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The Functions Of Education

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As is stated in item A there is an outright disagreement on the functionalist perspective of education by the marxists. whereas functionalists see education as a tool for maintaining cohesion, social harmony and value consensus and at the same time being functional and shall we say beneficial for young people because they learn skills, knowledge and attitudes which are needed for becoming good citizens and workers, the marxists disagree with this analysis, they suggest education works on behalf of the capitalist class to convince the working class to accept their subordinate place in an unequal capitalist society. Functionalists believe that the education system has three main functions. Firstly it socializes young people into key cultural values such as equality of opportunity, competition and religious morality. Education is said by functionalists (especially Durkheim) to emphasize moral responsibilities in society that people should have towards each other. If these norms were not passed down through generations then there would be a tendency for individualism (where people believe that they are more important than social groups). ...read more.


The marxist thinker known as Althusser saw the main role of education in a capitalist society as the reproduction of an efficient and obedient labour force that does not challenge the inequalities of wealth, power and income that underpin the organization of capitalism, this is done by through the hidden curriculum. Functionalists also argue that education functions to provide a trained and shall we even say qualified labour force, they argue that education expanded in order to meet the needs of the economy for people with new skills. However, collins argues that people rarely use knowledge obtained from school in their jobs because most occupational skills are learned "on the job". He says that the demand for educational qualifications in many occupations is simply an attempt to raise the status and salaries of occupations rather than providing the knowledge and skill to actually perform the job. Finally Inspiratory Functionalist's such as Davis and Moore find themselves arguing that education functions to select and sift people for different levels of the job market and ...read more.


Schools are considered to be unfair on working-class children because they are generally middle-class institutions and so middle-class children will generally do better. Marxists also strongly believe that "the hidden curriculum" is being used too strongly by schools. By teaching pupils to follow instructions (e.g. "sir" and "miss" and folding their arms) they are preparing them for the "exploitation" during work of when being asked to do something and then automatically doing it. This means that workers could be "used" in the process and then find out about the capitalist system that we live in the hard way. While Marxists do share many ideas of functionalists e.g. the fact that education prepares us for out acceptance of the values of society they also see how the education system is alienating children. Functionalists, on the other hand, seem unable to see this and believe that the education system can only do good to children by teaching them norms and values. The Functions Of Education Essay Miss Howell Jack Lowe The Functions Of Education Essay Miss Howell Jack Lowe ...read more.

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