Chapter 13: Education
Chapter 13: Education Syg2010
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This 6 page Class Notes was uploaded by Sierra Gnecco on Wednesday September 28, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Syg2010 at Florida State University taught by Kaley Boggs in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 14 views. For similar materials see Social Problems in Sociology at Florida State University.
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Date Created: 09/28/16
SYG2010 Chapter 13 Education By Sierra Gnecco ● Education- the social institution by which a society transmits knowledge-including basic facts and job skills, as well as cultural norms and values-to its members. ● Some problems in today’s schools include racial segregation, unequal funding that favors some students and disadvantages others, poor teaching in many classrooms, high dropout rates, and violence in the school buildings. 13.1: Problems of Education: A Global Perspective ● One important type of education is schooling (formal instruction carried out by specially trained teachers). ○ Schooling is more widely available to young people in high-income parts of the world than it is to those living in low-income regions. Low-Income Countries: Too Little Schooling ● A majority of the world’s children do receive at least primary schooling (first five or six grade levels). However, secondary education is less common. ● Why is schooling in poor regions of the world so limited? ○ They have agrarian (farming) economies. ⅓ or more of people live in rural communities. ○ Parents take responsibility of teaching. ○ Parents gain economic benefit by keeping children at home to work. ● To encourage economic growth which comes with replacing farming w/industry and service work, gov.’s in poorer nations try to expand literacy (the ability to read and write). ○ Literacy helps “Americanize” or assimilate. ○ They need literacy skills to work in factories and offices. ○ A literate workforce helps countries attract foreign investment, which expands economy and creates more jobs. 2 High-Income Countries: Unequal Schooling ● In high-income countries, the amount of schooling and quality of schooling is unequal. ● Even w/high rate of individuals going to college, the U.S. has a high level of illiteracy. Education in U.S. History ● Thomas Jefferson pointed to literacy as the key to making the U.S. a political democracy. ○ Illiteracy was so common then, that it wasn't a social problem. ● It wasn’t until the 1800’s, when the Industrial Revolution ↑ demand for literate workers, that illiteracy became a social problem. ● By 1900, states were building more public schools and enacting laws that required children to attend for much of the year. ○ Problem: Some families didn’t want to send their kid(s) to school. ○ Solution: In 1918, mandatory education laws were created which required children to attend school until the age of 16. ○ As a result, by 2013, 88% of adult were high school graduate and 32% had college degrees. 13.2: Problems with U.S. Education The Academic Performance of U.S. Schools ● Ways to assess U.S. education: ○ Compare performance of U.S. students to those in other countries. ■ Many high-income nations are doing better than us in schooling. ■ Look at trends in performance over time. (average exam grades) Academic Performance: Race, Class, and Gender ● Asian American students average about seventy points higher than white students on the SAT. While Latinos trail whites by 220 points and African Americans trail whites by 330 points. ● These differences are due to the environmental influences of living standards, parental influences, cultures, racial stereotypes, and how they are raised. ● For all categories, the higher the share of children living in poverty, the lower the educational achievement. 3 ● Average income of a community affects a local community’s quality of schooling. The Effects of Home and School ● Children from low-income families face both fewer educational advantages at home and fewer opportunities at school. ● The factor that affects a child’s intellectual development the most is the home for he or she spends the vast majority of his or her time there. ○ Environment matters more than school. Dropping Out ● Serious problem in the U.S. ● 6.6% of the U.S. population aged 16-24 have left school w/o graduating. ● In the last 50 years, dropping out has become less common. ● Dropout rate for young people from families w/incomes of $100,000 and above is less than 2% while 12% dropout from families w/incomes below $25,000. ● Risk of leaving school is highest among the minorities and poor. Functional Illiteracy ● Functional illiteracy- the inability to read and write or do basic arithmetic well enough to carry out daily responsibilities. ● 14% of U.S. adult population is functionally illiterate. School Segregation and Busing ● At the end of Civil War, slavery was abolished in 1865. African