Chapter 16. Education - Introduction to Sociology - 2nd Canadian Edition (2023)

main body

learning goals

16.1. education around the world

  • Identify differences in educational resources around the world.
  • Describe the concept of universal access to education.

16.2. Theoretical Perspectives on Education

  • Define manifest and latent functions of education.
  • Explain and discuss how functionalism, conflict theory, feminism and interactionism see problems in education.

Introduction to Education

His upbringing begins with the birth of a child. Parenting is initially an informal process in which a baby observes and imitates others. As the baby grows into toddlers, the educational process becomes more formal through play dates and preschool. Once the child is in elementary school, academic instruction becomes the focus of education as the child progresses through the school system. But even then, education is about much more than just learning facts.

Our educational system also socializes us into our society. We learn cultural norms and expectations that are reinforced by our teachers, our textbooks, and our classmates. (For students outside of the dominant culture, this aspect of the educational system can present significant challenges.) You may recall learning multiplication tables in second grade and also learning the social rules of taking turns on the swing set during recess. You may remember taking a social studies class to learn about the Canadian parliamentary process and when and how to speak in class.

Schools can be agents of change or conformity, teaching people to think outside of the family and local norms into which they were born, while accustoming them to their unspoken place in society. They teach students communication, social interaction, and work discipline skills that can create pathways to independence and obedience.

In terms of socialization, the modern system of mass education is second only to the family. It promotes two main tasks of socialization: homogenization and social classification. Students from diverse backgrounds learn a standardized curriculum that effectively converts diversity into homogeneity. Students learn a common knowledge base, a common culture, and a healthy sense of society's official priorities and, perhaps most importantly, learn to find their place within them. They receive a unifying framework for participation in institutional life and are at the same time assigned to different paths. Those who demonstrate ease within the standards set by the curriculum or through informal patterns of status differentiation in students' social lives are placed on pathways to positions of high status in society. Those less fortunate are gradually confined to lower and subservient positions in society. Within the norms established by the school curriculum and classroom pedagogy, students learn from an early age to identify their place as levels A, B, C, etc. in front of their own kind. In this way, schools are profound agencies of normalization.

16.1. education around the world

TrainingIt is a social institution through which children in a society are taught basic academic knowledge, learning skills, and cultural norms. Every nation in the world is endowed with some form of educational system, although these systems vary widely. The main factors affecting education systems are the resources and funds that are used to support these systems in different countries. Not surprisingly, a country's wealth has a lot to do with how much money is spent on education. Countries without basic services like running water cannot support strong education systems or, in many cases, no formal schooling at all. The result of this global educational inequality is a social problem for many countries, including Canada.

International differences in education systems are not just a question of finances. The importance of education, the time spent on it and the distribution of education within a country also play a role in these differences. For example, South Korean students spend 220 days per year in school, compared to 190 days (180 days in Quebec) per year for their Canadian peers. Canadian students aged 7 to 14 spend an average of 7,363 hours in compulsory education, compared to an average of 6,710 hours in all Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) member countries (Statistics Canada, 2012). As of 2012, Canada ranked first among OECD countries for the proportion of adults aged 25–64 with post-secondary education (51%). Canada ranked first for students with college degrees (24%) and eighth for proportion of adults with college degrees (26%). However, Canada falls to 15th place in terms of post-secondary attainment among 25-34 year olds, as post-secondary attainment in countries such as South Korea and Ireland have far outpaced Canada in recent years (OECD, 2013).

Then there is the question of the distribution of education within a nation. In December 2010, the results of the PISA tests (Program for International Student Assessment), which are administered to 15-year-old students worldwide, were published. These results showed that students in Canada performed well in reading (5th out of 65 countries), mathematics (8th out of 65 countries), and science (7th out of 65 countries) (Knighton, Brochu, & Gluszynski , 2010). The students at the top of the ranking came from Shanghai, Finland, Korea, Hong Kong and Singapore. The United States, on the other hand, ranked 17th in reading literacy and fell from 15th to 25th in science and math (National Public Radio, 2010).

Analysts noted that the nations and city-states at the top of the rankings had several things in common. For one, they had established educational standards with clear goals for all students. They also recruited teachers from the top 5-10% of graduates each year, which is not the case in most countries (National Public Radio, 2010).

Finally, there is the issue of social factors. An analyst at the OECD, the organization that developed the test, attributed 20% of performance differences and low rankings in the United States to differences in social background. Canadian students' average scores were high overall, but they were also very consistent, meaning that the difference in performance between high and low scorers was relatively small (Knighton, Brochu, & Gluszynski, 2010). This suggests that differences in education spending across jurisdictions and in students' socio-economic background are not large enough to create large performance gaps. However, in the United States, researchers found that educational resources, including money and good teachers, are not evenly distributed. In the top-performing countries, limited access to resources was not necessarily a harbinger of poor performance. Analysts also noted what they termed "resilient students," or those students who perform at a higher level than would be expected based on their social background. In Shanghai and Singapore, the proportion of resilient students is around 70%. In the United States it is below 30%. These ideas suggest that the education system in the United States may be on a downward path that could negatively impact the country's economy and social landscape (National Public Radio, 2010).

