Sociology Essay on Education

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In Britain the way in which the education system is run remains to be dictated by class. There’s a significant division between private and state sector with 92% of the population attending state schools and 8% pursuing a private education. The values and techniques are certainly poles apart; the comprehensive pre-5 education in the private sector focuses more on academic skills than the non-comprehensive state sector pre-school education. In state sector most people move on to their local primary school where everyone gets a comprehensive education, eventually progressing to the local secondary where education again becomes non- comprehensive, non-vocational with only 40% moving into higher education compared with 80% of private sector. This figure once only 5% for the state system when there were only 10% of comprehensive schools fully established in the 1960s when comprehensive education was first introduced. From 1944 when the school leaving age was raised to 15 years, the future of the individual in the state education system was determined by a bi-partite system where children would be selected on ability by sitting an IQ test called the 11plus or the qualifying exam in Scotland.

In history, there’s been many different views on the education system, the Consensus Theory being in the form of Functionalism takes on Durkheim’s notion of school being the key agent of secondary socialisation, where he sees school as pupils learning to live in a community and being taught the basics of socialisation, he seen this as being the foundations of the value consensus which holds society together, Durkheim also stated that school helped pupils see themselves as part of a nation, moreover, Parson’s thought that people learned at school , the skills needed by the economy to keep the national adept and individuals worthy in the economy, therefore providing a workforce. He also supposed that the education system chooses individuals on basis of ability stating that...
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