Education In Society: Crash Course Sociology #40



The average American spends 13 and a half
years of their life in school. And that's not counting the amount of time
that you spend watching Crash Course. Getting a bachelor’s degree means spending
upwards of 17 years as a student. And advanced degrees like medical degrees
or PhDs can tack on another 4 to 6 years on
top of that. So, why do we spend so much time in the classroom? With so much information available to us with
just a few taps on our phones and computers, it might seem like sitting in a classroom
to learn about the world isn’t really necessary
anymore. But educational institutions aren’t just places
where we learn facts – and Google is no substitute
for the social functions that schools provide. In fact, neither is Crash Course. So let’s take a look at how educational institutions are
organized in our society and what those institutional
structures can tell us about how our society functions. [Theme Music] You know what I mean when I talk
about “Education,” right? For our purposes, education is the social institution
through which society provides its members with all
kinds of important knowledge, not just basic facts and job skills but
also cultural norms and values. And this can come in the form of formal schooling,
where instruction comes from specially trained
teachers, but it doesn’t have to. What education has looked like across different
eras and different places is very different from
the schooling that you probably know. Historically, education was a privilege of
the wealthy. In fact, the word school comes from the Greek
word for leisure – ‘Scole’. In Ancient Greece, wealthy young men spent
their free time learning from scholars like
Socrates, Aristotle, and Plato. Nowadays, most high-income countries
have formal schooling systems that are
available to everyone. So the amount of schooling that the average
person gets in most societies is closely tied to the
country’s level of economic development. While young people in the US can expect to
spend at least 12 years in school, those who live in lower-income countries are much
more likely to never get past middle school. The US, however, will be the setting that we’ll
be using to explore how sociology understands
education as a social institution. So let’s go right to the Thought Bubble for a
quick overview of how schooling is structured
in the United States. In the US, publicly funded schools have existed
since almost the beginning of our country. Thomas Jefferson was an early proponent of
separating schools from religious institutions, which
at the time were the main providers of education. The widespread availability of public schools
really took off in the middle of the 19th century, when politician and educational reformer
Horace Mann pushed for Massachusetts to create a
formalized, state funded system of primary schools. By 1918, all states had passed mandatory
education laws, which required children to attend
school until they reached the age of 16. A major aim of these laws was to promote literacy. Both Jefferson and Mann pushed for public education
systems because they believed that a well-educated
populace was a necessary requirement for a democracy. Nowadays, about 87% of students in the US
attend public schools, which start in kindergarten
when children are five. And when I say public schools, this refers
to schools funded through the government
with taxpayer dollars. And of course, US public schools are organized
into primary and secondary education. Compulsory education starts with elementary
school, which begins for most Americans around age
5 and continues through 5th grade, until ages 10 or 11. These grades are considered “primary”
schooling. Starting at age 11 or 12, children enter middle-
or junior high school, which consists of grades
6th through 8th in most states. Around age 14, they typically enter high school,
which often includes 9th through 12th grades. Middle and High school are also referred to
as “secondary schooling.” And many school districts offer alternatives
to the standard high school curriculum, in the form of Vocational and Technical training
schools, sometimes known as VoTech schools. Votech schools focus on teaching specific
skills, like automotive repair or cosmetology, and students leave school with certifications
that help them enter the workforce right away. Thanks Thought Bubble! Another educational option is private school
– those schools not funded by taxpayer dollars. Why might a family choose a private school
over a public school? Well, for one thing, private schools are often able
to tailor their curricula to specific populations. Because public schools are open to everybody, they try
to serve the widest swath of the student populace –
what’s sometimes referred to as ‘teaching the middle.’ So the 10% of American students who attend
private schools might be there in search of a
more rigorous education. Parents of kids with disabilities may also choose a
private school that's specially tailored to their child’s
needs, which may not be available in a public school. And it's worth pointing out that most private
schools in the US are religiously affiliated. These schools provide religious instruction
alongside academic training – a practice that's
not allowed in public schools. You know, because of the whole separation
of church and state thing in the Constitution. Another option for parents who don't want to
send their kids to public school is homeschooling. That's just where a kid is educated at home,
typically by a parent. About 3% of students in the US are homeschooled. All of these different approaches to education
cover the K-12 years, when children are required
to attend school. But some people may choose to keep going to
school and enter post-secondary institutions,
better known as college or university. Unlike primary and secondary schooling,
post-secondary schooling – in the US at least –
is largely funded by the students themselves. Public state colleges and universities are
joint ventures between taxpayers and students,
who pay some tuition to attend. Two-year colleges, sometimes known as
junior or community colleges, typically give associates degrees, technical
certifications, and sometimes high-school
equivalency degrees, or GEDs. The highest level of education attained by
28% of Americans over the age of 25 is attending
some college or have a two-year degree. Four-year institutions in the US can either be
public universities, funded jointly by state taxes
and student tuition, or private universities funded almost exclusively
through tuition and private donations. The reason I keep talking about funding is that,
in the US, paying for college is one of the highest
barriers to getting a post-secondary education. As a result, going to college is by no means
