Transformative and Instrumental Views on Education in Australia

analytical Essay
2780 words
2780 words

For a long time socioeconomic status and social class has been seen as a strong predictor of student achievement. Australia, like many of our fellow first world nations is very much a ‘you reap what you sow’ nation, but how can we expect those whom are disadvantaged to reap without giving them seeds? In the same respect, can you expect the same results from each individual student in a class to be the same when each of them has different social makeups, interests, experiences and learning speeds? The aims of good sociology, and in turn, education is the recognition that gender, class, race, ethnicity, sexuality and age all make a dramatic difference to how people access or fail to access, experience or fail to experience the benefits of institutions such as schools. Every student comes to school with their own setbacks, supports, advantages, disadvantages and cultural diversity. Therefore, how do social class, location and the diversity of socioeconomic status impact a secondary school student’s education and retention of academic abilities?

In this essay, the intention is to explore and discover the vital advantages and/or disadvantages that socioeconomic status and social class has on secondary school student academic achievement.

In Australia, we tend to avoid using the term ‘social class’. Some say that it is in an attempt to blur the divide between ‘classes’ that cripples countries such as the United Kingdom. Notable social theorist Karl Marx discerned that society could be divided into to groups or classes; the capitalist class (high SES) and working class (low SES). He surmised that the distinction between the two was their relationship to labour (Connell et al., 2013 pp. 81). In laymen’s terms: whether they worked on...

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... fish, you feed him for a day, but if you teach him how to fish you feed him for a lifetime’. He agrees, but feels that the person must feel like they have the right to fish in the first place. “Feeling that one has a right to something is much more powerful than simply needing or wanting it. It implies that someone else has a duty to respond” (pp. 23). In terms of secondary education, the consensus is that this ‘duty’ falls on the shoulders of each person involved with each student’s education: the teacher, the principal, the local community; and most importantly, the student. All people, however poor, have responsibilities towards their communities, but powerful individuals and organisations, notably governments as well as the schools they govern, bear a particular burden of responsibility if we are to build a society based on equity and social fairness.

In this essay, the author

  • Argues that the term ‘social class’ is used to blur the divide between ‘classes’ that cripple countries such as the united kingdom.
  • Explains that marx pioneered the notion of ideology and the role it plays in the maintenance of social inequalities especially in schooling.
  • Analyzes how adria hoffman believes that music helps improve academic results in secondary students, and helps lower socioeconomic students feel included in their schooling experience.
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