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Lecture 5

Lecture 5 - Feb. 7, 2013.docx

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Ivanka Knezevic

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Educational expansion and contradictory effects of mass education - Mass education became necessary with industrialization. It has been expanding ever since. Usual explanation: technological functionalism (increased need for technical skills). - Naiman: control of working class children - Knezevic: size of enterprises necessitates a literate workforce who need not be trained face-to-face - It homogenizes knowledge, attitudes, and values of the population (e.g. importance of time, nationalism) - It also differentiates students - Despite its striving for meritocracy, it perpetuates inequality (class, gender, racial…) School as an agent of socialization - The school introduces students to the adult world: an impersonal setting in which universal standards of achievement apply - School is probably the most meritocratic institution you will ever belong to 1. Use of extra-functional criteria is deliberately limited; and 2. After admission, role of luck is small - Students learn both a formal curriculum of school subjects and a “hidden curriculum” – standards of behaviour that integrate them into the larger society Hidden curriculum - Hidden curriculum has cognitive components (Bourdieu: cultural capital) and social components - Class bias of the hidden curriculum - Focus on intellectual, rather than manual work;\Values of self-discipline, orderliness, deference to and cooperation with authority, conformity, deferred gratification, independence (work without supervision), motivation to achieve success, symbolic rewards - Modeling: teachers (mostly of middle-class origin) and texts - Result: middle-class students receive more praise and support Credentialism - Collins: most students do not seek education per se, but the degree or diploma – the credential, which is required for good jobs and high prestige - Occupational groups professionalize to elevate their status and eliminate competition - Functions of credentialism for employers: o 1. Screening of applicants o 2. Assurance of general attributes, not specialist knowledge - Problem for the workforce: underemployment affects 2/3 of new graduates - Credential inflation: credentials needed to get jobs get inflated, although knowledge needed to perform them does not - Social benefit of credentials inflation: deflated unemployment (20% of Canadians are full-time students) Commercialization of educa
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