liberal and postmodern functions on the family.

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solve problems individually instead of
Liberal Views of Education being told the answers by the teacher.
Both functionalists and Marxists are This happened in a school called
Structuralists ­ they focus on how the structure Summer Hill in 1924, which had
of society (mainly the economy) shapes and optional lessons and a school
determines the education system and vice versa. parliament to decide on school rules, in
which students and teachers had equal voting
Liberal sociologists are still interested in how rights. The rationale was that students would
individuals should be prepared for the be more motivated to work on subjects they
economy, but they want to move away from had chosen freely and would respond to the
mass education as a means of maintaining a democratic regime by developing into
social system to more flexible arrangements to responsible adults. This is obviously in
meet the varying needs and interests of complete contrast to the American High school
thinking individuals. The role of education conditions observed by Bowles and Gintis
should be to teach young people to be more
independent thinkers and to take part in Illich (1971) ­ `Deschooling Society' was
democratic processes. Whilst Marxists view another liberal thinker who suggested
people are members of two conflicting classes, abolishing the school system because of the way
liberals focus on the well being of individuals schools create passive recipients of knowledge.
and on freedom from having to conform to the Students become `mugs' to be filled with facts
demands of any group. from the teacher's jug' ­ the information is
rarely needed or understood or enjoyed but it
Dewey (1916) stressed the need to `liberate keeps teachers in jobs and helps government by
children' and channel their varying interests making students conformist.
and learning styles; learning should proceed Illich believed that people who learn what they
through direct observation and experiments want when they choose to do so are usually
rather than through rote learning and routines. more successful and so he suggested replacing
the school system with other forms of learning
This is evident in schools today where active to be available at any age. Students would be
learning and personalised learning styles are issued with education vouchers entitling them
encouraged through group work, experiments, to the services of professional who could judge
choice of coursework topics, problem solving, their levels of proficiency and suggest the best
peer teaching and assessing, mentoring system, materials for them. So, for example, those who
`Every Child Matters' Policy etc, rather than wanted to learn practical skills such as cookery,
being `spoon fed'. or a language, could learn it more effectively
from a native speaker or a chef rather than a
In order to succeed in a mobile and democratic school teacher. Learning aids such as tools,
society, children must accept and tolerate books, printing etc would be easily accessible
diversity and have the confidence and through libraries, museums and workplaces.
motivation to secure change. This is only
achievable if the education system is These schemes combined would break up the
progressive and students are encouraged to power structure that imposes values and

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It must also provide lifelong
training, because
Post-modern Perspective of technological
Education change and
Marxists, such as Bowles and Gintis, believe competition in
that the school mirrors the workplace. the globalised
Capitalism requires large numbers of low economy makes
skilled workers willing to put up with existing skills
alienating, repetitive work on mass production obsolete.
assembly lines. This system is often called
Fordism because the Ford Motor Company was As a result, postmodernists argue against the
the first to introduce it.…read more


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