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Education Sociology, Eleventh Edition. EDUCATION: A GLOBAL SURVEY.

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Presentation on theme: "Education Sociology, Eleventh Edition. EDUCATION: A GLOBAL SURVEY."— Presentation transcript:

1 Education Sociology, Eleventh Edition


3 Education vs. Schooling Education –The social institution through which society provides its members with: »important knowledge, including basic facts, »job skills, and »cultural norms and values. Schooling –Formal instruction under the direction of specially trained teachers. Sociology, Eleventh Edition

4 Schooling & Economic Development The extent of schooling in any society is directly linked to its level of economic development. Low & middle income countries – Education is a matter of what parents and community members can teach the children. Ancient Greece  wealthy people don’t need to work  go to school.

5 Schooling & Economic Development In the world’s poorest countries, only ½ of children go to school. World-wide, only ½ of children make it to secondary school. 1/3 of world’s people cannot read or write. Many poor children must work for income instead of focusing on education.


7 Schooling in India Indians earn 8% of US average income. Child labor has been outlawed but children are still working in factories. –60 hours a week 81% of Indian children complete primary school. –Teacher-student ratio ~ 1:60 <1/2 go to secondary school 39% illiteracy rate Patriarchy shaped Indian education. –More likely to invest in schooling of boys than girls. –Parent must provide a dowry to groom’s family. –Girl’s work will support groom’s family. –30% of girls go to secondary school –Many work in factories so parents can benefit.

8 Schooling in Japan 1872 – mandatory education Today, Japan’s educational system produces some of the world’s highest achievers. Early grades – teach tradition Teens take competitive exams. –Decide the future of all Japanese students. 96% graduation rate (US 85%) 50% go to college (based on personal ability shown through exam scores) –62% in US go to college Japanese students outperform all other students in fields such as science and math.

9 Schooling in Great Britain In the Middle Ages, schooling was a privilege of British nobility. Industrial Revolution led to the need for an educated working class. The government will help pay for the education of high scorers on entrance exams. Wealthy families, whose kids did not score well, still manage to send their kids to prestigious schools like Oxford or Cambridge. –  high government positions

10 Schooling in the United States 1918 – Mandatory Education Law US education system – shaped by our high standard of living & democratic principles (young people shouldn’t work & everyone should receive an education). Today –4/5 – High school education –¼ - 4 year degree Highest number of adults with university degrees. Stress the value of practical learning (providing job skills).


12 Functions of Schooling Socialization –Primary schooling Basic language and mathematical skills –Secondary schooling Expansion of basic skills to include the transmission of cultural values and norms. Cultural innovation –Creating and transmitting culture Social integration –Brings a diverse nation together Social placement –Increases meritocracy Rewards talent and hard work Sociology, Eleventh Edition

13 Latent Functions of Schooling Schools as child-care providers. Engages young people at a time in their lives when jobs are not plentiful. Sets the stage for establishing relationships & networks. line/shows/divided/etc/view.html line/shows/divided/etc/view.html Sociology, Eleventh Edition


15 Schooling & Social Inequality Social control –Mandatory education laws encourage compliance, following directions, and discipline. –Hidden curriculum – subtle presentations of political or cultural ideas in the classroom. Standardized testing –Measures logical reasoning. –Camry is to Toyota as _____________ is to Cadillac. A. Cobalt B. Lexus C. Escalade D. Highlander –Is the question biased? –If so, who is at a disadvantage? Sociology, Eleventh Edition

16 Schooling & Social Inequality School tracking –Assigning students to different types of education programs (college prep, gen ed, vocational, etc.) Does it segregate students into winners and losers? –Tracking supposedly helps teachers meet each student’s individual needs. Kozol argued that unequal funding makes some schools better than others. –Privileged students do better on standardized tests and get into higher tracks, where they receive the best the school can offer. Inequality between schools –Public vs. Private schools Small classes, greater discipline & harder coursework –Suburban vs. Urban districts Funding Busing – Is it a fix?

17 Social Capital According to the Coleman report: Even if school funding was the same everywhere, students who benefit more from social capital would still perform better. –Those whose parents: Value schooling Read to their children Encourage the development of imagination

18 Access to Higher Education Money is the largest stumbling block to higher education. Family income is still best predictor for college attendance. –Families making at least $75,000 send 64% of their children to college. –Families making under $20,000 send 27% of their children to college. On average, a person with a college degree will add almost $500,000 to his or her earnings over a lifetime. 2004 study – Men with an 8 th grade education earn ~$22,000; high school education ~$36,000;college graduate ~$57,000 per year. Sociology, Eleventh Edition

19 National Map 20-1 (p. 533) Teachers’ Salaries across the United States In 2004, the average public school teacher in the U.S. earned $46,752. The map shows the average teacher salary for all the states; they range from a low of $33,236 in South Dakota to a high of $57,337 in Connecticut. Looking at the map, what pattern do you see? What do high-salary (and low-salary) states have in common? Source: National Education Association, Rankings and Estimates Rankings of the States and Estimate of School of School Statistics 2004. Washington, D.C., NEA, 2004, p. 19.

20 Figure 20-1 (p. 535) Home and School Environments: Effects on Learning Because children spend only 13 percent of their waking hours in school, the home environment has a greater effect on learning than the school environment. Schools–even poor ones–help to narrow the learning gap between advantaged and disadvantaged children, but they are not able to close the gap completely. Source: D. B. Downey, P.T. von Hippel, and B. A. Broh, “Are Schools the Great Equalizer?”, American Sociological Review, vol. 69 no. 5 (October 2004), p. 614, Fig. 1. Reprinted by permission.

