Share This Article:

Deconstructing Four Sociological Perspectives on Education: A Reinterpretation of Pupil Achievement

DOI: 10.4236/oalib.1101746    783 Downloads   1,321 Views  
Author(s)    Leave a comment

ABSTRACT

Economic and social development has been one of the major concerns for modernization and progress. Human development includes three factors: life expectancy, GDP and knowledge (education). Education is an important condition for human development. In the 1960s, human capital theorists reported that small developing nations in the Caribbean spent as much as 60 percent of GDP on education in an attempt to produce a highly trained and skilled labor force. The main objective of this paper is to deconstruct four main perspectives on education: functionalist, Marxist, interactionist and feminist for the purpose of gaining clearer insight into the nature of pupil achievement. Early sociological works were deconstructed by coding key concepts and statements within these four perspectives. Their language was deconstructed/analyzed/decoded by identifying descriptors of achievement such as meritocratic, class inequality, ethnic advantage, gender bias, innate ability, hidden curriculum and equality of opportunity/treatment. Descriptors were compared to form significant categories which were then categorized into three statements: the nature of pupil achievement (pupil achievement as product and pupil achievement as process), factors associated with pupil achievement, and the consequences of pupil achievement. The overall findings are 1) pupil achievement is both process and product of education; 2) the effects of home, school and social environmental factors is complex; and 3) pupil achievement is significant to a country’s economic and social development. Because these statements are complex and interrelated, a multi-agency approach to education is advocated. It can be stated as “the square of pupil/academic achievement”. It comprises “personal/individual” (intelligence), “home”, “school” and “social environmental” factors.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

Berkeley, B. (2015) Deconstructing Four Sociological Perspectives on Education: A Reinterpretation of Pupil Achievement. Open Access Library Journal, 2, 1-13. doi: 10.4236/oalib.1101746.

