What are schools for?
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Professor Michael Young

In this academic paper Professor Young focuses on three, related arguments about the role of schools. He suggests that the answers to the question ‘what are schools for?’ will inevitably reveal tensions and conflicts of interests within wider society, but that nevertheless educational policy makers, teachers and educational researchers must address the distinctive purposes of schools.

He argues there is a link between the hopes associated with the expansion of schooling, and the opportunity that schools provide for pupils to acquire powerful knowledge that they rarely have access to at home. He also introduces the concept of knowledge differentiation as a principled way of distinguishing between school and non-school knowledge.

He goes on to suggest that contemporary forms of accountability tend to weaken the boundaries between school and non-school knowledge, on the grounds that they inhibit a more accessible and economically relevant curriculum. 

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Professor Michael Young

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Educacao Sociedade and Culturas

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This academic paper seeks to answer the key question, what are schools for? The author suggests education is about providing pupils with powerful knowledge they would not have access to at home or in their community. It may be of interest to all educators.


Record ID:
R391 / 498
Link to research:
What are schools for?

Author(s) biog(s):
Professor Michael Young

Associated coverage:
Daily Telegraph (2013)

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