The interaction of these social forces with the internal organisation of the school is explored in order to find out the social determinants of educability. Studies have shown that social class and its correlates have a systematic effect on educability and educational selection. For example, in Britain, the chances of achieving a university degree are six times better for a middle class than for a working-class child.
The social determinants of academic success remain powerful even in modern educational systems in spite of the provision of equal opportunities for all. The theoretical notion of “meritocracy”, i.e., rule by the educated and talented persons, has to be understood within this context. Sociological studies of higher education have increased since 1950.
Sociology of education stresses upon the social importance of education. The social importance of education is widely recognised today, especially in modern industrialised societies. In such societies education has become one of the means of acquiring social and technical skills.
Education has come to be not only a way of training people to work in different fields but also a qualification for jobs in certain fields. It fits people for increasingly specialised roles
More than that, education has become an essential need today to register progress in scientific and technological fields. As such, it is a means of promoting economic prosperity. Education, as a means of bringing about social change, is no less significant. It promotes social mobility, that is, movement of people from one social status to another.
It influences social stratification. Education is often made use of in totalitarian and communist countries as an instrument to propagate some chauvinist and communist ideologies.
The famous writer, Newman said that the main practical purpose of a university is to produce socially responsible people. President Truman of America, stressing the importance of education, once remarked that man with wide experience, practical vision of things, intellectual depth and capacity to take right decisions at right time should be given the reins of administration to rule the country.
Dr. S Radhakrishnan said that the main objective of education was to give training to students to undertake occupations effectively and to become proper leaders in various social fields in which they happen to work. Dr. Kothari Commission, appointed by the Government of India to recommend suitable educational reforms declares in the very beginning of its very comprehensive report that, “The destiny of India is being shaped in her class-rooms today”.