Education in the American Society- Exam I
Interaction Theory
Recognizes the power of the environment to shape human beings. Individuals create their unique relative meanings of the world based on how they want to exist within it.
Max Weber
Advocate of conflict theory.

Believed that societies differ in terms of how their members view the world (idealism).

The idea that humans define themselves and have unique and constantly changing perceptions of reality. Reality and knowledge socially constructed.
Charles Cooley
Advocate of the Interaction Theory. Developed the concept of the “looking-glass self” to describe how people have images of themselves based on how they believe others perceive them.

Theodor Adorno
Leading proponent of critical theory relating to music. Seeks “pure” and “non-commericalized” music in music education. Music used to oppress through the media. Claims that aesthetics alone are not adequate; the effect of music is determined by the listener’s reaction.
Bennett Reimer
Believed that music is intrinsically connected with culture and human nature and that beauty depends on context.;
Estelle Jorgensen
Critical theorist.

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Claims that music fails to meet the needs of contemporary students. There is no “right” or “wrong” way to experience music.

Conflict Theory
Assumes there is constant tension in society between those who have wealth and power and those who do not. Assumes that a person’s societal status identifies his position in a group. Schools are meant to teach cultural status.
Emile Durkheim
Advocate of functionalism. First to promote science as a basis for making sociological decisions.

Karl Marx
Advocate of conflict theory. Believed society would improve through scientific growth.
Social Behaviorism
George Mead’s idea that the human self emerges from social experiences with other human beings through interactions. To understand how humans view us, we must imagine how others perceive us.

George Mead
Inventor of the interactive theory. Believes society is in a state of constant change based on the existence of constant human change.
Thomas Regelski
Critical theorist. Music is politically and socially influenced. Founder of MayDay group to examine the purpose of music education.

Aesthetic Education
The view that music’s formal elements are more important than any referential meaning related to the musical experience.
Functionalist Theory
Assumes society and its institutions are made up of interdependent parts, all working together in predictable ways that enable society to function efficiency.Schools need to transmit knowledge and behavior necessary to maintain order in society.

Social Conflict
Conflict between individuals and groups competing for unequally distributed wealth and power.
Philosophical approach developed by Max Weber which highlights the different perspectives of how people view the world. Societies differ in terms of how their members think about the world.
Looking Glass Self
Term coined by George Cooley to designate the image people have of themselves based on how they think others perceive them.
Critical Theory
Developed by the Frankfurt School in Germany. Analyzes components of society and develops new concepts of how to resolve issues in nontraditional manners. Perceives society as dysfunctional and problematic, always changing.

John Mueller
Beauty depends on context. Culture and human nature are connected to music. Music taste is reflective of social norms. Education should connect human feelings to musical experiences.

David Elliott
Critical theorist. Claims that music involves both processes and products. Music education should be purposeful and thoughtful and reflect the surrounding culture and people.
The study of human behavior, origins, organizations, institutions, and the development of human society.
Melting Pot Society
A society where individuals assimilate traditions into a new way of life.
Learning one’s culture
A subset of society; a group of people who share a common way of life.

Pluralistic Society
Becoming part of a new society while maintaining your cultural traditions.
Behavioral norms- actions or events- which are not required of a group but expected.
Describes a society where many varied ways of life blend.
A community of people with common traditions, behaviors, values, beliefs, and interests. (No universally accepted definition)
Expected form of behavior in a culture
The process of acquiring the characteristics of a different culture.
The social institutions that guides a society’s transmission of knowledge to its members.

Instructional Concepts
Schooling: Specific specialized information and training, Product-centeredEducation: Broad base of knowledge, generalized training (Process-centered)
Human Capital
The fact that better trained individuals means more skilled employees and better profits from a business standpoint.
Primary Purposes of Education
Education:1. The social institution that guides society’s transmission of knowledge to its members.2. Should enhance understanding of the world, of oneself, and of one’s own experiences.

3. A principle source of human progress and an agent of change that enables individuals to meet the needs of an ever-changing world.4. Achieved through both formal and informal means

Informal and Formal Learning
Formal: Knowledge transmitted through classes, activities, curricula, textbooksInformal: Values and morals imparted through social interactions, competitions, events, etc.
Process and Product
Education vs.


Cultural Capital
The viewpoint that individuals are stratified based on levels of cultural understanding. By increasing cultural accumulation, one can attain better education and opportunities.
Horace Mann
The “Father of American Education” Believed that education equalized man’s condition.
No Child Left Behind Act
Education act that calls for schools to teach character education to for proper American citizens.

Status Attainment
The idea that education can either help or hinder an individual’s position in society.
Social Capital
The concept that focusing on human and culture capital leads to diminishing social relationships. Schools form a stronger bond between students and community if they enforce common norms and values.
John Dewey
Promoted the idea that an educated person has increased opportunities.