Schooling and Society

Published: 2019-09-12 07:00:00
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Over centuries, schooling has occupied an important position in the development of society. It is an essential instrument through which progressive ideas pass from one generation to another for the purposes of enhancing values and knowledge in various aspects of life. Bourdieu(1985) noted that schools create a culture is regarding norms, beliefs, traditions, and values that are built up over time as people work together to solve problems and overcome challenges in the society. School leaders such as the principal, teachers and parents often help to identify, shape and maintain a robust and positive culture that enables students to achieve their career objectives. The 20th century witnessed a tremendous increase in the number of people accessing education; a phenomenon that played a significant role in the technological revolution that shook the century. These benefits have contributed the increased investment in schooling from all stakeholders. In spite of the immense benefits of education and massive investment by governments into this sector, its delivery continues to face various challenges in the modern society

Role of Schooling in the Society

Schooling plays a vital role in childs socialization process. According to(Coates & Wagenaar, 1999) ,the culture inculcated in schools has a significant dimension in not only in the acquisition of skills and knowledge but also builds right attitudes that are essential in social interactions. Coates and Wagenaar argue that while at school, children learn to characterize by knowledge seeking and their attitudes are frequently changed in the formal school situations. Coates & Wagenaar add that the school, as an agency of socialization, helps in the cognitive development of children. Both cognitive and motor skills serve to prepare children for the transition to higher-level knowledge environments. The environment of school makes children play together, laugh together, they can most likely work together and also plan together. Such social interaction with peers contributes to their cognitive development. Bourdieu (1990) notes that education through curriculum shapes the childs understanding of oneself in relation to others. In this respect, teachers play a crucial role in childs formative years since the child starts to understand his/her identity beyond the family, role that each kid in the society assumes through friends ,teachers and books that they read in classroom.

Education helps in transmitting culture through proper molding of social personality which in turn contributes to the integration to survive and reproduce themselves in diverse environments. Individuals must have personalities that shape in ways that fit into the culture of their ecosystem to foster societal growth and development (Brint, 2007).According to Brint, the transmission of knowledge is the most obvious purpose of schooling which examines how subjects and knowledge materials become part of the curriculum and how successful the learners have acquired knowledge. Subjects such as arts, physical education, and social sciences influence the personality of an individual. This personality is essential for the person in deriving higher levels of awareness, thus contributing to the betterment of society.

Schooling focuses on the potential for developing occupational therapy practice and widening the impact of occupational perspectives of human health. Thew(2011) argues that people respond to change in different ways and so for some people health and social care may appear daunting activity due to the unstable economic opportunities. However, these changes offer enormous potential for occupation therapy to break out of the confines of traditional health and social care as learners are exposed to physical education activities that improve the health of individuals. Also, schooling promotes safe lifestyles healthy behaviors and discourages behaviors pose health risks to learners. In the same breadth, academic motivation and engagement enable students to find their school environment to be supportive and caring as a result are less likely to venture into substance abuse, violence and other delinquent and harmful behaviors. Working in groups encourages the students to develop positive attitudes that seek to tackle problems in society rather than seeking cheaper and dangerous routes. Programs such as community work and helping people are emphasized, enhancing integrity that stays with the students up to the old age. These school initiatives also emphasize on doing good to others and have been influential in discouraging students from dabbling in self-destructive activities such as religious fundamentalism and gang violence (Twem, 2012)

.Education creates awareness to the children on democracy on participatory democracy. Through projects, students afford the opportunity to participate actively in democratic processes. Through leaderships, students receive guidance on leadership skills which enables them to understand governance issues at a tender age. This awareness cultivates a culture where students can understand rights and obligations as both the junior and senior citizens of the country. Student councils also develop leadership skills and enable students to forge a partnership with school administrations to lobby on various issues of concern. These processes allow students to learn from experience and acquire vital skills in leadership thus prepare to the face the future with a lot of ease (Ylimaki& Jacobson, 2011)

Schooling promotes a competitive consumer society through the provision of a favorable environment for the advancement of technology. According to Brint (2011), Students have been exposed to fundamental aspects of innovation and these exposures play a part in enhancing the technological capital especially in the higher levels of education. The effects of technological advancement bring benefits that expand economies leading to increasing spending by governments to alleviate the suffering of poor and deprived people in our societies. Similarly, since the quality of nations education is a key factor in the economic growth of a country as it enables individuals to participate in the labor market, leading to improved social and economic standards (Ylimaki& Jacobson, 2011). These economy-wide benefits give schooling a special position in the countrys socio-economic development.

