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2.3 SOCIOLOGICAL FOUNDATIONS

Education must take into account the sociological considerations otherwise it will remain bookish and divorced from life. A curriculum that ignores sociological foundations does not serve any purpose. Individuals who cannot play their role effectively as enlightened members of a society.

A sound education must be based on the needs and aspirations of a society. An unrelated curriculum may lead to individuals, who can neither find employment nor engage themselves in fruitful occupations and consequently remain dissatisfied, maladjusted and frustrated.

Etymological Meaning of Sociology

Sociology as defined in dictionaries ins “the science or study of society”.

The term was coined by COMTE (1830) linking the Latin “socius” (originally a people, tribe or city allied to Rome, but later a society) to the Greek “logos” (study). The term spread rapidly and is now used in virtually all languages to denote any real rigorous, reasoned study of society.

Definitions of Sociology

“Sociology is the systematic study of the groups and societies, human beings build and the way these alliances effects our behaviour”.

“Social Life” encompasses all interpersonal relationships. The causes and consequences of human behaviour” encompasses how these relationships, groups, and organizations are inter-related and how they influence personal and interpersonal behaviour.”Sociology is the study of social relationships, social institutions and society”.

Role of Sociology in Curriculum Development

According to sociologists, schools are social institutions specially setup for the preservation of culture and transmission of culture by society. School seeks to discharge this function through the curriculum. The curriculum, therefore, includes learning experiences based on the ways of life, kinds of knowledge, attitudes and beliefs that are considered important by the society. Some kinds of selection are needed, as all the aspects of culture cannot be included in the curriculum planning thus becomes a way for the selection of various elements.

There are various sociological foundations like cultural, economic and political that deeply influence the school .curriculum, its conception, content and organization.

  • Core values of
  • Changing values of the people
  • Demands of modernization
  • Criterion of a good family life
  • New forms of cooperation
  • Media explosion
  • Population explosion
  • Regional and national imblalances
  • Economic efficiency
  • Education for fellowship and leadership creative and purposeful activities.

Culture

Culture defines an accepted way of life. One implication of this statement, of course, is that the “accepted” way of life is the preferred way that is the “accepted” way of life has more “value” then other alternative ways.

We can see that culture is a “value loaded” enterprise, so to speak. It provides the members of society with the “goods” and the “beads”, the “beautifuls” and the “uglies,” the “shoulds” and the “should note”.

Society and Culture

A society is a collection of individuals, who have organized themselves into a distinct groups. To be a society, however, a distinct group and not just a collection of individuals, the members of the group must perceive themselves as “having things in common”, which enable them to “belong”. These “things in common” are the stuff of which culture is made. Culture, then, may roughly be viewed as a kind of social cement that consists of the characteristics, habits ideals, attitudes, beliefs and ways of thinking of a particular group of people. Even from these sketchy definitions, it is clear that while society and culture is certainly not the same thing, “without a culture these could be no society, and without a society there could be no culture”.

Complexity of the Concept “Culture”

Culture is a highly complex concept that requires agreat deal of considerations and study then we are able to allow here; it is similar to such concepts as “democracy”, “morality” and “love”, which have a multiplicity of meanings.

In relatively broad term we might say that culture defines an accepted may of life. It includes a vast array of easily observed facets of living such as material dress, fads, foods, games, music, child bearing and rearing practices, and religious and patriotic rituals.

The Structure of Culture

A structural framework was proposed for the purpose of facilitating study of curriculum. This theoretical model was based upon a classification of total curricular phenomenon into a complex of eight internal factors, which act.

  • Epistemology
  • Society/Culture
  • The individual
  • Learning theory,
  • Aims
  • Contents
  • Learning activities
  • Evaluation

Elements of a culture

Linton has proposed that all elements of culture can be classified into three principal categories.

  • The universal
  • The specialties
  • The alternatives

1. The Universals

The universals comprise those values, beliefs and customs that are generally held by the entire adults population. For example, in a wide variety of generally, behaviour in such areas as language, food, religion and economics substances rather circumscribed in our society.

2. The Specialties

The second category identified by Linton, includes-those elements of the culture to be found only within subgroups of the society. Among the most common of these are the vocational subgroups; in our society certain behaviour is expected of professors, for example, that be quite different from those expected of businessmen. Thus, professors are expected to be shabbily dressed: thinker leftist a their politics, absentminded, and impractical in worldly affairs; businessmen, a contrast, tend to be viewed as smartly dressed doers, conservative in their polities mentally alert, well organized, efficient, and practical.

3. The Alternatives

The alternatives are those beliefs and practices that violate culturally accepted norms (universals and specialties) in their attempt to fulfil a need, solve are like specialties, however, all members of the society may not share them on like specialties however, any sub-group may not share them. A simple, tangible example of an alternative might be the introduction of pizza in place of the food as an afternoon (lunch) or dinner.

Sociological Foundations

It is hardly surprising that society and culture exert enormous influences on the formation of the school curriculum or indeed any curriculum. After all as it was society that devised schooling to ensure the survival of the cultural heritage, we would expect to see an extensive influence of society and culture upon curriculum in schools.

Curriculum developers serve the function of translating traditional assumptions, ideas values, knowledge and attitudes into curriculum objectives, content, learning activities and evaluation. Of these curriculum elements, sociological sources have their greatest impact on content. In acting this way, curriculum developers both transmit and reflect the culture of which they are part. Thus it is not possible to talk about a culture-free curriculum. Rather, one should consider a curriculum as a situation where judgments are made as to what aspects of culture are to be included and why.

Consequently, when developers devise curricula the cultural background of those developers will become evident in the content they select, the methods they include, the objectives they set and so forth.

Influences of Society and Culture on Curriculum

The societal and cultural influences that affect curriculum developers are evident in both conscious and unconscious ways and their impact certainly profound. Australian education, ,manifest through the curriculum, reflect Australian society and culture, and that reflection is a result of curriculum developers being an integral part of that society and culture in both of the above ways. In this sense the curriculum more ‘reflects’ society than leads society to change.

Indirectly society and culture influence curriculum developers simply because they are members of a particular society. Cultural values, attitudes and beliefs are acquired by individuals unaware of that process.

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