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 ***** strengths and weaknesses in providing guidance for the ***** theorist as well ***** the ***** in the field, the 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 the relative strengths of functionalism, *****, 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 ***** 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 its application of the scientific method to individual and society, like a doc*****r viewing a body. Its stress on societ*****l values may be 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 ***** order" in an ef*****t to create a society b*****sed on a common value system in the classroom. (Hewett, 2006) In contrast, "*****terpretivism" also attempts to create a community ***** common *****s, *****lthough it "rests upon idealism. Idealism holds the view that the world is the creation of mind," not an ***** truth. But this means that ***** educa*****r can shape the ***** of ***** ***** by adjusting his or her subjective perspective of his ***** her ********** in creating a class commun*****y. The teacher and students are both able to change, in the subjective interpretivism model of ***** **********. ("Interpretivism," *****) But it should ***** added that even ********** stress ***** the fact ***** there is no one, unified perspective in terms ***** see*****g the world is helpful in ***** a common commun*****y of tolerance of individual differences. In fact, an educator ***** to teach a ***** classroom may wish for a theory 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 the ***** ***** objectively underst*****ing how his ***** her student's social ***** ***** negatively or positively impact their education, ********** thus gain a more detached perspective as to how ***** circumvent the factors that arise ***** poverty or peer and parent pressure. *****terpretivism, in *****, would reject ***** idea ***** sociology ***** education should strive to emulate natural science methods of pure objectivity and argue that these functionalist ***** are ***** applic***** ***** the study of


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