Unfortunately, bad formulas have been so pervasive in American schooling that it has become easy to dismiss formulas altogether. In attacking formulas, we feel we are being democratic, striking a blow against top-down oppression and defending the diversity of student voices. If it is true, however, that certain formulas can help students engage in true democratic dialogue, then it's time to rethink that logic and stop using "formulaic" as if it were a four-letter word.
Here's a link to the whole article.
And here's a link to an earlier entry here on Graff's early 1990's proposal that we teach the conflicts.
Thanks to Val Ross for sending me in the direction of this piece.