EDUCATION AND SOCIETY: WHAT TYPE OF RELATIONSHIP?
AJANI Oluwatoyin Ayodele
Sociology of Education(M.Ed)
Department of Educational Foundations
Lagos State University, Ojo.
This paper focuses on the relationship between education and society. It acknowledges a strong relationship between the two concepts. Education is sees as a means of cultural transmission from one generation to another in any given society. Society is defined as the whole range of social relationships of people living in a certain geographic territory and having a sense of belonging to the same group. The relationships between the two concepts are so strong that it is not possible to separate them because what happens to one affects the other. Educational institutions are micro-societies, which reflect the entire society. The education system in any given society prepares the child for future life and instills in his those skills that will enable him to live a useful life and contribute to the development of the society. Education as a social phenomenon does not take place in a vacuum or isolation; it takes place in the society and this normally begins from the family, which is one of the social institutions responsible for the education of the child. Introduction
Many sociologists have observed that there is a strong relationship between education and society. This observation is borne out of the fact that it is not possible to separate or draw any line of demarcation between the two concepts. This is because of the fact that what happens to the educational system undoubtedly affects the society, and whatever occurs in the society influences or shapes the educational system in all its ramifications. previous discussion has extensively discussed the concept of education as well as the informal (traditional) and formal education. Here, the term society shall be briefly looked into and the relationship between education and society. The term society is coined from Latin, which is ‘socius’. Every individual is born into a particularly society which bring about familiarity and interaction of rational beings. Adedipe (1985) described society as a group of people consciously living together in their own characteristics way; that is a way of deliberate living peculiar or a particular group. Ezewu, Fasokun, Akpe and Oluduro (1981) aptly described society as a whole range of relationships within the set-up. That is, society consists of human beings their activities, and relationship to one another and in relation to their natural and social environment. It can be deduced that education and society could be regarded as an act of imparting the societal norms, values, beliefs, and knowledge to an individual so as to enable him/her not only to function effectively well in the society but to contribute to its development. In other words, education is the totality of the process to make an individuals useful members of the society. Emile Durkheim (1939) a French sociologist maintains that the major functions of education is the transmission of societal norms and values. He argued that ‘society can survive only if their exists among its members a sufficient degree of homogeneity; education perpetuates and reinforces the homogeneity by fixing in the child from the beginning the essential similarities which collective life demands.” To Durkheim, to become attached to society, the child must feel in it something that is real, alive and powerful, which dominates the person and to which he also owes the best part of himself (Haralambos and Herald 1980). However, it has become pertinent and imperative to educate every member in the society, irrespective of class, or position as well as the role one occupies in society. The problem in society today is glaring that everybody needs to be re-socialised and educated so as to have less conflict. In Nigeria, there are constant strikes among the civil servant. In Nigeria,...
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