Danubius International Conferences, 6th International Conference The Danube - Axis of European Identity

School educational environment and its implications on learning – the functionalist paradigm

Alina Anghel, Ramona Neacsa
Last modified: 2016-05-23


Abstract. The present paper aims to analyze the implications of school educational environment on learning at primary school children. The theoretical frame of the research was the functionalist-systemic paradigm of Talcott Parsons (1902-1979). Within this frame, according to the sociologist’s explanations, a social system exists in the conditions in which it manages to satisfy the individual’s needs to adapt to the environment, and the creation of the social identity depends on the manner in which the individual internalizes the exterior environment so that to ensure his success for normal social integration and functioning. In Parsons’ opinion, the school, regarded as social system, must answer the following functional imperatives: the children’s adaptation to the institutional environment, attaining the educational objectives, the socio-educational integration, the acceptation and support for cultural values, the stimulation of motivation for learning. The specific objectives of the research were: identification of the level of importance as perceived by the children regarding the actions developed in school, on individual plan, in order to support the school success (OS1); identification of the level of importance as perceived by the teachers regarding the collective educational actions developed for increasing the school success (OS2). Methodology. The research is of standard type: qualitative and quantitative. The results were measured with a Likert type scale and the data interpretation was accomplished based on the interpretations obtained by using a Nice &Gaps type bidimensional matrix. The results of the research have led to the following conclusion: the quality of the institutional educational environment conditions in a great measure the individual school success. This aspect is justified in the context of a direct correlation between the individual factors and the school’s functional and structural capacity.