This is an example of a relatively straight forward 6 mark question which might appear on the AQA’s A level paper 1 (7192/1).
- If you require a more detailed breakdown of paper 1 please click here.
The basic approach to answering 6 mark ‘outline’ questions is to think of them as 1+1 questions – in this case identify a function (for 1 mark) and then explain how education performs that function (for +1). Repeat this 3 times, and you have 3*(1+1) = 6/6 marks.
You should spend no more than 9 minutes on this question (a minute and a half per mark).
A ‘function’ of education is something education (mainly schools) does; a purpose it fulfills, or a goal it contributes towards achieving.
Below are some (1+1) suggestions as to how you might successfully answer this question.
Outline three functions which the education might perform for society (6)
- Getting students ready for work – school does this by starting off teaching basic reading and writing, which most jobs require, and later on by giving students specific job related skills – such as biology gets you ready for a career in medicine.
- Education creates social solidarity which is where we all feel as if we are part of something bigger, working towards the collective good – school does this by teaching everyone the same history and literature, which helps to forge a sense of national identity.
- Education maintains social order, performing a social control function – it does this through requiring that all students attend and through surveillance, any student who does not conform is subject to disciplinary procedures, thus learning to stick to the rules in later life.
I’ve basically taken the above from the Functionalist Perspective on the role of education in society.