Education in Afghanistan

Since the fall of the Taliban in Afghanistan, the demand for education has increased. Such is the surge, in fact, that it has exceeded the nation's resources to meet demand. More than 6.2 million students are enrolled in grades 1 through 12 in Afghanistan, and approximately 2.2 million of these students are women (World Bank 2011). Both numbers are the largest in Afghan history and far exceed the period before the Taliban took power. At the same time, there is currently a serious shortage of teachers in Afghanistan, the educators in the system are often poorly trained and often not paid on time. They are currently optimistic and enthusiastic about educational opportunities and approach teaching with a positive attitude, but there are fears this optimism will not last.

In view of these challenges, there are efforts to improve the quality of education in Afghanistan as quickly as possible. Education leaders turn to other countries that have experienced conflict for advice, hoping to learn from other nations that have faced similar circumstances. Her contribution suggests that the key to rebuilding education is an early focus on quality and a commitment to access to education. Currently, the quality of education in Afghanistan is generally considered poor, as is access to education. Literacy and math skills are low, as are critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

Women's education poses additional challenges as cultural norms dictate that female students must be taught by female teachers. There is currently a shortage of female teachers to fill this gendered need. In some provinces, the female student population is below 15% of students (World Bank, 2011). Women's education is also important for Afghanistan's future because mothers are the main actors of socialization: an educated mother is more likely to instill a thirst for education in her children and establish a virtuous cycle of education for generations to come.

Afghanistan's infrastructure needs improvement to improve education, which is traditionally administered at the local level. The World Bank, which strives to help developing countries lift themselves out of poverty and become self-reliant, has worked hard to help people in Afghanistan improve the quality of, and access to, education. The Education Quality Improvement Program provides training for teachers and grants for communities. The program is active in all 34 provinces of Afghanistan and supports scholarships for quality improvement and infrastructure development as well as a teacher training program.

Another program, entitled Strengthening Higher Education, focuses on six universities in Afghanistan and four regional colleges. The focus of this program is to foster relationships with universities in other countries, including the United States and India, to focus on areas such as engineering, science and English as a second language. The program also aims to improve libraries and laboratories through grants.

These World Bank efforts illustrate how comprehensive care and support can benefit an education system. In developing countries like Afghanistan, partnerships with countries that have established successful education programs play a key role in rebuilding their futures.

Formal and informal education

As mentioned earlier, education is not just about the basic academic concepts that a student learns in the classroom. Clubs also educate their children outside of the school system in questions of everyday practical life. These two types of learning are known as formal education and informal education.

formal educationdescribes the learning of academic facts and concepts through a formal curriculum. For centuries, with the guidance of ancient Greek thinkers, scholars have explored subjects through formalized learning methods. 300 years ago only a few people could read and write. Education was only available to the upper class; They had the opportunity to access academic materials, as well as the luxury of free time to study. The rise of capitalism and the social changes that accompanied it made education more important for the economy and thus more accessible to the general population. Canada and the United States, around 1900, were the first countries to move towards the ideal of universal child participation in school. The idea of ​​universal mass education is therefore a relatively new idea that has not yet materialized in many parts of the world.

The modern Canadian education system is the result of this progressive educational expansion. Today, basic education is considered a right and duty of all citizens. Expectations of this system are centered on formal education, with curriculum and testing designed to ensure students learn the facts and concepts that society considers essential knowledge.

Not how,informal educationdescribes learning about cultural values, norms and expected behavior when participating in a society. This type of learning takes place both in the formal education system and at home. Our first learning experiences often come from parents, relatives, and others in our community. Through informal education, we learn how to dress for different occasions, how to prepare daily life routines like eating and eating, and how to keep our bodies clean.

cultural transmissionrefers to the way people learn the values, beliefs, and social norms of their culture. Both informal and formal education involve cultural transmission. For example, in a Canadian history class, a student learns about the cultural aspects of modern history. In the same class, the student can learn the cultural norm of questioning a classmate through notes and whispered conversations.

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access to education

Another global concern in education isuniversal access. This term describes the equal ability of people to participate in an education system. Globally, access may be more difficult for certain groups based on race, class, or gender (as was the case in Canada early in our nation's history, a dynamic we still struggle with). The modern idea of ​​universal access originated in Canada as a concern for people with disabilities. One of the ways in which Canada supports universal education is that provincial governments bear the cost of free public education. Of course, the way this affects school budgets and taxes makes this an often contentious issue at the national, provincial and local levels.

