Religion use to be the main source of knowledge. But now education has taken over. Edu is in fact trying
to replace religious learning. 300 years ago most pple were illiterate. Literacy rate was 99%; Edu provide
socialization. Religious training is there to isolate pple from surrounding community. Edu is become
rationalize and standardize. However, many pple still oppose edu. E.g in USA parents do home
schooling. In primary school and high school, curriculum is decided by eparchy “bureaucracy” . In uni,
the course content is decided by course instructor. Some pple pay attention to how changes in economy
have an impact on changes in edu. Steve jobs and Steve Wozniak lived in California. These two founded
apple. Apple is now largest corporation in the world, makes trillions of dollars. It is hard to believe that
somebody with such an unconventional lifestyle can be so successful. These two have changed
education system bcz most of us now use PC. Sociologist looks at how the economy influences
education. Educ has become heavily computerize. Watson and Crick published a book called The Double
Helix & it was a huge discovery; educational research has made that change in economy.
Functional and conflict approaches
Functional Approach: Generally sees edu system as meritocratic– based on merit. Edu evaluate on the
bases of achievement or merit. Functional brings this meritocracy. Functional goes back to early French
sociologist of the 19 century ( 1800) , Comte & Parsons (20 century America) both believed that edu is
functional , it makes positive influence on society & put everyone into a functioning hole. However,
Ssome jobs require credentials that are questionable. These days too much reliance on credentials. Ex.
LCATs and MCATs, they lack validity; they don’t predict how well u will do in law or med school. GRE – a
test for graduate school; we no longer needs to write this test bcz it doesn’t predict anymore how well u
will perform in graduate school. But USA students still have to write it. Thus, these exams are
Conflict Approach – given by Marx and NEO Marxist say that edu perpetuate inequality and cause
conflict. Conflict theorist says edu result in dissensus. Functionalist say edu create consensus.
Educational achievement is hard to measure.
1) Edu socialized pple . Traditional societies are also called non literate societies. Culture is passed on
from family to child. As division of labor inc, you can pursue more fields; some pple call this a knowledge
of society. Thus, parents can’t socialize u. Ex. Ur Dad is a civil engineer and u wanna be an accountant; u
need to get specialize training for that separately as ur dad can’t help. Formal edu has come along and it
becomes mandatory to take edu. Family can no longer properly socialize the child for successful
performance of adult role. High level of literacy is required in this knowledge society. 3 Rs : reading, ritin
and rithmatic(numeracy). High school, college & uni gradually branches out in diff direction. Uni goes in
more of theoretical direction. College is more applied. School doesn’t only teach literacy or numeracy
(formal curriculum), they also give informal curriculum (also called hidden curriculum). Part of it is giving
out values, believes and norms (teach good behavior). School has zero tolerance – no tolerance for
violent behavior. However, u gotta give pple discretion bcz life is not that simple. School teachers preach
punctuality. All this is part of informal curriculum. It teaches motivation and achievement. Also, teaches long range of plans ( part of informal curriculum). School teachers teach equality (part of Meritocracy).
Teachers teach deferred Gratification ex. ability to postponed ur wants, so when u leave school u can
buy a car (or whtever). Instant gratification – ex babies they want it now.
2) Creative and Discovery
Educ try to creat all these (creativity, intellectual and inquiry). You can use literacy to teach other
subjects. These two (Creative and Discovery) are created by research.
3) Social Integration or Homogenize – Gellner proposed mass edu as a basis for modern nationalism.
Nation state can’t develop without mass edu. It helps bind pple together (unify pple) & forge New-
Alliance. Then, there is less antagonism or conflict.
Two models of integration:
1) Sovereign union tried to integrate uniformity by way of socialist. Yugoslavia, Latvia; Estonia;
Lithuania (Baltic Republics) all integrate around uniformity, but this integration wasn’t successful. As
sovereign group fell, ethnic identities emerge in more powerful way.
2) In Canada, we integrate around diversity (also called multiculturalism) . It will ask pple to
retain their ethnic identity. This develops a strong commitment to that society. Common curriculum
also integrates e.g language; we have programs like ESL. All must learn 3 Rs. everyone needs to learn job
specific skills. Finally, tolerance, difference and diversity is powerful way of integrating instead of
uniformity. This is true especially for multicultural societies. Edu gives cultural capital.
Bourdieu introduce the term “cultural capital”. Edu tells u how to talk & it gives u confidence so
that u can go in and do a job interview. This gives pple social skills. However, cultural capital is expensive
and difficult to require. Thus, Pedagogic theory is used by teachers for student who can’t dig up cultural
capital. Europeans for centuries lived by themselves & that is why they were able to create culture
uniformity bcz they had no immigration. We in Canada use diversity to achieve integration. In Europe,
they use word “foreigner” instead of an “immigrant” because there is much less tolerance for outsiders.
Although UK is not extreme as others, there is still some discrimination. NA and Canada are more
accommodating. The social standing is great here.
Edu gives pple culture capital. It gives pple culturally approve status and approved occupation.
It prepares pple for performance of occupational roles. Thus it contributes to society. IT gives pple
“aptitude” (not same as intelligence); it tells pple what u r good at. How would u discover aptitude w/o
edu? Ideally, we perform well at things that we like. But we also like things when we perform well. Each
one reinforcing the next. Aptitude tells pple wht kind of skills pple possess. Edu gives pple social capital
on the basis of achievement, not background. So most students with best grades go on to graduate
school, others go to professional school e.g law, dentistry, med etc. Graduate school is where u can pick
up degree like MA and PHd. Graduate students are supported by uni e.g. TA.
See Table : Unemployment rate by highest level of edu completed Canada 2006 => u are more
likely going to be unemployed if u have less edu. Edu is imp to those who came from disadvantage background ethnicity or race. Edu is most significant
way of achieving upward mobility. It is the most common way of doing that. It lifts pple from lower class