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, *****, and ***** all have a variety of strengths and weaknesses in providing guidance for the social theorist as well ***** the teacher in the field, the theory that is most useful ***** contemporary educators to embrace in today's changing multicultural and multifaceted ***** ***** is ***** of the postmodern paradigm.

When comparing ***** 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, grouped and organized into a system," and individuals function as "various parts and organs" that sustain the organism and 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 doctor viewing a body. Its stress on societal values may ***** helpful for a teacher as *****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 ***** create a society b*****sed on a common value system in the classroom. (Hewett, 2006) In contrast, "*****" also attempts to create a community of common *****, although it "rests upon idealism. Idealism holds the view that the world is the creation of m*****d," not ***** ***** truth. But this means that ***** educa*****r can shape the ***** of ***** ***** by adjusting his or her subjective perspective ***** his ***** her *****s in creating a class community. The teacher and students are both able to change, in the ***** interpretivism model of ***** *****room. ("Interpretivism," *****) But it should be added that even postmodernism's stress upon the fact that there is no one, unified perspective in terms ***** see*****g the world is helpful in creating a common community of toler*****nce of individual differences. In *****, an educator ***** 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 function*****list educator might stress he or she ***** ***** ***** ***** objectively underst*****ing how his or her student's social environment ***** negatively ***** positively impact ***** education, and thus gain a more detached perspective as to ***** to circumvent the factors that arise ***** poverty or peer and parent pressure. Interpretivism, in contrast, would reject ***** idea ***** sociology and education should strive to emulate natural science methods of pure objectivity ***** argue that these functionalist methods are ***** applicable to the study of


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