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Education

Published on February 24, 2008

Author: Tarzen

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November 12th & 13th, 2007 Session 10 - Agenda :  November 12th & 13th, 2007 Session 10 - Agenda Time Activity 8:30 am Seminars 9:30 Break 9:45 DVD “Unsafe to Teach” Discussion 10:45 Lecture: Chapter 3: “Contemporary Sociological Approaches to Schooling” 11:15 End of Class Ch. Three: “Contemporary Sociological Approaches to Schooling”:  Ch. Three: “Contemporary Sociological Approaches to Schooling” Changing Contexts for Schooling: Context - the setting/circumstances Daniel Bell (1973) “The Coming of Post-Industrial Society” Accurately predicted many of the changes we see today Changes in the economic dynamics of the world = the economy Third great revolution (late 20th Century) = Post-Industrial Revolution Change in human activity: Agricultural to manufacturing to human & professional services (communications, finance, government, sales) Post-Industrial Revolution:  Post-Industrial Revolution Canadians working in the service sector: 1800’s - 33% (1/3) 2000’s - 90% (9/10) Today about 1% work in agriculture and less than 15% work in manufacturing. See Table 3.1 - page 27 of text Table 3.1: Percentage Distribution of Canadian Economic Activity by Sector and Period :  Table 3.1: Percentage Distribution of Canadian Economic Activity by Sector and Period Daniel Bell (1973) “The Coming of Post-Industrial Society”:  Daniel Bell (1973) “The Coming of Post-Industrial Society” Impact on job quality - a new type of work Theoretical knowledge more central Increasing importance of innovation, research & development, and smart technologies The computer the motive force behind vast socio-economic changes Since 1970’s our lives have been transformed by information and communication technology! Cell phones, smart cars, robotics, etc.. “Information/Knowledge Society”:  “Information/Knowledge Society” Knowledge is now the key source of economic growth and value-added activity in modern society and defines the societal type: the knowledge society. (Nico Stehr, 2001) Knowledge = Research & Development (Universities) = the driving force of Modern Economies U. of T. - Insulin U. of W. - the Blackberry U. of B.C. - WebCt Politicians strong proponents of a link between education, knowledge and the economy. :  Politicians strong proponents of a link between education, knowledge and the economy. Liberals: “Regan Endorses Call to Protect Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation” July 25, 2006 Conservatives: Throne speech ( Apr. 2006): “Over the course of its mandate, and starting with the clear priorities set out today, the Government will work diligently to build a record of results. It will promote a more competitive, more productive Canadian economy. It will seek to improve opportunity for all Canadians, including Aboriginal peoples and new immigrants. Politicians strong proponents of a link between education, knowledge and the economy.:  Politicians strong proponents of a link between education, knowledge and the economy. New Democratic Party: (July 2006) “Federal government can start restoring fiscal balance by reinvesting in post-secondary education.” Green Party: (2006 Platform) “For the last twenty years, federal government policies have increasingly turned post-secondary education into a privilege. In response, college and university students have marched in the streets and launched campaigns calling for quality, accessible education. Student demands have been heard by Canadians who see education as a top priority.” Politicians strong proponents of a link between education, knowledge and the economy.:  Politicians strong proponents of a link between education, knowledge and the economy. Bock Quebecois: (Platform 2006) “Demanding a raise in federal transfers for post-secondary education (College and University) and social programs of $ 2.75 billion dollars over three years for Quebec.” Ontario Government has two educational ministries: Ministry of Education Ministry of Training, Colleges & Universities “Especially with increasing global competition, policy-makers have been quick to point to education - to knowledge production and dissemination - as critical to national success.” (Davies & Guppy, 2006) “Information/Knowledge Society”:  “Information/Knowledge Society” Increased requirements for “people to think on the job” More autonomy, complexity, and dexterity Need to recognize where, when and how to apply relevant knowledge Ever-higher levels of schooling have led to increasingly high earnings for more educated individuals Current Salary grid for: ETF0 - Toronto: Min. $ 44,532 - Max.(A4) $ 81,518 ETFO - Ont. North East: Min. $ 45,763 - Max. (A4)$ 81,726 Cultural & Demographic Shifts:  Cultural & Demographic Shifts Continued decline of religious authority Early University charters to institutions with strong religious ties (Dalhousie, McMaster, Queens) More recently (Wilfred Laurier, Laurentian) Canadian education was founded by early missionaries Récollets & Jesuits - “to educate one in the Godly ways of the world” Récollets:  Récollets a French branch of the Roman Catholic order, the Franciscans first established in France about 1570. According to one historian, "Recollection-houses are, strictly speaking, those monasteries to which friars desirous of devoting themselves to prayer and penance can withdraw to consecrate their lives to spiritual recollection". The order was suppressed during the French Revolution Récollets:  Récollets The Récollets were important as missionaries to the French Colonies in Canada, although they were displaced there by the Jesuits. The first Récollet missionaries arrived at Quebec City, from Rouen on June 2, 1615. The Récollet fathers are said to have