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Assess The View That The Education System Is The Most Powerful Agent Of Political Socialisation.

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Assess the view that the Education system is the most powerful agent of political socialisation.

Socialisation is learning the customs, attitudes, and values of a social group, community, or culture. Socialisation is essential for the development of individuals who can participate and function within their societies, as well as for ensuring that a society's cultural features will be carried on through new generations. Socialisation is most strongly enforced by family, school, and peer groups and continues throughout an individual's lifetime.

Education Systems differ from country to country. In most of the western world there are three levels of education, primary, secondary and higher. The contemporary goal of British, American and Irish Education is to help children fit into a technological, hierarchal, yet democratic society. Schools are recognized as institutions, ones that should prepare students to take their places in society. Schools are believed to give young people the ability to develop skills and acquire knowledge so that they can survive on their own in the future. The very structure of today's schools and the messages that they send to children are seen as training for future employment. Students learn to form momentary social relationships, accept categorical treatment, and loose their personal identities. Students move through the school in an orderly fashion, follow precise directions, and learn information that they will be tested on. However, schools should not only be a place where children learn skills that make them employable in the workforce. People are more than just workers- they are parents, citizens, neighbours, and individuals with private goals and desires. It is the role of public education to see that children develop the abilities for all of these roles. They should foster an environment that promotes individual interests and a quest for knowledge. Public education often overlooks the way that children learn best, and they often try to teach students according to national goals and standards.

Webster defines education as "the action or process of educating or being educated". The educational system must help all individuals fulfill their needs and reach their fullest potential. This process helps learners acquire the skill of learning by enhancing their ability to inquire, postulate, reason, make decisions, problem solve, and be independent, self-directed learners. There is a lot of evidence to suggest that the education system is not formally geared towards producing politically aware citizens the very fact that Politics in most schools is only offered at A-level and it is optional. There have been steps taken in recent years in an attempt to make children more politically aware. For example in the Republic of Ireland a new subject CSPE is compulsory for juniors and its aim is to Ð''help young people to have a regard

for themselves and for others; to develop the abilities needed to empower them to participate effectively in the life of their families, their communities and the society in

which they live and work; to be able to identify and assess the values which underlie

their own behaviour and that of others; to be able to take responsibility for their

beliefs and actions; to appreciate such moral values as honesty, justice and concern

for others, and to be committed to applying these values in their own lives and promoting them in the life of society.' In England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland there has also been the introduction of a new subject that is compulsory for first and second year students, it is called Ð''citizenship.'

It could be said that the education system in the U.S. makes a more active attempt to socialize children politically because every morning before lessons begin the children say the pledge of allegiance. This places a very strong value on nationalism and loyalty to the state from an early age. Perhaps the education system has been abused in the past and has been called a tool of oppression. Education is based on the belief that there is some program that everyone should follow, whether they want to or not. It is a system where other people decide for us what we are to learn, when we are to learn, how we are to learn. It is part of a larger program of social control, a system where everyone is assigned his or her appropriate place. Such a system seeks to destroy individuality or unpredictability, seeks to destroy what makes humans more interesting than machines. Perhaps before we've ever succeeded in making machines like people, we'll already have made people like machines. Students who do not conform and refuse to assume a passive position,

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