21 Figure 20-2 (p. 536) College Attendance and Family Income, 2002 The higher a family’s income, the more likely it is that children will attend college. Source: U.S. Census Bureau (2004). Sociology, Eleventh Edition

22 Community Colleges Why are community colleges important? 1.Low tuition rates increase the likelihood of first generation college students to go to college. 2.Enroll almost 40% of college students. 3.½ of all African Americans and Hispanics attend community colleges. 4.Teaching is the top priority of faculty members (not conducting research).


24 Problems in Schools School discipline –Many believe schools need to teach discipline because it isn’t addressed within the home setting. Violence in schools –Students and teachers are assaulted. –Weapons are brought to school. –Society’s problems spill into schools. Answer –Adjust attitudes so learning is the focus. –Skillful and committed teaching. –Firm disciplinary standards enforced. –Administrative and parental support. Sociology, Eleventh Edition

25 Student Passivity Students are BORED! Theodore Sizer’s five ways large, bureaucratic schools undermine education: Rigid uniformity –Insensitive to cultural character of community Numerical ratings –Success defined in terms of numbers on test scores Rigid expectations –Age and grade level expectations What about those who have exceeded the expectations? Specialization –Many courses, many teachers –Teachers don’t get to know students Little individual responsibility –Little empowerment to learn on one’s own

26 DISCUSSION QUESTION What factors do you think are responsible for widespread student passivity in the classroom?

27 The “Silent” Classroom The norm is to not talk in a college class, and students can get upset at others who talk “too much”. No matter what the class size –Only a handful of students speak Passivity is the norm –It is deviant to speak up in class What makes a difference? –Female instructors tend to call on men and women equally, whereas male instructors tend to call on men. Reasons –Students are conditioned to listen –Instructors come to class with lectures prepared and students do not wish to get sidetracked.

28 Apathetic Students Many students expect learning to be delivered and don’t realize they are part of the process. Apathy is high among students. Reasons: –Television –Parents –Schools –Other students High tech may hold one key for sparking interest. –Bringing multimedia into the classroom. Sociology, Eleventh Edition

29 DISCUSSION QUESTION Are parents too quick to place the blame on teachers today?

30 Dropping Out 10% between 16 & 24 have dropped out of high school --- 3.8 million. Hispanics drop out more than African Americans; African Americans drop out more than Caucasians. Why? –Problems with English language, pregnancy, or work to support the family.

31 Academic Standards A Nation at Risk - a 1983, governmental commission –Troublesome findings concerning what students are and are not learning in school. 40% of those screened could not draw inferences from written materials. 33% of those screened could complete multi-step mathematical problems. Other insights –Functional illiteracy – a lack of reading and writing skills needed for everyday living. Many teens leave school without having learned basic skills. –Lack of interest in the importance of education apathetic attitudes toward classes, course materials, doing assignments, and attendance. –Belief that good grades need not be “earned,” but rather just rewarded (as if they had a right to them). Sociology, Eleventh Edition

32 Academic Standards Recommendations from A Nation at Risk 1.All schools should require several years of English, math, social studies, general science & computer science. 2.No more “social promotion” of failing students from grade to grade. 3.Teacher training and salaries should improve. Sociology, Eleventh Edition

33 Figure 20-4 (p. 542) Grade Inflation in U.S. High Schools In recent decades, teachers have given higher and higher grades to students. Source: Sax et al. (2004).

34 DISCUSSION QUESTION Is grade inflation a problem? Since 1970, 93% of Stanford University’s grades have been As and Bs --- and no Fs. In 1995, Stanford reintroduced failing grades (NP for “not passed”). –Why would they change an F to a NP?


36 School Choice Introduction of competition to public schools and giving parents options might force all schools to do a better job. What do you think? Sociology, Eleventh Edition

37 DISCUSSION QUESTION Is homeschooling an effective alternative to public or private schools? Would you allow your child to be homeschooled? Why/Why not? Sociology, Eleventh Edition

38 Mainstreaming Integrating students with special needs into the overall educational program. Five million students are classified as mentally or physically disabled. Many of the five million receive marginal classroom experiences. Inclusive education maintains that it is good to integrate all children. Mainstreaming needs to be approached with a measure of common sense. –In cases in which one has to serve the severe and profound populations, a segregated classroom may be best. Sociology, Eleventh Edition

39 The Teacher Shortage Shortage due to the retirement of older teachers, job-related frustration, and low pay. Using incentives such as higher salaries and signing bonuses to attract people. States could make certification easier to get. School districts are going global—actively recruiting in such countries as Spain, India, and the Philippines to bring talented women and men from around the world to U.S. classrooms. Sociology, Eleventh Edition

40 Schooling: Looking Ahead

41 Role of Schools The U.S. leads the world in sending people to college but has many serious problems. –Quality of schooling has fallen behind. We cannot expect schools by themselves to provide high- quality education. –Students, teacher, parents and local communities must work together. –Educational problems are social problems  no quick fix. Computers cannot replace good teachers. Technology can be a great tool but cannot solve the problems in schools. What we need: a broad plan for social change that renews this country’s early ambition to provide high-quality universal schooling.

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