Education revision

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These are some shortened notes i made for the education module of AQA sociology, i hope they help a little bit! 

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  • Created on: 01-12-11 18:12
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Education & research methods
Functionalism:
Education is seen as the main agency of secondary socialisation, children are socialized into a
system of values that underpin the society.
Education provides a bridge between home and wider society. At school each child is treated
as an individual, whereas at home they are a son/daughter/brother/sister etc.
Education is meritocratic; those who achieve do so through their own attitudes, talents and
application to work.
Education performs the vital task of role allocation; the most able and talented must go into
the most important positions in society.
Education reinforces social solidarity in society.
Evaluation:
Identifies education as important in society.
Acknowledges that its vital for secondary socialisation.
Identifies the needs of modern societies to have appropriately qualified workers.
Marxists say meritocracy is a myth to make the system seem fair and education highlights the
values of a dominant class.
Key thinkers:
Durkheim ­ two basic functions of education 1) promotes social solidarity binding members
together 2) Preparation for work.
Parsons ­ 3 functions 1) Bridge between family and wider society 2) Socialisation into shared
values 3) Selection for future occupational role through exams for example.
Davis and Moore ­ key function of education Is selection and allocation. To function
efficiently, society needs most talented to do most skilled jobs
Marxism:
Meritocracy is a myth.
Education is a major agency of social control.
The education is an ideological state apparatus that brainwashes children into
obedience.
Hidden curriculum ensures that values of the dominant class are internalised by
children.

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The class system is reproduced through the schooling system, educational inequality
is systematic.
Evaluation:
Recognises that the economy influences how education is shaped and delivered.
Sociological research supports the idea that the class system is reproduced through the
schooling system.
Recognises the importance of ideology in education.
Identifies the myth of meritocracy.
Ignores influence of gender and ethnicity.
Overemphasises the obedience of pupils, underestimates pupil resistance.
Key thinkers:
Althusser ­ Two ways ruling class maintain control ­ coercion and force, persuasion.…read more

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Key thinkers:
Spender ­ Girls believed boys demand questions while girls just get on with work. Teachers
give priority to boys; girls are less interesting and less important.
Stanworth ­ Found boys dominated the classroom and girls were seen as a lower priority
which explains why girls under-estimate their achievement and boys over-estimate theirs.
Sharpe ­ Shows girls priorities have changed. In 1974 priorities were love, marriage, husband,
then career, but by 1996 they were job, career and being independent.…read more

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Vocationalism:
The vocational education initiative broadened the curriculum and emphasised the importance
of work experience.
Less academically able students were taught practical skills in order to prepare them for
employment.
NVQ'S and GNVQ'S remain on the curriculum and include both male and female subjects.
Training and enterprise councils spark controversy over their efficiency.
Youth training skills provide young people with opportunities to gain qualifications.
Evaluation:
Education standards need to be as high as possible.
Schemes will give students better chances of finding employment.…read more

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Stanworth ­ Teachers found it hard to remember girls' names, especially the quiet
ones but the quiet boys' names were easily remembered.
Sarah, Scott and Spender ­ Girls performed better in same sex schools than boys.
Dale ­ Interviewed pupils and teachers and had a favour in mixed schools as it gave
the students an optimistic view on life.…read more

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Class and education:
Douglas ­ Pupils were much more likely to stay on in school if they were from middle class
backgrounds.
Hargreaves ­ `Kentucky fried schooling', working class boys adopted an anti social subculture
as they thought the education system was just like a system of franchise.
Ball ­ Found a gap between what comprehensive education actually is and what different
classes think comprehensive education is.…read more

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Teacher Labelling and self Teachers and pupils Asian girls'
expectations fulfilling prophecy. If the were from the same underachievement was
teacher expects highly of background and were blamed on the inter
you then you are likely to committed to promoting generational conflict
be a high achiever. academic achievement within their families ­
through high Brah.
expectations ­ Garvey.…read more

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­ Fuller.
access to resources is through high
limited. expectations ­ Garvey.
Education and subcultures:
Pupils respond to their schooling in different ways, sociologists are interested in these subcultures.
All subcultures have things in common; their members gain status, mutual support and a sense of
belonging. Unable to achieve status in terms of the mainstream values of the school, pupils
substitute their own set of delinquent values.…read more

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Educational policies:
1870 Education act:
The Forster act introduced elementary education for all 5 ­ 10 year olds. By 1880 it was compulsory
for all children to be educated to the age of 10. A limited curriculum was offered focusing on the
importance of reading, writing, arithmetic and religion.…read more

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