* that education improves society
* that education reproduces society exactly as it is
* that education makes society worse and harms individuals.
Whilst educational policy documents and much academic writing and research stresses the first function and occasionally make reference to the second, the third is largely played down or ignored.
In this unique and thought-provoking book, Clive Harber argues that while schooling can play a positive role, violence towards children originating in the schools system itself is common, systematic and widespread internationally and that schools play a significant role in encouraging violence in wider society. Topics covered include physical punishment, learning to hate others, sexual abuse, stress and anxiety, and the militarization of school. The book both provides detailed evidence of such forms of violence and sets out an analysis of schooling that explains why they occur. In contrast, the final chapter explores existing alternative forms of education which are aimed at the development of democracy and peace.
This book should be read by anyone involved in education - from students and academics to policy-makers and practitioners around the world.
From 1948 to the early 1990s South African government was based on an institutionalised system of ‘racial’ separation and inequality formally known as apartheid. A white minority dominated a black majority in a context of stark social, political and economic differentiation. While the apartheid state used force to maintain this system, formal education was also used to try to make the basic tenets of apartheid ‘normal’ and ‘acceptable’ in the minds of South Africans. From the apartheid government’s point of view, the role of education was to help to perpetuate and reproduce a racist system and to encourage obedience and conformity to that system. It is not therefore surprising that in the 1970s and 1980s education also became a key site in the struggle against apartheid or that educational reform was high on the agenda of the first democratically elected government after April 1994. However, while the direction of educational reform has inevitably been strongly influenced by the nature and history of the anti-apartheid struggle inside South Africa, the global political and economic context has also played its part in shaping educational debate and policy outside South Africa. Clive Harber’s book recognises that there is a difference between planned reform and the actual nature of educational change on the ground and tries, where possible, to set reform in the contextual realities of South African education as they presently exist. It aims to understand the difficulties and ambiguities of transition as well as the overt aims and goals as enshrined in policy documents and legislation.
Intended to stimulate sociologically informed thinking about educating, this book has become firmly established in its field, winning places on reading lists for Education Studies, Initial Teacher Training and Continuing Professional Development courses.
The book begins with a light-hearted taste of sociology, and then goes on to explore five key areas of education:
- the hidden curriculum
- ideologies of educating
- sociological perspectives and the study of education
- educational life chances, and
- the next learning system.
This new edition includes sections on personalized learning, progressive education, and the impact of assessment on pupils. It also comes with a new chapter 'The Discourses of Education'.
Roland Meighan is a former Special Professor of Education, University of Nottingham, UK and Senior Lecturer, University of Birmingham, UK.
Clive Harber is Professor of Education and Head of the School of Education, University of Birmingham, UK. He brings with him expertise in the field of International Education and Educational Development