Functions of Education

Topics: Sociology, Education, Teacher Pages: 4 (1349 words) Published: March 20, 2014
The sociologist Robert Merton proposed that social institutions such as education in schools have functions that are both Manifest and Latent. Merton defined Manifest functions as those objective consequences for a specified unit (person, subgroup, social or cultural system) which contribute to its adjustment or adaptation and were so intended (Merton, 1968).  While, Latent functions as unrecognized and unintended functions (Sociology Guide, 2014). The proceeding write-up will discuss the manifest functions of education and how a Zambian teacher can facilitate their achievement. The Manifest functions of education being recognized and intended for involve the transmission of knowledge to students in order to help them contribute back to society, either as knowledge producers themselves (i.e., scientists) or in other ways, like in business or industry (Hillegass, 2013). These functions can generally be grouped into six i.e. Socialization, Social control, Social placement, Culture transmission/reproduction, promoting social and political integration and as an agent of change (Javier et al, 2002). In modern societies, education is the most important agent of socialization after the family. Schools are the first impersonal and collective environment that children encounter. Whereas schools official function is the transmission of knowledge, they also promote certain values- like honesty, perseverance, respect and punctuality and norms such as not cheating on tests or being punctual or not arguing unnecessarily with teachers. Children also learn to deal with authority figures other than their parents and with peers. Also for the first time schools introduce students to impersonal assessment of their abilities through grades and official records that will follow the students throughout their educational career (Ayushi, 2011). Teachers are one of the most influential people regarding the philosophy and lessons of socialization. The teacher has a very important role...
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