Schools accomplish two main tasks: homogenizing and sorting. They create homogeneity out of
diversity by instructing all students in uniform curriculum and they sort students into paths that
terminate in different social classes. Homogeneity is achieved by enforcing common standards
that serve as cultural common denominator. Sorting favours students who develop the greatest
facility in the common culture while confining those of lesser skills to subordinate work roles
and lower ranks in the class structure.
The Riot in St. Leonard was that of violence due to the language spoken and taught in schools.
Political commentators said that French was in demographic decline and that francophones
were at risk of becoming a minority in the province’s biggest city. Because so many Italians came
into the city, schools were given the option of bilingualism and as a result many children became
allophones. Bilingual programs were then eliminated, which set off protests. In the end,
immigrants were restricted to French schools by law.
Mass Education: An Overview
Diversity among families, regions, and religious traditions gradually gave way to
homogenized indoctrination into a common culture. Canada was an exception because
the provinces recognized separate school systems for Catholics and Protestans.
Educational achievement is the learning of valuable skills and knowledge while
educational attainment is the number of years of schooling successfully completed or
for higher learning, the degrees of certificates earned.
Individual Advantages and Disadvantages
Education increases earnings and education attainment helps people get jobs when higher.
The Rise of Mass Schooling
Sociologists highlight four factors for the spread of mass schooling: the development of the
printing press that led to inexpensive book production, the Protestant reformation, the spread
of democracy, and industrialism.
The printing press (created by Johannes Gutenberg), led to a dramatic fall in book prices and an
explosion of supply. Most books printed were in vernacular (everyday folk language) but literacy
Martin Luther began to criticize Catholic church who relied on priests to convey dogma to
believers. Promotes illiteracy. The protestants believed that the bible alone and not church
doctrine, should guide Christians. Protestants needed to be able to read the scriptures
themselves . Promotes literacy.
The rise of political democracy lead to free education for all children. Where local populations
acquired the democratic means to tax themselves, tax supported schools arose.
Earliest school systems formed in upper Canada and northern United States. Mass Schooling and National Wealth
The fourth and most important reason for the rise of mass schooling was industrialization.
Germany and the United States sought to catch up to England, and they surpassed it. It was
noted that both these places had school systems. It became evident that a highly productive
economy requires an education system large enough to create a mass labour work force and
rich enough to train and employ researchers able to work at the cutting edge of modern
science. This is how mass schooling began.
The Functions of Education
Certain latent or unintended consequences arise from segregating people by age and forcing
them to spend much of their time together.
One result is that schools encourage the development of a separate youth culture that can
conflict with parents’ values.
Role conflict occurs when a person’s situation presents incompatible demands (like alienation)
Assortative mating –choosing a mate who is similar to oneself on various ranking criteria. This
happens at schools because people in school have things in common, especially after post-
Schools also perform latent functions like keeping the children under close watch and freeing
parents to work.
School of dissent challenges authoritarian regimes and promotes social change
Manifest Functions: The Logic of Industrialism