Thus it is clear that education is basically “social” both in its nature and functions. There are? Many kinds of education as there are different kinds of milieu in a society. It is simply not possible have an egalitarian system of education that can serve the needs of all societies at all times.
Change in the educational system take place in response to the changes that are taking place in the values that society. As societies grow and achieve more and more progress, human wants to multiply and acquiring of new skills become inevitable for members. Thus, knowledge grows in accordance with needs and conditions of a society.
Education cannot indeed be the same for all those to whom it applies. Talcott Parson Points out the relationship between education and society most precise
When he says “the socialization function may be summed up as the development individuals of commitments and capacities which are essential prerequisites of their future role performance”
Every society has set up an ideal of man as he should be from the intellectual, physical and mm points of view. This ideal is the same for all citizens. Society can survive only if there exists degree of homogeneity amongst its members. Education only perpetuates and enforces homogeneity, by fixing in the child from the beginning the essential similarities that are demanded collective life.
At the same time, education also assures the persistence of the diversity) essential for the growth of society by being itself diversified and specialised. As Durkhiem finds “education is then only the means by which society prepares within the children the essential conditions of its very existence”.
Thus, the main function of education is the “methodical socialisation of the younger generation: The education in a given society provides at a given time is determined by the social forces that a; working in that society.
The relationship which exists between the educational system and this system can be very clearly understood by analysing the following observation of Durkhiem. Educate is the influence exercised by adult generations on those that are not yet ready for social life.
Its object is to arouse and to develop in the child a certain number of physical, intellectual and moral states which are demanded of him both by the society as a whole and the special milieu for which ties specifically destined.
Emile Durkhiem, the French sociologist is credited with laying the first foundation for a sociological approach to education when he suggested that education is social in its nature. Like many social thinkers Durkhiem was interested in the fundamental question how societies are help together.
Durkhiem’s analysis of the social order brings out two key points complex societies are held together by the mutual interdependence of their members and (ii) there an intricate division of labour, such that each individual produces some portion of the goods or services required by the other members of the society and exchanges them for the goods and services he needs but does not produce.
It is these – the mutual inter-dependence and the complex division of labour which according to Durkhiem contribute to social stability.
According to Durkhiem “individuals are not acquainted with the society’s language, skills or customs. However, the survival in a society, however, depends upon not only learning the values of that society but also on internalizing them.
Durkhiem was of the opinion that individuals must change from being egoists, responding greedily to their own needs and endless stream of self-centered desires into moral citizens, responding in terms of their duty to state.
Durkhiem was of the view that each society must accomplish the task of socialising its younger members in ways that are appropriate to the values and beliefs it needs to instill. According to him the primary function of education is to socialise new generations to overcome their egoism and to productive members of society.
According to Durkhiem, education is basic to the maintenance of the social system and preservation of the national character. Hence all children must be exposed to it and upto a point education must be the same for all children in a society.
Durkhiem was of the view that the very division of labour in society requires a certain degree of differentiation of values and ideas. Different occupations require different aptitudes, practices, and modes of viewing the world.
Hence, Durkhiem emphasised the need for division of labour which in turn creates the need for diversity. Children destined for different occupational groups, need to have their own unique educational experiences. Hence education should also be geared to the task of preparing individuals of their diverse occupational roles.
Durkhiem key emphasis was on the preservation of values which are essential for the sustenance of the social order. He was of the view that individuals must agree to participate and to subordinate their personal interests to those of a larger society whenever thus becomes necessary.
As a matter of fact, Durkhiem’s sociology is grounded in a concern for the maintenance of the social order. Though he stressed that in modern societies a measure of integration was, in fact, achieved through the mutual dependence of differentiated roles, he firmly believed that these societies could not do without some common integration by a system of common beliefs.