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 ***** is most useful for contemporary educators to embrace in today's changing multicultural and multifaceted ***** ***** 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 ***** organized into a system," and individuals function as "various parts ***** organs" that sustain the organism and keep its life processes in a st*****te of motion. (McClellan, 2000, "Functionalism") It has the 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 ***** 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 ***** 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 v*****lues, although it "rests upon idealism. Idealism holds the view that ***** world is the creation of mind," not an ***** truth. But this means ***** the educator ***** shape the world of the classroom by adjusting his or her subjective perspective ***** his ***** her students in creating a class commun*****y. The ***** ***** ***** are both able to change, in the ***** interpretivism model of ***** *****. ("Interpretivism," *****) But it should be added that even *****'s stress upon the fact ***** there is no one, unified perspective in terms of seeing the world is helpful in ***** a common community ***** tolerance of individual differences. In fact, an educator ***** to teach a multicultural classroom may wish 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 function*****list educator might stress he or she ***** ***** advantage ***** objectively understanding how his or her student's social environment may negatively or positively impact their education, and thus gain a more detached perspective as to ***** ***** circumvent the factors that arise ***** poverty or peer and p*****nt pressure. *****terpretivism, in contrast, would reject ***** idea ***** sociology ***** education should strive to emulate natural science methods of pure objectivity and argue that these functionalist methods are not applicable ***** the study of

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