Theories of education

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  • theories and education
    • functionalist
      • Parsons
        • School as a unit of secondary socialisation
        • School was a bridge between home and the work placw
          • Home had particularistic values
          • Workplace had universalistic values
        • The education system is meritocratic; everyone has equal opportunities
      • Durkheim
        • School encouraged social solidarity and value consensus
        • School acted as a society in miniature and prepares you for life in the real world
        • School provides a skilled workforce with a diverse range of skills
      • Davis and Moore
        • School was "a proving ground for ability... a selective agency for placing people according to their ability" - Role allocation
        • school sorts and sifts people into roles suitable for their ability
      • Schultz
        • Human capital - peoples knowledge and skill. He argued that higher spending developed this
          • Therefore, schools invested in human capital
    • Marxist
      • Althusser
        • The school is an Ideological state apparatus because students are rewarded for working hard
          • He argued that capitalism is maintained by carefully manipulating people into accepting an unfair system so they find it harder to challenge it
      • Bowles and Gintis
        • The correspondence theory
          • the relationship between students and teachers correspond with that of workers and employers
        • Both the formal and hidden curriculum help to reproduce existing class inequalities in the new generation.
        • Teaching students to become reliant on the teachers so they don't think for themselves creates a docile workforce
          • "Mug and Jug" Teaching
        • Over-teaching creates a surplus of skills creates competition for work in the working-class, allowing capitalists to offer lower wages
    • Neo-Marxist
      • Paul Willis
        • Studied a group of working-class boys and their anti-school sub-culture
        • Studied how the working-class children end up doing working-class jobs
      • Rikowski
        • Marketization has led to schools becoming a commodity to be bought and sold
          • schools are made to compete against each other
        • schools are now driven by profit instead of educating which means the quality of education has decreased
        • School functions are sub-contracted to private industries, the schools profit from running the functions for less than the contracted price
      • Bourdieu
        • Social, economic and cultural capital
    • Social Democratic
      • associated with educational policies pre 1979, they believe in the welfare state and that the government should look out for the weakest members of society by using tax-and-spent policies.
        • 1944 education act: free secondary school for all, maintenance grants, higher education for all that are qualified
      • Gerwitz
        • privileged/ skilled choosers, semi-skilled choosers, and disconnected choosers
      • Ball
        • saw there was a shift after the 1988 reform act from student needs to student performance which creates winners and loosers
    • New-right/ neoliberal
      • believe in privitization and believe that educational quality is decreasing because it is run by the state
        • Take on a one size fits all approach - they were involved with creating the 1988 education reform act as they are a political party
      • Chubb and Moe
        • Believe there should be a free market for education that provides parents and local communities with choice - schools should be independently managed


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