Education and Theory

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Education and Theories
What do the different theories have to say about education?
Marxist, focus on class
Feminists, interested in gender
Functionalists would not blame the system but believe in meritocracy
Interpretivists are interested in the interactions between students and peers and
teachers in the classroom and how teachers label students.
Who gets what? Who passes and who fails at the end of this?
Changing Education
Education is political
The changes and development that take place in the education system of any given
society, at any particular time, reflect the political imperatives, priorities and ideas of
those who govern.
Organization of Schooling
Selective education ­ the tripartite system
1944 education Act established the provision of secondary education for all through
three different kinds of secondary schools. This is why secondary education now
continues to the age of at least 16.
At age 11 an intelligence test is taken to sort children into three groups
Those who are good at academic things proceed to secondary grammar schools. Those good at
technical things proceed to secondary technical schools and those good at practical things
proceeded to secondary modern schools.
In 1944 leaving age was 15, in 1972 the leaving age became 16.
The tripartite system of secondary education was based on a belief that not only did these
children have different activities but these abilities could be scientifically measured.
Different secondary education was suited to them and they could fit different
categories of jobs and careers and so serve the needs of industry and the economy.

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The system seems not only neat but one of the first examples of equal opportunities
in educational policy.
Comprehensive Education
The idea was that, by abolishing the 11 plus and establishing schools that would take
children of all abilities, discrimination, at least in terms of social class, would disappear.
All children would be given the same opportunities to achieve in secondary school which
previously tapped by the selective system would be developed for the good of the
individual and for society more generally.…read more

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Ostrowski has power and authority over malcolms education and therefore his advice should
have determined malcolms future and lead to a self fulfilling prophecy. However Malcolm was
able to reject the label. He did this by doing the opposite of what his teacher told him. He had
access to evidence of his grades which he knew was better than the rest of the classes and
knew he was capable of being a lawyer.…read more

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Middle class ­ Grammar Schools
3) Working class
Elementary schools for the poor
Stopped at age 10
Were taught the three R's which are reading, writing and arithmetic
And where taught the correct values
The point was not meritocracy it was an ascribed status, a closed system. The ascribed status has
become an achieved status.
Under pinning the 1944 education act (free secondary education for all) was equality of
opportunity (everybody starts with the same chances) this has been largely replaced by
equality of outcome.…read more


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