Essay - Social Theories of Education and Learning: Functionalism, Interpretivism, & Postmodernism...

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Social Theories of Education and Learning: functionalism, interpretivism, & postmodernism

No social theory can totally encompass the complexities of human behavior, particularly, a teacher might add, the complexities of the different student personalities that make up a classroom's ***** environment! But while ***** social theories of functionalism, interpretivism, and ***** all have a variety of strengths and weaknesses in providing guidance for the social theorist as well as the ***** in the field, ***** theory that is most useful ***** contemporary educators to embrace in today's changing multicultural and multifaceted social ***** is that of the postmodern paradigm.

When comparing ***** relative strengths of functionalism, *****, and postmodernism, one must begin with functionalism, as it remains the oldest, and still the dominant, theoretical perspective in social theory. "Underlying functionalist theory is the fundamental metaphor" of society as living organism." Society is segmented into "several parts and organs, gro*****ed ***** organized into a system," ********** individuals function as "various parts and organs" ***** sustain ***** organism ***** keep its life processes in a st*****te of motion. (McClellan, 2000, "Functionalism") It has the advantage of attempting to be rigorously objective in its application of the scientific method to individual and society, like a doc*****r viewing a body. Its stress on societ*****l values may be helpful for a teacher as ********** "look at the ways in which the ***** parts of society," like organs ***** the body, "c*****tribute to bringing about ***** order" in an ef*****t ***** create a society based on a common v*****lue system in the classroom. (Hewett, 2006) In contrast, "interpretivism" also attempts to create a community of common v*****lues, although it "rests upon idealism. Idealism holds the view that the world is the creation ***** mind," not an objective truth. But this means that the educator ***** shape the world of ***** classroom by adjusting his or her subjective perspective of his or her *****s in creating a class community. The teacher and students are both able to change, in the subjective interpretivism model ***** ***** *****. ("Interpretivism," 2006) But it should ***** added that even *****'s stress upon the fact ***** there is no one, unified perspective in terms of see*****g the w*****ld is helpful in ***** a common commun*****y ***** toler*****nce of *****dividual differences. In fact, an educator attempting to teach a multicultural *****room may wish for a ***** that attempts to acknowledge the different backgrounds students come from as well as their common connection in the society of a classroom.

True, a function*****list educator might stress he or she has the advantage of objectively understanding how his or her student's social environment ***** negatively or positively impact ***** education, and thus gain a more detached perspective as to how to circumvent the factors that arise ***** poverty or peer ***** parent pressure. Interpretivism, in *****, would reject the idea that sociology and education should strive to emulate natural science methods of pure objectivity ***** argue that these functionalist methods are not applic***** to the study of


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