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Marxist View On Education Essay

822 words - 4 pages

Outline and asses the Marxist view of the role of education in society.
The Marxist view on the role of education in society is a critical one. Marxists see education as a system of reproducing inequalities between working and middle class. Society needs skilled and unskilled workers, so Marxists see education as responsible for providing these types of workers, in the interest of the economy. However, there are other sociologists like Paul and Wills, David Reynolds and Henry Giroux who had another opinion on the role of education in society. For example, Paul and Wills, who criticized Althusser, believes that the Marxist view is over deterministic and it fails to consider the power that ...view middle of the document...

Bowles and Gintis have been also criticised for failing to explain how the economy shapes education. Reynolds argued that ruling class can’t control what goes into the British classrooms and he considered that the teacher is responsible for the ideas that go into the class.
Secondly, Athusser argue that education is an ideological state apparatus, which aims to maintain and reproduce generation by generation of workers. He also sustained Bowles and Gintis point of view that the hidden curriculum promotes ruling-class values as common values. The hidden curriculum through the norms and values that it transmits, justifies inequality as normal or natural and make students who didn’t achieve to consider that it’s only their fault and the system is actually fair for everybody. Working class is seen as passive to the system. Working class accepts its economic and social position because they were socialised to believe that educational failure is deserved for those who don’t work hard enough.
On the other hand, Athusser was criticised by Paul and Willis who believe that the traditional Marxist theory is over deterministic because it sees pupils passive to the system. It doesn’t consider the power of pupils to resist against the processes. In his ‘learning to labour study’, Willis studied a group of 12 working class boys during the last year of their education and the first few months of their employment and he discovered...

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