Education: Perspectives

  • Created by: Charlotte
  • Created on: 25-04-18 20:42

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Perspectives on Education:


The Functionalist Perspective on Education

  • Focus on the positive functions performed by the education system. There are four positive functions that education performs.

1. Creating social solidarity around shared values – Durkheim argues that society needs a sense of solidarity so that individuals feel a sense of belonging as so will work together towards shared goals, which without, social life would be impossible due to each individual seeking to pursue selfish desires. In advanced industrial societies this is done though learning subjects such as History and English which gives a sense of shared national identity and teaches shared values creating value consensus, promoting peace and harmony throughout society.

2. Teaching skills necessary for work – modern industrial economies have a complex division of labour and Durkheim argues that a modern school based system is the only way of providing individuals with the diverse skills necessary for this to take place. Vocational education provides learners with job specific knowledge rather than a general lack of education. School also teaches us to cooperate with people whom are different from us and may not always get along with and as such prepares individuals for dealing with people in later life.

3. School acts as a bridge between home and wider society – Parsons argues that school plays a central role in secondary socialisation which is necessary as the family has very different principles to wider society and children need to adapt if they are to cope in the wider world. In the family, children are judged by particularistic standards where as in wider society and school they are judged by universalistic standards thus school prepares for this and acts as a bridge between home and wider society.

4. Role allocation and meritocracy – advanced societies are characterised by inequality as society needs the most able to do the most important jobs leaving others to do less demanding jobs. It is education which allocates people to the most appropriate job through examinations and qualifications and so the system is meritocratic as there is equality of opportunity by which everyone is given an equal chance at success and the most able do through their own efforts.

  •  Evaluations:
    • Not everyone has the same values; schools won’t wipe away what parents then reinforce at home.
    • Education is ethnocentric as History classes only paint the British in good light, not mentioning their failings. History also barely recognises other cultures.
    • Education is not meritocratic as cultural capital allows for those from more privileged backgrounds to attend better schools.

Evidence to Evaluate the Functionalist Perspective on Education

  • Arguments and evidence supporting Functionalist views of education:
    • Social solidarity is created as eachers help students who are behind and give them a sense of belonging at the school so that they succeed as shown in the ‘Educating Yorkshire’ documentary




This is the most important information for the exam



1888 should be 1988






Really useful! In a nutshell! :)



Is this everything in the education part????



nope /\



what kind of grade will this get you?



so thanks