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Education For most of us education takes place in schools. 1. They are the first organisations most of us attend on our own. 2. Education is the continuation.

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Presentation on theme: "Education For most of us education takes place in schools. 1. They are the first organisations most of us attend on our own. 2. Education is the continuation."— Presentation transcript:

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2 Education For most of us education takes place in schools. 1. They are the first organisations most of us attend on our own. 2. Education is the continuation of the socialisation started in the family 3. There is a close connection between the economy and skills acquired in education 4. The kind of work people do is influenced by the kind of education they get. 5. The issue of who does well and who doesn't in education is a key concern of sociologists.

3 The Education Act 1944 set out the blueprint for education in England and Wales in the rebuilding years after World War II. A free system of compulsory education was at the heart of this and the primary sector between 5-11years (including nursery, infant and junior schools) and secondary sector for those aged 11-15 (raised to 16 in the 1972) led to a new wave of optimism for the future generations. The Tripartite System was seen as very radical at the time and intended to create ‘equality of opportunity’ i.e. the same chances for everyone. However, by the 1960’s people became disillusioned that this was not actually happening History Of Education Post WW II

4 1944 Butler Education Act 3 types of school were set up post 11 11+ exam was introduced 1.Grammar Schools –top 11+ passes 2.Technical schools - lower passes 3.Secondary Modern School – Majority who failed

5 History Of Education Post WW II Criticisms The failure of ‘parity of esteem’ – All types of school were supposed to be of equal status, however it soon became clear that parents, teachers and students saw grammar schools as superior. Stigma – Those who failed the 11+ were seen as labelled as ‘failures’ in wider society and this had a negative affect on how students saw themselves.

6 History Of Education Post WW II Criticisms The 11+ exam – was criticised for being culturally biased in favour of the middle classes. The majority of students in grammar schools came from middle class backgrounds. The 11+ exam was also seen as giving little scope to recognise late developers. Very few students managed to transfer to grammar schools later in their school careers.

7 History Of Education Post WW II Criticisms Discrimination – girls had to achieve higher pass scores than boys to get to grammar schools (this was argued away at the time as girls maturing earlier than boys) Unequal funding – grammar schools received more money per students than other types of schools.

8 History Of Education Post WW II 1960s-70s In 1965 the Labour government insisted that all LEA’s (Local Education Authorities) should change their secondary systems to the comprehensive ideal. However they realised that this could not be done over night and allowed a period of years for the transfer. Some authorities were encouraged to do this as quickly as possible while other areas wanted to keep their grammar schools. The following Conservative government allowed areas to keep grammar schools if they wanted to and hence today there are areas of the country where grammar schools still exist. The big wave of movement to comprehensive schools in England and Wales was in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s.

9 History Of Education Post WW II As a result of the criticisms many areas changed to Comprehensive schools in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s These schools were believed to give equality of opportunity for everyone Today the vast majority of schools in the UK are comprehensive There are no Grammar schools in Scotland or Wales

10 History Of Education Post WW II It is important to see that our school system today is a legacy of the policies of successive governments since the war. Some areas today are totally comprehensive (Wales has no state grammar schools) while some areas still do have grammar schools e.g. Torbay, Kent. The arguments about which system is best continue to rumble.

11 History Of Education Post WW II Advantages Of Comprehensives No more exam pressure at 11 leading to many feeling ‘failures’ One type of school meant more resources for all students. Streaming and setting meant that pupils could still work at levels according to their abilities. Parity of esteem was now established.

12 History Of Education Post WW II Disadvantages Of Comprehensives Many comprehensive schools are too big and impersonal Streaming and setting mean that inequalities still exist, students in low sets are still made to feel ‘failures’. Many have said that the comprehensive system is just ‘the tripartite system under one roof’

13 History Of Education Post WW II Disadvantages Of Comprehensives Higher ability students are not stretched. Middle class students still do better than those from working class backgrounds. Teachers just tended to recreate what they were familiar with, sets, bands, streams etc and did not fully adopt the ‘comprehensive ideal’ themselves.

