Social Control by Education

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TOPIC- Social Control by Education

Education may be defined as a process whereby the social heritage of a group is passed on from one generation to another. It is in this sense, Durkheim conceived of education as “the socialisation of the younger generation”. He also stated, “It is actually a continuous effort to impose on the child ways of seeing, feeling and acting which he could not have arrived at spontaneously”.

Brown and Roucek have said that education is “the sum total of the experience which moulds the attitudes and determines the conduct of both the child and the adult”. Education is every experience, trifling or profound, which durably modifies, thought, feeling or action.

Education is not just concerned with transmitting a way of life. In the modern times it is largely devoted to the communication of empirical knowledge. It is required today to prepare individuals for a changing rather than a static world.

Formal education has been communicating ideas and values which play a part in regulating behaviour. In modern society science and technology are the basis of a general rational approach to nature and social life. The whole rationalisation of the modern world is connected with the development of science. The chief instrument of this development is educational system.

In this way, formal education can be viewed as a type of social control. Education has contributed to the regulation of conduct in the early socialisation of the child. Educational reformers such as Montessori and Froebel have brought about great changes in the education of young children. These reforms reveal the moral notions external to the educational system.

But they have been influential in changing moral ideas in society at large.

Some educators have suggested that education must be used for making a “good society”. Education is not primarily an attempt to stuff the mind with information, but train people to think to distinguish between truth and error to arrive at reality. In this regard, the school is taken to mean a “community of experience” rather than as a “series of planned lessons”.

George S. Counts has remarked that “Education, emptied of all social control and considered solely as method, points nowhere and can arrive nowhere….”Today people send their children to the schools to be taught properly. “To be taught properly means, of course, to be taught in accordance with the wishes of the community”.

The community is most sensitive; in particular, to those aspects of teaching that have social and moral significance. Hence much attention is paid to select right persons for the teaching profession.

Education from infancy to adulthood is a vital means of social control. Through education new generation learns the social norms and the penalties for violating them. Theoretical education, that is reading and writing, serves to form the intellectual basis and with practical education one learns to put this into practice.

Without proper education the harmony of the individual and society is not merely difficult but also impossible. Education makes social control quite normal. It converts social control into self-control.

In the absence of a well organised educational system, social control would remain merely as an arbitrary pressure which may not last long. Hence, education is a necessary condition for the proper exercise of social control.

Social Control by Education

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