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 postmodernism all have a variety of strengths and weaknesses in providing guidance for the ***** 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 environment is ***** of the postmodern paradigm.

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

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