Category Archives: Education

Durkheim’s Perspective on Education

Functionalist sociologist Emile Durkheim saw Education as performing two major functions in advanced industrial societies – transmitting the shared values of society and simultaneously teaching the specialised skills for an economy based on a specialised division of labour. Durkheim, a … Continue reading

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Do exam results matter?

So it’s A level result’s day and you’ve stuffed up. But do exam results actually matter? IF you wish to pursue success through what Robert Merton would have called the ‘legitimate opportunity structure’ then they probably do matter, but if you … Continue reading

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Do bad exam results matter?

Results day tomorrow, and I predict that Social Media will be full of comments by celebrities telling students that exam results don’t matter that much because ‘I failed my exams, but I still found success’. This happened last year during The … Continue reading

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Why IQ Tests May not Measure Intelligence

The American psychologist Arthur Jensen (1973) defines intelligence as ‘abstract reasoning ability’ – the ability to discover the rules, patterns and logical principles underlying objects and events and the ability to apply these discoveries to solve problems. Intelligence is measured … Continue reading

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Changing Education Paradigms

In this TED talk, Sir Ken Robinson argues that our current educational systems are still based on a industrial paradigm of education – education is increasingly standardised and about conformity, and kids, who are living in the most stimulating age … Continue reading

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The Illusion of the Equality of Opportunity

Marxist sociologists Bowles and Gintis argue that capitalist societies are not meritocratic. Against Functionalists, they argue that it is not the amount of ability and effort an individual puts into their education that determines how well they do, but rather … Continue reading

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Sociology of Education – Good Resources

Useful sources of quantitative and qualitative data for teaching and learning about the sociology of education… with a focus on the United Kingdom. The point of this post is to provide a range of links to resources and ‘hub sites’ … Continue reading

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Tony Sewell – explaining black boys’ underachievement

A few details of Sewell’s explanations for the relative underachievement of British Caribbean boys Against people like David Gilborn, he argues that it’s ¨not  teacher Racism! He says there are ¨Multiple causes – Mainly out of school – Lack of … Continue reading

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The Myth of the American Dream

Part of the traditional American Dream is that anyone, even children from low income families, can work their way through college, get a degree and be upwardly mobile. However, some recent research suggests that this is no longer the case … Continue reading

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Analysis of The Government’s 2014 Report on White Working Class Underachievement

White working class underachievement is persistent and real, but contemporary government reports are potentially biased in that they might fail to take seriously critical (left wing) analysis of issues such as this. Students might like to read the summary below, … Continue reading

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