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Schooling and Literacy

Schooling and Literacy

Author: Paul Hannan

Recognize the various types of schooling, and the goals they aim to achieve. 

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Source: Intro Music by Mark Hannan; Public Domain School; Public Domain Books; Public Domain

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[MUSIC PLAYING] Welcome this episode of Sociology-- Studies of Society. Today's lesson is on schooling and literacy. As always, don't be afraid to pause, stop, rewind, or even fast forward to make sure you get the most out of this tutorial.

So today is a brief tutorial looking at schooling and literacy. And what I'm going to do first is actually I'm going to kind of-- as the images are suggesting, I'm going to kind of flip schooling upside down and think of some ways that schooling are different from maybe traditional schooling. Then we'll move on, eventually move on, to literacy and schooling.

So there are some different types of schooling that I think it's important that you know moving forward in sociology. Parochial schooling is schooling that provides religious instruction in addition to what's normally covered in education. So these are schools that see education, not just covering the core concepts that maybe the state of Minnesota would want you to cover. But also that the religious instruction is a crucial component to that. And it doesn't matter what religion that happens to be. That can be Jewish religion, Christian religion, all those fall under that same type of schooling.

Now, preparatory schooling is really a model of schooling that is-- it's designed to get kids into really successful higher education spots. So it's getting them ready for college. Specifically, it's really aimed at ages 14 to 18. And you'll actually see some public schools putting the word "preparatory" on their name, branding themselves as preparatory schools, saying that they are trying to get kids ready for college. But again, this model really traditionally comes out of private schooling.

The last type of schooling here is homeschooling. And that's just schooling done in the home. And that's typically done by family members.

Now, the other thing I said we'd tackle briefly is literacy. One of the reasons why we have schooling is to make sure that people learn the skill of reading. Now, functional literacy is a certain type of literacy. And that's specifically saying do you have the basic reading and writing skills needed for everyday life? So is your reading good enough that you can actually succeed in your everyday life as an adult?

Now, rates of literacy in the United States America often get reported very close to 100%. 98% I've read, 99%, 96%. But functional literacy, that ability to actually use it and be successful in every day of your life, those rates actually are lower.

In the US, there's a really wide range of what that can be, especially because you're trying define reading and writing good enough for everyday life. But what exactly is everyday life? And is that changing? So you'll see rates in this wide range there, of 65% to 80% of people reading at functional literacy threshold.

So today's take-away message. We learned about three different types of schooling. Parochial, which is schooling that gives religious instruction, as well as the normal things you get from school. Preparatory-- the preparatory school model-- which is a form of private schooling, getting kids ready for college. We also learned about home schooling, which is schooling done in the home by family members. And we also looked at functional literacy, which is the basic reading and writing skills needed for everyday life.

Well, that's it for this lesson. Good work. And hopefully you'll be seeing me on your screen again soon. Peace.

Terms to Know
Functional Literacy

The knowledge of basic reading and writing so that a person can function in everyday life.

Home Schooling

A growing trend whereby students receive their formal schooling at home.

Parochial Schooling

Schooling that provides religious instruction alongside regular academic coursework.

Preparatory School Model

A form of private education designed to prepare students ages 14-18 for higher education.