Structure and Functions of Education

Introduction:

Education is a lifelong process. It begins the day we are born and ends the day we day we die. Found in every society, it comes in many forms ranging from the “school of hard knocks” or learning by experience to formal institutional learning from postindustrial to non-industrial communities, from rural to urban settings and from youth to older person. Education is commonly defined as cultivation, transmission of knowledge, and skill development that is imparted from an older to a younger generation. Historically, education is closely related to organized society.

The institutionalization of the education system, more recently, posed a set of questions in social sciences that addressed and explored the link of education to society in a more systematic manner. Philosophy has customarily inquired into the nature of educational aims that best serve current or aspired forms of social organization. Education is a social institution that sociologists are very interested in studying. They are interested in all types of learning process, formal and informal. This includes teaching formal knowledge such as reading, writing, and arithmetic, as well as eaching other things such as morals, values, and ethics.

Education prepares young people for entry into society and is thus a form of socialization. Sociologists want to know how this form of socialization affects and are affected by other social structures, experiences, and outcomes. Sociology attempts to explore the relationship of education to the functioning of other societal institutions in causal terms, employing for this purpose the concept function; theorizing on this relation flared up during the 1960s to 1980s in western countries. Sociology of education is a field that focuses on two separate levels of analysis.

At a acro-level, sociologists work to identify how various social forces, such as politics, economics, culture, etc. , creates variation in schools. At a micro-level, sociologists look to identify how variation in school practices lead to differences in individual-level student outcomes. 2. Sociology of Education: The sociology of education provided important insights to the ways in which school affects individuals and groups. It is the application of sociological theories, perspectives and research methods to an analysis of educational process and Peter Snelson (1974) defines education as a condition of human survival.

It is the eans where by one generation transmits the wisdom, knowledge and experience which prepares the next generation. Peter Herold (1968) defines sociology of education as “the study of the origin of organizations, institutions and development of human society’. His definition refers to the study of sociology of education by using the historical approach. It studies initial specific conditions. Emil Durkheim (1858-1917) who regarded as the father of sociology of education clearly defines sociology of education as “a systematic study sociological perspective”.