Sociological perspectives on education

During the nineteenth century the founding fathers of Sociology such as for example Marx, Comte and Durkheim, wished to accomplish their political objectives by using scientific strategies. They wanted people to end up being convinced of the validity of their opinions and felt that the best way to achieve this is always to go about this in the most effective way by way of natural science and analysis methods. Sociologists hence tried to explain the way the social system worked. One of the main areas within a social program is education. All children between the age ranges of five and Sixteen will be obliged to attend school, and during term period school children dedicate over half their waking time in the classroom. Education in Britain is free of charge and is provided by the welfare state, it is also compulsory, parents who usually do not send the youngster to school are breaking regulations. According to sociologists in order to have a fully functioning society the participants would ideally need to be educated to handle their position within that contemporary society, or culture may ‘fall aside’. This essay will include a brief look at the history of education and how it is rolling out into the system we’ve today. This essay may also seem at two sociological theories on education; Functionalist and Marxist,. Within each one of these theories this essay will also highlight three main perspectives; social category, gender and ethnicity.

The 1944 Education Work was a significant piece of interpersonal and welfare legislation, it required Local Education Authorities to supply state-funded education for pupils, up to age 15, that incorporated, to estimate, "instruction and training as may be desirable in view of their different ages, capabilities and aptitudes". The act was devised by Conservative MP Rab Butler (1902-1982), from this came the launch of the tripartite system which made up of; Grammar colleges for the more educational pupil, Secondary Modern schools for a more practical, non-academic design of education and Technical colleges for specialist useful education. Pupils acquired to take an evaluation called the 11-In addition and the result of this indicated which kind of school the kid would be assigned to. Secondary education right now became free of charge for all and the school-leaving time rose to 15. The tripartite system could be seen as a method of dividing classes, since it was usually the children from more affluent households that passed the 11-plus examination. (Bell, 2004; MOC; Murray, 2009).

In 1965 comprehensive schooling was suggested by the Labour Government in record called the Circular 10/65. The brand new comprehensive system suited kids of all abilities in contrast to the tripartite system. The institution leaving age grew up to 16 in 1973. The comprehensive program aimed to eradicate the class divide from the British education system. (Bell, 2004; MOC; Murray, 2009).

The 1988 Education Take action saw the launch to the National Curriculum. All education in status funded college was to be made the same and made sure that all school children received the same degree of education. Compulsory subjects were introduced including maths, English, science and religious education. The General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) was introduced to replace O-amounts and the Certificate of Secondary Education (CSE). This was another way of trying to make talk about education classless. (Bell, 2004; MOC; Murray, 2009).

Over the years theories of education have been in and out of style this was mostly due to which political party was in power at the time and the condition of the overall economy as the two are very much linked. During the 1950’s Functionalism was the dominant drive within sociology. During the war the education system had been neglected and was viewed as been in a pretty poor talk about. By the 1970s, structural tensions, inflation, financial stagnation and unemployment, meant that Marxism and various other vital theories like Feminism and anti-authoritarian Liberals became a lot more influential. (Browne, K, 2005; Griffiths & Desire , 2000; Haralambus & Holburn, 2008)

The education system was undemocratic, unequal and unfair. Marxists like Raymond Boudon argued that positional theory decided educational achievements or failure, he’s well-known for his analyses into of the purpose of education on social mobility. It was your position in the class framework that gave you an edge, or a disadvantage, in the competitive world of education. But also for Pierre Bourdieu, the operating class lacked what he referred to as cultural capital; without which they were doomed to failing. Cultural capital included the useful cultural experiences of foreign travelling, museums, theatre and the possession of a superior register and middle income norms and ideals. (Browne, K, 2005; Griffiths & Hope , 2000; Haralambus & Holburn, 2008)

The functionalist point of view was the dominant theoretical methodology in the sociology of education before 1960’s. When considering education functionalists usually ask questions such as for example; What are the features of education? What portion does it perform in maintaining society? What are the relationships between education and various other elements of our social system?

A regular functionalist response to such questions views education as transmitting society’s norms and values, for example a kid that learns to respect the rules at school he’ll learn to respect society’s guidelines as an adult. Functionalists believe that various parts of society work together for the mutual benefit for society all together then education and the overall economy go hand in hand and school is planning for the community of job. (Browne, K, 2005; Griffiths & Expectation, 2000; Haralambus & Holburn, 2008)

Emile Durkheim was one of many founding fathers of sociology and supplied the basic framework for functionalist view of education. He believed that for society to use efficiently individuals must create a sense of belonging to something wider than their immediate situation. The training system plays a crucial part of the process. Specifically, the teaching of history enables children to start to see the link between themselves and the wider society. Talcott Parsons was an American sociologist who additionally developed Durkheim’s thoughts. He argued that in contemporary professional societies education performs a crucial socialising function. Education really helps to make sure the continuity of norms and values through transmitting the way of life of society to brand-new generations. Parsons saw the institution as a bridge between your family group and the wider world. Within the friends and family the child’s status is set at birth however in wider society new position is achieved through work, friendships and romantic relationships. (Browne, K, 2005; Griffiths & Desire , 2000; Haralambus & Holburn, 2008)