14 History Of Education Post WW II Mr M went to the Grammar school on the right (in Yorks) but in 1973 it combined with the Secondary Modern School on the left to make one comprehensive school.

15 History Of Education Post WW II 1988 The Education Reform Act This act introduced a number of things Opting out of Local Authority control - GM (Grant Maintained) schools (Now Foundation Schools – like Churston) More Parental Choice City Technology Colleges (in partnership with businesses) The National Curriculum

16 History Of Education Post WW II The National Curriculum The aim was to create a standard across all schools Based on traditional subjects and firm moral values It introduced core subjects Key Stages, SATS, GCSE’s were all introduced OFSTED was set up to inspect schools on a regular basis

17 History Of Education Post WW II Criticisms The ERA does not cover private schools The league tables have created ‘sink’ schools. Those schools appearing in the bottom places find it hard to attract better students and consequently remain at the bottom, conversely those at the top can live off their reputation, attract able students and keep maintain their loft position. Too much testing has led teachers ‘teaching to the test’ rather than taking a holistic approach to the learning experiences of students. (Some SATS have since been dropped)

18 History Of Education Post WW II 1997 New Labour The Labour government since 1997 has sought to develop a ‘third way’ in education. Mindful of all the chopping and changing of the last 60 years they have merged traditional calls for equality in education with a desire to offer choice and diversity. One of the biggest changes in recent times has been the Curriculum 2000 initiative, something that you as a student at the present time will be living with the effects of!

19 History Of Education Post WW II Curriculum 2000 The major aim of this policy was to broaden the curriculum in the 16-18 age group. Compared with other European countries, Sixth formers in England and Wales studied fewer subjects A Levels were replaced with the AS and A2 system with a more modular approach to subjects AVCE’s (Advanced Vocational Certificates in Education) have replaced Advanced GNVQ’s to offer a vocational alternative to A levels and to raise their profile for entry to Higher Education establishments. Numeracy and literacy initiatives have been introduced into primary schools and lower key stages in secondary schools in an attempt to improve the old 3R’s (Reading, writing and arithmetic). Other initiatives have included attempts to reduce infant class sizes, widen university access and set up Education Action Zones.

20 Curriculum 2000 - Criticisms The AS has led to a much more stilted stop start approach with many students repeating module exams 2/3 times. Staff and students are under more work pressure and therefore have little time for the important extra-curricular activities. History Of Education Post WW II

21 Curriculum 2000 - Criticisms Most students have not taken up 5 AS levels in their first year and hence the broadening of the curriculum has not become a reality. Changes have been made to subjects in 2009 – most A levs have gone from 6 to 4 exams History Of Education Post WW II

22 New School Categories 1999 In a reform that removed the "opted-out" grant-maintained sector, the government introduced four new categories of school. Community Schools Foundation Schools Voluntary Aided Schools Voluntary Controlled Schools Community Schools the local education authority owns the land and buildings, but the governing body is responsible for running the school the local education authority funds the school and employs the staff the local education authority (Education and Library Board in Northern Ireland) employs the staff the pupils have to follow the national curriculum the admissions policy is usually determined and administered by the local education authority History Of Education Post WW II

23 Foundation Schools the land and buildings are owned by a governing body, who are also responsible for running the school the local education authority funds the school the governing body employs the staff the governing body buys in and administers most of the support services the pupils have to follow the national curriculum the admissions policy is determined and administered by the governing body, in consultation with the local education authority and other relevant schools in the area. History Of Education Post WW II

24 Voluntary Aided Schools the land and buildings are normally owned by a voluntary organisation, usually a church, but the governing body is responsible for running the school the school is funded partly by the local education authority partly by the governing body and partly by the voluntary organisation the governing body employs the staff the local education authority (Education and Library Board in Northern Ireland) provides support services the pupils have to follow the national curriculum the admissions policy is determined and administered by the governors in consultation with the local education authority and other relevant schools in the area. Voluntary Controlled Schools the school is funded by the local education authority the local education authority employs the staff and provides support services the pupils have to follow the national curriculum the admissions policy is usually determined and administered by the local education authority History Of Education Post WW II

25 Functionalists Parsons School is a bridge between the family and wider society Move from particularistic standards of the family To universalistic values of society I.E. In the family you are special to your parents and you are treated as an individual.

