Definition of Education
(noun) An institution through which children and adults are taught formal academic knowledge and norms.
- American English – /ej-uh-kAY-shuhn/
- British English – /e-dyu-kAY-shuhn/
International Phonetic Alphabet
- American English – /ˌɛdʒəˈkeɪʃ(ə)n/
- British English – /ˌɛdjᵿˈkeɪʃn/
- Plural: educations
- An (noun) educationalist or (noun) educationist (verb) educates students.
- “According to conﬂict theorists, educational level can be a tool for discrimination by using the mechanism of credentialism. . . . [t]his device can be used by potential employers to discriminate against minorities, working-class people, or women—that is, those who are often less educated and least likely to be credentialed because discriminatory practices within the education system limited their opportunities for educational achievement” (Andersen and Taylor 2011:348).
- “Let’s begin with two apparently contradictory social facts. First, there are more highly educated people than ever before and their learning efforts continue to grow rapidly. Secondly, there is mass unemployment and underemployment of capable people. The growing gap between the unprecedented extent of collective knowledge of the people and the diminishing number of meaningful, sustaining jobs has become the major social problem of our time. This is the distinguishing character of the current education-jobs gap” (Livingstone 1998:1).
- “Second to the family, the school acts as a powerful agent of socialization. It is the first formal agency charged with the task of socializing children and represents the first link to the wider world. In school, children must learn not only basic skills needed in the society but also the hidden curriculum of how to cope successfully in a competitive environment. American schools have often been hotbeds of controversy (school prayer, standards, teacher performance, common core, etc.), probably because they are recognized as being such important socializing agents. Schools are also used as socialization agents for the labor market. In that function, they are expected to teach manners, respect for authority, and the development of basic social skills. At the same time, schools manage to stress certain cultural values (such as competition) and disseminate the idea that the society of which students are a part is superior to others. This is the hidden curriculum that schools impart above and beyond basic skills” (Perry and Perry 2016:92–93).
- “The educational system helps integrate youth into the economic system, we believe, through a structural correspondence between its social relations and those of production. The structure of social relations in education not only inures the student to the discipline of the workplace, but develops the types of personal demeanour, modes of self-presentation, self-image, and social-class identification which are the crucial ingredients of job adequacy. Specifically, the social relationships of education – the relationships between administrators and teachers, teachers and students, students and students, and students and their work – replicate the hierarchical division of labour” (Bowles and Gintis 1976:131).
- “The major impetus for the creation of national education systems lay in the need to provide the state with trained administrators, engineers and military personnel; to spread dominant national cultures and inculcate popular ideologies of nationhood; and so to forge the political and cultural unity of burgeoning nation states and cement the ideological hegemony of their dominant classes” (Green 1990:309).
- “[W]hat schools do ideologically, culturally, and economically is very complicated and cannot be fully understood by the application of any simple formula. There are very strong connections between the formal and informal knowledge within the school and the larger society with all its inequalities. But since the pressures and demands of dominant groups are highly mediated by the internal histories of educational institutions and by the needs and ideologies of people who actually work in them, the aims and results will often be contradictory as well” (Apple 1990:x–xi).
- Word origin of “education” – Online Etymology Dictionary: etymonline.com
- Acker, Sandra. 1994. Gendered Education. Toronto: OISE.
- Acker, Sandra. 1999. The Realities of Teachers’ Work: Never a Dull Moment. London: Cassell.
- Askew, Sue, and Carol Ross. 1988. Boys Don’t Cry. Milton Keynes: Open University Press.
- Bartlett, Steve, and Diana M. Burton. 2016. Introduction to Education Studies. 4th ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.
- Bloom, Allan. 1987. The Closing of the American Mind. New York: Simon and Schuster.
- Bowles, Samuel, and Herbert Gintis. 1976. Schooling in Capitalist America: Educational Reform and Contradictions of Economic Life. New York: Basic Books.
- Bryan, B., S. Dadzie, and S. Scafe. 1987. “Learning to Resist.” Pp. 90–100 in Gender under Scrutiny, edited by G. Weiner and M. Arnot. London: Hutchinson.
- Coleman, James. 1961. The Adolescent Society. New York: Free Press.
- Coleman, James S. 1966. Equality of Educational Opportunity. Washington, DC: U.S. Government.
- Committee On Widening Participation in Further Education. 1997. “Learning Works.” Coventry, United Kingdom: FEFC.
- Darder, Antonia,, Rodolfo D. Torres, and Marta Baltodano, eds. 2017. The Critical Pedagogy Reader. 3rd ed. New York: Routledge.
- Freire, Paulo. 1970. The Pedagogy of the Oppressed. New York: Herder and Herder.
- Gardner, Howard. 1983. Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences. New York: Basic Books.
- Gatto, John Taylor. 2002. Dumbing us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling. 2nd ed. Philadelphia: New Society.
- Holt, John. 1964. How Children Fail. New York: Dell.
- Illich, Ivan D. 1971. Deschooling Society. London: Calder & Boyars.
- Kozol, Jonathan. 1967. Death at an Early Age. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
- Kozol, Jonathan. 1991. Savage Inequalities. New York: Crown.
- Kozol, Jonathan. 2006. The Shame of the Nation. New York: Crown.
- McLaren, Peter. 2015. Life in Schools: An Introduction to Critical Pedagogy in the Foundations of Education. 6th ed. London: Routledge.
- Meier, Deborah, and George Wood. eds. 2004. Many Children Left Behind. Boston: Beacon.
- National Commission on Excellence in Education. 1983. A Nation At Risk: The Imperative for Educational Reform. Washington, DC: The Commission.
- Nussbaum, Martha. 2010. Not for Profit. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
- Office for Standards in Education. 2003. Yes He Can: Schools where Boys Write Well. London: Ofsted.
- Office for Standards in Education. 2003. Boys’ Achievement in Secondary Schools. London: Ofsted.
- Rosenthal, Robert, and Lenore Jacobson. 1968. Pygmalion in the Classroom: Teacher Expectation and Pupils’ Intellectual Development. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston.
- Sadker, David, and Myra Sadker. 1994. Failing at Fairness. New York: Scribner.
- Skelton, Christine, Becky Francis, and Barbara Read. 2010. “Brains before ‘Beauty’? High Achieving Girls, School and Gender Identities.” Educational Studies 36(2):185–94. doi:10.1080/03055690903162366.
- Simon, David, R. 1995. Social Problems and the Sociological Imagination: A Paradigm for Analysis. San Francisco: McGraw-Hill.
- UNESCO. 2009. Overcoming Inequality: Why Governance Matters, Education for All: Global Monitoring Report. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- Willis, Paul E. 1977. Learning to Labour: How Working-class Kids Get Working-class Jobs. London: Saxon House.
- Wink, Joan. 2011. Critical Pedagogy: Notes from the Real World. 4th ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.
- anticipatory socialization
- cultural capital
- formal education
- grade inflation
- hidden curriculum
- informal education
- No Child Left Behind Act
- youth culture
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Note: Read for free at the Open Library.
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Cite the Definition of Education
ASA – American Sociological Association (5th edition)
Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “education.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Retrieved June 5, 2023 (https://sociologydictionary.org/education/).
APA – American Psychological Association (6th edition)
education. (2013). In K. Bell (Ed.), Open education sociology dictionary. Retrieved from https://sociologydictionary.org/education/
Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date – Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition)
Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “education.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Accessed June 5, 2023. https://sociologydictionary.org/education/.
MLA – Modern Language Association (7th edition)
“education.” Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Ed. Kenton Bell. 2013. Web. 5 Jun. 2023. <https://sociologydictionary.org/education/>.