summary of education unit

summary of all the topics in the education unit (social policy not included)

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SUMMARY OF THE EDUCATION UNIT
FUNCTIONALIST PERSPECTIVES:
- Functionalists see education as transmitting society's norms and values. For example
through respecting and following rules and standards of the school the child learns to respect
the rules and standards of the wider society. Parts of society work together for the benefit of
society as a whole.
Passes on the key norms, values and culture to the younger generations.
This is done through the hidden curriculum and the curriculum for example
Citizenship, General studies and PSHE.
This gives people a value consensus.
- The main function of education is the transmission of society's norms and values in three
mains areas: (DURKHIEM)
1. Social Solidarity - For example the teaching of history provides social continuity.
2. Social Rules - At school we learn to co-operate with strangers and to be
self-disciplined.
3. Division of labour - Education teaches individual skills necessary for future
occupations. This is a most important function in advanced industrial society with its
complex division of labour.
PARSONS
- Education is like a bridge between the Family and wider society - preparing us
for our adult roles in society.
- The family is the primary agent of socialisation - in the family we are judged on
particularistic terms - because we gain ascribed status from the Family. That is to
say we are judged in terms of our status as brother, sister, daughter, son etc...
- Education is the main secondary agent of socialisation.
- In advanced industrial society we are judged in terms of achieved status and
universalistic values.
- At school our conduct is measured against the universal school rules and our
status is achieved through examination.
- Schools operate on meritocratic principles - everyone is treated in the same
way and that everyone has the same chances to succeed.
- it also teaches them to value ACHEVIED STATUS rather than that ASCRIBED by the family.
(achieved= status earned through performance or ability, and ascribed= assigned on the basis
of biological or family characteristics)
- Durkheim believed schools were a `society in miniature' that prepares students for adult
society.
Criticisms

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Ignores inequalities in power.
Rather than passing on society' s values it is claimed that it is the
dominant/ruling class' ideologies/values that are passed on.
Feminists argue that it is patriarchal values that are passed on.
There are many elite jobs where ascribed status characteristics have an
influence.
History teaching in schools may reflect a white, middle class view ­ this
may discourage social solidarity.…read more

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MARIXIST PERSPECTIVES
Althusser:
In modern societies education has replaced the church as the main agency for
ideological control (getting people to behave in a desired way by convincing them that
it is in their interests to behave in that way).
Also known as Ideological state apparatus (ISA)
Main aim of education is to maintain, legitimate and reproduce class inequalities by
transmitting ruling class/capitalist values
How do schools do this?
1. Transmits an ideology which states that capitalism is just and reasonable.
2.…read more

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Employees have a lack of control at work.
Employees must follow their bosses orders.
Workers are motivated by external rewards such as pay and receive little satisfaction
from day to day work.
Social inequality
Education legitimates social inequality by broadcasting the myth that it offers
everybody an equal chance.
High qualifications = top jobs!
Those that achieve high qualifications deserve their success. High qualifications lead
to top jobs therefore those who are in top jobs deserve to be.…read more

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Gendered roles:
School textbooks tend to present men and women in traditional gender roles. Women =
housewife/mother, male = breadwinner
This was particularly evident in reading schemes from 1960 to 1970
Gender stereotypes:
Reading schemes tend to present traditional gender stereotypes.…read more

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Cultural deprivation
Cultural deprivation theory is the idea that people from poor families fail in education because of
supposed deficiencies in their home and family background. Therefore their families do not
value education or educational achievement.…read more

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Sociologists have noted a complicated and changing relationship between gender and
achievement
- Historically, boys outperform girls- but, over the past three decades, girls have become
higher attainers.
- This rise might be driven by a range of broader social changes- including legal and policy
reforms, changing expectations held by parents and teachers and shifting aspirations of girls
themselves.…read more

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