Table 16.1. Total spending per student in elementary and secondary schools varies by province and territory. 2006/2007 to 2010/2011 (in constant dollars, base year = 2002)” (table courtesy of Statistics Canada)

[skip table]

Percent Change3.
Percent Change2.,7-0,5-
Percent Change5.,6
Percent Change4.
Percent Change1.5-2.3-,22.60,0-1.24.6-13.010.2

While school boards across the country had attempted to accommodate children with special needs in their education systems by various means since the 19th century, it was not until the implementation of Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms in 1982 that the question of universality arose. Access to education for children with disabilities was seen as a charter right (Siegel and Ladyman 2000). Many provincial courts have introduced educational guidelines to integrate special needs students into classes with regular students. For example, in British Columbia, policy was revised in the mid-1990s to include specific measures to define students with special needs, develop individualized educational plans, and find school placements for students with special needs (Siegel and Ladyman 2000). In Ontario, Bill 82 was passed in 1980, establishing five principles for special education programs and services for students with special needs: universal access, publicly funded education, an appeal process, ongoing identification, and ongoing assessment. , and appropriate programming (Morgan 2003).

Research and discussion is still taking place today on how disabled students can be optimally integrated into mainstream classes. 'Inclusion' is a method that involves full immersion in a standard classroom, while 'integration' balances time in a special needs classroom with participation in the standard classroom. There is still a societal debate about how to implement the ideal of universal access to education.

16.2. Theoretical Perspectives on Education

While it is clear that education plays an integral role in the lives of individuals and society as a whole, sociologists view this role from many different angles. Functionalists believe that education empowers people to play diverse functional roles in society. Critical sociologists see education as a means to widen the gap of social inequality. Feminist theorists point to evidence that sexism in education continues to prevent women from achieving full social equality. Symbolic interactionists examine classroom dynamics, interactions between students and teachers, and how they affect everyday life. In this section, you will learn about each of these perspectives.


Functionalists regard education as one of the most important social institutions in a society. They argue that education provides two types of functions: overt (or primary) functions, which are the intended and visible functions of education; and latent (or secondary) functions, which are hidden and unexpected functions.

manifest functions

There are several main manifest functions associated with education. The first is socialization. As early as preschool and kindergarten, students are taught to practice different social roles. The French sociologist Émile Durkheim (1858–1917), who founded the academic discipline of sociology, characterized schools as “socialization agencies that teach children how to relate to others and prepare them for the economic roles of adults” (Durkheim 1898).

This socialization also involves learning the rules and norms of society as a whole. In the early days of compulsory education, students learned the prevailing culture. Today, as Canada's culture becomes more diverse, students can learn a variety of cultural norms, not just those of the dominant culture.

School systems in Canada also instill the nation's core values ​​through overt features such as social control. One of the jobs of schools is to teach students to obey the law and respect authority. Obviously, such respect shown to teachers and administrators helps the student navigate the school environment. This role also prepares students to enter the workplace and the world in general, where they will continue to be subordinate to those in authority. The fulfillment of this task falls primarily to the class teachers and trainers, who are with the students all day long.

Education is also one of the most important methods people use for social advancement. This feature is known associal placement. Universities and graduate schools are seen as vehicles to bring students closer to careers that give them the financial freedom and security they seek. As a result, college students are often more motivated to study areas they believe will be beneficial up the social ladder. A student may choose business classes over a Victorian poetry class because he sees business class as a stronger vehicle for financial success.

latent functions

Education also fulfills latent functions. A lot happens in school that has little to do with formal education. For example, you may notice that an attractive classmate gives a particularly interesting response: catching up and dating speaks to the latent courtship function that peer-to-peer contact performs in the educational setting.

The educational environment introduces students to social networks that can last for years and can help people find a job after they graduate. Of course, with social networks like Facebook and LinkedIn, these networks are easier than ever to maintain. Another latent function is the ability to work with others in small groups, a skill that is transferable to a workplace and may not be learned in a home school setting.

The education system, particularly as experienced on college campuses, has traditionally provided students with a place to learn about various social issues. There are many opportunities for social and political advocacy, as well as the ability to develop tolerance for the many viewpoints held on campus. In 2011, the Occupy Wall Street movement swept through campuses across Canada, sparking demonstrations that brought diverse student groups together to change the country's political climate.

Table 16.2. Manifest and latent functions of education. According to functionalist theory, education contributes to both manifest and latent functions.
Manifest Functions: openly declared functions with intended goalssocializationmediation of culturecontrol socialsocial placementcultural Innovation
Latent functions: hidden and undeclared functions with sometimes unintended consequencesEngagementsocial mediawork in groupsgeneration gap formationPolitical and social integration

Functionalists recognize other ways that schools educate and educate students. One of the most important values ​​students learn in Canada is individualism: the appreciation of the individual over the value of groups or society as a whole. In countries like Japan and China, where the good of the group is prioritized over the rights of the individual, students don't learn as they do in Canada that the highest rewards, both academically and physically, go to the "best" individuals. One of the functions of schools in Canada is to promote self-esteem; Instead, schools in Japan focus on promoting social esteem: the honor of the group over the individual.

