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 ***** of the different student personalities that make up a classroom's social environment! But while the social theories of functionalism, *****, and ***** all have a variety ***** strengths and weaknesses in providing guidance for the ***** theorist as well ***** the ***** in the field, ***** theory that is most useful for contemporary educators to embrace in today's changing multicultural and multifaceted social ***** is that of the postmodern paradigm.

When comparing ***** relative ***** 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 as living organism." Society is segmented into "several parts and organs, gro*****ed ***** organized into a system," and individuals function as "various parts and organs" ***** sustain the organism ***** keep its life processes in a st*****te of motion. (McClellan, 2000, "Functionalism") It has ***** advantage ***** attempting to be rigorously objective in ***** application of the scientific method to individual and *****, like a doc*****r viewing a body. Its stress on societ*****l values may be helpful for a teacher as functi*****alists "look at the ways in which the various parts ***** society," like organs of the body, "contribute to bringing about social order" in an effort to create a society based on a common v*****lue system in the classroom. (Hewett, 2006) In contrast, "*****" also attempts to create a community of common values, although it "rests upon idealism. Idealism holds the view that the world is the creation ***** mind," not an objective truth. But this means that ***** educator ***** shape the world of ***** ***** by adjusting his or her subjective perspective of his or her students in creating a class commun*****y. The teacher and ***** are both able to change, in the subjective interpretivism model of the *****room. ("Interpretivism," *****) ***** it should ***** *****ed that even postmodernism's stress ***** the fact ***** there is no one, unified perspective in terms of see*****g the w*****ld is helpful in creat*****g a common community ***** toler*****nce of individual differences. In fact, an educator attempting to teach a ***** classroom may w*****h for a theory that attempts to ack*****wledge 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 *****ly underst*****ing how his ***** her student's social environment may negatively or positively impact ***** education, and thus gain a more detached perspective as to ***** ***** circumvent the factors that arise ***** poverty or peer and p*****nt pressure. Interpretivism, in *****, would reject the idea ***** sociology and education should strive to emulate natural science methods of pure objectivity and argue that these functionalist ***** are not applicable ***** the study of

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