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Educational psychology Essay

Introduction Welcome to the study of another important subject in the Bachelor of Education Curriculum. By the end of this course the student will be able to: 1. Define, sociology and sociological foundations in education. 2. Identify any five important points about the relevance of Sociological foundations in education. 3. Examine indigenous Ghanaian Education System and its influence on Western Formal Education. 4. Draw a distinction between educational sociology and sociology of education.

5. Analyze the dichotomy between rural and urban education delivery. 6. Discuss the dynamics and import of culture. 7. Define socialization and its relevance to Western Formal Education. Definition of Sociology and Sociological Foundations in Education 1. Vander Zanden sees Sociology as the scientific study of human organization. 2. Agyeman (1992, p. 47), sees “Sociology” as “ a discipline which studies the nature and functions of human societies and the changes that take place within them.

” He believes that sociology is largely concerned with understanding the relationships that exist between people which ultimately govern their behavior within the society. 3. Metta Spencer considers Sociology as the study of human group life. The question is, what is human group life? Human group life refers to the life of people in an institution. Such people are governed by conventions (unwritten constitution, or unwritten rules and regulations), with aims and purposes for gluing them together within a particular location. 4.

Sociology as a discipline is interested in what makes human group life, possible, within a given society. 5. What is society? The term society refers to the entire complex network of the social world. It may refer to social life in the abstract, without reference to a specific place, but more often, it refers to a country, a nation or a state like Ghana, Nigeria, Gambia, etc. What is Educational Sociology? Bhattacharya (2003, 2006, p. 1. , in Brown 1947), defined Educational Sociology as the application of Sociology to educational problems.

Educational Sociology is particularly interested in finding out how to manipulate the educational process to achieve better social and personality development. Educational Sociology asks the question what problems or influence does society bring to the school. What is Sociology of Education? Sociology of Education on the other hand emphasizes on the nature of human relations within the school and the social structure within which the school operates in the Community. In other words, Sociology of Education is concerned with what problems or influence the school brings to or /has on the society.

Corollary: Educational Sociology—the influence of society on education. Sociology of education—the influence of education on society. Sociological foundations in education Now that we understand sociology of education and educational sociology, we can apply the concepts to identify what the course, sociological foundations in a education seeks to achieve. This course is like a hermaphrodite. Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary defines hermaphrodite as a person, an animal or a flower that has both male and female sexual organs and characteristics.

The Course considers the influence of society on education, and also that of education on society. These two themes run though the course like a thread that holds a number of beads together. Chapter Two How societies thrive Societies last long, because they meet the following characteristics: Each society has a a. geographical location, b. culture and population. c. Specific needs. d. In –built mechanisms to achieve these needs. Ghana as a country for instance, needs to reproduce to replenish her population; she does this by

•educating her citizens, •producing goods and services to meet the social life and status of her population, •governing her people that so there could be law and order, her people becoming good citizens, • meeting their emotional aspirations such as, the quest for religion, and •assisting her citizens to meet their recreational and physical needs through health services.

From the foregoing indications about how families thrive, it may be stated that societal needs are provided by social institutions within a country. Peil (1977, p.17) defines a social institution as “an enduring complex of norms, roles, values and sanctions which embrace a distinct segment of inter-human life. ”

According to Peil, Social Institutions are specially organized and arranged social networks of the members who constitute the society. Humans are therefore noted to have the ability to interact with each other in their daily encounter; and by so doing achieve their needs and their continuity across generations (Agyeman 1992, p. 47). Society thus, thrives in four major institutions: 1. Marriage and the family 2. Economic institutions 3. Political organizations

4. Religious groups/Religious institutions. 1. Marriage and the Family When a child is born, it is brought up in a family, through a process called socialization. Authorities have defined socialization. A few of such definitions are as follows, though much of it would be examined in lesson ten. Socialization is a process of learning to relate to, and interact with others; a process of adopting the behavior patterns of the surrounding culture; an act of establishing oneself according to the principles of socialism; the act of meeting for social purposes, and participating in social activities.

