Functionalism in Education Essay

1132 Words Apr 13th, 2010 5 Pages
Having attended public schools throughout my childhood and adolescence, I never was familiar with the term functionalism and its many elements. After observing and analyzing my field placement classroom I have come to understand the concept of functionalism to some extent. In general, functionalists “see schools as serving to socialize students to adapt to the economic, political, and social institutions of that society” (Feinberg, p.6, 2004). They also theorize that in order for societies to survive, they must carry out vital functions such as, attaining fundamental knowledge and acquiring essential skills and proficiency, acknowledging certain norms and values within their community, and recognizing authority figures. It is also …show more content…
Mrs. Root began the day by allowing the kids to choose their designated job o the week. The six jobs the students can select from are line leader, door holder, paper passer, sharpening pencils, turning the lights on/off, and errand runner. The kids get so excited about choosing their job or “role” for the week. This motivates them and makes them want to become more efficient and responsible. Functionalists dispute over the fact that all members within a society are compelled to perform different tasks. The concept of role differentiation is found in almost all communities and guarantees that even the most unpleasant jobs are completed. The process of selecting and fulfilling a classroom responsibility helps student’s form a personal identity of themselves. Role differentiation facilitates individuals to gain a sense of belonging in their society and helps build their character. It also assists them in learning responsibility which they can apply to every day life.

My final observation took place on Tuesday, February 3rd, at 2:30pm. I was able to observe the teacher, Mrs. Root, enact the norm of specificity. One of the students, a girl named Shelby, is required to wear leg braces because she has a difficult time walking. When walking to Adapted P.E, we had to travel up stairs, which proved to challenging for Shelby. So she wouldn’t trip and fall, Mrs. Root helped Shelby maneuver up the steps until she

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