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    research paper about how education has been socially constructed. you will consider ″Education″ from the historical perspective and explain how education has come to be the way we know it today. your paper should be in standard essay form 12 pt font, double spaced, 1 inch margins, and work cited page listing 1 or 2 outside sources.





Subject Sociology Pages 6 Style APA


Education as a Social Construction

Throughout time, each individual’s life in society is shaped by social construction, thus, it plays a very important role. Social construction refers to an idea created and accepted by society in such a way that they have their thoughts and actions surrounded by it. The concept of education is a type of social construction because it was created to ensure that people within a society had or lived a promising and a secured future with a stable life (Brennan 5).  It is believed that one’s level of education determines whether they are going to be successful or not. Those with higher levels of education would probably obtain better jobs that are highly salaried compared to their counterparts who have not pursued the highest levels of education. Education has been socially constructed so that there are separations of social status through competition (Brennan 5). The aim of this paper is to discuss how education has been socially constructed, specially explaining education from a historic perspective as well as how education has come to be the way it is known today.

In order to understand education, we must first view it from a historical perspective. The fact that children everywhere are required to go to school by law, and how society has embraced the idea to the extent of spending towards the same, shows how important education is. Maybe if they did not force children into school or if they had structured and operated them differently, society would not have raised competent children (Carpentier and Vincent 193)

In relation to the history of humankind, schools for education are just recent institutions. For many years before agriculture, people lived as hunter-gatherers. It is from their own play and exploration during hunting that children learned to be perfect adults. Consequently, it was evident that children needed to play and explore nature. They had limited play time as adults though it was the only natural way they could learn.

When agriculture and later industrialization came about, children became labourers. This meant that their play and exploration were completely suppressed. Willfulness, on the other hand, became a vice and children were beaten out of it. Agriculture changed peoples’ way of life. The now farmers needed not only the skills to perfect their source of life, but also a vast knowledge of the plants and animals they reared. They now worked fewer hours, produced more food and in turn, had more children. Children were either at the farm or at home taking care of their siblings whilst their parents went out farming (Diaz 1137).

Agriculture led to industrialization. This did not improve the lives of children as the business owners needed more labourers for them to yield more profit. It led to further exploitation of the poor together with their children worked for long hours with little compensations in inhumane conditions just because they needed to survive. Children no longer worked in fields where they could at least see the sunshine, feel the fresh air or even play, but in dark, dirty crowded factories. Consequently, many of them died of diseases, exhaustion and starvation.

Until in the 19th Century, a law limiting child labor was passed by England. The new legislation forbade children less than nine years from working, and the working hours for the rest were reduced. With time, industries became more automated leading to the decline of child labour. It was then that the idea of learning started spreading, which in turn gathered many supporters. This was between the 16th onto the 19th Century. Schools were then developed and this saw the beginning of formal education.

Emerging Protestants played a major role in their quest for universal education. For example, Martin Luther desired salvation for all, and it was only through reading the Scriptures that one could acquire salvation he thought. Together with other reformists, they promoted public education so that souls were saved from eternal damnation.

In the mid-17th century, America was the first colony to have mandated schooling in Massachusetts, to turn their children into better Puritans. In 1690, their children plus those from the adjacent colonies also started learning. They learnt how to read. They read “The Little Bible of New England” which included short rhymes that helped the children master the alphabet. For example, it began with “In Adam’s Fall, We sinned all,” and ended with, “Zaccheus he, Did climb the tree, His Lord to see.” It also had the Lord’s Prayer, the Ten Commandments and the Creed. Various lessons to make them learn about the existence of God and their duty towards their elders were also included.

Employers, on the other hand, thought schooling provided better workers for their industries. Some of the crucial lessons to be learned for them were; following directions, reading and writing, tolerance especially for long hours of tedious work and punctuality.

Nations, especially those with centralized governments, embraced education too. The national leaders thought that the school created better patriots and soldiers. The crucial lessons to them were defending their nation from evil forces, keeping the glory of their fatherland, and not forgetting the achievements of the nation’s leaders and founders.

The reformers, on the other hand, played a major role in the quest for schooling. They sincerely cared about the children’s well-being and tried all means to protect them from the damaging forces of the outside. Thus, the school was a better place for this. They believed that children were supposed to be morally and intellectually upright for them to be upstanding, competent adults in future. Hence, they thought that children should basically learn moral lessons and disciplines that would definitely exercise their minds, as a result, turn them into scholars. They wanted them to learn Mathematics and Latin, for example.

Basically, it is a clear indication that each person involved in the support and founding of schools had their own agendas and, therefore, preferred certain goals in schools. Despite their differences, they all had a major characteristic of the school setting. They all believed schooling has a way of implanting certain truths and ways of thinking.





Brennan, Kathleen P. J. “Encounters in Theory and History of Education.” Scholarly & Research Communication, vol. 11, no. 2, Apr. 2019, pp. 1–7. EBSCOhost, doi:10.22230/src.2019v10n2a315.

Carpentier, Vincent. “The Credit Crunch and Education: An Historical Perspective from the Kondratiev Cycle.” London Review of Education, vol. 7, no. 2, July 2009, pp. 193–196. EBSCOhost, doi: 10.1080/14748460903003659.

Diaz, Leon, E. “What Is Social Construction?” European Journal of Philosophy, vol. 23, no. 4, Dec. 2015, pp. 1137–1152. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1111/ejop.12033.

Freeman, Mark, and Alice Kirke. “Review of Periodical Literature on the History of Education Published in 2016.” History of Education, vol. 46, no. 6, Nov. 2017, pp. 826–853. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1080/0046760X.2017.1382580.


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