The functionalist views on the education/school is that it prepares us for the future e.g. jobs. Talcott Parsons says that school is the bridge to the real world, in the time we are in school it conditions us to behave the way we are expected to behave in life. School teaches us the norms and values that we need for the future, Emile Durkheim believes that by teaching children history we a creating them so see the bigger picture, making people work as a team a giving a sense of commitment. He also argues that education teaches children the skills they need to know to do their part in society. The weakness in his theory is that he never tested it out, he just said what he believed was right. All functionalist believe that we are in a meritocratic society and that children are rewarded on their skills and ability, not there social class. Marxists believe that education is purely there to help capitalists, Althusser sees educations as a way to sieve children out so they fit the roles of their class, this means that everyone stays where they belong, people of the working class stay there as proletariats and except being exploited.
Bowles and Gintis say that it is the schools role to teach children that they will only fit into the jobs of their class, they say that if they a never taught about better job for the middle class they will never try to succeed to become them, leaving the bourgeoisie in control. Marxists came up with the hidden curriculum, this is where the middle class denote achievement but the working class as fooled into believing that they have a fair chance. Marxists have a theory that boys or girls that form subcultures at school will be the ones that go into work and be fired. They believe it works like this, a children at school forms subcultures, they rebel while in school, where as in school you have so many chances in the world of work if you mess up you are fired, being so used to doing whatever they want, they continue this behaviour as school has conditioned us into thinking it’s acceptable, by continuing it we later learn it is not acceptable and therefore lose our job.