References

[1] Douglas, J.W.B. (1964) The Home and the School. MacGibbon and Kee, London.
[2] Eysenck, H. (1971) Race, Intelligence and Education. Temple Smith, London.
[3] Jensen, A.R. (1973) Educational Differences. Methuen, London.
[4] Cernea, M. (1985) Putting People First: Sociological Variables in Rural Development. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
[5] Cassen, R. (1986) Does Aid Work? Report to an Inter-Governmental Task Force. Clarendon Press, Oxford.
[6] Durkheim, E. (1961) Moral Education. The Free Press, Glencoe.
[7] Davis, K. and Moore, W.E. (1970) Some Principles of Stratification. American Sociological Review, 10, 242-249.
http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/2085643
[8] Bowles, S. and Gintis, H. (1976) Schooling in Capitalist America. Routledge and Kegan Paul, London.
[9] Sugarman, B. (1970) Sociology. Heinemann Educational Books, London.
[10] Hyman, H. and Wright, C.R. (1979) Education’s Lasting Influence on Values. The University of Chicago Press, Chicago.
[11] Becker, H.S. (1952). Social Class Variations in the Teacher-Pupil Relationship. American Journal of Educational Sociology, 25, 451-465.
http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/2263957
[12] Hargreaves, D.H. (1967) Social Relations in Secondary School. Routledge and Kegan Paul, London.
[13] Berkeley, B. (2001) The Most Significant Variables that Impact upon Pupil-Achievement—A Study of Personal, Home and School Factors. Unpublished Research Paper, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Behavioural Sciences, the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine.
[14] Stanworth, M. (1983) Gender and Schooling: Study of Sexual Divisions in the Classroom. Hutchinson, London.
[15] Spender, D. (1983) Invisible Women: Schooling Scandal. Women’s Press, London.
[16] Bourdieu, P. (1977) Reproduction in Education, Society and Culture. Sage Publications, London.
[17] Kelly, A. (1987) Science for Girls. Open University Press, Milton Keynes.
[18] Deem, R. (1978) Women and Sociology. Routledge and Kegan Paul, London.
[19] Becker, H.S. (1963) Outsiders. The Free Press, New York.
[20] Ball, S. (1981) Beachside Comprehensive: A Study of Secondary Schooling. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
[21] Althsusser, L. (1969) For Marx. Penguin, London.
[22] Parkin, F. (1972) Class Inequality and Political Order. Paladin, St. Albans.
[23] Gramsci, A. (1971) Selections from the Prison Notebooks. Lawrence and Nishart, London.
[24] Labov, W. (1972) Language in the Inner City. University of Pennsylvania Press, Philadelphia.
[25] Dyer, P.B. (1967) The Effects of the Home on the School in Trinidad. Unpublished PhD Thesis, University of Alberta, Alberta.
[26] Jones, T. (1993) Britain’s Ethnic Minorities. Policy Studies Institute, London.
[27] Driver, G. and Ballard, R. (1979) Comparing Performance in Multi-Racial Schools: South Asian pupils at 16-Plus. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 7, 143-153.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/1369183X.1979.9975562
[28] Swann, M. (1985) Education for All: A Brief Guide. Her Majesty’s Stationery Office, London.
[29] Rosenberg, M. (1979) Conceiving the Self. Malabar, Robert E. Kreiger Publishing Company Inc., Florida.
[30] Sharp, R. and Green, A. (1975) Education and Social Control. Routledge and Kegan Paul, London.
[31] Bernstein, B. (1961) Social Structure, Language and Learning. Educational Review, 3, 163-176.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0013188610030301
[32] Darlington-Hammond, L. (1995) Cracks in the Bell Shape Curve: How Education Matters. Journal of Negro Education, 64, 340-353.
http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/2967213
[33] Barash, D. (1981) Sociobiology: The Whisperings within. Collins, Fontana.
[34] Oakley, A. (1981) Subject Women. Martin Robertson, Oxford.
[35] Burt, C. (1959) The Examination at Eleven Plus. British Journal of Educational Studies, 7, 99-117.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00071005.1959.9973017
[36] Rosenthal, R. and Jacobson, L. (1968) Pygmailian in the Classroom. Holt, Rienhart and Winston, New York.
[37] Willis, P. (1977) Learning to Labour. Saxon House, Farnborough.
[38] Boudon, R. (1974) Education, Opportunity and Social Inequality. John Wiley and Sons, New York.
[39] Cicourel, A.V. and Kitsuse, J.I. (1963) The Educational Decision-Makers. Bobbs-Merrill, Indianapolis.
[40] Rist, R. (1970) Student Social Class and Teacher Expectations: The Selffulfilling Prophecy in Ghetto Education. Harvard Educational Review, 40, 411-451.
[41] McRobbie, A. (1978) Working Class Girls and the Culture of Femininity. In: Women’s Studies Group, Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies, Ed., Women Take Issue: Aspects of Women’s Subordination, Hutchinson, London.
[42] Jules, V. and Kutnick, P. (1990) Determinants of Academic Success within Classrooms in Trinidad and Tobago: Some Personal and Systemic Variables. Educational Studies, 16, 217-237.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0305569900160302
[43] Mustapha, N. (1996) The Teacher in Trinidad and Tobago. In: Deosaran, R., Marshall, R. and Mustapha, N., Eds., Contemporary Issues in Social Science: A Caribbean Perspective, 3, the ANSA McAL Psychological Research Centre, Faculty of Social Sciences, the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, 178-187.
[44] Harvey, C. (1996) The Role of Teachers in Educational Reform. The Major Project of Education in Latin America and the Caribbean. Caribbean Bulletin, 47, 57-64.
[45] Osuji, R. (1982) Sociology of Education: With a Case Study of Social Class and Educational Achievement in Trinidad. Faculty of Social Sciences, the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine.
[46] Joseph, B.A. (1978) A Study of the Relationship between Teacher Ways of Speaking and Students’ Responses. Unpublished PhD Thesis, University of Illinois, Urbana.
[47] Mustapha, N. (1995) Class, Culture and Education in Trinidad and Tobago. In: Deosaran, R. and Mustapha, N., Eds., Contemporary Issues in Social Science: A Caribbean Perspective, 2, the ANSA McAL Psychological Research Centre, Faculty of Social Sciences, the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, 78-106.
[48] Osuji, R. (1995) The Academic Achievement of Schools: An Empirical Study. Caribbean Dialogue, 2, 12-26.
[49] Baksh, I.J. (1984) Factors Influencing Occupational Expectations of Secondary School Students in Trinidad and Tobago. Social and Economic Studies, 33, 1-29.
[50] Jencks, C. (1975) Inequality: A Reassessment of the Effect of Family and Schooling in America. Penguin, Harmondsworth.
[51] Illich, I. (1975) Medical Nemesis. Calder and Boyars, London.
[52] Rostow, W.W. (1991) The Stages of Economic Growth: A Non-Communist Manifesto. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511625824
[53] Frank, A.G. (1967) Capitalism and Underdevelopment in Latin America: Historical Studies of Chile and Brazil. Monthly Review Press, New York.
[54] Amin, S. (1974) Accumulation on a World Scale: A Critique of the Theory of Underdevelopment. Translated by Brian Pearce, Monthly Review Press, New York.
[55] Wallerstein, I.M. (1979) The Capitalist World Economy. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
[56] Coleman, J.S. (1960) The Adolescent Subculture and Academic Achievement. American Journal of Sociology, 65, 337-347.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/222722

  
comments powered by Disqus

Copyright © 2019 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.