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Lecture 11

SOCI 3630 Lecture 11

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SOCI 3630
Alireza Asgharzadeh

AP/SOCI 3630 6.0A The Sociology of Education November 20, 2013 School as a Social System  Defining a social system: - two components: social and system - Social is defined in relation to society and how it is organized-> a community of individuals and their cooperation, interaction, and interrelationship… - Society is more than the sum of its members-> the role of culture, environment, social structures.  What is meant by ‘system'? - A system is an arrangement of interrelated parts. - It is the whole system, not the parts alone, that counts… - All living systems are classified as “open systems” - This means, that they are dependent  Various Parts of a System - A system is composed of regularly interacting parts that form the emergent whole. - This whole is influenced by and composed of: - 1) Boundary- all systems have a border or boundary that differentiates them from others. Boundaries may be physical, social, cultural, psychological, etc. - 2) Purpose and Goals- all living systems have a purpose, or a reason for living. - 3) Inputs- materials and energy must be imported from the environment e.g. money, equipment… - 4) Transformation- the input must be transformed into other forms of services and products… - 5) Outputs- materials and energy are exported to the environment… - 6) Feedback- knowing whether or the system is on target - 7) Environment- everything outside the systems boundary is the environment, i.e., wider society.  SCHOOLAS A SOCIAL SYSTEM: An Evaluation - School is rooted in society - School has certain goals and objectives: i.e., educating students - It receives students, educates them and gives them back to society Questions of interest: (line of arguments) - Is the process as linear and simple as the system’s theory makes it sound? - What about relations of power? - How about issues around the production of knowledge, ideologies, and politics?  EXAMPLES FROM CANADIAN EDUCATION SYSTEMS - Aboriginal Education - A holistic notion of education (no separation between mind/body/soul) - An education to fulfill material needs - An education for cultural survival - Emphasizing the interconnectivity between the environment and people - Emphasizing the unity of mind and body - Emphasizing notions of spirituality (not to be mistaken with established religion) - An informal system of socilozation  Early forms of education in Canada: ABORIGINAL EDUCATION - After the confederation, the British North American Act (1867) gave their federal government jurisdiction over “Indians and lands reserved for Indians’, including the formal education of aboriginal children. - An education established by missionaries, priests, and religious orders - Its main purpose was to replace indigenous knowledge’s with a Eurocentric knowledge - Emphasizing Christianity and Christian morality - Teaching European concepts and worldviews - Replacing indigenous languages with European languages Residential Schools - Aboriginal children taken from parents and communities and placed in residential schools which were supported by government agencies and run by the churches. - A clear example of Canada’s assimilation of Aboriginal people - The idea was that children needed to be rescued from “evil surroundings”. - Residential schools were to re-socialize native children through separation, education, and finally assimation into the dominant culture. - Children were forbidden to speak their language, practice their traditions/culture and learn their history. - Characterized by mismanagement and abuse, more concerned with “saving souls” than with literacy education - Overwork, overcrowding, rampant, ill health, high death rate, hunger and malnou
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