One of the objectives of education in our society is the construction of the subject able to act according to the precepts established as acceptable within a social context.
Sociology understands that every society is formed by individuals who have a huge range of “tools” (languages, norms, values, etc.) that are used in their daily efforts in their different environments and social contexts. These tools are for the individual to be able to guide and navigate the sea of different information and meanings with which he comes in contact at all times.
It is interesting to think that we constantly perform a complicated juggling with the possible interpretations of our experiences and we still take into account the way in which the other, the one with whom we interact, will receive the different messages we send through our countless forms of communication.
Not only that! We still know how to behave, which words to use at one time or another, which shirt I can use at work and which one I use at home, whether I should stop at the crosswalk or whether I can still throw trash on the floor. We know, as we say, that “nobody is born knowing”, so where do we get all these skills?
Education and Society
The whole apparatus we have is not directly linked to our biological constitution. Although this has an influence, we are not born knowing a language or what the red light of a traffic light means. These are skills acquired through the many education processes that we go through in our lives. The educational process is one of several ways for a society to maintain its structure and foundation . The individual who integrates it must understand it and, for that, must have the means to do so.
The education that integrates the center of the process of our social formation is determined by the rules, moral norms, ethics, customs and language, common to the other members who previously received this same set of devices so that they could be guided by their reality.
Two important authors of sociology, Pierre Bourdieu and Jean Claude Passeron, dedicated themselves to studying the institutions and the different forms of education in society. These authors note that education is an institution of social reproduction , that is, education serves to pass on the normalized forms of social construction. To simplify, education is the organ of a society’s system responsible for maintaining the constant reinstatement of the established order.
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We must remember that when talking about educational institutions we are not just referring to the school, it is important to understand that the educational process does not begin and does not occur only at school. As Bourdieu and Passeron recall, the first educational institution is our family and it is from it that we inherit part of our “ social tools” . Only later, with the exception of obvious exceptions, will we be introduced to the world of the school.
Education and the individual
Although we have a lot in common thanks to educational processes, we are still different individuals
It is not correct to assume that we were born knowing everything, but it is also not correct to assume that the process of training the individual in education is something completely passive. Our individuality is part of our formation, since we do not become people with the same way of thinking, we do not always make the same decisions and we do not have exactly the same conceptions of right and wrong.
The economic situation, the inherited traditions and the differences in opportunities differentiate our way of seeing and interpreting events, in such a way that even dividing the same social space we become essentially different. Much of our training as individuals is subject to our life experiences and the interpretations we draw from them.That is exactly why school education must be flexible and inclusive in the face of the differences that we all have. The harmonious coexistence of different individuals must always be the ultimate goal of our educational process.