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Sociology in Education (Essay Sample)

Question Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has observed: Our society is stratifying, which means the children of successful people are doing better, the children of less successful people are doing less well. Fewer children from lower-income families are rising to the top of the heap. …… Stratification is an issue because a generation ago, everybody was poor, many of their kids went on to school, to university, became professionals. One couple, one rental flat, seven kids, five graduates – there were many such stories. Today it's not so common because the kids are graduates already. They are not living in rental flats anymore and their parents were probably not living in rental flats either. So those who are left behind are finding it harder (Straits Times, 21 Oct 2011) The recent international tests such as TIMSS and PISA have shown that the Normal Technical students in Singapore are lagging very much behind while the rest of Singaporean students shone in such tests. Explicate whether and how the meritocratic Singapore education system may contribute to this phenomenon and to social stratification in general, referring to sociological theories and existing educational policy and practices. As part of your research, you should also speak to one or two school teachers and incorporate their perspectives on stratifying practices in their schools and local education in your analysis. This question covers materials studied in Study Unit 2, Chapter 3 and 4 and the readings weeks 3 and 4 ; Chapters 29 and 31 of your textbook. Please review the materials in both your textbook ( Schools and Society . Jeanne H.Ballantine , Joan Z. Spade) You are not expected to conduct a full-scale study or extensive interviews with teachers, but talking to one or two teachers will provide a first-hand account of practitioners' experience of stratifying practices in schools and help add richness to your understanding. You may include brief and relevant quotations in your essay. Be sure to sociologically analyse these to incorporate them into your analysis. This TMA may require you to do additional research for a better answer. Journal articles from the UniSIM e-library may be useful, for example those in JSTOR, Project Muse, Blackwell Reference Online, ScienceDirect, SAGE Fulltext Collection, SocINDEX (with fulltext). Newspaper articles can be found via Newslink or Factiva. source..
Students Name: Tutors Name: Subject: Date:
Sociology in Singapore`s Education
While schools are important institutions in the society, because students from different backgrounds converge to learn necessary skills that will improve their social advancement, I found that deeply camouflaged in these institutions are factors such as: gender, class and ethnicity (Luke 245). These have influenced greatly how resources are allocated and how students are taught. With time social inequalities are reproduced through interaction and structural configurations. I found that Students from a class higher in the society hierarchy are sent to good schools which have got more resources and competent tutors. It can be gainsaid that excellent academic achievements on the part of such students is inevitable. Consequently, they will be able to get higher paying jobs in the society.
The contrary can be said of a student who comes from way below the society`s hierarchical rankings. The end result of all such is social stratification. My goal or aim in this paper is to try and show how education has enhanced social stratification in the society in the course of appealing to the ideas of meritocracy.To achieve this, I have organized the paper into various sections that will help us understand what meritocracy is, what social stratification entails and how these two affect are related to the education system in Singapore. I will end the paper by a summary of my findings on how education, social stratification and meritocracy and their interrelations and the risks posed.
What is Meritocracy?
Meritocracy is a government system where the responsibilities vested in the government are appointed and assigned objectively and purely based on the merits of the individuals being assigned or appointed (Bellows 24). In most cases, the "merit" being taken into consideration is based upon a person`s intelligence, credentials and education. The individual is taken through lots of evaluation or examinations to determine their "merit;. A person`s "merit" is normally measured by IQ or standard achievements tests. Meritocracy has sometimes been confused to mean a form of government; however, this should not be the case as meritocracy is mainly an ideology. Ideologies do not have a common footing especially as it regard to their definition. Therefore, it does not come as a big surprise when supporters of meritocracy do not agree on the nature of "merit;, what they however agree on is that, "merit" should be a fundamental consideration during evaluation.Application of Meritocratic IdeologyThe education systems that exist in different parts of the world today form part of this meritocratic ideology: especially when the issue of college degrees is raised. Higher education has become a very imperfect meritocratic screening system because there lacks uniform standards worldwide, in addition, the lack of scope because not all occupations and processes are included, finally, the la...
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