According to Szkudlarek (2013), the educational rights of over one hundred million children have been violated. Therefore, this figure indicates tremendous differences in the global distribution of educational opportunities. In addition, an educational opportunity is essential in ensuring equal opportunities since without it there is no social justice. Therefore, this essay discusses education and its importance and illustrates the effects of such social concepts as intuition, social class (wealth or power), and socialization in education. Finally, this paper sheds light on the Marx’s analysis of education, the application of one of the three dimensions of sociological imaginations on education, and connection of education with social justice principles and equality.
Education refers the process of acquiring or imparting knowledge and skills (Wood, 2012). There are three methods of measuring the level of attained education.
- The first method is GPA or the time spent in a learning institution, as highlighted by Behrman and Stacey (2007). In other words, education can be measured based on educational attainment or what is commonly referred to as the extensive margin of education.
- Another measure is one’s characteristics pertaining to educational experiences. There are several characteristics linked to the schooling experiences of an individual including teacher qualification, educational expenditure per student, class size, type of school one has attended, school curriculum, and private or public ownership (Behrman & Stacey, 2007). In other words, an educational measure based on one’s school experiences is commonly referred to as quality education or intensive margin.
- The third educational measure is the deployment of test scores or grades for the courses to gauge an individual’s understanding of various concepts.
Several Benefits for an Individual Having an Education
There are several benefits for an individual having an education, including society and the State. These benefits can be classified as financial as well as nonfinancial benefits.
- The first financial benefit is that educated individual usually earns more salary than uneducated one; therefore, they pay more income taxes hence contribute more towards the State economic wellbeing than the uneducated workforce does. The next financial benefit is that chances for people, who have education, to be recruited are higher than for uneducated individuals. Moreover, the educated individual is likely to be employed in an intellectual job. On the one hand, there are also several nonfinancial educational benefits. To begin with, the educated individuals reap the benefit of making better choices regarding their health; therefore, they tend to live longer, as pointed out by Allan (2004). In addition to better decision-making skills, research by Allan (2004) also indicates that children of educated parents tend to grasp more information at school.
- Another nonfinancial benefit of education is that it exposes people to the real world and makes them to know the real world in and out.
- The next nonfinancial benefit is that educated citizens are more likely to engage in building a democratic society by participating in the voting process.
- Finally, the more educated individual is less likely to engage in illegal acts such as violent crimes, as pointed out by Brux (2007).
There are three dimensions of socialization imagination, namely functionalist theory, symbolic interactionism theory and conflict theory (Feinberg & Soltis, 2004). This paper will discuss application of functionalist theory in education. According to Feinberg and Soltis (2004), schools have both social and individual purpose. On a social level, schools facilitate development and maintenance of skills and attitudes required for member of the society. Therefore, schools help in the development of urban democracy. On an individual level, learning institutions facilitate possibility for work placements and fairness in the distribution of income, prestige and authority.
Additionally, education can also be affected by sociological concepts such as socialization, institutional and social class (wealth, power or prestige) among many other factors. According to Brezinka (2004), socialization refers to the acquisition or change of dispositions through the processing of socially specific information until the individual realizes the behavior modes that are fulfilling the norms of the societal order. In other words, socialization is a mean by which one generation passes the societal norms to another. Therefore, education can be viewed as a factor that influences socialization or the one that steers socialization. In addition, socialization exerts an influence on students that can be positively evaluated by teachers. In other words, socialization can be defined as a learning process where learners are evaluated based on fulfilling societal norms established by the society. Subsequently, where there is socialization, education is thriving. In addition, the presence of socialization in learning institutions foster students need for cognition, as substantiated by Herzog (2010).
Moreover, the institutional approach can also influence education. According to Unterhalter (2012), institutions can be viewed as efforts to secure justice globally based on building institutions, government and multi-organization, which allocate resources in terms of benefactions and ideas. In other words, the institutional approach is concerned with advocating the needs of the institutions and inadequacy in provision. Therefore, the institutional approach shows the extent to which institutions require a specific action of individuals, multinational organizations, and states. In other words, it revolves around governance, funding, and school selection, which can influence individual’s educational behavior depending on quality of school’s environment and the extent to which an individual understands various concepts of schooling process. In addition, homogeneity and diversity of the higher education depend on the level of the selected institution, as pointed out by Wagenaar (2000).
Furthermore, social classes (power or wealth) can also influence education. According to Keating and Hertzman (2010), social background of an individual contributes towards educational attainment. In addition, society comprises of layers, who have an unequal share of available assets such as wealth, income, power and prestige. These layers constitute to social classes. Therefore, social class can be defined as a segment of the population whose members hold similar resources and who share values and similar lifestyle (Shepard, 2010). In addition, individuals that have elite education and make up an educated social class have political power, while others are excluded from the political process. In other words, the voting population comprises of the educated individuals. Therefore, these elite may not be willing to introduce policies that increase access to education in order to keep their power (Hanushek, Machin, & Woessmann, 2011).
Marx Developed Theoretical Perspectives
Marx developed theoretical perspectives of modern societies deployed to show social aspects of education. In addition, Marx’s methods and concepts have been used to theorize and criticize education in order to reproduce the capitalist society and support projects that can serve as substitutes for education. In addition, Marxism offers several influential and robust perspectives on education that are commonly referred to as elements. The first element states that any educational study should emphasize the importance of reproduction of the socioeconomic system and its respective ideology. The next element advocates for complying with the principle of educational unity and labor. Another element states that teaching about man and his nature should be promoted.
Critical race theory employed by Marx states that people of the same color speak from a unique experience, and, therefore, they should be heard. In addition, critical race theory does not promote the creation of social class in the society. Moreover, critical race theory has no connection to imperialism and the neoliberal capitalist model of production, as highlighted by Cole (2007). Therefore, critical race theory solves fixed education by substituting capitalism with human resources.
The connection of education, social justice principles and equity is evident. The duty of members of society is to promote justice by reducing the impact of deprivation of education among the poor states. In fact, justice does not simply cover how one should behave with others, but also provides the general structure of the society. According to Szkudlarek (2013), obligation to respect human rights worldwide is a main condition for the global justice. Therefore, when human rights are violated or denied then justice is greatly endangered. This also implies to the violation of rights to education. As highlighted by Szkudlarek (2013), the first paragraph of Article 26 states, “everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education is compulsory.”
In conclusion, education can be described as the method in which people acquire skills and knowledge either through formal or informal learning. Additionally, there are various methods to measure the level of education attained. First the level of education one has attained can be measure by the academic qualification highly achieved. Similarly, the level of education one has attained can also be measured by the number of years one has undertaken to complete the education system and lastly the level of education can be measured by the grades one achieved and the characteristics related to educational experiences. On the one hand, there are several financial benefits of having education. Education has been found to have various benefits to the learners. Firstly, it’s though education that people are in a position to get good wages and salaries. Consequently, education has nonfinancial benefit, for instance it is through education that one can be able to know more about the world he is or she is living. Nevertheless, the education rights of very many children have been violated because of the socialization influence ideals such as wealth or even power. Marxism gives various sturdy and powerful viewpoints concerning education. The initial viewpoint argues that education should emphasize the significance of reproduction of the socioeconomic. Additionally the theory also emphasizes on teaching about nature and also complying with education labor and unity.