School as an Agent of Socialization


Socialization- Its meaning

Socialization is a process with the help of which a living organism is changed into a social being. It is a process through which the younger generation learns the adults role which it has to play subsequently. It is a continuous process in the life of an individual and it continues from generation to generation.

The newborn is merely an organism. Socialization makes him responsive to the society. The process of socialization is endless. It prepares him to fit in the group and to perform the social roles. It enables the man to adjust himself to the new social order.

Socialization stands for the development of the human brain, body, attitude, behavior and so forth. the term socialization refers to the process of interaction through which the growing individual learns the habits, attitudes, values and beliefs of the social group into which he has been born.

From the point of view of society. socialization is the way through which society transmits its culture from generation to generations and maintains itself. From the point of view of the individual, socialization is the process by which the individual learns social behavior, develops his ‘self’. thus, we may conclude that socialization is a comprehensive process.

Characteristics of Socialization

1. It is a life-long process.

2. It helps in inculcation of principles, values and symbols of a social system.

3. Socialization enables the person to enact certain roles.

4. The development of social nature enables the person to participate in social life.

5. It helps to control human behavior.

Types of Socialization

Socialization may be grouped into two broad heads:-

1. Primary Socialization 

and 2. Secondary Socialization

Inculcation of norms and values within the family is called primary socialization. On the other hand, the process of imbibing norms, values, behavior patterns of school maybe called as secondary socialization. 

Primary Socialization starts in infancy and childhood. This is considered to be the most important stage of Socialization as the child learns the basic rules of conduct at this stage. Generally, secondary socialization starts at childhood and carries until maturity. However, the process of Socialization never stops in life. It is a life-long process.

Nature of Socialization

Inculcates basic discipline

Socialization inculcates basic discipline. A person learns to control his impulses. He may show a disciplined behavior to gain social approval. 

Helps to control human behavior

It helps to control human behavior. An individual from birth to death undergoes training and his  behavior is controlled by numerous ways. In order to maintain the social order, there are definite procedures or mechanisms in society. These procedures become part of the man’s life and man gets adjusted to the society. Through socialization, society intends to control the behavior of its members unconsciously.

Socialization is rapid if there is more humanity among the agencies of socialization

Socialization takes place rapidly if the agencies of socialization are more unanimous in their ideas and skills. When there is conflict between the ideas, examples and skills transmitted in home and those transmitted by school or peer, socialization of individual tends to be slower and ineffective.

Socialization takes place formally and informally

Formal socialization takes place through direct instruction and education in schools and colleges. family is, however, the primary and the most influential source of education. Children learn their language, customs, norms and values in the family.

Socialization is a continuous process

Socialization is a life-long process. It does not cease when a child becomes an adult. As Socialization does not cease when a child becomes an adult, internalization  of culture continues from generation to generation. Society perpetuates itself through the internalization of culture. His members transmit culture to the next generation and society continues to exists. 

Education as a Process of Socialization

education as a process of socialization

School is the most important agency of imparting formal education. It is described as an agency of social change. It has got to play an important role in the development of the society as an agency of socialization.

The school is to be considered as a miniature society. The school must be linked with the society outside. Varied experiences should be provided to the students, so that in their own way, they are prepared to shoulder the responsibilities of after school life. Activity leading to the child’s emotional, aesthetic, intellectual and physical development must find equal emphasis in the school.

As an agency of socialization, the school has to play an important role in the development of the society. It should be able to fulfil the social needs, hopes and have to be planned in such a way so that it solves the various social, economic, and educational problems of the society. The school is considered to be a place where pupils are expected to acquire knowledge and develop their intellect. But education from the wider sense is a life long process and it is an essential social affairs. Schools are responsible for handing over the cultural heritage of the past to the younger generation. The school is also charged by the society to give training and bringing up the youth, which in primitive societies was cared for by other agencies like home, religious organizations etc.

From this standpoint, the school is now-a-days regarded as a center of social life. In fact, the school should act as a miniature society and a center of social development. With the growth of the sociological tendencies in the world, the school is considered more and more as a “miniature society” exerting potential influence on the minds of the pupils. In every society all over the world, the school is engaged in inculcation of values. Socialization takes place in the school not only through the formal school curricula but also through the hidden curricula which from classroom teaching to organization of sports, dramatics, etc. 

Children learn to keep quite, sit still, obey command, remain neat and punctual by attending school. Participation is school life help them to get rid of the dependence on  parents and relatives and thereby gain self-dependence. Uniform adherence to the rules and regulations of the school society enable the child to grow up as a social being and establish relationship with the wider society outside.

Functions of School

According to J.S. Ross, “Schools are institutions devised of aiding in the preparation of the young for well adjusted and efficient members of society”. In the past, the school was considered to be a place where knowledge imparted to the students used to be bookish, mechanical and stereotyped. No importance was given to the individual differences and needs of the students. Democratic values were not realized and the co-operation of the parents in the running of the school was never felt.

Now the school has to discharge not only its educational functions but provide total education i.e. education for knowledge, skills, understanding culture,. education for activities. The functions of the school change with the changing needs of time. Percy Nunn says, “The school is not a place where certain knowledge is learnt but a place where the young are disciplined in certain forms of activity”.

The functions of school is many sided in the present day society

1. The teachers of a school should try to remove the social superstitution and religious narrow-mindedness of the people.

2. They should try to inform the people about the effect of smoking, gambling, drinking, drugs, aids, etc and encourage them to free themselves from such ill habits. They can organize lectures and invite the doctors also to create an awareness among the public regarding the effects of these bad habits.

3. The co-curricular activities of the school should make full use of the local crafts so that the economic and cultural needs of the society are fulfilled.

4. It should take up the task of removing illiteracy from the society by providing adult education. In the evening, holidays and vacancies, the children of the upper classes should be encouraged to take up such classes.

5. Every school should form a parents teachers association so that the problems of the children can be discussed and solved.

6. Schools should undertake community development programs on child welfare, family planning, population education and environmental education.

7. It should hold community forums, study circles, exhibition etc. in order to make the community people aware of the current socio political situation of the country.

The school should help in the all round development of a child in the following ways:

1. Instead of the 3R’s it should impart education in the 7R’s i.e. reading, writing, arithmetic, rights, recreation, responsibility and relationships.

2. The school must prepare the students for a democratic society by reaching them to live together and make them realize the importance of rights and duties.

3. School acts as an important institution of conserving the morals, customs and ways of social life and passes on to the students.

4. The school should develop a spirit of scientific enquiry in the students.

5. The school life should be closely related to the real life of the community so that the students may be trained to deal with the problems which they will meet in later life.

6. A school must provide situations in which the students gradually learn to understand the relationship in community, country and the world.

7. The school should provide opportunities to the pupils to develop all the three dimensions i.e. body, mind and spirits of their personality in coordination to one another. It should also recognize the individual differences in children and provide opportunities to them to develop their talents according to their capacities.

8. The school stress on building the character of the children by providing moral education. It must try to develop a passion for social justice in the minds and hearts of the students so that they may fight against the social evils of the society.

9. The school should impart vocational education to the students.

10. The students must be given freedom for activity so that they develop a creative mind, freedom for self development.

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