Education as a Social Institution

3463 Words Sep 28th, 2012 14 Pages
Education as a Social Institution
The social institution referred to as Education is comprised of the school system and it is in the school system where knowledge and skills are developed along with cultural and social values and norms. Additionally, through the school system culture and society continue and further those social values and norms thus fulfilling a need prescribed by society. The purpose of this paper is to examine how the theories of functionalism, conflict, and interactionism perceive the social institution of education. As the functionalism theory states, each social institution exists in order to fulfill a social need in addition without the social institution in question, social order would falter. The conflict theory
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A student will not excel academically if they do not enjoy attending school in general, or attending specific classes therefore, what are some causes for a student feeling this way. It is evident that the interactions between the students and instructors play a large role in how the students feel about classes and school in general. Two major factors come into play here and they are, the instructors “social and emotional support for students and the nature of [the instructors’] expectations for students' academic performance” (Hallinan, 2008). This interaction between student and instructor is of great value as it influences how a student perceives themself and their environment within the school system. For example, students that perceive they are being overlooked or their capabilities are being undervalued by the instructor will perform poorly. Conversely, when an instructor shows the student some attention, and shows them they are capable and of value as a student, the student will perform to the best of their ability. However, for either of these scenarios to persist the instructor must be consistent with their interactions with the student. Moreover, if the instructor’s expectations and interactions are not consistent with regard to the student then the ability in predicting the student’s success in school or their feelings toward school becomes problematic. The predictability of a student’s feelings
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