Examine the Marxist view that the role of the education system is to reproduce and justify the existing class structure

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Mona Siam


Examining Role Of Education

1. Upwardly mobile’ means allowing the talented (based on ability and effort) moving to a higher social class; acquiring wealth and status.

1. Criticisms of ‘new vocationalism’:

1. The youth training scheme (YTS), a course provides cheap labour for emplyers, undermines trade union power and keeps the unemployed statistics down. This is Dan Finn’s (1987) argument.

2. The YTS channels girls into traditional low paid women’s employment such as retail work. This is Carol Buswell’s argument.

3. The YTS serves capitalism by teaching young workers attitude and values needed not genuine job skills. This is Phil Cohen’s argument (1984).

Overall the argument is that the new vocationals true functions are to serve the needs of capitalism at the expense of young people by reproducing existing inequalities.

1. The New Right prospective is a conservative political perspective with somewhat similar views to functionalism. They believe that some people are naturally more talented than others, the education should socialise pupils to share values such as competition as well as serve the economy. Furthermore, they believe that the role of education is to open competition which is a good thing for our society.

However, unlike functionalist, the new right do not believe that the current education system is achieving these goals and in their eyes, It’s because of the estate. The state education system influence what the students study ignoring the needs of an individual. The ‘one size fits’ leads to inefficient schools. This will impact on results therefore the money would have gone to waste. This is like a domino effect with one thing leading to another. This standard of achievement for students will go down, leading to a less qualified workforce therefore the needs of the economy will not be served.

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The new right view believes that there is a solution for these problems. This is that schools should be part of the marketing business to create an ‘education market’. Chubb and moe believe that the education system has failed to create equal opportunities, teach pupil skills needed for the economy and deliver high quality education like the private schools.

However, they also came up with a solution to these problems, proposing a system in which each family gets a voucher to spend on schooling. The aim of this is to encourage schools to improve and meet expectations of the ...

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