Textbook Notes (362,776)
Canada (158,052)
Sociology (1,053)
SOCA02H3 (310)
Chapter 17


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University of Toronto Scarborough
Malcolm Mac Kinnon

CHAPTER 17 EDUCATION The Riot in St LonardOn September 10 1969 a brawl began between the French unilinguist Ligue pour lintgration scolaire and their opposing group o The violence was widely deplored by commentators of all political persuasions but today the St Lonard riot is recognized as a turning point in Quebec historyIt culminated in Bill 101which makes French the language of public administrationimposes French language tests for admission to the professionsrequires most businesses with more than 50 employees to operate mainly in Frenchrequires collective agreements to be drafted in Frenchensured that in Quebec children of immigrants would be required to receive primary and secondary schooling in FrenchA year before the street violence erupted the language of instruction in public schools had emerged as a hotly contested issue o Political commentators raised concerns that French was in demographic decline and that francophones were at risk of becoming a minority in MontrealIn 1963 the St Lonard school board had responded to an influx of new residents of Italian descent by establishing the option of bilingual educationIn 1968 the St Lonard school board eliminated bilingual programs setting off a cycle of protests and counterprotestsOpinions on the wisdom and fairness of Bill 101 still varySchools are important institutions o They teach students a common culture that forms a framework for social life o Shape work politics and much else o Sorts children into adult jobs and social classesWhat makes schooling important and sometimes controversial is that schools are where societies endow future generations with the key capacities of communication coordination and economic productivitySchools must create homogeneity out of diversity by instructing all students using a uniform curriculum and they sort students into paths that terminate in different social classes o Homogeneity is achieved by enforcing common standards that serve as a cultural common denominator o 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 structureTo fully understand education we must grasp its implications for other facets of social organization Mass Education An OverviewThe education system has displaced organized religion as the main purveyor of formal knowledgeThe education system is second in importance only to the family as an agent of socializationUniversal mass education is a recent phenomenon and is limited to relatively wealthy countriesFor most of history families were chiefly responsible for socializing the young and training them to perform adult rolesUniform SocializationCreating systems of education that had sufficient resources to include all children was a social change of breathtaking scopeReplacing family and religious training with a centralized and rationalized system created strong pressures towards uniformity and standardizationDiversity among families regions and religious traditions gradually gave way to homogenized indoctrination into a common culture th In the 19 century Canada was an exception because the provinces recognized separate school systems for Catholics and ProtestantsToday postsecondary institutions make no such distinction in admissions or curricula o Lack of recognition of distinct religious tracks was among the key pressures that forced secondary schools to cover the same topics in the same fashion to prepare their students for more advanced trainingSurrendering children to state control was not universally popular at least at first o Some students preferred skipping class and truant officers were charged with tracking down absentees who were then punished o Effective mass education was achieved only through laws that made attendance compulsoryRising Levels of EducationThe amount of education that people receive has risen steadily and this trend shows no sign of abatingHopes for children to undertake education beyond high school reflect growing recognition of certain barriersfinancial motivational and academic performancethat limit how far some students can goPostsecondary training is increasingly widespread because education is the most visible option for improving employment opportunitiesSociologists distinguish educational attainment from educational achievement o Educational achievement the learning or skill that an individual acquires and at least in principle it is what grades reflect o Educational attainment the number of years of schooling completed or for higher levels certificates and degrees earned
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