Theorists On Education

  • Created by: zidane.01
  • Created on: 01-11-18 10:30


· The Functionalist focus on the positive functions performed by Education and believes there are 4 main positive functions of education.

  • 1) Creating Social Solidarity: Durkheim argues that society needs solidarity so that individuals feel a sense of belonging. This is achieved by learning subjects like History and English to give a sense of shared national identity/shared values and helps creates value consensus, peace and harmony throughout society.
  •   2) Teaching skills/Qualifications for work: Schools provides society with people equipped with the right skills suited to the jobs society needs. This helps ensure the best, most qualified and talented people end up doing the most important jobs in society.
    • Division Of Labour- The world of work is fragmented into a large number of specialised jobs. Durkheim argues that modern school based system is the only way to provide individuals with diverse set of skills for the future.
  • 3) School acts like a bridge between family for wider society: Parson argues that schools plays a central role in secondary socialisation as they prepare you for the wider society and children need to learn to adapt into wider society.
  • 4) Role allocation and Meritocracy: A society in which people get opportunities primarily based on ability and talent. Education allocates people the most appropriate jobs through examination and qualification and so the system is meritocratic as there is equality of opportunity by which everyone is given an equal chance at success and the most able do through their own efforts.
    •    Particularistic Values- Children are not judged or compared by a measure of achievement or expectation of behaviour.
    •    Universalistic Values- Children are judged by a clear measure of achievement or expectation of behaviour


Supporting Evidence-

· Social Solidarity is created as teachers help students who are behind and give them a sense of belonging in school

· There is a strong correlation between education and unemployment levels

· Strong correlation between education levels and salaries

Criticising Evidence-

·  Education does not teach you skills needed for jobs, they are learned in the job

·  Private schools and more likely to have students who go on to have high earning professions

·  Core subjects like English and maths are more likely to be in sets and this is a way of labelling the students ability, which could have the effect of hindering their achievement.


  •  Davis And Moore (1967)
    • Agree with Parsons and view education as a devise for selection and Role allocation to put individuals in the most appropriate positions in economy and society
    • They argue inequality is needed to ensure the most important jobs are filled by the most talented.
    •  This is further supported by the use of streaming and testing, which enables individuals to be sorted and sifted into the appropriate roles according to one’s ability.
  • Durkheim (1903)
    • Emile Durkheim claimed that the education system helps to create social solidarity by transmitting…


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