Functionalists On Education

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Functionalist perspective on the role of education

A functionalist’s perspective on education is to examine society in terms of how it is maintained or in other words how it is ran effectively. A functionalist exaggerates on positive aspects of schools such as socialisation, learning skills and attitudes in school. This is because functionalists believe everything in society happens for a reason to instil the smooth running of society. They see no wrong in society and turn their nose down at the things like schools with bad exam grades due to poor employment etc.

Education helps society by socialising young people into values of achievement, competition and equal opportunity. This then prepares the young people for work in the future as these are all the traits you will need in working life which is why the functionalists argue that school is a smooth running society. Skills are also important as education teaches the skills for the economy, for example business, literacy, numeracy and IT. Role allocation is a big part in school as education allocates people to the most appropriate jobs for their talents, using examinations and qualifications. Functionalists see school as the fairest way to determine an individual’s ability. They argue the best way to determine a young person’s future is by how well they do in their exams, despite what they may be able to achieve manually and not academically. Functionalists argue that every job in society needs to be filled up to maintain a well ran society for everyone. They argue that school and exam results divide people into who will do the low paid jobs that still need done like litter picking or the high paid jobs like a surgeon. Durkheim views education as a society creating social solidarity, community and a cooperation. Education shows different culture: shared beliefs and values. Schools are a small society because everyone cooperates, interacts and follows rules which is the universalistic standards. Specialist

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