Theories of Education

2587 WordsJan 3, 201311 Pages
------------------------------------------------- Compare and contrast Functionalist and Marxist theories of Education in Society. The role of education in society has an important effect on society by way of transmitting cultural values and contributing to the social stratification or class system. Functionalists also referred to as consensus theorists believe education helps stability and functioning of society, whereas conflict theorists namely the Marxists see education as justifying and promoting inequality. Emile Durkheim, a French sociologist and founder of the functionalist theory believed that schools transmit the culture of a society from one generation to the next and schools are there to continue the process of…show more content…
On the other hand a criticism of the theory assumes that all pupils start at the same level whereas, in reality, everyone starts at different stages. Also there is evidence that certain groups underachieve in school such as the working class and ethnic minority groups. This therefore suggests that pupils do not have an equal opportunity and that their talents have not been effectively recognised and also suggests that the system of role allocation is not very efficient. Another main criticism is that certain subjects within schools only reflect a white middle class view, this mainly occurs in history. This may discourage social solidarity and many ethnic minority groups are now demanding that history teaching includes their history and historical viewpoint. However Bowles and Gintis found students that were creative and independent were overlooked and as a result received lower grades as their qualities in the classroom were overlooked, they also argued that favouritism in the classroom where punctual and dependable students would be favoured and students who were independent and creative were looked as being deviant. “...the predatory, competitive and personally destructive way in which intellectual achievement is rewarded in US schools and colleges is a monument not to creative rationality, but to
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