chapter  6
12 Pages

The sociology of education: a critique

In this chapter we look at the sociological understandings that underpinned 1960s’ policies. As we noted in Chapter 4, the strength of the old sociology of education, from D. V. Glass’s original conception onwards, was the mapping of educational inequalities. Throughout the 1960s and beyond, sociologists continued to monitor the effects of educational changes through the indices of inequality that had been established in the early surveys. We have already noted the main features of this mapping: the use of notions of class or status group to make inter¬ generational comparisons, usually of father’s occupational group and son’s educational achievements; the comparison of the class structure of educational access with the class distribution of ‘ability’ using the results of intelligence testing; the calculation of class chances of reaching particular levels within the education system.