Sociology Unit 2: Education

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AS Level Sociology Flashcards on Sociology Unit 2: Education , created by PSYCHGIRL on 05/02/2015.
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What are four important factors of education? -Socialisation in cultural norms and values -Education in key skills -Process of individualisation; learning likes, dislikes, talents and what they struggle with -(some believe education served to maintain inequalities through hierarchy in school)
What is meant by 'formal education is an agent of social control'? -Formal schooling with strict code of conduct teach children gender roles, social norms etc
Outline structuralism. The belief that it is social structures and wider frameworks and systems that have priority over the actions of an individual. People are primarily the outcome of social factors and groupings who act out of consequences of those and not out of free agency. We do not make society, pre existing social frameworks 'make' us.
Outline symbolic interactionism Looks at how relationships and interactions between people condition behaviour. We create our own meanings for things which determines how we act towards them -Always scope to create new forms of social interaction though it is largely governed by rules and code of conduct.
How do Functionalists view education? Serves to instill key cultural values and socially acceptable behaviour in children so they will function in society as adults. Durkheim - education prevents anomie (social chaos) When people live an anomie they don't experience purpose or belonging as there are no norms or values. -Education teaches values of competition and individualism -Children assessed on universal standards
What is the Marxist view on education? -Education system perpetuates social and class inequality by effectively brainwashing the proletariat into passively accepting inequalities in society. -Children are more affected by the hidden curriculum than the official curriculum
What is the hidden curriculum? Teaches children about the way society works, about rules, structures hierarchy, communication and adult behaviour.They learn how adults present themselves and how to view others.
What is educations essential purpose according to functionalists? To produce skilled and able workers but also to instil values of punctuality and hard work to make people more employable. Talcott Parsons - the meritocratic education system 'filters' individuals so the most talented and hard working are able to accelerate into more challenging, specialised careers. People need to be dispersed correctly to keep the work force balanced.
What is the Marxist and Feminist view on the 'sorting' functions of education? Conflict theorists see it as perpetuating inequality, serving to maintain our already stratified society. Marxist - The proletariat are placed in low paying jobs while the prestigious jobs are reserved for ruling/upper class students. Feminists - Education reproduces gender inequalities as girls and boys are informally encourage to pursue different careers.
What are symbolic interactionist's fears about the process within schools? The way the children are labelled by their teachers can have lasting social implications. They come to see themselves as the teacher labels them, whether or not it is true.
Students often form subcultures to rebel against the education system. Why does David Hargreaves believe this is? It is a result of negative labelling.
What is the 'educational difference hypothesis'? That underachievement arises when there is a cultural mismatch between home and school environments.
What does Labov believe underachievement is due to? Linguistic differences: when children or non middle class/white backgrounds are allowed to communicate in words/phrases they are familiar with, they can express advanced ideas.
Why do girls achieve better academic achievement than boys? Thanks to the Sex Discrimination Act of 1975, gender discrimination in employment is illegal and so recently girls have been surrounded by working females, raising levels of self esteem as well as career and life expectations.
According to Martin Mccall and Ghaill, why are bands of boys deciding education is 'uncool'? These boys (usually working class) are attempting to develop a sense of masculinity in confusing economic times. The manual labour jobs of their fathers are disappearing so their life paths are unclear.
Why do some researchers think that the 'saving the boys' attitude is misdirected? It detracts from the major inequalities that exist, towards girls, in the education system since girls still miss out in the job market.
What could gendered subject choices be a result of? -Early socialisation in the home -teachers differential expectations for girls and boys -the way the job market and economy still discriminates against women and is yet to accommodate caregiving as a role of adult life
How does class affect educational achievement? 70% of children from professional class backgrounds receive 5+ pass grades over 14% of the working class.
What reason do some sociologists feel is behind the lower grades from working class children? That the education system is biased and designed for middle class, white children.