.(http://www. babylon. com/definition/socialization/Latvian, retrieved January 31 2012). Socialization is also a term used by sociologists, social psychologists, anthropologists, politicians and educationists to refer to the process of inheriting norms, customs and ideologies. It may provide the individual with the skills and habits necessary for participating in activities within their own society. A society itself is formed through a plurality of shared norms, customs, values, traditions, social roles, symbols and languages.

Socialization is thus ‘the means by which social and cultural continuity are attained. ’ (http://www. babylon. com/definition/socialization/Latvian January 31 2012). Thus the processes of socialization determine the main agenda of marriage as an institution; a few functions of marriage are as follows: a. Procreating: bringing children into being to play various roles in society. b. Meeting the physical needs of each other: the Lord God had stated; “it is not good that the man should live alone, I will make him a help meet for him” Genesis 2:18 KJV).

In other words, God Himself observed that man needed a companion to help him cope with life’s labors, for he (Adam, the first to be created), had been assigned to dress and keep the garden of Eden, a task that needed a helping hand. Much could however be said about meeting the physical needs of humankind through the marriage institutions, but it may be summed up in this popular proverb: “two heads are better than one. ” After all, when the couple collaborate, they can achieve their life goals, better.

c. Another big role the marriage institution plays in helping societies to thrive, and within the context of socialization is found in one of the most important functions of the married couples—raising up children in the fear of the Lord. We are to train our children the right way so that they can become good citizens when they grow (Proverbs 22:6). It is a known fact in every society today that single parenting is not the best way to raise children.

True Christians therefore believe that God underscored the importance of child nurture through the cooperation of couples when He queried couples in the prophecy of Jeremiah, “Lift up your eyes and behold them that come from the north, where is the flock that was given thee, thy beautiful flock? ” (Jeremiah 13:20 KJV). My favourite author had noted: The reason there are so many hardhearted men and women in our world is that true affection has been regarded as weakness and has been discouraged and repressed. The better part of the nature of persons of this class was perverted and dwarfed in childhood, and unless

rays of divine light melt away their coldness and hardhearted selfishness, the happiness of such is buried forever (E. G. White, Adventist Home, p. 108, emphasis mine). In her book Child Guidance, the same author made the following observation. “To the mother and father the right training of their children is the most important work of their life” (E. G White, Child Guidance, p. 556). To sum up the role marriage plays in the process of socialization, and how it helps societies to thrive, one may realize that marriage is a very indispensable institution when it comes to life on earth.

It takes couples collaborative efforts in marriage to procreate, or bring forth offspring. And when couple bear children, these kids need to be nurtured to play various roles in societies. It has been identified that as these couples cooperate to meet each other’s physical, emotional and psychological needs, they can also help train children in the fear of the Lord for the benefit of society. 2. Economic Institutions: Many physical and material needs of society are provided by economic institutions. Industries, banks, companies, all collaborate to meet the needs of people in a society.

However provision of needs by these economic institutions could be disrupted by disorder of one kind or another. Peace is therefore needed in every society. To obtain peace in societies, we need political institutions. 3. Political Institutions: These exist to maintain peace and stability within a country or society, namely; chieftaincy, national governance, the police service, the army, etc. Without these services, no society can obtain peace and her economic needs. Think of a nation without any peace keeping force and the upsurge of armed robbery!

Your conclusion shall be as true as mine. 4. Religious Institutions and groups: Every society has religious institutions that help to meet the emotional and psychological needs of her members. Specifically every society has people who are prone to seek answers to explain the unknown, the metaphysical world, etc. It is the religious institution that help people to gain answers to questions that bother them. However, because people have unique characteristics, and needs, religious groups are many. This is because there

have been different approaches to obtain emotional satisfaction by people at various levels in their life. Four religious groups may be identified presently: a. Monotheism b. Pantheism c. Theism d. Atheism Monotheism:– believers who hold this faith worship one God, eg. Judaism, Islam, Christianity. Pantheism:– pantheistic believers consider God as present in nature Theism: — Believers in Theism think God exists. Atheism:– Those who believe in Atheism argue that there is no God. Conclusion In this lesson we have defined sociology of education and educational sociology.

