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Ans 1: The major sociological perspectives on education fall nicely into the
functional, conflict, and symbolic interactionist approaches.
Theoretical perspective

Major assumptions

Functionalism
Education serves several functions for society. These include (a)
socialization, (b) social integration, (c) social placement, and (d) social and cultural
innovation. Latent functions include child care, the establishment of peer
relationships, and lowering unemployment by keeping high school students out of
the full-time labor force.
Conflict theory Education promotes social inequality through the use of tracking
and standardized testing and the impact of its hidden curriculum. Schools differ
widely in their funding and learning conditions, and this type of inequality leads to
learning disparities that reinforce social inequality.
Symbolic interactionism: This perspective focuses on social interaction in the
classroom, on the playground, and in other school venues. Specific research finds
that social interaction in schools affects the development of gender roles and that
teachers expectations of pupils intellectual abilities affect how much pupils learn.
Figure: The Functions of Education

Schools ideally perform many important functions in modern society. These include
socialization, social integration, social placement, and social and cultural innovation.

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Perhaps the most important function of education is socialization. If children need to
learn the norms, values, and skills they need to function in society, then education
is a primary vehicle for such learning. In the United States, these norms and values
include respect for authority, patriotism, punctuality, individualism, and
competition. Regarding these last two values, American students from an early age
compete as individuals over grades and other rewards. The situation is quite the
opposite in Japan, where, children learn the traditional Japanese values of harmony
and group belonging from their schooling. They learn to value their membership in
their homeroom, or kumi, and are evaluated more on their kumis performance than
on their own individual performance.
A second function of education is social integration. For a society to work,
functionalists say, people must subscribe to a common set of beliefs and values. As
we saw, the development of such common views was a goal of the system of free,
compulsory education that developed in the 19th century. Thousands of immigrant
children in the United States today are learning English, U.S. history, and other
subjects that help prepare them for the workforce and integrate them into American
life.
A third function of education is social placement. Beginning in grade school,
students are identified by teachers and other school officials either as bright and
motivated or as less bright and even educationally challenged. Depending on how
they are identified, children are taught at the level that is thought to suit them best.
In this way they are prepared in the most appropriate way possible for their later
station in life. Whether this process works as well as it should is an important issue,
and we explore it further when we discuss school tracking shortly.
Social and cultural innovation is a fourth function of education. Our scientists cannot
make important scientific discoveries and our artists and thinkers cannot come up
with great works of art, poetry, and prose unless they have first been educated in
the many subjects they need to know for their chosen path.
Ans 3: Education is a vital investment for human and economic development and is
influenced by the environment within which it exists. Changes in technology, labour
market patterns and general global environment, all require policy responses.
Traditions, culture and faith all reflect upon the education system and at the same
time are also affected by them. The element of continuity and change remains
perpetual and it is up to the society to determine its pace and direction.
We are living in an inquiring and innovation-oriented society. The demand of twenty
first century is novelty, creativity, and integration of knowledge at global level,
research, critical and analytical thoughts. Rapidly social changes are creating
uncertainty and complexity in the society. To prepare the children and youth to cope
with the present situation needs to develop analytical and critical thinking, skill and

