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 teacher in the field, the theory ***** is most useful ***** contemporary educators to embrace in today's changing multicultural and multifaceted social ***** is that of the postmodern paradigm.

When comparing the relative strengths of functionalism, interpretivism, 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 ***** living organism." Society is segmented into "several parts and organs, gro*****ed and organized into a system," and individuals function as "various parts and organs" that sustain the organism and keep its life processes in a state of motion. (McClellan, 2000, "Functionalism") It has ***** advantage of attempting to be rigorously objective in ***** application of the scientific method to individual and society, like a doctor viewing a body. Its stress on societ*****l values may ***** helpful for a ***** as ********** "look at the ways in which the ***** parts of society," ***** organs ***** the body, "c*****tribute to bringing about social order" in an ef*****t to create a society based on a common value system in the classroom. (Hewett, 2006) In contrast, "*****" also attempts ***** create a community of common *****, *****lthough it "rests upon idealism. Idealism holds the view that the world is the creation of m*****d," not ***** objective truth. But this means that ***** educator can shape the world ***** the classroom by adjusting his or her subjective ***** of his or her ********** in creating a class commun*****y. The teacher ***** students are both able to change, in the subjective interpretivism model ***** ***** classroom. ("Interpretivism," *****) ***** it should be added that even *****'s stress ***** the fact that there is no one, unified perspective in terms of see*****g the w*****ld is helpful in creat*****g a common community of tolerance of individual differences. In fact, an educator attempting to teach a multicultural classroom may w*****h 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 functionalist educator might stress he or she has ***** advantage of objectively understanding how his or her student's social environment ***** negatively ***** positively impact ***** education, and thus gain a more detached perspective as to ***** ***** circumvent the factors that arise from poverty or peer ***** parent pressure. Interpretivism, in contrast, would reject ***** idea that sociology and education should strive to emulate natural science methods of pure objectivity ***** argue ***** these functionalist methods are ***** applic***** ***** the study of


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