26 Functionalists In society you are judged against standards because people don’t know you. E.g exams Education is a meritocracy – a system based on merit Schools also teach the values of society Schools assess students’ abilities and match them up to relevant jobs

27 Functionalism Davis and Moore 1967 - sifting and grading  Schools sift and grade pupils according to ability  The most talented get high qualifications which lead to important jobs Important jobs get high rewards

28 Functionalists Criticisms Durkheim assumes the values transmitted in school are those of society as a whole rather than those of powerful groups Parsons fails to look at diversity of values in society.

29 Functionalists Criticisms cont Many question the idea of education being a meritiocracy Social class prevents the education system sifting and grading according to ability i.e. MC kids do better at school than those from WC

30 Marxism

31 Marxists are very critical of the role played by the education system. They do not agree with functionalists and others that it is a meritocratic system but rather it keeps the inequalities, found in capitalist, society going. It does this by pretending to give everyone an equal chance but the reality is that those from middle class backgrounds do better at school than those from working class backgrounds. This is why Marxists often talk about the ‘myth of meritocracy’.

32 Marxism Althuser 1971 A neo-Marxist, Althuser looked at how we are ‘conned’ into accepting this inequality in education. He argued that education convinces pupils that the capitalist system is fair (part of the ‘false consciousness’ that Marx talked about) and that children are prepared in school for their exploitation in the workplace. The key ways in which this is done are:

33 Marxism Althuser 1971 Via the hidden curriculum – Students learn to follow orders and instructions at school thus preparing them for the same at work. Rewards – exams offer the rewards to students who work hard, even though they are often totally bored with the work they do. In Marxist language students are ‘alienated’ they often don’t see the relevance of what they are studying. This is the same in the world of work where the only reward is often the money earned

34 Marxism Bowles & Gintis 1976 – The Correspondence Principle Work casts a long shadow over education The hidden curriculum is the key Schools teach us to be hard working and obedient so that we will not challenge authority when we go to work Schools produce a subservient workforce

35 Marxism Bowles & Gintis 1976 cont Students who conform receive higher rewards than those who are creative and independent Schools are not meritocratic but they pretend to be This is the illusion of equality of opportunity Students are made to think that the system is fair

36 Marxism Bowles & Gintis 1976 cont SchoolWork Schools have a hierarchical structureWork places are organised hierarchically Pursuit of good exam grades help students to put up with boring stuff. Wages/Salaries help workers to put up with the boring stuff The school day is split into unitsWork is split into units – work time and rest periods Obeying the rules is rewardedObeying the rules means you get paid

37 Marxism Bourdieu 1977 - Cultural Capital the process whereby a dominant culture penetrates educational institutions MC kids have an advantage because they have been socialised into the dominant culture MC pupils have the codes to unlock the mysteries of education MC parents have the ‘knowledge ‘ of how to play the system in their favour.

38 Marxism Bourdieu 1977 - Cultural Reproduction Reproduction takes place via the socialisation of the young In effect MC kids grow up to have MC jobs..have kids who grow up to be MC etc etc…..

39 Marxism Willis 1977 This famous but now 30 year old study of a Midlands comprehensive school by Paul Willis combines Marxist theory with the insights of interactionism. Using participant observation and interviews he followed 12 working class ‘lads’ through their last year at school and into the first few months of their jobs.

40 Marxism Willis 1977 Willis showed that the subculture of the lads at school was matched by the shop floor subculture they faced on starting work. Both shared a macho, sexist, racist, anti authoritarian atmosphere; ‘having a laff’ to get through the day with ‘your mates’ was the essential thing.

41 Marxism Willis 1977 However, Willis did not see the lads as helpless victims in this process. They did see through the ‘smoke screen of false consciousness’ in other words they were aware that they were destined to fail exams and their anti-school stance was in part a rejection of the values of the school. The paradox is that by failing in education they were being well prepared for the type of work they went into.