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attitude that would make them more flexible and innovative to deal with uncertainty
and crises at national and global level.
The greatest need of the hour is to re design curriculum, textbooks, teaching
methodology and childrens literature, formal and non-formal educational systems.
It has been demonstrated by researcher that active learning (questioning and
investigate the nature of topic) develop creativity and stimulate for learning.
Curriculum plays crucial role in national integration and harmony. Curriculum role as
observed in the National Education Policy (1979) should aim enable the learners to
learn knowledge, develop conceptual and intellectual skills, attitudes, values and
aptitudes conductive to the all round development of their personality and
proportionate with the societal, economic and environmental realities at national
and international level.
It is, perhaps easier to educate a child in beginning than re-educated him when he
has already formed. Therefore, books for children are not simply a source of
entertainment rather inculcate intelligence and values. In Russia, America and Japan
childrens literature is considered a great cultural and educational phenomenon, and
creation of books for children is responsibility of the states. The manifest and latent
functions of childrens literature is to transmit knowledge, myth, mores, values,
folkways, legendry personalities, superstitions and beliefs which are integral part of
a culture.
Textbooks are the most widely used as a teaching tool which represent our national
culture. Textbooks reveal our national values, culture, and ideology of a nation. A
good text book can be a teacher in print, and sometime even superior to an
average teacher. In fact they are influence towards national integration by sharing
common national culture. The selection, organization and presentation of subject
matter in textbooks show philosophy, integrity, values and intellectual thoughts of a
nation.
Ans 5: "Multiculturalism" is the co-existence of diverse cultures, where culture
includes racial, religious, or cultural groups and is manifested in customary
behaviours, cultural assumptions and values, patterns of thinking, and
communicative styles.
Multiculturalism describes the existence, acceptance, or promotion of multiple
cultural traditions within a single jurisdiction, usually considered in terms of the
culture associated with an ethnic group. This can happen when a jurisdiction is
created or expanded by amalgamating areas with two or more different cultures
(e.g. Quebec and Canada) or through immigration from different jurisdictions around
the world (e.g. Australia, Brazil, Mexico, the United States, and many other
countries).

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Multicultural education is an idea, an approach to school reform, and a movement
for equity, social justice, and democracy. Specialists within multicultural education
emphasize different components and cultural groups. However, a significant degree
of consensus exists within the field regarding its major principles, concepts, and
goals. A major goal of multicultural education is to restructure schools so that all
students acquire the knowledge, attitudes, and skills needed to function in an
ethnically and racially diverse nation and world. Multicultural education seeks to
ensure educational equity for members of diverse racial, ethnic, cultural, and
socioeconomic groups, and to facilitate their participation as critical and reflective
citizens in an inclusive national civic culture.

Multicultural education tries to provide students with educational experiences that


enable them to maintain commitments to their community cultures as well as
acquire the knowledge, skills, and cultural capital needed to function in the national
civic culture and community. Multicultural theorists view academic knowledge and
skills as necessary but not sufficient for functioning in a diverse nation and world.
They regard skills in democratic living and the ability to function effectively within
and across diverse groups as essential goals of schooling.
Multicultural education is highly consistent with the ideals embodied in the U.S.
Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, and the Bill of Rights. It seeks to
extend the rights and privileges granted to the nation's founding elitesthe ideals of
freedom, equality, justice, and democracyto all social, cultural and language
groups. Multicultural education addresses deep and persistent social divisions
across various groups, and seeks to create an inclusive and transformed
mainstream society. Multicultural educators view cultural difference as a national
strength and resource rather than as a problem to be overcome through
assimilation.
James A. Banks's Dimensions of Multicultural Education is used widely by school
districts to conceptualize and develop courses, programs, and projects in
multicultural education. The five dimensions are:
(1) content integration;
(2) the knowledge construction process;
(3) prejudice reduction;
(4) an equity pedagogy; and
(5) an empowering school culture and social structure.
Although each dimension is conceptually distinct, in practice they overlap and are
interrelated.
Ans 6: Empowerment means moving from enforced powerlessness to a position of
power. Education is an essential means of empowering women with the knowledge,
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skills and self-confidence necessary to fully participate in the development process.
Sustainable development is only possible when women and men enjoy equal
opportunities to reach their potential.
Women and girls experience multiple and intersecting inequalities.
Structural barriers in the economic, social, political and environmental spheres
produce and reinforce these inequalities. Obstacles to womens economic and
political empowerment, and violence against women and girls, are barriers to
sustainable development and the achievement of human rights, gender equality,
justice and peace.
Across much of the world, either by law or custom, women are still denied the right
to own land or inherit property, obtain access to credit, attend school, earn income
and progress in their profession free from job discrimination.
Women are significantly under-represented in decision-making at all levels.
While the economic benefits of educating girls are similar to those of educating
boys, recent findings suggest the social benefits are greater.
Women have the potential to change their own economic status and that of their
communities and countries in which they live yet usually womens economic
contributions are unrecognized, their work undervalued and their promise
undernourished.
Unequal opportunities between women and men hamper womens ability to lift
themselves from poverty and secure improved options to improve their lives.
Education is the most powerful instrument for changing womens position in society.
Educated girls and women have smaller families and healthier children, are less
likely to die in childbirth, are more likely to see their children survive past the age of
five, are more likely to send their children to school and are better able to protect
themselves and their children from malnutrition, HIV, trafficking and sexual
exploitation.
In line with the Millennium Development Goals and the objectives established by the
international community, MASHAV, Israels Agency for International Development
Cooperation, at Israels Foreign Ministry, consistently promotes the empowerment of
women, considering womens education a critical component of development policy
and planning, and central to sustainable development.
The numbers dont lie. For every year a girl stays in school and learns, her future
earnings increase considerably. An extra year of primary school education, for
example, boosts girls future wages by 1020%. A one percentage point increase in
female secondary education raises the average level of gross domestic product by
0.3 percentage points.
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Still, many girls are denied the opportunity to get an education. The Millennium
Development Goal (MDG) target of gender parity by 2015 has not been achieved in
a number of countries. In 2011, only 60% of countries had reached this goal at the
primary level, and only 38% at the secondary level. Poor girls are particularly
disadvantaged. Only rarely do poor girls in rural sub-Saharan Africa complete
primary education.
Ans 9 a): Knowledge is power - this insight is at least four centuries old, formulated
by philosopher Francis Bacon during the Enlightenment. His statement has lost
nothing in terms of relevance and significance: Knowledge is power, and education
is the fundamental precondition for political development, democracy and social
justice. Education empowers, and education promotes greater participation. There is no

