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Sociology of Education Short Notes Part 1


Date Posted: 10/18/2017 6:41:38 AM

Posted By: collinsmuus  Membership Level: Gold  Total Points: 1002

This article contains Sociology of Education Short Notes Part 1

Sociology of Education Short Notes Part 1


Defination of terms

a) Sociology

It is the study of forms and structures of a human group.
Sociology is therefore the study of human behaviour in groups. Examples of these groups include family, school, etc.
Sociology involves the study of human relationships, activities and interactions within their environment.
Environment is important because it greatly determines and influences social interactions and activities. E.g. People who live near a lake become fishermen and eat fish during their socialization ceremonies

b) Sociology of education

It is the study of learning founded forms, structures and practices of human group in their environment.

c) Society

It is a group of people with a common culture working together for a common good. E.g. A school, a family, a church, etc

d) Socialization

Socialization is the process through which an individual is prepared to become an acceptable and useful member of the society.
Socialization is acquired through acquisition of desired knowledge, skills, values and attitudes that help one to become a useful member of a society.
It also involves passing on the society’s cultural experiences to new members by the old members.
In socialization, the new member is made aware of the organizational structure, their position in the society and the expectation of the society.
Socialization therefore majorly deals with understanding how to relate to other members. One needs to understand that they can have various positions or status in the society. E.g. one can be a wife, mother, daughter, sister, aunt and grandmother at the same time. They will therefore need to understand how to relate with others in those different roles. This can only be achieved through socialization.
NB: Socialization is therefore a life long process because the status of a person keeps on changing from time to time.

e) Culture

It is the total people’s way of life.
Culture includes peoples’ way

of talking, dressing, cooking, mourning, eating, marrying, etc.
Adherence to a culture makes one an integrated member of a society.


Sociology of education is important to teachers in the following ways:
? It is a source of educational goals and objectives
? It helps the teachers to understand the nature of the society the learners are being prepared to live in and play active roles in improving it.
? It helps the teachers to understand group behaviours and therefore the behaviour of learners for efficient planning, teaching and learning.
? It helps the teacher to understand the relationship and interactions within the school and the community and how they affect the learning process.
? It shows how the school affects the society and vice versa.
? It helps the teacher to understand the learners, their values and expectations, their personalities, fears and hopes and enable them to address them.
? It helps the teacher to measure success or failure
? It helps the teacher to develop effective evaluation instruments
? It helps the teacher to determine values, knowledge, skills and attitudes in the society that the school should provide.


The main agents of socialization are:
? Family
? The school
? Peer group
? Community
? Religious organisations
? Mass media

a) The Family

The family is the first social institution that a learner comes into contact with immediately after birth.
Babies who are not attended to when they cry learn how to be independent, for example how to play alone happily. However, babies who are always attended to when they cry do not learn independency and will always cry as a way of demanding attention.
As children grow older, they learn through observation, instruction and imitation.

Characteristics of the family as an agent of socialization

? It has members who occupy different positions, e.g. father, mother, brothers, sisters and the extended family
? It has hierarchy of authority which help in administrative matters
? It has specific habits, attitudes and values which are passed on to newborns as they grow up
? It has a common language-even in families which have more than one language, there is one dominant language which the baby will learn first
? It has distinct roles for different members which go together with different duties and responsibilities.

Ways through which children are socialized through the family

• They learn and acquire a language which is important for communication
• They learn that they are members of a group where each member is important for survival
• They learn the position they occupy and its expectations
• They learn about hierarchy of authority and to recognize it, e.g. they learn to obey and respect older people and parents
• They learn accepted vales, etiquette, beliefs and attitudes which form the basis of their moral behaviour
• They learn how to relate with other people either within the family or outside it
• They learn about their role in the family and the wider society
• They learn socialization activities such as sharing, co-operating, healthy competition, leadership and being led
• They learn how to choose the right people to associate with
• They learn to respect property
• They learn hygiene, self protection, good grooming and loving others
• They learn to accept themselves as girls and boys
• They learn loyalty to the family and nation
• They learn their gender role
• They learn religion

b) The School

The school is the second society a child joins to continue with socialization.
In a school, the class is seen as a small community of the society with the classroom as the home (also referred to as homeroom in some schools). This is because:
i) It is the most familiar room to the individual
ii) In the classroom/homeroom, members have their desks, books and other possessions
iii) Learners spend most of their time there and learn there
In a school, the class teacher is seen as the parent.

