Textbook Notes (362,880)
Canada (158,081)
Sociology (1,053)
SOCB26H3 (17)
Chapter 7

chapter 7

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Julian Tanner

Chapter 7: The Changing Organization of Schooling Introduction From traditional to legal authority  Pre-modern schools were small and informal. Educational authority was highly decentralized. Lessons were taught without formal guidelines. Schools operated via what max weber called “traditional authority” (institutions derive their legitimacy from a belief in the sanctity of tradition)  Teachers were proclaimed to be, along with religious authorities, moral trustees of society th  Over the course of the 20 century, as sense of citizen duty to obey authority figures and institutions gradually weakened. In its place, more contractual understandings emerged. In weber’s terms, modern schools have gradually altered their relations to students and families, embracing a more “legal-rational” authority.  Public education is hailed less as a vehicle to pass on traditions and more one to build nations and develop economies.  Course material was selected less according to humanistic ideals and more according to pragmatic visions of personal, societal, and economic development.  New modes of authority also changed the governance of schooling. Administration became centralized, with power moving up to board and provincial levels and moving down to parents and students.  The role of the educator shifted from providing moral leadership towards diagnosing particular learning difficulties and recommending solutions, akin to how a doctor or lawyer works with clients  Modern schools became more like Weber’s ideal typical bureaucracy except for the fact that is not necessarily organized to be efficient or effective.  It has been found that, the number of students per educator has become smaller. However the size of the schools themselves have increased in terms of number of students attending. Institutional theory: Schools as loosely coupled bureaucracies  Though schools may appear to have a factory like organization, its outputs and inputs are different. For instance, the various inputs of parents’ socio economic status, cultural capital, and level of education are different from that of a factory’s any given single input. Outputs of schools are hard to measure.  Institutionalized features of modern schooling: similar school types across provinces (elementary, middle, secondary) and similar number of students in each type of school  John Meyer describes schools as “loosely coupled”: their formal structures are highly rationalized but their technical activities-instruction are not. This loose coupling ensures that schools are bureaucratic, but not always in an efficiency-seeking fashion  Institutional theory builds on loose coupling to reveal a key trend: schools have become “isomorphic” over time. Isomorphism refers to the process by which organizations become more similar in form over time.  Isomorphism is a product of this organization reality: a series of factors encourage schools to appear legitimate by rationalizing their formal structures, conforming to standardized expectations, rather than by rationalizing their technical processes, as would a true factory. Schooling as work: Motivating students  Schools have a hard time in motivating students as they can’t use any assertive measures  Schools sometimes try to nurture intrinsic forms of motivation Progressive Pedagogy in the Mainstream: less structure is better  Progressive education: a pedagogical movement associated with john Dewey and often contrasted to traditional philosophies of schooling, it emphasizes student-centred learning, les structured curricula, and critical thinking. o Many educators following the pioneering work of Kilpatrick, advocate for forms of de-coursing and the project method to promote a greater integration among topics. o Beginning substantially in the 1960s, progressives called for schools to be less regimented, arguing that strict rules and procedures could stifle rather than focus student imaginations
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