What Is Education For
Functionalist Talcott Parson stated that as children develop they are taught primary socialisation through the family which they can learn the basic norms and values, it is not until they enter education which plays a vital role in secondary socialisation, by performing functions the family are not able to perform.
Durkheim who is also a functionalist would say that “education system is a miniature of society”. It is the bridge between family and the adult life. Education teaches pupil’s skills, competition, success, independency discipline and so on, all the functions the family cannot perform.
Davis and Moore believe that the education system plays an important role allocation. They believe that education system will “sift and sort” people into appropriate careers. Therefore education helps prepare pupils for their future role in society.
Children are taught discipline through school so that they learn how to behave in a moral manner and in order to adapt to society this is why disciplinary had to be internalised within them.
Functionalists like Durkheim and parson would say that we live in a meritocratic society. This is the ideology that if pupils learn in schools put in hard work and effort then they will be rewarded. It is the same in the workplace if you work hard you will see the great benefits of a promotion or salary increase.
In principle we are socialised into key values, the value of achievement and the value of equality of opportunity. This shows we are motivated by external rewards. In schools we work towards qualifications by sitting through lessons. In the workplace we are motivated by wages.
Karl Marx however argued the economy is controlled by the rich and powerful classes who shape the education system to serve its needs rather then the needs of the individual pupils who attend the school.
Marxists Bowls and Gintis suggest that there is a direct correspondence between the education system and the workplace.