Intro to essay

Topics: High school, Secondary education, Primary education Pages: 24 (6634 words) Published: January 5, 2014
Over the last 25 years many policies have been introduced in education. Some critic’s say that an education market has been created but others disagree and say that the policies have helped create equality of opportunity.

Marketisation policies have been introduced, some examples are league tables and open enrolment, these aim to increase competition between schools and also increases parental choice. It is argued that policies like these will raise standards. A lot of these changes are said to be for the market place, these changes include; official statistics, Glossy brochures, freebies, specialist schools, academies, open enrolment, ofsted, advertisement and work related training. A lot of schools put some of these policies into place and started offering freebies etc because schools that do not produce good exam results have to work harder to get pupils. Item A states that they have to worker harder to get the best results for their pupils and if the pupils don’t get good results then the school will go down on the league tables and will consequently lose pupils and funding. The effectiveness of education systems in producing required results has always been a concern of the governments, but especially during the 80s and 90s schooling has been caught up in debates about value for money and parental choice. The principles of the market are now routinely applied to schools. However some policies put into place are more concerned with creating equality of educational opportunity than with producing an education market.

This general perspective hasn’t been particularly
influential in terms of UK government policies (hardly
surprising since its highly critical of Capitalist societies). However, ideas about the role of education have,
arguably, filtered down into the teaching and learning
process and some key ideas for Marxists include:
Cultural reproduction
: This concept involves the idea
of
secondary socialisation
, but with a twist.
Althusser
(1971), for example, argues the economic system
(Capitalism) has to be
reproduced
from one
generation to the next. In other words, each
new generation has to be taught the skills,
knowledge and ideas required for them to
take up positions in the workplace. The twist,
however, is that schools don’t just
select
,
allocate
and
differentiate
children
(through testing and public
examinations) in the interests of
“society as a whole” - education is
not
meritocratic
. Rather, the role of
education is to ensure the sons - and
increasingly daughters - of the powerful
achieve the levels of education required
for them to follow in their fathers’ (and
mothers’) footsteps into
professional employment The
trick, in other words, is to
educate most people “just
enough” for them to be useful
employees and a small number
“more than enough” to take up
high-powered work roles.
One aspect of cultural reproduction is the:
Hidden Curriculum
, a concept that reflects the way
ideas about the social world - and the individual’s place
in that world - are transmitted through the education
system. Schools, as part of the daily teaching process,
don’t just teach formal subjects (such as English or
History) they also teach “hidden” values such as
competition, individual learning and achievement,
qualifications as a way of measuring people’s worth
and so forth.
Education and Society
: The link between these
ideas is that the education system responds to the
demands of employers - there is a
correspondence
(to
use a concept advanced by
Bowles and Gintis,
1976
and 2002) between what employers generally want
(socialised workers differentiated through qualifications,
for example) and what schools provide.
Although the main focus of feminist educational
research (gender inequalities) has remained largely
unchanged over the past 25 years, the emphasis of this
research has shifted somewhat - from explanations
about why girls achieve less than...
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