a given for Americans. Only 32.5% of Americans over the age of 25
have graduated with a bachelor’s degree from
a four-year university. Of these graduates, about one third will go on to
get more education, like medical school or a masters
or a doctorate in a discipline like sociology. 12% of American over the age of 25 have some
sort of advanced degree. Education must matter an awful lot for people
to willingly choose to spend so much time
and money on it. And, of course, our schools of sociological thought
can help us understand how educational systems
help shape society, and why education carries such
importance in people’s lives. Today, we’ll be looking at Structural Functionalism
and Symbolic Interactionism and next week, we’ll look more in-depth at education using
a conflict theory perspective. As you might expect by this point, structural
functionalism looks at how formal education helps
keep a society running smoothly. Because structural functionalism looks at
everything that way. And we can think of how education works in society,
in terms of both manifest and latent functions. Manifest functions are the intended consequences
of education. And an obvious example of a manifest function is
just…teaching kids the basic facts about the world. It’s pretty hard to get through the world
without knowing how to read or write. And even for people who don’t use math every
single day, it’s pretty useful to be able to calculate a
20% tip without needing to pull out a calculator. Another manifest function of schooling is
socialization. By going to school outside the home, kids
begin to learn norms and values beyond what
their parents might teach them. For example, schools engage in cultural
transmission, or passing along knowledge
to a new generation of citizens. Children in public schools start their day
by pledging allegiance to the American flag
– and by doing so, learn patriotic values. Similarly, civics and history courses teach them
how political processes work, which helps create a
well-informed, well-functioning civil society. In this way, schools also act to promote social
integration, taking people from different backgrounds
and exposing them to social norms and cultural values, in an effort to promote a shared
understanding of the social world. And educational institutions do more than just pass
on knowledge – they also help us create new knowledge
through cultural innovation and research. Every major advance in our society – whether it's the
technology of self-driving cars, or new understandings
of the inequalities we see in the world – has been possible because it built on the
knowledge we learn in schools. Yet another manifest function of schools is to
educate the future workforce, teaching the skills that
people need to be productive members of society. So formal education acts as a form of credentialing,
a way of establishing someone’s qualifications
to work in a certain field. You know that diploma you got when you graduated
– or will get when you do graduate? That's documented proof of your credentials. And educational credentials are often used
as a way of determining social status – they determine social placement by telling us
who can access which jobs, and how much they
should be paid for that work – factors that determine socioeconomic status. Now, in addition to all of these intended functions
of education, there are some unintended consequences,
or latent functions, of schooling, too. One of the more important ones is learning
how to be a good 9 to 5 worker. Horace Mann’s original vision of public schools
was based on a Prussian model of schooling
now known as the ‘factory school model,’ because it teaches children how to work within a
set schedule and listen to authority figures. Those are skills that come in handy as an
adult when your boss tells you to be at your
desk at 9 in the morning. K-12 Schools also provide childcare that makes working
parents’ lives easier – not the intended purpose of
schools certainly, but a pretty useful latent function. And a third latent function of schools is
that they just help you make friends! Schools help people form social groups by introducing
them to many people around their same age. This also makes it easy to meet and interact
with potential romantic partners around your age – which might be why we see so many college
and high school sweethearts who tie the knot. Structural functionalism stresses all the
ways that schooling helps maintains the order
and stability of society. But our other theories of sociological thought point
out the ways that educational institutions may maintain
practices that are not beneficial to everyone. Recall that symbolic-interactionist approaches
explore how people create the world that we live
in through their day-to-day interactions. In the context of education, we see this play
out in how stereotypes created by society can
turn into a self-fulfilling prophecy. Teachers who believe a student has high ability tend
to give that student more attention and feedback – which in turn helps that student believe that
they have high ability, which in turn helps that
student develop greater academic ability. Similarly, if you decide you’re just not a “math person,”
you might try to avoid doing math at all and stop taking
math classes as soon as your school lets you – which will pretty much guarantee that you
end up not being all that good at math. Self-fulfilling prophecies can have very real
consequences when its beliefs about student’s abilities
are influenced by stereotypes of race, gender, or class. The lower graduation rate of racial minorities
is one outcome. So too is women’s underrepresentation in Science,
Technology, Engineering, and Math fields. Next week, we’ll use the lens of social conflict
theory to explore more about how schooling can
both cause and perpetuate social inequalities. This week, we discussed the history of education
as a social institution, with a specific focus on
how the US organizes its educational system. We also talked about structural functionalist
approaches to education and some of the manifest
and latent functions associated with education. Finally, we discussed a symbolic interactionist
approach to education that shows us how self-fulfilling prophecies in educational settings contribute
to differences in academic outcomes for students. Crash Course Sociology is filmed in the Dr.
Cheryl C. Kinney Studio in Missoula, MT, and it’s
made with the help of all of these nice people. Our animation team is Thought Cafe and Crash
Course is made with Adobe Creative Cloud. If you'd like to keep Crash Course free for everyone,
forever, you can support the series at Patreon, a crowdfunding platform that allows
you to support the content you love. Thank you to all of our patrons for making
Crash Course possible with their continued support.

