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 ***** environment! But while ***** social theories of functionalism, *****, and postmodernism 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 ***** contemporary educators to embrace in today's changing multicultural and multifaceted ***** environment 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, grouped and organized into a system," *****nd individuals function as "various parts and organs" ***** 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 doctor viewing a body. Its stress on societ*****l values may be helpful for a ***** as functionalists "look at the ways in which the ***** parts of 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 ***** common *****, *****lthough it "rests upon idealism. Idealism holds the view that the world is the creation of mind," not ***** ***** truth. But this means ***** ***** educator can shape the ***** ***** ***** classroom by adjusting his or her subjective perspective of his ***** her ********** in creating a class community. The teacher and students are both able to change, in the ***** interpretivism model of ***** *****. ("Interpretivism," *****) ***** it should ***** *****ed that even postmodernism's stress ***** the fact that there is no one, unified perspective in terms ***** seeing the world is helpful in ***** a common community of toler*****nce of individual differences. In fact, an educator attempting to teach a multicultural *****room 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 function*****list educator might stress he or she has ***** ***** ***** objectively underst*****ding how his or 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 p*****nt pressure. *****terpretivism, in *****, would reject the idea ***** sociology and education should strive to emulate natural science methods of pure objectivity ***** argue that these functionalist methods are ***** applicable ***** the study of


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