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General perspectives
· Functionalist: Education is an investment in human capital
and the basis for economic growth. Schools value and
reward individual achievement and hard work, thus
fostering the work ethic of industrial society. Habits of
good time-keeping ,obedience and diligence are taught
through the discipline of the school regime.
· Schools provide a broad curriculum to allow children to
realise their talents. Differentiation of access is based on
fair and objective assessment of pupils' abilities. The school
acts as a bridge between the family-where particularistic
values and ascription dominate- and the wider society
where universalistic values are persuasive .Pupils learn that
differential rewards are earned for different levels of
achievement and this encourages competition.…read more

Slide 3

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General perspectives
· Marxist: The curriculum is largely irrelevant to work. Schools
prepare pupils for the tedium of work by offerings boring
curriculum that crushes creativity and produces complaint workers.
There is a correspondence between the socials relationships of
work and school. Pupils are made passive by rewarding of
conformity. Hierarchy is accepted through teacher control. Pupils
are motivated by external rewards. Knowledge is fragments into
lesson which limits its potential.
· The ruling class defines what counts as knowledge, and the
working class are progressively eliminated because of their lack of
cultural capital on which they are judged or by self elimination.
The result is that schools reproduce the social hierarchy in society.
Meritocracy is a myth. It is used by the ruling class to legitimate
pre existing inequalities and make people believe that role
allocation is fair. This personalises failure and distracts attention
from inequalities of capitalism which would other wise be a source
of discontent.…read more

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· Give three reasons why education was made
compulsory in 1880?.
· According to functionalists what are the main
functions of schools?
· Identify and explain two ways in which
schools serve the interests of society?
· Outline and assess the view that education
benefits the ruling class?…read more


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