Using material from Item A and elsewhere, assess the contribution of functionalist sociology to an understanding of the role of education in society
A) Explain what is meant by ‘streaming’. (2 marks)
Streaming is when you organise children into different classes in school depending on their ability.
B) Give two examples of ways in which the school curriculum may be seen as ethnocentric. (4 marks)
The school curriculum may be seen as ethnocentric as they only teach main culture/religion subjects and they do not give children a broad education.
C) Suggest three ways in which schools act as agencies of
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Children in the lower groups, often regard breaking the rules as ‘cool’ therefore the teacher usually spends more time controlling behaviour than teaching; this gives the children a bad education as they are not being taught properly. Also, streaming can lead to labelling e.g. someone who teaches a lower group often expects less from then, this leads to the children being deprived of higher knowledge to help them achieve better grades. They are also placed into lower tier exams, making it impossible for them to strive for higher grades and exceed other peoples’ expectations of them. Other factors in the hidden curriculum could be language and values, as the language used by teachers is mainly aimed at middle class children, therefore, they have an advantage over lower class children, as they have been brought up using that style of language, and so understand it. Also, the values taught to the children are, in the majority, middle class values. This also puts the lower class children at a disadvantage because they are not being taught the same values at home as they are at school.
F) Using material from Item A and elsewhere, assess the contribution of functionalist sociology to an understanding of the role of education in society. (20 marks)
Functionalism states that education performs the functions of selection, sharing roles and training, and also emphasizes the