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QUESTION: To what extent should the educational system prepare people for the job force versus preparing them to think critically? Which is more important in your view, and why? Connect your points to a recent news article or event.


The Functionalist perspective on education explains that there are two parts to the theory. The manifest functions and latent functions. Manifest functions are intended goals or consequences of the activities within an institution. Latent functions are unintended and often have hidden consequences. The main reasoning of the functionalist theory on education is that “our education system ensures that each of us will be appropriately socialized and adequately educated to become a contributing member of society (Leon-Guerroro, 2015).” The many roles of teachers become extremely depended upon by parents in socializing and educating their children that they are often the ones who end up showing children ad future generations the walks of life. Teachers are the role models for future generations. Education is made available to prepare young men and women for the world and workforce ahead of them. If a school is not up to par on its education and teachers, it could also fail young women and men. In my opinion, the book explained definition of this theory is exactly what is shown in real life. For example, if there is a low income child, in a low income side of town, attending a low funded school, its education might not be as valued as someone on a better side of town, with better funding. That student can graduate high school with honors and get scholarships to attend college, but be behind the curve in college due to its high schools lack on resources and funds. Another example would be that without an education, in this present time, it is hard to excel at a job or trade, our even obtain a job. Linked back to the first week of this class, the cost of education is going up and societies abilities to keep up with the cost are decreasing. Education is the gate way into success and also our way of socialization.

One last thing is that the Functionalist theory also explains that education has been given so many other tasks, that it has started to lack in actually educating. Parents send their kids off to school to be baby sat throughout the day, get and education, and grow up to be acceptable members in society. The amount of weight carried with the title of education is astronomical compared to what its main function was set to do, educate. Not enough credit is being given to the teachers who dedicate their lives to ensuring other peoples kids are appropriately taken care of.


Students should always be encouraged to think critically. Without students and young minds new perspectives, we would not have the change and growth in our society that we have today. There are so many brilliant minds out there that need to be nurtured in so many different ways. On the flip side of that, students need to be prepared for the fact that not every one of them is Albert Einstein and that the real world is coming. Job preparation in school age children and young adults is great option. In my High School, when I was a Senior, I was able to take a class that prepared you for the work force, and after that class you had the rest of the day off to work. I cannot remember the name of the class, but as long as you met the pre requisites for it and had completed your mandatory credits prior to Senior year, you were able to take one to two classes in the morning and have the rest of the day off to become a part of the work force. According to Andrew Rothstein who is the Chief Academic Officer of the National Academy Foundation “Too often, high school students do not demonstrate workplace habits that employers prioritize, including reliability, punctuality, customer service and high-quality task completion,” (Caron, “Tomorrow’s Workforce: What Students Need”). When you include classes like Job specific classes that encourage students to participate in the work force, learn to create resumes, research income averages, and put it all together in real time to learn what they should expect from being a part of the work force I think you have a much stronger potential for success. Not to take away from letting children and young adults experience life and explore their creativity, since those are extremely important facets of life all on their own, but to prepare young people for life in a way that ensures that they won’t be shell shocked by the real world could be a helpful tool for everyone involved.

Caron, S. W. (n.d.). Tomorrow’s Workforce: What Students Need. Retrieved May 22, 2017, from…


QUESTION: Which of these major sociological perspectives: conflict theory, functionalist theory, interactionist theory, or feminist theory, is the most effective for understanding our system of education? Defend your choice by incorporating an example from real life.

Feminist Perspective- believes that the inequalities in the educational system is not just based on social class but also with gender. Leon-Guerrero (2015) stated “After observing teachers and their interactions with girls and boys in more than 100 elementary classrooms, the Sadkers found that teachers were more responsive to boys and were more likely to teach them actively. Overall, girls received less attention, whereas boys got a double dose, both negative and positive. Boys received more praise, corrections, and feedback, whereas girls received a cursory “OK” response from their teachers. Sadker and Sadker concluded that over time, the unequal distribution of teacher time and attention may take its toll on girls’ self-esteem, achievement rates, test scores, and ultimately careers.” (American Association of University Women 1992; Sadker and Sadker 1994; Sadker and Zittleman 2009). Since Sadker study in 1994, girls are actually shining in school while boys are falling behind in the educational curb. According to Kohn, D 2003 “Girls are being told, ‘Go for it, you can do it. Go for it, you can do it.’ They are getting an immense amount of support,” he says. “Boys hear that the way to shine is athletically. And boys get a lot of mixed messages about what it means to be masculine and what it means to be a student. Does being a good student make you a real man? I don’t think so… It is not cool.” From my observation while being in school and having three children of my own, I believe performance of a child depends on them. If a child wants attention they will act out in ways to get it as Sadker said. However, girls tend to be able to stay still, listen and follow direction unlike little boys whom want to play, jump and be boys. My boys just finished their kindergarten and first grade year. My kindergartner got super bored and he refused to do work at times because he already knew how to do it. We had to tell him so many time hey you have to do your work; your teacher needs to know that you know this. He would day but why I already know it. After about a ten-minute struggle of making him write it out she saw he did and was ahead of his classmates. However, our first grader struggled and needed a little more encouragement and help. Our three-year-old is a girl and she is trying to read while my boys had no interest in reading at three. When it comes to gender I honestly believe the only thing educational wise that separates us is that girls are expected to shine and make good grades while boys are expected to shine in sports. Which I feel is a mixed message for boys seeing that they have to make the grades to play the sports.


Leon-Guerrero, A. (07/2015). Social Problems: Community, Policy, and Social Action, 5th Edition. [Bookshelf Online]. Retrieved from…

Kohn, D. (2003, May 23). The Gender Gap: Boys Lagging. Retrieved May 23, 2017, from…

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