Role of Education: Functionalists - Coggle Diagram
Role of Education: Functionalists
Education system helps to create social solidarity- transmits society's culture, shared beliefs and values from one generation to the next e.g. history instils a sense of shared heritage, learning British values enforces social solidarity and maintains social cohesion
Schools acts as a society in miniature, preparing pupils for life in wider society e.g. cooperating with new people (teachers, students) helps teach cooperation with colleagues, customers at work
Society needs a sense of solidarity, members need to feel a sense of belonging and community otherwise everyone just pursues their own selfish desires
Industrial societies are highly complex, there's a specialised division of labour: production of one item requires many different specialists. Education teaches individuals the specialist knowledge and skills needed to play their part in the social division of labour.
Education provides one of the major methods for upward social mobility. Schools and universities help students progress towards the careers they want.
Davis and Moore
Inequality is necessary- ensures that the most important roles in society are filled by the most talented people. Not everyone is equally talented so society must offer higher rewards for these jobs. This encourages everyone to compete for them, and society selects the most talented to fill these positions.
Education is a
proving ground for ability
"sifts and sorts"
us according to our ability and the
most able gain the highest qualifications
, can gain most important and highly rewarded positions.
Schools select and allocate pupils to their future work roles by assessing their abilities. They help to match them to the job they are most suited to- it is a device for selection and role allocation.
Blau and Duncan (1978):
modern economy depends on using "human capital" (workers skills) for prosperity. Meritocratic education does this best as each person can be allocated into the job most suited for them= maximises productivity and use of talents
Within the family, child is judged by particularistic standards: rules that apply only to that particular child. The child's status is also ascribed e.g. elder son and younger daughter given different rights/ duties due to differences of age and sex
In school and wider society, we are judged by universalistic, impersonal standards- in school everyone is judged against the same standards, in society all must follow the same laws
In school and society, status is achieved not ascribed. Success based on individual effort, so getting the promotion, passing exams is down to how hard you work. School is based on meritocratic principles as everyone is given equal opportunity and individuals achieve rewards though their own effort and ability.
School is a focal socialising agency, acts as a bridge between the family and wider society. This is needed as family and society operate on different principles so children must learn to adapt to the wider world.
: Davis and Moore produce a circular argument. We only classify a job as highly important if it is highly paid, and a job is highly paid if it is classified as important.
: education does not transmit the shared values of society, only the values of the bourgeoisie
Education system does not teach specialised skills adequately.
Wolf Review of vocational education (2011):
high quality apprenticeships are rare, 1/3 of 16-19 year olds on courses that do not lead to high education or good jobs
functionalists have an overly-socialised view of people as puppets that passively accept values taught to them, but some pupils reject school's values (Interactionist)
education promotes competition and individualism and not shared values.