AS Sociology AQA Education

The main key terms of education for Sociology

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  • Education - Key Terms
    • Informal Education
      • Education delivered by non-specialised institutions such as the family, work or religious groups
    • Formal Education
      • Education delivered by specially created institutions such as schools, colleges and universities
    • Structuralist Sociologists
      • Those who examine the society as system, exploring how institutions such as education, the family and religion operate together to make a society work. They argue that these structures shape individuals, leading them to behave in certain ways
    • Interactionalist Sociologists
      • Those who examine social contexts at the level of individuals, exploring how they negotiate meanings and power relationships, and form identities
    • Official Curriculum
      • That which is taught within school according to its stated aims
    • Social Mobility
      • The ability to move up or down from the social class one is born into
    • Equality of Opportunity
      • The idea that everyone has an equal chance to succeed in education. This notion is different from "equality of outcome", which implies that everyone should leave education with the same reward
    • Consensus Perspectives
      • These examine society in terms of how it is maintained for the common good
    • Liberal Education
      • Movement in education which argues that students should be exposed to a wide range of academic disciplines in order to produce rounded and critical thinkers
    • Stratification
      • The way in which individuals in society are divided into levels of status, such as in the class system
    • New Vocationalism
      • Movement from the 1980s onward which aimed to focus the school curriculum to better meet the needs of business and industry
    • Self-fulfilling prophesy
      • The phenomenon by which, through a range of processes, labels attached to students become true - regardless of their accuracy
    • Anti-school Subculture
      • Groups of students who actively oppose the norms and values of the school
    • Curriculum
      • Everything which is taught within the school in terms of knowledge, skills, understandings and values
    • Material Deprivation
      • A technical name for poverty and its effects on education attainment
    • Cultural Deprivation
      • Inadequacies in the socialisation process, and the impact that these might have on achievement
    • Deferred Gratification
      • The practice of putting off rewards in order to attain greater ones in the future
    • Immediate Gratification
      • Emphasis on taking rewards at the earliest opportunity (leaving school to start earning money)
    • Tripartite System
      • The system comprising three types of secondary school (grammar, secondary modern and secondary technical)
    • National Curriculum
      • Subjects and subject content which must be studied by all children in state schools - in an attempt to standardise educational provision
    • Schools
      • Private Schools
        • Fee-charging schools which are independent of the state sector
      • Grammar Schools
        • Those schools which, under the tripartite system, admitted those students whose eleven-plus result indicated academic ability
      • Public Schools
        • The most prestigious, and oldest, private schools, including Eton and Harrow. So-called because they were open to all of the fee-paying public, not just those of a particular church, and because, at the time they were established, they offered the only alternative to private tutoring




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