Asses the usfulness of the functionalist perspective on education.

Essay by FranualA-, January 2003

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The Functionalist perspective argues that education has three broad functions. These are Secondary Socialisation which is socialising young people into key cultural values. Skill provision this suggests that education teaches the skill required by a modern industrial society and Role allocation this is the allocation of jobs to suit a particular person and their talents.

Functionalists argue that education is positive in helping society to functions because it provides a value consensus and social solidarity. Davis and Moore state that education should be meritocratic, this means that there is equal opportunity in education for all. Functionalist Talcott Parsons says that education prepares and selects individual for their future roles in society, therefore benefiting the individual as well as society.

Skills that are required by modern industrial society were general skills such as literacy and numeracy or the specific skills needed for particular occupations. Numeracy and literacy hours have been introduced to all Primary schools and they are beginning to introduce them to secondary schools as well.

Role allocations includes social stratification this allocates your role in the social stratar, to a functionalist this seems acceptable and very fair. This is so that everyone gets the job to suit his or her ability and taste. This done meritocratically because everyone has the chance to achieve success in society base on his or her ability.

The Functionalist point of view on the National Curriculum is that they respond to changing circumstances in which the needs of the economy are paramount. Functionalists say that there is a consensus on the selection and oragnisation of knowledge that is necessary for society to function in the formal curriculum. The Hidden Curriculum however was essential for learning the socially appropriate behaviors in which social life depends and also teaching children morals.

There are many criticisms of...