Links to posts on the sociology of education for A Level Sociology, including perspectives on education (Functionalism, Marxism etc.), explanations for differential educational achievement (class, gender, ethnicity), in-school processes (labelling etc.) and the impact of social policies such as the 1988 Education Reform Act.
PLEASE CLICK THE LINK BELOW FOR THE LINKED PDF GRID VERSION OF THE EDUCATION SPECIFICATION:
An Introduction to the Sociology of Education
Education and schools in the United Kingdom – Key Statistics – an overview of some of the most basic statistics on the UK education system, including the number of schools, school types, pupils and teachers, along with some comments on the validity of such statistics.
Education in America – an overview of key facts and stats of the American education system.
Education with Theory and Methods – A Level Sociology Paper 1 – an overview of the first of the three exam papers within A level sociology (AQA focus)
Education Key Concepts – brief definitions of key concepts relevant to the A-level sociology of education module.
The role and functions of education, including its relation to the economy and to class structure
Perspectives on the Role of Education – Knowledge Check List – a simple check list for this sub-topic, covering the five main perspectives you need to know (Functionalism, Marxism, The New Right, Feminism and Post/ Late Modernism), the key concepts and some selected short answer and essay questions
The Functionalist perspective on education – brief revision notes covering four key ideas of Functionalism on education: how school encourages social solidarity, teaching skills for work, school as a bridge between home and wider society and role allocation and meritocracy.
Emile Durkheim’s view on the role of education in society – class notes which take a more in-depth look at Durkheim’s view on the role of education in society. Including his views on education and the transmission of share values, education and social roles, and the role education played in the Division of Labour in society.
Talcott Parson’s perspective on education – class notes which take a more in-depth look at Parson’s views of the role of education in society.
Evaluating the Functionalist view of the role of education in contemporary society – detailed evaluative post exploring a range of contemporary evidence which either supports or criticises the Functionalist view of education.
The Marxist perspective on education – brief revision notes covering four key ideas of the Marxist perspective on education: school as part of the ideological state apparatus, the correspondence theory, and the reproduction and legitimation of class inequality. Also includes a section on Paul Willis’ neo-Marxist study ‘learning to labour’.
Bowles and Gintis – The Correspondence Principle – detailed class notes on this classic piece of Marxist theory on education from Bowles and Gintis’ classic (1976) work ‘Schooling in Capitalist America’.
Evaluating the Marxist perspective on education – medium length evaluative post focusing on a range of contemporary evidence which either supports or criticises the Marxist view of education.
The New Right perspective on education – brief revision notes covering the key ideas of the New Right, key New Right Policies and some evaluations. NB should be read in conjunction with the 1988 Education reform Act post. This just covers the theory.
Evaluating the New Right’s perspective on education – a medium length post which looks at the long term trend in GCSE results, PISA international league tables, Stephen Ball’s work and Sue Palmer’s concept of toxic childhood to evaluate the impact (positive and negative) of marketisation policies on pupils in England and Wales.
Postmodernism and education – a medium length post outlining some of the ways in which education seems to have responded to the shift to postmodern society, by becoming more individualised and diverse, for example.
Sociological perspectives on the relationship between education and work – a brief summary post covering the Functionalist, Marxist, Feminist, New Right and Postmodern perspectives on education and work.
Functionalist, Marxist and The New Right Views of Education – summary vodcast comparing the three perspectives
Sociological Perspectives on the Role of Education in Society – Summary Grid – summary revision grid covering Functionalism, Marxism, The New Right, and Post and Late Modern perspectives on education
Explanations of Differential Educational Achievement of Social Groups
Sociological Explanations of Educational Underachievement – class notes, and an introduction to the sub-topic
Social class and educational achievement
The effects of material deprivation on education – revision notes
The effects of cultural deprivation on education – revision notes
The effects of cultural and social capital on education – revision notes
Cultural Capital and Education – class notes
Gender and educational achievement
What is the gender gap in education? – an introductory post outlining the extent of gender gap in education, focusing on GCSE and A-level exam results and degree entries by gender.
