Social stratification involves classification of people into classes’ bases on their shared social economic features. Social stratification is mainly found in the inequalities in these features, and results in greater power privileges and status among individuals higher in the stratification hierarchy. The core principles of stratification are that stratification is global, but varies in degree, carries over from generation to generation, a trait of society and not entirely reliant of the individual beliefs but also involves these beliefs. Social classes result from stratification in the lower class, the middle class, and the upper class.
Education plays a pivotal role in social stratification, as it is the level of education that identifies an individual with a social class. This is so because the level of education is the main determinant in employment and employment dictates the individual’s earnings, which in turn reflects on the social class. In essence, therefore, education affects the characteristics of the concept of social stratification hence determining the social; class of an individual (Ballantine and Spade 147).
The characteristics of social stratification dictate that the social ranking of an individual is based on the common shared characteristics of individuals. These include the individual’s education and the individual being ranked can change this feature. Another characteristic of social stratification is its ability to be changed by the amount of work individual puts into the area of interest (Chandra and Sharma 45). Considering that the level of determination of an individual on education can change the level of education and thus the social rank of that individual it is imperative to, note that education directly affects an individual social class. Additionally, the level of education individual poses eventually changes the social class of that individual.
The concept of power is the ability individuals to fulfill their desires and apply their ideas and decisions. This concept relies on the capability of a person to influence others and control their behavior either willfully or not. Power can also be defended as an institution’s capacity to achieve its results in the prevalence of individuals over others. The concept of power allows an individual to realize their potential, even where the odds are stacked against them. Education is a source of power and results in expertise, knowledge, and social class.
Education systems are affected by the power in various dimensions and as such, power is a crucial element in educational institutions. Legitimate power establishes offices in the educational institutions and determines who is in authority within the educational institutions and assists in the formation of a hierarchy in the control of the activities of these institutions or the institutions themselves (Clifton 74). Expert power also informs the level of expertise held by educational providers and in turn the level of education offered by these institutions. Reward power, on the other hand, motivates educators provide their service to the education system. Reward power also affects the learners in the educational institutions as the reward resulting from education motivates them to undertake it. Coercive power is also applied in the education system as the laws that require mandatory education compel individuals to engage in education by use of threats.
Equality in education aims at providing fairness in the education program. Educational equality is a concept that is mandated and educational providers and the education system should strive to attain this concept. Equality in education implies the provision equal access to the features in education. It involves access to equal programs, classes, facilities, irrespective of the features of the individual acquiring education. Equality in education does not use the sexual orientation gender, race, disability or any other distinguishing characteristic in the determination of the quality and level of education.
As far as the laws on discrimination exist, the education system aims at providing equal education for all individuals. Terzi as that this fact is identified by the fact that inequality in education is mainly a function of discrimination (38). This is because equality in education involves the provision of education without sidelining individuals in a discriminatory manner. Discrimination laws, therefore, assist in making sure that the education system remains equal.
As much as the education system strives to be equal among all individuals, it is imperative to note that equality in education is not fully- attained. It is noteworthy that educational inequalities persist mainly along the socioeconomic status of individuals and partly along racial lines. The social class of an individual often results in the level of education attained by this individual. It is noteworthy that the social classes are passed from one generation to another access of or the quality education an individual receives is reflective of their social class.
The common traits required in running an educational institution vary widely but key among these factors is strong leadership. Strong leadership molds the outcome of an educational institution since power is derived from leadership. It is upon the leader to make appropriate decisions aimed at the goal of the institution. It is the leaders who outline the mission of the institution ensure appositive climate within the institution as well as diagnose instructional difficulties.
Another important element in running an educational institution is its mission. The institution should have a vision of where it desires to be and its goals. This is essential to allow all individuals have a common goal in the activities undertaken within the educational institution. Equally noteworthy is the concept of a safe and an orderly climate, which facilitates the primary objective of these institutions. In order or the educators, to provide education and students to learn the environment around them should be made safe and comfortable. A learning environment should be made safe in all reasonable aspects to facilitate effective learning.
Monitoring the progress of the students also forms the process of running an educational institution. The importance of this issue is that it facilitates a productive approach to education and gauges the effectiveness of this educational institution. Monitoring of students’ progress also ensures that the strategies employed in education are in accordance with the required standards by testing the ability of the students to comprehend what they are taught. Lastly is the concept of setting expectations, which help the institution as a working guide and clearly stipulates the expectations of every participant in the system.
This feature reflects fairly on the middle class individuals in the society. The middle class individuals are those individuals with considerable levels of education higher that the lower class but lower than the idle class. Given their educational qualifications, middle class individuals exhibit sufficient knowledge to run an educational institution. This, therefore, implies that the middle class individuals have traits that are essential in running such institutions.
The middle class individuals possess leadership characteristics that augur well with a leadership position in an educational institution. The leadership responsibilities of these institutions do not require more technical expertise than the middle class, so these individuals are capable of leadership positions. In respect to articulating the mission of the institution and providing a clear vision for the institution, the middle class is qualified and in a position to formulate such policies. The middle class individuals are also conversant with policies for monitoring progress, and as such can formulate and maintain strategies aimed at gauging the understanding of learners (Dhiman 62).
Additionally, their educational qualifications put these individuals in a scenario where they can make reasonable decisions and take prudent measures to guarantee that the learning atmosphere is safe. Most educational institutions generally provide safe environments for learning, and the only task in providing safe learning environments is to maintain the safety of the institution’s environment, which is not a highly technical aspect. These individuals are also capable of setting attainable expectations in these institutions. The traits necessary in running educational institutions fall well within the class of the middle class individuals, and as such, these individuals are able to run such institutions.
Chandra Soti S., and Sharma Rajendra Kumar. Sociology of Education. Atlantic Publishers & Dist, 1996. Print.
Clifton S. Tanabe. Social power and education: a philosophical examination of the concept of power in the educational context. University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1998. Print.
Dhiman O.P. Foundation of Education. APH Publishing. Print.
Ballantine Jeanne H., Spade Joan Z. Schools and society: a sociological approach to education. Pine Forge Press, 2008. Print
Terzi Lorella. Justice and Equality in Education: A Capability Perspective on Disability and Special Educational Needs. Continuum International Publishing Group, 2010. Print.