SOCIOL 1000: Education

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Education Education · Like the family, education is a social institution · Education – The transmission of knowledge, skills, and cultural norms and values to members of a society · Education system also shapes people’s values and behaviors · 2 types of education 1. Informal education § Informal Education – The experiences of everyday life that teach us about our surroundings § These experiences are not designed by someone to stimulate specific thoughts or to impact specific skills § Ex: Achild puts her hand in a puppet and learns how to move it as if it were talking 2. Formal education § Formal Education – The systematic and structured training provided typically by schools § With formal education there is a planned effort designed to impart specific skills and thoughts § Until the 19 century (1800s) relatively few people had a formal education ú Those that did were generally white men of the upper class § Today our society requires literacy – to read, write, and count – in turn creating a demand for formal education § Today formal education can also be a status symbol, providing some more prestige than others ú Ex: university vs. technical school ú Ex: Mizzou vs. Harvard § Formal education teaches us more than reading, writing, and arithmetic ú It also teachers us social skills such as punctuality, obedience to authority, teamwork, cooperation with others, patriotism, etc. § Some believe there is also a hidden curriculum in schools, where students of different social backgrounds are taught skills and lessons based on their social position § What are some examples presented by Kozol? ú Urban schools were more focused on students getting jobs out of high school · Taught them to be managers ú The little girl accused of being ghetto, because she has to take a sewing class 5 Functions of Formal Education 1. Socialization - Teaching knowledge and skills (formal education) 2. Cultural Transmission - Schools play an important part in the transmission of culture by teaching students society’s core values 3. Assimilation and Social Control - Schools function to assimilate culturally distinct individuals into a larger culture o Ex: Learn how to interact with one another, learn what you should or should not be wearing, what is attractive and unattractive, what is and is not appropriate behavior, etc. 4. Social Placement – Schools play an important role in determining who will eventually occupy high and low status positions in society o United States school system emphasizes the ethic of hard work, meritocracy, and credentialism § Meritocracy –Asystem where it is believed that those who do the most work and are the best workers, will earn the greatest reward ú Ex: Those who study the most and put the most effort forward will get the best grades and receive the best jobs § Credentialism – The process of increasing the minimum education requirements/credentials individuals need to get into particular programs or for job placement ú Ex: 20-30 years ago, a Bachelor’s degree wa
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