14.1 - coachclendenin

Report
THE SOCIOLOGY OF
EDUCATION
14.1
Introduction

Society’s future largely depends on the
successful socialization of new members
 Young
members must be taught norms and values
and skills necessary to continue the work of the
older generation
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Education- consists of the roles and norms that
ensure the transmission of knowledge, values,
and patterns of behavior to one generation to
the next
Introduction
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Preindustrial societies: education is informal
and occurs through process of socialization
within the family; cooking, pottery making,
food gathering, hunting, and fishing
More complex societies: the family shares the
process of educating the young with formal
established organizations
 Schooling:
formal education, which involves
instruction by specially trained teachers who follow
officially recognized policies
Functionalist Perspective

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Believe that the functions performed by
education work to maintain the stability and
smooth operation of society
Teaching Knowledge and Skills
 Basic
function of education is to teach children the
knowledge and skills they will need in the adult
world
 Use language,
literature, history, geography,
mathematics, science and foreign languages
 Education serves
to generate new knowledge
Functionalist Perspective

Transmission of Culture: To survive, societies
must pass on the core values of their culture to
following generations
 Teach
patriotism, loyalty, and socially acceptable
forms of behavior
 American Culture: salute the flag, recite the Pledge
of Alliance, stand for National Anthem, freeenterprise system, individualism and democracy
 Schools teach socially acceptable behavior by
teaching children to be punctual, to obey rules, and
to respect authority
Functionalist Perspective

Social Integration: Education serves to
produce a society of individuals who share a
common national identity
 “melting
pot”- immigrants identities were melted
down to form a new, American identity
 Today: view American society as mosaic- a picture
formed by putting together small pieces of tile.
Tiles represent separate and distinct people and
cultures
Functionalist Perspective

Occupational Placement: Education often serves to screen and
select the members of society for the work they will do as adults
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United States: Identify and students who show special talents and
abilities at an early age
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Societies assign adult positions on the basis of ascribed status or on
the basis of achieved statuses
Tested and evaluated
Steered toward college-prep courses while others are steered toward
vocational courses or other non-college programs
Japanese: only admitted to college if they pass entrance exams
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Very demanding and require large amounts of studying
“cram schools”- prepare for the tests
“examination war”- national event and have media coverage
Future employment depends on the university and scores
Conflict Perspective

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Believe that educational system serves to limit the
potential of certain individuals and groups to gain
power and social rewards
Social Control: serves to produce unquestioning
citizens who accept the basic inequalities of the
social system

Hidden curriculum: school’s transmission of cultural
goals that are not openly acknowledged
Teaching conservative set of values that center on obedience
to authority
 Goal: to produce cooperative adult workers who will willingly
accept the demands of the those in power

Conflict Perspective

Tracking: the assignment of students to different types of
educational programs, such as general studies, vocational
training, and college-preparatory studies
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View tracking as a means by which the wealthy and powerful
maintain their position in society
Assigned tracks on the basis of intelligence and aptitude test scores,
classroom grades, and teacher evaluations
Minorities and lower social classes are typically assigned lower
tracks
Higher tracks: assigned college-track courses geared for college prep
and higher paying jobs
Lower Tracks: blue-collar vocational jobs with low salaries and
prestige
Jeanne Oaks: higher –track classes encourage the development of
skills related to critical thinking, problem-solving, and creative
writing; lower-track: memorization and class room drills
Conflict Perspective

Educational and Socioeconomic Status
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Believe that education is the key to social mobility
Functionalist: view education as a system that gives all
people the chance to succeed according to their own abilities
and talents
Conflict Sociologists: argue that the opportunities for
educational success and social mobility are distributed
unequally
Education achievement appears to be tied strongly to
socioeconomic status
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Higher status families: assume that their children will succeed at
school and therefore tend to motivate them toward the end
Lower Status families: hope their children will be successful, but
do not necessarily believe education is the key to success
Conflict Perspective
 Higher-status
families are better able to provide a
home environment well-suited to enrich learning
 Homes contain books, and
toys that stimulate creativity
and thought
 Higher-status
families are better able to pay the
expenses of putting their children through college
Interactionist Perspective


Seek to explain social phenomena in terms of
the interaction among the individuals involved
Rist’s Study: student-teacher interaction in
grade school; students put into three groups
based on social class– fast, average, and slow
learners; fast learners receive more attention
and praise than the other learners; at end of year
fast learners were performing at a higher level
Interactionist Perspective
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Pederson and Annette Study: power of teacher expectations
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Teacher encouraged all students, worked with slow learners as
much or more then fast learners, stressed the value of education
and the importance of hard work
Rosenthal and Jacobsen’s Study: tested grade school students;
picked at random not the best scorers and showed them more
attention and care and they proved to do better than those not
selected
All three studies provide examples of the self-fulfilling
prophecy- a prediction that leads to behavior that the
prediction come true---”teachers, through words and actions,
let students know what is expected of them, and the students
perform according to these expectations

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