In Canada, schools also have a role in preparing students to compete and cooperate in life. Of course, athletics encourages both a collaborative and competitive nature, but even in the classroom, students learn how to work together and compete academically. Schools also fulfill the role of teaching patriotism. Although Canadian students don't have to recite a pledge of allegiance every morning like students in the United States do, they do take social studies classes that teach them about Canadian history and common identity.

According to functionalist theory, another role of the school is that ofclassification, or rank students by merit or academic potential. The most able students are identified early in school through tests and classroom performance. Exceptional students are often placed in accelerated programs in anticipation of successful college attendance. Other students are guided into vocational training with a focus on home economics and business administration.

Functionalists also argue that the school, particularly in recent years, is taking on some of the functions traditionally performed by the family. Society relies on schools to teach about human sexuality as well as basic skills like budgeting and job applications, subjects that used to be handled by the family.

critical sociology

Critical sociologists do not believe that public schools reduce social inequality. Rather, they believe that the education system reinforces and perpetuates social inequalities that arise from differences in class, gender, race, and ethnicity. Where functionalists see education as a useful function, critical sociologists see it more critically. For her, it is important to examine how education systems maintain the status quo and lead people of lower status to subordinate positions in society.

Educational adherence is closely related to social class. Students with low socio-economic status generally do not have the same opportunities as students with higher status, regardless of their academic ability or willingness to learn. For example, 25 out of 100 19-year-old low-income Canadians attend college compared to 46 out of 100 19-year-old high-income Canadians (Berger, Motte, and Parkin 2009). Barriers such as the cost of higher education, but also more subtle cultural cues, undermine the promise of education as a means of creating equity.

Imagine a student from a working class household who wants to do well in school. On a Monday you are assigned a job that is due on Friday. On Monday evenings she has to take care of her younger sister while her divorced mother works. On Tuesdays and Wednesdays, after school, she stocks shelves until 10:00 p.m. On Thursday, the only day he could possibly work on this assignment, he is so exhausted that he cannot bring himself to start work. His mother, although she would love to help him, is so tired herself that she cannot give him the encouragement or support he needs. Since English is her second language, she has difficulties with some of her teaching materials. They also don't have a computer and printer at home, which most of their classmates do, so they have to rely on the public library or school system for access to technology. As this story shows, many students from working-class families have to deal with domestic help, financial contributions to the family, poor study environment, and lack of material support from their families. This is a difficult combination with education systems that cling to a traditional curriculum that is easier for students from higher social classes to understand and complete.

Such a situation leads to the reproduction of social classes, which the French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu has extensively studied. He examined how parallel to economic capital (as analyzed by Marx)capital cultural, or the accumulation of cultural knowledge that helps one navigate a culture, is changing the experiences and opportunities available to French students from different walks of life. Bourdieu emphasized that like economic capital, cultural capital in the form of cultural tastes, knowledge, language patterns, dress, appropriate etiquette, etc. is difficult to acquire and time-consuming. Upper and middle-class families have more cultural capital than lower-class families and can pass this on to their children at an early age. In doing so, the educational system maintains a cycle in which the values ​​of the dominant culture are rewarded. Tuition and testing are tailored to the prevailing culture, leaving others with difficulties in identifying with values ​​and competencies outside their social class. For example, there has been much debate about what standardized tests like the IQ test and proficiency tests actually measure. Many argue that tests group students based on cultural ability rather than natural intelligence.

The cycle of rewarding individuals with cultural capital is found in both formal educational plans andHidden Curriculum, which refers to the type of non-academic knowledge acquired through informal learning and cultural transmission. The hidden curriculum is never formally taught, but it is contained within the expectation that those who accept the formal curriculum, institutional routines, and assessment methods will succeed in school. This hidden curriculum strengthens the positions of those with greater cultural capital and serves to grant unequal status.

Critical sociologists also point this outfollow up, a formalized grading system that ranks students along "pathways" (advanced vs. underperforming) that perpetuate inequalities. While educators may believe that students in followed classes do better because they associate with students of similar ability and may have access to more individual attention from teachers, critical sociologists believe that following in those classes leads to self-fulfilling prophecies, that students live above (or below). the expectations of teachers and society (Education Week 2004).

As mentioned above, IQ tests are attacked for being biased, assessing cultural knowledge rather than actual intelligence. For example, a quiz could ask students what instruments make up an orchestra. Answering this question correctly requires some cultural knowledge, knowledge that is usually possessed by wealthier people who are generally more exposed to orchestral music. Based on IQ and aptitude tests, students are often placed into categories that place them in enriched program tracks, average program tracks, and special needs or remedial program tracks. Although evidence experts claim that evidence bias has been eliminated, conflict theorists argue that this is impossible. Testing is another way education does not provide equal opportunity, but instead perpetuates an established configuration of power.

feminist theory

Feminist theory aims to understand the mechanisms and roots of gender inequality in education, as well as its social implications. Like many other institutions in society, educational systems are characterized by unequal treatment and equal opportunities for women. Almost two-thirds of the world's 862 million illiterates are women, and female illiteracy rates are projected to increase in many regions, particularly in several African and Asian countries (UNESCO 2005; World Bank 2007).

