Home >> Education >> Education, Modernization, Mobility and Social Change

Education, Modernization, Mobility and Social Change

Christopher Jencks in 'Social Inequality' advocates that the primary requirement of a society is the modernization of education. He looks into educational modernization both in terms of content, infrastructure and support base. While talking about infrastructure required for modern education he advocates about the introduction of modern audio-visual methods, laboratory experimentations into school curriculum. As a result a child instead of learning formations from the books will gather to have information of reality. He believes that when modern infrastructure is introduced into school life it will speak about the trained teachers, trained administrators who will understand child's capacity to learn, the inquisitive of the child and corresponding to that go for the formation of curriculum and examination pattern.

Modernized content of education primarily the traditional subjects like theology, jurisprudence should be replaced by mathematics, science, language and literature and logical reasoning. The educational modernization potentially means that the structure of education in contemporary schools, its purpose and ideology should be different from the traditional schools controlled by Catholic Church. This book provided guidelines to educational revolution in America. American system of education got potentially concerned with supplying manpower to industry. As a result Floud and Hasley advocate that modernization of education in America and its liberation from Church significantly contributed for the emergence of America as meritocratic society.

Talcott Parsons in his essay of Meritocratic Principles in American School substantially advocated that schools in capitalist America offer adequate training to the children to get into job market. The grades at school talks about the child's innovative capacity, professional skills and helps the employer to offer recruitment to children on the basis of their ability.

Davis and Moore in their theory of stratification advocated that highly specialized persons get high degrees of specialization spending more time in schools making efforts in the education, their talent is being evaluated on the basis of objective criteria by examination system of the school from time to time. The school has established the potential skills present in exclusive children and these gifted children are endowed with exclusive qualities to fit into the highly challenging and most productive occupations. They are instrumental for the economic progress and social development of the nation. Therefore meritarian principle legitimizes the functional relevance of inequality in a modern society. In almost every society of Europe education has largely contributed for modernization of occupation, social institutions and values. Margaret Archer in her comparative study of education in differently developed societies found out that how education has offered equality of opportunity to every section of society to procure adequate skills to get into job market breaking down the traditional nexus between race, sex, class and family with employment structure. Modernization of education has transformed the ideological orientation of children at school. As a result the values like self-orientation, individualism, achievement, competition, universalism, innovation, conformity to legal provisions of society and equality has predominated the thought of every generation. The traditional values are absolutely abandoned by school curriculum giving importance to new set of values essential for the emergence of modern society. Under the influence of modernization new occupation structure, new social relationships, new institutions and quality of life have made appearance making the essence of modern society different from traditional society. Education has sufficiently trained the young to effectively negotiate with the emergent modern conditions in social life.

Education is therefore considered as a prime mover of social change and modernization. The bearings of modern education on social mobility is studied in great detail by Goldthrope.Collecting data from industrially developed societies, he finds out that how education has contributed for the 60% working class children to get into supervisory and semi-skilled occupational positions whereas 20% of working class children take up their parental occupation and 10% go for vertical mobility. It is noticed that parent and children's occupations largely stood similar in Japan and greatly different in America. He believes that variation is an outcome of the continuity of traditional family system in Japanese society, Japanese work culture which stands different from family structure and work culture in America. However in all these developed societies education has contributed for the transmission of skills, knowledge and expertise identically to its members working class based in equality as temporal in character. Thus education has been considered as a prime source of mobility and modernization of social change. Bourdieu contradicted this argument. In his theory of social and cultural reproduction he asserts that education preaches equality but practices the reinforcement of hierarchy and inequality. He finds out that success in school is not greatly determined by the cultural, economic and the symbolic advantage the children do have over other unprivileged children. The children belonging to upper class having control over these three forms of capital consider their parental success as their individual success and this success is legitimized by the school and offers them good grade or certificate to enter into high profitable occupations. Education offers no scope for mobility and mass education is given to masses but exclusive education important for job market is monopolized by upper class. The education contributes for horizontal mobility but it legitimizes the exclusive positions in favor of upper class for the perpetuation of their domination. If accidently a child belonging to lower class becomes successful in life despite all preventive measures introduced by upper class society takes the credit for this success of the child and advocates that how its education system, political leadership and normative values stand committed to the principles of equality. The argument of Bourdieu is supported by Bowels and Gintis who advocated that schools in capitalist America is class based than egalitarian. It provides least opportunity for mobility. The children belonging to lower class get into lower privileged schools and subsequently get into low paid jobs. In socialist societies uniform education never offers opportunity to the child to get into the vocation of his choice. His future is greatly determined by the requirement of the state. Thus education is not greatly engaged in promotion of liberty and self-actualization in socialism. According to Barbara Millar most of women in Russia have gone for lorry driving not because of the fact that they wanted this vocation but because of the fact that this was the only vocation left out for them or easily available to them. Thus the role of education for social mobility and social change is really questionable. In India according to Victor D'Souza in 'Indian Public School' advocates that Indian public school cater to the needs of the upper class. These schools being expensive are beyond the reach of the poor. The quality of education offered to the rich and poor being greatly different, they get into job market differently. As a result education has contributed for no mobility or restrictive mobility. Suryanarayana finds out that in India aided schools, semi-aided schools, missionary schools, ashram schools manifest varieties of approaches and they appeal to different sections of the social strata catering to their cultural and occupational needs. But they stand committed to a common agenda to expand the support base for masses educationally but quality education goes to the privileged class and a testimony to that is the representation of negligible percentage of tribal officers in government positions despite reservation provision for them. The education in India is greatly instrumental in maintaining hierarchy than promoting equality. Andre Beteille in his article advocates that how it is not the principle of equality or economic interest or search for mobility that put people into schools rather entry into school and success into school is greatly defined by family, kinship, religion or other cultural variables. The role of the education in encompassing mobility cannot be universally being similar. In every society various forms of compulsions, institutional conditions value system will be determining to what extent, in what forms education has successfully contributed for mobility and social change.