50 thoughts on “Education In Society: Crash Course Sociology #40

  1. Schools help you learn to be social?? I disagree. I was just as socially awkward when i graduated as when i started.

  2. Anyone know where i can find good revision videos for the uk sociology without half the video being random nonsense i definitely will not need in an exam

  3. you can't talk about a social institution focused on influencing and directing cultural norms within a society without talking about money. And it is a societal norm to acquire debt to build credit. Our economy runs on capital and so does our education, and our society revolves around capital and money to buy homes, buy cars, build and spend credit…..our parents are educated enough to say hey your going to school, to get a job afterwards to play in this big monopoly game. IF you don't have an education, you don't have money, and without money you can't be a productive member of society…consuming, investing, building or creating…..ugh….can anyone help me say this better….education is amazing….how else would we pass information from generation to generation….but i would argue that money is creating stability and education is just common sense to get an education….get a skill…..work….save…spend…own….

  4. Sadly, the factory school model was incorporated from prussia as a means of creating docile subjects. The main purpose was not to increase literacy rates…

    Well, i guess i opened my mouth too early.
    Lol

  5. Speed …u have to speak a little bit slow…ur lecture is just like a news reporter …so speed should be slow a little bit

  6. the socialization aspect is always brought up as a plus side for schooling but we must remember that socialization is not taught at school it is self learned by kids during recess time and could well happen in streets in their neighborhood as well. as we all know the deepest lessons are self-taught so we should put more effort and resources on self education and transition out of the school system that did not evolve fast enough to fit our current needs of life long learning to adapt to our fast changing world.

  7. "The average American spends 13 and a half years in SCHOOL." SCHOOL ≠ EDUCATION

    SCHOOL is the social institution you're discussing here. This video should be called "School in Society".
    Fun search (& much more informative than her hand-waving dross): JOHN TAYLOR GATTO

  8. Pleaseeee do these for UK sociological structures because most of your videos have helped my alevels so far and are incredibly helpful

  9. I studied Sociology and felt that it taught me absolutely nothing new about the world that I live in that I already didn't know. It just geared me to be more literate about such topics. Sociology was all just common sense. I felt like you'd have to be an Alien to not know half the things they spoke about.

