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Main Topic: The Sociological Foundations of Education
Report No. :
Albertine R. De Juan Jr.
!M"Ed! F#T
At the end of this lecture, the learner should be able to:
Defne Politics;
Discuss the diference between Politics and Education;
Comprehend the relationship of Political science to education;
discuss diferent political issues in education;
share ideas on the advantage and disadvantages of relating
Politics to education;
cite political issues in education of our countr;
show active participation on the discussion!
A. Politi! "e#ne a!$
Politics "from #ree$: % politi$os,
meaning &of, for, or relating to citi'ens&( is the
practice and theor of in)uencing other
people on a global, civic or individual level!
*ore narrowl, it refers to achieving and
e+ercising positions of governance ,
organi'ed control over a human communit,
particularl a state!
"http:--en!wi$ipedia!org-wi$i-Politics (
.he art or science of government or governing,
especiall the governing of a political entit, such as
a nation, and the administration and control of its
internal and e+ternal afairs!
Political science!
a! .he activities or afairs engaged in b a
government, politician, or political part: &All
politics is local& ".homas P! /01eill, 2r!( &Politics
have appealed to me since 3 was at /+ford
because the are e+citing morning, noon, and
night& "2efre Archer(!
b! .he methods or tactics involved in managing a
state or government: .he politics of the former
regime were re4ected b the new government
leadership! 3f the politics of the conservative
government now borders on the repressive, what
can be e+pected when the econom falters5
6sage 1ote: Politics, although plural in form, ta$es a
singular verb when used to refer to the art or
science of governing or to political science: Politics
has been a concern of philosophers since Plato! 7ut
in its other senses politics can ta$e either a singular
or plural verb! *an other nouns that end in 8ics
behave similarl, and the user is advised to consult
specifc entries for precise information! (The
American Heritage Dictionary of the English
Language, Fourth Edition copyright 2 !y
Houghton "i#in $ompany% &pdated in 2'%
(u!lished !y Houghton "i#in $ompany% All rights
B. Politi! an" e"uation
Diferent persons will approach the relationship
between politics and education from diferent vectors!
9ol$s interested in diving more deepl into specifc
areas should follow the appropriate lin$s in the info8bo+
to the right!
.he interface between politics and education is at once
deepl intellectual and criticall practical! :ome who
come to this page will be interested in the relationship
between teachers unions and innovative institutional
arrangements in schools; others in curriculum and
pedagog; others in race and culture; others in the
relationship between technolog and education; others
in the relationship custom shot glasses between
political philosoph and education, or even the politics
of $nowledge; others in teacher education; others in
high8sta$es testing; and still others in the dnamic
relationship between political ideolog and education!
/f course, this is onl to a name a few of the potential
vectors of in;uir that permeate the relationship
between political and educational phenomena!
C. Politi! in E"uation
As an academic discipline the stud of politics in
education has two main roots! .he frst root is based
on theories from political science while the second
root is footed in organi'ational theor! Political science
attempts to e+plain how societies and social
organi'ations use power to establish regulations and
allocate resources! /rgani'ational theor uses
scientifc theories of management to develop deeper
understandings regarding the function of
<esearchers have drawn a distinction between two
tpes of politics in schools! .he term micro politics
refers to the use of formal and informal power b
individuals and groups to achieve their goals in
organi'ations! Cooperative and con)ictive processes
are integral components of micro politics! *acro
politics refers to how power is used and decision
ma$ing is conducted at district, state, and federal
levels! *acro politics is generall considered to e+ist
outside of the school, but researchers have noted that
micro8 and macro politics ma e+ist at an level of
school sstems depending on circumstance!
.here e+ist signifcant diference between &Politics of
Education& and &Politics in Education&! *ore debates
on the prevailing diferences are solicited from
academia of the world to defne politics educationall!
D.Politi! an" E"uation Don%t Mi&
A central )aw of corporate paradigms, as is often
noted in popular culture, is the mind8numbing and
dehumani'ing efect of bureaucrac! :ometimes we
are horrifed and sometimes we laugh, but arguments
for or against the free mar$et ma be misguided if we
fail to address bureaucrac0s corrosive role in the
business model!
Current claims about private, public, or charter
schools in the education reform movement, which has
its roots in the mid8nineteenth centur, ma also be
mas$ing a much more important call to confront and
even dismantle the bureaucrac that currentl
cripples universal public education in the 6!:!
