• Category:
  • Document type:
  • Level:
  • Page:
  • Words:


Schooling and the Interests of the Dominant Class


Schooling includes the formal procedure related to the institutions of learning from the Pre-kindergarten level all the way to university level (Lawson &Garrod‎ 2012). It is supposed to serve the interests of both the individual and the society as well.Learning teaches you the necessary requirements for regular daily life and hence creates one to be a valuable person (Ballantine &Hammack ‎ 2015).In the sociological perspective, education serves several functions in accomplishing various needs in the society and Maybe an essential role of learning is socialization (Mills &‎ Gale 2009). Children learn values, norms and abilities necessary for efficient functioning of the society from schools (Cole & Hill 2013). This paper will discuss how schooling serves the interests of the dominant class.

The Interests of the Dominant Class

Schooling seems to favor the interests of the ruling or dominant class (Horn 2002). According to Karl Marx, the dominant class is the one that controls the wealth of society, and it lives in conflict with the other classes who are the servants of the ruling class(Ballantine &Hammack ‎2015). There are various reasons that try to verify that schooling majorly serves the interest of the ruling or dominant class in the society.

Education and Inequality

Tracking in Schools

Inequality is naturally organizational since it is significant to the economic structure (Horn 2002). The capitalist society does not aim at financial equality because the very foundation of a capitalist society is an uneven struggle for economic resources. Thus for the ruling class to maintain its control of wealth, influence, and supremacy, it is crucial that the learning systems reproduces ideologies that continue to favor the dominant class (Mills &‎ Gale 2009).People need to be socialized into accepting the concepts of capitalism which include wide inequalities of income and affluence as well as the structured disparity (Lawson &Garrod‎ 2012). Take, for example, the tracking system of students in the United States; the students who appear to be academically intelligent are positioned in the faster tracks whereas those considered to be less intelligent are located in slower tracks (Cole & Hill 2013).

There are three main tracks in high school and they include the vocational track, the general track, and the college track. This tracking helps to ensure that bright students use their abilities to the maximum while slower students are given general attention (Barman & Gleason‎ 2003). Worse still is the fact that some students are discriminated against race or culture in the whole issue of tracking which should not be the case (Mills &‎ Gale 2009). White students of middle-class status are likely to be tracked up whereas students from poor backgrounds, as well as students of black race, will probably be tracked down even if they are bright (Barman & Gleason‎ 2003). By tracking them down, most of those students lose interest in school and their self-confidence which in turn affects their grades and their future lives (Mills &‎ Gale 2009).

Extensive Usage of Standardized Exams

The widespread use of standardized exams is another factor that has propagated social disparity in the educational institutions (Horn 2002). Most of the examinations in the schools tend to be culturally prejudiced because they involve problems that are more easily understood by the white race of students since their upbringings have granted those diverse experiences that assist them in solving the problems (Lawson &Garrod‎ 2012). In addition, the marks attained from these standardized exams reflect learners’ socioeconomic position and experiences on top of their educational capabilities (Mills &‎ Gale 2009). This propagates social inequality to a greater extent.

Learning institutions also vary widely in the resources they use, learning circumstances among other aspects through which students’ learning is affected. In simple words, learning institutions portray inequality and the fact that they are unequal continues to propagate inequality in the wider society (Cole & Hill 2013).Students from the poorest educational institutions face more obstructions to their schooling than those well-funded schools(Cole & Hill 2013). The lack of efficient learning in those schools causes them to stay stuck in poverty and its associated problems. Standardized tests restrict the children’s ability to enhance their knowledge skills (Barman & Gleason‎ 2003). Students gain better learning through a comprehensive curriculum and diverse valuation tools that inspire their personal inventiveness (Barman & Gleason‎ 2003). Eventually, provision of vigorous curriculum and excellence teaching associated with high-class schools confirms that schools serve the interests of the most privileged people (Mills &‎ Gale 2009).

Indoctrination through Modern Schooling System

Following a standardized system strictly hinders our potentials and is an overwhelming waste of an individual’s potential that only profits the people in power (Cole & Hill 2013). Standardized testing are tools used to oppress the people of lower classes by the individuals who control the wealth (Horn 2002).Our present learning systems worldwide have come up with objectives that are far less than enlightening students but rather oppressing the less privileged in the society as the results indicate (Ballantine &Hammack ‎2015). The system excludes the subordinate classes and the race subgroups making educational success to be reliant on economic resources and compliance to the dominant philosophy.

This philosophy enforces standards that unevenly benefit the most advantaged and instills students how to reason rather than how to evaluate their environment critically (Cole & Hill 2013). Therefore, poor results do not necessarily result from inability but just because the systems are designed in a way to causes one to fail (Barman & Gleason‎ 2003). Hence, the failure benefits those in power who constantly continue to control the wealth while the others continue to serve them and their authority is not supposed to be questioned nor challenged (Barman & Gleason‎ 2003). The real drive of the education system is to train individuals to adopt the dominant ideology without raising questions (Mills &‎ Gale 2009).

The segregation is replicated in the standardized power ranks, with commonly the white race sharing similar social, economic and political interests (Horn 2002). It is easier to manipulate people when power is concerned in the hands of few wealthy people. Thus, instruments like standardized testing are incorporated by the few in authority and easily applied in the education system (Ballantine &Hammack ‎2015).


In conclusion, this paper has discussed the way in which schooling serves the interests of the ruling class. School plays a significant role in the socialization of an individual, and our current education system has contributed a lot to the social inequality experienced in our society. Some of the causes of social disparity include tracking in schools, extensive usage of standardized exams and indoctrination through modern schooling system. The education system needs to find alternative education systems that would enhance a teacher-student relationship to deliver the less privileged from the yoke of the advantaged few.


BallantineJ.&Hammack‎F.( 2015).The Sociology of Education: A Systematic Analysis.Routledge.

Barman J. & Gleason‎ M. (2003).Children, Teachers and Schools in the History of British Columbia. Canada. Brush Education

Cole M. & Hill D. (2013) Schooling and Equality: Fact, Concept and Policy. Routledge.

Horn R. (2002).Understanding Educational Reform: A Reference Handbook.ABC-CLIO.

MillsC. &‎ GaleT.(2009).Schooling in Disadvantaged Communities: Playing the Game from the Back of the Field. Brisbane. Springer Science & Business Media.

Lawson T. &Garrod‎ J. (2012).Dictionary of Sociology. New York. Routledge.