The Critical Analysis of Social Theories in the Contemporary Field of Social Foundations of Education

  • Omsin Jatuporn Chiang Mai University
Keywords: social theories, social foundations of education, teacher education, critical perspective


The objectives of this research were to analyze, synthesize and propose social theories in the contemporary field of social foundations of education. A qualitative approach was employed through documentary research. The research found that social theories in the contemporary field of social foundations of education can be categorized into two main perspectives, namely: structural-functionalism and conflict theory which includes relevant theories such as interpretive theory, symbolic interactionism and phenomenology. Significant theoretical debates emerge from the findings are that social foundation scholars must conduct an analysis of the influences of structural-functionalism upon the social foundations of education and the shift of social theories frameworks in this academic field that focuses on neo-Marxist theory in education or critical theory in education which theoretically inherits from conflict theory. This shift occurs on the theoretical and practical grounds which exist under the 21st century global discourse. Thus, the field of social foundations of education provide a basis for educators, teachers and practitioners to conceptualize new educational issues that eventually move beyond the notions of education that are often taken for granted.


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