We are told that sociology of education considers the influence of education on society, and that of educational sociology also considers the influence of society on education. Sociology itself has been defined as the scientific study of human group life. We are also told that every society has four characteristics, namely, a) a geographical location, b) culture and a population, c) specific needs, d) and inbuilt mechanisms to meet these needs. It is interesting to note that all societies thrive within four institutions, namely; marriage, economic, political and religious groups.

An understanding of the harmonious functions of these four institutions is required by every teacher. Even though this course is not a detailed study of the named institutions, yet it is important that teachers read around them. Chapter Three Role of community and the school in African Education The concepts Sociology of education and educational Sociology spell out the fundamental mutual roles the community and school play interdependently. We have established that Sociology of education examines the influence of the school on society. Educational sociology on the other hand deals with the influence society has on education.

Role of the Community in African Education In this lesson we will take a look at the role of the community in general, in traditional education in Ghana. Traditional Education (TE) is also known as informal education. The role of the community on African education is similar to the influence of society on formal education. However the context is quite different; ten roles the community plays in African education may be identified presently: 1. Livelihood Skills: One of the major roles of the community in Traditional Education is the training of the youth to acquire livelihood skills.

Carpentry, Masonry, blacksmithing and farming are some of the livelihood skills the community teaches in African education. Families identify people with these special trades within the community and send their wards to them for training in the context of apprenticeship. Only three of the many ways livelihood skills are taught by the community are recounted here: a. My son or daughter could learn the trade that I have when she is born. Better still I can encourage my child to learn a trade outside my home, with someone in the community whose trade is beneficial. b.

All children in the traditional community undergo communal labour of one kind or another. By so doing they learn interdependence or co-operation skills that underpin the rationale behind international trade. No one can survive by living as a hermit or as a misanthrope. In other words, only few people can live meaningful lives by living alone without recourse to anybody in times of crisis. We need each other in a mutual context. c. Sometimes the community members discipline children who may go wayward. However, no community member with a questionable character was allowed to discipline any child in the society.

Chinua Achebe had said that, the voice of the cock at dawn benefits everyone in the community; nevertheless, it belongs to its owner. This adage of Achebe is true in traditional societies. Children are known to belong to everyone though they have individual parents. As children are corrected from time to time by the disciplined elders in the community, they grow to internalize these disciplinary skills, and practice same when they grow to become matured men and women whose tremendous support to the community cannot be overemphasized.

Thus, learning existing trade in one’s community, engaging the youth in communal labour and the way the elderly in the community disciplined every child in traditional African communities; depict the major role these communities play in maintaining the survival and continuity of society. By this, the traditional African education system, is thus impacted by the community in general. 2. Role Modeling: The members of a community in general serve as role models. The good life some community elders live is copied by the growing youth, as well as that of their parents.

While children have not grown to enter organized school system the life of the people they see in their community serves as a guide and inspiration for their future life. 3. The spirit of nationalism: The community instills in their youth the spirit of nationalism and civic governance. How is this done? Antwi (1992, p. 208) has this to say: “It has been observed by eminent comparative educationist that what goes on outside the schools matters even more than what goes on inside them.

” This renowned educationist further argued that although traditional education is informal, yet it focuses on the survival and transmission of ideas, cherished at the time to ensure continuity of society and its members in and through many socio- cultural practices. No society can continue to exist without a form of organization of its members into corporate groups with rules and regulations to govern them. That is why Antwi (1992) was very much concerned about what goes on outside the school. It is socio –cultural practices that bind people together to ensure the continuity of society, and the survival of nations.

It is therefore right to state that the spirit of nationalism is instilled in children outside the classroom, precisely through the efforts of the community at large. 4. Team spirit: The team spirit popularly known as the “Nnoboa” system in traditional communities impacts the growing youth in a tremendous way: Children and the youth are engaged in diverse ways when it comes to the traditional Nnoboa system: a. Children are sent on errands to deliver messages about an impending task in the Nnoboa system. b.