42 Marxism Criticisms 1.The role of education has been over simplified 2.Students do see the system as unfair 3.All students do not conform to the rules and regulations of school life. 4.People do have different abilities and some skills are in short supply, therefore it is functionally necessary that some will earn more than others

43 Feminism Feminists argue that education helps to reinforce the patriarchal nature of modern society i.e. the belief that society is male controlled and dominated. Feminism has many different strands:

44 Feminism Liberal Feminists Liberal feminists argue that legislation and education can help to change gender inequalities in society. Many believe that this gradual process has had a great success rate already – males and females have access to equal opportunities in education.

45 Feminism Marxist Feminists Marxist feminists blame the capitalist system for forcing women into the supporting role of wife/mother at home and in lower positions in the workforce. Education helps to preserve these expectations on both men and women.

46 Feminism Radical Feminism Radical feminists focus on the violent nature of patriarchy. The school classroom and playground are where this male violence (both physical and emotional) is learned.

47 Feminism Black Feminism Black feminists argue that black females suffer different problems to white females. Their differential treatment at school by teachers and other students suggest that we should look at the situation of black women separately.

48 Feminism Walby 1999 Sylvia Walby argues that many of the above approaches should be combined to give a more holistic (complete) picture. She advocates a ‘triple system theory’ where patriarchy, ethnicity and social class need to be considered to give a full understanding of the issues surrounding gender inequality.

49 Feminism Post-Feminism Post feminists in line with post modern thinking argue that there is no single meaning to being a ‘woman’. Working class women have different experiences from middle class women, gay women have different experiences from straight women, gay working class women have different experiences…etc. Consequently no overall theory can explain gender differences.

50 Post Modernism Postmodernism means literally ‘after the modern era’. The modern era was a time of certainty and stretched from the 18th century to the late 20th century. Postmodernists believe that this era was far more predictable than the times we live in today, e.g. jobs were for life and class was a major source of identity. Since around the 1970’s we have been living in times characterised by risk and diversity. Consequently this has had huge implications for education.

51 Post Modernism Moor and Hickox 1994 argue that such policies as the National Curriculum are doomed to failure because they can’t keep up with the increasingly diverse nature of society. The continual testing, target setting and recording of results is seen as an attempt to keep some kind of order.

52 Post Modernism Criticisms Some argue that no such thing as a post-modern world exists and that issues such as social class are just as important today as ever. Postmodernists criticise sociological theories for being ‘meta-narratives’ (large all embracing explanations). However, in putting forward their views are not postmodernists falling into the same trap?

53 Interactionism Am I thick ? Am I bright ?

54 Interactionism Labelling Theory 1.Is a major part of the Interactionist approach 2.Teachers label pupils in a particular way – bright or thick 3.Parents and other students can play a part in labelling too. 4.Banding/Streaming in schools can help to reinforce the bright/thick labelling process

55 Interactionism Self-fulfilling prophecy 1.Where students begin to accept the label and believe in it 2.However students can reject the label and act against it

56 Interactionism Rosenthal & Jacobson 1968 Selected a random sample of pupils in a US school and told the teachers that these were the ‘top performers’ They found that these students marks were the highest in the class after 1 year They concluded that the teachers had promoted a self-fulfilling prophecy

57 Interactionism Ball 1981 Pupils were placed in 3 bands when they arrived at the school Kids from MC backgrounds had a greater chance of getting into the top band Teachers taught the bands differently Top band pupils were ‘warmed up’ for exam success Bottom band pupils were ‘cooled down’ – teachers didn’t expect much

58 Interactionism Gillborn 1990 David Gillborn found that teachers blame African- Caribbean students more than whites for poor behaviour, even when the behaviour is identical. He calls this the ‘myth of the black challenge’ and has led to African-Caribbean boys disproportionately having higher levels of detentions and exclusions compared to other ethnic groups.

59 Interactionism Criticisms 1.Tend to ignore where class differences originate 2.Generally focus on small scale studies e.g. indiv 3.dual schools 4.Tend to ignore factors outside the school 5.Students do not always accept labels given to them and consequently a self fulfilling prophecy is not a foregone conclusion


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