Delta State University
SOC 101: Principles of Sociology
Spring Semester 2005

Study Questions
Week 13

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Topic for the Week:  Social Institutions: Education

Readings for the Week: 

Society: The Basics, Chapter 14 (pp. 368

Sociological Footprints, Chapters 27 (Gracey) and 29 (Kozol)


(1) How does education differ from schooling?  How does schooling differ in low-income and high-income countries?  What are some reasons for these differences?

(2)  What are the primary functions of education?  How do these functions differ in high-income and low-income settings?

(3)  How does education produce or reproduce social inequality?  Identify several educational policies, and trace their outcomes in terms of equality.

(4)  How does public and private education differ in the United States?  Describe the variety of private educational institutions in the U.S.

(5)  What factors account for the differences in educational achievement by race and gender?

(6)  Identify problems in public schools, and explain how they affect individuals and the institution of education.  Illustrate these problems with examples drawn from the articles in the reader.

(7)  What is meant by cooling out the poor?  Do you believe rich and poor kids are treated differently in schools?  Why?

(8)  What will be the important educational issues in the 21st century?  How will these shape society in the future?

(9)  What is the function of kindergarten in our educational system?  Explain how kindergarten classes fulfill this function, using concrete examples. 

(10)  Many problems in public schools begin outside the classroom.  Explain the effects that problems in families, neighborhoods, and governments have on classrooms in different public schools.