AQA AS Level Sociology - Unit 2 Education

AQA AS Level Sociology - Unit 2 Education
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Functionalist theories of education - basic needs
Includes the need for social order - To survive, society needs social solidarity through everyone sharing the same norms and values. Otherwise society would fall apart.
Functionalist theories of education - Social institutions
Performs positve functions for both society and individuals by socializing new members of society and by helping create and sustain social solidarity
How Functionalism views Education
Tends to focus on the positive contribution education makes to society
Functionalism
A consensus perspective of sociology that sees society as based on shared values into which members are socialised. It sees society as an organism in which each part performs functions to maintain the system as a whole
Durkheim
French sociologist - The founder of functionalist sociology, he defined two main functions of education; creating social solidarty and teaching specialist skills
Social solidatiry
Where individual members of society feel that they belong to a community that is much bigger than they are
Parsons
American functionalist - Aruges that school performs two major functions for society; Education acts as a bridge between family and wider society and Education helps to socialise young people into the basic values of society
Davis and Moore
They both see education as a means of role allocation
Role allocation
Allocating pupils to their future work by assessing individuals aptitudes and abilities, schools help to match them to the job they are best suited to
New Right Perspective on Education
They belive that:
Some people are naturally talented than others
Education should be run on meritocratic principles of open competition
Education should socialise students into shared values and provide a sense of national identity.
The Effects of State of control
Key feature of New right thinking. Too much state control of education has resulted in inefficiency, national economic decline and a lack of personal and business initiative.
One size fits all
New Right arguements are based on the belief that the state cannot meet people's needs, in a state run system education does not meet individual and community needs.
Why Lower Standards?
Schools that get poor results do not change because they are not answerable to their consumers. The result is lower standards and a less qualified workforce.
Chubb and Moe
They both compared the achievement of 60,000 students from low-income families. they concluded that state education failed to create equal opportunity because it does not have to respond to student's needs. Private schools produce higher quality education because they are answerable to paying consumers (the parents). Their answer was to introduce a market system in education by giving families vouchers to spend on buying education from the school of their choice.
Marxists view of Education
Their perspective is that the main function or the education system is to reproduce the inequalities of the capitalist economic system.
Louis Althusser
He is the sociologist who sees the education system as part of the ideological state apparatus. He claims that education reproduce class-based inequalities by creating the belief that capitalism is somehow 'normal' 'natural' and 'just'. The effect of all this is that the reproduction of the class system in that the sons and daughters of the working-class tend to remain working-class.
Bourdieu
Argues that the main function of education is to reproduce and legitmize ruling class culture and power also to socialize the working class into a 'culture of failure' so that they take up without question routine and dull work
Bowles and Gintis
Aruge that there is a close relationship between social relationships in the workplace and in education
Hidden curiculum
Shapes the workforce via:
1) Producing a subservient workforce
2) Encouraging an acceptance of hierarchy
3) Motivating pupils with external rewards rather than the love of education iteself
4) That school subjects are fragmented in the same way as routine work is
Willis
challenges the over-deterministic nature of Bowles & Gintis's work, argues that working class lads see through the smoke-screen of meritocracy and create a counter-school culture which challenges the schools dominant values. However accepts the outcome is similar to that suggested by Bowles and Gintis because their anti-school behaviour means they will end up in dead end jobs
Trends in class and achievement
Many studies have concluded that those children who experience childhood poverty or who are children of semi / unskilled workers tend to achieve less at school, and are less likely to go on to further or higher education
External explanations for the class gap
1) Cultural deprivation
2) Material deprivation
3) Cultural capital
Cultural deprivation
It is aruged that working class parents tend to value education less than middle class parents
Working class parents are less likely to give their children educational toys and activities that will stimulate their thinking and reasoning skills and are less likely to read to them
Working class children tend to use a resticted code however the elaborate code is the one used in the education system
Material deprivation
Refers to the lack of physical resources such as money, room, equipment etc.
Middle class parents are financially able to move to catchment areas of good schools leaving less successful schools full of working class students
Middle class parents have more knowledge of how the education system works and they use this to their advantage
Cultural capital
Is a concept of the knowledge, attitudes, language, values, tastes and abilities of the middle class so middle class students have a built in advantage wheras working class parents experience a cultural defecit and lack the cultural capital necessary for success