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Schooling

Schooling

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Around the world, organized education, or schooling as it is better known, has long been responsible for socializing members of society to adopt and practice its values and culture. For example, early schooling focused more on indoctrinating children into a collective religious, dynastic, or national identity rather than individual self-expression. From this standpoint, schooling sought to produce self-knowledge within educators so that they might help produce that knowledge in others. For nearly its entire existence, however, formal schooling has been highly selective in determining whom it educates and for what purpose. Until the advent of the Industrial Revolution, schooling was an activity relegated only to the elite members of a society, as its purpose was to perpetuate elitism and maintain class stratification.

Individuals were educated for careers in the clergy, military, government, and academia. In any given country, however, educated citizens made up only a small proportion of the population. The masses, if educated at all, simply learned through the transmission of information from family and other members of the community, as the elite classes did not believe educating the masses to be socially desirable or responsible (Gutek 1993). In the United Kingdom, for example, a majority of the population could neither read nor write until the early nineteenth century. This pattern of schooling remained consistent throughout much of the world until the Industrial Revolution.

With the Industrial Revolution, some societies found themselves in need of a new, educated middle class. Faced with the need to educate large populations, societies began to develop compulsory, state-supported schools. Because the population of citizens to be educated was growing, societies could no longer be as selective in determining who would be educated. As the number of students increased, they exhibited varying degrees of ability. As a result, schooling became a vehicle to sort students into various levels based on their abilities. Students believed to be able to profit most from schooling were tracked into more traditional paths, while those believed to be able to profit least were sorted into paths that led them out of the educational system. This practice of sorting students into different academic tracks, although now more sophisticated, has prevailed in education systems around the world.

As argued by scholars such as Michael Apple, Henri Giroux, Paulo Freire, and Joel Spring among others, there is an undeniable relationship between education, power, and the state. In light of the current globalization of schooling, academic success is almost exclusively defined in terms of capital accumulation and the logic of the marketplace (McLaren 2002, p. 34). Not only are working-class students affected by this principle, but middle-class students are as well. American culture, for example, continuously encourages the consumption of commodities as a mechanism to continue the cycle of accumulation, blinding even middle-class students to the self-repressive, oppressive nature of capitalism. The schools mimic this cycle by intellectual dependence in students (Gatto 1992). The focus of educational reform in the United States has been to create a force of compliant, productive and patriotic workers for a resurgent America (McLaren 2002, p. 187). Schools, with their factory-like structure, control the process of learning by keeping students on tight schedules regulated by bells and time blocks. Learning, therefore, is at the mercy of the schools schedule, and students learn only what can be taught in the allotted time span. Learning is prescribed by the society, and students are told what to learn, when to learn it, and how (Gatto 1992). Looking at this phenomenon from a Marxist perspective, capitalism diminishes the individual to a commodity with a certain valuelabor valuethat can be bought and sold all in the name of profit. In essence the ruling class (the capitalists) exploit the working class (the workers) by extracting a surplus value beyond what is necessary for the working class to survive (McLaren 2002, p. 198).

Teachers are also prescribed what and how to teach. Many teachers fear losing their jobs if they deviate from the curriculum that society has deemed appropriate for them to follow. From a critical educational standpoint, schooling is a form of power which reveals its connections to the entrenched interests of capital and the state, exercised over the heads of teachers and through teachers over their students (Banya 2002). This is evident in the push toward incorporating corporate management pedagogies within the classroom. Teachers are provided teacher-proof state-mandated curricula that adopt management-type pedagogies that reduce their role to that of nothing more than a semi-skilled, low-paid clerk (McLaren 2002). Furthermore, they are unwitting pawns in class and cultural domination and exploitation (McLaren 2002, p. 221).

Society, through schools, teaches us that success can be achieved by intelligence, hard work, and creativity. The school system is built on the spirit of meritocracythose students who try harder and have more innate intelligence reap their rightful rewards. Students who possess the dominant cultural capitalways of talking, acting, and social-izingare rewarded, while those possessing the cultural capital of the oppressed are devalued. As a result, schools perpetuate the unjust system of trading in cultural capital for economic capital.

Educational inequality is a persistent problem, particularly in terms of race, gender, and social class. In the United States, for example, women and minorities have historically been limited by and excluded from attaining higher levels of education by discriminatory policies. There are those, however, who argue that things should be different now because of the opportunities in the public and private sectors available to those who have a good education.

In terms of race, a growing black middle class has raised new concerns regarding the lagging school performance of many African Americans. The new argument is that class and not race are the root causes of inequality in America. As middle-class African Americans leave urban, inner-city areas, the largely manufacturing employment sector also leaves, thus creating an underclass of citizens who are left behind to endure the brunt of poverty and inequality. Poverty is a major barrier to quality education, as many schools in lower income communities have curricula designed to keep poor people in their place (Spring 1989).

In terms of gender, teachers are more likely to value the opinions of middle-class white male students over those of females (McLaren 2002). Girls, for example, are expected to be composed and passive, while boys are encouraged to be more academically aggressive. As a result, girls are less likely to take math and science courses, more likely to attribute failure to internal factors, and although they start school ahead of boys in reading and math, they graduate from high school with lower scores in both areas.

