Education and social cohesion

Babacan, Hurriyet (2007) Education and social cohesion. In: Jupp, James, Nieuwenhuysen, John, and Dawson, Emma, (eds.) Social Cohesion in Australia. Cambridge University Press, New York, NY, USA, pp. 142-157.

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[Extract] Every contemporary society has ways of imparting knowledge, wisdom and values through organised systems, most often through public education systems. UNESCO's vision for education is stated as follows:

Education is at the heart of personal and community development, its mission is to enable each of us, without exception, to develop all talents to the full and realize our creative potential, including responsibility for our own lives and the achievement of personal aims. (Delors 1996: 1)

The purpose of public education, which has undergone significant transformation over time, has its roots in the development of 'public morality' instituted through religious organisations (Glen 1988). With the separation of the state from religion, the state has increasingly begun to take on responsibility for the delivery of education. Durkheim provided the first systematic theorisation of the historical role and social function of mass education in terms of social integration. He wrote: 'Society can only exist if there exists among its members a sufficient degree of homogeneity. Education perpetuates and reinforces this homogeneity by fixing in the child, from the beginning, the essential similarities that collective life demands' (1956: 70). Durkheim left a legacy of linking education with social cohesion. Social cohesion was seen as the glue that keeps the members of a social system together. As industrialisation has become more advanced, contemporary education has moved away from strict notions of public morality to focus not only on the skills and knowledge base driven by the needs of a rapidly changing economy, but on the creation of national identity and citizenship within the nation-state.

Item ID: 17911
Item Type: Book Chapter (Research - B1)
ISBN: 978-0-521-70943-9
Date Deposited: 13 Oct 2011 04:28
FoR Codes: 13 EDUCATION > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130302 Comparative and Cross-Cultural Education @ 100%
SEO Codes: 93 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 9399 Other Education and Training > 939999 Education and Training not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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