What is Sociology of Education ?

Education is one of the most important aspects of any society as it guides the new generation to accept the social order and to continue it. As Sociology mainly focuses on the human society, education has been one of its major concerns. It is said that Emile Durkheim was the pioneer who started the systematic study of Sociology of Education. This field primarily focuses on how the public sector and individual experiences affect the improvement and continuing of the education field. 

Though there is so much of private sector intervention in education, this study area emphasizes on the public sector involvement. Furthermore, this studies the expansion of the education field to the higher, tertiary, vocational, and adult education. Sociology of Education views education as an attempt for betterment through effort, aspirations, and progress. Since education is one of the major concerns in any society, it is a necessary and fundamental sub-field of Sociological analysis. 

Briefly, sociology of education is defined as a study of the relations between education and society. It is an investigation of the sociological processes involved in an educational institution. 

To Ottaway (1962), it is a social study and in so far as its method is scientific, it is a branch of social science. It is concerned with educational aims, methods, institutions, administration and curricula in relation to the economic, political, religious, social and cultural forces of the society in which they function. As far as the education of the individual is concerned, sociology of education highlights on the influence of social life and social relationships on the development of personality. 

Thus, sociology of education emphasizes sociological aspects of educational phenomena and institutions. The problems encountered are regarded as essentially problems of sociology and not problems of educational practice.

Sociology of Education, therefore, may be explained as the scientific analysis of the social processes and social patterns involved in the educational system. 

Brookover and Gottlieb consider that "this assumes education is a combination of social acts and that sociology is an analysis of human interaction." 

Educational process goes on in a formal as well as in informal situations. Sociological study of the human interaction in education may comprise both situations and might guide to the development of scientific generalizations of human relations in the educational system. 

The sociology of education is the study of how public institutions and individual experiences influence education and its outcomes. It is most concerned with the public schooling systems of modern industrial societies, including the growth of higher, further, adult, and continuing education. 

It is a philosophical as well as a sociological concept, indicating ideologies, curricula, and pedagogical techniques of the inculcation and management of knowledge and the social reproduction of personalities and cultures. It is concerned with the relationships, activities and reactions of the teachers and students in the classroom and highlights the sociological problems in the realm of education.
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