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Social and cultural innovation is a fourth function

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Social and cultural innovation is a fourth function of education. Our scientists cannot make importantscientific discoveries and our artists and thinkers cannot come up with great works of art, poetry, andscientific work unless they have first been educated in the many subjects they need to know for their chosenpath.Schools ideally perform many important functions in modern society. These include socialization, socialintegration, social placement, and social and cultural innovation.Education also involves several latent functions, functions that are by-products of going to school andreceiving an education rather than a direct effect of the education itself.One of which is child care. Once a child starts kindergarten and then first grade, for several hours a day thechild is taken care of for free.The establishment of peer relationships is another latent function of schooling. Most of us met many of ourfriends while we were in school at whatever grade level, and some of those friendships endure the rest of ourlives.A final latent function of education is that it keeps millions of high school students out of the full-time laborforce. This fact keeps the unemployment rate lower than it would be if they were in the labor force.Social inequality is also perpetuated through the widespread use of standardized tests.Critics say these tests continue to be culturally biased, as they include questions whose answers are mostlikely to be known by students, whose backgrounds have afforded them various experiences that help themanswer the questions.They also say that scores on standardized tests reflect students’ socioeconomic status and experiences inaddition to their academic abilities. This critique of standardized tests perpetuating social inequality, isfounded in various studies. (Grodsky, Warren, & Felts, 2008).Grodsky, E., Warren, J. R., & Felts, E. (2008). Testingand social stratification in American education. Annual Review of Sociology, 34(1), 385–404.Schools in the United States also differ in their resources, learning conditions, and other aspects, all of whichaffect how much students can learn in them.Simply put, schools are unequal, and their very inequality helps perpetuate inequality in the larger society.Children going to the worst schools in poorer areas face many more obstacles to their learning than thosegoing to well-funded schools in suburban areas. Their lack of learning helps ensure they remain trapped inpoverty and its related problems.Conflict theorists also say that schooling teaches a hidden curriculum, by which they mean a set of values andbeliefs that support the status quo, including the existing social hierarchy.Although no one plots this behind closed doors, our schoolchildren learn patriotic values and respect forauthority from the books they read and from various classroom activities.

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Term
Summer
Professor
Moore

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