Essay about The Function of Education

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The Function of Education

Education is an aspect of socialisation which involves the acquisition of knowledge and learning of skills. It shapes our beliefs and moral values through a systematic formal transmission. Education is said be an integral function of society, as it provides a contributory characteristic which helps to maintain and adapt society and it's values.

Before the 1960's, education was taught through a system known as the 'Tripartite' system. This involved all children at the age of eleven undertaking an exam in order to ascertain individual ability in order to separate the children into streams of ability and assign them to what was believed to be the most appropriate
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The Comprehensive was intended to reduce class differences in educational attainment. It allowed children to mix from all social backgrounds and therefore provided equal opportunity.

Although this system has been highly criticised since it was first introduced there are a number of factors which imply and suggest that although the comprehensive system is less divisive than the tripartite, it still does little to engender social equality if anything, serves to reinforce class inequality. According to the Marxist Sociologists, Bowles and Gintis (Schooling in Capitalist America, 1976), education will always reinforce and legitimate social inequality. As a consequence of the elite owning the means, they decide what the curriculum entails and therefore continuously reinforce and reproduce their class status as the system is designed by themselves for themselves, leaving the working class powerless. In any industrial capitalist society there is a rigid hierarchy of authority, this is evident in the workplace, in society and in its values which are instilled in members of society at any early age - at school. For example in the workplace; Shareholders, Directors, Managers, professionals, technical staff, white collar workers down to