Americans went to segregated schools. ● In 1896, the case Plessy vs. Ferguson claimed that the facilities for blacks and whites could be separate if they were “equal”. ● In 1950s during the civil rights movement, activists challenged the system of racially segregated schools and rallied around the case of Linda Brown. This lead to the U.S. Supreme Court defining school segregation as unconstitutional (Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka 1954). ○ Thurgood Marshall ( lawyer who brought the case to Supreme Court, and later became a Supreme Court Justice) warned that the court decision was not enough to change schools. ● Problem: Blacks and whites lived in separate neighborhoods. How could they attend the same schools as the whites? ● Solution: (1960s) Bus students from one neighborhood to another to achieve racial balance. 4 ● White Flight- In the 1960’s, a pattern emerged of white families moving to the suburbs outside the reach of busing plans ● In 1990s, courts called an end to school bussing. School Funding ● Funding comes from the state and from property taxes paid by the local community. ● Differences in community wealth → unequal school budgets. Tracking ● Inequality in a single school. ● Tracking- the policy of assigning students to different educational programs. ● Tracking can lead to a self-fulfilling prophecy (a situation in which people who are defined in a certain way eventually think and act as if the definition were true) Gender Inequality ● For generations, the two sexes followed diff. programs of study. ○ Boys: woodwork, mechanics, sciences like physics, chemistry, biology, mathematics, and factory jobs. ○ Girls: Home economics, english, elementary education, foreign languages, social sciences, typing, homemaker and clerical jobs. ● Girls and women gained more equal standing in schools. ○ In 1972, Congress passed Title IX of the Education Amendments to the Civil Rights Act which bans sex discrimination in education and requires schools receiving federal funding to provide male and female students w/equal educational programs. Immigration: Increasing Diversity Schooling People with Disabilities ● Throughout most of U.S. history, few of the disabled received any schooling. ○ This shifted in 1975 when Congress passed the Education for All Handicapped Children Act, which requires states to educate all disabled children. ● Mainstreaming- Integrating students w/special needs into the overall educational programs. ● Special education (alternative of mainstreaming)- Schooling children w/physical or mental disabilities in separate classes w/specially trained teachers. 5 Finding Enough Teachers School Violence 1983 National Commission on Excellence in Education report: A Nation at Risk ● By Reagan: the “Education President” ● Found widespread failures in educational system. ● Claimed we were raising a scientifically and technologically illiterate generation ● Noted relative poor performance of American students compared to international peers, declining test scores, weaknesses of our school programs and educators, and the lack of skilled American workforce 13.4: Theories of Education and Education-Related Problems ● Diff. theories offer insights into the purposes and problems of schooling. Structural-Functional Analysis: The Functions of Schooling ● Smooth operation of modern societies depends on schooling. ● Functions of schooling: ○ Ensures young people to learn a wide range of knowledge and skills so that they can take their place as productive adults. ○ Social placement ■ Schools help people assess their talents and develop their abilities so they can find their place in the labor force. ○ Instilling common cultural beliefs and values. ○ Schooling performs many less widely recognized functions. ■ Ex: Provide childcare for working parents, occupy young people who might have trouble finding jobs or might turn to crime, etc. Symbolic-Interaction Analysis: Labels in the Schools ● Looks at how individuals experience the school system. ● Issue: how the labels (gifted, regular, average, deficient) used by school officials play a major part in defining the academic ability of each student. ○ Can lead to the self-fulfilling prophecy. 6 ● Issue: Spoken and more subtle messages conveyed by officials. ○ Ex: School personnel consider some areas of study suitable for girls and others suitable for boys. Social-Conflict Analysis: Schooling and Inequality ● Highlights links b/w schooling and social inequality. ● Schooling is unequal and benefits some while disadvantaging others. ● Views schooling as a system of social control that socializes all students to be obedient citizens who are respectful of authority. ○ Teaches students that the U.S. is a better nation. Feminist Analysis: Schooling and Gender ● Highlights patterns of inequality involving gender. ● Schools and colleges provide diff. instruction to the two sexes.
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