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

The role of education and the part it plays or should play in our society.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Meritocracy is a universalistic viewpoint favoured by many and is widely seen as the ideal way in which society should be founded on. In addition, as the education system is arguably the most important and influential institution in society it is then fair to assume that the education system is solely built to 'produce a meritocracy where individual promise is acknowledged and developed through academic achievement'. This belief will be examined and evaluated from the introduction of state education to present day. State education has been changed & reformed many times since its introduction in 1880 when the government assumed full responsibility over the provision of education. The belief & one of the foundations it was built on (Meritocracy) has remained the same through its many significant transitions. The were a number of reasons the government set up free compulsory education; to create a more skilled workforce, reduce street crime , to re-socialise the aimless, to ward off the threat of a revolution, to provide a 'human right' and so on... ...read more.

Middle

Talcot Parsons an American sociologist outlined what has become the accepted functionalist view of education. He argued firmly that 'within the family, the child is judged & treated largely in terms of particularistic standards and values'. Whereas in the wider society we are treated in terms of universalistic principles which are applied to all members regardless. Further on he stated the child's status is ascribed in the family though in advanced industrial society, status is largely achieved. Parsons felt that the school represents society in miniature and for that reason education helps develop & prepare young people for the huge transition into adult life, moving away from particularistic values and into universalistic as modern society is increasingly based on achievement rather than ascription. He sees the education system as an imperative apparatus in the allocating of individuals for their future role in society. The school is therefore seen as a major mechanism for role allocation. ...read more.

Conclusion

As we have seen there are many hypothesis and suggestions to the role of education and the part it plays or should play in our society. As a result of this, the education system has endured many modifications to 'improve' in equality and meritocracy (if that really is its sole intention). Important and outstanding questions must be answered to, such as why particular class based patterns within educational achievement seem to continue even though the many major changes & why meritocracy has not come any closer to being a reality despite this. All the theories seem to have their pros and cons but my evaluation is that surely an institution as enormous as this has more functions and perhaps there is no single outstanding role of education and really, there are several, essential roles that it plays and until progressive steps & changes are made the cycle will continue. ?? ?? ?? ?? Evaluate the claim that the role of education is to produce a Meritocracy within which individual potential is recognised developed. 1 Adam Banda ...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)

    As well as this, education legitimises these class inequalities through the persuasion of the working-class to recognise their lack of power and control not only at work, but in society as a whole and that it is a result of their lack of academic ability.

  2. The role of education in today's society.

    People with good qualifications, who accepted the ruling class ideology and went on to be managers, politicians and administrators, are then 'agents of exploitation and repression'. As the people in power create the rules and ideas, they enforce this ruling class ideology to the next generation, keeping the working class suppressed and allowing the middle and upper classes to succeed.

  1. Report on: Lowood Institution for Orphan Girls.

    They have dinner there, but not breakfast or lunch. It takes the girls approximately three hours to walk there in the winter as they do not have boots and there feet get very cold, also as they do not have enough layers of clothing on.

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

    Willis followed the lads in their first jobs; he found similarities between shop-floor culture and counter school culture. There was the same racism and sexism and lack of respect to authority. Willis concluded that how they acted in school reflected the way they acted in their work.

  1. What are the strengths and weakness of the conflict perspective in Sociology? Illustrate how ...

    Hoping that in making the poor more comfortable, they would not revolt against the system that provides for them. The corporations pay taxes and these taxes are then redistributed amongst society, in the form of social security benefits, education, etc.

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

    The functionalist perspective on the education system is that it is a fair and meritocratic way of educating children with societies values and norms. It provides them with specific skills needed to help them become valuable and consensual members of society.

  1. Obesity in todays Society

    In addition to healthy eating habits, increased physical activity helps to manage body weight. A report from the National Center for Health Statistics recommends, "Sixty minutes or more a day of activity to prevent weight gain and get additional health benefits (National Center for Health Statistics).

  2. To what extent do feminist theories remain relevant for interpreting gendered patterns of work.

    This was largely the effect of feminist's proposals for women to become independent of men, in order to be equal to them. However, this did not necessarily have this effect as women. As although their thoughts on employment changed, men's thoughts on housework did not.

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