• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Assess the role of education form the functionalist perspective

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Assess the role of education form the functionalist perspective Functionalists believe that education performs very important roles for individuals, the economy and the wider social structure. It provides secondary socialisation, passing on shared culture enables individuals to develop their potential and regulates their behaviour. Functionalists argue that education has three broad; socialisation where education helps to maintain society by socialising young people in to key cultural values, such as achievement, individualism, equality of opportunity, social solidarity and democracy. The second one is skills provision in which education teaches the skills required by a modern industrial society. These may be general skills that everyone needs such as literacy and numeracy or the specific skills needed for particular occupations. And the final function is role allocation, where education allocates people to the most appropriate jobs for their talents using examination and qualifications. This is seen to be fair because there is equality of opportunity, everyone has the chance to achieve success in society on the basis of their ability. ...read more.

Middle

Educational mechanisms such as grades, examinations, references and qualifications are used to sort individuals. Society is this a meritocracy in which people are rewarded for intelligence, ability and effort. Functional importance is decided by length and specialist training required for particular occupations. It is claimed that to be a brain surgeon, for example takes much more talent, education and training than to be a nurse. Therefore in order to ensure that people are prepared to undertake long and expensive training, the rewards offered must be substantially greater for surgeons than for nurses. "A medical education is a burdensome and expensive that virtually none would undertake it if the MD did not carry a reward commensurate with the sacrifice" (Davis and Moore). Inequality is therefore functionally necessary. If everyone had the same levels of pay and status no one would be prepared to take on the most difficult and responsible jobs, it is argued. ...read more.

Conclusion

The functionalist's view that education provides pupils with the skills for work has also been criticised. Since these are often not acquired at school but from additional trainings by employers. New right thinkers and some labour politicians, criticise schools for teaching things not relevant for work. Others argue that education really only has a baby-sitting or control function. It's a way of controlling young people and of allowing parents to go out and work. Functionalists are useful in drawing attention to the many functions education can perform but they are probably wrong to see them as well-being for the goods of individuals and society as a whole. For example it may be only the ruling class who benefit from education producing a docile workforce. From another perspective, interactionists would argue that they have an over socialised view of individuals and that we cant see education in terms of 'functions' anyway we should look instead at how individuals interact with schools rather than seeing education as a thing which shape the individuals in societies interests. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Work & Leisure section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Work & Leisure essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Critically Evaluate the Functionalist Perspective on Education

    5 star(s)

    Thus this once again serves the needs of society, by placing student s onto the right career path and eventually putting the most skilled people in the most skilled and so meaning that society has fully qualified and able people in the jobs necessary to its stability.

  2. What is education for? Critically evaluate the diverse functions of education with reference to ...

    the economic order and that the inequalities still persisted through five decades I will now discuss the New Labour educational policies of 1997 to see how they compare to social policies of previous governments in relation to the functions of education.

  1. 'The function of education is to reproduce and legitimate social inequality. Discuss.'

    The education system provides the job 'allocation' for society. Thirdly, according to the Functionalist approach, the education system contributes to the cohesion of society by transmitting to the new generations the 'core' values of that society, otherwise known as the common cultural heritage.

  2. Examination of the Functionalist view that schools serve the interests of both society and ...

    they all had an equal opportunity to do well and therefore that inequalities in society are legitimate. Those who have done well have deserved to do so and thus are not a figure for resentment. Functionalists Davis and Moore support this view, that a major function of the education system

  1. a) With reference to the Items and elsewhere, assess the view that the introduction ...

    Talcott parsons, a functionalist, believes the education system serves an economic function. This function is selecting the most able students through examinations to do the best-paid jobs in society. The "best" jobs in society go to those who deserve them by trying hardest in the educational system.

  2. Using material from Item A and elsewhere assess the contribution of functionalist sociology to ...

    Modern industrial society is largely based on achievement than ascribed status and universalistic rather than particularistic standards. This shows that school prepares children for their adult role. Parsons also said that school socialises young people into the basic values of society and that value consensus is essential for society to operate efficiency.

  1. Assess the claim that the nuclear family as a dominant form of family structure ...

    They believe that the conventional patriarchal nuclear family, which includes a married couple and traditional gender division of labour, best meets individual and social needs.

  2. Examining equality in Education.

    1978, over 80% of state secondary education was organised alongside comprehensive lines. ie. a system of schooling open to all children of the right age and within a particular catchment area, regardless of ability, gender, class or race. Throughout the 1980's, the policies of the Conservative government were characterised with

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work