Explain how education is an agent of secondary socialisation
First of all, what is a socialisation process? The term socialization is used by sociologists, social psychologists and educationalists to refer to the process of learning one’s culture and how to live within it. For the individual it provides the skills and habits necessary for acting and participating within their society. For the society, inducting all individual members into its moral norms, attitudes, values, motives, social roles, language and symbols is the ‘means by which social and cultural continuity are attained’
There are two types of socialisation: primary and secondary. Primary education is usually a process conducted by parents of a child in order to show what values and actions are appropriate for individuals.
Secondary specialisation is the process of teaching a child norms, values, social accepted behaviour and social limitations and barriers. Children learn all these from their friends, mass media, teachers at school and many other sources outside a family.
But wait, at schools children are taught to use basic skills and to apply knowledge in a range of different subjects, officially it is not such a big part of secondary socialisation. However, sociologists see two types of curriculum at schools and colleges: formal and hidden. The formal curriculum is an amount of knowldge a student should learn about the subjects he or she is studying, while the hidden curriculum is the messages schools transmit to pupils without directly teaching them or spelling them out. It consists of ideas, beliefs, norms and values which are often taken for granted and transmitted as part of the normal routines and procedures of school life. It includes the unwritten and often unstated rules and regulations which guide and direct everyday school behaviour.
So, as it can be seen from the given definition, the hidden curriculum completely accomplishes the task of the secondary socialisation. However, some may argue that some schools (state schools in low-income regions, for example), fail to provide this to their students.
Sociology in focus textbook.
Differences between norms and values