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Problems of Education Chapter 11. Sociological Perspectives on Education Functionalists stress stability and consensus and how education meets the needs.

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Presentation on theme: "Problems of Education Chapter 11. Sociological Perspectives on Education Functionalists stress stability and consensus and how education meets the needs."— Presentation transcript:

1 Problems of Education Chapter 11

2 Sociological Perspectives on Education Functionalists stress stability and consensus and how education meets the needs of society Conflict theorists emphasize how schools reproduce inequalities in society Interactionists point out how interaction and labels shape education

3 Functionalist Approaches Functionalist perspective – problems in the educational system are a symptom of social disorganization »Schools are geared to educate students from stable homes and families »Educational problems involve deviance from accepted norms of achievement »Education as meeting the needs of a changing culture and economy

4 Conflict Approaches Conflict perspective - views the problems in education as stemming from the inequalities in society Conflict view has two themes Marxian »Focus is on reducing inequalities »Schools reflect the values of the dominant group

5 Conflict Approaches Conflict view has two themes Non-Marxian »Value-conflict approach »Intergroup conflict over defending one’s educational interests

6 Interactionist Approaches Interactionists focus on how schools label students and the impact this has on education and achievement »Achievers »Underachievers »Slackers »Rebels How teacher expectations influence student achievement

7 Educational Attainment and Achievement Today, ever-greater proportions of American students are finishing high school and going on to college The gap of educational attainment between blacks and whites has narrowed considerably since the turn of the century It is argued that higher dropout rates among minority students are caused by the fact that they do not receive enough help at home (cultural- disadvantage argument)

8 Educational Attainment and Achievement The United States lags behind many other advanced industrial nations in standardized test scores. Third International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) indicates that schoolchildren in Asia perform better academically than those in the U.S. The level of student achievement remains a subject of widespread debate

9 Education and Equality: The Issue of Equal Access American society is based on the premise that everyone should have the right to an education »Equality through education There is a lot of criticism that not all students have access to the same quality education »Especially true for central-city minority children »Urban and suburban divide in educational access and resources

10 Black Students The lower level of educational attainment of African Americans early on can be attributed to: »The high concentration of African Americans in the south during the early part of the twentieth century »The Great Depression and the high rate of African American unemployment »Residential and educational segregation and the under-funding of African American schools

11 Hispanic Students Factors behind lower educational attainment among Hispanic students »Language barrier »De facto segregation in poor school districts Bilingual/bicultural education as a solution to improving the educational attainment of Hispanics

12 Hispanic Students Bilingual education programs have been controversial Critics favor English immersion-based programs for non-English speaking students »Critics argue it is a more effective approach to prepare non-English students to compete effectively in America

13 Asian Students Students from Chinese, Korean, East Indian, and other Asian backgrounds face entirely different problems in U.S. schools.

14 Preschool Programs Head Start has grown in significance as an effective early-educational program »Low-income children are eligible for the program Children in Head Start are: »More likely to complete school »Lower rate of juvenile problems

15 Preschool Programs Perry Preschool Project - an early intervention program in Michigan Results of the Perry Project 1. Preschool children in the program showed improved cognitive performance 2. Improved scholastic performance throughout schooling 3. Increased high school graduation rate

16 Preschool Programs Results of the Perry Project 4. Showed lower rates of crime and delinquency 5. Lower rates of use of welfare 6. Lower rates of teenage pregnancy

17 Desegregation Pressures and policies to desegregate schools have come from the courts »Supreme court case in 1954 Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas The Brown decision showed that Segregation had negative effects on African-American children In 1980, the pace of desegregation slowed

18 Desegregation In 1991 the Supreme Court ruled in an Oklahoma city decision that schools could cease to bus students if the school District could show it has taken all practical steps to desegregate the schools In 2007, the Court reversed the landmark precedent, ruling that voluntary policies designed to select students based on race in order to achieve more integrated classrooms are unconstitutional.

19 School Reform: Problems of Institutional Change Primary source of resistance to educational change has been educational institutions Schools have become large bureaucratic organizations with an existence independent of their educational goals

20 School Reform: Problems of Institutional Change Schools as Bureaucracies Bureaucratization of education has resulted in an increase in organizational size and complexity »Large administrative staffs Bureaucratization as led to an elaborate system of authority within educational organizations The push for National Standards in Education is leading to educational uniformity

21 School Reform: Problems of Institutional Change Classroom and School Size The push for fewer students in a class »Smaller classes is related to increased achievement »Over 80 percent of teachers and administrators feel that a class size of 17 produces the best result in student achievement School size and student performance »Students perform better in smaller schools

22 School Reform: Problems of Institutional Change School Choice Voucher system - families are given an educational voucher(allowance) to use in choosing a school to send their children to Charter schools - specialized schools for students Homeschoolers are students whose parents report that their children are taught at home rather than in a public or private school. Students who are homeschooled perform as well, if not better, on average than those graduating from public schools.

23 School Reform: Problems of Institutional Change The Technological Fix The technological fix to problems is related to American belief in the value of technology »Often apply technology to the solution of problems Network computer is viewed as a techno-fix for education Computers in the classroom

24 School Reform: Problems of Institutional Change The Technological Fix Only two in ten teachers use computers daily with their students Computer gap between the haves and have not

25 School Reform: Problems of Institutional Change Teachers’ Unions have lobbied for some forms of educational reform Smaller classes Resources for the handicapped Funds for in service training

26 School Reform: Problems of Institutional Change Teachers’ Unions Teachers unions have also been opposed to policies to improve teacher competence and testing

27 School Violence Public perception has been at odds with the facts on school violence School violence has been declining since 1993 to the present

28 School Violence Current sources of school violence are: 1. Lack of parental supervision 2. Violence in the media 3. Availability of guns 4. Harassment of students by other students 5. Influence of outside groups 6. Low self-esteem brought on by social isolation

29 School Violence Solutions to school violence Increase teacher authority in schools Metal detectors and security guards

30 Social Policy An alternative to school vouchers is reform of the property tax system for funding schools in the United States Educational Conservatism and Back to Basics Schools should concentrate on the essentials

31 Social Policy Back to Basics movement got its momentum from a National Commission on Excellence in Education study “A Nation at Risk” The report stressed »Longer school hours, more homework, and more discipline »Teacher pay based on merit

32 Social Policy Educational Conservatism and Back to Basics The Fight Over National Standards Under the Bush administration there has been a push for the establishment of National Standards for Education

33 Social Policy Educational Conservatism and Back to Basics Opponents view the establishment of National Standards will hamper local efforts to achieve educational excellence »Stifle change and creativity The federal No Child Left Behind Act places heavy stress on achieving its goals through standardized tests in the primary grades This legislation was inspired by what was called the “Texas Miracle”

34 Social Policy Reading First and Social-Scientific Evaluation The centerpiece of the No Child Left Behind legislation was a new research-based approach called Reading First.

35 Social Policy Humanism and Open Education Education for all Progressive movement in Education began in the early 1900s Open-education The establishment of community colleges

36 Social Policy Access to Higher Education Establishment of two-year community colleges »Open-admission policy

37 Social Policy Future Prospects Current trends Improve the quality of public school teaching »Teacher pay »Assessing teacher quality Longer school year School choice


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