brewed the first beer in New France in 1620. They left New France in 1629 but returned in 1670. After the British conquest, the order was prohibited from recruiting new members. The last Canadian Récollet Brother Louis died in 1848 at Quebec City. Jesuits:  Jesuits The Society of Jesus, founded in 1540, is a Christian religious order of the Catholic Church, in direct service to the Pope. Its members, known as Jesuits since the Protestant Reformation, have been called "Soldiers of Christ", first, and "Foot soldiers of the Pope", second, in part because the Society's founder, Saint Ignatius of Loyola, was a soldier before he became a priest. Its specific mandate was to go anywhere in the world to serve the people of God in the Roman Catholic tradition, with a special loyalty to the Bishop of Rome, the Pope. Jesuits:  Jesuits the first Jesuits, set foot in what is now Canada, at Port Royal, 22 May 1611. These "Blackrobes", as they soon came to be called, immediately began to reach out to the indigenous peoples in the vast new land. Religious decline:  Religious decline Census information: 1971 - less 1% report no religion 2001 - 16 % report no religion Sunday schools once provided the “moral compass” for young people - far less of a role today! Rituals of praying before meals or before going to bed less common today. Lord’s prayer and religious classes removed from public schools in Ontario Slide17:  Policy/Program Memorandum No. 108 Amendments to Regulation 262:  Amendments to Regulation 262 The following points summarize the content of the new section 4: All public elementary and secondary schools in Ontario must be opened or closed each day with the national anthem. "God Save the Queen" may be included. The inclusion of any content beyond "0 Canada" in opening or closing exercises is to be optional for public school boards. Amendments to Regulation 262:  Amendments to Regulation 262 3. Where public school boards resolve to include, in the opening or closing exercises in their schools, anything in addition to the content set out in item 1 above, it must be composed of either or both of the following: one or more readings that impart social, moral, or spiritual values and that are representative of our multicultural society. Readings may be chosen from both scriptural writings, including prayers, and secular writings; a period of silence. 4. Parents who object to part or all of the exercises may apply to the principal to have their children exempted. Pupils who are adults may also exercise such a right. Cultural Impact:  Cultural Impact Cultural underpinnings of modern society have changed Culture: people’s taken-for-granted social conventions Principles of action Habits of speech and gestures Recipes or scenarios about how to act Cultural ‘tool kit’: A set of guidelines or social rules Cultural Impact - by the Erosion of Religion:  Cultural Impact - by the Erosion of Religion Cultural underpinnings of modern society have changed Culture: people’s taken-for-granted social conventions Principles of action Habits of speech and gestures Recipes or scenarios about how to act Cultural ‘tool kit’: A set of guidelines or social rules Erosion of Religion:  Erosion of Religion Resulted in the rising individualism and less deferential attitudes. Inglehart (1995): Newer generations: exposed to economic prosperity Receive more education Undergo an ‘value shift’ - greater emphasis on self-development, personal development, and personal identity Unlimited expression Outcomes of “Individualism”:  Outcomes of “Individualism” Liberal thinkers identify: Abolishment of slavery Equal rights/Equity for women Pursuit of happiness Personal freedom Conservatives thinkers identify: Things have gone too far Eroded traditional values of authority, respect, trust and honesty Condemn schools for not teaching traditional values Outcomes of “Individualism”:  Outcomes of “Individualism” Sociologist identify how the cultural shift has affected lifestyles: Spawned self-help, self-actualization, self-realization, and self-identity movements Professional counselling and therapy Individual lifestyle choices Personal experts (fitness trainers, financial planners, educ. tutors) Impact on Schools Change in parenting norms and practices Children now seen as family members - need special expertise & nurturing Parenting - hard work requiring skill and commitment Outcomes of “Individualism”:  Outcomes of “Individualism” Until the 19th century: Child abandonment and hard child labour were common. Children - economic appendages to family Individual welfare of child not important Children considered miniature adults Changed with: Improved hygiene and nutrition Infant mortality reduced Longer lifespan - brought recognition of “childhood as a stage of life”. Economic growth demanded an educated workforce = childhood and schooling period of life Outcomes of “Individualism”:  Outcomes of “Individualism” Parenting: Socializing of children now predominately done outside the family - through education & health care systems, social workers, and daycare centres Experts abound - Emmett Holt, Benjamin Spock, etc. A whole economy of books in print on parenting Social pressure to intervene and produce ‘super-babies” Outcomes of “Individualism”:  Outcomes of “Individualism” Adolescents: Rise of consumer culture - marketing focused on adolescents Clothing fashions globally marketed Institutionalization of a culture targeted at youth Impacted on schools - exerting influence on youth - youth identify less with school curriculum and more with the popular industries of entertainment, advertising, and clothing. “Cultural Industries of Diversion” “Weapons of Mass Distraction” Outcomes of “Individualism”:  Outcomes of “Individualism” Families: 1959 - largest number of babies in Canadian history 2002 - number