Learning Objectives

After reading this chapter, you will be able to:

  • What does it mean to look at education  as a social institution?
  • How do historical moment, the social structure, and changing systems of production shape the functions of education over time and across place?
  • How do functionalism, conflict theory, and symbolic interaction approach and explain education as an institution?
  • How does education reproduce  social inequality?
  • What are the central issues facing global education today?
  • How do policy debates surrounding pre-K, K–12, and higher education all revolve around the tension between public education and individual choice and responsibility for accessing opportunities and achieving success?