Education Topic 10 - The functionalist Approach to education


The functionalist view:

1. Education builds social solidarity

Education passes on key values (this is called the functional prerequisite)

Happens through the:

  • Hidden Curriculum

  • The actual curriculum - This acts as glue to bind people as one - Builds social solidarity (keeps people as one in society)

2. Developing a Qualified Labour Force

  • £88bn is spent on education every year. Schultz (1971) said that this is huge investment in human capital (skills of humans in the future) is worth it because it creates a solid workforce for later

  • Allows for lots of skills to be learned fr a wide range of jobs; this is the division of labour.

  • Prepares for later society

3. Providing a bridge between the family and society

  • Schools are like mini societies (e.g. people responsibilities in schools in training for ones in life)

  • School provides "secondary socialisation"

  • School is the bridge between the


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