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In Canada, women's educational attainment is slowly increasing compared to men's. Today, women account for 56% of all post-secondary students and 58% of post-secondary graduates in Canada (Statistics Canada, 2013). In fact, Canadian women have the highest percentage of tertiary attainment of any OECD country, at 55%. Also, going to university in Canada is more financially advantageous for women than it is for men in relative terms. On average, women with a university degree earn 50% more than those without a degree, while men earn 39% more. However, men with higher education were more likely to have jobs than women with higher education (84.7% to 78.5%), and women earned less than men with their education in absolute terms: 74 cents for every dollar earned by men aged 24 to 64. (OECD, 2012).

A Statistics Canada study published in 2011 showed that among full-time employed men and women aged 25 to 29 with college or professional degrees in 2005, women still earned only 96 cents for every dollar earned by men, who earned 89 cents for each of men earned dollars.) This trend was similar across all majors, with the exception of Life Sciences and Sciences and Technology and Health, Parks, Recreation and Fitness, where women actually earned more than men (Turcotte, 2011).

When women have limited educational opportunities, their ability to achieve equal rights, including financial independence, is limited. Feminist theory seeks to advance women's right to equal education (and the benefits that come from it) around the world.

Grade inflation: when is an A really a C?

Imagine a newspaper publisher in a big city. When selecting resumes for an entry-level copywriter ten years ago, they were fairly certain that if they selected a graduate with a GPA of 3.7 or higher, they would have someone with the writing skills to contribute to the workplace from day one . But in recent years, they've found that past high school seniors don't have the obvious competition. They are increasingly able to teach new employees skills that they have acquired in the past during their training.

This story illustrates a growing concern known asclass inflation— Term used to describe the observation that the correspondence between letter grades and the performance they reflect has changed (downwards) over time. Simply put, what used to be considered a C level or average now often earns a B or even an A in a student. For example, in 2010, 70% of freshmen entering Canadian universities reported having an A-minus average or an A-minus higher than they did in high school, and a 40% increase since the early 1980s (Dehaas, 2011) .

Why is this happening? Research into this emerging issue is ongoing, so no one is sure yet. Some cite the supposed shift towards a culture that rewards effort rather than product (i.e. the amount of work a student puts in raises the grade, even if the resulting product is of poor quality). Another commonly cited factor is the pressure many of today's faculty feel to obtain positive course reviews from their students, records that can be linked to teacher compensation, employment, or the future career of a young graduate teaching entry-level courses . The fact that these reviews are often published online adds to this pressure.

Other studies disagree that grade inflation exists. In any case, the topic is hotly debated and many are encouraged to investigate to help us better understand and respond to this trend (Mansfield 2001; National Public Radio 2004).

symbolic interactionism

Symbolic interactionism sees education as a way to demonstrate labeling theory in action. A symbolic interactionist might say that this designation is directly related to who is in power and who is being designated. For example, low standardized test scores or poor performance in a particular class often result in a student being classified as an underachiever. Such labels are difficult to 'shake off', which can lead to a self-fulfilling prophecy (Merton 1968).

in his bookhigh school confidentialJeremy Iverson describes his experiences as a Stanford grad posing as a student at a California high school. One of the problems he identifies in his research is that of teachers using labels that students can never lose. A teacher, unaware that he was a brilliant graduate from a top university, told him that he would never become anything (Iverson 2006). Iverson obviously didn't take this teacher's misjudgment seriously. However, when an actual 17-year-old student hears this from an authority figure, it is not surprising that the student begins to "fit" that label.

The labeling that symbolic interactionists are concerned with extends to the grades that symbolize the completion of education.Credentialismusembodies the emphasis on certificates or degrees to show that a person has a specific ability, has attained a specific level of education, or has met specific professional qualifications. These certificates or titles serve as a symbol of what a person has achieved and allow that person to be identified.

As these examples show, labeling theory can indeed have a significant impact on a student's education. This is easy to see in the educational field, as teachers and the most powerful social groups within the school hand out labels that are embraced by the entire school population.

key terms

Credentials:The emphasis on certificates or degrees to show that a person has a specific skill, has attained a specific level of education, or has met specific professional qualifications.

Capital Culture:Cultural knowledge that serves (metaphorically) as currency to navigate a culture.

Cultural transmission:The way people learn the values, beliefs, and social norms of their culture.

Training:Social institution through which children of a society are taught basic academic knowledge, learning skills and cultural norms.

Formal education:Learning facts and academic concepts.

Grad Inflation:The notion that the level of achievement associated with an A-level today is significantly lower than the level of achievement associated with A-level work a few decades ago.

