Macro Analyses of schooling
Schooling is a venture that should be looked at the context in which it is done for the good of the learner and society. It is for this reason that macro analyses of schooling should not be depended upon when this is done (Rosenberg 1983: 267). Power relations within society should be considered in the course of the teaching and learning process. This will at the end help discover what actually goes on in society and even within the classroom context, for instance the roles of a teacher and the learners.
The functionalist perspective on education on its part looks at education as a tool used to serve the needs of the society. Education therefore seeks to give knowledge and skills to people in order for them to pass it on to future generations (Hale 2010). This helps socialize people from different backgrounds into the accepted norms of society. Looking at it from the historical concern of Americanizing immigrants, this could be true.
Karl Marx looks at education differently from the functionalists like Durkheim. In his perspective, education seeks to maintain the status quo which positively impacts the high class and negatively impacts the low class (Rosenberg 1983: 268). This way social inequality is maintained. An example in point is the location of the schools. If a school is in a high class locality then its services to the students will be far much better that those on low class neighborhoods and this helps maintain capitalism.
Schooling serves both the economic as well as political needs of a society since this is what dictates the function of schooling. Schooling should therefore serve the purpose of socially constructing society in a way that all people benefit. No matter the location, it should not be seen that it promotes the social divide. In as much as it will be disseminating education, it should socialize and integrate learners.
When society perpetrates division among social classes then it means that deviance to its norms may crop up. If the macro school of thought could be avoided and more serious issues in the education system be looked into, then law and order will be maintained. Abolishing the status quo and disseminating education in a free and fair manner can bring about mutual coexistence among all people. Social class will not be seen as a means of bringing conflicts.
Hale, S. (2010). Contested Sociology: Rethinking Canadian Experience. Toronto: Pearson
Rosenberg, M. (1983). An Introduction to Sociology. New York: Routledge