Functionalist perspective on education

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Name the main four positive functions education performs
Creating social solidarity, Teaching skills necessary for work, Teaching us core values, Role allocation and meritocracy
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What did Emile Durkheim argue to do with social solidarity?
He argued that school is like a society in miniature where we norms and values from wider society are transmitted to children to allow them to function properly in real life, things like community and shared beliefs
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What else did Durkheim say about social solidarity?
He said that school is like a society in miniature which teaches us through the covert and overt curriculum to function in wider society
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How is social solidarity achieved through the education system
Through learning subjects like PHSE and history which teach a shared sense of identity also through the covert curriculum
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What is the covert curriculum
The opposite to the overt curriculum it transmits norms and values of society subliminally through certain organisational features of school etc.
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What else did Durkheim say about learning specialists skills for work?
In a modern industrial society a complex division of labour is needed, this requires all children to be taught basic skills like literacy, numeracy and IT
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How does education teach us core values according to Parsons
It takes over from primary socialisation (parents) and provides secondary socialisation to transmit shared beliefs, ideas, competition and equality of opportunity which allows them to function in a wider society, like a bridge
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Outline Parsons ideas about standards in family and education
In the family children are ascribed particularistic standards, in school they are all ascribed the same universalistic standards within a meritocratic system, they do this because this is how wider society functions
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Explain role allocation and meritocracy within education
In education certain tools like exams and qualifications are used to determine hpow good you are creating a meritocratic system where rewards are based on achievement and effort
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How is a meritocratic system achieved in school?
Through children doing things like taking exams to judge their ability and effort and allocating them the right set, class etc.
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What did Davis and Moore say about role allocation in schools?
Believe school fairly selects and sifts children with the best ability and effort for higher positions in the future and encourages competition which is key in wider society
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Give a strength of the Functionalist ideas(1)
Schools complete positive functions for the majority of pupils
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Give a strength of the Functionalist ideas (2)
Those who get degrees do get paid more (85%), role allocation does work
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Give a strength of the Functionalist ideas(3)
Schools do try to create sense of solidarity through subjects like PHSE which is beneficial to society
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Give a strength of the Functionalist ideas (4)
Education is more concerned with adapting children in to functioning better in the work place (Vocational courses)
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Give a strength of the Functionalist ideas (5)
Schooling much more meritocratic than in the past
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Give a criticism of the Functionalist ideas (1)
Marxists say that school is used to transmit the bourgeoisie (ruling class) ideology which is inherently corrupt and unfair
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Give a criticism of the Functionalist ideas (2)
Melvin Tumin points out that most jobs are only considered important because they pay well which is not necessarily a true mark of importance
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Give a criticism of the Functionalist ideas (3)
Dennis Wrong says that students are like puppets who have to accept the schools values and ideas with little freedom of thought
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Give a criticism of the Functionalist ideas (4)
The New Right says that the system does not go far enough in preparing children for the world of work and teaches things that are irrelevant
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Give a criticism of the Functionalist ideas (5)
The perspective assumes the system is fair, completely meritocratic and offers equality of opportunity which is not true thanks to things like social class etc. affecting achievement
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Card 2

Front

What did Emile Durkheim argue to do with social solidarity?

Back

He argued that school is like a society in miniature where we norms and values from wider society are transmitted to children to allow them to function properly in real life, things like community and shared beliefs

Card 3

Front

What else did Durkheim say about social solidarity?

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

How is social solidarity achieved through the education system

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

What is the covert curriculum

Back

Preview of the front of card 5
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