Sunday, 16 May 2010

sociology viewpoints on education


• Education links to other institutions e.g. workplace or social services.
• It is the bridge!
• Education is responsible for secondary socialisation. Broadens the individual’s experiences. Parsons ‘emancipation of the child from primary attachment to the family.’
• Pupils learn at school acceptable and unacceptable behaviour. Secondly, pupils learn self control at school.
• Deferred gratification: we cant always have what we want when we want it! E.g. put up with boring lessons to get your grade!
• Transmission of cultural values- children appreciate and learn about different cultures.
• School helps pupils understand that despite being individuals we have to learn to find things in common with other people.
• Schools should be meritocratic- rewards our based on our merits e.g. knowledge, skills
• Parsons ‘ It is fair to give differential rewards for the different levels of achievement, so long as there has been fair access to opportunity and fair that these rewards lead on to higher order opportunities for the successful.

• Cultural reproduction= Louise Althuser argues that the economic system has to be reproduced from one generation to the next. In other words, each new generation has to be taught the skills and knowledge and ideas required for them to take up positions in the workplace.
• They claim some are educated just enough for them to be useful employees and a small number are educated more than enough to take up high powered work roles.
• Education and Society- there is a correspondence between what employers want and what schools provide.
• Althusser- children learn at school skills and knowledge needed for the workplace. Children learn social control- they have to learn to respect and accept authority. Schools also commodify knowledge- testing and exams are part of a process where knowledge is given an economic value, in other words it can be bought and sold. For example your knowledge of sociology will be economically worthless unless you pass your a.s. level.
• Pierre Bourdieu 1986 schools are the natural habitat of the middle and upper classes. They reflect their interests values and beliefs. The working class is like a fish out of water. Their values and beliefs are based are difficult because of cultural capital. The idea in basic terms that our social backgrounds give us advantages and disadvantages. Thus working class children have to learn how to learn before they can actually learn the things on the school curriculum which gives them decided disadvantages in the educational game.


• Eichler: the education system contributed to the way women saw their primary adult role in terms of the private sphere of the family. Traditional assumptions about masculinity and femininity continue to influence both family and work relationships.
• Norman (just a bunch of girls) In early years teaching, female roles related to mother /carer are influenced.
• Stanworth in 1981 found that A level pupils underestimated girls’ academic performance and teachers saw female futures in terms of marriage
• Woods-despite the National Curriculum, a gendered curriculum still exists.
• Spender 1983 argues that the curriculum was still geared towards the needs and interests of boys so to render girls invisible.
• Deem 1980 argued that the school curriculum and subject choices were highly gendered.
• Mahony 1985 argues that girls are frequently marginalised in the classroom by boys and teachers.
• Treneman- Will the boys who cant read still end up as the men on top? The pay gap between men and women still, for example reveals an average 20% difference over an individual’s lifetime.
• Warrington And Young 2000 claim that male and female aspirations still reflected traditional gender roles
• Gordon- although teachers praised girls’ efforts, they reported finding boys more interesting to teach and gave them more time and effort to motivate and retain their attention.

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