Some of them carry prepared food and water to farms where the Nnoboa task is being executed. c. They are made to carry various implements to the various task grounds. d. Some of the youth are engaged to carry out specific tasks. The role everyone plays during communal labour and the “Nnoboa” system enhances and fortifies team spirit among members of the community. 5. Family Life Lessons: Another way by which the community influences traditional education is through family life lessons, especially cultural obligations like the performance of puberty rites.

Before the child enters the formal education system, it had learnt a lot, including the value of chastity. Parents inculcate this value into their children, and so does the community at large. 6. Hardship and endurance lessons: Household chores, labour on farms, carrying firewood and load from farm and bush; all strengthen the youth to grow to face adult problems with full alacrity. Question: will children of today give a helping hand to the old lady or man, coming from somewhere with heavy load? Will they do so not for reward but for service? Perhaps a few may do that but not many children.

Communities in traditional African Societies inculcate in the growing youth the spirit of sacrifice in carrying out various tasks to aid adults and significant others without seeking reward of any kind. Volunteerism is a legacy from traditional African communities to the traditional education system. 7. Relationship Building: The community also helps children to build good interpersonal relationships. This is achieved as children witness social gatherings where arbitration and other cultural displays take place. Through cultural festivities, children learn to love one another.

Also on such festive occasions disputes in families are settled, annual plans for development of the communities formulated. (1) 8. Intellectual Training: Intellectual training through the running of errands is another important legacy the community imparts to the traditional education system, and the growing child. In traditional societies, every child learns to execute errands with due accuracy. Children are required to be honest and true, mincing no words about what needs to be relayed. By keeping in memory information to transmit, children develop sharp memories.

Witty sayings and riddles of the elders trigger critical thinking and help children to develop analytical thinking skills. 9. Health Lessons: Traditional African communities have very laudable health rules and regulations that are more or less conventional, because there is no record on them. These health principles are passed on to the Traditional African Education system, by oral tradition. Categories of health principles include: a. Exercise, through walking to deliver errands, sometimes long distant walks; local African games like Ampe for girls; farming or gardening, etc.

, are part of the life style of the traditional youth and adults. b. Treatment of diseases through herbs. In those days the sick in traditional African societies were healed through herbs and other preventive measures. c. Meals were made up largely of fruits and vegetables. d. Positive thinking: petty squabbles, bickering and animosity were prohibited. Should any occur, the elders met over it and settled such cases promptly. e. Promiscuity was very rare. In typical traditional African Societies, sex was only for adults, and even here, within married homes.

Teenage pregnancy was very uncommon within African Communities. 10. Moral Values: Stealing, adultery, lies, etc. , were frowned upon in traditional communities, and these prohibitions were passed to into the traditional education system. Role of the School in African Education If the community has so many roles to play in African Education, then formal education has also a role to play to help make informal education, meaningful. Of the many roles the schools have to play to make informal education meaningful, only five of them may be identified presently: 1. Teachers are to be role models.

When children copy worthwhile values, they move into the traditional homes with such knowledge and consequently instruct parents… “Teacher says that…” Let me cite an example: Methods of purifying water like boiling and decantation are sent to traditional homes by pupils who took their science lessons serious, and wisely transmitted such information to ignorant parents. Having acquired such knowledge, parents pass them on to those to be born. 2. In Lokko Parentis: Teachers are to be surrogates. A surrogate mother or father is one who plays the role of the real parent.

Surrogacy is the practice of giving birth to a baby for another woman who is unable to have babies herself. The woman who cannot produce children could get a baby from one who is fertile. Then she is expected to treat the child as a real mother will treat her son or daughter with love and affection. Such a child will feel secure, confident and happy. Surrogate parents are true parents in replicate. It is only when the child in a traditional home finds the classroom teacher as a second parent, will it learn with due confidence. 3. Modern Technology: People in traditional societies see the school as indispensable.

