Education: Func/Marx
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Education: Func/Marx

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Education: Func/Marx Education: Func/Marx Presentation Transcript

  • SCLY2:
    The Function of Education
    The Functionalist View
    The Marxist View
  • We don't need no education.We don't need no thought control.No dark sarcasm in the classroom.Teacher, leave them kids alone.Hey, teacher, leave them kids alone!All in all its just another brick in the wall.All in all you're just another brick in the wall.We don't need no education.We don't need no thought control.No dark sarcasm in the classroom.Teachers, leave them kids alone.Hey, teacher, leave them kids alone!All in all you're just another brick in the wall.All in all you're just another brick in the wall.
    ©Artemis MuziekuitgeverijB.v.
  • Why Study Education?
    Schools are the first organisations most of us attend on our own.
    Education is the continuation of the socialisation started in the family
    There is a close connection between the economy and skills acquired in education
    The kind of work people do is influenced by the kind of education they get.
    The issue of who does well and who doesn't in education is a key concern of sociologists.
    The experience of school affects our experiences of other organisations
  • A Functionalist view of Education
    Functionalists view education in terms of the “functions” it performs in society. This implies a non conflict view of society
    Functionalists believe there are four main functions of education
    the transmission of cultural values
    social control
    economic training
    social selection
  • Transmission of Cultural Values
    Sociologists such as Durkheim and Parsons emphasise this role
    Parsons suggests school provides a bridge between family and society at which universal values such as; equality of opportunity, competition, individualism and achievement are promoted. The school therefore transmits the core values of society
    Durkheim identifies particular subjects as important in enabling children to feel a sense of belonging to society viz. History, English, Religious Education
    Cultural transmission is reinforced by other agencies - family, mass media etc.
  • Social Control
    Functionalists argue every society has a need to regulate the activities of citizens to some extent
    School teaches us about acceptable and unacceptable behaviour
    School also teaches a knowledge and acceptance of the political and economic system in which we live
  • Economic Training
    Functionalist argue that schools produce an adequate supply of sufficiently trained labour for the modern economy
    As the economy becomes more complex education must provide a labour force to meet those needs
    Thus the “New Vocationalism” of the Conservatives in the 1980s and 1990s was an acknowledgement that perhaps this important function was not being adequately carried out by schools.
  • Social Selection
    Functionalists such as Davis and Moore suggest that an important function of education is to allocate people to occupations which best suit their abilities
    The exam system tests and sorts society’s citizens in such a way that society makes best use of its available talents
    Both the talented and the less talented end up in useful jobs that contribute to the smooth running of society
  • An evaluation of the Functionalist view
    The functionalist position suggests that everyone benefits from the functions carried out by the education system
    Conflict theories such as the Marxist approach argue that this is not the case. Rather, education is seen as part of the apparatus that legitimises and reproduces societies inequalities and divisions
  • The New Right Perspective
    Conservative (traditionalist) political perspective with many similarities to functionalists
    A central principle is that the state cannot meet every individual’s needs and therefore people are best left to meet their own needs through the free market
    They believe that some people are naturally more talented than others
    Agree with meritocracy and serving the economy by preparing students for work
    Believe education should socialise pupils into shared values such as competition and instil a sense of national identity
  • The New Right Perspective
    They don’t, however, believe the current education system provides all these goals
    They believe the reason it fails is because it is run by the state
    Politicians and bureaucrats use the power of the state to impose their view of what kind of schools we should have
    The state tends to have a ‘one size fits all’ approach imposing uniformity and disregarding local needs
    Pupils, parents and employers have no say
  • The New Right Perspective
    The New Rights solution to these problems is the marketisationof education
    They believe that competition and the laws of supply and demand will empower the consumers (parents, pupils and employers) bringing greater diversity, choice and efficiency to schools and increasing their ability to meet everyone’s needs
  • Chubb &Moe(1990)….
    Call for the introduction of a market system that would put education in the hands of the consumers
    They propose that schools should not automatically get funding from the state regardless of how well they perform
    Instead each family would be given a voucher to spend on buying education from a school of their choice
    This would force schools to become more supportive of parents wishes since the vouchers would be the main source of the schools income
    Schools would have to compete for business, thus improving their product for the customers
    Applied to nursery & pre-school provision
  • Two roles for the state
    Although the New Right see the importance of market forces in education, they still believe that the state plays an important role:
    Firstly, the state imposes a framework on schools within which they have to compete - league tables mean that parents can make an informed choice about their child’s education
    Secondly, the state ensures that schools transmit a shared culture - by imposing a single National curriculum, they guarantee that schools socialise pupils into a single national heritage
  • National(ist?) Curriculum
    History
    English
    Geography
    Languages
    Religious Education
    Science
    PE
  • The New Right believe that education should affirm national identity:
    The curriculum should emphasise Britain’s positive role in history and teach specifically British literature
    There should be a Christian act of worship everyday as Christianity is Britain’s main religion
    The aim is to integrate pupils into a single set of cultural values and tradition
    They are opposed to multi-cultural education that reflects the cultures of the different ethnic minority groups in British society
  • Criticisms of the New Right
    Gewirtz and Ball argue that competition only benefits the middle classes who can use their cultural and economic capital to gain access to more desirable schools
    Critics argue that the real cause of failure is not state control but social inequality and inadequate funding of state schools
    There is a contradiction between the New Right support for parental choice on the one hand the imposing a compulsory National Curriculum on the other hand
    Marxists argue that education does not impose a shared national culture but imposes the culture of a dominant minority ruling class. It devalues the culture of the working class and ethnic minorities.
  • The Marxist View of Education
  • Examples of the Marxist approach
    Louis Althusser sees the role of education as ideological
    Capitalist values are promoted via the hidden curriculum (informal learning)
    Althusser argue working class children never come into contact with ways of thinking that challenge the status quo. Capitalism is thus portrayed as the only possible system
    Through rules, routines streaming and selection working class children learn their “place” in society and are conditioned to accept failure
  • Bowles and Gintis
    In “Schooling in Capitalist Society” Bowles and Gintis claim that schools reward conformity over intelligence and achievement
    In their study of American high school students they found that the best grades were achieved by hard working obedient children rather than the creative, aggressive and independent ones
    They also noted that schooling “corresponds” with boring factory line production to prepare future workers for their lot in society
  • Marxists and the New Vocationalism
    Marxists have been especially critical of this
    Vocational schemes are interpreted as helping legitimise class division because they promote the idea that the middle class receive education whereas the working class receive training
    Youth Training Scheme (YTS) was an early vocational initiative that was criticised
  • Bates (1988/9) - Youth Training Scheme
    She used observation in classroom and interviews with YTS students going into ‘caring’ professions with children
    Students realised that there were very few jobs with children and were pushed to the ‘elderly’
    Dealing with incontinence, death etc was a severe shock to many
    Many students ‘survived’ and went in to this line of work
  • Functionalists see vocational education as a good thing – providing the skills needed by employers
    Marxists see vocational education as a bad thing – it gives W/C children a second class education and an unrealistic expectation for the future
  • Conclusion
    Functionalism is a non conflict model
    Marxism is a conflict model
    The New Right borrow much from the Functionalists but emphasise competition at all levels
    They are all structuralist in their approach, paying attention to social institutions and structures over individuals
    They pay little attention to the interaction between teachers and pupils or how teachers and pupils interpret what is going on in schools