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Functionalists examine society by looking at how it is maintained for common good and put emphasis on the positive aspects of schooling such as the socialisation process of teaching skills and attitudes to students. Functionalists believe that education helps maintain society by socialising young people into equality of opportunity and values of achievements. Functionalists see education as a way of helping to maintain stability and the smooth running of our society as they believe education teaches us the skills we will need and which are necessary for us to perform our roles appropriately in that society. Functionalists operate on the belief that education teaches us what we will need to know as we get older, sorts people into their most suitable roles according to their capabilities, which is assessed through exams and qualifications, therefore equipping us to perform different functions in that society. They believe that education through schooling transmits the message of what is normal in that society, will contribute towards socialising its students and they will learn the norms, values and culture of the society they live in . Emile Durkheim who is thought of as the main founder of functionalism said “School is a vehicle for transmitting norms and values, keeping the values consensus” (Durkheim, 1898). He believed that the labour force relied on the education system to provide us with the necessary skills and knowledge we will need for the economy. He believed that education helped to promote social solidarity and that people sharing a common history will contribute to upholding social solidarity. Parson's agreed with Durkheim and said “School is like a bridge between childhood and adulthood” (Parson's, 1956). He believed that education instils us with values of competition, equality and individualism and that achievements and rewards are based on effort, ability and achieved status. Functionalists think that there is a need for Education and that...
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