Educational Theories

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There is and always has been a debate on what is the best way to educate the children of our nation. With many theories and perspectives, how do we say which one is better than the other? The variety of theories of how education is influenced, and how we view the learning and teaching process is what gives us the purpose and expectation of how schooling and education should be. While we compare and contrast the functionalist perspective, conflict theory perspective, and the interactionist perspectives on the desires and potential of education we will find that they are different in several ways.
“According to the functionalist perspective, also called functionalism, each aspect of society is interdependent and contributes to society’s functioning as a whole (cliffnotes, 2009).” Functionalist perspective theory believes that the role of the school is to protect a common set of values that foster social unity and maintain social order. They also believe that the school is where the students are to become responsible and productive adults in society (Webb, 2007). According to the functionalist the way to contribute to the economical and developmental growth is to upgrade your skills, and to do this you will have to have a good education. They also believe that school plays an important role in developing moral character (Webb, 2007). Teachers are not “only to exhibit high ethical and moral principles but also to teach those principles to their students.” Functionalist view on education is that it is essential and orderly for an efficient society (Webb, 2007).

Conflict perspective theory believes that schools can not agree on a set of common values and they are influenced by whoever has the most power and who will benefit more from the system. They are concerned with the conflict between the powerless and the powerful (Webb, 2007). Conflict theorists believe that school is for the wealthy and the powerful at the expense of others. According to Randall Collins...
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