Education - Perspective and Social Policy - People to Know

People to Know for Unit 2, Education.


Functionalist Perspective

Durkheim - Education creates Social Solidarity. School is society in miniature.

Parsons (1961) - Education acts as a bridge between school and the wider society. it socialises people into societys values. It opens us up to society univesalistic values, rather than the particalaristic values we find within the family. Education is meritocratic.

Davis & Moore (1967) - Education shifts people according to ability, providing role allocation. The most talented gain high qualifications, high status and high jobs with high rewards.

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Marxist Perspective

Althusser (1971) - Education forms part of the idealogical state apparatus. It reproduces class inequality by failing each successive set of working class students in turn and produces idealogical beliefs so that workers dont feel able to challenge capitalism.

Bowles & Gintis (1976) - The Correspondence Principle. There are close similarities between work and school. Bother have hierarchies, with the headteacher and boss taking the decisions. Both reward competition, through merit/exam results and pay. Bowles & Gintis say that this results in the myth of meritcracy, as people think they can better themselves.

Willis (1977) - WIllis shows how when people rebel against capitalism and education, they are destined for the unskilled work at the bottom which capitalism needs someone to perform.

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New Right (Market Liberal) Perspective

Chubb & Moe (1997) - State education is unresponsive. There is no need to work hard as there is no incentive and state schools cannot go out of buisness. Private edcuatuon has to please its customers and therefore standards are high and there is pressure to improve them further.

Margaret Thatcher (Conservative 1979-1990, Also under John Major 1990-7) - Used New Right theory to underpin major reforms such as the 1988 Education Reform Act. Her reforms were based on:
.Competition & Choice (Legue tables, OFSTED)
.Testing & Exams (SATs & GCSEs)
.Restricted Curriculum Content (National Curriculum) 

Voational Education - The new right believe that skills relevant to the work place are a necessity. GNVQ (General National Vocational Qualifications) were introduced under Thatcher, a vocational alternative to academic subjects.

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Social Democrats perspective

Social Democrats believe that a meritocracy is desirable but that the capitalist society gives advantages to the children of middle and upper class parents. They try to promote ideas that improve the welfate of the population as a whole. Social Democratic ideas supported the introducation of Comprehensive Schooling in 1965 under the Labour Government.

New Labour & Education 1997-2010 - These policies combined Social Democratic thinking with that of the New Right. Social Democratic Policies under Labour:

.Education Action Zones (EAZs) - Extra resources were put into areas of high deprivation. Money was spent in schools and family centers, youth clubs ect opened.
.Educational Maintenance Allowance (EMA) - Financial support was given to students from low income backgrounds in further education in the form of weekly payments.
.Academies - Academies were introduced to drive up standards in failing schools. Businesses or charities would provide sponsorship and appoint new governors which would drive up standards.

New Right Policies under Labour:

.Specialist Schools - Schools gained funding based on their specialisms, the traditional one size fits all compregensive was generally gone. They could also be selective about picking 10% of their intake based on spcialism.
.Assessment, Legue Tables & Targets - The conservative policies were continued and even stepped up, adding a value added measure to gain indications of pupils improvements.
.Vocational Education - Millions was spent on rebrading GNVQs to NVQs, and introduced the new diploma vocational qualifications. 

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Interactionist Perspective

Interactionist foucs on the day to day processes with education which result in different levels of achievement by students.

Becker - Becker said that teachers have a certain expectation of students and label them appropriatly.

Rosenthal & Jacobsen (1968) - Teachers expectations and demands of a studen create a self fulfilling prophecy

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