School & Peer
The Functionalist school of thought perceives society as an organism with each part working together to achieve social solidarity and stability. Emile Durkheim argues that education provides a link between the individual and the society. As an agent of socialization, school provides an avenue for individuals to interact in a public environment. It enables individuals to meet new friends, learn the norms of the Jamaican society, as well as learn and practice good moral values. Though the school is responsible for teaching formal cognitive skills, we are exposed to the history of Jamaica and the cultural practices which distinctly differentiate who we are. In addition, the school environment also helps to promote certain values such as honesty, competition, respect and individualism.
Education, being a fundamental right of a child in Jamaica, is arguably a very integral part of one’s life. Therefore, the importance of schools in the Jamaican society is to provide: 1) Socialization - how to be a productive member of society
2) Transmission of culture
3) Social control and personal development
4) The selection training and placement of individuals where they fit into society. In our Jamaican Society, what is taught and learnt in schools is ingrained in our minds from a very early age and this forms the foundation for one’s future. Therefore we can infer that “Without socialization, the individual has extremely limited capabilities, as is attested by studies of isolated children” (Thomlinson, 1964, p.10). Children learn what they see and experience through a process of adaptation, imitation and reinforcement.
With our school system in Jamaica being so structured, we are taught to respect authority by indoctrination, punishment, and ‘culturalization’. Evidently, throughout the levels of the education system...