• Created by: aliya.03
  • Created on: 24-09-18 18:26

functionalist view of education

schools teach specialist skills that prepare children for jobs 

as a political role it creates social cohesion as they learn about politcs through citizenship lessons 

schools are an agent of socialisation as studets are taught norms and values helping them to fit in to society and acts as an agent of social control as studnets are punsihed if they don't follow the rules of school

schools also use role allocation to sort children for thier future roles 

they view the education system as meritocratic as those how put in the effort and achieve high grades will also get better jobs in the future

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marxist view of education

students learn the skill to be obedient workers in school and prepares them for working class jobs 

only certain political view and opinions are tolerated and radical ideas are rejected 

school reflect the wider society as its refelcts social control in the wider society 

also view meritocracy as a myth and the education system only beneifts thee powerful groups and this is why working class students underachieve

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Durkheim KEY STUDY

he saw the eductaion system as an agent of secondary socialisation and how schools teach norms and values of society 

he argued it created social solidarity as it ensures that stuents are unified when they are taught the same culture

he also saw schools as society in minature as it taught specilaist skills needed for the future

there were some problems wiht his argument such as

new right thinkers would argue that schools are not adequatly teaching norms and values 

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parsons KEY STUDY

he agreed wiht durkheim that schools provide secondary socialisation and they act as a bridge between family and society and your status is ascribed to you in your family but in school status is achieved.

therefore they judge based on universalistic standards meaning schools are meritocratic 

schools socialise children in a shared culture craeting value consensus and they promote tow key values, this is called role allocation

however marxiists argued that schools don't teach values of a shared culitre instead they teach capitalist values and meritocracy is a myth 

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butler act and beyond

this was introduced with the aim of giving all students a eqaul chance in free school 

all 11 year old students would take an exam which would sort them into three types of schools

this was called the tripartite system where the top 20% went to grammar schools and the other 80% went to secondary modern schools

this didn't end up creating a meritcorac as most middle class studnets ended up in grammar schools

in 1965 a labour government asked local education authorities to reorganize secondary schools so that all students attended the same schools know as comprehensive schools

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material deprivation

this is the lack of resources or poverty that can lead to underachivement for wokring class children

the child poverty action group stresses th cost of shcools resulting in some kids not going to school

65% of children living in damp places suffer from breathing problems 

children may also believe in fatalism which is the idea that their parents are poor so they will be poor too

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Halsey et al KEY STUDY

based on a sample of over 8000 males born between 1913 and 1952 they found that there was clear class inequality and based on tehir fathers job were split into three

service class

internationlal class

working class including amnual workers

they found out that as children got older in working class they had a less of a chance as going to school aged from 16 +

however the research excluded females whihc could've made a significant difference to the findings 

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Bowles and Gintis (KEY STUDY )

as marxist they believed that the key role of education was reproducing a workforce with the correct characteristics for the capitalist ecnoy

their study was of 237 students in new york anf dound that schools reward obedient students who show independence and creative thinking often get paid less

their study examines correspondance principles which highlights how scool prepares students for their future jobs 

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cultural deprivation

this mena that working class children may lack the culture to achieve in education 

schools are based on middle class values and gives middle class children culutre capital develpoed by bourdieu 

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parental attitudes

working class parnets may have a negative experience of school so they may choose to home school

middle class parents may have a better underdstanding of educaction so may be able to play the system

middle class parents may also be more interested in their childs education and see more of  an importance in it 

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middle class vs working class values

middle class

deffered gratification meaning thy are willing to wait for a rewards 

individualism meaning there is an importance of doing well through their own efforts

emphasis on future planning 

desire fo control over their lives 

the working class values 

immediate gratification meanin they want rewards straught away

collectivisim: the importance of working together as a community

emphaiss upon present 


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they study small scsle interactions between individuals and are interested in understanding these interactions e,g between teachers and students 

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its a positive or negative tag placed on an individual e,g a teacher may judge a child as brigth and hardworkng. this can be based on an early impression e,g appearance or dialect

this may lead the teacher to treat the child differently, if they have been positivley labelled causing the halo effect meaning the student feels valued

however they may negatively labelled and be treated fifferentyl meaning they live up to this sef fulfilling propehcy of them never becoming a success