Parson’s as well saw that schools ready children for his or her roles in adult culture through the selection process. College students are assessed and

sorted when it comes to their abilities which helps to allocate them to appropriate occupations. Students are also allocated certain occupations with regards to what sex they happen to be, typically girls would be seen as going into more stereotypically ‘feminine’ roles such as secretaries, hairdressers, beauticians, nurses /care givers or homemakers; whereas boys will be seen as entering more stereotypically ‘masculine’ functions such as doctors, builders, mechanics, plumbers or firemen. Males are also seen as being more scientific than girls. However many of these roles are now being included by both sexes. Conversely the roles to be care-givers and homemakers remain seen as getting innate in females. (Browne, K, 2005; Griffiths & Trust , 2000; Haralambus & Holburn, 2008)

The Marxist point of view on education differs from that of the functionalist. In Marx’s terms the ruling class ‘guideline likewise as thinkers, as makers of ideas’. These thoughts justify their placement, conceal their true source of their electric power and disguise their exploitation of the subject category. A French Marxist philosopher referred to as Louis Althusser argued that no category can take power for long simply by the application of force. The utilization of ideas provide a much more useful means of control. He as well argued that the training system in modern times has taken over the function of the church as the key agency for ideological control. During the past people accepted their status in life and saw it as being God’s will. Nowadays on the other hand people have a tendency to accept their status and role within world from how they have been educated. The higher and middle classes are primed to become the ruling course and the owners of market, the lower classes are primed to be the workforce. They happen to be taught to accept their long term exploitation. Althusser argues that ideology in capitalist contemporary society is fundamental to interpersonal control. He sees the educational method as essentially ideological. (Browne, K, 2005; Griffiths & Hope , 2000; Haralambus & Holburn, 2008)

For Bowles and Gintis, the training system propagated a hidden curriculum where in fact the working classes learnt to learn their place, to obey guidelines and were also socialised to accept that inequality was organic and inevitable. In addition they claim that education legitimates sociable inequality by broadcasting the myth that it includes everyone an equal possibility. It follows that people who achieve excessive qualifications deserve their victory. So basically education is seen as a reward system, those that work very difficult and gain education will have usage of the top careers. Bowles and Gintis mentioned that ‘Education reproduces inequality by justifying privilege and attributing poverty to personal inability.’ (Browne testmyprep, K, 2005; Griffiths & Wish , 2000; Haralambus & Holburn, 2008)

Both Marxists and functionalists have been criticised for seeing people as being only creatures of the social system, so Bowles and Gintis look at teachers as the agents of capital the college students as its victims and their conditions being shaped by elements which are out of their control. (Browne, K, 2005; Griffiths & Hope , 2000; Haralambus & Holburn, 2008)

In present day Britain there exists a general consensus of opinion that education should be based on equal opportunities. Everyone should have an equal to develop their abilities to the full regardless of how old they are, category, ethnicity or gender. However there is clear facts that in educational terms those who have certain social characteristics are more likely to achieve greater results than others, which means this shows that there is a distinct relationship between cultural class and educational attainment. Throughout the twentieth century there is definitely evidence to show that the higher an individual’s social class, the much more likely they are to have a greater number and higher level of educational qualifications. (Browne, K, 2005; Griffiths & Hope , 2000; Haralambus & Holburn, 2008)

Gender has always been an issue in education. Should both sexes have the same topics? Do both sexes own the same capabilities and aptitude? The introduction of the 1944 Education Act was worried about enabling free and equal education for all. Even so there continues to be a fret that discrimination against girls still takes place through the entire educational system. To feminists that is a reflection of the patriarchal characteristics of modern industrial society. The institution curriculum has become increasingly similar for boys and girls. However, where choice is available, there is still a tendency for women to choose some topics and boy’s others. (Browne, K, 2005; Griffiths & Wish , 2000; Haralambus & Holburn, 2008)

There is certainly no concrete proof within the education system to verify whether a student’s ethnicity features any influence on their examination results. Statistics on university leavers and their evaluation email address details are a snapshot at one time. Individuals may choose to ‘catch up’ on their education once leaving university by attending local colleges. There is evidence showing that ethnic minorities will probably do that. (Browne, K, 2005; Griffiths & Desire , 2000; Haralambus & Holburn, 2008)

"The Swann Statement (1985), officially called ‘Education for All’, was a authorities report advocating a multicultural education program for all schools, irrespective of institutions, location, age-spectrum or ethnicity for personnel/pupils. The article provided clear data on ethnicity and educational attainment, finding that racism experienced a causal effect on the educational experiences of black children in the UK."

(Griffiths and Trust, 2000).

The statistics displayed in the Swann Report were drawn from local authorities with a higher ethnic concentration. Then it could be explained that they weren’t a true depiction of ethnic educational attainment through the entire whole of the united states. However due to mass immigration into this country in the last five years some kids who result from different ethnic backgrounds are in a disadvantage because of cultural words barriers. (Browne, K, 2005; Griffiths & Desire , 2000; Haralambus & Holburn, 2008)

This essay included a short look at the history of education and how it has developed into the system we’ve today. It also looked at two sociological theories on education; Functionalist and Marxist. The feminist perspective was touched upon when relating education to gender. Within each one of these theories essay highlighted three key perspectives; social school, gender and ethnicity. To summarize there are still many barriers to gaining a good education for some of the kids in this country due to their class, interpersonal stratification, gender or ethnicity. The rich will progress grades and job possibilities. However some children / young adults may cross the divide and be better educated and proceed to a higher class as an informed adult.