different theoretical views on education

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  • Created by: Beth
  • Created on: 14-06-11 16:12


·        We all have the equality of opportunity

·        Education is important for role allocation

·        Education helps provide value consensus (moral agreement)

·        Davis and Moore argue that societies need to ensure that the most talented people occupy the most important positions

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Marx continued

  •  Bourdieu – working class are effectively duped into accepting their failure and limited social mobility and its justified, symbolic violence. Their cultural attributes are rejected because the system is defined by and for the middles classes who succeed by default rather than ability.
  •  Althusser – argues that the hidden curriculum – the way schools pass on knowledge and are organised means that working class people are encouraged to conform to the capitalist system and to accept failure and inequality uncritically 
  •   Education is seen as an important part of the superstructure of society (refer to new marx)
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·        Bowles and Gintis-felt that education should be a means of social mobility. Used statistics sample of white males, found that educational attainment was strongly dependant on social background. They claimed that schools were organised to prepare most students to become docile manual workers, willing to work for the profit of capitalists. Only a small amount of students were encouraged to be independent. One of their research methods was to ask high school students to rate each other on personality traits shown at school. Then the results were compared with student grades. Those students rated as creative, aggressive and independent were penalised by the school with lower grades than students who were punctual, dependable and tactful. Through the schools hidden curriculum attitudes and behaviours were passed on and explained why working class children rarely entered higher professions. 

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new right

·        Believes the education system should operate on the same principles as the market for goods and services

·        Families should be able to makes choices about education in the same way as they make choices about soap power and clothes.

·        Schools should be able to respond to what consumers want

·        The least successful will have to taken over or shut

·        A market-led system will make education more accountable and save taxpayers money

·        Parents will need information about the quality of schools so students will need to be tested on a regular basis and the results made available  

·        Society should focus on individual achievements (micro)

·        The state shouldn't control education

·        Education should provide a competitive environment

·        teacher’s teach to the test and ignore the broader education of pupils 

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post modernism

·        Performance by gender is affected by the social class and ethnic backgrounds of male and female students. Therefore not all female and male students do badly

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·        Focus on small scale interaction in the classroom

·        They study relationships b/w pupils themselves, pupils and teachers rather than making broad generalizations

·        Key concepts: labelling and stereotyping

·        Self concepts – the way we see ourselves

·        small samples – less representativeness

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social democratic

·         Believes that society should be meritocratic

·         Inequalities in society prevent the a meritocratic society 

·         They see education as the key method for providing the equality of opportunity to create meritocracy

·         The most important positions are filled by the most talented regardless of their social class, gender, ethnicity or any other characteristic

·         As societies become more complex education needs to expand and develop to make sure the next generation are equipped with the appropriate skills, knowledge and attitudes to create economic growth

·         The state should control and regulate education

·         The government should take measures to bring about greater equality of opportunity

·         Governments need to keep spending high on education and to ensure that this spending is used by schools and colleges to develop the knowledge and skills needed

·          Woolf – argues that Switzerland spends relatively little on education but is one of the most wealth countries.  

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new egalitarian

  • Giddens and Diamond argue that social class in no longer an important source of inequality or identity in the 21st century
  •  They suggest that the uk is a meritocratic society in that equality of opportunity is now the norm
  • social background and therefore class is now less important than ever
  • the decline of class is due to the rise in meritocracy and the result of social changes for example the majority of young people are experiencing further education
  • they argues that there exist a number of distinctive cleavages ( differences in the spending patterns of social groups) b/w the social experiences of particular social groups that require addressing by social policy such as different types of families e.g. single parent
  • They argue that social exclusion is a more accurate term for the range of deprivations
  • social class is undermined by a process of individualization
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Marxism first bit?

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