Hidden Curriculum:The type of non-academic knowledge acquired through informal learning and cultural transmission.

informal education:Learn about cultural values, norms and expected behaviors through participation in a society.

social situation:The use of education to improve social position.

Classification:Classify students by academic merit or potential.

follow up:A formalized grading system that places students on 'tracks' (advanced, low achievers) that perpetuate inequalities.

universal access:The equal ability of all people to participate in an educational system.

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Summary section

16.1.Education in the world
Education systems around the world have many differences, although the same factors, including resources and money, influence them all. Education allocation is a major problem in many countries, including the United States, where the amounts of money spent per student vary widely from state to state. Education occurs through formal and informal systems; both promote cultural transmission. Universal access to education is a global concern.

16.2.Theoretical Perspectives on Education
The most important sociological theories shed light on how we understand education. Functionalists view education as an important social institution that contributes to both apparent and latent functions. Functionalists view education as serving the needs of society, preparing students for future roles or functions in society. Critical sociologists see schools as a means to perpetuate class, racial, ethnic, and gender inequalities. Similarly, feminist theory focuses specifically on the mechanisms and roots of gender inequality in education. Symbolic interactionism theory focuses on education as a means of labeling people.

The section questionnaire

16.1.Education in the world
1. What are the main factors affecting education systems around the world?

  1. resources and money
  2. student interest
  3. teacher interest
  4. Transport

2. What do the top nations in science and mathematics have in common?

  1. They are all in Asia.
  2. They recruit the best teachers.
  3. They spend more money per student.
  4. They use the latest technology in the classrooms.

3.Informal education _________________.

  1. Describe when students teach their peers.
  2. It relates to learning cultural norms.
  3. It only happens at home
  4. It is based on a planned teaching process.

4. Learning from classmates that most students buy lunch on Fridays is an example of ________.

  1. cultural transmission
  2. access to education
  3. formal education
  4. informal education

5. The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms was an impetus for __________.

  1. access to education
  2. Average expenses for students
  3. breakdown of schools
  4. Higher salaries for teachers

16.2.Theoretical Perspectives on Education
6. Which of the following isnoa manifest function of education?

  1. cultural Innovation
  2. Engagement
  3. social placement
  4. socialization

7. As she plans to be successful in marketing, Tammie takes social media classes. This is an example of ________.

  1. cultural Innovation
  2. control social
  3. social placement
  4. socialization

8. Which educational theory focuses on the way education perpetuates the status quo?

  1. critical sociology
  2. to the Piaget theory
  3. functionalist theory
  4. symbolic interactionism

9. Which educational theory focuses on the labels acquired in the educational process?

  1. critical sociology
  2. feminist theory
  3. functionalist theory
  4. symbolic interactionism

10. What term describes the assignment of students to specific educational programs and classes based on test scores, past grades, or perceived ability?

  1. Hidden Curriculum
  2. labeled
  3. Self-fulfilling prophecy
  4. Follow up

11. Functionalist theory assumes that education serves the needs of _________.

  1. The family
  2. conviviality
  3. The only one
  4. All previous

12. Rewarding students for meeting deadlines and respecting authority figures is an example of ________.

  1. alarm function
  2. A manifest function
  3. informal education
  4. imparting moral education

13. What term describes the segregation of students based on achievement?

  1. cultural transmission
  2. control social
  3. classification
  4. Hidden Curriculum

14. Critical sociologists see classification as a way of ________.

  1. Challenge gifted students
  2. Maintaining the socioeconomic status split
  3. Help students who need extra support
  4. Teach respect for authority.

15. Critical sociologists think IQ tests are biased. Why?

  1. They are evaluated in a way that is subject to human error.
  2. Children with learning disabilities are not given a fair chance to demonstrate their true intelligence.
  3. They do not contain enough evidence to cover multiple intelligences.
  4. They reward wealthy students with questions that require knowledge associated with high-class culture.

[Answers to the quiz at the end of the chapter]

Short answer

16.1.Education in the world

  1. Has there ever been a time when your formal and informal education were incompatible in the same environment? How did you overcome this separation?
  2. Do you think that free access to schools has achieved the desired goal? Explain.

16.2.Theoretical Perspectives on Education

  1. Thinking about your school, how would a conflict theorist say your school upholds class distinctions?
  2. Which sociological theory best describes your idea of ​​education? Explain why.
  3. Based on what you know about symbolic interactionism and feminist theory, what do you think proponents of these theories see as the role of school?

more research

16.1.Education in the world
Although it is a struggle, education in the developing world is constantly being improved. To learn how educational programs are advertised around the world, explore theEducation section of the Center for Global Development website:

16.2.Theoretical Perspectives on Education
Can surveillance really improve learning?This article from 2009education next
examines the debate with evidence from Kenya.

