Schooling and the Image of America
Early impressions, affective and cognitive, may change. But the evidence from both learning theory and history is that ideas and images that are acquired before adulthood and that relate to objects that are important to one’s world view, self-image, and national identity tend to be quite durable. They are not easily changed by information that challenges what have become established parts of one’s belief system. In fact, such challenges are less likely than are images and information that corroborate already existing beliefs and sentiments. One of the mechanisms through which this reinforcement takes place is the educational system (Foster and Crawford).