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An Idiot's Guide to The Education.

1. The function or role of education

Functionalists
Functionalists say it does 3 important things
Teaches the skills needed for a job (so helps the economy)
Sorts the clever people from the thick for the right jobs (allocation function)
Is secondary socialisation (so helps…

Page 2

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have education for life ­ mainly all we need is training and this can be done at work ­ most of
what you learn at school isn't necessary!!!!
Criticisms of Functionalists :
Doesn't look very meritocratic when you see different achievement according to class,
ethnicity and gender! You can't really…

Page 3

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2. Class and Differential Achievement in Education


Some important facts..
Children with professional parents are more likely to go to university
Children with middle class parents are more likely to study ­levels and working class
children to do vocational courses
Children from disadvantaged backgrounds are more likely to leave school…

Page 4

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Halsey found working class didn't stay on at school mainly due to lack of financial
support
Douglas found children from poor conditions ( damp houses, poor food, overcrowding
etc) ­ working class! did worse in exams
Poorly paid jobs or unemployment (working class!) leads to less money for books,
computers,…

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Marxists say this is an important part of the cultural capital they have. Interactionists would
say this is partly what makes teachers label them as thick too ­ it sounds like you're
clever if you don't use posh words!
Criticism ­ there are lots of middle class kids who don't…

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Some people believe some ethnic groups are simply cleverer than others and this explains it ­
but there's no evidence for this when social and economic factors are taken into account..


On the other hand, we can't blame it all on social and economic factors. In other words, when
we…

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Swann report found language wasn't in fact a problem for later generations
Driver and Ballard found that Asian children's language was as good as whites
by age 16
Interactionists say that nevertheless, dialects and accents will lead to labelling
and teachers will assume they're English isn't very good and put…

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Men have more success at higher level courses at university and get higher beter
qualifications there
Girls go for communications subjects like English and Sociology and boys for technical
ones like Maths and Physics.


Girls did underachieve until about 15 years ago and these were the reasons given.....
Girls matured…

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Boys see women being independent, men not being the breadwinner anymore, high
male unemployment etc. Why bother doing well in school? You're not likely to have
to support a family ­ you might even get a job! This leads to antischool
subcultures.
Interactionists say teachers now label boys negatively. They…

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In areas where there were more Grammar schools, more children could be `allowed' to
pass the exam. This wasn't fair!

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