(Video) Chapter 18 Intro to Sociology Work and the Economy

The National Center for Fair and Open Testing (FairTest)is committed to eliminating bias and other deficiencies found in standardized tests. Their mission is to ensure that students, teachers and schools are evaluated fairly. You can learn more about their mission, as well as the latest news on test bias and fairness, on their website:


16.1.Education in the world
Knighton, Tamara, Perre Brochu and Tomasz Gluszynski. (2010, December).Measurement: Canadian OECD PISA results[PDF]. Statistics Canada catalog no. 81-590-X. Retrieved July 7, 2014 from

Morgan, Charlotte. (2003).Brief History of Special Education. [PDF]voice of ETFO,Winter: 10-14. Retrieved July 7, 2014 from

National Public Radio. (2010, December 10).Study confirms the United States is falling behind in education.Everything considered. Retrieved July 12, 2016 from

OECD. (2013).Education at a Glance 2013: OECD Indicators. [PDF] OECD publications. Retrieved 7 July 2014 from–FINAL%2020%20June%202013.pdf.

Siegel, Linda and Stewart Ladyman. (2000).A Review of Special Education in British Columbia. [PDF]Victoria: BC Ministry of Education. Retrieved July 7, 2014 from

Canadian Statistics. (2012, September).Educational Indicators in Canada: An International Perspective. [PDF]Statistics Canada catalog no. 81-604-X. Retrieved July 7, 2014 from

World Bank. (2011).Education in Afghanistan.Retrieved December 14, 2011 from

16.2.Theoretical Perspectives on Education
Berger, Joseph, Anne Motte, and Andrew Parkin (eds.). (2009).The Canada Access to Knowledge and Student Funding Award (Fourth Edition)[PDF]. Montreal: Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation. Retrieved July 7, 2014 from

Dehas, Josh. (2011, 17. Juni).Are Today's Students Overconfident? 60 percent consider them to be above average.macleans. Retrieved July 7, 2014 from

Durkheim, Emilio. (1956).Pedagogy and Sociology. New York: Free Press. (Original work published 1898)

education week. (2004 August 4).Follow week.Retrieved February 24, 2012 from

Iverson, Jeremy. (2006).high school confidential. New York: Atrien.

Mansfield, Harvey C. (2001). Rating inflation: It's time to face the facts.Chronicle of Higher Education47(30): B24.

Merton, Robert K. (1968).social theory and social structure. New York: Free Press.

National Public Radio. (2004, April 28). Princeton takes steps to combat "degree inflation".day to day, 28. April.

OECD. (2012).Education at a Glance: OECD Indicators[PDF]2012. OECD publication. Retrieved 7 July 2014 from

Statistics Canada. (2013).Summary of Primary and Secondary Education Indicators for Canada, Provinces and Territories, 2006/2007 to 2010/2011.[PDF]Statistics Canada catalog no. 81-595-M - #099. Retrieved 7 July 2014 from

Turcotte, Martin. (2011, December).Women in Canada: A Gender Statistical Report. [PDF]Statistics Canada catalog no. 89-503-X. Retrieved July 7, 2014 from

UNESCO. (2005).Towards Knowledge Societies: UNESCO World Report. Paris: UNESCO-Verlag.

World Bank. (2007).Global Development Report. Washington, DC: Banco Mundial.

Section test solutions

1 A,|2 B,|3 B,|4 A,|5 A,|6 B,|7 C,|8 A,|9 D,|10 D,|11 D,|12 D,|13 C ,|14B,| 15D,|[Back to questionnaire]

image attributions

Figure 16.1Living Seasons in a Hopi Village from the US Embassy in Canada( used atLicense CC BY 2.0(


Who is the publisher of Introduction to Sociology 2nd Canadian edition? ›


When was Introduction to Sociology 1st Canadian edition published? ›

August 15, 2013

Who wrote Introduction to Sociology 1st Canadian edition? ›

Introduction to Sociology - 1st Canadian Edition by William Little and Ron McGivern is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

What is sociology of education according to Emile Durkheim? ›

Durkheim argues the education system provides what he terms secondary socialisation as opposed to the primary socialisation which is delivered by the family. While the family passes on particular norms and values, secondary socialisation passes on universal norms and values that are shared by broader society.

Is the Canadian Journal of Sociology peer reviewed? ›

The Canadian Journal of Sociology publishes rigorously peer-reviewed research articles and innovative theoretical essays by social scientists from around the world, providing insight into the issues facing Canadian society as well as social and cultural systems in other countries.

Who wrote the introduction to sociology 2e? ›

Introduction to Sociology 2e by Nathan Keirns, Eric Strayer, Susan Cody-Rydzewski | 9781680921014 | Paperback | Barnes & Noble®

What is the name of the oldest sociology journal in America? ›

Established in 1895 as the first US scholarly journal in its field, the American Journal of Sociology (AJS) presents pathbreaking work from all areas of sociology, with an emphasis on theory building and innovative methods.

Who wrote the first sociology textbook? ›

In 1873, the English philosopher Herbert Spencer published The Study of Sociology, the first book with the term “sociology” in the title.

