A level sociology students should be looking to using contemporary examples and case studies to illustrate points and evaluate theories whenever possible. In the exams, the use of contemporary evidence is something examiners look for and reward.
Below are a few examples of some recent events in the news which are relevant to the sociology of education, you’ll need to read the items for more depth on how to apply them.
- Education funding is down 8% since 2010 – use to criticise Functionalism and Coalition policies
- Examples of Academy Trusts committing fraud and letting their students down – use to evaluate Coalition Policies
- The increase of unconditional offers from universities – use to criticise Marketisation
- Why do some children get excluded from school? – the increase in exclusions have been in the news recently!
- Knife crime was recently blamed for the increase in school exclusions – this post has nine criticisms of this theory.
- Why are schools off-rolling more students before their GCSEs? – The increase in off-rolling can be used to criticise both Functionalism and marketisation policy.
- How the rich cheat their way into Universities – use to support the marxist view of education and relevant to social class and education.
- Oxford and Cambridge still biased towards the middle classes – relevant to social class and education.
- The effects of private schools on future income – use to support the reproduction of class inequality
- How much more will I earn if I do a degree? Use to support Functionalism.
All of the above took place in either 2019 or 2018!