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Rosenthal et al

they carried out an experiment to test the SFP and told teachers that students had sat an iq test and these studnets were labelled. the teacher then noticed their progress alot more, however the test scores were random and not true

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nel keddie was a marxist who argues that parents shoudlnt be balemd and they are being victim blamed of the capitalist system . they argue that inteernal factors and the government system are to blame 

Elliots did a brown eyes blue eyes tudy where she seperted people from their eye cokour and treated them differently.

she found out that when people were told they were superior they performed better, she was trying to prove how people shouldnt be judged based on what they look like as is shows discrimination 

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ball carried out participant observation in a school for three years and looked at the process of moving from streaming to mixed ability classes. 

he found out that students from higher social classes were more likely to be in a top set and class played a role in streaming 

ball observed differences in behaviour in different groups. teachers had high expectations of top set students leading to better behaviour 

witht the introduction of mixed ability groups pupils were less polarised but teachers continued labelling middle clas students. labelling also reflected in exam results 

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willis wrote from a marxist perspective and agreed with other marxist that the education system serves capitalism but argued working class students dont saok up rulling class value 

they resist by creating an anti school subcultre]he observed 12 wroking class boys in schools and carried out unstrcuttured interviews and found that the boys were better than the teachers and they didnt value academic work adn were often disruptive and rude 

willis argued this prepared the working class boys for work in a facroty as manual workers and these roles are needed for capitalism to continue

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subject choice


peer pressure: especially affects boys, seen as a downgrade 

canalisation : murphy and elwood- leads to ealry socialisation 

diffuclty: skelton- science subjects are seen as more challenging and higher status, girls often avoid tehese subjects and are less likely to make riskier decisions 

stereotypes; mitsos and browne - internal factors in schools, gender stereotypes in textbooks, genders of teachers, male domination of equipment , gendered career opportunites, careers advice. ( could be outdated now, e.g textbooks have now changed

as exams got harder the number of A-A* lowered, girls get more though. 

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gender gap

femnism: the feminist movement has changed girls expectations and pushed them to wrok harder. sarpe compared the attitudes of girls in the 1970 + 90's and saw girls now care 

job opportunites: changing job opportunities mean that more women are having careers whcih is pushing girls to work harder, there are aslo more role models. increase in single parent families show the girls the importnace of hardwork and independence

coursework: harris found boys are more likely to suffer from lower self esteem. they are also likely to struggle wiht coursework. moir and moir argued schools have become too grils frinedly

peer pressure: katz argued that boys are more likely to suffer from low self esteem  becasue of te decline in mens jobs and portrayals of men in the media 

socialisation: girls are brought up mainly inside and taught indoor activites as oppose to boys playing outside. tis set girsl up to do weell in school as they have a classroom maner.

interactions: ther are more female teachers than male teachers which mgith provide girls with a positive attitude to education. interactionists argue that girls are more liekly to have positive interactions withe teacher and be more hardworking

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ethnicity in education INTERNAL FACTORS

internal factors:

TYPE OF SCHOOL:smith and tomlinsons found minority ethnic students who attended good schools did as well as white students in these schools, due to them living in urban areas 

LABELLING: interactionists would argue teacher stereotypes and labelling can lea to ethnic differences in achivement. This could include assumptions that ME students arent as able or are poorly behaved. this could lead to a SFP

INSTITUTIONAL RACISM: critical race theorists argue the education system is instituionally racist lading to unerachievement. they argue white british cultures are taught this is called an ethnocentric curriculum 

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ethnicity in education EXTERNAL FACTORS

social class: red argued the differences could be class based. the parents of students who underachieve may be offered low paid positions leading to them being working class which could lead to material deprvation. tthis could be espceially truee for immigranst who may nto be as skilled who get the lower paid jobs

culural differences;

this could include different cultrues includingg norms and values. language can be a barrier to education as students may have a different language at home creating a language barrier, it may also be a restricted code sihc as slang whihc limits students achivement 

parental attitudes: this suggest that some parents from some ethnic groups show less interest in their childrens education.however ther is evidence that this is inaccurate: one stufy in lodnon shows indian parents putting pressure on their children, however african carribean children wwere helped by a saturday school set up by their parents. 

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