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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
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
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)