Joseph Osakwe 12F
‘Evaluate the Functionalist perspective of education’
According to functionalists, education offers a positive and equal function for each individual in society. Education aids the need of an industrial society by sharing norms and values and allocating roles for example. Firstly, Parsons (1956-9) suggests that education system contains the movement of norms and values that are agreed that they are the same for everyone which is known as ‘Valued Consensus’ through to the younger generation and this is achieved through both the National and Hidden Curriculum. The National Curriculum is lessons that the state set for students to take on an timetabled schedule whereas the hidden curriculum teaches you moral lessons for students to get accustomed to for example, behaviour and punctuality as well as providing rewards and sanctions where applicable to provide the students with a strong case of work ethic. By doing this, you are ensuring that every student is being taught exactly the same thing. However Davis and Moore (1945) argue that the education assigns jobs to people based on their talent and ability and this means that the best jobs are handed out to the most academically talented students, so they get the best rewards which goes against their view on social equality and valued consensus although you could also say that the education system promotes meritocracy (which is where your efforts and abilities are rewarded) which makes education more of an achieved status (status that is earned) than an ascribed status (status that is inherited e.g social background etc). Dennis Wrong argues that pupils are ‘puppets’ and that they never reject the school’s values while New Right agree stating that education does not prepare students enough for life in the world of work. As a critique, feminists believe that society and the curriculum is patriarchal (male-dominated) and which will set more men up for work opportunities than women...
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