Disparities and Challenges in Schools

Equality in schools in the same experience is crucial to the life of the learners since it highlights the future of the children on broader perspectives. Throughout the world, there have been continuous attempt to reform education at all levels. Studies conducted by Twemlow(2012) demonstrate that education inequality is attributable to economic disparities that often fall along racial lines. Inequality education outcomes are attributed to the family origin, gender, social classes, achievements, earnings, health status, political and geographical isolation. Twemlow observes that family background influences cultural knowledge and perceptions since children lack assistance from home as the parents do not understand the concept of education. Moreover, early marriage affects the ability to receive the education since the young parents will concentrate on raising the baby at the expense of education.

Schooling does not generate knowledge that is relevant to the changing society. Technology is associated with particular body of knowledge that is unfit to stages of development regarding employment and investment demands and thus schooling has failed to provide a value framework upon which committed politicians, bureaucrats, technocrats and professionals can be manufactured. (Ylimaki& Jacobson, 2011) Ylimaki and Jacobson argue that nations depend on the mentioned individuals for the sophisticated system of support in the delivery of services that are useful in taking the country to a higher level. Although schooling doesnt guarantee high status and position to all people in enhances social mobility (In Brooke, In Frazer, & McPherran 2013; Ylimaki & Jacobson, 2011).These challenges can be overcome through making it possible for all to access education, developing the content of education which promotes the development of scientific and objective outlook, creating equal opportunities for social mobility to all individual and providing opportunities to secure a good education.

Ethnographic efforts in education have broadened to give sustained attention to gender and ethnic differences under the influence of feminism and campaigns for multicultural inclusive. Grenfell (2011) argues that gender and ethnicity produce an intricate patterning of pupils careers in schools has raised crucial educational and political issues. Although subordinated social classes may experience power-related deprivations regarding their ability to control decision-making or influence events and their powerlessness is primarily economic. The highlighted perspective is explored by Ylimaki and Jacobson (2011) who contend that structuring of relations between ethnic groups is not just a set status relationships. It also includes connections that are economical and political in nature. The separation of educational spheres has also institutionalized a deep set of power inequalities between groups, the education system in a more precarious position.

In spite of intensive reform efforts, regular government reviews on the schooling process indicate a lot of challenges that appear seemingly intractable since their roots lie largely outside the reach of schools or deep -entrenched in the educational process and structures that are difficult to change. Greenwood Press, Meighan and Harber (2007) reckon that the challenges can be tackled by raising the profession status in teaching, developing teaching as a knowledge-based profession thus making the top performing school system. This approach will attract highly-skilled people into the teaching thus drive up the status of the profession and attract more entrants. Equity in the distribution of education resources can be achieved if schools choose to segregate students into the school based socioeconomic background. It is important to reduce the gap between low and high socioeconomic schools. Meaney, Trinick, and Fairhall (2012) also argue that designing the curriculum that goes hand in hand with technology since change is accelerating and the emergence of multi-disciplinary works teams engaged in innovation is critical to the elevation of the current education system. This can be achieved through the development of a school curriculum that focuses on flexible learning arrangements that conform to the significantly changed world.

In spite of the immense benefits of education and the massive investment by governments into this sector, its delivery continues to face various challenges in the modern society. Schooling promotes the socialization process which in turn enhances the cognitive development of learners. Besides, education inculcates desirable behaviors among young people, leading to a better society. Moreover, education helps to produce individuals that contribute the technological and economic development of the country. The countrys education, however, faces a myriad of challenges which include technologically-unresponsive curricula, restructuring of education to mend historically created social and economic inequalities. To overcome the mentioned challenges the teachers, parents, communities, and government agencies must recognize that changes to the education system require more than adopting new pedagogical practices.


Brint, S. G. (2007). Schools and societies. Princeton, NJ: Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic.

Grenfell, M. (2011). Bourdieu, language and linguistics. London: Co...


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