After studying this chapter, you should be able to do the following: Describe the manifest and latent functions of education according to the Functionalist view. Explain the nature of education from the conflict theory view. Explain the causes and effects of racial segregation in the public schools. Discuss the extent to which high-school dropouts are a social problem.
EDUCATION Lester Frank Ward believed: The source of inequality in society was the unequal distribution of knowledge. The main purpose of education was to equalize society by diffusing knowledge to all.
EDUCATION Functionalists Stress the importance of education in socializing the young, transmitting the culture, and developing skills. Conflict theorists Note that education preserves social class distinctions, maintains social control, and promotes inequality.
FUNCTIONALIST VIEWWhat social needs does our education system meet? What are its tasks and goals?
FUNCTIONALIST VIEW SOCIAL FUNCTIONS - Social processes that contribute to the ongoing operation or maintenance of society. MANIFEST FUNCTIONS - The intended or recognized consequences of those processes. LATENT FUNCTIONS - Unintended or not normally recognized consequences.
FUNCTIONALIST VIEW MANIFEST LATENT Socialization Cultural Transmission Academic Skills Innovation Child Care Postponing Job Hunting
MANIFEST FUNCTIONSSOCIALIZATION There is a need for the formal educational system to extend the socialization process that starts in the familyCULTURAL TRANSMISSION Major portions of society’s knowledge are passed from one generation to the next.
MANIFEST FUNCTIONSACADEMIC SKILLS - Skills needed to hold a job. - Ability to analyze information - Ability to understand financial transactions - Knowledge to participate in political life
MANIFEST FUNCTIONSINNOVATION Need to transmit society’s knowledge, and part of that knowledge consists of the means by which new knowledge is to be sought. Learning how to think independently and creatively is a very valuable tool
LATENT FUNCTIONSCHILD CARE One latent function of many public schools is to provide child care outside the nuclear family. - The actual school day. - Feeding programs – over half of U.S. school children are now provided free meals. - After school programs, both academic, sports and pure child care provisions - Health and dental screenings
LATENT FUNCTIONSPostponing Job Hunting - Requirements to stay in high school until age 18 keeps those under 18 out of full time work - More and more young American adults are choosing to go to college or technical skills, keeping them out of the work force longer
LATENT FUNCTIONS AFFIRMING SOCIAL BOUNDARIES - Residential patterns tend to group people of similar socio-economic status in the same EL-HI systems. - Many top private colleges accept a large portion of their students from upper and upper middle class backgrounds - In both settings this leads to children from like backgrounds being grouped together in their social relationships
CONFLICT THEORY VIEWBACKGROUND Certain groups in society come to dominate others The educational system is a means for maintaining the status quoEDUCATION 1. Socializes students into ruling class values 2. Helps to maintain order and stifle creativity 3. Produces the types of people the system needs.
CONFLICT THEORY VIEWSocial Control Conflict theorists conclude that the most important lessons learned in school are not those listed in the formal curriculum but, rather, involve a hidden curriculum. DEF: The social attitudes and values taught in school that prepare children to accept the requirements of adult life and to fit into the social, political, and economic statuses the society provides for them.
CONFLICT THEORY VIEWHIDDEN CURRICULUMSchools develop personal control and socialskills in children To succeed in school the child must master the academic AND the hidden curriculum The hidden curriculum emphasizes being docile, respecting peers and other non-academic norms
CONFLICT THEORY VIEWTRACKING – Screening and Allocation DEF: The separation of students into streams that lead to differential education based on ability. In principle, American schools do not practice this. But consider: 1. Within most schools there are college tracks, normal tracks and vocational tracks 2. There are public, private and elite schools 3. There are private colleges that admit based on family background.
CONFLICT THEORY VIEWThe Credentialized Society A degree or certificate has become necessary to perform a vast variety of jobs. This limits the ability of others to do this type of work. The credential does not necessarily mean that the recipient can perform the job better. If the necessary credential is a college degree, even if it is unrelated to the job, then the credential acts as a gate keeper to the better jobs and may keep out malcontents, etc.
Median Income by Education Level Male FemaleHigh School Dropout $27,180 $20,341High School $37,632 $27,477Some College or $46,562 $34,745Associate’s DegreeBachelor’s Degree $65,011 $47,333Advanced Degree $88,840 $61,228
AMERICAN EDUCATION ISSUESUnequal Access Due to residential patterns there is de facto segregation in the schools There is also low college participation among some groups due to cost, inadequate preparation and the fact that college seems like a foreign culture because it reflects the upper classes Separate but equal has not worked for minorities
AMERICAN EDUCATION ISSUES E.S L. English as a Second Language There is debate whether to teach in multiple languages until children become proficient or whether to teach in English only and force assimilation. 6.3 million children aged 5 to 17, or 14%, speak a language other than English at home. Another 3.2 million elementary and secondary school students are classified as having limited English proficiency.
AMERICAN EDUCATION ISSUESHigh-School Dropouts Highest drop out rate is among hispanics 10% of males, and 8% of females drop out Dropping out affects not only those who leave school, but also society in general for many reasons: They pay less in taxes They have increased demand for social services including welfare, medical assistance, and unemployment compensation. Dropouts have poorer health. Half of all state prison inmates did not complete high school, while they are only17% of the population
AMERICAN EDUCATION ISSUES HOME SCHOOLING There are three main reasons why parents choose to home school : Concerned about the school environment Provide religious or moral instruction They are dissatisfied with the academic instruction available at the available schools
AMERICAN EDUCATION ISSUESSTANDARDIZED TESTING Much criticism has been leveled at standardized tests. The testing services say the tests merely try to chart, scientifically and objectively, different levels of mental achievement and aptitude. The critics assert that the tests are invalid academically and biased against minorities.
AMERICAN EDUCATION ISSUES GENDER BIAS - 2 TYPES At the academic level there continues to be more favorable treatment of males by teachers, and less attention being payed to females However, the socialization process of schools tends to more harshly affect males who are more prone to act out.
AMERICAN EDUCATION ISSUESTHE GIFTED Many feel that the gifted are being shortchanged in public schools It has been proposed that gifted children have three atypical traits: Precociousness-–gifted children begin early to master some domain Nonconformity, an insistence on doing things according to their own specific rules A rage to master, or a desire to know everything there is to know about a subject.