Some traditional people now know that it is through schooling that the world is now a global community, especially with the advent of the computer and internet. With the coming of emails, the traditional post office transactions have reduced tremendously. Children in traditional homes are so influenced by Information Technology (IT) that they can now manipulate face books, Linked in; Twitter, to mention just a few. However the popular SAKAWA is becoming a notorious practice, for it is associated using knowledge in IT to siphon people’s money in bank deposits. 4.

Scholarship: When it comes to scholarship, the school plays a tremendous role in traditional African Education system. Parents are glad to see their children gain funding to study abroad to come down to their society as big men and women. In fact, the knowledge and status these children gain from scholarships tend to enhance the progress of society and the communities to which they belong. This is especially true when it comes to political governance. 5. Agriculture: It is believed that when traditional farmers learn modern techniques of crop production, they become better farmers than when they used the traditional methods.

Just as knowledge from the traditional education system impacts formal education, so it is that, knowledge from the school help traditional education. Question: Discuss the role of the school and the community in traditional African Education system. Chapter Four Indigenous Ghanaian Education & Western Formal Education compared In this chapter, we will compare indigenous Ghanaian education with Western formal education system. Indigenous Ghanaian Education (IGE) is that kind of non-literate education that equips the individual with all the knowledge and skills needed, in order to live meaningfully with other human beings.

The main purpose of IGE is to integrate individuals into society. On the other hand Western formal education is that type of education that takes place in the classroom, with teachers, curriculum, infrastructure, etc. How IGE takes place: 1. It is informal and takes place anywhere, home, street, playground, etc. 2. There is no fixed time for instruction in IGE. It takes place from dusk to dawn. 3. Mode of teaching: There are no specific teaching syllabi, nor are there specially employed teachers, with classrooms, tables, chairs and stationery as we have in the Western formal education. a.

Inappropriate behavior is corrected on the spot, by anyone who is deemed responsible in the community. However, anyone with a questionable character was disallowed from instructing the young ones. b. Though there is no formal training, some professions like chieftaincy, herbal medicine, hunting, carving, drumming, etc. , call for special training before practice. Would- be- professionals in the named fields, leave their homes to stay in various locations and study to become professionals. Here, teaching is basically by modeling and example. 4. Learning: In IGE learning is practical oriented. Students see and do.

To become professionals in some fields like herbal medicine, students stay with the chief professionals for not less than five years, or even more! Characteristics of IGE Indigenous Ghanaian Education (IGE) has four characteristics: 1. Informal 2. Non-Literate 3. Utilitarian 4. Multivalent Informal From how IGE takes place we learnt that there are no classrooms nor paid teachers. There is no curriculum, no teachers, no research facilities, no libraries. Non-literate In IGE, there is no reading and writing, so there are no records for reference purposes. Important information is therefore lost to posterity.

However knowledge gained is preserved through oral tradition. Information is passed on to offspring. The probability of such information becoming distorted or adulterated is very high. Utilitarian A major characteristic of IGE is its utilitarian nature. This term has to do with the occupation of people in IGE. None is unemployed. As children are born into various homes, they learn the type of occupation of their parents. The shepherd raises children who learn to care for sheep, goats or cattle; the blacksmith, farmer, fetish priest, etc. , also raise children who take to their occupation. Everyone in IGE is meaningfully occupied.

Under IGE no one is jobless. The training and nurture in IGE is so comprehensive that everyone who trains becomes a responsible adult. The reason is due to the multivalent nature of IGE. Multivalent IGE is multivalent in the sense that it has many parts. Learners in IGE are trained Physically, Morally, Socially, emotionally and intellectually. a. Physical training: When we were discussing the role of the school and community in African Education, we noted that learners in IGE could exercise a lot, due to their involvement in running errands of varied kinds to various places, sometimes on long distances.

The involvement of learners in traditional drumming and dancing assists body building, stretching and enhancing of muscles for efficient circulation of blood. b. Social dimension: Correct use of language is taught, communal labour is encouraged. The youth are heavily involved. Failure to attend communal labour attracted sanctions. Attending social functions to become acquainted with societal norms and values is also encouraged. c. Intellectual dimension: In discussing the role of the community in African education it was noted that running errands with delivery of accurate messages enhanced the intellect of learners.

