Essay on Functionalists View of Education

696 Words May 1st, 2013 3 Pages
Outline and assess the functionalist’s view of education

Functionalists look at how society works in a scientific way to see how it works. They have similar ideas about education too. There are three main functions. The first is socialisation. Education is a source of secondary socialisation. It helps to teach young people values, norms equality and achievement. Schools are the main part of a child’s day and therefore influence them greatly. The second is learning skills. When in education, you learn a number of skills such as numeracy and literacy. This has now been made compulsory to ensure young people are getting the best qualification of their ability. This will result in them getting the grades they need and having jobs best
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It also helps us to become ready for our future in a wider society. He explains how meritocracy takes place. Children who work hard get the best jobs and are rewarded for this. The other children are then encouraged to work harder. Therefore, schools are competitive. However, Parsons was criticised because he didn’t conduct any practical research. Therefore, his theories cannot be tested. Also, he doesn’t take into account the negative things in society such as racism. The final sociologists with a functionalist view that I will cover are Davis and Moore. They believe that the education system is unequal but because society is full of inequalities. They believe that because inequalities exist, it is for the good of society. However, this is not the case. An example of this is that white and black people are treated unequal and this is not good for society. By people seeing a person of different colour skin to them, they may act racist and this is now illegal. Further criticisms are that functionalists fail to explain how or why society changes. Functionalists base there theories on a society that doesn’t change. However, this is not the case. Also, people in society don’t necessarily share the same values in life. Social groups from the same society have different values. Functionalists argue that education passes on the norms of society to create value consensus, however it may be difficult to create value

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