Sunday, 16 May 2010


1. Deferred gratification means you cant always get what you want in life and you have to ge through something boring to get something good.
2. Schools should use the meritocratic system as it enables the children to be praised throughout all levels as they have achieved well. Therefore by praising a child their self esteem will become stronger as they want to fulfil a self fulfilling prophecy to keep their high achievement. Parsons believes in fair choice as children need to be praised. Parsons is a functionalist therefore believing that education is important to a child through secondary secularisation. Therefore merits system would help a child to strive for achievement in school no matter what ability they are.
3. Before 1988 when the National Curriculum was introduced, teachers could pretty much teach what they want. There was no specific content that students had to learn, and in some cases, teachers would squeeze their own opinion into their teaching. Now, however, teachers are given the National Curriculum which gives all teachers a standardised content to teach. This strengthens the education system as it allows teachers to plan lessons effectively as well as to what they should be teaching. This is a good thing as it means all teachers will be on the same page in terms of teaching. It also strengthens the education system because it standardises learning for all schools and helps with national tests. Thsi is because all students will be learning the same thing, therefore making this knowledge more easily quantifiable in exams.
4. It can be argued that the current education system favours the middle classes to a huge extent. There are various aspects of it which give them advantages. Although they have the upper hand in many ways, I think that there are also things that the working classes get that help them to reach their full potential.
Admission Policies such as catchment area give the middle class a much better chance of getting their children into a good school. The schools that perform the best are most desirable and therefore house prices in the area go up. This gives the middle class the advantage as the working class will not be able to afford houses in that area, getting priced out of the catchment area.
Another policy that gives advantage to the middle class if Ofsted reports and League Tables. It is said that because the middle class are probably better educated and can make more informed decisions about what school is best for their child.
When looking at secondary schools, if your child wants to apply to a grammar school, they must sit the 11 plus examination to allow them to go. Middle class parent can afford to pay for a tutor to help their child pass the exam and get a place at a grammar school whereas working class parents are less likely t be able to afford a tutor, giving their child a lower chance of getting a place.
Education Maintenance Allowance was introduced in 2004 giving a weekly allowance to those who stay on to further education and whose parents do not earn a certain amount. This gives the working class money so that they can afford t pay for equipment for school and maybe help to support the family. This means that a lot more working class children stay on to get a levels rather than get a job.

Middle and upper class children are usually sent to private schools with better facilities and smaller class sizes. Although, they offer scholarships to private schools, working class children are at a huge disadvantage. Smaller class sizes mean that the teacher can focus on the individuals more and work one to one.
Private schools also offer much better facilities to their pupils and they have much better discipline because their parents are paying for it.
Overall, i think that the middle class pupils are at a huge advantage in the education system and although it can be argued by sociologists such as Raey that the working class parents do not care about their child’s education, they in fact care more because they want their child to have a better life.
5. The education system reinforces the traditional gender roles to a certain extent. On way in which this happens is with the number of boys and girls doing certain subjects. When we look at a survey from 2006/2007 it showed that a significant amount of boys were taking subjects like science and electronics and there was very few girls.
However, when we looked at the social subjects and food technology girls out- numbered the boys. Although, the media could play a big part in this by advertising using the Beckhams as David’s away playing football whilst Victoria stays at home with the kids. So this could be argued that it is nothing to do with the education system but they could encourage students to take different subjects.
Another way its reinforced is through text books, there are always photos of girls in food tech or with their head in a book in the library whilst the boys are playing football.
In history lessons the main focus is on the men of history i.e. Henry VII. There is never a lot of women’s history taught to students. This reinforces the typical traditional gender roles as the male is out of work.
Overall, there is a lot of evidence proving that the education system reinforces traditional gender roles and much evidence arguing against this.

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