School Is Bad For Children

Education can be described as the social institution that guides a society’s transmission of knowledge. As a nation, we put lot of emphasis on education and only point out its endless benefits. But, we seem to neglect the flaws that it also possesses. There are ways in which school can actually be bad for children. Sociologists study the culture and behaviors of groups of people. There are a few theoretical perspectives that examine the parts of society in a certain way. Conflict theory and Functionalism are the two main perspectives. Conflict theorists believe that society is characterized by exploitation, competition and the clashing of values. On the other hand, Functionalists believe that there is a high degree of cohesion, cooperation, and stability among the different members of a society. One of the things that both of these theories can explain, is education and the school system.

Conflict theorists believe that the school system has a hidden agenda. In the hidden curriculum, there are subtle presentations of political and cultural ideas in the classroom. Although, this hidden agenda is not inherently bad. A good part of the hidden curriculum is that schools teach children patriotism for their country. For example, American elementary students might be asked to describe how our nation’s flag makes them feel. The correct answer is pretty much anything that is positive. Such as, that it makes the student feel happy, or safe. Through positive and negative sanctions, schools reinforce the acceptance of the status quo. School has a way of perpetuating the social class structure, by creating inequality between the students. This inequality can be found in many forms. on of which is standardized testing. It is questionable whether or not standardized tests measure intelligence or cultural socialization. There is a presence of racial, ethnic, economic, and cultural bias in these tests.

Functionalists believe the the school system provides society with many social benefits. For example, school is not just a place for learning. It is also a provider of childcare. Parents that work, can send their kids to school instead of hiring a nanny or babysitter. Schools teach students how to be able to socially integrate.

In the end, neither perspective is wrong or right. Both theories examine a different aspect of society and the human experience. Both of them complement each other and work together. The school system, like anything else, is not perfect. Sometime it can be bad for children, while other times it can be extremely helpful.

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