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Sociology of Education - Essay Example

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It is evident that the modern society experiences global changes that influence all spheres of social life. Some theories regard new approaches of state regulations as a way of solving old problems with the help of new methods. As total traditional state control over various institutions has been replaced by open democratic public establishments, competing for the customers, a number of institutions that are functioning on a base of free market appeared…
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Sociology of Education
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Download file to see previous pages The new approach to education supports the idea that these are the families and private persons, who must be responsible for education, leaving minimum space for old objects of regulation. The incidence of state decreased, whereas the society is treated in terms of market and economy. The society is under reconstruction. But due to the fact that many state responsibilities inherent to old model of society are about to disappear, the rights of citizens are suppressed by the consumer rights. So some elements of solving the problems in the sphere of education were passed to the private sector.
Present financial crisis and economic decline that still goes on both in the UK and the USA make evident that educational system is revised and reassessed. There are some points that are common for the both countries and these points are most demonstrative factors to show that revision is necessary, as it is dictated by the conditions of reality. These factors are as follows: it is a tendency to blame teachers for level of education doesn't meet the requirements of the society, as well as reducing the funds that are meant for educational needs and putting higher standards with the help of market management. This resulted in a flood of laws and recommendations given to the representatives of educational system. However, a significant part of these recommendations appeared to be a factor disturbing, rather than supporting the teachers in the process of changes made.
The attempts of changing existing conditions have some differences in the USA and the UK and can be better seen in comparison. The essence of the educational reform in the USA lies in restructuring, in other words, providing for definite changes in structure, environment, organizations and curriculum of educational system. Changes include giving parents more opportunities of participating in school life and learning, or creating councils, or establishing school management and common problem-solving. Hallinger & Hausman (1993) described a plan that includes major points that should be taken into consideration while working upon the plans of reconstruction:
"the decentralization of authority through school-based management; shared decision-making at each school site; a system of controlled parental choice concerning pupil attendance; and curricula organized around distinctive themes reflecting different educational philosophies ... The primary motivation was the district's commitment to the development of a viable and effective way to attain ethnic balance in its elementary schools." (Hallinger, P. & Hausman, C. 1993)
The frames and schemes of restructuring differ in various states, cities and schools, but there is one general idea of reformation which is implemented in all these plans of restructuring. Some schools regard changes in structure as obligatory, the others find them optional. However, one of the most meaningful issues that refer to the essence of reformation is its effect on the nature, purpose and content of the teacher's functions. Usually restructuring presupposes a change from stressed administrative role to a flexible leadership, while in the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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