Assignments. Exams. Projects. Papers. All these are matters of concern to every student undergoing schooling. It is truly inevitable not to endure the hardships brought by these school activities for they are part of education. Without them, education can never be the education most people have in mind. However, one may ask, “What makes education an education?”
For most people, especially parents, education is quite an important aspect in the course of human life such that they regard it as the only thing they can impart to their children as an inheritance. While for others, on the part of the students, education is the stage in their life which would prepare them for future jobs. Likewise, for those students who had a firm grasp of the essence of education consider it as a right to be upheld by the society itself. At the end of the day, there are numerous reasons on why not to take education for granted. However, more than the various connotation of education from different perspectives lay a complex meaning of education.
As such, seeing schooling in the broader sense entails probing the sociology of education. The basic definition of the term “sociology of education” conveys that it is the “study of the institution of education in its broad social context and of various social groups and interpersonal relationships that affect or affected by the functioning of the educational institutions” (Reitman, 1981, p.17). With this meaning, it is but necessary to analyze education not within the four walls of the classroom but beyond the confinements of schools. The larger context then is the society in which schools, the main institution of education, are part of. Belonging to this social order are other key institutions and actors which are essentially significant when examining the sociology of education for these possess power, control and influence that can manipulate and alter the kind of education schools ought to promote and teach to young citizens. Hence, it can be inferred that schools are socially constructed establishments by which powerful elements have the capacity to shape education. Reitman (1981) supported the thought of how society can produce a great impact on pedagogical realm by stating the central principle of schooling which maintains that “schools normally reflects the societyâ€¦ it does not lead society in society’s effort to adapt and change. Schools tend to change after the rest of society changes, not beforeâ€¦” (Reitman, 1981, p. 39).
Under this assumption, a study on the role, whether explicit or implicit, of several factors constituting society in the molding process of education is vital to shed light on the issue of how pedagogical structures and methods are developed and set for the pursuance of effective education. It is also noteworthy to express the far-reaching implications of education in the sense that it affects almost every individual. Every person can perhaps be regarded as a stakeholder of education by which each of its aspects, if modified, can create an impact, no matter how minimal it may appear, sufficient enough to seize attention and stir the intellectual and emotional side of the people. Indeed, schooling and education undeniably involves a complex interplay of different elements to which it reacts and to which the produced effects yield to changes in the structure of schooling. These changes on the other hand are oftentimes attached to the interests of the dominant constituent of the social order.