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Which statement refers to the two way relationship between education and society ?
1. The school is a miniature social system.
2. The society plans to have schools
3. The school is a creature of society.
4. The school is created by society to recreate itself

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Correct Answer - Option 4 : The school is created by society to recreate itself

Education and society

  • Education is generally seen as the foundation of society which brings economic wealth, social prosperity, and political stability. It is a major aspect of the development of any modern society and the most significant indicator of the overall development of any region.
  • Education is a sub-system of society. It is related to other sub-systems. Various institutions or sub-systems are a social system because they are interrelated.
  • Emile Durkheim says that the major function of education is the transmission of society’s norms and values. He maintains that “society can survive only if there exists among its members a sufficient degree of homogeneity; education perpetuates and reinforces this homogeneity by fixing in the child from the beginning the essential similarities which collective life demands”
  • Education is a major institution in most societies. Indeed, it is difficult to imagine any industrialized or industrializing society without a system of schools. 
  • Sociologists see education as one of the major institutions that constitute society; they place the study of education in a larger framework of institutions found in every society.
  • John Dewey wrote extensively on this theme and his two contributions are very appropriate here. The School and Society (1899), Democracy and Education (1916). He argues that school is a miniature and reflection of society rather than an individual.

Role of school in society

  • schools serve functions in our society beyond transmitting knowledge and academic skills. 
  • They include the academic curriculum plus functions like socialization and the transmission of cultural norms and values to new generations.
  • Teach students who are working at many different levels of ability together in heterogonous mixes.
  • Help students identify their interests and ability and support them in setting up personal learning goals.
  • Creates a culture of care and community where students learn to support each other and take responsibility for the well-being of each other.


Anthropologists, sociologists, or other social scientists may be on conflicting sides of the argument. Some may argue there is no society without education. Therefore, education comes first and is more important than society. Others may argue that society must exist before there can be education. Furthermore, education is a reflection of a society or is influenced by society. Therefore, society comes first and is more important. In the words of Durkheim,’ education helps in the transmission of norms and values’. On the other hand, Dewey wrote that ‘school is the miniature and reflection of society rather than individual’. It means society has created schools to recreate itself. Hence, we conclude that the option (4) is the most appropriate answer.

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