Characteristics of the school as an agent of socialization

? It has traditions, customs, motto, uniform and rules which bind it as a society
? It has clear division of duties and responsibilities
? It is divided into classes depending on age and level of knowledge

Ways through which children are socialized through the school

• Individuals learn to recognize hierarchy of authority which is important in a society
• Learners learn to behave in a socially acceptable way through school rules and role modeling of teachers
• Learners learn on how to play their roles and carry out their duties in the school
• Learners learn how to identify themselves with the school and be proud of it through the school motto and traditions
• Learners learn how to relate with others in their various status, e.g. classmates, housemates, club mates, prefects, teachers, non-teaching staff, etc
• Learners acquire the academic culture and the spirit of comradeship through school
• Learners learn how to accept and appreciate those who are better than them or worse than them. This helps them to accept their weaknesses and strengths in their society
• Learners learn to behave in an acceptable manner through class rules
• Learners with leadership skills are identified and nurtured in schools
• Learners learn and practice social values such as sharing, competing and co-operation

c) The Peer Group

Pupils in a classroom usually form small groups based on friendship. These groups are known as Peer groups.

Characteristics of the Peer Group as an agent of socialization

? Peer groups are usually made up of pupils of about the same age, same sex and same interests.

Ways through which children are socialized through the Peer Group

• In a peer group, children learn group loyalty. The peers form strong bonds of friendship. The bonds can be so strong that it can lead to disregard to authority.
• They also learn to share information – a lot of information is shared through peer groups. This is because the members of a peer group are usually very free with each other. E.g. it is possible for learners to learn about sex and sexual reproduction through peers.
• They also learn to identify with the various gender roles. This is because peer groups are usually single sex oriented.
• Children in peer groups learn to accept and accommodate others who have different values and views from their families.
• Peers learn and practice adult roles especially through play.
NB: Although Peer Groups are an important agents of socialization, they need to be monitored because they lead to development of negative behaviours such as stealing, dishonesty, drug abuse, etc

d) The Community

A community is a group of people with a common culture living together for a common purpose.
Examples of communities are school, village, ethnic group, nation, etc

Characteristics of the Community as an agent of socialization

? It has its own geographical locality
? It has its own common values
? It has expectations of its members
? It has ways of enforcing acceptable behaviour

Ways through which children are socialized through the Community

• It gives guidance on roles and social responsibilities to the young people.
• It helps young people to learn how to interact with others in the community.

e) Religious Organisation

Many families identify themselves with a religious group. Therefore, children are introduced to religion at a very early age.

Characteristics of a Religious Organisation as an agent of socialization

? Religious organisations have their beliefs, values and practices which every member must uphold.
? They have rites of initiation to full members. Others have rites to mark various stages of religious life.
? Some religious organisations have a dress code for their members.

Ways through which children are socialized through a Religious Organisation

• They have moral codes which guide people in their relationship
• Children learn social responsibilities e.g. sharing with and looking after the weak or poor
• Children learn how to love one another through religious organisations.

f) Mass Media

Due to rapid technological development, the world has become a global village.
Young people are increasingly exposed to ways of life of other countries through mass media.
Mass media includes newspapers, television, the internet and communication gadgets

Ways through which children are socialized through the Mass Media

• Young people get to know about current fashion and entertainment e.g songs and movies all over the world through mass media
• Young people identify themselves with actors and other celebrities through mass media.
• Young people copy the way of dressing, talking or walking from celebrities they see in mass media.
• Through mass media, the foreign influence has effect on African culture.
NB: Mass media can have negative effects on young people. Parents and teachers therefore need to monitor what the young children are exposed to through mass media.

Next: History of Education Short Notes
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