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Assess the view that the functions of the education system is to select and prepare individuals for their future

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Introduction

Assess the view that the functions of the education system is to select and prepare individuals for their future The term education can be defined as a type of secondary socialisation, where individuals learn the knowledge and skills necessary to function in society. The education system is central to the way that we organise our society, it is also central to the way we see ourselves in society in the future. It forms part of way that we pass on social norms, values and morals to individuals. The education system was introduced in 1880 due to the fact that the bourgeoisie required a workforce who could read and write. Over the years the education system changed to meet the needs of society and the economy within it. An example of one of these changes occurred in 1976 when Prime Minister Callaghan made a speech at Ruskin College about how education was not meeting the needs of many employers. Meaning that certain skills needed for the workforce, such as ICT were not being taught in schools and this needed to be changed. The functionalist view supports the fact that the education system is there to select and prepare individuals for their future. ...read more.

Middle

This supports the idea that the education system prepares individuals for the world of work in a further way than their family can. The education system is based on 'universalistic standards' according to Parsons, this means that within a school there is expected behaviour which every pupil should abide by. This is different to within a family, because each individual would behave differently at home according to the 'particularistic standards' of their family. Also within your family you have an ascribed status such as sister or daughter, however within school you have an achieved status and this can depend on how well you behave etc. Functionalists say that education is a selective process which separates individuals according to their abilities. This is shown by Davis and Moore's research where they found that the education system 'sifts, sorts and grades' individuals. They believe that within our education we should be competitive, and this will allow people to be matched with the best jobs for them in the future. Marxists view the education system as a system that will benefit the bourgeoisie and the capitalist economy by selecting and preparing individuals for their future. ...read more.

Conclusion

Another theory by Bowles and Gintis is the 'hidden curriculum'; this means other things that are learnt within the education system other than the usual subjects. Individuals learn about other aspects such as punctuality, obedience and respect for authority without officially knowing they're learning about it. Learning about all these aspects prepares individuals for the world of work. They argue that capitalism requires a workforce with the kind of attitudes, behaviour and personality type suited to their role as alienated and exploited workers willing to accept hard work, low pay and orders from higher levels of authority. Overall the view that the functions of the education system are there to select and prepare individuals for their future is correct. The education system is there to provide young people with an education which will allow them to have a better future. The education system selects individuals according to their abilities, it then prepares people for the career in which suits them best. It teaches individuals about the norms, values and morals of society in a more in depth way than they have already been taught by their family. It legitimates the ideologies that it teaches, therefore giving the individuals a greater understanding of why they follow certain rules and do certain things, which will prepare them for their future. ...read more.

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