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Open Education Sociology: Adult Education Add in library

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Describe about the Open Education Sociology for Adult Education?




Adult education is defined as education or schooling for adults to engage them with several activities to develop them skill, knowledge or value level.

According to study conducted among 93 million adults in the Texas, US; one in each five persons are bellow literacy level, among which 30 million are parents or primary caregivers of children ages 0-8. The study concludes that there is almost two-third of women, among the people bellow literacy level. There are almost 75 million school dropouts.

A huge number of populations worldwide is bellow literacy level. As it is analysed, parental influences are considered to be one of the prime important factors as far as such issues are concerned. The approach of adult education can be helpful to update parents to influence children to increase them by health, hygiene and education (Qiang, 2013). This approach can be helpful to understand important instructions, such as medical and healthcare advice. Parental education can be directly helpful to communicate with children and to be connected directly with the economy. This has the overall effect to increase the quality of life.

Literacy and crimes are direct proportional to each other. Where proper education adds values and ethics to human, illiteracy and greed instigate social crimes. According to the Department of Justice, academic failure, violence, and crime can be related to lack of academics.

Theories used to explain these studies are, “The Theory of functionalism” and “Economic Superstar Theory (Neo-Marxist)”.

2. Theories and examples:

The theory of functionalism explains society as a collective form of an organism, which commits the entire activities essential to surviving. The society forms its institutional elements in forms of- family, government, economic system, religious institutions and schools. Whenever one of these components fails to achieve its desired function, it must be substituted by another component to maintaining the equilibrium (Bell, 2013).

The theory explains the connection between enlisted events, such as the elevated crime frequencies and the school dropout rate. The study confirms a high number of penitentiary inmates all over the United States, have failed to complete their high school education.

The schooling system has the prime purpose of preparing students as future professions, the earning person, and an important contributing body to society. But the appearance of the recent recession and economic massacre, resulting in issues, such as high unemployment rate and price hike seem to have contradicted with the idea. These situations have raised questions regarding the validity of schooling system and its capacity to deliver as far the contemporary situation is concerned.

The inclined rate of crime and the student turn over numbers indicate towards a decline in relative validation and acceptance of schooling system in society, which reflects in the middle school, high school and college students. As the organism refuse to maintain expenses towards unproductive organs, and recruits a back up organ structure to resume the desired function, a number of individuals might have adopted criminal activities as a substitute to the schooling system.  To re-establish the replaced system, the old system must grow in terms of efficiency to compete and substitute the present institutional structure (Van Dussen, 2014).


An economic superstar theory (Neo- Marxist) describes the concept of structural superstars are the basic producers and thus serves the primary functional role. With a motto to prepare the functioning and conducting agents of future, the schools have developed a general approach to describing the path of social success as a channelized and competitive way. This idea has a prime purpose to implement a sense of competition and hard work in their behaviour. The schools have prioritised their functions to promote the dominant structural heavyweights as models for inspiration, ignoring the values of democracy, equality and social mobility. Schools have adopted a corporate structure where the ultimate point of the focus is towards the students’ score and productivity. The scoring system creates a communicative and discriminative gap within students according to the scores and marks obtained by individual students. With a sense to loosing the competition and being left behind. Another idea is also projected through the schooling system, which differentiates between the validity of knowledge according to the practical productivity (Marriam & Brockett, 2011). The productive knowledge is harnessed and instructed by the school authority and the so called less productive knowledge are kept limited up to text books.

The system is serving as a tool to identify the potent, productive individuals for future, and the rests are differentiated as ineligible. This can be considered as a major reason for dropouts where the schooling system itself serves as the prior factor.   

3. Critical analysis:

The Functionalism theory does not explain the entire dynamics of inter or intra- structural behaviour of the structural components and their individual building blocks. The theory does not cover the aspects of social polarity and describes inequalities and a normal social behaviour. The theory does not exhibit much flexibility as it considers a minimum number of factors to explain social behaviour (Luo & Qin, 2015). The functionalism theory has the basic focus towards a set of basic principles, which superficially relates the social models with a biological perspective. The theory is driven towards a common agenda, and each structure has the prime goal to serve their contribution. But the field observation exhibits a lot more complicated situation, as far the infra- structural conflicts are concerned. The economic superstar theory explains a comparative behaviour of social structures but neither explains the overall motion of the behaviour nor provide any remedy for the issues mentioned. This theory explains conflicts between the dominant and dominated groups of structures but not the conflicts in between. The theory ignores some factors associated with a social and structural behaviour. But in contrast with the prior theory this explains a sense of social conflicts and the biases of the system associated with the issue.


Reference list:

Bell, K. (2013). functionalism. Open Education Sociology Dictionary.

Cummins, P. A., Kunkel, S. R., & Walker, R. M. (2015). Adult Education and Training Programs for Older Adults in the US: National Results and Cross-National Comparisons Using PIAAC Data.

Luo, Z. Y., & Qin, Z. W. (2015, May). Research on building multi-campus adult education platform model based on VPN technology. In Electronic Engineering and Information Science: Proceedings of the International Conference of Electronic Engineering and Information Science 2015 (ICEEIS 2015), January 17-18, 2015, Harbin, China (p. 215). CRC Press.

Merriam, S. B., & Brockett, R. G. (2011). The profession and practice of adult education: An introduction. John Wiley & Sons.

Qiang, Z. H. U. (2013). The Development Strategies of Education Intermediary Organization from the Transformation Development of Adult Higher Education Perspective. Journal of Jiangsu Radio & Television University, 4, 021.

Schwerdt, G., Messer, D., Woessmann, L., & Wolter, S. C. (2012). The impact of an adult education voucher program: Evidence from a randomized field experiment. Journal of Public Economics, 96(7), 569-583.

Van Dusen, G. C. (2014). Digital Dilemma: Issues of Access, Cost, and Quality in Media-Enhanced and Distance Education. ASHE-ERIC Higher Education Report, Volume 27, Number 5. Jossey-Bass Higher and Adult Education Series.


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