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

What Is The Role Of Education From A Marxist Point Of View?

Extracts from this document...


What Is The Role Of Education From A Marxist Point Of View? Marxism bases its view of education much around the notion that an individual is shaped by the education system through ideology. Ideology is the 'body of ideas and beliefs of a group or nation' and is the most subtle and effective way of control. For the control of people's thoughts implicitly affects their actions and behaviour. It is a common belief that intelligence determines the success of a person but Marxism would challenge this in saying that it is purely an ideological belief. Samuel Bowles and Herbert Gintis have written 'Schooling in Capitalist America' (1976), possibly, the most well known Marxist account of the education system, they provide evidence in stating that intelligence is merely a product of success rather than a cause. If success were due to intelligence then it would be expected that people with similar I.Q. ...read more.


Karl Marx makes the following observations on the workplace: 'Masses of labourers, crowded into the factory, are organised like soldiers. As privates of the industrial army they are placed under the command of a perfect hierarchy officers and sergeants' (Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx) In schools pupils are punished or rewarded according to their behaviour, this encourages them to conform to the hierarchy. Schools reward and promote punctuality and discourage certain independent reasoning, for example, a pupil will think how they can improve their performance on a certain task but they will not question the merits of the task. This is because it is required in the workplace by many employers. These employers do not want the worker to question authority or to be unpunctual or even how to improve and organise the unfair economic system. Schools are also much alike jobs in the respect that they offer little intrinsic satisfaction to the individual. ...read more.


In addition to this, inequality is transmitted as inevitable and acceptable social act. The education system claims that it is a meritocratic one but this is purely ideology, as the social class of the parents determines educational qualifications. I have observed some flaws and criticisms in the Marxist view such as the portrayal of people as mere 'creatures' of the education system and the idea that school is so necessarily closely related to work but capitalism survived for a long period of time before compulsory education. Also, teachers are viewed as 'agents' of ideology but many teachers do so because they wish to express their ideas freely. In conclusion I believe that the Marxist view on education is a very critical but valid one. I would like to acknowledge the use of the following resources: * http://www.msherrard.freeserve.co.uk * Sociology in Focus by Paul Taylor et al * 'Schooling in capitalist America' by Samuel Bowles and Herbert Gintis (1976) * 'Communist manifesto' by Karl Marx * * * * By Lee O'Brien ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our University Degree Teaching 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 University Degree Teaching essays

  1. How does the work of Paul Willis differ from that of Bowles and Gintis? ...

    They say that the pupils don't really question the hidden curriculum they just fail in life. The reason why they end up in factories is because they have rejected the messages of the education system. Willis believes that "the ladz" understanding is to reject the official school culture and construct

  2. Both Functionalist and Marxist writers emphasise the social purposes of education. Compare and contrast ...

    all work should involve aspects of both, the distinction between learning and working should be removed and everyone should play an active part in planning and decision making in society. The purpose of education, from Marx's point of view is that it should help create all round individuals.

  1. This study sets out to investigate the evolving educational role of the academic librarian ...

    3.3.1 Coding In order to make the analysis of information gathered more manageable and meaningful, 'open coding' (Creswell, 2003) was used to generate representative categories of information from the results by identify recurring themes and sub-themes located within the responses received from the questionnaires telephone interviews.

  2. To what extent is the Irish Education system meritocratic?

    that those who can afford to pay for it (the bourgeoisie) will always remain at the top and achieve the best. This is probably best stated by Trovey and Share when they wrote "The Marxist approach focuses on how the education system operates as an institution for the creation and

  1. Changes in Education after 1976.

    They therefore had a greater range of knowledge. Parents are given the choice of schools for their children. This encourages schools to do well, as they look better on league tables. This encourages parents to send their children to the better schools and therefore encourage schools to perform better.

  2. The role of politics in South Africa's educational system.

    Little action was taken, and this had a major impact on the country's educational principles and practices for the next half-century5. The onset of World War II distracted the government from educational issues and the Welsh report was put on hold.

  1. Discuss the role of primary schooling in the production and regulation of gendered and ...

    Thorn (1993) observed that when children were allowed to make their own choices as to where they were going to sit in the classroom three times there was a definite divide between boys and girls, boys being on one side and girls on the other.

  2. Analysis of the Education System of Bangladesh.

    As education has an inter-generational impact on schooling, future generations will be affected by the link between poverty and education. 3. Poverty has a negative impact on school enrolment: there is a lack of motivation to send children to school, due to high unemployment and few opportunities for salaried employment with less than a SSC-level education.

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