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a social institution that transmits attitudes, knowledge, beliefs, values, norms and skills to its members through formal, systematic training


formal training and instruction provided in a classroom setting

manifest functions

schools are socialization agencies, education transmits knowledge and culture; education encourages cultural innovation; education fosters a meritocracy

latent functions

schools also fulfill many unintended functions; schools provide child care; and are matchmaking institutions; education decreases job competition; and they create social networks


assigning students to specific educational programs and classes on the basis of test scores, previous grades, or perceived ability


can result in a self-fulfilling prophecy whereby students live up or down to teachers' expectations and evaluations that are affected by background, gender, skin color, hygiene, accents and tests

student engagement

how involved students are in their own learning


publicly funded payments that parents can apply toward tuition or fees at a public or private school of their choice

charter schools

self-governing public schools that have signed an agreement with their state government to improve students' education

magnet school

a public school that is typically small and offers students a distinctive program and specialized curriculum in a particular area such as business, science, the arts or technology

home schooling

teaching children in the home as an alternative to enrolling them in a public or private elementary, middle or high school

hidden curriculum

school practices that transmit nonacademic knowledge, values, attitudes, norms, and beliefs which legitimize economic inequality and fill unequal work roles


an emphasis on certificates or degrees to show that people have certain skills, educational attainment levels, or job qualifications


the children of alumni who have "reserved seats" regardless of their accomplishments or ability


refers to controlling the access to education or jobs of people from lower socioeconomic levels

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