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Functionalist Approach for the Detroit Public Schools

In functionalist point of view, education is very important because it can help the society in performing its functions. Education also provides “a value consensus and social solidarity” (“Functionalist Perspective on Education”). In Boshier’s Mapping the New World: Functionaism, he says that functionalism has explanation on technology and education. Functionalists think that the concept of functionalism has to do with social order, consensus and social integration. Theories of Education says the same thing about social order, consensus and social integration as part of functionalist point of view in education.

The article says that social order is based on the shared norms and values/consensus that serves as the social glue connecting people together. Boshier adds that government training, upgrading programs, professional education, basic education run by schools and other institutions and reskilling programs are included in an education that is informed by functionalism. Feinberg and Soltis observes that in a functionalist perspective, there are different members who do different tasks.

A functionalist perspective also believes that the school’s role is to offer equal opportunities for education so that everyone has equal chances to improve their skills and talents that are needed to do their tasks (qtd. in Burnheimer). A school is an institution where students can learn so much. In this perspective, the Detroit Public Schools must be open for every student who wants to study. They should not prioritize this one student just because he is rich or this one just because he’s got so much talent that it’s a waste not to let him be admitted.

Detroit Public Schools must realize the importance each student has because of the role everyone performs not just in school but in society as a whole. The schools must present opportunities for the students to further improve their talents and skills, whether in arts, science and technology or practical applications. As functionalists view education’s primary role in conveying knowledge and skills, this should also be the primary objective of the public schools in educating their students. The schools should train their students in a way that would allow socialization between the students and the society.

It is important to make the students realize their roles in the society they are in. The staffs in the public schools must also share the meaning of individualism. This will make the students develop their identities and self-esteem. Another thing that school staff can initiate is safe competition among the students. Usually, a price or a reward motivates a student to work harder and give his best in whatever endeavor he takes. The students can be competitive in learning games inside the classroom, and in other activities and athletics that would further develop their potential.

Sorting is also a function of education based on functionalist point of view. In schools, competent students are quickly recognized, whether on tests or other activities. These students are offered college-preparation courses and scholarships. The public schools can provide these opportunities for the students. They should also recognize those who excel in studies, sports and the like. Aside from all these, the superintendent, school board, teachers and parents must be one in initiating reforms in the school, be it in managerial or governance constructs, instructional strategies or community engagement efforts.

Moreover, the schools must lead in addressing the specific needs of students and overcoming the barriers to their success as individuals. These schools must also be supportive of their students and provide a student-centered learning environment where educational stakeholders can be engage. All things considered, proper actions of the Detroit Public Schools will enable education to be the essential element for the advancement of the society as a whole.

Works Cited

“Assess the Usefulness of the Functionalist Perspective on Education. ” 1995-2007. Gradua Networks. 11 October 2007 <http://www.cheathouse. com/essay/essay_view. php? p_essay_id=11571>. Boshier, Roger. “Mapping the New World: Functionalism. ” University of B. C. , Vancouver. 11 October 2007 <http://www. edst. educ. ubc. ca/tern/Map/function. htm>. Burnheimer, Thomas C. “Educational Resources and Special Education. ” Edited 9 March 2001. 11 October 2007 <http://muse. widener. edu/~egrozyck/EDControversy/Burnheimer. html>. CliffsNotes. com. Theories of Education. Wiley Publishing, Inc. , 2000-2007. 11 Oct 2007 <http://www. cliffsnotes. com/WileyCDA/CliffsReviewTopic/ topicArticleId-26957,articleId-26914. html>.

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