Role of education functionalism & new right

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  • The role of education functionalism & new right
    • functionalist perspective
      • Durkheim: solidarity and skills -  education promotes two key skills
        • Social solidarity
          • by transmitting shared N&V. education binds people together
        • prepares young people for work
      • Parsons: socialisation and meritocracy
        • argues school is the focal socialising agency of modern society
        • secondary socialisation
        • meritocracy
          • individual achievement
          • equal opportunity
      • Davis and Moore: role allocation
        • human capital theory
    • Evaluation of the functionalist perspective
      • Marxists argue that the values transmitted by education is not societies shared values & instead is those of the ruling class
      • education isn't meritocratic because of non equal opportunities
      • Hargreaves argues schools place more value on competition than developing a sense of social solidarity
      • interactionists argue that the functionalist view of socialisation is too deterministic. not all students passively accept school's values.
      • a persons ascribed characteristics (class, gender etc) are more important in determining their income later in life than their achievement in school
    • Neoliberalism and New Right perspective
      • Market vs the state
        • one size fits all - the state cant meet people's needs.
        • Lower standards- state-run schools aren't accountable to those who use them so aren't efficient
        • the solution = marketisation
          • NR argues creating an 'education market' forces schools to respond to the needs of those who use them
        • Chubb & Moe: their data suggests pupils from low-income families do about 5% better in private schools. Suggests education isn't meritocratic
          • state education has failed to create equal opportunity because it does not have to respond to pupil's needs,
      • Neoliberalism = the state should not run education. A free-market economy encourages competition and drives up standards
      • has the state got any role in education?
        • NR do still see a limited role for the state
        • State should create the framework for competition between schools (eg. publishing league tables)
        • state still has to ensure that schools transmit society's shared culture through a curriculum that emphasises a shared national identity
    • Evaluation of the New Right
      • Although school standards - as measured by exam results - seem to have risen, there are other possible reasons for this improvement apart from the introduction of a market.
      • Critics argue that low standards in some state schools are the result of inadequate funding rather than state control of education
      • Gewritz argues that competition between schools benefits the middle class, who can get their children into more desirable schools
      • marxists argue that education imposes the culture of a ruling class, not a shared culture or 'national identity' as the NR argue


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