  10. I was always indifferent to the pledge. It was just somethin u did, until I just stopped one day. Most ppl who are educated didn't even know about the electoral college. How does public school help with teaching u to vote? U don't need school for that. And we live in a republic with somewhat democratic practices. Even interracial schools are segregated. And schools are mostly homogenous depending on where u live. Upperclass kids go to school with upperclass kids, poor with poor, blacks with blacks, whites with whites. It all depends. Schools are mostly authoritarian. We don't vote on who we get as teachers. All of that is decided for us by those in charge. Democracy where? Even our education system was decided for us by those in power.

  11. The majority of both undergraduate and postgraduate students are female. Are men are under represented in university because of societal biases against men?

  12. Absolute garbage.. So sad to see CrashCourse going all Social Justice on us, when the subscribers were there for actual science and learning…

  13. honestly the whole pledge of allegiance every morning thing is still the creepiest thing about americas education system to me. that and college tuition fees. like wth

  14. So my SO was looking for a way to use some of these videos with his learners but the speech moves too fast for those with learning disabilities. For a test, I turned the video speed down and it had hilarious results. Anything .5x or slower turns it into Drunk Course! 😂

  15. I am personally against home-school in most cases. (emphasis on the word most, as in, there are some exceptions). I think public school teaches kids life skills such as getting up early, how to work in groups, how to deal with BS, how to manage time, etc. I also think from a education standpoint there are certain advantages to learning in a classroom environment (but I also acknowledge there are certain advantages to one-on-one homeschool learning). I also disagree with parents who homeschool their kids to keep them sheltered. I believe it is better to be exposed to things like drugs and alcohol while you are young and your parents can still help you make the right decisions. Also, the kids are going to be exposed eventually, so exposer in moderation while they are young can be beneficial.

  16. One of the big problems in the US is miseducation. Investing a lot of time and money into an education that will never pay off. At one time there was such a thing as an Mrs. degree in which women would get a liberal arts education so they could be a perfect housewife who could be a good conversationalist and snappy decorator that could impress her husband's employers and the neighborhood PTA. Today in a society where both halves of a domestic partnership need to be breadwinners and there are fewer dinner parties, that kind of education's value has dropped like rock while the cost of it has gone through the roof. The world needs a lot more welders and plumbers than graphic designers and the pay reflects that.

  17. A more cynical perspective on why public (state-funded) education became so popular and important for industrialized countries is because their workers now required more knowledge in order to be efficient. They needed to be able to read and write and have basic numeracy skills to operate machines. If the cost of teaching and training people was passed on to the state, then companies would not have to spend money or time giving their workforce the tools they would be expected to use.

    Worryingly, the same is happening nowadays. Many companies complain that people leave college/university and are "not prepared to enter the workforce". They want someone else to teach people to be good, efficient workers, so that the employer can make the most of their staff from day 1.

  18. Today's Basic Compulsory Philippine Educational System is divided into Kindergarten, then Elementary or Grade School, then the High School. High School is further divided into Junior High School and Senior High School.
    Kindergarten is for kids of 5 years of age and is compulsory and pre-requisite to Grade 1.
    Elementary or Grade School is from Grades 1-6 with students graduating at around ages 11-12 years old.
    Junior High School is from Grade 7-10 and is usually general education. Some public schools offers special programs in STEM, Sports, Foreign Languages, the Arts, or Journalism.
    Senior High School is specialized where students study on a semestral basis and take 15 core subjects in learning areas such as languages, communication, humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, physical education and health, and philosophy. Students also take 16 track subjects which are further divided into 7 contextualized or applied subjects with shared common competencies or skills across specializations and centers around research, English, Filipino, ICT, and Entrepreneurship but with contexts that are based on specializations; and in 9 specialization subjects which are unique to a particular specializations.
    There are 4 main specialization tracks or career tracks in Senior High: Academic, Technical-Vocational-Livelihood, Sports, and Arts and Design
    Academic Track is further divided into sub-specializations or strands : STEM; Humanities and Social Sciences; Accountancy, Business and Management; and General Academic/Liberal Arts. These will help students who wants to pursue university or college in these academic fields.
    Technical-Vocational is further divided into strands of: Agriculture-Fisheries, Industrial Arts, ICT, and Home Economics -related technical trainings which students can choose and mix to a total of 8 or equivalent to 8. These specializations can help them have a National Certificate and can help them to find jobs easily and right away after Senior High.
    Sports focuses on sports science and physical education and in specializations such as athlete-formation, coaching, tournament and event management, or leadership in sports, fitness, or recreation.
    Arts and Design on the other hand starts with general explorations usually and ends in specializing in one of the arts: music, theater, dance, visual arts, media arts, or literary arts.
    Senior High focuses on the curriculum exits of middle level skills development, college or higher education, entrepreneurship, or career/work in the industry specialized in.