of births had declined by 30% A shift from “Baby boom to baby bust” Impacted on Schools: Fewer schools - fewer teachers Family composition has changed: Traditional nuclear family on decline 1961 - Married couples with children = 62.3 % of all families 2001 - this has declined to 41.5 % Lone parents up to 15.7% (2001) Childless couples up to 36.6 % (2001) Outcomes of “Individualism”:  Outcomes of “Individualism” Common-law unions = 15% of all couples Marriages tend to be later - having children delayed Majority families - both parents work Divorce more prevalent - 1/3 marriages end in divorce 50% of divorces involve children Rise in the number of single parents and stepfamilies Outcomes of “Individualism”:  Outcomes of “Individualism” Population: Birth rates and immigration fuel population growth Immigration strong through-out Canadian History Impact on schools: Teaching recent immigrants Change in composition of immigrant groups - fewer European roots more Asian. Reflects greater religious heterogeneity and cultural diversity. Socialization:  Socialization Four Contemporary Theories: Pondered the new relation between schools and morality Presumes that contemporary socialization in schools is ‘tacit or implicit’ - hidden curriculum Structural Functionalism: Neo-Marxism: Focus on Ascription: Renewed Individualism/Reflexive Modernization Structural Functionalism: :  Structural Functionalism: Nurturing Modern Values: popular in the 1950s and 1960s from the thought of Émile Durkheim few sociologists today would identify themselves as functionalists the logic of the theory survives in human capital theory, the new institutionalism, and reflexive modernity Reflexive Modernization: - The view of theorists (Beck & Giddens) that contemporary change is driven by the enhanced ability of individuals to actively choose their biographies. interest in how youth get socialized into a broader society & how they learn a common culture Structural Functionalism: :  Structural Functionalism: Functionalists were impressed with how socialization reflected the process of ‘modernization’—the progression of societies from an agricultural to an industrial basis and the decline of religion. schools played the key role of teaching modern values societies industrialized = more urbanized cultures become less parochial and more cosmopolitan politics become less authoritarian and more democratic schools need to provide a common culture for the increasingly diverse and complex societies that were growing transmitting values like universalism, democracy, and meritocracy Structural Functionalism: :  Structural Functionalism: Question: how do students learn this common culture? New values not taught overtly Taught through their very form and operation - by operating in a universalistic and meritocratic fashion Students learned by doing By treating all students equally before common rules, schools embodied the values of universalism By rewarding only those students that truly deserved top grades, schools taught the value of meritoc­racy. (see Dreeben, 1968). Neo-Marxism::  Neo-Marxism: The Capitalist Hidden Curriculum: Neo-Marxist, as the name implies are followers of Marx Bowles and Gintis (1976) two Ameri­can economists, wrote “Schooling in Capitalist America” Schools socialize students into a capitalist hidden curriculum Different educational settings prepare students to the disciplines of different work­places Students taught in these different settings develop distinct types of personal demeanours, modes of self-presentation, self-images, and social-class identifications for different types of jobs. Earliest years of schooling = the lowest levels in the occupational structure - stressing rule-following and rote activity Neo-Marxism::  Neo-Marxism: As one progresses in school, gradually more autonomy and discretion are required Corresponds to occupations that have more independent activity and less direct supervision Different tracks/streams reinforce this correspondence Vocational programs - close supervision and rule-follow­ing Academically focused streams - a more open atmosphere History of educational change reflects a ‘reproduction’ of the class structure education structured to support capitalism Neo-Marxism::  Neo-Marxism: Mass public schooling arose in N. A. in the latter part of the 1800s because of the need for a disciplined wage labour force As the needs of the economy changed schools changed to produce the best fit between graduates and labour force requirements Schools do this by inculcating the ‘ruling class ideology’. Ideology has two important aspects: ideology refers to systems of ideas or cognitive frameworks that guide both how we think and how we act. Second, ideology includes bias or class interests. Neo-Marxism::  Neo-Marxism: Marx understood the dominant ideology of capitalist society justifying existing patterns of social inequality favoring the ruling class who benefit from the existing organization of society Apple (1990) - schools help justify and reinforce inequality in capitalism & persuade people to accept existing inequalities as natural and inevitable Rarely are students encouraged to question patterns of inequality and their causes Focus on Ascription::  Focus on Ascription: Schools offer a ‘hidden curriculum’: organizing student learning in a competitive manner students vie for grades and rewards mirroring capitalist competition and individualism playing a critical role in handing out ‘badges of ability’ teaching only some forms of knowledge & de-emphasizing other forms Correspondence Principle: (Bowles and Gintis, 1976) term for the tendency of schools to be stratified and shaped accordingly to needs of capitalist workplaces. Focus on Ascription::  Focus on Ascription: Shaping Identities of Gender and Race Class differences in the experience