These practices are not perpetuated by force, however. The dominant culture, rather, is able to exercise power over subordinate classes through hegemonythe maintenance of domination through consensual social practices, social forms, and social structures (McLaren 2002). Students are not taught to question the prevailing capitalist values of the nation, and as a result, the culture has helped produce a veritable passion for ignorance (McLaren 2002, p. 217). And the social structuresthe church, the schools, the mass media and the familyhave all been shaped by the dialectical contradiction between labor and capital.

This marketization of schooling is not solely a Western phenomenon. Educational systems in many West African countries were initially developed in the image of Western-type educational systems during the late 1800s and early 1900s in response to perceived needs of the colonizers (Banya 2006). Schools were established for a variety of reasonscommercial, religious, and politicalbut rarely were they established for indigenous needs. Initially, Christian churches played a major role in the development of educational facilities, and later trading companies and local colonial governments eventually provided their own (Banya 2006).

The major aims of the school systems were to provide personnel for the activities of government administration, the church, and commerce. In attempting to achieve these aims, the frame of reference was entirely Western. In most countries the systems were elitist, focusing their resources and attention on the students who could successfully negotiate the system and take their place in the colonial structure that was being established. As in Western education, West African schools have the responsibility of socializing students to the values and customs of the society. Primary education, for example, introduces those fundamentals necessary to produce an individual who, at a basic level, is able to contribute meaningfully to life in his or her community. Furthermore, the goals of junior and senior secondary level education are the continued acquisition of basic skills and knowledge and the introduction of subjects encouraging the development of nationally desired and saleable skills. Schooling in this sense is designed to utilize each individuals ability, aptitude and interest to equip individuals with skills to satisfy societys manpower needs. They are also expected to develop a character that would help cultivate desirable attitudes and regard for the nations well-being (Banya 2006).

While the argument can be made that the function of schooling is to prepare citizens to effectively participate in a global economy, it is also important to understand its role in creating autonomous, independent thinkers. To date, however, educational systems continue to perpetuate inequity and injustice.

SEE ALSO Black Middle Class; Capitalism; Colonialism; Curriculum; Education, USA; Freire, Paulo; Marxism; Middle Class; Missionaries; Pedagogy; Schooling in the USA; Socialism; Socialization; Stratification; Tracking in Schools;Working Class

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Banya, Kingsley. 2002. Personal correspondence.

Banya, Kingsley. 2006. Can Continuous Assessment Replace External Examinations? World Studies in Education 6 (2): 527.

Gatto, John. 1992. Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum in Compulsory Schooling. Philadelphia: New Society Publishers.

Gutek, Gerald. 1993. American Education in a Global Society: Internationalizing Teacher Education. White Plains, NY: Longman.

McLaren, Peter. 2002. Life in Schools: An Introduction to Critical Pedagogy in the Foundations of Education. 4th ed. Boston: Allyn and Bacon.

Spring, Joel. 1989. The Sorting Machine Revisited: National Educational Policy Since 1945. New York: Longman.

Shelby Gilbert

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schooling

school·ing / ˈskoōling/ • n. education or training received, esp. at school: his parents paid for his schooling.

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schooling

schooling Among fish, the formation of groups of individuals as a result of social attraction.

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"schooling." A Dictionary of Ecology. . Encyclopedia.com. 22 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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schooling

schooling Among fish the formation of groups of individuals as a result of social attraction.

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schooling

schoolingbrambling, rambling •hatchling • brandling •gangling, wrangling •crackling • sapling •fatling, Gatling •mantling, scantling •darling, sparling, starling •sampling • starveling •dwelling, misspelling, self-propelling, spelling, swelling, telling, upwelling •trembling • vetchling • fledgling •nestling, wrestling •storytelling •failing, grayling, mailing, paling, railing, sailing, tailing, unavailing, veiling, wailing •changeling • boardsailing •parasailing •appealing, ceiling, Darjeeling, dealing, feeling, Keeling, peeling, revealing, self-sealing, shieling, wheeler-dealing, wheeling •reedling, seedling •weakling • Riesling •deskilling, filling, grilling, killing, Pilling, quilling, Schilling, self-fulfilling, shilling, Trilling, unfulfilling, willing •sibling • kindling • piffling •inkling, sprinkling, tinkling •Kipling, stripling •princeling • witling •brisling, quisling •painkilling •filing, piling, reviling, tiling, unsmiling •motorcycling • hairstyling • rockling •gosling •calling, Pauling •lordling • porkling •cowling, fowling •foundling, groundling •ruling, schooling •intercooling • wirepulling •grumbling •buckling, duckling, Suckling •youngling • coupling • dumpling •puzzling • swashbuckling •shearling, yearling •hireling •towelling (US toweling) •gruelling (US grueling) •babbling, dabbling •marbling • scribbling •mumbling, rumbling •sanderling • middling • doodling •underling • rifling • shuffling •strangling • fingerling •enamelling (US enameling) •rustling • rattling •bitterling, chitterling •titling •sterling, Stirling •nurseling, nursling •earthling

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