Education System

8 August 2016

Some would argue that the education system mainly exists to select and prepare students for their future work roles and careers. Marxists believe that the education system’s role is the ideological apparatus of the state; it spreads ruling-class ideology and favours the middle class. Marxists such as Althusser, Bowels & Gintus and Bourdieu disagree with this statement as they argue working class children get a second class education compared to middle class and are given an unrealistic expectation for the future.

This is further highlighted by Althusser (1971) who believed that educations main function is to reproduce an efficient and obedient workforce, Althusser believes that the education system has taken over from the Church as the main agent of ideological transition. For example, in the past most people accepted their positions in life, no matter how unbearable, because they believed it was Gods will. They were poor because God wished it so, they were hungry because God wished it so, and they were powerless because God wished it so.

Education System Essay Example

Such beliefs are now in decline, although many still hold them, much more common is the belief that everything boils down to the God of education. Those who are smart and hardworking do well in education and gain educational qualifications and in turn do well in the world of work. Those who are unemployed and working in low paid jobs did not gain educational qualifications and were probably not academically gifted.

This is, however, an ideological belief as it has been shown that the higher your parents social class so the higher your educational qualifications and duration spent in education. Class still determines where you end up in the majority of cases. The education system propagates the view, however, that success is all down to intelligence and hard work. This evidence suggests that the education system selects people for the different social classes; this then depends on what your future job will be despite how academic you are your social class will be the main influence.

This then could be considered to be planning students for future roles and society but it gives a false expectation of society. In contrast Parsons said that schools are important units of secondary socialisation and oversees the change in values. It provides the transition for young people from particularistic (ascribed) values to universalistic (achieved) values – this then helps young people be ready for future work roles as they are taught norms and values which aren’t taught by the family.

The education system also teaches people how to behave in a working environment; some people could say that school is a smaller version of the work place so having compulsory lessons and rules within the education system prepares you for the strict environment. Functionalists think the education system prepares young people for work because of the expansion of school and higher education as it is necessary to provide a properly trained, qualified work force that are needed to fulfil the current job availabilities given.

The education system glues people together through shared values by building social solidarity. The problem with these views are that Functionalists themselves have made the point of it’s who you know and not what you know, so despite the support and values learnt in the education system they may still not be effective to achieve a good well paid job within society and suggests education isn’t necessary, on the other hand having more social knowledge and norms and values is preparing you for future jobs within the work place.

Functionalists Bowels and Gintus (schooling in capitalist America) say that through hidden curriculums there is a very close relationship between relationships at work and at school, the relationships between students and teachers represent the authority between work colleagues and administrators and managers, the Hierarchical relations are reflected in the vertical authority lines between students and teachers are reflected in the work place.

Bowels and Gintus believe that the education system helps to maintain, justify and explain the system of social inequality of capitalist society. This then helps young people to come to terms with their own position in society, the problem with this is that a common misconception about schools is that they are considered to be an artificial environment in which students lack true exposure to the real world. So this could be considered to prepare young people for future jobs but the false environment given could give the people an unrealistic idea of society.

In conclusion I think the education system does prepare young people for future job opportunities, as it provides a common situation which prepare students for the working environment through the use of schooling, it provides a hierarchy throughout their lives which enable them to excel throughout work, however I think the use of hidden curriculum could be used better as it should be used for more life skills instead of compulsory lessons.

So learning how to manage bills, money and housing as you grow up would provide a better view upon society. Also I think that schools create a false environment for students as it is nothing like the working world.

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