Most researchers believe that there is a similar range of ability in all classes. What reasons do they give for the gap in achievement between the classes? -Low expectations -Low aspirations -Economical issues (all more apparent in the working class)
Children from which ethnicity make greater progress that white children during pre-school? Black Caribbean and Black African children (and children for whom English is not their first language)
Pupils from which ethnicity are most likely to achieve expected grades at all key stages? Indian and Chinese
On average, children from which ethnicity perform less well than white children in compulsory schooling? Black, Bangladeshi and Pakistani
Children of which ethnicity are most likely to be excluded from school? Black Caribbean
What is the meaning of cultural reproduction? The process whereby the values,norms, ideas and beliefs of one generation are passed onto the next
Willis wanted to find out why working class children typically went on to working class jobs despite having access to free education. What did he find? He focused on a group of mainly white working class boys.They did not see themselves as 'fitting in' and enjoyed challenging the authority and not accepting rules. They also did this to keep their status as 'cool' which was more important to them than gaining education achievement.
Outline the Foster Act of 1870 Created schools for 5-11 year olds that were independant of churches
Outline the Education Act of 1944. Allowed free secondary schools for all Government selection methods used to place children in appropriate schools, either a grammar school or modern school (and eleven plus exam) (prior to this secondary schools charged admissions so exacerbated class divisions)
Who gained power in '44 and instituted comprehensive schooling to allow all the have equal access to educational resources (though some grammar schools still exist)? Labour
Why did Margaret Thatcher dismantle comprehensive schooling when she came to power in 1979? -She felt it did not offer the same degree of varied, specialised education -That it did not encourage family values -That graduates were not armed with the skills to create a nationally competitive economy.
What specific reforms to education did Margaret Thatcher introduce? -National Curriculum (Met with resistance from teachers who felt it was too confining) -A 'local management of schools' system. (Many felt the competitive selection process would create further inequality among students)
What was a major flaw to the new selection process? Schools that wanted to attract students who would achieve better GCSE results would employ costly marketing efforts often taking money from areas such as 'special educational needs'.
Outline the 1997 Education Police under New Labour -Rid of mixed ability classes in favour of streaming or setting -The encouragement of competition and diversity among schools -The introduction of specialist schools and creation of City Academies in deprived areas -Attracting teachers to underprivileged areas with higher salaries, forming 'Education Action Zones'.
Name five types of admissions policies Religion Ability Catchment Area Parental Choice Banding
What is streaming and setting in education? Streaming = students split into hierarchical groups based on ability Setting = students with similar abilities put together for certain lessons
Outline ability as an admissions policy. -Grammar and some specialist schools still select students on ability. -Some are supportive of entrance exams, stating that they ensure education is personalised -Others feels aptitude testing is bias and culturally entrenched in the norms and values of the middle class.
Outline catchment areas as an admissions policy. -Introduced in '60s and remains common today -Many feel this approach ensures equality of access regardless of class background -Other argue that higher quality schools have more overcrowded catchment areas and so drive house prices up. This means working class families cannot afford to live there.
Outline parental choice as an admissions policy. Thatcher encouraged the marketisation of public education hoping it would create competition for improvement within schools. But some parents were more informed than others which created social bias.
Outline banding as an admissions policy. Children are admitted to comprehensive schools and then 'banded' in terms of their ability levels. This approach intends to maintain diversity by accepting students of all ability levels Some parents may disagree with the way their child has been banded.
Outline faith schools. -Statistics show they produce higher results -Many participants note supportive community ethos and preservation of family values -Others argue they are constraining and children should be exposed to a variety of religions and allowed to choose for themselves. -Faith schools are argued to have a segregating impact.
Outline private schools. -Fee paying schools seen as most exclusive and elite -Many opened in the 13th century as prestigious alternatives to faith schools -Many feel they provide the best education as they are free from political agenda and have smaller class sizes -Others feel the exacerbate class divisions
Outline city technology colleges The ERA introduced them in '88, specialising in maths, science and tech. They are partially subsided by private businesses. The aim was to drive capital into deprived areas and provide educational opportunities Some criticise them for subjecting education curriculum to private agendas of corporate managing directors.
Outline the 'New Vocationalism Movement' Introduced the 'Youth Training Scheme' as well as NVQ and GNVQ's (Many feel this is not as 'esteemed' as vocational training)
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