Assess the Claim That ‘the Main Function of Education Is to Maintain a Value Consensus’ in Society

1362 Words Mar 9th, 2015 6 Pages
Value consensus is a term which refers to general agreement about norms and values amongst the members of society. Different theorists believe in different functions of the education system, some think it as promoting value consensus and some see as a method of control. Functionalists and Marxists have opposing views on the function of education which I will discuss in my essay, I will refer to sources from Durkheim, Parsons, Davis & Moore, Althusser and Bowles & Gintis and Willis and assess the function of education.
Emile Durkheim, a functionalist’s view of education is that it teaches us the norms and value of society. Education helps to unite all the individuals of society which creates a sense of belonging and commitment to that
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This itself is a form of control as the students do not chose what they want to study but have the higher ups do it form. Another theory that Bowles and Gintis came up with is the correspondence theory. This is the idea that everything we are taught in school is used to prepare us for the future in which we are expected to follow certain rules
Capitalism requires a hard-working, obedient workforce that will not challenge the management. Bowles and Gintis believe that education prepares such a workforce through the hidden curriculum. This works in many different ways. One way is that the school teaches us to accept. The hierarchy starts from the headmaster deputy head, teachers who give out the orders and the students have to follow. The students are taught to respect them according to their positions. This has a very high relationship with the workplace in which we will have to respect our boss, seniors, and managers. Another method used by the hidden curriculum is the external rewards. The students are motivated by external awards of exams the same way which workers are motivated by promotions, and the increasing of wages. This highlights the relationship between school and the workplace.
Davis and Moore argue that education has a very positive function in our society. They viewed education as a means of role allocation. The people who are talented and have the skills are

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