of schooling was the initial emphasis of neo-Marxists Core recently a greater emphasis has been placed on gender and race. History of gender in educational institutions: most aimed to prepare girls and boys for different social roles Until the past half-century, schools were overtly gendered institutions that openly established separate programs by sex Steering girls towards ‘domestic sci­ence’ and most boys towards trades. Focus on Ascription::  Focus on Ascription: Traditional school systems were thus premised on the notion that education should be provided to both sexes Most young women trained either to be housewives or for a narrow range of ‘nurturing’ occupations like nursing and elementary school teaching Durkheimian notions of ‘moral education’ Provided the impulse for compulsory schooling for boys and girls Encouraged the provision of taxes to finance this The common school was understood as a socialization tool ‘Common’ did not mean identical schooling for girls and boys, rather, it was ‘common” for both sexes to attend school Focus on Ascription::  Focus on Ascription: ‘Common Schools’: By age 10 schools streamed boys into vocational training for the labour market or classical courses leading to university Girls were channeled into domestic science courses Females were thus seen to benefit from moral education and from basic literacy. The early common school tradition had overt assumptions about gender differences. These assumptions were not hidden in traditional schools. They were open, assumed to be self-evident Focus on Ascription::  Focus on Ascription: Post-World War II - began change: Girls were not only encouraged to go further in school and enter non-traditional fields, their attainments soon equaled and then surpassed those of boys 1980’s, sociologists of gender asserted that despite some apparent change, schools continued to reproduce traditional gender roles, albeit in more covert ways contemporary schools have a ‘hidden curriculum’ that subordinates women and sends messages of their continuing inferiority This tacit curriculum is said to alienate females from course material, dampen their aspirations for non-traditional fields It sends messages that they are inherently inferior to men, and ultimately reinforces gender inequality in society. Focus on Ascription::  Focus on Ascription: Sociologists who examined race also argued that schools did not socialize all students the same way Relations between schools and various minority groups are influenced by the wider context of race relations Example: - the experiences of First Nations children: Until the1970’s, many Aboriginal children were sent to residential schools - the express intent of ‘Canadianizing’ them To socialize them into the dominant culture by requiring that they learn English or French, accept Christianity, and learn industrial job skills. Today, many Aboriginal children are taught in schools that aim to be sensitive to their needs and backgrounds, with the aim of helping Native cultures survive in Canada Focus on Ascription::  Focus on Ascription: Similar issues about race and socialization arise when dealing with immigration Recent decades - large waves of minority immigrant children Attempts have been made to: Determine whether teachers treat certain minorities differently Assess representation in curricular material, textbooks, and courses Relationship appears to differ for different minorities - can affect the ability of some minorities to cross cultural and language boundaries In summary: Many contemporary sociologists have taken classic issues of socialization and focused on group differences rather than similarities. A Renewed Individualism? Reflexive Modernization :  A Renewed Individualism? Reflexive Modernization A different school of contemporary sociology Has relaxed this focus on differential socialization Returned to more classic themes - individualism Along the basic script of rationality by Max Weber - instrumental reason, precision, and calculability However, some theorists, suggest we are now experiencing a radical break from this older perspective In advanced industrial societies lifestyles have begun to generate increasing amounts of uncertainty and risk Social structures have begun to melt or dissolve Renewed Individualism/Reflexive Modernization:  Renewed Individualism/Reflexive Modernization People’s lives are becoming less scripted, guided, or constrained by social structure Family structures, working lives, leisure pursuits, all of these and more are individualized People have to make many more choices about who they are, about what they do, and about how they do it Social roles are fuzzier, so that people work harder at constructing and maintaining identities People work out for themselves their personal identities, their individual biographies The story of who we are is now less defined through common patterns of socialization Renewed Individualism/Reflexive Modernization:  Renewed Individualism/Reflexive Modernization We each make choices about what to wear, what to eat, with whom to hang out, who we like and dislike, and so on Each choice positions us as this kind of person (e.g., academic) and not that kind of person (e.g., athlete, blogger) In this sense we are all more reflexive, more conscious of choices and decisions Implications for school socialization: First - a typical reaction to risk and uncertainty is to get insurance - since education remains a valuable currency, then it makes sense for families to invest in schooling for their children. Renewed Individualism/Reflexive Modernization:  Renewed Individualism/Reflexive Modernization Second: people encounter schooling in less predictable ways within an array of personal choices. For example: more students are working part-time while studying full-time more students