&:uccessful teaching and good school cultures don0t
have a formula,& argued legal reformer Philip =!
>oward earlier in this series, &but the have a
necessar condition: teachers and principals must feel
free to act on their best instincts!!!!.his is wh we
must bulldo'e school bureaucrac!&
7ureaucrac, however, remains an abstraction and
serves as little more than a convenient and popular
target for ridicule 88 unless we unpac$ what actions
within bureaucrac are the sources for man of the
persistent failures we associate erroneousl with
public education as an institution! 7ureaucrac fails,
in part, because it honors leadership as a primar
;ualit over e+pertise, commits to ideological
solutions without identifing and clarifing problems
frst, and repeats the same reforms over and over
while e+pecting diferent results: our
standards-testing model is more than a centur old!
Public education is b necessit an e+tension of our
political sstem, resulting in schools being reduced to
vehicles for implementing political mandates! 9or
e+ample, during the past thirt ears, education has
become federali'ed through dnamics both indirect
"&A 1ation at <is$& spurring state8based accountabilit
sstems( and direct "1o Child ?eft 7ehind and <ace to
the .op(!
As government polic and practice, bureaucrac is
unavoidable, of course! 7ut the central )aw in the
need for structure and hierarch is that politics
prefers leadership characteristics above e+pertise! 1o
politician can possibl have the e+pertise and
e+perience needed in all the man areas a leader
must address "notabl in roles such as governor and
president(! 7ut during the &accountabilit era& in
education of the past three decades, the direct role of
governors and presidents as related to education has
increased dramaticall88often with education as a
central plan$ in their campaigns!
/ne distinct )aw in that development has been a
tric$le8down efect reaching from presidents and
governors to state superintendents of education and
school board chairs and members: people who have
no or ver little e+perience or e+pertise as educators
or scholars attain leadership positions responsible for
forming and implementing education polic!
.he faces and voices currentl leading the education
reform movement in the 6!:! are appointees and self8
proclaimed reformers who, while often well8meaning,
lac$ signifcant e+pertise or e+perience in education:
:ecretar of Education Arne Duncan, billionaire 7ill
#ates, *ichelle <hee "whose entrance to education
includes the alternative route of .each for America
and onl a few ears in the classroom(, and :al =han,
for e+ample!
7ureaucrac bestows authorit and a hierarch on
education that allows and perpetuates leadership
without e+pertise or e+perience! .he conse;uences
include the two most vivid e+amples of wh education
reform has failed and will continue to fail: "@( 3ne+pert
leadership is ideologicall committed to solutions and
thus implements solutions without identifing and
clarifing the problems frst, and "A( ine+pert
leadership that is in constant )u+, with the perpetual
changes in administrations, is apt to implement the
same solutions over and over with diferent outcomes
3ne+pert political leaders believe in and act upon a
faith in the efectiveness of their cult of personalit!
.he sa b their actions, &3 can do this where others
have not& 88 triggering the American cultural faith in
rugged individualism!
6niversal public education needs a new wall,
paralleling the wall of separation between church and
state: a wall between education and government and
corporate America! Power over funding and broad
performance benchmar$s can remain vested in
political leaders! 7ut granular operational details
should be left to educators and local administrators,
the people best suited to achieve these goals in their
schools and classrooms! Education should be treated
no diferentl than a civil engineering pro4ect:
government provides funding and ensures the goals
of the civil function, and then e+pert builders and
engineers fll in the details, ta$ing into account
realities on the ground and utili'ing a wealth of
e+perience and training that is completel unavailable
to most elected oBcials! #overnors and presidents
are no better suited to run schools than the are to
run construction sites, and it0s time our education
sstem re)ected that fact!
/nce we have that wall, education reform needs to be
driven b educators and researchers who have lived,
practiced, and considered carefull what the goals of
education should be for a free people, what the
hurdles are for improving educational outcomes for all
children "hurdles that are powerfull in)uenced b the
lives of children beond the walls of school(, and how
to foster a culture that supports and embraces that
3nstead of calls for new standards and tests, greater
competition through school choice and charter
schools, and contradictor claims that teachers are
both complete failures and the most important
element in student outcomes 88 all solutions that do
not match identifed problems 88 education reform
must start with the dominant burden on our children
and schools, as :tephen =rashen, researcher and
educator, e+plains:
Povert is, in fact, the issue! Chile American students0
scores on international tests are not as bad as critics
sa the are, the are even better when we control
for the efects of povert: *iddle8class students in
well8funded schools, in fact, score at or near the top
of world! /ur average scores are respectable but
unspectacular because!!!we have such a high
percentage of children living in povert, the highest of
all industriali'ed countries! /nl four percent of
children in high8scoring 9inland, for e+ample, live in
povert! /ur rate of povert is over A@ perecent!