Besides, calendars were calculated without any mistake though there were no calendar records. Wise sayings and proverbs of the adults were tools to enhance memory power. Strong points in IGE IGE had many strong points, but only a few are recounted below: 1. Cost effectiveness: There is hardly any investment in IGE that went wasted. Every child born grew to inherit an occupational legacy. As mentioned earlier, there was no unemployment in IGE. 2. Instructors: Unlike Western formal education where learners had to be taught by paid teachers, IGE had instructors who were more or less voluntary.

The siblings or friends on the street, the father or mother, and any significant other taught free of charge. There were no books to buy, no infrastructure to build; IGE was absolutely free! 3. Intellectual Development: Under IGE, learners’ memory was improved because every information had to be kept in memory. Weak points in IGE 1. There were no written records in IGE, so potential facts and information were either lost or distorted. 2. Information on treatment of certain diseases were hidden or lost to posterity. There were no materials for future reference.

3. Research was not carried out to prove the authenticity of theories: for example, women who grew beard were classified as witches. In some traditional societies, convulsion is attributed to the work of witches and wizards. Such beliefs slow down the progress of society. Similarities between IGE and formal education: 1. Both IGE and formal education have trained personnel. Priests, herbalists and apprenticeship needed special training to function meaningfully. 2. In formal education and IGE, character transformation and development are common objectives. 3.

Intellectual development is paramount in formal education and IGE, and especially in the latter. Chapter Five Rural -Urban dichotomy Current educational system and distribution of educational resources appear to favour urban than rural areas. The B. Ed. teacher needs to understand challenges in both urban and rural areas within the Ghana Education Service. The table below depicts the 12 major criteria for comparison of education delivery of urban and rural areas, in Ghana. URBAN AREA RURAL AREA 1. Infrastructure is available. Learners have limited infrastructure and sometimes learn under trees.

2. Enrolment in urban schools is teeming, even over. Very limited enrolment, and in some villages classes are combined. 3. Teachers are available for both sexes in urban areas. However, over staffing is sometimes found in some urban schools. Teachers are scarce in rural areas especially the female counterpart. 4. Learners in urban areas could benefit from distant learning facilities, such as TV, radio, etc. In some rural areas there are no facilities for distance learning; even news papers, radio and TV are unavailable. 5. In urban areas sources of good drinking water are many.

For example we have pure drinking water, packaged in sachets; then we have pipe borne water, and bore holes. In rural areas, sources of drinking water include bore holes, rivers, streams, and ponds. Bore holes could be safe; so are some river waters. However ponds and streams might need purification before consumption. Bad drinking water however scares teachers from accepting posting to rural areas. 6. Distance to school may not be a problem in Urban areas because, means of transport is available except the cost involved. In rural areas, distance to school is always a problem.

Learners have to travel miles to school; they get exhausted by the time they reach school. This could affect learning progress. 7. School logistics are available in urban areas. In rural areas, school logistics are scarce. Teachers have to improvise sometimes, to meet learning needs. 8. Food is in urban areas, so learners are fed if only their parents give them money. Food is unavailable for students in rural areas, however, some carry cooked food to school. Others go to school on empty stomach leading to poor performance. 9. Students could be punctual to school.

Students may be late for school. 10. Parents and teachers’ association (PTA) could be organized easily. It is difficult to organize PTA in rural areas. 11. It is easy to elicit funding for school infrastructure in urban areas. It is difficult to get funding for school infrastructure, in rural areas. 12. It is believed that urban students hardly become innovators. It has been discovered that great innovators, educators and philosophers attended school in rural areas. Problems in rural and urban education delivery and suggested solutions 1.

Infrastructure: Whether in the rural or urban areas, when ever infrastructure problem is identified, organizing and soliciting PTA support will be very meaningful. Non-governmental organizations could also be invited to help. 2. Enrolment drive: When there is a problem in over or under enrolment, the teacher must make time to seek solution for it. First, if it is over enrolment, the ideal is to arrange with the school head or administrators to split the classes. This will however call for class accommodation and extra teachers.

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