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essay question sociology - education

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Is the education system based on merit? (25) According to Durkhiem (Functionalist), school provides a positive function, he states that education is important to create social solidarity, in socializing individuals, and it trains people for their future occupation. David Hargreaves on the other hand was influenced by Durkhiem and argued that modern schools focus too much on developing the individual and less on the duties the student should towards the school and the group. He argues children who do no perform well in their exams lose dignity, feel disintegrated and form anti-school subcultures. He recommends allowing students to study those fields in which they have an interest in, existence of some compulsory subjects and extra curricular activities. Talcott Parsons (functionalist) states that family teaches a child particularistic values (child will be treated differently) whereas school teaches universalistic values(equally treated). He states that school and rest of the society are based on 'Merit', because the rest of the society is also based on merit the society prepares the child to enter the adult world for example exams. He also goes on to argue that schools are important in creating value consensus, schools teach students two important values; values of achievement- this is achieved as students are encouraged to do well, those who do well get rewarded. ...read more.


Finally stabilization occurs when teachers now believe they 'Know' the student. R.C.Rist talks about typing and social class, where by the eighth day of school, children had been assigned seating. There were three tables, one for smart kids and two and three for the less able. He argues that it was not ability that determined the table. Rather it was on their social class. The children that conformed to the teacher's middle class standards were put on the first table. There are certain effects that typing and labeling have. Cicourel and Kitsuse found that it was largely based on class. Counselors in Us high schools said they impact what courses are to be taken that influence the ability to get into college. They claim their decisions are based on merit/IQ tests and grades. Then regarding the self fulfilling prophecy theory, the predictions that teachers make come out to be true as well as they don't. Margret Fuller stated that black girls were discouraged and under estimated they were expected to fail, but they didn't. Now comes banding and streaming, banding is when you classify a group of students are aware that a label has been attached to them. ...read more.


Show women in stereotypical roles.Women through socialization have been encouraged to be caring. Sharpe states that socialization of girls occurs when they learn the difference between masculine and feminine occupations.Electricians/mechanics vs nurse/secretary. Kelly claims that science is portrayed as a subject for boys by teachers and textbooks. Ex. eclipse shown using football.Mitsose and Brown say one of the reasons why girls have done better is because of the change in the economy, growth of service sector jobs, flexible and part time work. So it is the gender which has an influence on education. Education is not based on merit, boys are superior than girls, girls are underestimate themselves and are dominated. Racism is a major source of inequality, according to the Swann Report Racism occurs. It is usually unintentionally done by teachers, and the books used can project racist views. Mirza states the educational achievements of black girls are underestimated; she found that black girls did better than black boys and white students. Challenging the labeling theory; although the girls felt that they were discriminated against, and there was racism it did not affect their self confidence. They wanted academic success and worked hard towards it. Although teachers tried to help the girls-there are different types of teachers being overt-racist where the girls stayed away from them. So education does not solely depend on merit. ...read more.

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