and teachers are travelling, often on exchanges, to other regions or countries schools are relying increasingly on business connections to provide computer and other ICT peripherals for learning more and more education is being undertaken by multi-million dollar corporations (e.g., Sylvan Learning, Kumon) schooling is being distributed and consumed in increasingly variable packages, as can be seen in distance learning and accelerated learning programs. Third: emphasis on a new level of individualism presents a fundamental challenge to the idea of schools promoting common values. Selection: Inequality & Opportunity:  Selection: Inequality & Opportunity Ideas about school selection have evolved since Marx’s time Contemporary theories have had to incorporate profound economic transformations over the past few decades They have approached the question of linking school selection to inequality by broadening their focus beyond class and by taking into account the great expansion of schooling Four Perspectives: The Functional Theory of Stratification: Selecting for Merit Neo-Marxism: Thwarting Upward Mobility Understanding Differential Success: The Forms of Capital Gender, Race, and Their Intersections: Ascriptive Divisions of Labour The Functional Theory of Stratification: Selecting for Merit:  The Functional Theory of Stratification: Selecting for Merit Structural functionalists saw, in the recent societal shifts, key implications for processes of educational selection Davis & Moore (1945): Articulated a provocative view on why inequality exists within a society Stratification is a ‘universal necessity’, fundamental to the sur­vival of society Focuses on the work of education in sorting and selecting Pointed to the important aspects of socialization. Basic premise - different positions in society contributed more or less to societal survival Some positions are needed more than others The Functional Theory of Stratification: Selecting for Merit:  The Functional Theory of Stratification: Selecting for Merit Farmers are critical to ensuring we have enough to eat, but film critics (even sociologists) are not so intrinsic to societal longevity. ‘Functionally important’ positions were more specialized, playing essential roles in contributing to society - Other positions often depended on them Need to ensure that people with skill and talent are induced to take on these functionally important jobs’ - Talent is both natural and trained Some positions will require rare talents (e.g., the fine hand-eye co-ordination of neurosurgery). Other positions require talent that is fairly abundant in society, but that requires ‘burdensome and expensive’ training For the most important jobs, personnel will be scarce either because the training is arduous or the skills are rare. The Functional Theory of Stratification: Selecting for Merit:  The Functional Theory of Stratification: Selecting for Merit Inducements: Money, Prestige, Interesting jobs Unequal rewards function to motivate people to occupy and perform different jobs, some of which are more essential for society than are others. The more people with the skill and training, the less reward ought to be required. Education plays several critical roles: First: schooling provides an efficient and rational method to sort and select people for key jobs - more jobs increasingly demanded complex cognitive skills, higher-order literacy, numeracy, and communication skills schools had to become astute talent-scouting agencies. The Functional Theory of Stratification: Selecting for Merit:  The Functional Theory of Stratification: Selecting for Merit Second: schools have an increasingly integral role in contributing to a knowledge economy. Third: Lower-class groups were yet to fully embrace modern values, and still do not truly value education, aspire for upward mobility, and embrace the spirit of competition - seen as clinging to pre-modern values, as disadvantaging their children by failing to nurture the kinds of basic cognitive skills that support school success Middle-class families were more likely to read to their children and engage them in various intellectual exercises. The Functional Theory of Stratification: Selecting for Merit:  The Functional Theory of Stratification: Selecting for Merit Criticisms of the functional theory of stratification: May describe society but it does not explain much. A weak explanation because some abstract entity, ‘society’, plays a curious role. Society does not have a will of its own Society is us - People act - Individuals have power. Society may be composed of different positions that receive different rewards, but individual people fill those positions and decide those rewards To ascribe to society the power to act is to misplace the real source of agency or action. The Functional Theory of Stratification: Selecting for Merit:  The Functional Theory of Stratification: Selecting for Merit Does this line of reasoning simply make inequality appear legitimate, rather than explain it? How unequal must the rewards be? Focuses too much on how inequality motivates individuals to undergo long and arduous schooling Avoids examining how inequality fails to function for others who are equally motivated but unable to pursue the necessary education Fail to examine inequality of condition - some families cannot afford to send their children to law school. Neo-Marxism: Thwarting Upward Mobility:  Neo-Marxism: Thwarting Upward Mobility Neo-Marxists (e.g. Bowles and Gintis). - promote the ‘correspondence principle’ between the school and the workplace How what happens in workplaces is quickly reflected in schools - schools generally mirror capitalist workplaces Examples of school-to-work correspondence: Both use external rewards to motivate behaviour - wages or grades Alienation of factory