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November 25, 2014 / C H Thompson

Correspondence principle

For Bowles and Gintis it is the need of the capitalist economy rather than the needs of students which drives the educationkids20in20classroom system in the UK. The education system is constructed on unequal relations of authority between the pupil and the school.

Bowles and Gintis show how this unequal relationship corresponds with that of the workplace – the boss and his staff. Therefore school simply teaches young people (via hidden curriculum) to accept social inequalities in the workplace by schools ‘teaching’ :

  • students to accept authority by having to follow school rules without question – as you have to at work
  • students to accept the norms and values of the workplace – poor attendance and lateness is punished as it would be at work
  • students are taught the importance of looking smart – you’re punished for wearing trainers to school or sent home if you’re skirt is too short – as is likely in some jobs
  • students are given external rewards such as house-points – school work like the workplace is dull and repetitive so external rewards keep employees motivated

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