functionalist theory on education pdf
The educational setting introduces students to social networks that might last for years and can help people find jobs after their schooling is complete. Of course, with social media such as Facebook and LinkedIn, these networks are easier than ever to maintain. Another latent function is the ability to work with others in small groups, a skill that is transferable to a workplace and that might not be learned in a homeschool setting.
Education also provides one of the major methods used by people for upward social mobility. This function is referred to as social placement . College and graduate schools are viewed as vehicles for moving students closer to the careers that will give them the financial freedom and security they seek. As a result, college students are often more motivated to study areas that they believe will be advantageous on the social ladder. A student might value business courses over a class in Victorian poetry because she sees business class as a stronger vehicle for financial success.
Regardless of the reasons, it was the experimental design of Project STAR that enabled its findings to be attributed to class size rather than to other factors. Because small class size does seem to help in many ways, the United States should try to reduce class size in order to improve student performance and later life outcomes.
- While in grades K–3, students in the smaller classes had higher average scores on standardized tests.
- Students who had been in the smaller classes continued to have higher average test scores in grades 4–7.
- Students who had been in the smaller classes were more likely to complete high school and also to attend college.
- Students who had been in the smaller classes were less likely to be arrested during adolescence.
- Students who had been in the smaller classes were more likely in their twenties to be married and to live in wealthier neighborhoods.
- White girls who had been in the smaller classes were less likely to have a teenage birth than white girls who had been in the larger classes.
Feminists also believe that education causes a divide in society. They believe that education benefits males more as society is patriarchal. Feminists such as Oakley believe that education benefits males more because it is a patriarchal organisation. She believes that there is a hierarchy within education which is male dominated at the top. This teaches pupils that males receive the highest jobs and females do not. Another Feminist called Sharpe believes that females often prioritise family over education so this impacts their learning. This is through years of society promoting that women should stay at home and care for their children and should not necessarily educate themselves. It also promotes the idea of the male ‘bread winner’ which suggests that men should have the job and provide an income for their family.
Education has many stages; these include Pre School, Primary education, Secondary education, Further education and Higher education. Functionalists believe that education provides unity and togetherness and has a positive impact on society. They also believe that education prepares people for the work environment in later life and teaches important skills.
In many societies, the government provides education for the children of the family, which in turn pays taxes the state depends on to keep running. The family relies on the school to help children grow up to have good jobs so they can raise and support their own families. In the process, the children become law-abiding, taxpaying citizens who support the state. From the functionalist perspective, if all goes well, the parts of society produce order, stability, and productivity. If all does not go well, the parts of society must adapt to produce new forms of order, stability, and productivity.
In functionalist theory, the different parts of society are primarily composed of social institutions, each designed to fill different needs. Family, government, economy, media, education, and religion are important to understanding this theory and the core institutions that define sociology. According to functionalism, an institution only exists because it serves a vital role in the functioning of society. If it no longer serves a role, an institution will die away. When new needs evolve or emerge, new institutions will be created to meet them.
Grodsky, E., Warren, J. R., & Felts, E. (2008). Testing and social stratification in American education. Annual Review of Sociology, 34(1), 385–404.
Other research focuses on how teachers treat girls and boys. Several studies from the 1970s through the 1990s found that teachers call on boys more often and praise them more often (American Association of University Women Educational Foundation, 1998; Jones & Dindia, 2004). Teachers did not do this consciously, but their behavior nonetheless sent an implicit message to girls that math and science are not for girls and that they are not suited to do well in these subjects. This body of research stimulated efforts to educate teachers about the ways in which they may unwittingly send these messages and about strategies they could use to promote greater interest and achievement by girls in math and science (Battey, Kafai, Nixon, & Kao, 2007).