Chapter 16 education
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Chapter 16: Education. Education. Sociological Perspectives on Education Schools as Formal Organizations Social Policy and Education: No Child Left Behind Act. Sociological Perspectives on Education.

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Chapter 16: Education

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Chapter 16 education

Chapter 16:




  • Sociological Perspectives on Education

  • Schools as Formal Organizations

  • Social Policy and Education: No Child Left Behind Act

Sociological perspectives on education

Sociological Perspectives on Education

  • Education: process of socialization that occurs when some consciously teach while others adopt the role of learner

  • Education prepares citizens for roles demanded by other social institutions

    • People over 25 with high school diploma increased from 41% in 1960 to more than 85% in 2004

    • People over 25 with a college degree rose from 8% in 1960 to about 28% in 2004

Figure 16 1 percentage of adults ages 25 to 64 who have completed higher education b a b s

Figure 16-1: Percentage of Adults Ages 25 to 64 Who Have Completed Higher Education (B.A./B.S.)

Source: Data for 2002 and 2003 released in Bureau of the Census 2006a:843.

Functionalist view

Functionalist View

  • Manifest functions

    • Transmission of knowledge

    • Bestowal of status

  • Latent functions

    • Transmitting culture

    • Promoting social and political integration

    • Maintaining social control

    • Serving as agent of change

Functionalist view1

Functionalist View

  • Transmitting Culture

    • Exposing young people to the existing beliefs, norms, and values of their culture

  • Promoting Social and Political Integration

    • Common identity and social integration fostered by education contribute to societal stability and consensus

Functionalist view2

Functionalist View

  • Maintaining social control

    • Punctuality, discipline, scheduling, and responsible work habits

    • How to operate in a bureaucratic organization

  • Serving as agent of change

    • Changes in curriculum

    • Meeting ground where people can share beliefs and traditions

Conflict view

Conflict View

  • Education is an instrument of elite domination

    • Socializes students into values dictated bythe powerful

  • Hidden Curriculum: standards of behavior deemed proper by society taught subtly in schools

  • Credentialism: increase in lowest level of education needed to enter a field

Conflict view1

Conflict View

  • Bestowal of Status

    • Schools tend to preserve social class inequalities in each new generation

    • Tracking: placing students in curriculum groups on basis of test scores and other criteria

    • Correspondence Principle: schools promote values expected of individuals in each social class and perpetuate social class divisions

Feminist view

Feminist View

  • Treatment of Women in Education

    • U.S educational system long characterized by discriminatory treatment of women

    • In 20th century, sexism in education included

      • Stereotypes in textbooks

      • Pressure to study traditional women’s subjects

      • Unequal funding for athletic programs

      • Employment bias for administrators and teachers

Feminist view1

Feminist View

  • Treatment of Women in Education

    • Women have made great strides in proportion who continue schooling

    • Men’s aggressiveness may predispose them to undervalue higher education

Interactionist view

Interactionist View

  • Labeling approach suggest that if we treat people in particular ways, they may fulfill our expectations

  • Teacher-expectancy effect: impact of teacher expectations and their large role on student performance

Table 16 1 sociological perspectives on education

Table 16-1: Sociological Perspectives on Education

Taking sociology to work

Taking Sociology to Work

  • Ray Zapata – Business Owner and Former Regent, Texas State University

    • How does an open admissions policy benefit society?

    • In what ways do the elderly benefit from education?

Sociology on campus

Sociology on Campus

  • 16-1: The Debate Over Title IX

    • Has Title IX had an effect on you personally?

      • Do you think the increase in women’s participation in sports has been good for society as a whole?

    • Are the negative social effects of men’s sports evident on your campus?

      • If so, what changes would you recommend to address the problem?

Bureaucratization of schools

Bureaucratization of Schools

  • Weber noted five characteristics of bureaucracy

    • Division of labor

    • Hierarchy of authority

    • Written rules and regulations

    • Impersonality

    • Employment based on technical qualifications

Bureaucratization of schools1

Bureaucratization of Schools

  • Functionalists: generally take positive view of bureaucratization of education

  • Conflict theorists: centralized education harmful for disadvantaged people

  • Countertrends

    • Some parents argue for school choice programs

    • Internet and online curricula

Teachers employees and instructors

Teachers: Employees and Instructors

  • Teachers’ academic assignments have become more specialized

    • Still must control social order

    • 40% to 50% quit within 5 years

    • Status of any job reflects level of education required, financial compensation, and respect given the occupation

Student subcultures

Student Subcultures

  • Student subculture complex and diverse

    • Close knit and often rigidly segregated cliques in high school

    • Diversity of student groups at college level

      • Collegiate subculture: focuses on having fun and socializing

      • Academic: identifies with intellectual concerns

      • Vocational: interested primarily in career prospects

      • Nonconformist: hostile to college environment



  • More than 2 million children, about 4% of K-12 population, taught at home

    • Some theorists cite lack of social involvement as problem with homeschooling

    • Proponents argue homeschooling good alternative for children with ADHD and LD

    • Lacks universal uniform standards from state to state

    • Research shows homeschooled children score higher on standardized tests

Figure 16 2 average salary for teachers

Figure 16-2: Average Salary for Teachers

Source: American Federation of Teachers 2007.

Figure 16 3 public high school graduates by race and ethnicity 2014 projected

Figure 16-3: Public High School Graduates by Race and Ethnicity, 2014 (projected)

Source: Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education 2003.

Research in action

Research in Action

  • 16-2: Violence in the Schools

    • Has a shooting or other violent episode ever occurred at your school?

      • If so, how did students react?

      • Do you feel safer at school than at home, as experts say you are?

    • What steps have administrators at your school taken to prevent violence?

      • Have they been effective, or should other steps be taken?

No child left behind program

No Child Left Behind Program

  • The Issue

    • Too many public schools in U.S. were failing to educate their students

    • In 2001, No Child Left Behind (NCLB) enacted by Congress

      • Supporters charged the act not enforced stringently enough

      • Opponents felt the legislation went too far

No child left behind program1

No Child Left Behind Program

  • The Setting

    • Schools in U.S. locally run and financed with some federal and state aid

      • National educational standards established in 1990s

    • NCLB built on national standards and set penalties for failure to meet standards

      • Every student to be proficient in reading and mathematics by 2014

      • Debate about how best to offer high-quality schooling to all children

No child left behind program2

No Child Left Behind Program

  • Sociological Policy

    • Objectives of common curricular promotes social integration

    • Testing is controversial

      • Validity: the degree to which a scale or measure truly reflects the phenomenon under study

      • Reliability: extent to which a measure provides consistent results

No child left behind program3

No Child Left Behind Program

  • Policy Initiatives

    • Educational reformers have yet to find solution that fits all schools in all states

    • Independent commission advocated maintaining 2014 goals even though only small portion of nation’s schools would reach objectives (1997)

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