Education

Functionalism

Functionalists adopt a consensus view of society, that is, one based on harmony and agreement between its members. They emphasize the positive aspects of education, for example, history teaches students about a shared heritage and culture and PSHE teaches them about responsible citizenship.


As a starter activity, students could be divided into groups and assigned a subject they have studied at school. They can then work together to identify ways in which Functionalists would see the study of that subject as being beneficial for both individuals and society. 

A useful overview of the Functionalist view of education can be found here:

Discover More The New Right and Education

This highlights a range of useful key terms including role allocation. A simple fill in the gaps evaluation of functionalist views on education can then be found here

Discover More Criticisms of the Functionalist Perspective on Education


For independent study, students could make use of the following blog:

Discover More Functionalist Theories of Education


This covers the work of a range of key functionalist writers including Durkheim, Parsons, Merton and Davis & Moore. Throughout the text are some key thinking points which could be used as a basis for discussions in the next class or via an Edmodo group discussion.

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