When was sociology in Our Times 11th edition published? ›

January 1, 2016

Who is the founding father of sociology? ›

Emile Durkheim (1858–1917), often called “the father of sociology” and often credited with making sociology a “science” by insisting that social facts can only be explained by social facts, a radical proposition at the time because it seemed to deny the importance, or even the very possibil- ity, of volition and ...

Who is the founding father of sociology of education? ›

Durkheim established the academic discipline of sociology as a basis for organic and social solidarity 19. This is considered as the beginning of sociology of education. Therefore, Emile Durkheim and Max Weber are regarded as fathers of sociology of education.

What contribution to Canadian sociology was made by John Porter? ›

During the initial stage, he produced The Vertical Mosaic, the first comprehensive study of Canada's national structure of class and power, perhaps the most important and influential volume yet produced by a Canadian sociologist.

What is the main contribution of Emile Durkheim in sociology? ›

One of Durkheim's major contributions was to help define and establish the field of sociology as an academic discipline. Durkheim distinguished sociology from philosophy, psychology, economics, and other social science disciplines by arguing that society was an entity of its own.

What is sociology of education according to Emile Durkheim PDF? ›

Educational sociology focuses attention on the social factors that both cause and are caused by education. It includes the study of factors relating to education, such as gender, social class, race and ethnicity, and rural–urban residence.

What is the most prestigious Sociology journal? ›

Sociology: Top Sociology Journals
  • Annual Review of Sociology.
  • Annals of Tourism Research.
  • American Sociological Review.
  • American Journal of Sociology.
  • Sociological Methods & Research.
  • Information, Communication & Society.
  • Sociology of Education.
  • Qualitative Research.

What is the ranking of the Canadian Journal of Sociology? ›

It is published by University of Toronto Press. The overall rank of Canadian Journal of Sociology is 15975. According to SCImago Journal Rank (SJR), this journal is ranked 0.263.

How credible are peer-reviewed journals? ›

Articles from scholarly, peer-reviewed, academic, and refereed journals are more credible than articles from popular or trade journals ('magazines') because they have gone through the most rigorous review process. They also have the most references or citations.

How do you cite the Introduction to Sociology 2e textbook? ›

- If you use this textbook as a bibliographic reference, then you should cite it as follows: OpenStax College, Introduction to Sociology 2e. OpenStax College.

Who divided sociology into two parts? ›

Comte divided sociology into two main fields, or branches: social statics, or the study of the forces that hold society together; and social dynamics, or the study of the causes of social change.

Who is the second father of sociology? ›

The science of sociology was invented at least twice, once in the middle of the 19th century by Auguste Comte, who gave it its name by combining the Latin term societas with the Greek logos, and once, half a century later, by Emile Durkheim.

Who brought sociology to America? ›

Jane Addams (1860–1935) was a preeminent founder of American sociology. She set up her Chicago‐based “Hull House” as a center for sociological research.

Is sociology older than economics? ›

Economics is older than Sociology, which makes Sociology the youngest field of social science.

Who is the American father of sociology? ›

Du Bois was the primary founder of modern sociology in America at the turn of the 20th century. It is a sociology that bases its theoretical claims on rigorous empirical research.

Who is the mother of sociology? ›

Harriet Martineau (June 12, 1802- June 27, 1876), barely known for her contributions to Sociology is today known as the 'mother of Sociology'. She has started gaining recognition only recently, although she was a staunch political and sociological writer and a journalist during the Victorian era.

Who was the first female sociologist? ›

To the extent that any complex institutional phenomenon such as sociology can have identifiable founders, Alice Rossi * (1973, 118-124) justly celebrates Harriet Martineau as "the first woman sociologist. "

Who are the five founding fathers of sociology? ›

In this chapter, you will learn how six of the founders of sociology—Karl Marx, Max Weber, Émile Durkheim, George Herbert Mead, Jane Addams, and W. E. B. Du Bois—carried out the two core commitments of sociology.

How many sociology journals are there? ›

The category 'Sociology' comprises 148 journals. The choice of journals is based on Web of Science 's SSCI (Social Science Citations Index).

When was sociology first taught? ›

Sociology became a recognized academic discipline in the United States in the 1890s. The first department of sociology was established at the University of Chicago in 1892.

Who wrote the famous book social Change in sociology? ›

The Sociology of Social Change by Piotr Sztompka provides an outstanding analysis related to social and historical change. The outline is easy to follow because the book was divided into four parts.

Who is the publisher of sociology? ›

SAGE is the world-leading publisher in sociology, collaborating with key sociology associations and academics to bring the highest quality content to sociologists throughout their career.

Who published the study of sociology? ›

In 1873, the English philosopher Herbert Spencer published The Study of Sociology, the first book with the term “sociology” in the title. Spencer rejected much of Comte's philosophy as well as Marx's theory of class struggle and his support of communism.

Who published the real world an Introduction to Sociology? ›

W. W. Norton & Company


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