Social Theory and the Education process
Assignment: outline the main theoretical perspectives on education and evaluate their usefulness when analysing current issues
Education plays an important part in everyone’s success in life. It provides children with teaching skills that prepare them mentally, physically and socially for the outside world of society. Education is vital to the needs of the modern industrial society, it teaches children from a young age discipline, respect, morals and values and prepares them for work and to help integrate them into society. There has been a lot of ideas and theories of how education should work. The three most common sociology groups are functionalist, Marxist and Interactionist. Marxist and functionalist both take a similar approach to the study of education, they both look at the large scale issues and relate to the whole of society. The Interactionist theory is small scale they concentrate on the day to day life in school, looking at the interaction between teachers and pupils.
In this essay we’re going to look into the three main theoretical perspectives on education, functionalist, Marxist and Interactionist and evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of each theory to see how useful they are when applied to current issues.
The functionalist theory of education sees the education system as a positive institution. Functionalism is based on the consensus theory. They believe that schools teach norms and values through education which helps create value consensus. Which means we are all taught the same values which we all agree on. They believe that education is made up of three functions these are; the transmission of society’s norms and values, role allocation and the industrial needs. The two main Functionalist sociologists are Parsons and Durkheim. The two theorists both recognised that the education system was important in the socialisation process. Both theorists state that The schools education helps...