Sociology- education

Education in Britian before 1970's

The tripartite system after 1944 Education act:

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The key aims of educational change

The move to comprhensive schooling, and more recent changes in the education system, have been driving by four aims:

  • Economic efficiency: developing the talents of yound people to improve the skills of the labour force so Britain maintains a successful position in the world economy.
  • Making education system meet the needs of industry and employers through mose emphasis on ovcational education
  • Rasing educational standards.
  • Creating equality of education opportunity in a merticratic society, and establishing a fairer society and opening up opportunities for secondary and further/higher education to the working class and other disadvantaged groups.
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Vocational education

The emphasis on making education meet the needs of industry, and preparing young people for work is known as vocational education. Measures to achieve this have included:

  • Work experience programms for pupils to ease the transition from schools to work.
  • More educational courses, and govenment training schemes for those leaving school, which are closely related to the world of work and conserned with learning work related skills.
  • An expansion of post-16 education and training, with coordination and funding through business-dominated learning and skills councils.
  • A stronger emphasis on key skills in the use and applicationof number, and in communication and information tachnology.
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Rasing standards

  • more money for schools, more nursery education, and smaller primary school classes
  • Activity based learning
  • The national curriculum, national testing, target-setting and the literacy and numeracy hours
  • National league tables
  • Local managment of schools
  • Formula funding-how many students attracted
  • Open enrolment and parental preferance
  • More information for parents
  • Specialist schools and selection by ability
  • Ofsed
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The functionalist perspective

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The new right perspective

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The marxist perspetive

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The feminist perspective

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Is contemporary britian in meritocracy?

Functionalists like Parsons have suggested that the education system and society as a whole are based on the principles of meritocrac and equality of opportunity. In a merutocracy, educational achievements and qualifications should be based on only on the ability, skills and hard work of individuals, and everyone should have equal opportunityto develop whatever skills and talents.

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Working class achievement

  • Resources in school
  • Attitudes, intrests and expectation
  • The anti-school subculture
  • Teacher evaluations
  • The self-fullfilling prophecy
  • Streaming and labelling
  • Pressure from league tables
  • Assess to classroom knowledge
  • The 'halo effect'
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Working class under-achievement

  • Girls are more motivated
  • Peer group pressure and anti-school subculture
  • Equal opportunities have benefited girls
  • Lower teacher expectaions
  • Poor class room behaviour
  • Fewer opportunities
  • Poorer language skills
  • Boys maturity level
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Pupil subcultures are the distinctive norms and values developed by groups of young people in schools. The anti-school subcultures identifyed by Willis in his study of working class boys in a secondary school is an example of a pupil subculture.

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Branding, streaming and setting

Branding: Sometimes used to describe how schools try to ensure that their intakes have a spread of pupils drawn from all ability bands. It is more commonly used as an alternative word for streaming in schools, where students are divided into groups of simular ability.

Streaming: A system of dividing school students into groups of simular ability in which they stay for all subjects.

Setting: A system of dividing school students into groups of the same ability in particulary subjects.

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Underachievement of boys

  • Girls are more motivated
  • Anti-school subculture
  • Maturity levels
  • Poorer linguistic skills
  • Fewer opportunities
  • Peer group pressure
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Why do famales fo better

  • Feminism
  • Equal opportunities
  • Growing ambition
  • Girls work harder
  • Girls are more mature
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Why do boys under achieve

  • Lower expectaions
  • Boys are more disruptive
  • Anti-learning subculture
  • Declining in male opportunity
  • Feeling and behaving badley
  • Boys don't like reading  
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Ethnicity in achievement

  • Cultural deprivation
  • Material deprivation
  • Racism in society
  • Labelling
  • Subcultures
  • Ethnocentric curriculum
  • Institional rasism
  • Selection segrigation
  • Socail class
  • Sexism
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