Feminists also be described as having enough information
Feminists argue that education is patriachle and the female experiance of education simply acts to reinforce patriachy. How would functionalists respond to this statement? This essay will study how functionalists view the feminist arguement that education system is still very much patriachle and females have a different and less valued experience of education from males.Feminism is a movement of women who strive to achieve a social and economical equality for both men and women. Its a campeign against gender inequalities. It could also be described as having enough information available for all women enableing them to have the ability to make a choice to live a life which is not discriminatory and which enhances social, cultural and political equality and independance.
Heaton and Lawson (1996) argue that the hidden curriculum, a government way of teaching us without us knowing, is a major course of gender scoialisation, it operates in five different ways, Firstly through books and text books for children and students, most women are portrayed as dependant on men or to have very gender specific roles, for example in the young childrens book ‘ Biff, Chip and Kipper’ women are always doing the washing up or cooking. a feminist called Kelly also pointed out the absence of women in scientific and mathematical textbooks.This indicates that those, more acedemic subjects shouldn’t include women. Secondly in certain school subjects females are made to feel uncomfortable for example in P. E as the boys colonise the sport or activity making it a very masculine dominated lesson leaving the girls to feel inadiquate and unfortuneatly teachers mostly fail to intervene.
Another Problem of gender socialisation in education is many teachers still tend to give gender based jobs to do in the classroom for example the boys would be asked to move the tables around the the girls would be asked to clean up.By doing this, teachers are unknowingly creating a gender divide between pupils which inforces a patriachle way of being at a early age. GCSE and A levels also have a patriachle curriculum, Boys are encourage to do more physical subjects like motor vehical and P.
E whereas girls are pursuaded to do the more caring subjects like textiles and Social care, these choices arent all down to teachers but also due to peer pressure, noone wants to break the social norm and take a subject which is mostly male oriantated if they are female.Finally there is the lack of role models in education, Although women have much more involvement in education than men, the higher positions are mostly dominated by males. This connotes to students that men have the upper hand over education and gives the impression that men are smarter and more able to hold higher positioned jobs. Many feminists argue that in education the attention and most help is given to the males.
In the classroom boys are more often disruptive and so teachers therefore give there attention to the boys which results in the girls having to wait and watch until the boy calm down.When teachers explain the more acedemic theory side to subjects, researches such as a feminist, Stanworth ( 1988) discovered, girls experience it differently as the teachers are trying to engage the boys as they are less easily focused on the task so the questions are directed to boys as are the explanations causing the females learning to be less interactive with the teacher and lesson. Despite this, the past worry of female acedemic levels being below average, now womens reulsts are exeding the grade boundries by plenty.
Double the applications that are excepted into universities from boys are girls.Mitsos and Browne say that this is because teachers are less strict with boys because the rebel alot more than girls, also they think that when boys tend to be disruptive and mess around in class there social status is increased causing them to play up even more. Another key point of why boys are underachieving is the decrease in the job market for typically male dominated jobs, this demotivates them as they dont see the point in getting the grades if there isnt a job to get them for. The functionalist view on most things is positive, especially education.Functionalists think that education is functional, it works well and serves its purpose. One of their key features of how education is benificial is because it gives a role allocation, This determins your role is society from your social stratification i. e your social class.
Role allocation also applies gender wise, if you were a upper class female, functionalists would determin you to be a secretory for a high powered business, but if you were a upper class male you would be the business owner, and despite the clear gender discrimination, functionalists believe it workes as it means everybody has a place in society.Parsons, a functionalist described education as a bridge, from primary socialisation to secondry socialisation. Within this topic of the feminists view on education by looking at this thoery it could be percieved to indicate how as young children our gender defines how people look at us and our roles in society. As babies, girls are typically dressed in pink and given dollies and prams to play with, where as boys are dressed in blue and typically play with tractors or trains or footballs.
This is then mirrored in nursary education when at break and lunch the balls and bikes are given to the boys and the sand pits and dressing up clothes are used for the girls to play games such as mummys, and fairy games. Because of growing up in this way, and people not wanting to break out of the social norm or to be excluded it does create a functional society, but not nescarsarily a correct one. Should Girls not be able to own businesses or play football? Functionalists would argue that education prepares you for your future in society as it mirrors the way society functions in education.A big idea of functionalists is Meritocracy, the idea of working hard and being rewarded.
However, a poor black women who achieved top grades would be less likely to own a business then a rich white man who didnt achieve such impressive grades. By having role allocation taken from the social classes of children within society, how can meritocracy occur? Feminists would see this as a discrimination of women, despite it involving ethnicity and social class aswell.From doing this research I now know that the feminist arguement for gender equality is noticed by Functionalists however, they do not think that education has a large enough fault to make any difference, they think that the role of education in society plays a good part into leading us into our future, and be that the current society has hit a milestone with overcoming so many previous gender dicriminations, that there is no need for change and education is the way it is because it works and it mirrors the society we live in, there fore changing it would mean when we came to leaving education the ‘real world’ would be a huge shock.