: Social Research and Statistics

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