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Annu Rev Psychol. 1996;47:401-29.

The social structure of schooling.

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  • 1Department of Sociology, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305-2047, USA.

Abstract

The term social structure refers to a relatively enduring pattern of social arrangements or interrelations within a particular society, organization, or group. This chapter reviews how the social structure of the larger society and the organizational structure of schools affect the educational process within American schools. The institutional context of schooling is first discussed. The ideology of mass education, social stratification, status attainment, credentialism, and the emphasis on ability differences are considered. The focus then shifts to the organizational structure of schools, beginning with a discussion of the external social context for school organization. Attention is given to professionalism and bureaucracy, institutional forms of organization, decentralized control, and community influences. Finally, the internal structure of school organization is considered: teachers' working conditions, status differences among students, and curriculum tracking. Throughout, the emphasis is on ways in which social structure influences what is taught in school, how it is taught, and what is learned.

PMID:
15012486
[PubMed]
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