Compare Approaches Are you "shopping" for a conflict resolution program for your schools? First, you might consider which approach to conflict resolution you will take. In this story, learn about different approaches used in conflict resolution programs.
Social Movements Theories of Education Historically, American education served both political and economic needs, which dictated the function of education. Today, sociologists and educators debate the function of education.
Three main theories represent their views: The functionalist theory The functionalist theory focuses on the ways that universal education serves the needs of society. Functionalists first see education in its manifest role: Durkheim the founder of functionalist theory identified the latent role of education as one of socializing people into society's mainstream.
Functionalists point to other latent roles of education such as transmission of core values and social control. The core values in American education reflect those characteristics that support the political and economic systems that originally fueled education.
Therefore, children in America receive rewards for following schedules, following directions, meeting deadlines, and obeying authority. The most important value permeating the American classroom is individualism—the ideology that advocates the liberty rights, or independent action, of the individual.
American students learn early, unlike their Japanese or Chinese counterparts, that society seeks out and reveres the best individual, whether that person achieves the best score on a test or the most points Education from conflict approach the basketball court.
Even collaborative activities focus on the leader, and team sports single out the one most valuable player of the year. Conversely, Japanese students, in a culture that values community in place of individuality, learn to be ashamed if someone singles them out, and learn social esteem—how to bring honor to the group, rather than to themselves.
Going to school in a capitalist nation, American students also quickly learn the importance of competition, through both competitive learning games in the classroom, and through activities and athletics outside the classroom.
Some kind of prize or reward usually motivates them to play, so students learn early to associate winning with possessing. Likewise, schools overtly teach patriotism, a preserver of political structure. Students must learn the Pledge of Allegiance and the stories of the nation's heroes and exploits.
The need to instill patriotic values is so great that mythology often takes over, and teachers repeat stories of George Washington's honesty or Abraham Lincoln's virtue even though the stories themselves such as Washington confessing to chopping down the cherry tree may be untrue.
Another benefit that functionalists see in education is sorting—separating students on the basis of merit. Society's needs demand that the most capable people get channeled into the most important occupations. Schools identify the most capable students early. They saw this process as a beneficial function in society.
After sorting has taken place, the next function of education, networking making interpersonal connectionsis inevitable. People in high school and college network with those in similar classes and majors.
This networking may become professional or remain personal. The most significant role of education in this regard is matchmaking.
Sociologists primarily interest themselves in how sorting and networking lead couples together of similar backgrounds, interests, education, and income potential.
Functionalists point to the ironic dual role of education in both preserving and changing culture.
Studies show that, as students progress through college and beyond, they usually become increasingly liberal as they encounter a variety of perspectives.
Thus, more educated individuals are generally more liberal, while less educated people tend toward conservatism. Moreover, the heavy emphasis on research at most institutions of higher education puts them on the cutting edge of changes in knowledge, and, in many cases, changes in values as well.
Therefore, while the primary role of education is to preserve and pass on knowledge and skills, education is also in the business of transforming them.
A final and controversial function assumed by education in the latter half of the twentieth century is replacement of the family. Many issues of career development, discipline, and human sexuality—once the domain of the family—now play a routine part in school curriculum.
The conflict theory Conflict theory sees the purpose of education as maintaining social inequality and preserving the power of those who dominate society.
Conflict theorists examine the same functions of education as functionalists.The social conflict approach is a framework for building theory that sees society as an arena of inequality that generates conflict and change. Social conflict theory sees social life as a. Conflict theories are perspectives in sociology and social psychology that emphasize a materialist interpretation of history, dialectical method of analysis, a critical stance toward existing social arrangements, and political program of revolution or, at least, reform.
Conflict theorists examine the same functions of education as functionalists. Functionalists see education as a beneficial contribution to an ordered society; however, conflict theorists see the educational system as perpetuating the status quo by dulling the lower classes into being obedient workers.
Reading: Conflict Theory on Education. Conflict Theory. Conflict theorists do not believe that public schools reduce social inequality. Rather, they believe that the educational system reinforces and perpetuates social inequalities that arise from differences in class, gender, race, and ethnicity.
Conflict theorists see the education system. countries affected by conflict.1 education is an important intervention in emergencies, as it can provide physical, psychosocial and cognitive protec- tion to children, and often remains a .
of conflict resolution education and the potential of all these approaches for bringing about peaceful resolution of disputes in a number of settings. We also thank Judith Filner of the National Institute for Dispute Resolution for her work in drafting an ini-.