Explaining the Gender Gap in Education – External Factors – revision notes
Explaining the Gender Gap in Education – In School Factors – revision notes
Gender and subject choice
Gender and identity – revision notes
Ethnicity and differential educational achievement
Material Deprivation and Ethnicity – revision notes
Cultural factors and ethnicity – revision notes
In school factors and institutional racism – revision notes
The relative importance of gender/ class and ethnicity in differential educational achievement
White Working Class Underachievement – summary of a thinking allowed podcast
Relationships and Processes Within Schools
Teacher labelling and the self fulfilling prophecy – detailed class notes covering the definitions of labeling and the self fulfilling prophecy, summaries of David Hargreave’s work on typing, Rosenthal and Jacobson’s classic field experiment, and C. Rist’s study of an American Kindergarten which focused on the relationship between social class and labelling, Also includes some evaluations of the labelling theory applied to education.
Pupil subcultures – detailed class notes on pupil subcultures in school, covering pro and anti-school cultures and Peter Wood’s work on the range of subcultures in-between these extremes – such as retreatist subcultures.
School Ethos and The Hidden Curriculum – brief revision notes focusing on how the ethos (basic values) of a school and the hidden (or informal rules) of a school advantage some students and disadvantage others.
The Significance of Educational Policies for an Understanding of the Structure, Role, Impact and Experience of, and Access to Education in British Society
This section includes links relating to policies of selection, marketisation and privatisation; policies to achieve greater equality of opportunity or outcome, and the impact of globalisation on educational policy.
Education Policies in the UK – a very brief overview of the Tripartite System, Comprehensives, the 1988 Education Act and New Labour’s and the Coalition government’s policies of 1997 and 2010.
Social democratic perspectives on education – social democrats emphasize the important role which education can play in promoting equality of opportunity. Social democratic views lead to comprehensivisation
The 1988 Education Reform Act – detailed class notes covering all of the specific policies introduced to implement the marketisation of education – namely GCSEs, league tables, formula funding, OFSTED and the national curriculum.
New Labour’s Education Policies (1997-2010) – detailed class notes covering the introduction of Academies, Sure Start, Education Action Zones. This post also analyses the impact of New Right or Neoliberal and Social Democratic ideas on Labour’s education policies.
New Labour’s Education Policies – summary revision notes
2010–2015 – The Coalition Government’s education policies – detailed class notes covering funding cuts to education, further acadamization and the pupil premium, among other things.
2010-2015 – The Coalition Government’s Education policies – summary revision notes of the above topic.
Free Schools – Arguments For and Against – class notes
The Privatisation of Education – class notes
Selective Education Since Comprehensivisation – revision notes
Arguments for and Against Reintroducing Grammar Schools – class notes
Essay Plans/ Revision Resources
If you like this sort of thing, then you might like my sociology of education revision notes bundle – which contains the following:
- 34 pages of revision notes
- mind maps in pdf and png format – 9 in total, covering various topics within the sociology of education
- short answer exam practice questions and exemplar answers
- how to write sociology essays, including 7 specific templates and model answers on the sociology of education
This section includes links to exam technique, and model answers for essays, the two types of 10 mark questions and the short answer questions you’ll find in the education section of the AQA’s A-level sociology paper 7192-1
How I would have answered the June 2018 sociology A-level paper 1 – covering the 4, 6, 10 and 30 mark questions on the education section of this paper. The post also covers the 2 theory and methods questions.
How I would have answered the June 2017 Sociology A-level paper 1 – covering the education and theory and methods sections of the paper
Evaluate the Functionalist view of the role of education in society – essay plan, long version
Evaluate the Functionalist view of the role of education in society – essay plan, brief version
Evaluate the view that differences in educational achievement by class, gender and ethnicity are the result of in-school processes – essay plan, long, bullet pointed