School & Society PowerPoint - Oct 17


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University of Minnesota
Fall 2006

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  • No need for intro here.
    Just go strait to next slide:
  • (Have students turn to a partner to discuss this question).
    Listen to students responses from different perspectives.
    “We’re going to address this statement throughout class today from many angles.
    It is my hope that by the time you leave your discussion groups, you will have a greater understanding of the large role that schools play in maintaining and shaping society, as well as how it is influenced by society.”
  • Today’s topic is Sociology of Education
    And because the title of the class is School and Society, I have come to the conclusions that this is the most important week of the whole semester.
    Maybe not.
    That being said however, I must apologize for assigning an awful supplementary reading (Explain) during the most important week of class. That’s OK, next week’s readings will make up for this week.
    So…..Sociology of Education. How many of you thought this was an important topic prior to doing the readings?
    Sociology is a challenging discipline to grasp. However, it is simply the study of society or social groups. It examines the norms, values, and beliefs that contribute to processes among individuals, groups, and collectives. (exp)
    How often do you wonder why schools work the way they do? Why are some schools more successful with certain students than others? Why do teachers behave the way they do? Give me some questions that confuse you about the nature of education.
    The purpose of today’s class is to begin to answer some of these questions. We will provide you with frames and theories that sociologists use to understand the nature of education. It is hoped that by the time you leave your discussion groups, you will have a greater understanding of the large role that schools play in maintaining and shaping society, as well as how it is influenced by society.”
  • When discussing relationships/structures, ask for examples in education:
    Students w/students, Student/teacher, Teacher/principal
    Teacher/teacher, School and parents, Principal/superintendent
    Superintendent/commissioner of education, School/local bank
    School and businesses – Give example of my elementary school working with a local engineering company in the 80’s…School was created as result of sputnik – will discuss later.
    Not necessarily race and ethnicity
    Norms, values, beliefs that are upheld among individuals, groups, and larger collectives. ASK FOR EXAMPLES
    Federal Government (relating to education)
    Your current school (school motto – Patrick Henry-revolutionary, do-gooders, stand up for what’s right) THESE ARE ALSO VALUES THAT ARE NATIONALLY UPHELD
  • Positivism
    Eg: Production function – put in X, outcomes Y
    In Japan, students attend more hours of schooling, that’s why they perform high than the US on international tests.
    (After discussing Constructivism, give example of BVE:
    Teachers researching practices to best fit their needs.
    Teachers selecting the educational model they determined was most appropriate.
    Modeling teaching practices
    Ask students for examples of positivist and constructivist behaviors or actions that they’ve witnessed in their schools.
    If no one responds (
    Ask about Small learning communities/PLCs
  • Questions:
    Can anyone give an example of this?
    Ask if anyone has ever worked in a school where new changes were trying to be implemented but the institutional structure, or school culture was so heavily ingrained in the school that made it difficult to realize the goals.
    Discuss experiences from teachers in the teacher leadership class.
    Embedded structure/cultures (teacher power)
    PLCs successes and challenges
  • Examples:
    Charter Schools – MN was the first state to implement Charter schools under Governor Arnie Carlson in 1991 or 93.
    Open Enrollment
    Home schooling
    Public schools have multiple programs and communities within their schools during and after school.
    The types of courses offered in a school
    Curriculum varies within and across schools
    After school programs
    Quote from teacher – We’re like a 7-11, we’re open 24-7, people are always here
    Strong arts programs
    Egan high school – Building an airplane
  • Question:
    Ask for examples that they might have pulled from any of the readings or their personal experience. Did anyone include anything in their reflection that reflects norms, values, and assumptions in education.
    ITERATE that Norms, values, and assumptions are not just parts of processes that are carried out by individuals, they are also upheld and carried out in larger collectives.
  • School & Society PowerPoint - Oct 17

    1. 1. Sociology of Education EDHD 5005: School and Society October 17, 2006 Presentation by: Emanda Thomas
    2. 2. Do you agree with this quote? Why or why not? How do you feel about this statement.  “The values, beliefs, and norms of a society are internalized within children so that they come to think and act like other members of society…schools socially and culturally reproduce the existing society though the systemic socialization of it’s youngest members.”
    3. 3. Class overview:  Why Sociology of Education is important?  Theories of Sociology of Education  Processes  Norms, Values, Beliefs  Lot’s of discussion in class
    4. 4. A Brief Introduction to Sociology  Sociology focuses on the study of relationships between people, and the structures they develop  Relationships/structures can include small groups and larger collectives.  The study of sociology is embedded in culture
    5. 5. Why is it important? “Without clear thinking, good information, and honest assessments, education as an institution is bound to move into the future like a ship without a rudder, floundering, directionless, and in danger of sinking. Before better educational programs can be designed, educators must know what works and what does not. The empirical and conceptual tools of sociology are ideally suited to this task because they guide one toward systematic thinking and realism about what is actually possible.” (Sadovnik et al., 112)
    6. 6. Four major theories of sociology  Positivist theories: 1. Functionalism 2. Conflict  Constructivist theories: 3. Institutionalism 4. Post-modern
    7. 7. Positivism vs. Constructivism  Both are perspectives/lenses  Positivism  Knowledge reflects an objective external reality.  Constructivism  Human beings discover and authenticate knowledge through their personal experience.
    8. 8. Functionalism, Durkheim  Education’s larger purpose is to support social/cultural development and the effective functioning of social structures.  Education for all is important for social cohesion  Moral education
    9. 9. Conflict, Marx  The powerful classes dominate education.  All education is experienced through the knowledge that is approved for each social class.  Formal educational structures support the preferences of the elite.
    10. 10. Contemporary Structuralism, Institutionalism  Existing institutional structures and norms dominate the goals, procedures and outcomes of major social sectors, including (especially) education.  Education’s larger purpose is to support the status quo.
    11. 11. Post Modernism  Educational institutions reflect local values. Educational institutions are based on local preferences and promote variability rather than uniformity in knowledge and achievement. We do not.
    12. 12. Interactional, Bernstein An additional Theory from Sadovnik et al.  Emphasizes a micro understanding of schools and society.  The processes which lead to the structure  How are student’s determined to be gifted or learning disabled?  Processes carry norms, values, and assumptions
    13. 13. Norms, Values, Assumptions  Norms – behavior, patterns, rituals, traditions, rules, etc.  Values – what an a person or group stands for, defines fundamental character, a sense of identity  Assumptions or Beliefs – What is generally understood as truth and agreed upon by an individual or group.
    14. 14. Effects of Schooling on Individuals What contributes to effects:  Difference between schools  Curriculum, teacher quality, academics, teacher expectations, time in school  Considering issues of class, race, gender, special needs, etc.
    15. 15. Effects of Schooling on Individuals  Knowledge and attitudes that are learned in school  Employment opportunities  Education and Mobility  Context mobility vs. sponsored mobility
    16. 16. Think about and discuss:  “…why do [students] study the materials that they do? Who selects what people teach and learn, and why? Is knowledge value free or socially constructed?” (Sadovnik et al, 113)
    17. 17. Questions???