    Elementary and Kindergarten are also different, because in Kindergarten to Grade 3 students learn their subjects in their native mother tongue language, being the Philippines as an archipelago with different lingua francas and languages. They also have a separate subject on literacy in their mother tongue language. Beginning Grade 1, students take subjects such as Math, Art, Music, Health, P.E., Social Studies, Values or Character Education, and their Mother Tongue Language all using their mother tongue as language of instruction. Filipino language (national language) and English are introduced gradually through oral literacy until beginning literacy including reading and writing as well as other language skills.
    Beginning Grade 3, they will have their Science subject, but science is integrated in lower grades with math and their mother tongue language as well as other subjects dealing with basic science skills and topics.
    Beginning Grade 4, they will have a formal instruction in English and Filipino languages. Their subjects also are in either English or Filipino language as the language of instruction. They also have EPP (Home and Livelihood Education) or TLE (Technology and Livelihood Education) subject of the former in Filipino and taken from Grades 4-5 and the latter in English taken in Grade 6 as transition to junior high school. They have basic introduction here in ICT, Home Economics, Industrial Arts, and Agri-Fishery Arts.
    In Junior High, they also take English, Filipino, Math, Science, Social Studies, Values Education, and TLE as separate subjects. Music, Arts, PE, and Health are also taught as one subject of 4 components by one teacher usually but are graded separately. These are also true in grade school. In their TLE subject, they will be given exploratory courses on technical-vocational skills based on the school's resources, teachers, and equipments or courses offered under the 4 components of TLE as mentioned above from Grades 7-8 in a quarterly basis or format. In Grade 9, they need to choose one specialization from the things they explored based on interest, skills, aptitude, and availability and this will be their specialization subject for TLE until Grade 10. This can help them have National Certificate Level I and help them already for work. They can continue to earn National Certificate Level II in Senior High, or change their TLE specialization on other available trainings, or to choose the other tracks and strands in Academic, Arts, or Sports apart from Tech-Voc (the senior high school specialization equivalent of TLE subject).
    The Basic Curriculum is also concentrated on spiral progression of skills and learning, which is from the basic to the most complex starting from Grade 1-12. It is also learner-centered and context into local cultures. It also focuses on experiences and 21st century skills as well as development of students for workforce in chosen industry, higher education, or entrepreneurship. It also not just develop students in the typical careers of STEM, but also in Humanities and Social Sciences; Accountancy, Business and Management; Arts and Design careers; Sports careers; Technical-Vocational skills training; and also gives opportunity for students who are still exploring and undecided of their career fields through the General Academic or Liberal Arts specialization.

    This is just an overview of our new curriculum in K-12 when it started in 2012 and updated in 2016 from our previous 10-year compulsory education only without compulsory Kindergarten too. Now, we have 12 years of compulsory education with a compuslory Kindergarten.
    😀

  19. so far you've gotten several things wrong and or even backwards. i came to educate myself not correct others.

  20. ummm excuse you. toy have private and public schools backwards when it comes to taking care of children with extra needs. the public schools are held to higher standards while private schools aren't and the vast majority don't meet public schools standards let alone surpass them

  21. Wait, are standard US degrees four years or was that a slip-up? I thought the three year bachelors degree was a world standard.

  22. Can someone please explain to me the difference between college and university in the US ? I thought they were synonyms but I'm not so sure anymore. Thanks

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