Role of education Darcy Fletcher Functionalists believe education performs two contradictory functions , on one hand they believe that educations prepares children for their specialised role acquired to their skills and potential. So they can perform at the best they can at their role after education. On the contrary they believe society needs to share the same goals and outlook in order to co-operate. Functionalism is based on the view that society is a system of interdependant parts which is held together by value consensus. Durkheim argued that society has to feel a sense of social solidarity , he believes that without this form of social cohesion , society would be impossible because each person would pursue their own ‘ selfish’ desires.
It is therefore important that you examine your own attitudes and values to consider how these may impact on the way you work with children and young people. Children listen intently to others around them, both adults and other children and soak up all information given to them. The school must make sure that the children are surrounded with positive messages about their peers and their own importance in society. All children are individuals and have individual rights; however they are not the same. It is the policy, currently, to include all children in mainstream education so long as the curriculum can be adapted to suit an individual pupils needs.
Outline and Assess Functionalist Explanations of the Relationship Between Education and Work (50 Marks) A Functionalist view on education is that it is a meritocratic system that gives everyone who enters into it an equal opportunity for success within and after full time education. One of the main reasons for this is because of a national curriculum that all state schools have to follow, meaning that there is a minimum standard of education and that everyone gets taught the same things. Furthermore, Functionalists see education as a way of maintaining society by socialising young people in a specific way, by creating competition, levels of success and equality of opportunity. In addition to this socialisation, education is also important for teaching such vital skills as learning about the basics of the economy and giving young people a basic knowledge of certain things that will help them within employment, such as literacy, numeracy and IT. Education is also one of the main influences on role allocation within society; allocating people to the most appropriate jobs for their talent, using examinations and their results from these.
To him, education is a ‘focal socialising agency’ acting as a bridge between the family and the society. e.g. the workplace. Generally, both sides operate on different principles and the child is needed to adapt to the universalistic standards and norms that will enable them to cope in the wider society. Parsons concluded that school is based on meritocratic principles whereby everyone is given equal opportunity, and individuals achieve rewards through their own efforts and abilities.
Least restrictive principle The ethos of the setting is important, we need to consider the rules (too many, too strict, no rules etc..) Do we give enough responsibility to children? Do they get enough freedom? Reinforcing positive behaviour Children are more influenced by positive reinforcement than by punishment. Good behaviour is more likely to be repeated if it is rewarded in some way. Timing is very important, we need to give a reward (praise, stickers, extra attention) straight after they have done something good, otherwise it will be forgotten by the child very quickly.
So the main function of education is to maintain a value consensus in society. Consequently Parsons (1961) sees schools as a bridge between family and wider society. This bridge is needed as they both operate on different principles. Within the family, the child is judged by particularistic standards and status is ascribed. Whereas in education and wider society, status is achieved and we are all judged by the same universalistic standards e.g.
I feel it is important to take into account the personalities of the children, as learning may be inhibited if one child is particularly domineering or intimidating. It is also necessary to look at the subject being taught and be flexible in the grouping of children. I personally feel that for subjects such as Literacy and Numeracy, where there is pressure for academic success the children should be split into ability groups. I feel by working in ability groups, the children are still able to support each other and there is still a hint of Vygotsky’s ZPD theory being practised, as there is still a range of abilities within an ability group and the more able of one particular ability group, can support the others in the group. It is important to remember that no one child is the same as another, even if they are classified as being of similar ability.
Explain why it is important to identify and meet individual needs Meeting the Needs of all Learners Student Diversity Aptitude Achievement Interest Motivation Needs Ability Learning and differentiation When planning to introduce an individualised approach to learning, as in personalised learning, teachers need to be aware of the ways in which learners prefer to learn. It has become common practice to identify preferred ways of learning during course induction. While this is clearly good practice, it is only the beginning of the process, not the end. As there is a range of CPD, while teachers may be well versed in theories of learning, what is not happening, in many cases, is the translation of theory into practice in the form of
The hidden curriculum has a big influence on pupils, its one thing to teach the child educationally but if the child is treated unjustly (no voice) by the school system then a much more negative message is given to those pupils about the nature of society. According to Functionalists, meritocracy exists in all of society. Parson (1961) believes in the wider society everyone is treated the same and that your position is determined by your effort and your will to achieve. So society is said to be meritocratic, as everybody can achieve if they want to. Durkheim (2002) Believes that there are fixed rules for all and by transmitting the norms and values across society, it is then fair and meritocratic.
Once this reluctance is overcome our society will improve dramatically. It is a proven truth that the betterment and improvement of any social system depends upon the depth of the relationship which its individuals enjoy. Moreover, educating students about diverse cultures can help them understand their own culture in a better manner. Contrasting their own trends and ideas with others, is a very good way of understanding that what is better and why. The juvenile minds will not only learn about other cultures, but will also get closer to their own culture.