7ureaucrac is failing education reform because it
doesn0t ac$nowledge or address two central realities:
the 6!:! remains corrosivel ine;uitable, especiall in
terms of race, class, and gender; and education tends
to perpetuate those ine;uities through commitments
to trac$ing, testing, and ran$ing!
&7ureaucrac can0t teach,& as >oward notes! 7ut
educators and researchers can lead schools if we will
commit ourselves to genuine social reform that
addresses povert, and to education reform that
allows teachers to do that which the $now how to do!
E. Politial I!!ue! relate" to E"uation
Education is a political issue! .his is wh!
7 blue mil$ on December AD, AE@A
.his, F9or man poor students, leap to college ends in
a hard fallG is a ver well8e+ecuted piece in .he 1ew
Hor$ .imes! 3t follows three talented, but terribl
disadvantaged, girl students who ma$e it into
universit but then manage to go no further, and it
shows wh education doesnIt alwas lead to social
mobilit; in fact, it ver often holds poor people down
while further elevating middle8class and upper8class
people! >ow education sstems can activel wor$
against the poor is an area of in4ustice 3 fnd deepl
concerning because it is fre;uentl ignored!
7 now, almost ever polic8ma$er can ac$nowledge
the returns to education as a social investment, but
what the donIt alwas appreciate are the was in
which poor people fnd the path through education
more diBcult to navigate than do students from more
wealth families! 1ot because theIre somehow less
cann, but because the institution is rigged against
them! .he concept of not being able to aford
universit fees is something most people can grasp,
but the other $inds of barriers poor $ids face in
getting an education can easil loo$ li$e disinterest, a
lac$ of motivation, and mindless self8sabotage from
the outside! .his is dangerous when it comes to
<eading that article b 2ason DeParle 3 am struc$ b
the number of times a lac$ of social capital "ie! inside
$nowledge and the prerogative to use it(
disadvantages these three students as the tr to
succeed! :ocial capital is a tpe of capital that tends
to get inherited and loc$ed down b class! 3t can be
diBcult to observe because it wonIt show up in a ta+
return! * own single8parent famil lived below the
povert line while 3 was going through high school and
universit but we had one big advantage J m mother
had come from a well8to8do famil and she had the
social capital from those beginnings to $now how to
navigate the sstem and to feel entitled to do so
when push came to shove! 3 donIt want to down8pla
how diBcult 3 found m time growing up in povert or
how lasting its efects have been for me, but social
capital is a tpe of advantage 3Ive seen up close and
been gifted!! and 3 will never under8estimate it!
:ome of the big polic messages coming out of that
article in the 1ew Hor$ .imes include:
low8income $ids lac$ social capital which
would otherwise help them navigate
educational institutions and their place in
low8income $ids need to earn mone while
also studing full8time;
low8income $ids often have to leave their
communit and famil to go to a good
universit and therefore encounter emotional
low8income $ids often provide the unpaid care
services their families re;uire at the e+pense
of their own education and needs "and low8
income families are less able to pa for
therapies the need and so rel more heavil
on unpaid care wor$ in their own families,
plus, being poor is stressful and phsicall
low8income $ids tr not to achieve too much
academicall in order to protect their families
from further e+penses and a sense of
low8income $ids are e+pected to adapt to the
culture and lifestle of high8income $ids when
the attend universit;
low8income $ids are disadvantaged b not
being able to aford the e+tra8curricula help
that high8income $ids receive with their
low8income $ids go into debt to pa of their
education but with the ris$ of lower chances of
graduating and conse;uentl lower chances of
gaining a high salar 4ob to pa of their debt;
low8income $ids are more li$el to see
education as a KselfshI pursuit on their part;
?ow8income $ids lac$ a safet net when things
go wrong!
Let u! #r!t i"enti() t*e i+,ortant i!!ue!
a-etin. t*e P*ili,,ine e"uational !)!te+.
.he frst issue is the role of education in national
development! :everal researchers had delved
into the diferent components afecting the
educational sstem, more specifcall, whether it
can solve the multifarious problems in societ!