workers from their work and of students from the curriculum Vertical lines of authority between administrator and workers - teachers versus students Neo-Marxism: Thwarting Upward Mobility:  Neo-Marxism: Thwarting Upward Mobility Students need to be selected for the most subordinate and thus least attractive positions in the labour market - the failures, the high school dropouts Students from less advantaged back­grounds - less likely to progress to higher levels of schooling Students from privileged social origins - obtain the highest badges of ability Offered a bold conclusion: schools in capitalist societies are designed to thwart the mobility of working-class youth, making such inequalities inevitable. Schools actively create inequalities by exposing these youth to poorly resourced schools and classrooms, stereotyping them as ill-equipped for schools, and rewarding traits such as docility By their very design, schools reproduce class inequalities. Neo-Marxism: Thwarting Upward Mobility:  Neo-Marxism: Thwarting Upward Mobility This reproduction theory became very popular in sociology Often used as a foil to the functionalist image of schools creating a meritorious order At least two limitations of the theory: First: Largely neglected other patterns of inequality, such as those structured by age, gender, race, and sexual orientation Needed to develop approaches to understand how schools interact with non-class groups. Second: Lacking a clear theory of just how inequalities in schooling that we review attempt to address these shortcomings. Understanding Differential Success: The Forms of Capital:  Understanding Differential Success: The Forms of Capital Since the 1970s - educational sociologists have attempted to understand: Why some groups are consistently less successful in schools than other? They reject the functionalist notion of inadequate socialization - take a different type of explanatory path. Bourdieu uses the concept of ‘cultural capital’ to explain how sorting and selecting operate He asks: How is this inequality reproduced? How is privilege transferred across generations? Like Marx, he focuses on capital as a powerful resource Following Durkheim, he examines how things become classified as being of high or valued cultural potency Understanding Differential Success: The Forms of Capital:  Understanding Differential Success: The Forms of Capital In keeping with Weber, he is concerned with how social groups can monopolize this capital to exclude others Cultural Capital: (Bourdieu and Passeron, 1990) a widely recognized set of cultural symbols that signify high status, comprised of the behaviours, knowledge, values, possessions, and preferences that are hallmarks of a ruling or upper class. (* see later note as well) to possess the sophisticated tastes and styles associated with highly cultured people is to have cultural capital. Why is this beneficial? Can impress the right peers. Students from working-class families can work to acquire these cultural competencies but they will rarely develop the same natural familiarity of those born into middle- and upper-class families It is akin to learning a second language This cultural capital is institutionalized in education. Understanding Differential Success: The Forms of Capital:  Understanding Differential Success: The Forms of Capital Erickson (1996) - class and culture are vertically aligned and mutually reinforcing Bernstein (1975) focused on language, or what he called linguistic codes His core idea was that ways of speaking varied by social class Schools rewarded codes that were middle-and upper-class in style Working class were required to learn a new style of speaking to be successful = penalized Middle- and upper-class children, smooth parallels exist between language at home and school = rewarded Understanding Differential Success: The Forms of Capital:  Understanding Differential Success: The Forms of Capital Bourdieu (1990): extended Bernstein’s observations Argues that other types of family-learned behaviour, knowledge, values, and preferences also were linked to formal education School is not a neutral institution, but is built on class-specific cultural resources Those who create the social structure of schooling are from middle-and upper-class backgrounds - They take cultural stratification for granted This is reinforced by other educators who come from similar backgrounds Understanding Differential Success: The Forms of Capital:  Understanding Differential Success: The Forms of Capital Bourdieu’s (1990) “punch line”: While school success is officially deemed to be a result of one’s academic ability, it actually reflects schools’ biased evaluations of one’s cultural competence Bourdieu’s strength: - explicit focus on links between family, school, and inequality However, identifying and proving are not one and the same Bourdieu - a bold theory but Davies and Guppy offer some warnings Bourdieu’s claims are based on the French society Are the class distinctions in France are generalizable to Canada? Understanding Differential Success: The Forms of Capital:  Understanding Differential Success: The Forms of Capital Bourdieu’s second concept of is that of ‘social capital’ Social capital: represents how positive social relationships between families and schools facilitate educational attainment. It is about ‘connectedness’ - a strong set of personal ties based on trust obligations and mutual reciprocity. In educational settings families can draw on social capital to help them navigate the schooling process Social capital: - refers to who you know Cultural capital: - refers to what you know. (*see earlier definition as well) Gender, Race, and Their Intersections: Ascriptive Divisions of Labour:  Gender, Race, and Their Intersections: Ascriptive Divisions of Labour Scholars have