development without education. The world community has long since recognized this fact and
developed clear political demands and consciousness on the subject as well. The second
Millennium Development Goal specified by the United Nations says that all human beings
should have access to a basic education. There has been progress, although it has been slow and
heavily variable by region. The percentage of children who attend schools increased from 1999
to 2009 by seven percent, to a total of 89 percent.

Recently, the tempo of progress has slowed. In Africa and Asia, the second Millennium
Development Goal will not be reached in many regions by 2015. In developing regions, just 87
of every 100 children complete a primary education. And in many poor countries, every four out
of 10 children stop attending school before finishing the elementary grades.
But two of Asia's fastest growing economies, India and China, show that education has clear
economic advantages. A third example: In the 1950s, South Korea was in worse condition than
many African countries are today. Investments in equal education access for men and women,
together with better health care and access to shelter, have contributed to a decrease in infant
mortality rates and to an economic boom.
Ans 9 d): A knowledge society generates, processes, shares and makes available to
all members of the society knowledge that may be used to improve the human
condition. A knowledge society differs from an information society in that the former
serves to transform information into resources that allow society to take effective
action while the latter only creates and disseminates the raw data. The capacity to
gather and analyze information has existed throughout human history. However, the
idea of the present-day knowledge society is based on the vast increase in data
creation and information dissemination that results from the innovation of
information technologies. The UNESCO World Report addresses the definition,
content and future of knowledge societies.

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The social theory of a knowledge society explains how knowledge is fundamental to
the politics, economics, and culture of modern society. Associated ideas include the
knowledge economy created by economists and the learning society created by
educators. Knowledge is a commodity to be traded for economic prosperity. In a
knowledge society, individuals, communities, and organizations produce knowledgeintensive work.
A knowledge society promotes human rights and offers equal, inclusive, and
universal access to all knowledge creation. The UNESCO World Report establishes
four principles that are essential for development of an equitable knowledge
society:

Cultural diversity
Equal access to education
Universal access to information (in the public domain)
Freedom of expression

However, they acknowledge that the digital divide is an obstacle to achievement of


genuine knowledge societies. Access to the internet is available to 39 percent of the
worlds population. This statistic represents growth as well as a continued gap.
Among the many challenges that contribute to a global digital divide are issues
regarding economic resources, geography, age, gender, language, education, social
and cultural background, employment and disabilities.

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