Education has been loo$ed into as the means of
alleviating povert, decreasing criminalities,
increasing economic benefts and ultimatel
uplifting the standard of living of the 9ilipino
masses! Cith these in mind, the government on
its part has been continuousl investing so much
resource into the education sector! >owever,
with the comple+it of educational issues,
solutions are far from realit! Allied with this
issue is the preparation of our students from the
basic education up to tertiar level! .he
;uestions of how well are the schools e;uipped
and able to train the pupils under their care are
crucial! 3t is a sad realit that onl seven out of
ten pupils who enroll in #rade @ fnish the
elementar curriculum, and from the seven who
continue to secondar, onl L are able to
complete the curriculum! 9rom these three onl
one can complete the tertiar education! 7ased
on this scenario, how can we e+pect our
students to help in nation building when the do
not have the necessar s$ills and trainings5
<ealit is that, formal education has not
achieved what it was supposed to achieve! /ur
schools right now are in a ;uandar on how to
$eep children in school, with the increasing rate
of drop outs! .he functional literac of the
9ilipinos is at its minimum re)ecting the sad
state of education! .here are rampant problems
of child labor, where children who are supposed
to be in the classroom are wor$ing to help
augment famil income! 6nemploment rate is
rising ever ear as more students graduate
from colleges and universities, who cannot be
accommodated b the labor mar$et!
6nderemploment is the name of the game
since professionals are forced to accept
emploment far from their areas of speciali'ation
and training because the need to wor$ and earn
for their families! .he gap between the few who
are rich and the ma4orit who are poor is
becoming wider and bigger! 1ow what has
education got to do with this5 3f e+perts claimed
that education is an instrument for national
development, where does the problem lie5
Another important issue confronting the
educational sstem is the curriculum that is not
responsive to the basic needs of the countr! ?et
us re)ect on the components of the present
curriculum, specifcall in the basic education!
/ur elementar pupils are re;uired to have nine
to ten sub4ects competing for time allocations!
*ore time is allotted for sub4ects li$e English,
:cience and *athematics with other sub4ects li$e
health, music, values education, civics
integrated into the *a$abaan curriculum!
Added to this are enrichment sub4ects li$e
Computer literac, Ethics among others
"especiall in the private schools(! .his re)ects
the priorities of the government in educating our
oung people! 3t is a realit that a grade @ pupil
carries so man boo$s to school "wondering
whether all these materials are actuall read in
the class(! .his overloaded curriculum results to
diBcult in $nowledge and s$ills absorption
among our pupils! Cith this practice how can we
e+pect our oung people to develop love of
countr, patriotism, and other nationalistic traits,
when their concepts of these are not properl
taught5 Corse, man pupils drop out of school
before the reach the si+th grade because of
povert, thus increasing their chances of losing
the incipient literac ac;uired, and therefore,
forfeit the privilege of developing patriotic and
nationalistic attitudes! .his sad state, proliferate
the ccle of povert that the 9ilipino masses
e+perience! Cith the constant change in the
basic education curriculum, teachers need to
upgrade themselves in order that the can
properl implement these changes! 6pgrading
re;uires attendance to trainings, seminars,
conferences and even enrollment in graduate
education! 7ut with the present conditions of the
teachers in the public schools onl ver few can
aford this, unless government intervenes and
provide upgrading activities for free!
Another issue that is of import is the constant
implementation of programs in education which
are not properl monitored! 3t is a fact that
technocrats in the education department are
political appointees, hence the serve at the
whims and pleasures of the appointing oBcer! 3t
is also a fact that ever political administration
wanted to have their names imprinted in ever
government program or pro4ect! .his is ver true
in the Department of Education, when for
instance, a department secretar appointed b a
particular president assumes oBce, he will be
implementing programs and pro4ects attuned to
the battlecr of that administration! .herefore,
the previous programs and pro4ects implemented
b the previous administration shall be
discontinued, regardless that program or pro4ect
is wor$able and efective, because it is not the
priorit of the present administration, and does
not carr their names! Added to that is the non
evaluation of programs implemented! A ver
concrete e+ample is the 7ridge program
implemented a few ears ago! .his program
screens grade si+ pupils b sub4ecting them to
testing! .hose who were not able to pass were
re;uired to repeat grade si+ as a bridge for their
secondar education! As a result, man pupils
were re;uired to re enroll in grade M, adding a
ear to their elementar education! 7ut, after
man complaints and criticisms, this program
was discontinued! 7ut what about the losses
incurred b the department5 .he added ear in
the academic life of the pupils afected5 .he
added fnancial burden to parents5 Cho will
answer and be accountable for this blunder5 3s
this 4ust a case of trial and error program
implementation5 Presumabl, the program was
not properl studied, but was onl implemented
to satisf the egos of the technocrats in the
education department! Anent to these issues are
concerns that the education sector have to
address! 9irst concern is the so8called
globali'ation of education! .his concern was a
response to the ever changing milieu in the
international academic communit where
students must be globall competitive! .hus,
schools must transform their orientation from
being parochial to liberal! Programs must be
realigned to meet international standards!