examined whether selection differs by gender and race Feminist scholars: Schools reinforce a gendered division of labour & contend that today’s schools continue to do so - in much subtler ways Teachers actively channel girls towards fields of study that reproduce their subordinate roles in the labour market and in society at large Curricula writers leave sexist messages in textbooks, lesson plans, and tests. Race scholars: Claim that selection processes are inherently biased against racial minorities - reproducing racial inequalities in society Gender, Race, and Their Intersections: Ascriptive Divisions of Labour:  Gender, Race, and Their Intersections: Ascriptive Divisions of Labour Scholars (feminism and racialism) contend: that several selection procedures are biased, such as interactions with teachers, curricula, testing, and so forth, all serving to disadvan­tage minority children Elaborated by an approach that claims to exam­ine the ‘intersections’ of race and gender (e.g., McMullen, 2004) Inequality understood and experienced by people located in the specific interactions of gender and race ‘Multiple oppres­sions’ create unique experiences - poor minority women are the most disadvantaged members of society Organizing and Legitimizing Knowledge:  Organizing and Legitimizing Knowledge Human capital theory: schools nurture productive skills needed in the economy, and thus receive public support accordingly. Credentialists: schooling has expanded in response to various forms of labour market competition, rather than as a reaction to greater skill demands. New institutional theory: schools conforming to a legitimate organizational form that has only loose connections to economic imperatives. Human Capital Theory: Schooling for Productive Skills :  Human Capital Theory: Schooling for Productive Skills Schultz (1961) and Becker (1977): Two Nobel Prize-winning economists: Education has implications for the skills and abilities people need to be economically successful ‘Capital’ metaphor - schooling is actually a form of investment Individuals endure school’s requirements of time and effort = better jobs = higher lifetime earnings. People invest in human capital believing it will be compensated by future rewards Micro-level theory - Human capital theory sheds the idea that some jobs have a functional importance for societal survival. Operates on notions of supply and demand Human Capital Theory: Schooling for Productive Skills:  Human Capital Theory: Schooling for Productive Skills Middle-range theory - Human capital offers a bold assertion - the societal role of school is primarily economic. Assumes that individuals invest time, and governments spend billions, largely as an invest­ment leading to financial prosperity down the road Schools are like factories: The costs of schooling—books, buildings, teacher salaries—can be seen as efficient ‘inputs’ Student learning can be seen as an ‘output’. If the yield from the output is greater than the costs of the input Then schooling is deemed a worthy investment. Human Capital Theory: Schooling for Productive Skills:  Human Capital Theory: Schooling for Productive Skills Five of criticisms of Human Capital Theory: Do young people really possess the ability to make rational investment choices based on expected lifetime rewards? - difficult to calculate Does the labour market really reward skills as directly as human capital theory assumes? Professional associations and unions often restrict the numbers of people pursuing occupations and bargain collectively on behalf of their members They use educational certificates to regulate the supply of workers rather than to guarantee the actual skills and abilities of graduates Human Capital Theory: Schooling for Productive Skills:  Human Capital Theory: Schooling for Productive Skills 3. How tightly connected is the content of the curriculum to the workplace? Critics doubt that schools are organized to create skills with a factory-like efficiency, or that curricula reflect the demands of the work­place 4. Assumes that the knowledge, skills, and abilities people have acquired actually lead to greater productivity. There is an oversupply of educated workers—that schools produce far more skilled graduates than employers can hire 5. Does everyone has the same ability to turn the educational ‘investment’ into a reward? For example, a woman may have the same education level as a man, and even be in the same occupation, but still earn less money Credentialism: Schooling for Status Signals :  Credentialism: Schooling for Status Signals Collins (1979): developed Weber’s insight about the use of educational certifi­cates to ‘monopolize’ entry into occupations Sees schools more as credentialing bodies than as educating bodies - it mainly provide a piece of paper that serves as an occupational ticket Collins’s argument is rooted in two observations: Contemporary schools were ‘over-edu­cating’ the populace: the economy did not have sufficient jobs Contemporary schooling as fuelling ‘credential inflation’ - a high school diploma cannot land the same job it did 30 years ago Growing gap between the competencies and abilities required in jobs and the levels of education job occupants possess Employees are overqualified Credentialism: Schooling for Status Signals:  Credentialism: Schooling for Status Signals 2. Skeptical about whether school content was connected to the workplace: Much of schooling had precious little to do with the realities of most contemporary jobs Few employers bother to look at student grades when hiring. - Just show your piece of paper Research has consistently demonstrated a key fact: education pays: People with more years of schooling earn higher wages and have better employment rates A dilemma for credentialists: Why do employers hire graduates with