Functionalists see education as having 4 major roles:
1) Passing on societies beliefs and culture – Education is a functional prerequisite of society. Its passes on key values and beliefs via socialization, through both the national curriculum and the hidden curriculum. This helps creat social solidarity, it unites society in its morals and values.
Criticism: Marxists argue this ignores the inequalities of society as the values passed on are often the ruling class’. Feminists argue that the school passes on patriarchal values, emasculation women.
2) Bridging the Gap between home and society’s values - Parsons said at home we have an ascribed status and therefore particularistic values, children are treated individually and differently from adults, however at school everyone has an achieved status under the same universalistic values, children are no longer treated differently but as a collective group, as they would be in would be in the workplace. This helps Durkheim’s “society in miniature” as school replicates and…