Outline Some of the Ways Interactionists Have Contributed to Our Understanding of Education

Topics: School, Education, Teacher Pages: 3 (730 words) Published: October 3, 2012
Outline some of the ways Interactionists have contributed to our understanding of education (20 Marks)

The Interactionist perspective on education tends to focus on the role of the education system as a process instead of a system. They are interested in viewing education as a social construction and that it is open to a wide range of interpretations. They are interested in viewing if the education system is a place for education or training.

Dewey (1916) argued by saying that the education system should be “transformative” so it focuses more on individuals when it comes to their social, psychological and moral needs. This therefore means that the education system is providing a suitable place for pupils and students to reach their full potential. Although some sociologists state that the role of education is to help give people the knowledge and skill to be able to enter a specific world of work after they have finished school. They state that the education system teaches them skills for specific work roles such as a teacher or a lawyer. The debate as to what the role of schooling is is analysed through a wide variety of situations such as, outside and inside of the school.

Outside of school, the role of education is never clearly defined as parents, governments and businesses help to shape the system through their own means and beliefs. Some groups are able to influence the system better because of the power that they have, for example, the government. So because of this the role of education is ‘officially’ classed as a way of training people through things such as the National Curriculum. Whilst Inside of the school, official definitions regarding the role of education is important as it influences the behaviour of the social actors, in this case it would be the teachers and pupils. Interactionists want to be able to consider how these social actors tend to interpret their roles within the education system.

The Labeling concept is used to help...
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