Nualifcations of teachers, facilities of the
institutions and instructional materials and
strategies must conform with international
accreditation re;uirements! 7ut how man of our
institutions, are able to meet this re;uirement5
.ertiar institutions continue to produce
graduates who do not have the necessar
emploabilit s$ills, not onl in terms of the local
norms but more so with international standards!
:adl, even if our graduates wor$ abroad the
end up wor$ing as laborers, domestics and other
blue collar wor$ers which do not ft their
educational credentials! 3 believe, that ou will
agree with me that is this not the concept of
globali'ation we have in mind! .he Department
of Education will implement the =8@A program b
the ne+t school ear! .his is in response to the
alignment of the basic education curriculum to
international standards! .he present sstem of M
J D J D, according to the education e+perts lac$s
the re;uired number of ears that our students
have to spend in school, from the elementar,
secondar up to the tertiar level! >ence, there
is a need to add two more ears to our basic
education so that the students will have more
ears in developing the necessar emploabilit
s$ills the must have after the graduate from
secondar school! 7ut is this reall the answer to
the present handicap of our educational sstem5
Cill adding two ears bring more benefts5 /r
will it 4ust result to more fnancial implications,
not onl to the parents but also to the
government5 .his is a concern that has to be
addressed before it becomes too late for us to
reali'e the impact it will create in the succeeding
ears! .he educational sstem does not receive
much budget from the government! .his resulted
to poor facilities! :chools in the rural areas do
not receive much support from the government!
:chool supplies such as boo$s are received b
them almost at the end of the ear! Chat use will
it give the pupils and students5 .o add more
insult, te+tboo$s contain a lot of errors in spelling
and facts presented! .his is a clear indication of
a governmentIs failure to provide the basic
services needed b its people! .he same
problem is also e+perienced b :tate 6niversities
and College when the government decided to
reduce their budget allocation! 1ews reports of
students from the 6niversit of the Philippines
and other :tate 6niversities pic$eting before
Congress demanding for the increase of their
budget is not a rare scenario! :tudents too$ it
upon themselves to ventilate school budget
concerns for these can redound to increase in
their matriculation fees, non8 upgrading or
updating of school and librar facilities, and non
hiring of additional facult members, among
others! :tate run institutions are empowered to
generate their income in order that the can
manage their fnances and not depend so much
from government subsidies! 3t is in this conte+t
that school administrators do their best to win
favors from politicians, whom the believe can
support their school programs and pro4ects! .his
results to another concern of too much politics in

Politics in education is an issue that presentl
pervades educational sstem in the countr! .he
government, specifcall the legislators, is inept
in formulating laws that can address the crisis in
the educational sstem! A sad realit that is
happening right now is the formulation of
policies with the main purpose of ma$ing our
educational sstem at par with those in other
countries, but there are no concrete guidelines
as to how these are to be implemented! *ost
educational e+perts are technocrats with no
e+perience in the feld!
SUMMAR .hings to Ponder:
Politics refer as the practice and theor of in)uencing
other people on a global, civic or individual level!
*ore narrowl, it refers to achieving and e+ercising
positions of governance , organi'ed control over a
human communit, particularl a state!
As an academic discipline the stud of politics in
education has two main roots! .he frst root is based
on theories from political science while the second
root is footed in organi'ational theor! Political
science attempts to e+plain how societies and social
organi'ations use power to establish regulations
and allocate resources!
Politics in education is an issue that presentl
pervades educational sstem in the countr! .he
government, specifcall the legislators, is inept in
formulating laws that can address the crisis in the
educational sstem! A sad realit that is happening
right now is the formulation of policies with the
main purpose of ma$ing our educational sstem at
par with those in other countries, but there are no
concrete guidelines as to how these are to be
implemented! *ost educational e+perts are
technocrats with no e+perience in the feld!