credentials and pay them accordingly if little of their learning actually connects to job demands? Credentialism: Schooling for Status Signals:  Credentialism: Schooling for Status Signals Collins (1979) suggests that groups have a vested interest in inflating entry requirements: Professions perform important services requiring specialized knowledge Illegal for anyone to practise without these credentials define elaborate educational credentials limit the numbers of people who may practise in their area Economics: - the simple laws of supply and demand - the power to limit the supply for a service will raise the price one can command. Credentialism: Schooling for Status Signals:  Credentialism: Schooling for Status Signals This ‘professionalization’ provides more inflationary pressure on the education system. Employers in bureaucracies also fuel credential inflation: Flooded with job applications managers need a ‘bureaucratic screening device’ Settled on using credentials - credentials thereby serve as filters Well-educated employees are the human equivalent to a nice piece of office furniture Signal to customers that the firm is indeed honourable and serious. A ‘status marker’ Credentialism: Schooling for Status Signals:  Credentialism: Schooling for Status Signals Collins (1979): Problem of unemployment in advanced industrial societies To scale back on education, he argues, would be to exacerbate unemployment in two ways: Education is itself a major employer: reducing the education labour force would add to unemployment Post-secondary education absorbs people who otherwise would be seeking jobs, and if they were looking for work unemployment rates would be even higher. New Institutionalism: Schools and World Culture:  New Institutionalism: Schools and World Culture Meyer (1997): Role of education in citizenship Education - an institution that links schooling to the world order. Schooling - part of a process of globalization Though societies around the world differ incredibly - schools have converged in their basic organization Schools are age-graded; compulsory for both boys and girls Similar curriculum; a similar number of hours in classrooms Signals the emergence of a broader ‘world society’ All modern nations now place some emphasis on citizenship, human rights, developing sci­ence, monetary policy, diplomatic exchanges, economic progress, and education. New Institutionalism: Schools and World Culture:  New Institutionalism: Schools and World Culture This theory breaks from common ways of thinking about how institutions develop Typically, social scientists contend that an institution evolves in response to the needs of its surrounding society Meyer et al. (1997) documented that over the past few decades, school form is influenced less by local initiatives and internal forces than by a common world culture. In their infancy, 150 years ago, Canadian schools reflected our climate, or natural resources, or particular political arrangements such as Confederation Historical trajectories for schools are largely self-defined In the past half-century, state institutions increasingly resemble each other and are increasingly disconnected from their par­ticular national origins and idiosyncrasies. New Institutionalism: Schools and World Culture:  New Institutionalism: Schools and World Culture How does this happen? International bodies like the UN promote common templates for building state institutions Professional groups meet internationally and design ‘best prac­tices’ that diffuse around the globe Come to be seen as the ‘legitimate’ way to design a school, health-care, or legal system Developing nations then are encouraged/pressured to conform New Institutionalism: Schools and World Culture:  New Institutionalism: Schools and World Culture Question: In which countries would you anticipate the greatest levels of female high school enrolment: Canada, France, Jordan, Botswana, and Colombia ? The ratio of girls to boys is almost identical - (Actually slightly higher in Jordan, Botswana, and Colombia than in Canada and France) Common evolving world-society models lead to standard: Education curricula Gender participation rates in schools Age-graded classes and promotion sequences Training of teachers Systematic testing, A stress on sci­ence education New Institutionalism: Schools and World Culture:  New Institutionalism: Schools and World Culture Two vital ideas developed: First: a ‘world model’ for schooling is accepted in all countries But it is a model with no legal authority. Education is recognized worldwide as a basic human right. To be recognized as part of the family of nations, it is imperative that schooling be organized and students enrolled Leads to what are often seemingly irrational results – the curriculum too often is not relevant to the needs of the students and thus standardized education is a dubious benefit New Institutionalism: Schools and World Culture:  New Institutionalism: Schools and World Culture Second: A strong focus relates to a concept he calls ‘coupling’ Nation-states make many proclamations - not all of these are lived up to - gaps between proclamation and practice Words and deeds, ideals and actions; these couplets are not always tightly correlated Example: What Ministries of Education may want to happen in the classroom (words or ideals) and what actually happens in the classroom (deeds or actions) may be only loosely coupled New Institutionalism: Schools and World Culture:  New Institutionalism: Schools and World Culture Meyer’s (1997) research program: A powerful illustration of the idea we introduced earlier: what people define to be real is real in its conse­quences. Ideas shape societies; beliefs have the power to legitimate and spread forms of schooling.

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