The Role of Education

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  • Created by: shyde7
  • Created on: 17-05-16 00:52
When was Durkheim?
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What were Durkheim's two main ideas in terms of the role of education?
Social Solidarity and Specialist Skills
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What did Durkheim say about Social Solidarity?
Society needs a sense of solidarity because otherwise life and cooperation would be impossible. Education transmits society's culture from one generation tot he next.
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What was Durkheim's idea on the 'society in miniature'?
Schools acts as this - preparing young children for life in wider society. In both we have to cooperate with people we don't like, listen to authority etc.
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What did Durkheim say about specialist skills?
Modern industry requires a complex division of labour, where everyone must work together using their specialist skills to make one product. School teaches us these skills.
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When was Parsons (when he was interested in Meritocracy)?
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What type of sociologist was Parsons?
A functionalist.
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What did Parsons say about meritocracy?
School acts as a bridge between the family and wider society, as they operate on different principles. Your family status is ascribed, whereas your educational status is achieved through meritocracy - every student must sit the same exam.
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What type of sociologists were Davis and Moore?
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When were Davis and Moore?
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What was their main theory?
Role allocation.
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What is role allocation?
The process that ensures that the most skilled and talented people working in the jobs that require it, which is why these jobs are highly rewarded. This encourages competition so society can select the best. Education sifts and sorts these people.
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Society does not teach specialist skills adequately.
Wolf review of vocational education (2011): high quality apprenticeships are rare. A third of 16-19 year olds are on courses that do not lead to good jobs.
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Tumin (1953):
Davis and Moore put forward a circular argument - we know a job is important if it is highly rewarded and we know that a job is highly rewarded only because it is important.
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Wrong (2011):
Functionalists have an 'overly-socialised view' of pupils - it sees them as puppets, passively accepting everything they have been taught.
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Marxists see education as only transmitting the values of the ruling class, not society as a whole.
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What is the basis of Neoliberalism?
The idea that the state must not dictate to individuals and should not try to regulate a free market. It encourages competition and privatisation.
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According to neoliberalists, where does the value of education lie?
In how well the country can compete in the global marketplace. This can only be achieved if schools become more like businesses.
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What are the three similarities between the New Right and the Functionalist view?
Both believe that some people are naturallly more talented, they both favour a meritocratic education system with open competition and both believe school should instil shared values into a pupil, as well as a national identity.
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What are the main problems with the education system in the New Right's view?
Local consumers who use the school have no say in the running of the school, which makes them inefficient if they cannot deal with local needs.
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What is the New Right's solution to this problem?
The marketisation of education - turning schools into businesses in order to bring greater diversity and choice to consumers.
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When was Chubb and Moe?
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What did they argue?
That state-run education in the US failed because: it didn't create equal opportunities and failed the needs of disadvantaged groups and it is inefficient because it fails to produce pupils with the necessary skills for employment.
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Why do private schools succeed, in their view?
Because they are answerable to the parents who are paying for the education.
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What is Chubb and Moe's solution?
To introduce a free market in schools to put control back into the hands of consumers.
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How would they create this free market?
By giving each parent a voucher to spend on buying education. This would force schools to become more responsive as these would be the school's main source of income.
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What are the two roles for the state?
They impose a framework on schools within which they have to compete - e.g. Ofsted reports and league tables. To ensure schools transmit a shared culture by imposing a shared National Curriculum.
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Gewirtz (1995) and Ball (1994):
Argue that the competition between schools benefits the middle class, who can use their cultural and economic capital to gain access to more desirable schools.
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Education imposes the views of the ruling class, not all of society.
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Between New Right's support for parental choice and the support for state-controlled National Curriculum.
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Card 2


What were Durkheim's two main ideas in terms of the role of education?


Social Solidarity and Specialist Skills

Card 3


What did Durkheim say about Social Solidarity?


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Card 4


What was Durkheim's idea on the 'society in miniature'?


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Card 5


What did Durkheim say about specialist skills?


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