Education - Education is the social institution responsible...

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Education is the social institution responsible for the systematic transmission of knowledge, skills, and cultural values within a formally organized structure. Because education imparts values, beliefs, and knowledge considered essential to the social reproduction of individual personalities and entire cultures, it is the focus of much public debate. The earliest forms of education reflected interests of the family and religious institutions, which stressed the moral development of the individual child. As societies became industrialized, economic growth began to emphasize the need for basic, universal skills and work related knowledge. The competing interests of these institutions remains at the center in the public debate over education. In fact, one of the most debated issues in education today revolves around the kinds of values that should be taught in schools. Formal education involves learning that takes place within an academic setting such as a school, which has a planned instructional process and teachers who convey specific knowledge, skills, and thinking process to students. The earliest example of formal education probably occurred in ancient Greece and Rome where philosophers taught elite males to become thinkers and orators. Between the fall of the Roman Empire and the beginning of the middle Ages, only the sons of wealthy lords received formal education. Other children were trained through apprenticeships in merchant and crafts guilds. In the middle Ages, the first colleges and universities were developed under the auspices of the church. During the Renaissance, education shifted from a focus on human failings and morality to the importance of developing well-rounded and liberally educated people. As societies became increasingly industrialized, the need for formal education for the masses increased. Mass education refers to providing free, public schooling for wide segments of a nation's population. By the mid-1850s, mass education began in the United States. To a large extent, the transformation to mass education reflected the need for workers who possessed a minimum level of literacy. As the United States began the transition to a postindustrial society in the 1950s, higher levels of education were needed for a portion of the workforce, and the G.I. Bill was introduced. In addition to teaching the basics, schools in modern societies teach a myriad of topics and perform many tasks that previously were performed by other social institutions. Sociological Perspectives on Education Functionalists view education as one of the most important components of society. Education provides the initial mechanism for matching individual abilities with needed social tasks in the economy and thus, education helps to alleviate inequality through its emphasis on competition and meritocracy. According to functionalists, education fulfills this goal and a number of manifest and latent functions that, together, contribute to social order. As you will recall, manifest functions are openly stated and intended goals
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This note was uploaded on 09/12/2011 for the course SYG 2000 taught by Professor Ford during the Spring '08 term at University of Central Florida.

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Education - Education is the social institution responsible...

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