Durkheim conceives education as the socialization of the younger generation. He further states that it is a continuous effort to impose on the child ways of seeing, feeling and acting which he could not have arrived at spontaneously.
A.W Green writes: Historically education has meant the conscious training of the young for the later adoption of adult roles. By modern convention however education has come to mean formal training by specialists within the formal organization of the school.
The concepts of socialization and learning are related to in fact often inseparable from the concept of education. The main function of the educative process is to pass down knowledge from generation to generation- a process that is essential to the development of culture. Formal education is primarily designed to inculcate crucial skills and values central to the survival of the society or to those who hold effective power. Inherent in education, in all period of man's history is a stimulus to creative thinking and action which accounts in part for culture change, culture change itself being a powerful stimulus to further innovation.
- Equality of Educational Opportunity
- Education and Social Change
- Education and Modernization
- Education and Culture
- Education and Social control
Equality of Educational Opportunity
Raymond Bourdon has investigated the problem of equality of educational opportunities. Bourdon has tried to analyze the relationship between social structure and educational attainment. Bourdon maintain that even if there were no sub cultural difference between classes the very fact that people start at different positions in the class system will produce inequality of educational opportunity. For example the costs involved and the benefits to be gained for a working class boy and an upper middle class boy in choosing the same educational course are very different simply because their starting positions in the class-system are different.
Bourdon also relates the costs and benefits of course selection to family and peer group solidarity. His work has important implications for practical solutions to the problem of inequality of education opportunity. Even if positive discrimination worked and schools were able to compensate for the primary effects of stratification considerable inequality of educational opportunity would remain.
Bourdon argues that there are two ways of removing the secondary effects of stratification. The first involves the educational system. If it provides a single compulsory curriculum for all students the element of choice in the selection of course and duration of stay in the system would be removed. The individual would no longer be influenced by his courses and remain in full time education for the same period of time. He argues that more the branching points there are in the educational system point at which the student can leave or choose between alternative courses the more likely working class students are to leave or choose lower level courses. The gradual raising of the school leaving age in all advanced industrial societies has reduced inequality of educational opportunity but the present trend indicate that his reduction will at best proceed at a much slower rate. Bourdon's second solution to the problem of inequality of educational opportunity is the abolition of social stratification. He sees moves in the direction of economic equality as the most effective way of reducing inequality or educational opportunity. As a result he argues that the key to equality of opportunity lies outside rather than inside the schools. Bourdon concludes: for inequality or educational opportunity to be eliminated either a society must be unstratified or its school system must be completely undifferentiated.
Problems concerning equality of opportunities in education
Education helps in establishing equality and ensuring social justice but the system of education itself can add to the existing inequalities or at least perpetuate the same. Inequalities of educational opportunities arise due to
- Poverty as the poor cannot afford to meet the expenses of education.
- Children studying in the rural schools have to compete with the children in urban areas where there are well-equipped schools.
- In the places where no primary, secondary or collegiate educational institutions exist children do not get the same opportunity as those who have all these in their neighborhood.
- Wide inequalities also arise from differences in home environments. A child from a rural household or slum does not have the same opportunity as a child from an upper class home with educated parents.
- There is wide sex disparity in India. Here girl's education is not given the same encouragement as boys.
- Education of backward classes including SC and ST and economically backward sections is not at par with that of other communities or classes.
Education and Social Change
According to Maclver social change takes place as a response to many types of changes that take place in the social and nonsocial environment. Education can initiate social changes by bringing about a change in outlook and attitude of man. It can bring about a change in the pattern of social relationships and thereby it may cause social changes.
Education and Modernization
Education and Social control
Formal education in modern societies communicate independently ideas which play a part in regulating behaviour.Malinowski rightly mentioned this feature in its rudimentary form in primitive societies when he included the rules of craftmanship as an element in social control.Modern science and technology are not only the basis of infinitely more complex rules of craftmenship but also of a general rational approach to nature and social life which has an increasingly important role in establishing and maintaining social cooperation.The scientific thought implicitly or explicitly criticized the ideas propounded in religious and moral doctrines and has largely been responsible for the changes which the latter have undergone. The whole rationalization of the modern world with which Max Weber was pre-occupied is connected with the development of science. Since the chief vehicle of this development has been the educational system we can speak of formal education as a type of social control.
Education has contributed to the regulation of conduct that is the early socialization of the child. The work of educational reformers such as Montessori and Froebel has brought about great changes in the education of young children.So far the reforms were connected with scientific studies of the development of children such as those of Piaget they arose from the development of the social sciences. Moreover being based upon this observation and analysis of the actual development of children's activities,needs and problems they can be regarded as having arisen very largely within the educational sphere itself as independent discoveries.
The changes in the formal education system have themselves brought about changes in the family socialization aided by the spread of social science knowledge.In this sense the formal education of children has originated new forms of regulation of behavior. Education in a broad sense from infancy to adulthood is thus a vital means of social control and its significance has been greatly enhanced in recent years by the rpaid expansion of education at all levels in the developing countries and by the equally rapid growth of secondary and higher education in the industrial countries.Through education new generations learn the social norms and the penalties for infringing them; they are instructed also in their station and its duties within the system of social differentiation and stratification.In modern societies where formal education becomes predominant and where an important occupational group of teachers comes into existence, education is also a major type of social control as the source of scientific knowledge which is in competition and sometimes in conflict with other types of control.This conflict may become particularly acute with the extension of higher education to a much larger proportion of the population.as the experience of Europe and USA show and the educational system may increasingly provide one of the main sources of change and innovation in the social norms.
Education and Culture