SCLY2 - Education and Research Methods Complete Notes

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1. The role and purpose of education, including vocational
education and training in contemporary society.
Functionalist and New Right views of the role and purpose of education
Durkheim ­ Social Solidarity ­ Functionalist; to bind members of society together ­ this
creates social unity and solidarity. Therefore like the family, education is seen as functional
prerequisite because it passes on the culture of a society particularly its core values.
Davis and Moore - Role Allocation - Functionalists ; social stratification is an effective role
allocation and performance, all roles must be filled by those best able to perform them,
necessary training for jobs must be undertaken and roles performed well by those with
the highest ability to do so, positions of high day-to-day responsibility are most
functionally significant.
Parsons ­ Secondary Socialisation & Meritocracy ­ Functionalist; education is a key
component of the social body, just like the heart is integral to the functioning of the
human body, education is fundamental to the health of the social body. It does this by
passing on culture, secondary socialisation, creates universalistic values, provides training
for future roles and allows for upwards social mobility.
There is evidence to show equal opportunity is non-existent in education. For example
achievement is greatly influenced by class background rather that ability herby creating the `myth
of meritocracy'. Functionalists see education as a process that instils shared values of society as a
whole, but Marxists argue that education in a capitalist society only transmits the ideology of a
minority ­ the ruling class. The interactionist Dennis Wong 1961 argues that functionalist have an
`over-socialised' view of people as mere puppets of society . Functionalists wrongly imply that
pupils passively accept all they are taught and never reject the schools values. Unlike Davis and
Moore. The New Right argue that the state education system fails to prepare young people
adequately for work . This is because state control of education discourages efficiency, competition
and choice.
New Right.
Chubb and Moe ­ Consumer Choice ­ New Right; Removing guaranteed funding from
school and granting vouchers to parents which in essence means schools only receive
money depending on the amount of pupils they have. This forces schools to be more
responsive to parental influence and attract `customers by improving their `product'.
Conservative View ­ Marketisation ­ New Right ; some people are naturally more
talented than others. They broadly favour an education system run on meritocratic
principles of open competition, and one that serves the needs of the economy by
preparing young people for work. They believe the current education system doesn't
provide this as it is run by the state which imposes a `one size fits all' uniformity approach
ignoring local needs. The laws of supply and demand empower consumers brining greater

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Gewirtz and Ball both argue that competition between schools benefits the middle class, who can
use their cultural and economic capital to gain access to more desirable schools. Other
perspectives also argue that the real cause of low educational standards is not social inequality
and lack of state funding to schools. There is also a contradiction between the New Right's support
for parental choice on one hand and the state then imposing a national curriculum on all its
schools on the other.…read more

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They also
differ in their approach to how legitimization this place. B&G thinks school brainwash capitalist
values into pupils passively while Willis thinks students actively accept and do not conform to
school values however his study of 12 boys is likely to be unrepresentative. Morrow and Torres
criticise Marxists for taking a class first approach and other inequalities like ethnicity, gender, and
sexually are just as important.
Vocational education and training: the relationship between school and work:
human capital, training schemes.…read more

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Afro-Caribbean boys are more likely to be excluded from school and placed in lower
streams than any other ethnic groups.
Sutton Trust - Material Deprivation ­ Social Class -
found a direct relationship
between free school meals and attainment. Leading state schools had had around
3% of their intake eligible for free school meals, whereas the majority of schools
had 14.5% of their intake eligible for free school meals.…read more

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JWB Douglas 1964 - Parental Interest - Class Subcultures; JWB Douglas in a
longitudinal study of UK school pupils asserted that the greatest impact on a
student's progress was the level of interest shown in the child's education. MC
parents gave greater attention to children's education than WC. MC parents
expected more from their children and gave more rewards. The WC seen is
"culturally deprived".…read more

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The relationship between class, gender and ethnicity.
· Smith and Tomlinson 1989 - Class Balance - Ethnicity ; Argue that class background
of pupils was more important than ethnicity in explaining poor academic success.
Pakistani, Bangladeshi and Afro-Caribbean groups are more likely to be in lower
social class positions whereas Chinese, African Asian and Indian groups are more
likely to be in higher social class positions.…read more

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Acceptance of
Inequality, schools tend to band and set children into ability groups, this
encourages a belief amongst children that some people are better than others.
Society's expectations of gender are "taught" in schools, careers advice is still
different for girls and boys enforcing gender stereotypes, some subjects are seen as
"male" and some "female" reinforcing gender stereotypes. School structures
reinforce power hierarchies as the norm for life and the workplace.…read more

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The most successful
students were the ones who learnt to steer themselves through these obstacles.
· Coard 1971 - Inferiority Complex - Ethnicity ; He believed that schools made ethnic
minorities `feel inferior in every way'. Black people and their achievements are
ignored in the curriculum. This all led to low self-esteem for ethnic minorities.…read more

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They argue labels aren't merely a result of the
teachers individual prejudices but rather stem from the fact that teachers work for a system that
reproduces class divisions. Labelling is also highly offensive to teachers as all teachers want to
treat all their students fairly and equally to the best of their abilities and wouldn't put WC kids
below their MC counterparts.
Teachers and the teaching hierarchy; teaching styles.…read more

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Vocational courses -vocational courses are more gender
segregated. 1/100 construction apprentices is female.
4. The significance of educational policies, including selection,
comprehensivisation and marketisation, for an understanding
of the structure, role, impact and experience of education.
Independent schools.
· Independent schools are schools that exist outside state education provision. For
example, they do not have to teach the `National Curriculum', nor make their
students sits Standard Attainment Tests (SATS).…read more


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